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“You know you've found the right vacay spot when you call your room "home".” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Maruba Resort Jungle Spa

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Maruba Resort Jungle Spa
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   40 1/2 Mile Old Northern Highway | 10 Miles North of Altun Ha Maya Ruins, Maskall, Belize   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Maskall
Brooklyn
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“You know you've found the right vacay spot when you call your room "home".”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2011

My boyfriend and I decided to take our yearly vacation in Belize, first we stayed in the mainland, at Maruba, then for the second half stayed on Ambergris Caye or "San Pedro" as most of the locals referred to it.

Upon entering the resort area I was in awe of the beautiful palms, plants, and flowers...it was the most perfect version of a jungle you can imagine. It was literally breath taking....as we walked down the beautiful paths, Nicky (the owner, who had picked us up from the airport, and on time!) brought us to a very peculiar reception area. It wasn't your typical resort feel, it was a comfy couch with tie dyed pillows and a wooden table where we sat and waited for Melanie, his wife. We were immediately offered a complimentary Rum Punch and it was delicious! Melanie quickly checked us in and then gave us a quick tour of the property...which is much larger than I had expected. Every path you turned on there were wonderful little surprises, very kitschy seating areas, beautifully decoarated dining areas, two pools and a hot mineral bath with Asian minerals which we later found to be a bit too hot lol, but we did enjoy it for about 10 minutes before having to jump out! We were told that our room had been upgraded from a garden room to I believe a Junior room...however I might be remembering that incorrectly...anyhow; we were brought to our room which was decorated mostly in Red and very close to most of the major areas of the resort. Short walk to the reception/bar area, short walk to the pools, etc...it was very centrally located which I loved.

The Room- It was large enough to be comfortable in and have our large suitcases opened in the living room area without feeling cluttered, we were surprised by the silver painted walls, which is not what we're used to, infact all the decor of our room was quite unexpected, but interesting and beautiful at the same time, mosaic tiles in the bathroom, a very rustic bed made of wood, a gold painted living room table! Definitely different from the NY style we're used to. However, this was Maruba! Not NYC!!! And we were very pleased with the room. The AC worked great, the bed was different, yet comfortable for my boyfriend, I have back problems and am used to sleeping on a very firm mattress, but my body got used to it. Also, Gloria, the housekeeper, had decorated our room with palms and red hibiscus flowers which were beautiful. Everything about the room was great, the only two things I could say were not 100% satisfactory was the lack of a mirror in the room. There was only one full length mirror in the bathroom and no mirror outside of it, but that wasn't much of a problem. The 2nd would be the water, (shower and bathroom sink), you cannot brush your teeth with the water (I accidentally did so without realizing I shouldn't for the first few days which made me sick), but then switched to brushing with the bottled water which was fine. They also fill a thermos like bottle with purified water everyday in your room, and if you run out, you can go to the bar and have it refilled anytime. The shower didn't have much power, and the water had a funny smell to it, we also realized it felt sorta slippery on our skin. The first few days we thought we weren't washing the soap off our bodies good enough or something, but we later found out that because of the location of the resort, there were lots of minerals in the water which made it smell funny, so they heavily chlorinate the water to try to nix the smell, which is why it felt slippery. However, we also got used to the shower within a few days. It definitely was NOT a deal breaker. I almost always am disappointed with showers in any hotel, overseas or not, because I'm used to very good water and water pressure in NYC. I realized how absolutely comfortable we were when we began referring the room as "home" instead of "our room"...i.e. Ready to go home? LOL...that rarely happens while on vacation!

The pools - I really enjoyed the pools on site, they were big enough and a perfect temperature, not cold but not hot...perfectly refreshing. We would have spent more time in them if we hadn't visited in the rainy season (not because it rained, August is actually considered the dry month of the rainy season, it only rained during the night). But because after June the bugs are in full swing and we would literally constantly be fighting off mosquitoes and what they call "doctor flies" which I had never encountered before...beware, it HURTS when they sting. There's also gnats that bite, which I never even knew, because the gnats in Brooklyn don't. They leave a funny looking reverse ring worm type mark, lol. I would definitely return to Belize during the winter months or spring, before June when the bugs are not a problem. Also, if you let the bartender know you're heading to the pool, she'll come and take drink orders.

The Spa - We decided to do a mood mud massage and it was wonderful, the masseuse was amazing, obviously trained very well and she was very professional. The mud is kinda cool, so if you have a chance to make your appointment during the day when it's warmer that might be better. Toward the end of my massage (which was at night) I started feeling very cold, but the good part of an evening massage is once your done, you sit with your beau in a tub to wash eachother off, and there is no roof, so you can lay back and see the beautiful night sky full of stars. Also, I won't spoil why you should, but you should definitely take your camera if you're getting the mood mud massage. We didn't take ours and definitely regretted it!!!!

The Food - By far MY favorite part of Maruba, I'm a foodie, and have access to great restaurants in NYC. They have one chef at Maruba and I'm kicking myself right now for not remembering her name, but she was AMAZING. We were not disappointed, not once, with anything we ordered; and we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday during our stay. There is no fridge in the room nor is there a kitchen, so it's your only choice really for food, as there isn't much close by to the resort. Well, I'm glad there wasn't, because the food was DELICIOUS!!!! Even the restaurants on Ambergris Caye couldn't match up to Maruba's Chef's skills. The menu was the same everyday, however for each meal, there are an abundance of specials you can choose from. In fact, we were at the bar one day with Maruba's waitress (for lunch and dinner)/bartender, named Dara, who I could right a totally separate review for. She is the sweetest girl, and really very professional, a great waitress and bartender and became a great friend too! So we were at the bar and my boyfriend mentioned once catching Mahi Mahi (Dolphin fish) in NJ, and asked if they ever have it on the menu (as it's one of our favorites). She went to the back to talk to the chef and told us that it had been one of the specials right before we arrived and there were two filets left, and she'd save it for us for that evening's dinner. She asked how we'd like it prepared and even gave some helpful options to choose from. In fact, you can request almost anything at Maruba, even if it's not on the menu and they will do their best to accomodate. For breakfast, you've gotta try the fry jacks with the homemade jam. I'd never had fry jacks before and they were amazing!!! The best we had during our trip, as they were available in San Pedro as well, but Maruba's was buy far the tastiest.

The Staf - Quite possibly the best staff we've ever had the pleasure of spending time with during any of our previous vacations. Janille, the breakfast waitress, was very sweet and professional. She actually memorized how I liked my coffee after my FIRST order and would quickly grab the coffee tray as soon as she saw me approaching in the morning. The coffee at Maruba is like nothing I've ever tasted. It's soo delicious, while at home I'd have 1-2 cups in the morning I found myself drinking up to 6 at Maruba!!! She was a pleasure to talk to during my morning coffee, and gave us a bunch of tips for our trip to our upcoming trip to Ambergris Caye. She was very knowledgable about the island as she had lived and worked there in the past. Dara, the lunch and dinner waitress as well as bartender was a blast. During "work", she was very professional and what I can only describe as graceful in the way she served us. At the bar, she was great to talk to, and I think my boyfriend developed a little bit of a Belizean crush on her =] She was really just amazingly sweet and courteous. Gloria, the housekeeper, was top notch. She cleaned the room daily, fresh towels, fresh flowers, decorated the paths with hibiscus as well as our room, and would even fold my boyfriends strewn clothes daily and stack them on the bed! At the end of our trip we had a bunch of dirty clothes we wanted washed before heading out to the island and I wanted to wear a particular dress for our last dinner....I requested, and Gloria delivered, she pressed my dress and layed it out on the bed for us and delivered our washed and dried clothes perfectly folded within the same day!!! The Security, they have a few different security guards that would work nights to keep the grounds feeling safe. My boyfriend bonded with one in particular, Pedro, as they had a lot in common and would sometimes talk at night. I never really felt the need for security, however it can't hurt and made us feel safe.

The Grounds - They own a huge area, Elton, the horse stable manager actually said it was 1,000 acres, not sure if he was joking, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was true. Elton helped us when we wanted to do a hike through the jungle. There are paths you can take to explore and take pictures which was fun, but that's the day I got sick and had to return to the room, so my boyfriend did it on his own. He found tracks, that looked like a pretty large animal. The jungle has lots of cats, especially Jaguars, but they only come out at night according to the staff. He took pictures during his hike which I will include. I would have definitely booked the horseback riding, but because of my back I didn't think it would be a smart decision. However, Elton was super sweet and I would have really liked to horseback ride through the jungle surrounding Maruba. They also have some areas which have collected rain water, not sure if I should call them large ponds or lakes...but there are gators in them. Unfortunately we didn't get to see any, but we did here a big splash upon coming close to one once.

Activites - We kept ourself pretty busy at Maruba, they have plenty of tours they offer, as well as the horseback riding on site and the Spa. We had booked with Vitalino Reyes before arriving for a Zipling/Cave Tubing/and Zoo trip. It was great, and our guide Gerson was very knowledgable and fun. I would definitely recommend doing all 3 of those trips. A couple that was honeymooning at Maruba did the Lamanai tour with Maruba and they loved it, got to see lots of monkeys on the river ride, and really enjoyed the Mayan ruins.

Overall, we loved our trip to Maruba and really loved the staff and the food!!! We would love to return, and probably will, but during winter or spring next time around! I'm still itching from the bug bites! I miss the friends we made already, and can't wait to see everybody again. As for the reviews that said it was expensive (regarding food and drinks), I don't agree at all. The prices are comprable to NYC, actually quite cheaper, and the quality of the food and delicious drinks are well worth the prices. When we got our bill at the end we were actually pleasantly surprised, we thought it would be a lot more.

If you want to experience a nice and quiet, romantic trip to Belize, I definitely recommend Maruba!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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225 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (55)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Yakima, Washington
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2011

In response to the "What sort of trip was this" prompt (as you can see) I selected family; however the trip was initiated by a Boise State Universtiy field study course. We started our trip with a taxi ride from Belize City to Bullet Tree Falls with the engaging William at the helm. If you remember the taxi drivers name two months later he must have been engaging... right? NIghts in the jungle, days spent in Mayan medicine reserve, with elementary school students, floating the river (with yet another incredible guide; Teddy) and experiencing the friendly way of life that leaves me pondering why I am not there right now... ? On to Caye Caulker and the introduction to Miss Heidi. Volumes would not adequetely convey the passion with which she serves the young of this island; of "Ocean Academy." If you are fortunate enough to visit Caye Caulker a stay at her "Ocean Dreams" would not only be a pleasant one sharing views of the setting sun with equally magical views of the rising moon (only moments apart from each other) but, also in so doing you would be helping her and her husband provide a high school education to the deserving population. All the while this trip is yielding incredible experience aftrer incredible experience for this daddy-daughter duo. I share this with you so as to put in perspective the grand finaly which was the Maruba Spa and Resort. Now, words REALLY escape me! A little surprise for my daughter. After all the love and passion we experienced in this diverse country, all the caring guides exposing us to the richness that is Belize, a little pampering was in store for my daughter, my pot of gold. If the owners daughter who designed this jungle spa never works again, she has left a gift to this world. How else can I try to convey the magic of this sequestered reprieve. Of course the physical surrounding would have been completely undone if not for the perfect (yes, I said perfect) amount of attention and personal care afforded us by the one and only...drum roll... KARA! It was Kara in fact that dubbed our trip the "Daddy-Daughter" trip of a lifetime. My daughters celebration of her nineteenth birthday with the Maruba family was in deed a grand finale to an over the top vacation this dad and daughter will never, ever, forget. Thanks to all along the way. P.S. A guided excursion on the Cave Branch river by "Dave" (through Maruba Spa Resort) was a do not miss activity.

Room Tip: Every room is a winner. Can not go wrong.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Tampa, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2011

Nicky the resort manager and the staff made the trip worth while.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Hartford, Connecticut
Top Contributor
144 reviews 144 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
112 helpful votes 112 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2011

This resort is mix and match of tropical and rustic worlds. Interesting paths to follow to find your room, the hot tubs and various pavillions. The dining area is like from a movie set: good food, fancy drinks and lovely table decor. One can even lunch in a high rise tree house loft! Probably the best novelty is the resting area near the pools with canopy beds.
Cute enough, are the hundreds of hybiscus flowers placed daily almost everywhere, even in the bathrooms! Day visits are also possible.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2011

This place is highly recommended for anyone looking for an authentic and luxurious experience in Belize. The staff is very attentive and believes in your comfort as top priority. Me and my boyfriend went for a birthday getaway. I was surprised how all the staff was very involved for my special day. I received tons of happy birthdays through out the day. The details in the rooms and around the property are amazing. We also enjoyed the convenience of the property with dining and activities. They have an ever changing menu with Belizean delectables. Also, don't miss out on their one of a kind spa treatments!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2011 via mobile

If you are looking for something that is not of the ordinary, yet desire relaxation, excellent service, and great food, then this is where to stay. Getting to the resort (and the grounds are beautiful) will take some driving, as it's about 20 miles in from the Northern Highway, outside of Sandhill. The road is best travelled at daytime due to its condition, but once you arrive, the place is special. Of course, they will pick you up at the airport too. The mood mud massage is their trademark and is a must, despite one's reservations about the experience. Lastly, the security is top notch at night. Although, I did encounter an individual when unloading my vehicle at night, security was already there to escort us to our room. If you're looking for a "jungle resort" or spa experience, then this is the place to stay.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Los Angeles, California
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 August 7, 2011

Loved it! The resort was so unique and fun and the hosts were totally awesome. Went with 2 other friends, girls trip, and stayed 3 nights. Had a blast on the tour to the Ruins, and the mud massages were lovely. It was truly such a fun adventure and a great start to our trip to Belize! I highly recommend staying here. Totally romantic for couples, and a fun adventure for family.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Maruba Resort Jungle Spa

Address: 40 1/2 Mile Old Northern Highway | 10 Miles North of Altun Ha Maya Ruins, Maskall, Belize
Location: Belize > Belize District > Maskall
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Maskall
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Maruba Resort Jungle Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Prepare yourself for the ultimate experience in adventure & relaxation at Maruba Resort Jungle Spa, Belize. A short two-hour flight from Houston or Miami transports you to a place where you can fully immerse yourself in nature and truly relax. Maruba offers a great vacation escape in casual elegance.Voted the Best Boutique Spa by Spa Finder Readers’ Choice Award, and One of the Top 10 Spas in the Caribbean & Central Americas by Maco Destination Caribbean & Central America Magazine, the resort’s neo-primitive style with a touch of jungle urban flair makes it an eclectic and hip place to stay while indulging in everything a modern spa has to offer. Its restaurant boasts a nouveau jungle cuisine, best described as a fusion of “east of Paris meets the Caribbean”. Your room will be one-of-a-kind and features rich hues and textures, vaulted hardwood ceilings, mosaic tile floors, exotic fabric and beautiful carving made by local artisians. Signature bungalows offer 900 square feet of private space with an indoor lounge room, indulgent hot tubs, and incredible jungle views.Maruba is one of the first spas in Central America and offers a variety of exotic treatments which revitalize, detoxify, and reestablish the skin’s natural pH balance while leaving your skin feeling silky smooth. A must-try treatment is Maruba’s Mood Mud Massage – take your camera along for pictures! For those seeking adventure, several day tours available, such as exploring Maya Ruins, the rainforest and caves ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Maruba Resort Jungle Hotel Maskall
Maruba Hotel Jungle
Maruba Resort Jungle Spa Belize/Maskall

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