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“The restaurant is pathetic, at best.” 1 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   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Maskall
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“The restaurant is pathetic, at best.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012 via mobile

We had punched 'included' in our trip to the Mayan Ruins and maruba resort was where it was scheduled. The grounds we beautiful and the pools looked great, but we only had lunch.

It was more than awful. We waited half an hour to get drinks and then another hour to get our food. The waitress was clueless and she only informed one of the people at our table that they didn't have ingredients for her meal ONLY WHEN SHE BROUGHT OUR food.... You couldn't have told us a while before so you could make something else? By that time we were starving and the food wasnt worth the weight. It was horrible. The hotel may be nice but I would not recommend the restaurant!

There isn't much else in the area so I would think twice about your hunting skills if you want to eat while at this hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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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 (54)
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English first
Stockholm, Sweden
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

This is probably the worst experience we have EVER had when traveling – and trust me – we have travelled a lot. Today we drove all the way from Palenque in Mexico to Belize (8 hours inc border). A wonderful drive normally – but we rushed to get in time for the supposedly fantastic hotel – Maruba – where we had a booking for two suites at quite a cost. The rooms had been booked and paid for long time ago and we were thrilled about staying there. In early afternoon we attempted to call the hotel to check on the main road to it, as the road apparently is one of the worst in Belize. No reply on any of the numbers – we tried to call at least 10 times throughout the afternoon. But as we already had paid and that Lonely Planet said this to be one of the top attractions as well as premier hotels in Belize we didn’t think too much about it…

Just leaving the main road for Maruba it was getting dark and after driving the extremely bad road to the hotel it was soon pitch black. After an hour on the broken gravel/asphalt road we were sooo happy to finally see the hotel sign and the main gate. This was around 6.30 pm.However, this soon changed into horror when realizing that the main gate was locked with an old padlock and a hatch. We tried to open the gate and look for a doorbell – without success. Unfortunately we could not call again because there was no reception on any of our phones (but tried again later with no response). After a long discussion on what to do – trying not to panic about the fact that it is pitch black and that we are in the middle of the jungle – surrounded by crime and NO other hotels in the near distance… we decided to leave and search for somewhere else to stay. Now that is NOT an easy task in Belize after dark. Three hours later we have finally gotten in to a hotel and want to warn other travelers. We still do not know what have happened – has the hotel shut down or have they taken a holiday?!??! No info by the main gate, on their website or on the various answering machines. DO NOT GO THERE UNLESS YOU HAVE CONFIRMED THE BOOKING BY THEM PERSONALLY! We do not wish this happen to anyone – not even our worst enemy.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merickston, Owner at Maruba Resort Jungle Spa, responded to this review, December 31, 2012
It was unfortunate they could not get into Maruba after dark. The Resort locks the gate but a simple honk of the horn and a couple of minutes will get you in. We agree you should contact the resort prior to arrival to comfirm your reservation especially when using expedia, hotels.com or some other internet booking engine. We'd confirm you booking, help with tips getting to the resort, planning excursions or that special occassion. The information for the resort listed on tripadvisor is correct and if this visitor would have made an atempt to contact the resort her experence would have been different.

The resorts phones and e-mail work and we respond but when trying to get through from Mexico is another thing.

Just because your confirmation from an online booking system says you do not need to contact resort, one should. It's happened to me.

Merickston Nicholson
Owner
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

When we walked out of the airport there was a gentleman with a sign saying "Maurba" so we hopped in and we were on our way. On the hour and a half ride to the hotel the gentleman answered all our questions about the country. It was dark when we arrived so we wouldnt get the full experience until morn. none-the-less we were greeted by Melanie and escorted to our room. It was very nice with a TV, King sz bed, and a good sz bathroom with a shower and tub. We got the groupon so it exceeded my expectation of the room. It was probably one of the smaller rooms on the property, but very nice. \
In the morning we woke up to see what a great place we were in it is on beutiful property, the excursions and tours along with the guides are GREAT! Or just staying on property is perfect. Mineral spa, 2 nice non chlorinated pools are so refreshing. Massages are out of this world and so relaxing. Food is very good for what they are working with. Maskall is far from much and doesnt have much in the way of stores. Fish is fresh, steak was excellent, breakfast is very good.

We left and went to San Pedro and missed it so much we cut our stay short to stay 2 more nights in Maruba. It was our honeymoon and they upgraded us to what had to be the nicest room in the place. HUGE downstairs, all windows great room. It probably is $4-500 a night and it would be worth it. there is a pool outside and has its own balcony.

Again this is a great place, atmosphere is so relaxed. It is a great place to go my family and I plan to go back.

Room Tip: All the rooms are different, they all have something great about them.
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  • Stayed November 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
D.C.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

My boyfriend and I bought a Groupon deal with airport transfer, massages and breakfast included with a four night stay. I've been to twelve countries, seven of them tropical, and this might just be my favorite vacation abroad. You have to keep in mind that this is NOT America and things are done a little differently sometimes, but all in all, I was impressed wholly with the service, food, property and activities. (Especially after an experience in Mexico at a place that billed itself similarly and had no lights after 7 pm ever or air conditioning...and cockroaches in the beds!)

We were picked up at the airport promptly and only had to wait a little bit before we set off for the resort. Our driver was nice and talkative and pointed out a lot of things on the way. When we arrived at the property, it was gorgeous. Extremely well kept, in the heart of the jungle and just sun glinting off everything. Two amazing pools, a large mineral bath, hookah patio, weight room, lounge beds everywhere...just a true paradise.

The resort prides itself on its beautiful red hibiscus flowers and they are everywhere- it's gorgeous. Stuck in trees, by the pools, in every food dish and drink...and every day, housekeeping cleans your room and decorates it with at least 15 fresh hibiscus flowers all over the room. It's touches like this that really stood out. And, no cockroaches in the bed! In fact, over a five day span, I only saw two bugs in the entire room. And while I am scared of bugs, I'm also realistic- it's a freakin' jungle. There's gonna be bugs. However, they also have bug zappers all over the place to keep them under control and while I was certainly bitten up, it was no more than I would have been in the U.S. during the heart of the summer, and I never felt sick.

We weren't expecting much from cuisine, but the food was amazing and extremely reasonably priced. Everything was made with local, fresh ingredients. I couldn't get enough of the fresh hummus, and over the course of the stay we had the following dishes:

-Beef Carbonade
-Lemon breaded Conch
-Grilled fish
-Filet Mignon
-Lobster
-Fresh Tomato Soup
-Glazed Pork Chop
-Fish Empanadas

And that was just dinner! I don't know what the other reviewer was saying with getting bored with the menu. Yes, it is a set menu that changes every other day, but every day there is also a chef's special appetizer, a chef's special entree and a catch of the day...so we really found it hard to get bored. Breakfast was pretty standard American fare but again absolutely delicious and fresh...pancakes, french toast, eggs...and they never charged for extras. I would ask for a side of eggs sometimes, fully prepared to pay, and it never showed up on the bill. The fruit plate was really good- all fresh fruits with homemade peach yogurt. So amazing.

The drinks...ahh, the drinks, both alcoholic and non, were fabulous. Every morning was fresh juice from pineapple or papaya, blended with ice into frothy amazingness, topped with- of course- a red hibiscus (which are actually edibile and good for you!) The alcoholic rum punch, as another reviewer mentioned, is literally only $2.50, served in a coconut cup in a good portion and is delicious. They make you one right on arrival! The local beer, Belikin, is also good, as was the hibiscus daiquiri. We didn't pay more than $6 for any drink, and most were $2-$3.

The tours...we found them to be worth every penny. We did horseback riding through the jungle and our guide, Lionel, was very knowledgable about the jungle plants. He showed us the books he was reading to self-educate. The best part, though, was that he let us canter with the horses- every riding tour I have ever done in America makes you slowly walk. He let us run, run, run in the open fields with them- exhilirating.

The cave tubing was also fun- our guide, Delwin, was calm, cool and again, knowledgeable, and let us stop to take pictures even while tubing, helping us climb onto cliffs and answering our questions. The resort had packed lunch that day for us to eat after we were done, complete with the red hibiscuses, and it was a curry chicken on homemade bread with banana bread and beer. Really a great day. And when you think about the price of the tour (this one was $85), it included transportation to and from the cave (round trip about 4 hours), the cave tubing, the equipment rental, lunch, all-you-can-drink and the guide. I thought it was well worth it. Hint- take an underwater camera! There was also zip lining available as an option.

The best tour, though, was the snorkeling. They take you the this little village, Bamba, and after you get on a boat to travel to the snorkeling spots, they stop and let you take pictures of crocodiles and answer all your questions. I've snorkeled Australia and Mexico, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados...and this may have topped them all. Delwin took us on a guided tour through the reef and then to a new shallow spot where we got out and snorkled in the open ocean with sting rays and sharks! It was phenomenal and you definitely need an underwater camera!

The spa was actually the first on the island, and we had two treatments each- a 30 minute aromatherapy massage and the famous hour-long Mood Mud treatment. Both were professionally and expertly done, and I highly recommend them. Prices were akin to American prices, perhaps a bit cheaper ($90 for the mud massage- that's at least $120 here.)

The entire staff was nothing but courteous, professional and helpful for your every need. Anything you needed, they took care of immediately and with a smile. The owners were the same way. And their little dog, Maya, just runs around the place being adorable. I really cannot say enough about this place, and I can be very hard to please!

All in all, in terms of cost, we also felt it worth the value. Our flights total were $984 round-trip. Our Groupon for the stay/half hour massages/breakfasts/airport transfer was around $500, and we spent an additional $1200 on meals, drinks, tours and other. So per person, for what I honestly consider a dream vacation, we spent total about $1350 per person, which is a pretty amazing deal when you think about it.

Go to Maruba- your stress will melt away and you will be so happy you saw beautiful Belize in luxury!

Room Tip: We had room 7- very eclectic-ly decorated and minimal bugs. It was on the second floor which we lik...
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  • Stayed December 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

It's a nice resort. For a non-first world country Belize I would rate it a 9 out of 10. Compared to what is a "top resort" in the United States, it would only rank a 7.

Their tours are a mixed bag. On the one hand, they've done an excellent job vetting their tour operators which enables you to do and see many interesting things safely. However, they don't offer all tours unless they have minimums sign up, and that's not stated on their website or their tour menu. The resort is run by a family and the owner charged us more to go on a tour with only two people than it would normally be with a larger group, that is not how a luxury resort should operate.

The food is very good. However, the kitchen does not offer all items on the menu, the chef didn't want to make a special bread that's featured on the breakfast menu for example, so it just wasn't available. They do not offer coffee before they start serving breakfast and that is an easy fix that they need to make, a luxury resort should not withhold coffee like that in the mornings. Also the menu was unchanged for all four days and by the end of the trip, you were bored of the offerings. It wouldn't be difficult for them to change the menu up more during the week, there isn't any other place to eat and it would be nice if they offered more variety of local foods for each meal.

The rooms are nice and were kept well-cleaned. Mosquitos are a serious problem in this area (as is malaria per the CDC's website) and they've done well to keep mosquitos to a minimum in their rooms.

The property itself is well tended and the maintenance staff is friendly.

When we arrived the bus was 90 minutes late to pick us up, that was not okay. I had to call twice (at $20 / minute) to ask what was going on. When we got to the resort the manager/owner tried to defend that by saying that the website indicates there's a free phone in the airport. Well, I didn't have access to their website while I was sitting around on the curb at the airport, and the airport employees all claimed there was no such phone. I was very surprised that the manager tried to defend that situation instead of just apologizing for leaving us waiting.

Then when it was time to return to the airport we were forced to leave four hours earlier than when we needed to be there, because the resort only wanted to make one trip that morning and another couple had an earlier flight. The manager offered to have the driver tour us around Belize City for our inconvenience but only for an additional charge ~ that should have been offered to us for free.

It's these little details that these resort owners don't seem to understand are the difference between operating as a mid-level property, instead of a luxury resort.

Finally, it bothered me hugely to see that these owners have one very well fed pampered house dog running around freely, and then they own another emaciated dog they keep tied up on a 4' piece of rope to a tree. When I say "emaciated," I mean pelvic bones were showing and the dog could be on an ad for animal abuse, he's obviously not eating every day, or getting off that rope, or getting petted or treated for medical conditions, he's basically condemned to horrible existance right in the owner's front yard. This emaciated dog got loose one evening and came up to me to be petted, I found that he was covered in ticks and shied away when I reached out like he has been physically abused and not just starved. Belize may be filled with starving, neglected dogs but there is no excuse for these resort owners to keep their own dogs like that. They really should be ashamed of what they're doing to that animal.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisburg, KS
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

I am usually not one to write reviews but after visiting the Maruba Resort Jungle Spa I had to. I am breaking this review down into parts to make it easier on future travelers. We booked our vacation through a 5 night Groupon with massages and breakfast included.

Arrival/Departure - 10/10: Shuttle was on time at the airport and was ready for departure on time as well. Made everything easy when we arrived and were leaving.

Resort: 9/10: Resort is very well maintained and the staff is extremely nice and helpful. Melanie at the resort is very nice and takes personal time to get to know you and help you with any excursions/massages you book. The rooms are very nice and each day you get flowers in your room and incense burning as well, probably to keep away the mosquitos. The resort is extremely romantic, they only have about 20 rooms or so so it will always be private. Its honestly in the middle of the jungle so there is nothing nearby but we enjoyed this. They have two pools and a mineral bath on site. Most days we were the only couple at the pool which was quite nice. The staff comes by and takes your drink orders which is also nice. Overall we were thoroughly impressed with the resort and service. They have WiFi available only in the lobby, but you arent there to surf the net so not a big deal.

Food/Drinks - 9/10: The food was amazing. It takes about 45min-1hr to get your food because its all fresh and cooked to order. Its well worth the wait and we liked this as it makes the meal time a place to relax and enjoy each other. Each day they offer different specials and we enjoyed all of the meals. The resort is the only place to eat as there is nothing nearby but the prices arent too bad. It is a little over priced compared to if you go eat outside of the village (as we did on our snorkeling trip) but overall its not too bad. You can get a 3 course dinner for $35 which isnt too bad. The only complaint we had with the meals was sometimes it took the waitresses quite a while to bring us our bill, so we eventually started going to the front counter to get them instead of waiting. Not a big deal at all though. The drinks are amazing, rum punch is $2.50, Pina Coladas are $6, etc, all of the prices are reasonable and the fruit drinks are amazing. The pineapple juice is terrific and the pina coladas are probably the best I have had because they only use fresh fruit. Overall we were impressed with the food variety and drinks.

Excursions - 9/10: We did the trip to Altun Ha, Cave Tubing, and Snorkeling. Altun Ha is a must if you want to see the ruins, especially because it is only $45/person which is much cheaper than Lamanai. Cave tubing was fun but overpriced, we got a deal for $85/person, but it was our least favorite excursion. I feel once you do cave tubing once no matter where you do it youve done it for good. I dont think it was worth the money but it was nice to say we did it in a foreign country. The snorkeling was by far the best and totally worth the $125/person. You take a boat ride on a river where you see crocodiles and different plants, then you follow that into the ocean where you eventually end up at Caye Caulker Island. From there they take you to the snorkeling spot where we saw eels, crabs, lobsters, and even swam with nurse sharks and sting rays. It was amazing. Afterwards you go back to Caye Caulker for 3 hours to walk around and eat lunch. We ate at Rose's and they have the best ceviche ever. The lunch was amazing and cheaper than the resort and was awesome. The island is really nice, they have a bunch of shops to buy gifts and overall we were very impressed. The water is amazingly clear and the snorkeling is top notch, probably the best snorkeling I have done to date. Highly recommended.

Massages - 10/10: The mood mud massage is a must and we also did the aroma therapy. Both were great, the mood mud massage is quite revealing, you basically strip down to nothing, but it is a wonderful experience.

Overall we were very satisfied with Maruba. We will definitely come back in the future once we travel to more places. Its very romantic and secluded which is very nice if you want to get away and relax. I cant say enough good things about this resort, its very private and you get pampered while you are there. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York, New York, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

We booked a room at Maruba for our honeymoon using a groupon deal, but also bought an extra night and a number of trips in advance. I'm so glad we extended the stay. When we got there they had upgraded our room. We stayed a total of six nights. The room was fantastic - romantic and huge. The staff was wonderful. Everyone was kind and helpful -and never pushy. Overall, it was an incredible trip.

I had read reviews about small food portions, but that was not our experience. I can finish my plate in the states, and I was unable to do that at Maruba. The first night we both had the 3-course meal ($35 each), and although it was delicious, it was just way too much food. They were also happy to adjust the order if you asked (I did not want pineapple on my breakfast crepe). The rum punch is $2.50 and delicious - they will serve it to you in any of the pools as well as at the bar or tables. There are tables for two for all meals, but its a small place and you will meet the other guests. The people we met were great, and by the end of the trip we were eating together.

You are actually in the jungle - no clubbing or bar hopping here. You are at the resort, except for when you leave on the trips. It is a beautiful resort, but I was excited to see more of the country. So, we went cave tubing, on the trip to Lamanai, and snorkeling. The jungle hike and spa treatment were part of the groupon. The only trip I would possibly have left out was the jungle hike (where they tell you about the medicinal properties of the plants). Although I really enjoyed it, most of the information was covered between the short hike during cave tubing and the Lamanai trip. The jungle hike is worth it (even in addition to the other two) if you want to use the plants (which I did) - you can make a tea from some leaves to help with itching bites and another leaf helps stomach problems. As for snorkeling, it was incredible to see the barrier reef (along with rays and sharks), but the actual snorkeling is a relatively small percentage of the day. You will take a jeep and boat ride to the two snorkeling sites, and will then spend 2-3 hours on caye caulker. Since we spent all our time at Maruba, which is isolated, I appreciated the time on the caye.

You do need to base your expectations on reality. You are in the jungle and will be bitten by various insects. All the water you will be served is filtered, but it may take your stomach some time to adjust to the mineral content - at least that was our theory. The water in the shower smells sulfuric (you will be given filtered water to drink and brush your teeth with). All that being said - I would take all the minor discomforts for the setting. It was romantic and exciting - a perfect honeymoon.

Room Tip: Room 2 was beautiful, but the walls are thin - at night you can hear sounds from rooms 1 and 3.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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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
Phone Number:
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*
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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