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“Had an Excellent Adventure” 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
Holy Hill, WI
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Had an Excellent Adventure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

I had a wonderful experience and highly recommend the Maruba Spa. The room was rustic and interesting; the food, especially seafood and fresh fruits were outstanding, the owners were friendly and personable, and I knocked off a couple of adventures on my bucket list. We had a great time with the other visitors in the pools in the evening, drank lots of delicious rum punch, and I had a special black mud spa session that left me feeling great for weeks afterwards. Reading over some of the reviews, it sounded like very spoiled people posting. The owner goes right to where the fishermen come in to buy the seafood. The dishes are better than most resort restaurants with enough variety. This resort is billed as rustic, but it is planned rustic. The roads are bad but it is not their fault. We had a nice discussion about the politics and government concerning the roads on the trips to town. The staff and guides were friendly, interesting, but professional and they worked hard. They had WI-FI at the bar which was appreciated. The only complaint I have is the pillows were hard and uncomfortable. If you want a vacation that includes some fun and adventure, ziplining, petting sharks and rays, and visiting jungle wildlife and ruins, this is the place to go and I would highly recommend the spa experience.

Room Tip: We had a junior suite with 2 beds and it was fine.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
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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)
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English first
Virginia
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

After sorting through a dozen reviews of different places I decided on a trip to Belize (with my boyfriend) that would include a jungle portion and a beach portion. We did not want to be secluded just the two of us and wanted to have some adventure and exploration. I was very happy with my decisions!
Maruba made an impression right from the start. We were picked up at the airport with an additional guest and driven to the hotel. The drive was bumpy and fast paced and a little scary at first, but you could tell that our driver Merickson, knew what he was doing and had done it several times.
We were greeted by Melanie, a wonderfully charming woman that would be at the resort throughout our stay and helped us with everything we would need. We had our welcome drinks of punch (which we drank several of throughout the stay), our luggage was taken to our room while we relaxed a bit and got a brief tour of the grounds, which are stunning, clean, well kept, and covered in wonderful flowers and plants. There was shade everywhere!

Our room definitely was different than anywhere I have ever stayed. It was so unique and larger than I expected. I also liked that it was down the path a bit in a more secluded area. It did have a faint smell of sulfur in the bathroom, but it is from the water there and can't be helped, and didn't bother us at all. The hotel supplied us with fresh drinking water daily and gladly would refill your pitcher if you needed more.

I was worried from pictures that the pools would be entirely shaded and I wouldn't be able to lay out- but that is not the case. It didn't matter anyways because in the four night we stayed there, I didn't have any time to lay out!

Points of Interest:

Lamanai:
This was awesome and not too crowded (Maruba makes sure to schedule excursions when cruises are NOT in town luckily!) The boat guide was so knowledgeable about the water ways and knew exactly where to take us to see the life we wanted! We saw a spider monkey so that made my day. We got to the ruins and had a delicious local lunch-plenty for everyone to have seconds. The ruins were incredible. Our river guide was also our guide at the ruins and knew everything. He took us throughout and it was more like hiking than a museum or historical site (wear comfortable shoes and clothes!) We even hiked to the very top of one of the ruins and you felt like you were on top of the world up there.

Horseback Riding:
We decided to do this since my boyfriend had never been. We went with another guest at the resort whom we became friends with. She definitely knew how to ride horses so the guide took us galloping in the jungles behind the resort! It was an exhilarating experience to which my boyfriend commented "i feel like Indiana Jones"...but more action than education which was fine with us! so much fun!

Massages:
Even though they are known for their mud massages, we did the couples regular massage. It was lovely. We planned it late one night before dinner (about 8pm i think) and so we walked to the spa through the jungle in our robes. Two wonderful ladies met us and showed us in our room. There were no lights, just candles and soft music (a little light techno even, which was neat) and we floated away into another world for an hour. It was one of the best and most peaceful massages I have gotten.

Food:
I loved the food. Breakfast came with our plan and so I didn't expect much, but we got to order anything off of the menu every morning with coffee and this wonderful fresh juice. I LOVED breakfast in the tree house. It was also so quiet because people came at different times so you really felt like you were the only ones there sometimes! Lunch was also delicious and affordable. Dinner added up throughout the trip and there really weren't other options for dining so you had to just know you were going to spend that. We loved getting dessert and drinks to take back to the room. You can also order nachos anytime during the day and they are amazing.

Maskall:
The resort lent us bikes to venture into Maskall village with our new resort friend so we did this twice and it was great to see the area. Everyone is so very friendly and knows you are visiting so they will stop and ask you where you are from and how you like it. It felt incredibly safe at all times and was wonderful to see and meet the people who called Maskall home.

ROHO:
one word- Roho. Melanie knows where to find him so you can ask her when you arrive. Him and his son are incredible wood workers from Maskall and it is a short bike ride to his home/place of work. He sells everything to tourist places so you can really get a good deal if you go straight to him. I wish I had gotten more! We got two wooden bowls (one made especially for us in a day) that his son made for $35 each and they are absolutely stunning. Roho's daughter also sells jewelry and runs a summer camp for students down there so bring school supplies!

Staff:
Melanie is very nice and accommodating. She also runs a summer program for a school and so I brought a few items with me to donate- every little bit helps!
Gloria and the rest of the staff there made our trips. They are all so nice and personable. Sometimes the women seemed shy, but if you talked to them enough they would open up. I lvoe meeting Gloria and she even came to meet my boyfriend and I in San Pedro for drinks during the second leg of our trip!

Room Tip: I enjoyed being in a quieter room towards the spa rather than near any of the pools.
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  • Stayed February 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Fort Myers, Florida
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

We flew into Belize City Airport on a non-stop from Miami. Great flight and easy to get through security. Very nice Duty Free shop in the airport and friendly people. As promised, we had a driver awaiting us as we cleared customs. Let the adventure begin. From the airport to Maruba, Belize is a 3rd world country. The one hour ride to the resort was over a road that must have been build in 1928 with a mini Mario Andretti driving the truck. We drove past men on bicycles with shotguns strapped to their back and houses made of old school busses. I'm not being a rude American, I'm just telling you what to expect. And then you arrive at the resort.

Maruba is a hand made jungle resort located in the rainforest in the middle of nowhere, Belize. They will treat you very nice and welcome you with a very good homemade Rum Punch. While your checking in, your bags will be placed in your suite and you'll be given a tour of the resort. There are two main pools along with a hot mineral pool. These all look "made by hand" with mosaic hand cut tiles. To me, beautiful. Waterfalls, lounge chairs, relaxation places, quiet and tranquil. Watch out for the Doctor Flies!. The resort is rustic and my wife and I loved it. We were in a junior suite that had an amazing tube / shower that fit us both and again was of mosaic tile and glass. One huge issue was the lack of a comfortable bed. This was more like sleeping on a large futon bed then on a Hilton hotel mattress. If you don't mind that, you'll love the rooms. No regular television, but movies are available to use from the main office.
The food... You have no choice here, you'll eat at the resort and like it. Breakfast was OK, lunch was not, Dinner sort of made up for lunch. Everything is made fresh and mostly from what is grown on the property. That alone is worth some props, so give them a little extra for that. If you get a chance to order the Yukon Snook Grilled Fish.. please do!
Tours and events. We took advantage for the Couple Mud Massage. YES!! I'd do that over and over again. Even though I had to wear a disposable men's thong, the best experience on a massage table ever.
We also took the Snorkeling trip. There is way to much they don't tell you and a bone of contention for me and my wife. The problem here was a lack of information, I'll help you with that. We left at 8:15 for a 15 minute ride in the Scooby Doo Van to the water taxi. Please note, the water taxi is a nice motor whale boat with twin Mercury Motors attached. It also boasts a good boat captain. However, it is an hour ride to the island you'll snorkel at AND there is no cover on the boat. When it rained (remember, we are in a rainforest), you will get soaked. The ride across the carribean sea actually hurt from the bumpy ride and rocky ride. The actual snorkeling time is less then 2 hours. You'll be given 3 hours to tour the island and grab lunch and a few trinkets. BRING MONEY ALONG WITH YOU. The island that you would see is about a mile long dirt road with a few nice lunch stops and nothing to occupy your time for 3 hours. On the ride back, we hit such large swells, everyone was soaked for the 30 minute ride until we got back across the open water. Once you get back to the water-taxi landing, you'll have 15 minutes to shop for local carved wood offerings. Save Money for THIS. If we had known about what they made here, we would have brought additional cash (They don't take Visa, Master Card or American Express)
Here is the bottom line. This is a very remote resort. What you find here is what you get, and that's pretty good. Take advantage of the tours, just know what they are. You will be treated very well from friendly people. The food is good and the cocktails are reasonable in price and quality. If you want some quality alone time with your spouse or close friend with quiet time to read a book and relax, you will not be disappointed in anyway. If your looking for action, look elsewhere. AND THAT'S OK!
On a very important point... They also have a school here for local kids with the motto "It's Cool to be Smart". PLEASE bring books and or school supplies to donate to this school. A very worth while and heart felt thing to do. It is very much appreciated.
I am so glad that we took advantage of this opportunity. Will I go back? No. Would I recommend this resort to someone looking for all this place has to offer? Absolutely. Just be sure to bring along a few snacks along with bug spray and suntan lotion.
Finally, Melanie loves what she does here and it shows. I did not meet one person who didn't feel it was their responsibility to take care of you. Isn't that what we all look for in a relaxing getaway?

Room Tip: Did you pack the bug spray and a couple snack to enjoy in the room. Bring a book and a deck of cards...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013 via mobile

They tried to make up for their disaster... but it was beat beyond repair. Kind service. Beautiful resort. Great Spa. Middle of nowhere nauseous bumpy roads to get there.

what we wanted from Belize. Sunset wedding for two isn't that difficult to plan...

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Merickston, Owner at Maruba Resort Jungle Spa, responded to this review, May 24, 2013
The Sunset beach wedding March 2009. Sorry it didn't happen as planned. The weather wasn't good (rain) and the site had been turned onto a heliport since we booked that venue.

Much has changed at Maruba since then including ownership and management. Maruba Belize can plan "more then Expected" sunset wedding as reveiwed March 2013 at a Maya Ruin or in a lush jungle garden setting or An afternoon seculed beach wedding but not will not commit to a Sunset beach wedding, to many varibles and there are no roads to a nearby beach, boat access only.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tempe, Arizona, United States
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2013

We stayed for four nights at MarubaA driver was waiting for us at the airport and Melanie, the owner, greeted us with two rum punches (the unofficial drink of Belize) upon our arrival. After a tour of the grounds, she took us to our suite. With the Groupon, we were assured a junior suite but Maruba decided to celebrate our honeymoon and upgraded us to the honeymoon suite.

Tim and I both gasped a bit when Melanie opened the door to our suite. The bottom floor was a sitting area with a bathroom and porch but that is not where our eyes went. The suite was a loft stye and a beautiful wooden staircase stared us down. With red mood lighting guiding us, we walked up the stairs. Te bedroom area (the bed itself!) was massive, the wooden beam ceiling was stunning and the bathroom, complete with a spa was breathtaking. The place was covered with beautiful hibiscus flowers that were replaced every morning. Never in our dreams did we imagine a Groupon deal could get us such a wonderful space to stay.

The Groupon included breakfast, which was delicious. My favorite was the crepe, filled with local fruits, coffee and pineapple juice. There was nothing around Maruba so we had dinner there every evening and it was always local and delicious. Plenty of rum punches (only $2.50 USD) were consumed as well.

We spent most of our afternoons there away from Maruba on excursions but we did spend one full day at the resort. We took advantage of the renowned spa and received two different treatments: the Aroma Therapy and Maruba's signature Mood Mud Massage. Both were incredible.

The staff at Maruba was fantastic. Melanie was as sweet and as helpful as can be and Nicky, Melanie's husband, was fun and entertaining (Viper shot, nuff said). If you are ever interested in going to Belize, I would recommend Maruba in a heartbeat... and I hope to one day return.

Room Tip: If you are going for a honeymoon or anniversary, be sure to let them know!
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  • Stayed December 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
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Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
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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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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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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