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“" 8 Butts Up" in Belize” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Crystal Paradise Resort

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Crystal Paradise Resort
3.0 of 5 Small Hotel   |   Macal River near Cristo Rey Village | PO Box 126, San Ignacio, Belize   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #8 of 28 San Ignacio B&B and Inns
Lowell, Massachusetts
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“" 8 Butts Up" in Belize”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2008

We were a party of 8, not all into physical challenges, and traveling to Belize for the first time. We wanted a base to travel to the Mayan ruins in Belize for the first part of our vacation followed by time at the seashore for the second. Our travel agent selected Crystal Paradise resort. It was the perfect place for our group.

The time we spent at Crystal Paradise was busy and exciting.
Many of us did things here that we had never done before, from cave tubing, to swimming under a waterfall, to bird watching for toucans. And we were able to visit two spectacular Mayan sites.

The hospitality and friendliness of the Tut family was tremendous.

Eric sort of adopted us and was our guide on most of our trips and transfers. His knowledge of the region, history , and wildlife as well as his great sense of humor made the time we spent with him both fun and educational. His patience and personality enabled some people in our party to perform activities that they never would have without his help. Also, arrange a morning birdwatching walk around the grounds with Eric. He is amazing at spotting and identifying the many birds inhabiting this valley.

The trip to Tikal was a highlight. It is an amazing place. The arrangements made by Crystal Paradise for that trip were excellent. ( But, Guatemala roads are unbelievable. Also, since some of our group were reluctant to walk the whole site, it would be good if the available option to ride to the various sites is made more apparent.)
Xunantunich was a pleasant surprise and a very interesting site.

We substituted the cave tubing trip for the canoeing on Eric's recommendation, and it was a highlight of the trip.

The accommodations at Crystal Paradise were very comfortable and always clean. The family style eating area and honor bar promoted easy conversations and information exchanges with other guests and the food was comfortable (in the best sense) and more than plentiful. Jeronie and the rest of the family were welcoming and helpful with any and all requests we made.

I would, and already have recommended Crystal Paradise to anyone interested in traveling to Belize.

  • Liked — Everything.
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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184 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    132
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Connecticut
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2008

Lifetime memories. Awesome hosts. Idyllic setting. Spectacularly accommodating.

Our holiday at Crystal Paradise gave us significantly more than we expected. This is a family owned and run hospitality center, run by one of the kindest, most nurturing and honestly caring families you will ever encounter. Our airport pick up was flawless and the journey to the resort included a lunch stop at the 'famous' roadside restaurant near the Belize zoo. Once we arrived, Jeronie helped insure our accommodations met our families needs and that our excursions were well coordinated.

The hand-built thatch-roofed huts offer plenty of space for everyone. You are unplugged from the frenzied pace of life in the States without feeling isolated. While the offerings of excursions are varied and authentic, many guests opt to enjoy the peace and quiet of the jungle ranch with reading, siestas and nature walks. Our family was invited to explore the beautiful landscape around the ranch on horseback with youngest son Andy as guide.

Miss Teresa, the matriarch, expertly prepares (from scratch) all the meals. Tasteful and healthy, these authentic local dishes are served family style in an open air pavilion complete with stocked bar and refrigerated drinks. We were most impressed with the honor system used to tally drinks.

Our family includes small children and Mr. Viktor and Miss Teresa were keenly aware of our desire to expose them to the beauty of the region, while maintaining a comfortable level of security. On our daytrip to Tikal, we were escorted to the Guatemalan border, through passport control and received by a reputable guide. At the end of the adventure, again, we were escorted through the boarder and greeted by another member of the Tut family to return to Crystal Paradise.

Our time spent in the rainforest at Crystal Paradise and surrounding area was amazing! We will happily return, sadly not soon enough.

  • Liked — Family run, great hosts. Completely
  • Disliked — Everything was terrific, exceeded our expectations.
  • Stayed December 2005, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
florida
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2008

There is only one way to stay in Belize-with the Tut family! And not just stay but have them plan a trip for you. This is the perfect full service lodge for ecotourism. I have traveled with them 3 times and enjoyed it all.

Jeronine is an excellent naturalist and will help you see and identify many species of birds and animals you may see while staying there. If you are traveling with them to many of the close by natural destinations then they will make sure all your questions are answered. And they will take you to some beautiful spots and great cultural sites as you visit. her is not the only one that can help with the flora and fauna of the area, many members of the family have an expansive knowledge of what is in the area. And all the tours are well planned and well done.

The rooms are great! The are comfortable, open and have great facilities. You get to hear the sounds of wildlife around the area and have some great views. The hammocks out front are great for a mid day nap. And it is a good place to sip coffee and listen.

The food is fantastic and prepared by members of the family. It has fresh ingredients, is nicely spiced, and beats any restaurant you many go to. I only wish they would adopt me so I could eat there all the time.

The location of the lodge is both beautiful and close to where you need to be. There is swimming, canoing and places to visit close by for interesting presents.

Be smart, book with Crystal Paradise so you can truly enjoy Belize and all it has to offer. I think anything else would be a disappointment.

  • Liked — The atmosphere and environment
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Hampshire
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2008

From my email exchanges with our hosts prior to our trip, to personal care extended by each member of the family, the Crystal Paradise Resort provided an excellent vacation adventure.

One aspect that surprised and pleased me were the interesting young travelers we met while excitedly discovering rare birds, sharing tasty
family style meals, getting first hand reports of each day's adventure
from those who just came back from one we planned to do the next day.

The package of Crystal Paradise Resort in the jungle and Singing Sands
Inn on the beach in Placencia worked very well for us, "The 4 Ladies",
as our hosts dubbed us. All arrangements were made for us, transportation was expertly arranged and included in the package, hosts in both venues were interesting and very hospitable, putting our
enjoyment first.

If you are looking for adventure in a clean, friendly enviroment with knowledgeable hosts,and interesting fellow guests. the Jungle and Sea Package is for you. A great way to become aquainted with a small section of Central America.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2008

We just returned from spending Christmas in Belize. We spent 5 nights at Crystal Paradise and 6 nights in Placencia. We had such an amazing time while at Crystal Paradise. Eric picked us up from Belize City and
drove us to Crystal Paradise. We stayed in a non-thatched bungalow. It
had a large shower and two double beds. It's not your typical American
hotel which is what I loved about it! The food was wonderful at every meal. The fresh Guatemalan coffee was excellent. I bought some and haven't been to Starbucks since. Everyone in the family went out of their way to accommodate us. The sound of the birds at night was really neat. We went on several tours including Pine Ridge, Big Rock falls, Tikal, Cave Tubing, Zip Lining and canoeing. They were all such
fun adventures!

We felt very safe while we were there and felt as though they were always looking out for our best interest. Something I have never felt
when traveling in other countries. They even did our laundry for us at
no additional charge. On Christmas Day we fell out of the canoe and I lost my camera in the river. Since it was our last day there I had 5 days worth of pictures on it. I was so upset. When the van met us at the end of the trip I explained how we had fallen out and lost my camera. Without skipping a beat Eric offered to dive in the river and find my camera. His brother and several friends came out and they all went diving in the river to find it. 20 minutes and I had my camera back with all my pictures!! Although it didn't work the chip was fine and I was able to have all our pictures back.

Barb's Belize set up our whole trip and I couldn't be happier about where we stayed. The Tut's really made our trip memorable. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

  • Liked — The family, the meals, feeling like your really sleeping in the jungle, the tours, really getting away from tv's and cell phone.
  • Disliked — the distance from the resort to town, but that's what made it such a getaway from everything!
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2007

We stayed 3 nights at the Crystal Paradise and just loved it! We had a regular room, it was very simple and clean. The bed was a little hard, but for the price it is a great value. The food was wonderful and the Tut family was very friendly and made us feel very welcome. We did tours with Jeronie and Eric. They are excellent guides and birders. We would highly recommend Crystal Paradise! Wish we would have stayed longer!
The Clays

  • Liked — The Tut family, the birds, the food, the atmosphere, the grounds
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2007

We just returned from Belize. 7 days at Blackbird Caye and then two days at the Crystal Paradise. It isn't a resort and that was exactly what we wanted. A peaceful getaway far out of town. The dining area and lounging deck just lovely and relaxing. It is aso nice because you eat family style with your fellow travelers. I thought it was a good deal since they took us all the way to and from Belize City and also included all food except lunch. Jeroni and Eric, two of the family hosts can pick out any bird from a mile away and Jeroni took us birding one morning and picked out every bird in sight. They have parrots that come to their orange trees every morning and evening. We took a tour from there to Tikal. I also thought this was a good deal because they took us all the way to the Guatemalan border, carefully handing off to the driver on the other side so we were always being watched over and felt comfortable. I don't know anywhere on earth that you could get two hours each way to somewhere, a driver and a guide, lunch and entrance to a wonder of the world for $200 ($100 pp). The only thing I wish we had done was ask specifically about the tour because the guide nearly killed us running us around. We were with four other people who joined us from another resort once we were there so we had no choice but to keep up. We would gladly have paid for our own guide so we could have set our own pace. It didn't occur to me to ask in advance so I wish the Crystal Paradise had asked us what kind of tour we wanted. The food was the best we had in our eight days in Belize. It was almost like staying with friends who personally wanted to make sure you had a good time.

Stayed November 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Crystal Paradise Resort

Address: Macal River near Cristo Rey Village | PO Box 126, San Ignacio, Belize
Location: Belize > Cayo > San Ignacio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 28 B&Bs / Inns in San Ignacio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Crystal Paradise Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This beautiful Belize jungle lodge is located in the lush jungles and along side the beautiful Macal River. Owned and operated by the Tut family, using the ancient art of palm-thatched roofs that blend with the natural beauty of Belize. Combine this exotic atmosphere with genuine Belizean family hospitality and the result is a rare encounter between culture and adventure. . We provide our guests with the opportunity to explore the country's many wonders while staying in comfort that reflects Belizean culture. Your base for all your adventures in Belize whether it be caving, birding, visits to archeological sites such as Caracol, Tikal Xunanunich and many other Belize Maya ruins. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crystal Paradise Hotel San Ignacio
Crystal Paradise Resort Belize/San Ignacio

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