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“Exceeded high expectations after reading reviews.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hidden Valley Inn

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Hidden Valley Inn
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   4 Miles Cooma Cairn Road, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, Belize   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Offers & Announcements
30% off room rate
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Boston, Massachusetts
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Exceeded high expectations after reading reviews.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

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.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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293 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (54)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2013

We spent 4 nights at the Inn and really enjoyed it. The cabana-style rooms were clean and attractive. The room service was impeccable- down to fresh flowers daily. The food was super- we had the special every night and were never disappointed (a note to english speakers- cilantro is not really our coriander). The "hiking" menu food we ordered for lunches out were filling. We ate breakfast outside and the staff were happy to lay us a table by the swimming pool (also lovely) so we could eat with the hummingbirds and the Inn's tame Green jay. The bar was well stocked with a nice range of cocktails. All the staff were friendly and helpful (as was the Inn's owner). We had one group trip arranged to Caracol, which I would recommend and one private trip to Chechem Ha Cave/ Xunantunich (see my other reviews) which was amazing- the guides were very well informed both in the archaeology (I am an archaeologist by degree) and in the local wildlife. The Inn owns a vast area of pine forest with well marked trails- we went to Butterfly Falls (a private waterfall and pool roughly 20 mins walk) and were lucky to find it empty, Tiger Creek Falls and King Vulture Lookout (where we did indeed see a group of King Vultures). My husband made use of the free mountain bikes while I met him using the free "taxi" service provided. The walkie-talkies worked very well and we were promptly collected. At times the guides even "guessed" we would be somewhere and waited for us to offer a lift. I'd recommend this hotel to anyone who enjoys more adventurous trips with good accommodation.

Room Tip: All good. May have some bird noise in the mornings, but it is in a forest!
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  • Stayed August 2013, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

Hidden Valley was the first hotel experience on our trip through Belize, and it was a wonderful way to start the vacation.

Upon arrival, we were greeted with a refreshing lemongrass tea, and a hand massage, before being educated on the resort, and where we would be sleeping. The Inn is made up of a central building, where you can relax, dine or have a drink in the bar, then surrounding it, is a number of cottages. This is all set in thousands of acres of National Park, with private hiking trails, bicycle paths and secret waterfalls. A truly wonderful, natural retreat.

The only downside of the Inn (and this is to be expected when it's in a private reserve), is the journey to and from it. With a rental car, or using excursion vehicles, you can expect a 45 minute drive on a very challenging, pot-holed laden road to and from the main road. This means that you have to be back at the Inn by sunset, leaving you with little options in relation to evening entertainment or dinner options.

Luckily, Hidden Valley has wonderful food, that changes daily, and provides the options of conventional lighter plates, or a 4 course set-menu. We dined there 4 nights in a row, and had a wonderful experience each night. The breakfasts were also superb, accompanied with home grown coffee, which is fantastic (we took some home and ration it like there is a war on!). One small point of reference is that the Inn gets very quiet after dinner, July is a quiet time there and around 9pm sees most people heading back to their cabins.

The excellent staff couldn't do enough for us. They provided packed breakfasts and lunches when we went on excursions, they helped us navigate around the trails and they happily would ask about our day and upcoming trips. At no time during our stay were we made to feel uncomfortable, or exposed to a tipping requirement (we tipped at the end of the stay when we checked out) and each staff member would greet us by name.

Hidden Valley is a wonderful place if you want to get away from the world for a few days. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, delicious food, stars like you have never seen, and know that you can employee local guides for any excursion you can think of.

Romantic Tip: We reserved a waterfall (secret falls) for the day and it was worth every penny. After a 90 minute hike, we were found a hidden pool under a waterfall, next to which was a beautiful cabana covering a white linen table, full lunch and a bottle of sparkling wine. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch, swam in the pool, and then swung gently on the hammock with our books. How many people can you say have done that?

Room Tip: They all seemed to be very good! If it's not too warm, have a fire lit for you in your bedroom!
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  • Stayed July 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
    • 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.
Atlanta, GA
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

We flew in to the resorts private landing strip and the runway was well kept and amazing views flying in. I recommend Javiers flying service as he was about half of what other flight charters were. However, the plane was made in the 70's but we made it and the flight was smooth. They were waiting for us on the runway and shuttled us to the hotel where we were welcomed with a hand massage and delicious tea in the cozy reception area by a fire place.
Our room was great. We got a larger cottage which really wasn't necessary if you are planning on doing day trips to other locations in the region. The reason being a day trip from there will be exactly that, ALL day. We really enjoyed the place and the property but it is soooo remote that it takes over an hour on dirt (mud) roads to get to the closest well, anything. If you're going to Hidden Valley, keep in mind you are Hidden. I would definitely recommend going but just stay on the property to hike, do yoga on the platforms over the waterfalls and just relax. The only problem with the rooms etc is that there is no fridge. So basically this means that anything you need must be purchased from the resort. All meals beverages etc. This really adds up! You can have room service but... just easier to go to the lodge. I found the food to be just ok but the service was amazing. Everyone employed there could not be nicer and that's why I hate to say anything bad about the place but people need to know the facts. The pool and jacuzzi were in disrepair and really small but quaint none the less. Spend three days there explore and then go to San Ignacio. Our guides were based there and can not even begin to express how incredible Tikal in Guatamala is. Surely one of the wonders of the world. If you do one thing in this part of the planet it must be there.The company we used was Belize Magnificent Tours, ask for Albert. Luis was our tour guide and truly the godfather of the ancient city. He went off the beaten path to see some howler monkeys. They were way less expensive than other company's.
The only other problem I had was that we found out that there was a groupon for Hidden Valley that was half of what we paid. I hate going somewhere and paying twice as much as someone the person beside you. Just one of the catch 22's that come with offering a groupon. Oh well, good for them I suppose but doesn't make me feel any better.
All in all I'd HIGHLY recommend this place, it really is an amazing property.

Room Tip: All cottages are connect to another unit but you don't notice. We got a larger suite with a scre...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

My husband and I recently visited Hidden Valley Inn and were beyond thrilled due to the great reviews. On a positive note: The food was absolutely AMAZING and the chefs came out during dinnertime to introduce themselves, which was a really nice gesture. We are real foodies, so when we write that the food was amazing, we mean it.

Unfortunately, the food was the only really great thing about this inn. We had such a miserable experience, which resulted in us leaving the place a couple of days into our stay. We just wanted to have a peaceful and romantic vacation, but the staff kept butting into our business, interrupting our meals, asking us where we'll be spending our time every single day. Additionally, the yoga instructor kept interrupting our meals, as well, attempting to promote her services-it was beyond annoying!

There were many issues which reflected really badly on management. For example: The staff bad-mouthed guests while serving them, thinking that people didn't understand. Well, my husband's first language is Spanish, but the staff was unaware of that and bad-mouthed us and other guests loudly in our presence. There is absolutely no excuse for behavior like that and it reflects on the training, or lack thereof, they received. We travel multiple times a year and never encountered anything as unprofessional as this. Additionally, the staff stood there waiting for tips after every meal, and after every request that was made. Not only that, but if we'd ask for something from the bar, three people started attending us, and then stood there waiting for their tips. It was rude and disgusting. Happens to be, my husband tends to tip hotel employees at the end of our stays, since we hate being busy with carrying money during our vacations. We were going to give some hefty tips, but after the staff's coldness when they realized we weren't tipping, we chose to leave without giving any tips (besides for the chefs, of course).

If that weren't enough, staff kept checking up on us when we were out of our cottage. We were walking and giggling outside one day and a couple of staff members came by to check up on us. I mean, seriously? We're adults and were there to have a nice time, without anyone "babysitting" us. Another thing that was totally unacceptable: We arrived to one of the meals half an hour before the end of mealtime, so for example, if mealtime was 12-2, we arrived at 1:30. The staff made a comment (in Spanish, of course) about us arriving so late, that we shouldn't be served. Not only that, but when they saw us the next day, they "reminded" us that mealtime was between this and this time and that the kitchen will be closing after that time. We were at many all-inclusive resorts and mealtimes (and people) were respected. Even if we'd arrive 2 minutes before the end of mealtime, they would graciously serve us.

Management needs to be uprooted, in our opinion. For things like this to go on....well, it says everything about a place. We switched hotels and were extremely satisfied. As a side note: We never ever had to write a negative review at any of the places we stayed at, so we're not one of those people who could never be satisfied. This place is awful and we wouldn't suggest you see for yourself!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
GMHVI, Manager at Hidden Valley Inn, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
We are sorry to hear that you had a less than satisfactory experience at Hidden Valley, when you stayed with us in June. It is a shame that you did not alert us to the problems while you were here so that we could have addressed them and possibly made a difference to your experience.
In our staff training, one of the things we stress is that the guest is the reason we exist and that their satisfaction, through quality personalized service is our goal. We certainly do not encourage the behavior you describe in your review and will act to stop it whenever we come across it.
The first language of many of our staff is Spanish, and so the conversations they have amongst themselves is often in Spanish. We have asked them to be aware that this may make some guests uncomfortable and to try to use English at all times while at work, except of course, when serving guests who prefer to be spoken to in Spanish. Our staff is generally a happy bunch and they do joke and laugh quite a bit amongst themselves, and we encourage that.
A part of our personalized service involves inquiring about your well-being and your experience on the various excursions or activities that you participate in while at the Inn. We share the feedback with the guides and operators in an effort to improve. We are sorry if you found this intrusive and assure you that our intention is not to “check up on you” or to interfere in any way, but rather to ensure that things are going well.
We appreciate your comments, which we have shared with the staff in an effort to constructively address your complaints and improve our service. If there is anything you might like to add please feel free to contact me by e-mail at gm1@hiddenvalleyinn.com.

Many thanks,
Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

We only stayed here for one night but it was definitely my favorite stay in Belize. Even though the road to Hidden Valley is very long and bumpy, it's all worth it for the vast hiking trails, beautiful waterfalls, and an accommodating staff that offers hand massages when you arrive! I wished we had more time to explore.

The meals are on the expensive side ($20 for lunch, $30-40 for dinner) but the food and service were excellent. Because of the remote location, you are almost forced to eat at the restaurant.

Our rooms were spotless and the beds and bathroom were decorated with colorful flowers. I had my best sleep here of our entire week-long trip.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Madison, WI
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

My group of 16 friends could not have been happier with our night in the jungle at Hidden Valley Inn. Misael was a pleasure to work with as we made our travel arrangements. The ride there was a bit long and bumpy, but definitely worth it to get to such a remote and exclusive location.

When we arrived, we were greeted by the welcoming staff, including the hand masseuses, for a casual orientation in the sitting area. All our luggage was taken to the appropriate rooms, and when we arrived we were pleased with the tasteful accommodations and obvious effort that went into making us feel pampered. Being the one making the arrangements, we were placed in one of the estate suites, which had the perks of a cozy hammock on the screened porch and an amazing outdoor shower -- a warm morning shower never felt so good!

Since it was late afternoon when we arrived, we were extremely grateful for the van ride to the trailhead for butterfly falls. A short 20-min hike, complete with a tiny snake sighting, got us to the spectacular but chilly pool of the 100-ft falls, which we enjoyed tremendously! Having taken a radio to call for our van, we found the driver waiting for us as we returned to the trailhead. He kindly offered to take us to the lookout for the 800-ft King Vulture Falls, an impressive sight from across the valley. Upon returning to the inn, we enjoyed cocktails by the jacuzzi followed by a delicious dinner, my only comment on the food being that the duck was just a tad overcooked, though friends commented that the steak was grilled to perfection! After dinner we settled in for the night to prepare for the early morning of caving ahead of us.

In the morning, we were treated to a continental breakfast of yogurt and granola, fresh local fruit and juices, and yummy banana-bread and muffins. All around, our jungle adventure started out more like a spa retreat, and I don't think we would've wanted it any other way!

Room Tip: Definitely go with the Estate Suite and if you have a group, get both! You won't regret it!!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hidden Valley Inn

Address: 4 Miles Cooma Cairn Road, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Cayo > Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hidden Valley Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 12
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 
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Also Known As:
Hidden Valley Hotel San Ignacio
Hidden Valley San Ignacio

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