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“Nice and simple but edges need work” 4 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   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Rate
4th night FREE
Ranked #6 of 26 San Ignacio B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
114 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Nice and simple but edges need work”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

First the good stuff. The owners of Crystal Paradise are wonderful local people and that itself is worth something. As resorts go, it is small and not overrun with tour groups, add that to the fact that it is relatively secluded and you get a quiet place with lots of opportunities for birdwatching from a comfortable chair! The food is good and tends to be local with a sort of home cooked feeling. Arranging trips to Barton Creek, Tikal or Caracol is straightforward with the helpful owners. There are bugs of course but what else do you expect in Belize :) The property is well landscaped and a small trail leads down to the river, a nice place to sit with a book and while away the afternoon.

The negatives. The cabanas (ours anyway) are fairly simple (thin mattresses, sparse blankets, old sheets) and need some updating (doesn't take a lot but some personalization is always welcome!). The bathrooms could also use a bit of work (new shower head would be nice and there was a faint smell, not overly bothersome, from the plumbing).

On a price for facilities basis, I'd probably give this a three star rating. But, like I say above, the owners are great, the birdwatching excellent, the seclusion desirable, and it seems to have many repeat visitors - so 4 stars it is!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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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211 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    149
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    4
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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 (37)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

For the jungle portion of our adventure, we wanted a decent place to stay that was outside of town to use as our "launch pad" for day trips. Crystal Paradise is perfect for that. The grounds are really nice and well maintained with many birds (including the 7AM toucans) and other animals -- chickens, horses, goats, sheep, dogs. The river is a 5 minute walk away, and there are swimming holes nearby. The road on the way in is bumpy, but that is to be expected. The cabanas are minimalists and the beds are a bit hard, but it wasn't a problem, though the thin walls might be if sharing a wall with others. (The last night we had people next door and one of them snored, which did wake us up). We had an issue with an overflowing shower the first night and they moved us without our even having to ask. The family that runs the place is really nice, and is unobtrusive - they are around if you need someone, but aren't going to bother you. Victor is a lovely guy and you can hear his laughter frequently floating across the grounds, but it is otherwise quiet. It was great to sit in the hammock in the evening and read/relax. The self-serve bar stocks beer, rum, tequila, and sodas - nothing fancy, but a few mixers around. The food was local-ish fare and was generally good - and I am a picky eater! You can sit on your own, or join the others, your preference. They were accommodating of my being vegetarian, and they were flexible when we showed up late for dinner due to being out on tours. As far as the tours, we felt like CP arranged for the best of the best -- Carlos for the ATM cave tours, and another awesome Carlos for our Tikal tour. It was really great to not have to figure any of that out. For example, with Tikal, we were told what we needed to do and where we needed to be, and everything else was set. We got picked up by them at the airport, and stayed 4 nights - easily could have stayed another day or two to fit in a few more tours. The location was great. If you can swing it, check out the Saturday Market in San Ignacio and find the ladies who make the pupusas - my new favorite fare. Overall, Crystal Paradise was a friendly, nice place and I have a fond affection for them. If I were to return to San Ignacio, I would absolutely stay there again.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newport Beach, California
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

The rooms were too rustic for me. Even after slathering bud repellent on my entire body, I suffererd hundreds of bites in the rock floor dining area. The location was quite remote, very pretty but definetly lacking amenities. The owner and his family were very nice but if you are a person who likes ice in your drinks bring your own!

Room Tip: If you like rustic this is the place for you.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Moscow, Idaho
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

The primary focus of our trip was birdwatching, but because one of us is more serious (or insane) about birding, we also wanted to add in some time at Mayan ruins and other activities that weren't strictly birds. We booked the northern and central Belize birding package and added a day-trip to the Tikal site in Guatemala; this meant a couple of nights in other locations than the resort. From the moment we walked out of the airport and were met by Eric, until we walked back in to leave, we were treated well. At the resort, our room was clean, quiet, and comfortable. Ditto for our other accommodations. Even though we were the only guests at Crystal so early in the season, each meal was prepared fresh, served home-style, and delicious. Our only complaint: how come there wasn't any Belikin stout in the refrigerator? As for the birding.... wow. Eric helped us see nearly 200 species in 5 days of birding. Our package included boat trips, a canoe trip, and hiking. Eric knew his birds and where to find them. I asked Eric to do some "after hours" owling with me and he was happy to do so. And, our trip to Tikal went smoothly; our guide was knowledgeable and friendly. We are already thinking about a return trip in 2014....

Room Tip: I'd avoid the deluxe room... with the AC, screened in porch, etc. Why bother going? Our basic ro...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
London
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

We loved everything about staying here. We had a great cabin, perfectly clean and comfortable surrounded by all the sights, sounds and smells of the jungle!

The food was delicious, although, yes, a little pricey. But you can also get into San Ignacio easily and get delicious cheap food there.

It was off season, so quiet (and a little damp) but I would still recommend it highly to everyone.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Calgary, Canada
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

We just visited Crystal Paradise for our honeymoon and enjoyed everything about the stay!

We got the jungle and sea package, and we couldn't believe how convenient it was! They pick you up right from the airport for the scenic drive out to San Ignacio. They also drive you down to the Singing Sands Inn for the second part of the trip. The package even includes a flight on a small airline back to Belize City which really cuts down on the travel time.

The hosts were all so friendly and we really got to experience the local way of life. It was a refreshing change from the typical resort style vacations. And the food was amazing!! All of the food was served family style and we enjoyed every single meal!

If you are worried about travelling in low season, don't be!! On the trip to the caracol ruins there were only about 10 other travellers that I remember and all our pictures are just of the beautiful ruins, not filled with tourists! The barton creek cave tour was also amazing! being the only people in the cave (and probably for a few days) there were so many bats and it was so peaceful. We only got a few rain showers and they were welcome in the hot humidity.

Loved every minute, would definitely recommend it to friends and family!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Santa Rosa, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

AMAZING food, rooms, and people. Monkeys, toucans, and other birds/wildlife EVERYWHERE!!! Super nice common areas for games, bar, kitchen, relaxing etc. Nice grounds with birding platforms and a river walk. Great thatched roof bungalows and a few critters that go along with that:) Great tourist trips. I recommend the birding, butterfly, and caving trips. Such a lovely place!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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 Crystal Paradise Resort

Address: Macal River near Cristo Rey Village | PO Box 126, San Ignacio, Belize
Phone Number:
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 #6 of 26 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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