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“Family of 5 on the Beach in Hopkins, Belize” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Jaguar Reef Lodge and Spa

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Jaguar Reef Lodge and Spa
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Hopkins Road | Dangriga, Hopkins 0, Belize   |  
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Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Hopkins
Sacramento, California
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Family of 5 on the Beach in Hopkins, Belize”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2014

My family and I (3 teenage kids) just returned from an 8 day stay at Jaguar Reef (February 14-22, 2014). We had stayed here four years ago. We were in the Orchid Room, which is a 2 bedroom suite next to the family pool with a view of the ocean. First the positives:
1. Great location to base from to do lots of fun excursions with teens.
2. Resort is right on the beach.
3. Staff is very friendly and interested in your stay.
4. Resort is cozy, but, with enough things to do (beach, pools, spa, coffee shop, bars, etc.).
5. We rented a golf cart for the week (around $380 US) in advance, which makes it fun to go into Hopkins or just drive around.
6. Hopkins is off the beaten-path, but, does have a few restaurants and an ATM. So, if you like being out of the hustle and bustle--it is the town for you.
Second, the negatives:
1. Our suite still needs an upgrade. Consequences of this were: minimal water pressure in the showers; wifi in the suite pretty much non-existent (OMG-our teens had to go to the lobby area to access wifi or the hammocks near the restaurant!); the twin beds in one room and the extra bed in the living room were amazingly uncomfortable; the couch in the living room was pretty dated and uncomfortable; cable TV was provided, but, it was an afterthought to the existing furniture, so, is located at a very high viewing angle.
2. The hotel has a lot of manual entry systems for accounting and other issues. Accordingly, things had a way of having lots of little screw ups (at check out, I was mistakenly charged for 5 tours instead of 4 people on one tour; our golf cart that we rent for a week was mistakenly provided to another guest one day; a special birthday cake that the hotel arranged for our 13-year old twins sat undelivered in the kitchen and missed the birthday event). All the problems got worked around and the staff was great and cooperative. So, it just seems that the systems are not as robust as what we are used to in the States.
3. Bugs--there are bugs and you will get bitten unless you cover yourself up or use lots of spray.
Tours: we arranged all of our tours through the hotel. Everything worked great on scheduling, etc. We did the following tours:
Zip-line and Waterfall Rappelling (combined in one day). This is a fun tour. The Zip-lines are good. I have zip-lined at Sky Tram near Arernal, Costa Rica, which, in my opinion are the best in the world (at least that I have been on). These are not quite that--but, they are very good, with one that has a pretty long run. After the Zip Line we were taken by jeep to the nearby waterfall site. We had a short hike to the waterfall. The rappelling is fun. They place a rope between two trees at the top of the waterfall and then you are harnessed and rappel backwards down the waterfall. You maintain contact with the side of the mountain that the waterfall is running down, but, at spots it is easy to lose your balance because of the moss that makes it slippery. But, it was fun. Everyone in our group made it down (55, 50, 16, 13 and 13). However, you need to accept that you will fall a little bit and get bruised a little bit. It took about 10-20 minutes per person in our group to make it down. Two of my kids went down together side by side.
Snorkel-I was the only one in our family who did not due this. Reports were favorable. Good visibility. Kids got a little tired and wished they had taken a ring or something to float on rather than having to swim the whole time.
River tubing-This involves a pretty easy hike, although you have to carry your tube. You then tube down a fairly slow moving river with beautiful scenery. We did this in a complete rainstorm. It was still fun.
Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Cave. This involves an almost 2 hour ride pass Belmopan (which is scenic along the Hummingbird Highway) and then a transfer to the tour van for about a 30 minute ride to the site of the hike. The hike to the cave is about 45 minutes. At the entrance to the cave is a picnic area. The tour provides a picnic lunch, which they recommend you eat part before the hike and part after, since the cave tour is about 2.5 hours. After your partial lunch, you swim about 20 feet into the cave. They provide you a helmet with a light on it. If you want a life vest, they will provide it. I took one and was glad I had it. It helped with feeling comfortable for some of the swimming portions (into the cave and in the cave--there is a lot of water in the cave) as well as helping to keep warm a bit in the cave. This tour was the most challenging tour I have ever been on. There is about 60 minutes on being in the cave in some type of water (almost always your head is above water--but, a few times, you have to swim--certainly to get into and out of the cave); there is about 20 minutes of really hard rock climbing without any nets, guardrails, etc.; there is about 40 minutes of walking about on uneven surfaces in your socks; and another 30 minutes in the upper chamber (in your socks) that you access through a 12-foot ladder. There are around 5 or so really tight spots in the cave. I can be claustrophobic, but, these are manageable, especially since for the most part the caves are fairly expansive with high ceilings and a lot of air. I am glad I did it, but, for me, it is one and done. My teens did not feel it was quite as challenging as I did. Everyone in our group did fine, although, we had a middle age woman fall into the water as she was trying to climb down from the rocks from the middle chamber (she was fine). Of course, the reward, is that you get to see human skeletons and Mayan pottery and be entertained by your Mayan tour guides.
Horseback Riding-This is great. We did this our last trip too. You ride through an orange orchard and take a break at a river, where you can swim if you like. The guides are great. It is a pretty long tour.
So, in summary: The resort would be considered a 3 star resort in the States. The staff is great and friendly, but, the resort does not have modern management systems in place. Wifi is limited--certainly do not expect much service in the rooms. It is a great place to base for tours and other activities. We also used the spa. Although it is small, we felt that we got good treatments and service.

Room Tip: Some rooms have not been renovated. Ask for one that has been.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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370 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (103)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Shoreline, Washington
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2014

My family and I (2 teenage kids) just returned from a 5-day stay at Jaguar Reef. We had a second floor, 2 bedroom/2 bath "suite", which looked out to the sea. The space was great but perhaps a little tired (cracked tiles, basic furniture) but am told it's scheduled for an upgrade soon. We loved the large deck with chairs! The staff was always friendly and helpful (with a shout-out to Angel, Mary, Manuel, and Eugene!) and really were sincere about ensuring we had a good time. The restaurant was nicely appointed and the food was oftentime quite good (if not a little pricey). My boy loved the pizzas. We usually had breakfast at the coffee shop located next door at Almond Beach. It also doubles as a convenience store where you can find wine, beer, candy, chips, etc. We purchased two tours - ziplining (and jungle trek) and snorkeling. Both were very well-run and a lot of fun. The resort offers bikes for guest use and we found these essential if you wanted to go in to the town of Hopkins (there is also the possiblitlity to rent scooters or golf carts). Yeah, they might have been a little squeaky, but the road is flat and the biking wasn't hard. The resort might consider offering complementary shutle service in to Hopkins sometime in the future ... it would reduce the feeling of being 'stuck' at the resort. All in all, we had a great time and I believe my kids would go back to Belize, and Jaguar Reef, in a heartbeat. Highlights included ziplining, visiting the barrier reef, and the lovely, well-attended, grounds.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
Tulsa, Oklahoma
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

I would highly recommend Jaguar Reef! The staff was above and beyond. The cabanas and all areas were extremely well taken care of. The general people in the town of Hopkins were absolutely the friendliest. Jaguar Reef had a large selection of activities and the entire resort was absolutely beautiful! The food was good but pricey.

Room Tip: We were in cabana 3 it was very nice however there were a couple others that were closer to the wate...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, New York, United States
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2014

the Jaguar Reef (also part of Almond Beach), is a very nice hotel with a perfect view of the ocean. No room is more than 80 steps from the beach. Rooms have out door porches with hammock and nice rooms with large bathrooms. The snorkel trip is totall worth it, we so some wonderful things. I also recomend the Sittee River Tour. There were a few draw backs, it was not easy to get into Hopkins. The website makes you think you can just "pop" over to town for lunch etc.
It is a 15 min. bike ride on very bumpy roads with rusty bikes. You can walk (30 minutes). Hopikns is very small and rustic. We felt a little traped in the Jaguar Reef and the resturant was a little expensive for the style food. The resturant is nice, its just not fancy. I think the breakfast buffet was a good deal. There is a small coffee shop at one end of the property that had sandwiches etc. at lower prices. (be ready for weird meat and low end cheeses if you go this rout). I would recomend a 3 day stay. The beach was a little dirty this time of year.

Room Tip: room 13 and 14 are right on the beach
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 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.
Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 23, 2014 via mobile

A little farther into country than I imagined but great food, service, and staff made for a memorable vacation. Snorkeling was amazing and the Sittee River Tour was nice. Beach was great and with a few other resorts near by the need for leaving the area was diminished

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Drumheller, Alberta, Canada
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2014

This was a nice place to stay but we thought we would have a full kitchen and there was Bo stove. Friendly staff, clean rooms. Very expensive restaurant where American money was used and the rest of the town was in Belize dollars. The roads in Belize are awful and it took a long time to get there

Room Tip: Our rooms were nice right on the ocean.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
DC
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 19, 2014 via mobile

We stayed in three separate room in the Almond Beach part of the resort. The rooms are nice and clean, beautiful bathrooms, more spacious in some than others. Right by the ocean with beautiful views of the ocean. Fridges, TV, AC, safe provided. Interestingly enough the beds are not made and rooms are not cleaned as one would expect in this price range. The staff is ultra friendly with an excellent sense of humor. The beach is clean and there are lounge chairs, kayaks, tubes for free for guests. There is a restaurant and several bars all charging US big city prices. While we are on the topic of big ticket prices, the "butterfly spa" on the property has Ritz Carlton prices which we would have been happy to pay at a Ritz Carlton, but not here. There is a coffee shop that offers lattes etc, ice cream and misc snacks. The resort offers excursions from.smirking to zip lining to Mayan ruins. All at steep prices e.g.$70 for a half day snorkeling. They offer free bikes for guest so you can venture into tow. Otherwise we were dependent on local taxis who charged $2.50 per person for a group of 6. So overall a nice 3 star experience but grossly overpriced!

  • Stayed February 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Jaguar Reef Lodge and Spa

Address: Hopkins Road | Dangriga, Hopkins 0, Belize
Location: Belize > Stann Creek > Hopkins
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Hopkins
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Hopkins
#5 Romantic Hotel in Hopkins
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Hopkins
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Jaguar Reef Lodge and Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The enchanting waters and lush landscapes of Belize create a land of rugged adventure, romantic isolationism, and natural coexistence. Verdant rainforests house thousands of species of wildlife and hide ancient Mayan ruins within their depths. The intricate coral reef systems just offshore are renowned for marine diversity and provide some of the best environments for underwater exploration. Taking full advantage of the adventure potential of this idyllic destination, Jaguar Reef Lodge incorporates the comfort of exceptional accommodations into the beauty of its natural surroundings. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jaguar Reef Hotel Hopkins
Jaguar Reef Resort
Jaguar Reef Lodge And Spa Belize/Hopkins

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