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“Great rooms, very remote, little too pricey...” 3 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
Special Price
30% off room rate
Certificate of Excellence 2014
New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great rooms, very remote, little too pricey...”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2010

My husband and I stayed at Hidden Valley Inn for our honeymoon in January 2009. I can see why the place had such high reviews but we can only give it an average rating based on our experience. First off, we booked the transportation with the inn and there was a lot of confusion as to where he was going to meet us--we were coming from Caye Caulker and took a ferry to shore in Belize City and I guess there are a few drop off locations. We finally met the guy an hour later, which made our travel time pretty long.

But at HVI our biggest complaint was the value of our stay. Since we were traveling on our honeymoon, at every other place that we stayed, they remembered it was our honeymoon and whether it was a complimentary glass of wine or just some rose petals on the bed, there was some special touch (without having to purchase a "romance package"). At HVI, they didn't even remember it was our honeymoon until we reminded them.

And we had two unfortunate things that made our stay not as nice as it could have been--first, there was a huge birding group at the lodge during our stay. Because their group was so large, they had the two HVI guides to take them to Caracol and other activities, while we had someone who the inn calls when they need an extra person. He was nice and somewhat knowledgeable. but the last day of our stay we met the HVI guides and I think we would have had a better experience if they had accompanied us on our trips to Caracol, etc. They seemed more knowledgeable, very very friendly and spoke to us in Spanish, which we preferred. I would check with the inn prior to book to see if there is a large group when you are there. It is MUCH nicer when there are just a few other couples/families, as they put the tour groups first (seating for dinner/timing for things, etc.).

The second unfortunate circumstance, was the weather. It rained most of the time we were there--and according to the staff, because of the altitude it is often foggy--so this limited our ability to fully appreciate the grounds. However, we didn't let the rain damper our stay. My husband and I are very much into the outdoors, so we actually ended up hiking as much of the grounds as possible, despite the rain. We were unable to do the cascade trail because of the weather but we did walk down to Lolly Folly pond (couldn't actually see much of the pond because of the fog, but still a nice walk) and we hiked the Butterfly trail and the Secret Pools trail.

I can definitely see why the hikes would have been nice on a beautiful day--and once we were soaked through to our underwear, it actually was a fun adventure. However, when I think back, I believe the hotel should not have let us out. On one of the trails [I will post photos soon] towards the ending, there were two trees that had fallen down and blocked the path--under the tree the river water had risen so high it was on the path as well and I was very nervous I would slip into the river while trying to climb over the tree. Then towards the end of this trail--the trail washed away into the river. We had to walk ankle deep through what we thought was the trail (the maps they have are not that detailed)--and we finally found the road. I was so nervous that a tree would fall as we were walking--at this point it had been raining for a week and the ground was very soft--my husband was not that nervous, though.

Then once we got off that part of the trail, we planned to walk all the way back to the lodge on just a flat trail. But as we walked down the trail back, the water got progressively higher until we were almost knee deep and we still had awhile to go. At this point, we returned to the road, but this was also so watery that we realized we had to call the inn to pick us up. BUT, the radio did not work--they could barely hear us. We kept walking down the road until we were closer to the hotel and it finally worked and they were able to get us (for a $10 fee).

While I acknowledge that the inn cannot control the weather (of course!) and this was a risk we took in picking a hotel in a remote location with mostly outdoor activities, I just expected that the inn would have been more accommodating since they knew we could not have as nice a time on our honeymoon because of the weather. Perhaps, offering to waive the $10 pick-up fee, or offer two glasses of wine after we came in soaking wet from hiking. The manager did offer to dry our clothing for us when we got back from our hike--but then they tried to charge us for this, after the fact. (They did remove the fee, upon check-out).

There were many great things about HVI though---The rooms were fantastic--each with a very nice bathroom (the nicest we had in Belize) and a fireplace, comfy bed and sitting area. The lodge was fine for the type of place the inn is trying to be--a nature lodge, but not nice enough for a luxury hotel. The pool was also nice--we went swimming in the pool and hot tub despite the rain and very much enjoyed it, and the staff was for the most part very friendly. Since it rained, we also spent time at the lodge playing scrabble and reading our books (ones we brought--the selection they have is mediocre) by the fire--which we also enjoyed.

My advice to everyone is to spend only 2 nights there--in case of bad weather. And then on your last day, do Caracal or ATM (we could not do ATM because of the rain). Also, I suggest having the car stop at a grocery store in town before heading up to the Inn. That way you can get some of your own food and drinks and are not stuck having to eat their food every day. The food was okay but the dinner was not worth the $40 each night. And the breakfast was not as filling as one would expect, given the price. I thought the remoteness of the lodge was appealing, but just be warned, that there really isn't anywhere else around to eat/drink, etc. (Sidenote--we stayed at Lamanai Lodge as well, also remote with no other options for food--but their food was SO filling and so good (maybe $40 per person per day for breakfast,lunch, dinner) that we didn't mind the remoteness).

Also, when we were leaving, they drove us back to town (for a high fee) but they had already been planing to drive to town to pick up supplies/food, etc. So to bring us down, wouldn't have cost that much more. The entire time the guides were talking to each other as they drove us down. I guess it just disappointed me that we spent $250 a night on a room and nothing was included--even using the computer to connect to the internet was an additional fee. [sidenote: I just checked the prices on their new website and it looks like they are lower than what we paid in January 2009]. Also remember, that every excursion is an additional cost, and it adds up quickly. (Other lodge-type resorts in Belize tend to include the cost of excursions or at least food, in their prices).

Overall, we enjoyed HVI, we just think it should be priced a little bit less. The room was wonderful and the grounds were great---we were just unfortunate with the weather.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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293 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    246
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See reviews for
35
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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
Boston
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2009

From the minute we arrived and were greeted at the front door by Elmer with a refreshing drink in hand and a cold towel to refresh ourselves, I knew we had made the right choice in picking Hidden Valley Inn for our holiday. We stayed in a one of the deluxe suites with an outdoor shower, which was romantic and comfortable. We ate many of our meals at the onsite restaurant - the food at every meal was nothing short of outstanding! The staff was about as friendly and helpful as any I have seen in a hotel. Kudo's to the managers, Beverley and Flavian.

Their tours and waterfalls on the property are for the exclusive use of the guests and ensure privacy and personal service. For a small fee we ordered a picnic lunch to be delivered to one of the waterfalls and we enjoyed a most delicious lunch surrounded by nature at it's best.

We would highly recommend Hidden Valley Inn to anyone that wants a great resort, with a good onsite restaurant, friendly staff and a quiet, peaceful relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Towson, Maryland
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2009

Our trip to Hidden Valley Inn began with a private flight to their remote, red-clay airstrip minutes from the resort. When we broke through the clouds, we saw numerous waterfalls and abundant hills and trees as far as the eye could see.
From the start, our stay was amazing. Since it was the off-season, my husband and I were always 2 of only 4 or 6 other guests. On our second day, we opted to rent the private waterfall and had champagne and delicious food (a norm for HVI) waiting for us upon arrival. We were told at the drop-off point that we were alone on the grounds that day, and it was such an amazing experience. Was it an extra cost? Yes, it was. Was it worth every penny? Absolutely. To have an experience like that with someone else just cannot be topped.
The staff was always extremely helpful and pleasant. We never felt in a rush to get anywhere or do anything as they were willing to work around our wants and needs. We enjoyed the hiking around the grounds, but we also enjoyed lounging in the hot tub and sipping drinks at the bar prior to dinner.
The rooms were beautiful, and we enjoyed building fires multiple times a day. I told my husband that the smell of the burning pine is one that I'm sure we'll recognize again someday and it will bring us right back to the honeymoon. :)
We opted for a stop at Jaguar Paw to zip line and cave tub prior to hopping on a flight to the next resort. Our driver was friendly and informative. We were advised up front of the additional cost and were happy to pay it as to not have to worry about navigating the clay roads ourselves!
Hidden Valley Inn is definitely off the beaten path, but they never claim to be anything but. If you're looking to be well looked after in a gorgeous, remote location, this is the place for you. It was the perfect way to wind down after a very busy and stressful wedding-planning experience!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2009

Everything the other Hidden Vally Inn reviewers tell you about the excellent staff, food and accommodation etc. is true and was our reason for booking our 1 week stay. What we didn't appreciate was the complete offerring you get over and above the norm, just from the location. Also English is the first language as opposed to Spanish.
The Inn is circa 2,500 feet above sea level and hence there are very few mosquitoes but other less irritating bugs - it is a jungle after all! Step out of your room and the birdlife is all around from vultures and falcons to woodpeckers and hummingbirds. For orchid aficionados many different varieties abound.
The 7,200 acre site has a plentiful supply of walks through pine forests and many rivers and spectacular waterfalls. The grounds are exclusive to staying residents only and for a small fee you can be dropped off and picked up anywher you like. A nice touch is the provision of 2 way walkie talkie radios, as soon as you want picking up (or if you have any difficulty) you call in and a guide collects you by car.
The guides are well studied in local flora and fauna and help you to see all that's in the area - for us that included photographing the Stygian Owl, Crested Guan and King Vulture we only missed out on the Motmots.
Trips to Mayan sites are easy with a guide and again inlude an effective nature walk with a view of the ruins - we did Caracol and also Tikal in Guatemala. The only thing to be prepared for is the drive; the Inn is 18 miles from the nearest tarmac road and so journies can take a long time to cover a relatively short distance.
Free WiFi internet lets you communicate with the outside world and remember there are no televisions - a real blessing. Also the water comes from a local spring and then UV filtered - so you can drink the tap water, which is a great bonus!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Mississippi
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2009

When we chose Hidden Valley Inn as a destination for our honeymoon, we didn't really know what to expect, but were completely blown away by how incredible it was.

For starters, the staff is fantastic. We loved talking to everyone there, especially Rick, Elmer, and Misael. The entire staff was warm and gentle, and made us feel right at home. Rick came by our dinner table nearly every night just to ask us how our stay has been and what all we had done that day. All of the staff are more than willing to help you plan your activities for the day, and they all seem genuinely interested in making sure you have a good time while you are there.

You could literally spend a week just exploring the trail system and waterfalls at Hidden Valley Inn. There is so much to see on the property that you really don't need to go anywhere else unless you just want to. Our favorite parts of the property were Secret Falls, which we reserved for the day (worth every penny), Butterfly Falls, and Devil's Falls. Bull's point is also nice, and you can drive up to it.

We also went to Caracol and Barton Creek Cave while were there. Caracol was really interesting and our guide was very knowledgeable. Barton Creek, though, was not very enjoyable for me. Towards the end, the cave gets awfully narrow and cramped, and of course, there are bats. I also thought that excursion was a bit overpriced.

Our accommodations were very nice and clean, and the food was good. It's not 5 star decadently rich food, but good healthy, tasty food. Just what you need after a day of hiking. Also, we loved the hottub and a cool drink from the bar after a day of hiking and sightseeing. We are already looking forward to our next stay at Hidden Valley.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Helsinki, Finland
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2009

This place is like a heaven on earth. We arrived to there by a small plane and we landed to a small airstrip quite close to the Hidden Valley Inn. We were immediately greeted by one of the staff members that came to pick us up. He drove us to this little piece of paradise in the middle of nowhere. There were different kind of rooms but the ones we staid in had a porch, outdoor shower etc. Wow, what a feeling to wake up in the morning and go outside under an amazing waterfall shower and start the day with that. The hiking trails are very well maintained and amazing to walk on. Just remember to take water with you. I strongly recommend to rent a waterfall for the day! It's truly an experience that you will never forget and a romantic one at that! The staff at the Inn are superb. They truly made you feel welcome and cared for. The meals were fantastic every day. We were lucky enough to enjoy a dinner under the stars by the pool. It was very special! The best thing about eating or spending time outside in the evenings? There were no bugs! The hotel bar is also attended to by some great and funny people. I definitely recommend to stop in the bar to have an appetizer or an after meal drink! The two best things that make Hidden Valley Inn the paradise that it is... is the awesome location and one of the best staffs you have ever had the pleasure to meet! Worth every single penny!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
NYC
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2009

I can't stress enough how happy that my bf and I are that we chose to stay at Hidden Valley Inn. It is secluded, but sits on a beautiful landscape with breathtaking views. The staff were extremely friendly, and super accommodating. They helped us plan all our excursions, and were there every day to greet us and ask about our adventures as when we came back. And we looked forward to the delicious menu that changed daily.
The rooms are great, with comfy leather chairs, a fireplace, and their own porch. Even though the weather was hot during the day, there was nothing we looked forward to more after a long day of hiking and exploring than having a few drinks at the bar and coming back to our room to start a fire.
If you are looking for a romantic, relaxing, secluded location where you are surrounded by lush, beautiful nature, Hidden Valley Inn is the place for you!

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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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