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“Beautiful!!!!” 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
NC
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Beautiful!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2013

First of all I a REALLY late with doing this I stayed here March of 2011.The grounds are spectacular! Saw awesome birds. I am not a bird watcher. Everything was clean. Meals were served family style and all were homemade. Jeromi and Eric are super nice. all of their family are super sweet!!! Went canoeing in a cave I can not recall the name???? It was very nice. San Ignacio is close by and a wonderful little shopping area. They also have a internet café there in town if you need it. This is like a dream vacation. The thatched roofs are nice. I was kinda skeptical at first about them but, they do not leak. We had our own private bathroom and the ladies there will do your laundry for a fee. Which was awesome!!!

  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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182 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    130
    37
    8
    3
    4
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43
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4
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
Bethlehem, CT
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

I'm a little late with my review for Crystal Paradise Resort, but am delighted to send it along. My wife and I were guests there at the end of February 2013, and I have been on the road ever since. I am a professional Bird Photographer and was more than pleased with our surroundings, accommodations, bird encounters, and especially with our guides. I appreciate their courtesies, their knowledge, and their ability to "put me on the birds" I was seeking.

As some others have said, this is not a "Luxury" Resort, and I doubt anyone at Crystal Paradise would take exception to that. I found their rates and pricing very competative, and their willingness to change the schedule around, or add in an alternative activity was most welcomed. They do serve local foods and cuisine, and I personally enjoyed it more than this fussy eater ever expected. I have stayed at other locations in Belize, and know what I expect in terms of service and appropriate amenities. I fully intend to return to Crystal Paradise again next year.

My hat is off to the entire Tut family. Thanks again for a most enjoyable time. See you again!

-al-

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Smith, Arkansas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

I have led birding, archaeology, and snorkeling tours to Belize for the past 5 years and Crystal Paradise Resort has been our wonderful local partner and hosts all along. The accommodations are spacious and well maintained, the location lovely, and the food is fresh and local, catered by a friendly Belizean family. Above all, the guides are experts in the natural history and archaeology of Belize.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2013

I have very mixed feelings about crystal paradise. I'll start with the positives: the rooms are basic but spacious and clean, the beds were comfortable and other than the sounds of the jungle it was pretty quiet. (That's not saying much if you get a noisy cicada near your room!). A few bugs did get into the room but that's to beexpected. The grounds are well kept and the vieweing platforms with swinging benches for bird watching are great.

The negative: the prices are about 20% higher than the ones shown on the website, meaning an already expensive trip to Caracol, which had been advertised at $100US online, actually cost $119US. We spoke to another girl on the same tour as us who had booked it for only $85US. We also did a canoe trip which involved the lodge lending us their canoe and driving us 4 miles up the river, for which they charged $29US per person. Given that the trip was unaccompanied I can't see how they can justify that price.
The other problem we had was with the food: there's no choice of what you can have and no indication of what the food wil be before you agree to have it. We made it clear when booking that I am vegetarian (although I eat fish), as were the only two other guests staying there. The first night was chicked stew, and the veggie 'option' on the first night was simply 'don't eat the meat', meaning I paid $15 for a dinner of rice and beans. If you like the meal then $15 is not bad value as it also includes starter and a bit of cake, but it's pretty poor if they give you something that they know you can't eat! That said, they did cook a nice fish stew on the second night after I complained (although the response when I said I wasn't happy was a very rude attitude and a 'what you complaining about, you ate the starter'!!).
It's not really feasible to go to town to eat as taxis are $15-20US each way, so avoid this place if you like to choose your food. The other annoyance was that although the lodge touted itself as a bird watching place, saying when we booked that they put fruit out for the birds in the mornings, it seems they only do that occassionally as we saw the remnants of some fruit when we arrived but none on any of the days when we were having breakfast.
We also didn't find that the family made us feel particulraly welcome. It's a shame as this has the potential to be a great place, but as it is I don't think I'd stay here again.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
New York City, New York
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 25, 2013 via mobile

I am a solo 30 year-old female traveler and stayed at Crystal Paradise for 3 nights.

The cabanas were simple and clean, though there were some ants and bugs that snuck in, which are to be expected in the jungle. No AC, but plenty of screened windows and a ceiling fan kept the air flowing. The grounds were beautifully kept.

The service was excellent starting with email correspondence from the initial inquiries to the moment of check out. The family cooked very delicious and balanced meals daily.

I'm not a birder, but I appreciated seeing so many really beautiful birds everyday. My birding cabana neighbors were impressed with the varieties viewable right from the platforms on site. They arrange tours as well, though I booked through organizers in town as the lodge could not easily accommodate me as a solo traveler.

The location is tricky. The lodge is 3.5 miles from town, which doesn't seem like much, but it is a very windy, hilly, and unpaved road. That meant taxis were expensive. There are busses that run infrequently to and from there as well as a collectivo that runs the route between town and the lodge for much less than the taxis.

While rooms were very reasonably priced, food on-site and transportation to and from added up. Keep this in mind. Enjoyed the stay and food thoroughly though.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Atlanta, Georgia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

My wife and I stayed here for 5 nights in late April and thought it was wonderful. As pointed out by others, this is not a luxury resort, and you should not expect any nightlife other than soothing jungle sounds and maybe a bottle or two of Belikin beer! But the Tut family will make you feel as welcome as you could wish for.
We had a lovely thatched cabana that was comfortable and clean. No AC, but we did not miss it! We had breakfast and dinner every day at the lodge, and enjoyed all the home-cooked food (mostly prepared and served by the family).
We are not birders, but came to appreciate the delights of seeing so many tropical birds up close on the large deck as we ate our meals each morning and evening. We woke every morning to birdsong and the smell of fresh coffee!
We did 3 tours, mostly to Mayan sites, arranged and guided by either Eric or Jeronie Tut. They are extremely knowledgeable about all the local sites, birds and jungle.
We wanted the sights and sounds of the jungle, in a beautiful and relaxing setting, and the Tut's lodge provided it.

  • Stayed April 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

If your looking for a luxury resort, look somewhere else. But if your looking for a really nice place to start your birding trips from, this is it.
We stayed early April 2013 and had a wonderful time. The weather was perfect-cool at night, not too hot in the day-.We didn't have an air conditioned room, and didn't need it, we had to use extra blankets at night.
The grounds are a great place to bird before breakfast, after breakfast we loaded up into the car for a bumpy ride to the birding sites of the day. Everyone of which was very productive.
If your looking for a particular bird and it lives in Belize, I believe they can find it for you.
Jeronie spotted two life birds for me before leaving the airport grounds,Fernando was the calmest (best) driver and great birder and Andy...well Andy is young and has two speeds while driving (wide open and stop) but also a great birder.
One day we had a relaxing canoe trip on the river that runs along the bottom of the property, very nice.
This is not a fancy 5 star place, but it's clean and friendly, like staying with friends.
They got right back to your questions when e-mailed.
This was one of the most memorable trips we have made to Central America and I would come back again.
If your a birder and your in doubt...do it.

Room Tip: Get a room with an A/C, we didn't need it but if we needed it and didn't have it...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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 ( Wi-Fi ) 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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