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“macal river camp” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Lodge at Chaa Creek

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The Lodge at Chaa Creek
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Macal River, San Ignacio, Belize   |  
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Ranked #4 of 17 Hotels in San Ignacio
Certificate of Excellence
Jefferson, Maryland
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“macal river camp”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

we stayed at the macal river camp that is part of the Chaa Creek Resort for 3 nites/ the Camp is a short hike from the resort and consists of approximately 8-10 screened cabins on stilts with a porch with hammock and chairs. There is a large covered pavillion where meals are served and there is an electrical outlet for recharging elect devices (phone service is sporadic)docio the caretaker is wonderful as well as his extended family that help to cook and clean/ No elect in the cabins , light by kerosene lamps/ beds are comfy /you have full use of Chaa Creek amenities .. nice pool and several complimentary tours ...butterfly , medicinal trail, canoes to canoe up stream or for a fee they will pick you up in san ignacio for a 2 hr downstream trip we paddled up stream to Duplooys Lodge and had lunch and drinks at their restaurant/ river water is a bit murky ? hesistant to swim in...food was tasty and served breakfast and dinner/ bring a flashlite or headlamp / watch your step for tarantulas/ Check in is at the Chaa Creek Resort / Fun place and good place to meet other campers as dinner is served altogether

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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763 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (192)
Date | Rating
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English first
Cherrylog, Georgia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013

I have spent several days at The Lodge At Chaa Creek and enjoyted each one for different reasons. It was hot the day we arrived so we chose the river to cool ourselves. After a paddle up stream and drift back down, we stowed the canoe and headed back to our cottage. The furniture in the cottage was really nice. The bed was very comfortable which is saying a lot for resort bedding. The sound of the river and the silence of the property made it a wonderful experience. We visited the butterfly farm and walked along the rainforest medicine trail. The Belizeans working there were all so friendly and happy. We found out that the owners of the resort treat them like family and they love working there. The food was wonderful and the wine selection was great. I mention that because it can be a problem to find a good bottle of wine at a remote resort such as The Lodge At Chaa Creek Belize. I have returned to the Lodge recently for an overnight visit to check out the property once again and they have made improvements, such as a centrally based pool for guests and expanded accommodations. The improvements have not ruined the quaint feeling one gets walking around the resort property. I can recommend this property as a two or three night get-a-way from the beach areas when visiting Belize.

Room Tip: They are all good but it is wise to stay away from the central area of the resort where the restaura...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

I've stayed at Chaa Creek 4 times over the past 23 years and I can tell you that this delightful resort only continues to impress us. First and foremost, the staff are FANTASTIC!!! They are extremely friendly, kind, accommodating, funny, knowledgable, warm, and professional. Get to know them a little and you'll be rewarded with friendship and laughter. Secondly, the resort itself is stunningly beautiful. A real gem in the gorgeous rainforest. The flora and fauna are out of this world and it's obvious what great care is taken of the grounds on a daily basis. Wake to the calls of the howler monkeys or to the building chatters and songs of the birds. Watch the iguanas laze about in the canopy and you'll get an idea of what true relaxation is. The rooms that we've stayed in over the years have consistently been comfortable, clean, and beautifully decorated. The Treetop Suites have been our favorite as they have a view of the Macal River (Room #10 is our absolute favorite). You cannot go wrong with any of the accommodations at Chaa Creek. They provide you with ample towels, clean & fresh linens, shampoo/conditioner/body wash, blowdryer, safe, and an umbrella for the occasional passing rain cloud. The food is delicious and fresh...most of the produce is directly harvested from the organic Maya farm on the grounds of the resort. Being a chef myself, I truly appreciate Belizean cuisine. It's fresh, local, sustainable, and there is something for everyone. I'm also vegetarian and my husband is by default due to severe allergies to certain meats. The kitchen staff were more than accommodating with our "special" dietary needs. I don't usually eat breakfast at home but when I'm at Chaa Creek you can bet I'm eating it every morning. Not only is it delicious but you have healthy options each morning with homemade yogurt, fresh fruits, granola, the freshest of eggs, fry jacks, refried beans, breakfast burritos, etc. (ok, the last few might not be "healthy" but they're a must-have!!). While you do need to leave Chaa Creek to visit the extraordinary Mayan ruins and the fantastic caving, you will want to spend a day or two just hanging around the resort because you cannot miss the Maya Medicine Trail, the Blue Morpho Butterfly Farm, the Natural History Museum, canoeing on the Macal River, bird watching, the Creatures of the Night tour, horseback riding, a massage at the spa, a dip in the pool, the list goes on.....
I've read a few of the "negatives" that have been posted by other guests. Are there bugs in the rainforest? Shockingly, yes. Who knew? This is not a vacuum-sealed, wrapped in plastic resort. Those are in Cancun. This is luxury in the jungle with all of its jungle-ness. That's the glory of this haven.
Making reservations is quite simple with Chaa Creek so go ahead and do yourself a favor. They will accommodate practically anything. You will have a place in the jungle all your own. What could be better than that?

Room Tip: #10 Treetop Suite is our favorite! Private, on the edge of the rainforest, beautiful view of Macal R...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Level Contributor
183 reviews
92 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 409 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

Picked The Lodge at Chaa Creek based on general reputation and of course TA reviews. We stayed for 4 nights in Villa 9 which is one of the two treetop suite accommodations. Reservation process involved alot of paperwork and faxing and it is up to you to remember to contact them for final payment. Usually a property will contact you to either advise they are charging the balance or reconfirm and get approval for the charge. I realized about two weeks late that balance was due, contacted them and got it done. We had arranged our own transfer (much better rate than offered by Chaa) and arrival went fine. Edwin checked us in and was very responsive to some issues. While Suites 9 and 10 are nice ,given no a/c and noise carrying easily, these accommodations were not a private as I had expected. The jacuzzis are sort of concealed but again not the "tree top" privacy I was expecting. The room itself was nice. I need to mention that we hit pretty much 4 straight days of rain...no not the brief shower you would expect in this jungle but solid rain. So much rain that there was not one howler monkey making any sounds, night walks were cancelled, ATM and other such adventures cancelled due to high water etc. Frankly my rating of very good is only that I assume my impressions might be quite different if the monkeys were waking me up and the sun was out at least some of the time. We went to San Ignacio after getting 4 different price quotes from the concierge. It is expensive to go to town so once we got a nice taxi driver we just called him direct and he took us to Xunantunich and we got a guide right there that was great. Price less than half quoted from hotel. He also took us to botanical gardens. We did all of this in the rain and tried to make the best of an expensive 4 nights. It happens and not much you can do. Frankly had the total prepayment not been made I would have opted to leave after 3 but no refunds of course. The meals were good...3 or 4 choices and when one night we did not like the choices they gave us exactly what we wanted. Service was pleasant but once you have the check they want to take it immediately. If it is left for a minute they will be back. Given getting anywhere was a project (muddy roads and high taxi fares) it made sense to just eat at the hotel. It got sort of old with only one restaurant but as mentioned the food was very good. While the lack of a/c is great with me, with all of the rain virtually every item we had books, clothes, everything was damp. It took days after we left to get rid of the dampness. Lots of walking up and down between reception and villas and would not recommend for anyone with mobility issues. Chaa Creek is a VERY family friendly place would I would recommend it if you have kids. Seems like kids under 18 day free. That said ,the brief moments we were at the pool large families took it over...no big deal..but for the honeymooners not sure. It was the very tail end of Christmas season and maybe that is not an issue at other times. Spring break and summer are probably the same. Being a small place management never introduced themselves nor did I see anyone that appeared to be a manager. Maybe I just missed them. Check out went well and they did send a survey via email upon our return home but I would far prefer them asking upon checkout...did you enjoy your stay or how was your stay and thank you for staying with us. Check out was brief and no one asked about our stay. I think Chaa Creek is probably one of the best if not best places in the area and that fact that our stay was not memorable is probably more due to the weather than anything about the hotel and thus I give it a very good rating with emphasis on it being great for families. Also we did visit the spa and I requested a massage with Anna based on a review here. She was indeed very good and the massage was the perfect way to pass a rainy afternoon. I would mention that when I tried to book another one for later in the day the next day it did not seem like they want to work past about 4pm. Maybe it is just me, but I prefer 5-7pm appointments (especially if the weather is nice and after an excursion) and that just was not possible. It seems during the Christmas Holidays they extended the hours some. It is a nice walk up to the spa and then on to the butterfly farm.

Room Tip: Would say tree top 10 is a bit more private than tree top 9. I assume they are similar otherwise.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

Stayed Christmas Eve at the Macal River Camp and loved it! Despite the lack of a chimney, Santa did manage to find us.

Dosio and his team have done a fantastic job of creating a real jungle experience. The camp is built in a jungle valley beside the river, consisting of lovely "tent" cabanas constructed on platforms raised off the ground. Clean and comfortable, they are lit by kerosene lamps at night, completing that camp-in-the-jungle feel. Chairs and a hammock grace the front porch, where you can sit and listen to the jungle sounds at night. Washrooms are a 30-second walk away. Food at the dining area was tasty and abundant, and the family-style seating promoted mingling with other guests - we were all able to compare notes of our travelling adventures.

The main facility at Chaa Creek is a 10-minute walk along a lovely nature trail. The main property is definitely up-scale; the grounds impeccably maintained. The pool, dining room, and bar were an interesting and tasteful design that blended right in with the magnificent gardens. We enjoyed a delicious lunch there, and the available wi-fi allowed us to brag about our experience in realtime to our friends (Facetime).

All-in-all, a totally unique experience. Many thanks to the staff who made our stay most memorable.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013 via mobile

We really enjoyed our stay at the Macal River Camp at Chaa Creek. We were well cared for by the local family who host the camp. We thoroughly enjoyed sharing the very tasty meals with the other guests and exchanging stories each night around the campfire. We took full advantage of the free access to facilities at the Lodge, as well as the various free activities such as birdwatching and canoeing. The shared showers and toilets at the camp were well maintained. The setting for the camp was beautiful and the novelty of going to sleep listening to crickets and waking up to howler monkeys never wore off. I highly recommend the camp if you enjoy the outdoors but also like to be well cared for and have the luxury of the Lodge within reach.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Mandeville, Louisiana
Level Contributor
102 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

The resort has beautiful grounds, rooms and a fantastic infinity pool. And the restaurant serves delicious meals.
The only downside is that there is no air conditioning in the rooms or in the restaurant. Thankfully the two fans in our room made it comfortable to sleep, but we are spoiled and used to having A/C when we sleep.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Lodge at Chaa Creek

Address: Macal River, San Ignacio, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Cayo > San Ignacio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in San Ignacio
#2 Romantic Hotel in San Ignacio
#2 Business Hotel in San Ignacio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Lodge at Chaa Creek 3.5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For over 30 years Chaa Creek has been providing a comfortable base for exciting inland adventures for thousands of visitors, from explorers, scientists, filmmakers, research groups, students and people of all ages looking for intellectual and physical stimulation in Belize's vibrant rainforest - the heartland of the Maya. We also realise that any rewarding adventure is enhanced by comfortable accommodations and excellent food. Our 23 palm thatched cottage rooms ensure a good night's sleep and delightful mornings accompanied by the sing song of a rainforest waking up, and guests can choose a Complete Garden Suite, an Orchard and Spa Villa, Macal Cottage or Tree Top Suite, all equipped with a Jacuzzi for even extra comfort. As one example, under our Chaa Creek Cares program, 10% of all accommodation revenue goes straight into environmental and social programs, and in supporting Green and community groups. We sleep better, and you will too, knowing that your stay at Chaa Creek has a positive effect on Belize and our very special pristine natural environment. Families share some of life's most cherished moments - and memories - during a Belize family vacation. And to guarantee a family vacation that everyone will enjoy, multi award winning Chaa Creek is the only Belize destination you'll need. Our affordable, all inclusive family friendly adventure holidays are absolutely stress free and bring everyone closer together through sharing a variety of amazing adventures along with quiet moments to reconnect - all in a stunning rainforest setting. Nature and romance bloom year round in the stunning beauty of Belize. Our all-inclusive romantic vacation packages allow lovers of all ages to immerse themselves in nature and each other. An exquisite rainforest filled with colourful tropical birds, canoe trips down the meandering Macal river with the misty Maya mountains in the background, unwinding together in your private Jacuzzi surrounded by a tropical garden, couples massages, candlelit dinners and sharing once-in-a-lifetime experiences create the perfect conditions for love to flower. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Lodge At Chaa Creek Hotel San Ignacio
Hotel At Chaa Creek
At Chaa Creek Hotel
Chaa Creek
The Lodge At Chaa Creek Belize/San Ignacio

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