We chose Hidden Valley based upon the excellent reviews here on Trip Advisor. I'm delighted to report that our experience exceeded our expectations, and the reason is simple: the service. The management has done a tremendous job of selecting and training staff who provide a truly one-of-a-kind personalized experience. Everyone was helpful and attentive without being pushy or nosy. Again and again, the staff went out of their way to assist us and make things special for us; Miguel in particular went above and beyond to take care of us even when we returned very late one evening after a lengthy trip to Tikal. The food, too, was much better than we had ever hoped.
Let me address some of the concerns we had before our visit, based on other reviews. First, I believe some previous reviewers complained that the staff aggressively pursued tips. During our stay, not one of the numerous staff ever solicited a tip; though we ended up including a voluntary tip with out final bill, the staff always made you feel they were genuinely concerned for your comfort rather than angling for a gratuity.
Other reviewers complained that they felt trapped at the hotel and forced to pay excessive prices for their food because there was no alternative. Though this is naturally a very subjective opinion, we found the food prices to be entirely reasonable compared to fine dining in Western restaurants--$40 (US) for a four-course meal. It never felt like we were overpaying, and indeed, I don't know how they keep the prices so low when there's so few guests and they completely change the menu every single day. If you're looking for major bargains on food, just stay at a hotel in Belize City; Hidden Valley is trying to create an exceptional experience, and--in my opinion--succeeding.
There are two significant downsides to Hidden Valley, though we expected them. First, the road to the property is terrible. Really, really terrible, especially a lengthy stretch over large jagged hunks of broken limestone the size of watermelons that always looked ready to destroy a car's suspension or snap an axle. We drove it in a rental SUV, which provided some unforgettable memories, but it definitely serves as a mental obstacle to taking excursions from the property. On the other hand, it contributes to a welcome sense of privacy and isolation--that you are far removed from the world. If you are looking for bustle and people, then consider Belize City or one of Belize's islands.
Also, there are bugs. Fortunately, no mosquitoes due to the elevation, but there are black flies that will definitely get into your room. They never bit us, though they flew around us when we were in bed and when we ate outside. If you have an insect phobia, you will not enjoy staying at Hidden Valley, since you won't be able to entirely eliminate the bug experience. Again, because of the elevation, there was far fewer insects then you'll encounter elsewhere in Belize, but look, Belize is basically a tropical jungle, you're going to encounter insects. Again, nothing bit us, nothing crawled on us (that we noticed!), but at night you'll see and hear them flitting around.
If you want a vacation experience that is far different from staying at a hotel in Las Vegas or Miami or the Bahamas, where you can enjoy places far removed from tourists, and are willing to endure a little roughness to get it, you can be confident that Hidden Valley will provide you with an unforgettable experience and exceptional service.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hidden Valley Inn, a Luxury Life Style Boutique Hotel with only 12 rooms, is located on a 7200 acres private reserve in the Mountain Pine Ridge, Cayo District in Belize. This intimate eco resort offers quality accommodation, fine gourmet food and attentive service in a natural environment. The flora, wildlife and bird watching here are truly unique in the region. Guests staying at this Intimate Luxury Boutique Hotel enjoy exclusive access to over 90 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails as well as many secluded Crystal Pools and Waterfalls set in a tropical rainforest. For those seeking romance, one of the waterfalls may be reserved exclusively for the day.Situated in the Maya mountains, also serves as a convenient base for visiting the various scenic and historical attractions of the area. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Hidden Valley Hotel San Ignacio
- Hidden Valley San Ignacio