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“Sounds of Nature”
Review of Pook's Hill Lodge

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Pook's Hill Lodge
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Belmopan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 1, 2013

My husband and I recently stayed at Pook's Hill Lodge for 2 nights before heading to the islands. Vickie, a small, strong woman with a huge smile picked us up at the Belmopan bus station. Once in Teakettle village, you turn off onto a five mile rustic road. If you have ever ridden the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland, this ride is pretty much exactly like that. So, if you are renting a car, you MUST have 4x4 to successfully negotiate this road.

When we arrived at the lodge, it felt magical. There are sounds of birds surrounding you and plants and trees with giant foliage. They bring you into the main lodge where your first drink is on the house. Vickie delivered our luggage to our room while we enjoyed our beverages and talked with Jessica. Once we finished our drinks Vicki showed us the ruins and to our room, the forest view cabana #6. Small, cute, clean, and just the cabana I was hoping to get.

After a nap from our exhausting travels, I went down to explore and the mail lodge where Vickie showed me how to get down to the meadow and subsequent trails through the jungle to the river, but it was getting too late to explore further secondary to sunset was nearing. At 6pm, is cocktail hour in the main lodge there you can get water, soda, juice, beer or mixed drink meet some of the other guests and talk about where each if from and about their adventures that day and plans for the next day. There are lanterns set up all around and lends to a very intimate atmosphere. You then head down for dinner at 7pm served buffet style in yet another lantern lit room. Lots of fresh vegetables, beans, rolls and a protein are offered. Of course completed with a desert. Breakfast is served 6-9am? It includes fresh squeezed orange juice, fruit, eggs, toast (or fry jack) and some variety of breakfast meat.

We had been informed that the previous 3 weeks had been very wet and it did have a downpouring thunder and lightning storm while we were there as well which made for a very muddy/slippery path to access the meadow and jungle trails, which I think maybe needed to be lined with stones in order to prevent slippage. There were slippery areas on the jungle trail, but I think that is definitely to be expected.

All day and all night you hear various birds. You will definitely see geckos and butterflies and too many species of birds to count. The views are breathtaking. Be warned you will get eaten alive by mosquitos without application and reapplication of repellant including underneath the areas that your clothing covers. So, wear the bracelet thing, bathe in natural repellant, spray the DEET, eat a ton of garlic prior to your vacation, or whichever of the methods you prefer, but the bites are definitely the gift that keeps on giving.

The staff are wonderful. Thank you to Vicki, Jessica (who is now taking care of baby manatees) Mayra and Hugo as well as the countless other staff members who made our stay so memorable.

Room Tip: Cabana #6 has a view from the top of the small hill and the backside windows are open to the forest...
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank orcasdance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 26, 2013

For your total Rainforest package deal, Pook's Hill offers the best. We were met at the airport and driven through the countryside to Pook's Hill while Dennis explained the surroundings as we travelled. We stopped at a local café for lunch. After arriving at Pook's Hill, we found the staff working hard to accommodate us with activities since it was unusually wet, even for the rainforest. Owner, Vicki, and manager, Jessica, along with guides Izzy, Mike, and Noe seemed ever-present in their efforts to keep guests completely safe and satisfied. Activity highlights: Tikal, nature walks (Noe), and zip lining. Especially noteworthy was Vicki's personal tour of the on-site Mayan ruins. Individual accommodations were spacious and comfortable complete with a ceiling fan and plenty of hot water (heated by coconuts!).

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank twohappi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2013

If you are looking to meet great people, get off the grid, and have an adventure (the type that might include bugs, nature, and mud), then you MUST visit Pook's Hill.

I spent 6 nights at Pook's Hill recently and I can't say enough what a special place it is. I visited Belize during the rainy season and due to unusual flooding most of the normal sites like ATM, Cahal Peche, and Caracol were closed. Vicki and Jessica took it all in stride and helped come up with interesting alternatives (tikal, ziplining, local market visit). All the guides were excellent (big thanks to Mike, Izzi and Noe). If you get a chance, do the nature walk with Noe or night hike to better appreciate the amazing setting.

As a solo traveler, I appreciated both the 6pm drinks and the family style dining as it gave me a chance to meet a bunch of interesting people as well as adding more places on my to see list! The food is buffet style so be sure to save room for dessert (standouts included the key lime pie, carrot cake, and divine lemon crepes)!

I can't wait to return to Belize and will certainly be swinging back through Pook's Hill.

Room Tip: I had coatamundi hut which was close to the onsite mayan ruin and an easy walk to the lodge.
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  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled solo
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2  Thank Liz R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 17, 2013

Pook's Hill Lodge is, simply, the ideal jungle retreat. Built around a Mayan residential site, most of the rooms are stucco huts with beautiful thatched roofs and wrap around windows. The main lodge, also thatched, is open air with comfortable seating and the bar. Downstairs is the screened dining room which served buffet style meals that, while simply prepared, were far and away the best food we had throughout Belize. Everyone raved about the carrot cake with pineapple stuffing - one member of our group had leftovers for breakfast the next day.
We were there in November which is supposed to be the last month of the rainy season and it did rain off and on. As a result of that and prior rain, the river was swollen preventing hiking on the river trail and the excursion to the ATM cave (and all other caves in the area) were cancelled due to the high water. But Pook's Hill arranged for a hike locally with their guide, Mike, that was excellent. While the rain disruptions were disappointing, it was the rainy season and we were in a rain forest so we took it in stride.
The setting and the food were wonderful, but what made Pook's Hill so special was the people. The owner, Ms Vicky, treated us more as friends visiting her jungle home than as customers. One afternoon, she personally educated us about the Mayan ruins and then hosted a croquet game on the plaza at the site. As mentioned, Mike the guide and the kitchen staff were wonderful. Vicky's assistant, Jessica, was the most friendly, competent, service oriented hotel employee I have ever met.
We have been to wonderful jungle lodges in Africa. This had a similar look and feel, but was even better. It is not a luxury, city-type hotel - it is in the jungle after all. But for us, it was ideal.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Paradocs22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2013 via mobile

We visited Pooks hill lodge and still had the best time even though we were unable to visit the ATM Cave due to flooding!

The owner and Jessica went out of their way to make sure we were all well taken care of.

We floated the river and did a wonderful tour of the Mayan ruins on the property as well as a jungle walk.

Anxious to return again! Wonderful place!

Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
1  Thank Nancy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2013

This was the second part of my wife and I honeymoon. We stayed at the beach in Belize for the first 4 days and then stayed at Pook's Hill the final 4 days. Perfect location for the ATM Cave!! I highly recommend just to plan on staying at least 2 days or more at Pook's Hill for the best experience. The food was very good, very experienced guides, great bar, great walks through rain forest, lots of wildlife, and very nice sleeping quarters.

Room Tip: Select the bird watch huts. Lots of privacy and bigger rooms. They have two beds also unlike the s...
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank joshyates1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2013

We stayed here on our honeymoon and we really loved it. From the warm welcome from the staff to the note we received in our room congratulating us on our honeymoon, we were treated really well during our stay.

The accomodation was lovely. We had private cabana with a big comfortable bed and plenty of room to take our 2 large suitcases.

The food was simple but really tasty and the seating arrangements for meals meant that everyone who was staying here at the time got too chat with one another.

We took part in night walks with a local guide during which we saw a tarantula, a poisonous toad and numerous types of snakes, lizards and spiders. For those of you who don't like the smaller creatures, we were never in danger.

One of the highlights of our stay was our tour to the ATM cave. I cannot stress enough how much of an advantage it was to be staying so close to the cave. We were the first people to arrive at the cave which was obvious when we found the park ranger was still asleep when we arrived. Not a common occurence by all accounts but he could be forgiven for it as it was quite early.

Having the ATM cave to ourselves with a brilliant guide, provided by Pooks Hill, made this one of the highlights of our honeymoon. The real advantage of the peace and quiet that we experienced in the cave became really obvious when we met several other tours coming against us as we were leaving the cave. The noise of the extra people and the reduced space, which is at a premium in several parts, meant that the other groups did not get the great experience that we had when we were alone.

I would highly recommend Pooks Hill to anyone who wants to experience living in the jungle, with all it's noises and attractions.

Room Tip: Bring a torch as there is no lighting between the main meeting area and the rooms. Also bring your c...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank murpmich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pook's Hill Lodge

Address: PO Box 14, Belmopan, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Cayo > Belmopan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Belmopan
Price Range: $189 - $301 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pook’s Hill is a small eco-lodge situated within the primary rainforest of Western Belize. It borders a 7000 acre reserve and the Roaring River, and is only 4 miles from the ATM cave. Eleven thatch cabanas surround an ancient Maya site and look out over the jungle canopy. Each has a private bathroom with hot water and 24 hour electricity. Pook’s Tours offers a full range of day tours to attractions in Western Belize as well as transportation services to or from any destination in Belize and Tikal in Guatemala (it is a two hour drive from Belize City). Pook’s Hill provides visitors with truly unique jungle experiences in a breathtaking natural setting and is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the treasures of Western Belize. All management and operations at Pook’s Hill are carried out according to sustainable business practices. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pook`s Hill Hotel Belmopan
Pooks Hill Hotel
Pooks Hill Cayo
Pook's Hill Lodge Belize/Belmopan

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