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“A slice of heaven” 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   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Maskall
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A slice of heaven”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

We came home from Maruba relaxed and rejuvenated which was exactly what we needed. I have been able to travel quite a bit over the last few years and have to say that Maruba was such a unique and wonderful experience.
I read many of the reviews on this site and so was prepared for the experience that we had.
This is a resort in the middle of the 'jungle'...there are (I believe) 18 rooms...all of the staff go out of their way to make sure you are comfortable and happy.
We pre-booked all of our excursions ahead of time. All of our outings rated above our expectations. We were able to do things that I consider out of the ordinary...things that took my breath away.
Melanie was such a gracious hostess (I don't think this woman sleeps) always making sure that our needs were met. Melanie runs a camp for children in the summer. Bring school suplies if you have room in your luggage. It is nice to know that a few dollars will translate into smiles and education.
I was not expecting a "North American" trip...I was thankful for a vacation that I couldn't get back home.
If you have an open mind...and adventurous spirit...a love of nature and a desire for the extraordinary, book a trip to Maruba.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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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220 people have reviewed this hotel

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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)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Columbus, Ohio
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

First off we didn't know until it was too late so please bring school supplies, they help the local schools and you will get in good with the care-takers ;-)

My wife and I are the adventurous sorts, so when we go places we are not looking for the traditional over-comfortable bed and bland decor. We want to be out experiencing a place, and there is no better way to experience Belize than at Maruba resort. This resort has an eclectically comfortable feel with funky decorations that makes for a romantic experience.

For those of you that are like us, we wanted to go somewhere memorable for our honeymoon. After searching around for a while I can across a deal on Maruba. Now, this resort is not all inclusive, so you do have to spend some money. But as long as you stick to the local specials, everything is pretty inexpensive. The food feels fairly expensive, but that is because it is in Belize dollars (Which is another interesting part of Belize I will write about later) it isn't that bad (Also due to local sourcing please be patient if things run out!). The beer is the worst so it might be good to grab some from back home (I will talk more on beer later). Wine, is expensive so pick a bottle up at duty free along with champagne.

The staff are the most amazing people, very accommodating and nice to speak with. The tours are worth it every time and there is so much to do it is hard to relax. But when you do the Mud Massage was wonderful (although I would recommend getting it done BEFORE going to the beach). Be sure to tip and tip often, I had some confusion over the tipping rules and probably should have tipped better but my service was still wonderful. They accepted my AMEX which was nice. The decor makes it so a family trip is not the best idea, however, there is a playground. The other guests were all really cool too and about 80% American.

The experience is just so real and I highly recommend it, however, now I will get into what I would have done differently. The Cayes are really pretty and we are divers, so I would probably plan a day or so in either Caulker (Backbackers), Ambergris (Upper class), or San Pedro (Casino Night Club). We spent far too little time there. Also, for the divers out there, the blue hole is an over-night stay so plan that out as well.

The Beer situation is abysmal but that is not in any way the fault of the hotel. I am a beer snob and I am only into Ales, so I was out of luck. In fact no real hops to speak of until you get back to the states. Probably the only reason I could never live there.

Finally the currency situation... So in Belize, the exchange rate (according to google) is something like $2.02bz to $1usa. Despite this EVERYONE uses the old 2 to 1 rule. Now I am not sure about the big casinos, but this really did seem to be everyone. I even asked about the banks and they said it is $2 to $1. Being a business student, it seems really weird to me but that is the kind of thing you get in a foreign area. Especially one where the weather makes you not want to do math.

This resort is a great portal into learning a lot about the people of Belize. We had a great time and will definitely be visiting Belize again, as soon as our little one can dive :-).

Room Tip: There are only 18 rooms so all of them are really good. Look out for the incense and Mosquito coils...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

We booked Maruba for six nights in March, 2013. They told us, in advance of coming, that we would be able to go snorkeling, diving, caving, etc. any time we wanted because they had private drivers to take us there. We arrived on Tuesday and wanted to snorkel the next day. They said they couldn't take us until Friday because they didn't have enough people to go. It's not our fault that no one was staying there! At dinner that night, my steak was like shoe leather and at breakfast my coffee cup had someone else's lipstick still on it and our table was filthy. There is nothing spa-like about Maruba. It is an old, dirty place in the middle of nowhere. We left after one day and will never go back or recommend it to anyone. They refused to refund us any money for the other five days even though they failed to deliver anything that was promised.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
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, April 27, 2013
Maruba Belize is a Jungle Resort & Spa with lots of land based adventure tours to maya ruins, caving, hiking and horseback riding and offers a snorkelling safari tour down a mangrove river to the great barrier reef.

Maruba ask that guest be flexable on tours so all guest can do the adventure activities they want at reasonable prices. In this case the guest reqested upon arrival to do snorkeling the following day which was not an activity that was scheduled for a couple of days. Snorkeling requires a boat, licensed tour guide, and commercial boat captain. Maruba did have other tours those days that were orginally requested and offered to send them with a private driver to Belize City and snorkel that way,

The guest purchased promotional Maruba accomidation nights through a travel auction site. Since these guest wanted sea based tours we assisted them to find accomidations close to the sea
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leesburg, Virginia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 19, 2013

If you go to Maruba expecting a Ritz in the jungle you will be disappointed. If you go to enjoy the 4 R's, especially the rum punch, you won't come away disappointed. My wife and I spend four very enjoyable nights at the resort. Everyone we met was very friendly and always trying hard to make our stay memorable. The food overall was prepared well and there was adequate variety to suit pretty much anyone's taste. Most of the friends we made while there went cave tubing and had a great experience. We went on the snorkeling and Lamanai excursions and can highly recommend both. If you like rum and go with someone you "trust" you must participate in the viper rum experience! We went in mid-April and bugs were not a big problem. Stay in at least a junior suite if possible. If you have an issue with anything, go see Melanie immediately. I assure you she will do her best to help you.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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.
Austin, Texas
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

Wonderful resort - enjoyed the atmosphere, grounds, staff. Everyone is very friendly and accommodating. Try the fruit crepe at breakfast and jungle tea - delicious! For excursions, we took the tour to Lamanai and we saw so much wildlife on the trip - monkeys, crocodiles, birds, turtles. While Altun Ha is a closer Mayan site, Lamanai is larger and the journey is more interesting with all the wildlife. We also had a mud massage - ask for Elizabeth she is excellent - great for soothing a sunburn.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Prairie, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013

I enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere and the massages. The grounds were emaculate and beautiful. I look forward to a return trip in the near future. The food was prepared very well. The rooms were awesome and very relaxing. I would have liked to have WiFi in the rooms.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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Gig Harbor, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

When we first arrived, and probably for the first 24 hours or so we were in mild amusement / disbelief at the uniqueness of this place. Our room was like a cave with silver walls and a - let's say "intriguing" - painting over the bed. The lighting was just bare bulbs which did not lend any atmosphere whatsoever (except for the red light over the bed...oh my!). Overall, I get that they are in a warm, humid environment but the lounge chair cushions around the pools really need to be cleaned. They seem to put alot of chlorine in the water which you really notice when showering. The room had a few cobwebs. We spent minimal time in our room as it was not really setup to hang out in.

On the plus side, the food was quite good and the staff very friendly (one of the bartenders was the unfortunate exception). We really enjoyed the Japanese mineral bath and the couples mud massage was a total hoot! The other nice thing we came to appreciate (we were there 3 nights) is the secludedness, in that you really don't see the other guests except maybe at the restaurant.

We had a car planning to explore other parts of Belize but the dirt road (Old North Highway) on which the resort is located is heavily pot-holed and so it does take about :45 to get to the main paved highway (the southern route is slightly better than the northern route). This is true of any of the dirt roads you'll encounter in Belize - it will take much longer to get anywhere than the mileage would make you think.

So overall the resort lives up to its "hedonistic jungle spa" claim but needs some spiffing up. For us, while it was entertaining, one night would have been enough.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.

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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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