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Orchid Garden Eco-Village Belize
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Reviewed August 14, 2012

There are not enough kudos to rate the experience my family had at Orchid Garden. We received stellar service from every member of the staff, had the friendliest and most accommodating guides possible, ate delicious, healthy and interesting food and were pampered by the owner, Christine. Chirstine went out of her way to personalize our trip and make special arrangements to meet our needs, including celebrating our son's birthday. Christine was so concerned about her guests that she made sure that everyone, including some guests who had already left the hotel for the Cayes, had safe accommodations during an impending hurricane. All of the trips that we took through Orchid Garden were outstanding and meticulously planned including a fantastic trip to Tikal for which Christine had arranged every detail including a fabulous private guide in Guatemala, and assistance going back and forth over the border. She then helped us maximize our time on Ambergris Caye despite the hurricane. We could not have enjoyed our stay more and could not have been more impressed by the service we received! 5 stars are not enough!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Out-of-California
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2012

My husband and I take trips to different destinations each year and this is the only time I've been motivated to write a review because Orchid Garden exceeded all of our expectations. We found Orchid Garden through Trip Advisor. I was a little skeptical at first because the reviews seemed like it was too good to be true. But sure enough, from the moment we got off the plane in Belize to when we left (sadly) 6 days later, we were truly taken care of. When planning the trip I emailed Jason with what we wanted to do while we were in Belize along with our questions and concerns. Jason was extremely prompt and thorough with his responses. And whenever we wanted to make changes to our itinerary he would take care of it immediately and do his best to accommodate our requests. We ended up changing our snorkeling trip at Caye Caulker for a diving trip. Jason told me it would be $100 more so I gave him approval to invoice me $100 each for my husband and me or $200 total. He immediately emailed back and said he was not going to charge me $200, only $100 b/c he meant it was $50 each or $100 total. I was so impressed with his honesty. He could have easily invoiced me the $200 I approved but he didn't. So even before we got to Belize I felt very taken care of by the Orchid Garden. When we got there, all the great reviews we read about became a reality for us. The food was INCREDIBLE...each meal was a homecooked meal with fresh ingredients and tasted fantastic! One of the best parts of the trip was getting local homecooked Belizean cuisine. Our room was very spacious, clean, and well kept. The grounds at the Orchid Garden were beautiful...very lush and green with beautiful flowers and trees all around it. The staff was EXCELLENT and truly made us feel like family. Alvaro took us everywhere and took care of us like we were his kids. For all of our excursions he would hand pick our guides and made sure they took extra good care of us and showed us more than the excursion asked for like extra caves and hidden trails. While at the Orchid Garden Christine and her staff took amazing care of us. It was beyond excellent customer service, they all treated us like we were family. My husband and I travel a lot, and never have we been to a place where we were so well cared for. The excursions were AWESOME, the ATM cave alone is worth the trip, we've never seen something so magnifcent. We also did cave tubing, zip lining, jungle river cruise, and hiked Lamanai. We then spent two days in Caye Caulker and San Pedro. The water is beautiful out there and our scuba trip was a ton of fun. All of our excursions were planned and coordinated by the Orchid Garden. We just told them what we wanted to do and they made it happen and coordinated every detail. Belize is a beautiful country; we fell in love with the country and the Orchid Garden. If you're planning to go to Belize, the Orchid Garden is where you need to stay!

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank 0521LovesToTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2012

My daughter(17) and I had the pleasure of spending the first week of July here, and we would return to Orchid Garden in a heartbeat!

Prior to arrival: Don't hesitate to email Jason, the owner. He was always prompt in his responses and offered various options that catered to the specific needs of our holiday, with clear details of the activites and any cost involved (btw: best rates by far, and so easy with paypal!)

From the airport: we were met right outside with a clearly labelled, reassuring sign bearing our full names! (Without hubby there I was nervous!)

The Hotel: Jason is obviously a true naturalist; there is a simply comforting feel to the eclectic buildings that sit sleepily within this jungle.

Our Room: Huge! Immaculately Clean! A small fridge and air conditioner. (thank god!) This is not the Hilton, we didn't want the Hilton. Simple and VERY clean.

The Restaurant: first of all, our meals were included in the package, so no worries about finding a place to eat! Stone and Bamboo walls, tree trunk slab tables, and a central interior garden (bananas growing right there!), and even electrical sockets hidden in coconuts all leave you feeling you're in a secret jungle garden . . . and then we have Christine!

She is Jason's wife, and is an amazing chef! Breakfasts were 3 courses, dinners 5 or 6! We were treated daily to a unique blend of Asian and Belizean creations! Come to the table hungry, you will be very tempted to lick your plate! (please publish a cookbook Christine!)

Excursions: Each evening as we finished our meal, Catherine would arrive like a tiny hummingbird to tell us what we would be doing the next day (as there are various guests, all with unique holiday plans, arrival and departure dates, you must understand that they are constantly working to coordinate excursions and drivers-just go with the flow, they've got it all covered!)
She also provides towels for excursions that require one, so don't waste room in your suitcase!
Each excursion outside the hotel also includes their own meal provision-so seriously, no worries!

ATM: so very much more than you can imagine! And the expression, "half the fun is getting there!" certianly rings true! The place should be one of the wonders of the world. My daughter said it was her ultimate favorite!

Zipline and cave tubing: a fun, fun day; the caves were amazing, our guide was hilarious! (yes Danny, you have a GREAT office!)

Maya Ruins: I was ill this day, but this is how incredibly safe we felt at Orchid Garden: my daughter was escorted by their driver, Alfredo, to the excursion, where she was met by the tour guide (whom they personally know), who then escorted her throughout the tour, ensuring she had a wonderful day!

Caye Caulker snorkeling: spend money on a GOOD digital camera; it is a breathtaking day and we cherish the amazing photos we have!

Eco-village tour: our main driver, Alfredo, is also an excellent historian and botanist! Beginning at the restaurant we were treated to a brief history of Belize, then led through the grounds where we were shown numerous indigenous and introduced fauna and flora, along with tidbits regarding their medicinal or nutritional uses. Our tour ended at the private home of Jason and Christine . . . A hauntingly beautiful museum occupies the first floor - Jason's private collection of ancient glass bottles, carvings, paintings and semi precious stones that cry out to you and whisper stories you can't put words to. Yep, i don't care if that sounds dorky - I can't explain this place - it just whispers beauty and was a precious place to be.

Of note, we had also booked two additional days to visit family. Each day we were driven directly to their home, and provided with our driver's cell phone number so that we could call when we were ready to be picked up. On the days I was not feeling well (I struggled with the heat!) they graciously drove my daughter to the local grocery for numerous supply runs.

We so appreciated their care and kindnesses toward us each and every day of this holiday.

I am sure to return to Belize . . . and will only stay at the Orchid Garden!

  • Stayed: July 2012
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1  Thank SuperGroverCoffeeBean
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2012

We had a truly wonderful experience in Belize during mid June of 2012. My wife and I (30's) booked a 3 day, 4 night trip to Belize with Orchid Garden being the only place we were going to stay. Our experience started off with very prompt and clear responses from Jason, the owner of Orchid Gardens. He allowed us to completely customize our trip, choosing a base package and swapping out and adding on different excursions. While we were in shock of the great deal we received on our package, our excitement grew as our arrival date came closer. We received an excellent PDF with tips from Jason outlining what to expect, how to dress, temperature expectations, what the bring, the works!

Finally it was arrival day and we landed in the Belize Airport, retrieved our luggage and Alfredo was already waiting there with a huge sign to welcome us. He was extremely polite and as we saw other groups heading into vans to travel back to their hotel, I noticed Alfredos van was one of the nicest on the lot (as far as I could tell)! As we made our way back to the hotel, Alfredo began to spread his knowledge of this beautiful country and I grew thirsty for more. We stopped at the grocery store and headed to the hotel to find out we truly did have the place to ourselves and no one would be checking in until our departure day! We checked into our room and I was immediately impressed with the size of the room, complete with two desk areas, two padded chairs, a king bed and a buffet style table. One thing I wondered before I left was if each room had its own bathroom or not, so you know, you do have your own bathroom with tiled walls and a shower with nice warm water and a decent sprayer. It was very clean and I felt right at home. Then we met Christine, Jason's wife, who (with staff) prepared true culinary masterpieces. Every meal I was excited to see and taste what kind of edible artwork she had crafted for us. The food was exquisite and I loved the fact that there was no menu. Christine did present what we would be having for the next meal during the previous so you could make adjustments accordingly. My favorite was the fresh lobster tails they retrieved from the city, so good! The Wi-Fi was down during our stay, but the laptop in the media room/lounge was connected to the internet so I could check in on Facebook and email my family and friends.

Alvaro took us to the zoo and I was amazed at all of his knowledge and the personal experiences he shared as they related to what we were seeing. Let me jump really quick and say I was extremely impressed that our hotel guides (Alvaro and Alfredo) came with us on every excursion. Alvaro walked us through the zoo and explained different things, and Alfredo came with us on the river cruise and tour of Lamanai (quick tip, its pronounced La-Ma-Nai-EEN (but I'll let them tell you why :). No other couples we met on the tours had this service. The second day we switched things up due to the weather. It was the rainy season there, however it was just supposed to have started and it had started three weeks earlier. What a blessing! During the dry season it gets up to 110 but we were sitting around 89. It never rained, where we were, except for a 5-10 min sprinkle (which was so welcomed). We did the river cruise and tour of Lamanai. On the river cruise, Juanita the monkey jumped out of the trees, came onto the boat and sat on my lap for pictures. It was priceless and a truly unforgettable experience. The ruins were gorgeous and our boat guide took us through all of the different ruins with detailed explanations. (Make sure you take the river cruise!).

The next day we went jungle horseback riding and learned a ton about how the Mayans use SO many things from the jungle to cure different ailments. Alvaro drove us to the stables and the horseback guide took us through the jungle pointing out all of the different plants and wildlife and how they are used by Mayans. Then we headed over to river cave tubing. Alvaro talked the guide into taking us further up the river (farther than the normal tour goes). We spent the afternoon floating down the river with our guide educating us further on Mayan culture and the history of the three cave system we were going to see. Our guide was awesome here, younger and funny, we laughed and traded stories the whole time. He also took the time to stop and show us different plants along the way, watched him eat termites, it was great and none of the other groups were getting this kind of service. One part of the cave is completely pitch black, and we turned off our headlamps and floating in complete darkness (cannot see hand in front of face), with only the sound of falling water and the squeaking of fruit bats to accompany you. It was a great excursion, there was also some stopping for swimming and rock jumping.

When we got back we met Alfredo again for the Eco-tour. We walked all around the entire hotel, which used to be a college, while Alfredo told us everything about the history of Belize, to the reclaiming process they used to build the hotel, to everything about every single plant or animal we saw along the way. I loved the fact that you constantly had to look down at the ground to avoid geckos and iguanas scattering about. The iguana sanctuary was awesome, and we saw multiple iguanas over 3 feel long gathering near the water. Christine and Jason have even opened the first floor of their home to the guests and has an entire museum of artifacts from Belize. The next morning we got up early with Alfredo again and went bird watching which was neat and very informative. Alfredo and Alvaro could have their own shows on the Discovery channel, I was so impressed with the sheer amount of knowledge they shared with us.

We were sad to leave Orchid Garden, but for those who are looking for a place to call home while you're there, I HIGHLY recommend Orchid Garden Eco-Village. The staff really went out of their way to make us feel welcome and taken care of, the facility itself was a piece of artwork, being made from reclaimed materials. If you are looking for a luxurious hotel to lay on the deck and swim in a pool all day, this may not be for you. But for those looking to truly experience all Belize has to offer, lodging at Orchid Garden Eco-Village will ensure a plethora of pleasurable and truly unforgettable memories.

- Ron and Melanie, Rolling Meadows, IL USA -

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Ron L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2012

My husband and I stayed at this resort for two days in May 2012. We have been to Belize before but always headed right over to Ambergris Caye. We decided we wanted to see some of the mainland and experience the jungle. We chose this hotel since it is close to the airport. With only a few days to stay we didn't want to spend hours traveling into the other districts. Booking was very easy and we were able to book a package for two nights and the zip lining/cave tubing tour.
This package comes with breakfast and dinner. Which were all amazing meals! Home cooked Belizean food with an Asian twist.
The staff at the hotel is wonderful. Alfonso picked us up at the airport. We had an issue with our flight and had to change our arrival time. We sent an email to the hotel and they quickly responded that they would pick us up at a later time. Upon arrival in Belize City we found out our luggage didn't make it. Alfonso was very helpful and took us to the store to purchase sun block, bug spray and other essentials that were in our lost luggage.
Once we got to the resort the staff assured us that they would call the airport baggage claim and follow up on our luggage.
Dinner that first night was wonderful. Several amazing courses. We sat family style with two other couples and chatted for hours hearing about the tours they had done.
The next day we headed out for our zip lining cave tubing tour which was amazing. We had a wonderful time and the guides take pride in their country and have extensive knowledge that they are more than happy to share with you.
Upon returning to the hotel our luggage was waiting for us.
After another wonderful dinner and breakfast the next morning, my husband and I had time to wander the property and take pictures of the beautiful grounds. We also had time to speak with the owner Christine. She is a wonderful host that really cares about her staff and Belize. She told us the story about her first time to Belize and how she settled there. She is a lovely person with a warm heart.
If you are looking to a convenient place to stay with great food, tours and friendly staff this is a great choice. The accommodations are basic and clean. There is a small refrigerator in the room that comes in handy to keep snacks and some wine or beer. It was all that we needed for our jungle stay.
Cory and I were already in love with the country of Belize and its people. This experience reinforced how we feel about this wonderful place.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Chrystie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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