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“Beautiful setting...unique property”

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The Lodge at Chaa Creek
Ranked #5 of 14 Hotels in San Ignacio
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 21, 2013

Picked The Lodge at Chaa Creek based on general reputation and of course TA reviews. We stayed for 4 nights in Villa 9 which is one of the two treetop suite accommodations. Reservation process involved alot of paperwork and faxing and it is up to you to remember to contact them for final payment. Usually a property will contact you to either advise they are charging the balance or reconfirm and get approval for the charge. I realized about two weeks late that balance was due, contacted them and got it done. We had arranged our own transfer (much better rate than offered by Chaa) and arrival went fine. Edwin checked us in and was very responsive to some issues. While Suites 9 and 10 are nice ,given no a/c and noise carrying easily, these accommodations were not a private as I had expected. The jacuzzis are sort of concealed but again not the "tree top" privacy I was expecting. The room itself was nice. I need to mention that we hit pretty much 4 straight days of rain...no not the brief shower you would expect in this jungle but solid rain. So much rain that there was not one howler monkey making any sounds, night walks were cancelled, ATM and other such adventures cancelled due to high water etc. Frankly my rating of very good is only that I assume my impressions might be quite different if the monkeys were waking me up and the sun was out at least some of the time. We went to San Ignacio after getting 4 different price quotes from the concierge. It is expensive to go to town so once we got a nice taxi driver we just called him direct and he took us to Xunantunich and we got a guide right there that was great. Price less than half quoted from hotel. He also took us to botanical gardens. We did all of this in the rain and tried to make the best of an expensive 4 nights. It happens and not much you can do. Frankly had the total prepayment not been made I would have opted to leave after 3 but no refunds of course. The meals were good...3 or 4 choices and when one night we did not like the choices they gave us exactly what we wanted. Service was pleasant but once you have the check they want to take it immediately. If it is left for a minute they will be back. Given getting anywhere was a project (muddy roads and high taxi fares) it made sense to just eat at the hotel. It got sort of old with only one restaurant but as mentioned the food was very good. While the lack of a/c is great with me, with all of the rain virtually every item we had books, clothes, everything was damp. It took days after we left to get rid of the dampness. Lots of walking up and down between reception and villas and would not recommend for anyone with mobility issues. Chaa Creek is a VERY family friendly place would I would recommend it if you have kids. Seems like kids under 18 day free. That said ,the brief moments we were at the pool large families took it over...no big deal..but for the honeymooners not sure. It was the very tail end of Christmas season and maybe that is not an issue at other times. Spring break and summer are probably the same. Being a small place management never introduced themselves nor did I see anyone that appeared to be a manager. Maybe I just missed them. Check out went well and they did send a survey via email upon our return home but I would far prefer them asking upon checkout...did you enjoy your stay or how was your stay and thank you for staying with us. Check out was brief and no one asked about our stay. I think Chaa Creek is probably one of the best if not best places in the area and that fact that our stay was not memorable is probably more due to the weather than anything about the hotel and thus I give it a very good rating with emphasis on it being great for families. Also we did visit the spa and I requested a massage with Anna based on a review here. She was indeed very good and the massage was the perfect way to pass a rainy afternoon. I would mention that when I tried to book another one for later in the day the next day it did not seem like they want to work past about 4pm. Maybe it is just me, but I prefer 5-7pm appointments (especially if the weather is nice and after an excursion) and that just was not possible. It seems during the Christmas Holidays they extended the hours some. It is a nice walk up to the spa and then on to the butterfly farm.

Room Tip: Would say tree top 10 is a bit more private than tree top 9. I assume they are similar otherwise.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank gene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 16, 2013

Stayed Christmas Eve at the Macal River Camp and loved it! Despite the lack of a chimney, Santa did manage to find us.

Dosio and his team have done a fantastic job of creating a real jungle experience. The camp is built in a jungle valley beside the river, consisting of lovely "tent" cabanas constructed on platforms raised off the ground. Clean and comfortable, they are lit by kerosene lamps at night, completing that camp-in-the-jungle feel. Chairs and a hammock grace the front porch, where you can sit and listen to the jungle sounds at night. Washrooms are a 30-second walk away. Food at the dining area was tasty and abundant, and the family-style seating promoted mingling with other guests - we were all able to compare notes of our travelling adventures.

The main facility at Chaa Creek is a 10-minute walk along a lovely nature trail. The main property is definitely up-scale; the grounds impeccably maintained. The pool, dining room, and bar were an interesting and tasteful design that blended right in with the magnificent gardens. We enjoyed a delicious lunch there, and the available wi-fi allowed us to brag about our experience in realtime to our friends (Facetime).

All-in-all, a totally unique experience. Many thanks to the staff who made our stay most memorable.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Rob_and_Debbie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2013 via mobile

We really enjoyed our stay at the Macal River Camp at Chaa Creek. We were well cared for by the local family who host the camp. We thoroughly enjoyed sharing the very tasty meals with the other guests and exchanging stories each night around the campfire. We took full advantage of the free access to facilities at the Lodge, as well as the various free activities such as birdwatching and canoeing. The shared showers and toilets at the camp were well maintained. The setting for the camp was beautiful and the novelty of going to sleep listening to crickets and waking up to howler monkeys never wore off. I highly recommend the camp if you enjoy the outdoors but also like to be well cared for and have the luxury of the Lodge within reach.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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2  Thank lizahc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2012

The resort has beautiful grounds, rooms and a fantastic infinity pool. And the restaurant serves delicious meals.
The only downside is that there is no air conditioning in the rooms or in the restaurant. Thankfully the two fans in our room made it comfortable to sleep, but we are spoiled and used to having A/C when we sleep.

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

This is by far the nicest place that we have ever stayed. It is a bit expensive, but this is an ecolodge so I didn't mind paying the premium. For starters, pictures do not do Chaa Creek justice. We were both prepared for Chaa Creek to be a nice place, but I cannot give enough credit to what they have done here. The grounds are beautiful, the rooms have every bit of 'wow' factor that I would expect at the price, and every detail of the lodge from service to cleanliness to the food was all amazing. Keep in mind that we went into this with high expectations, and it exceeded all of them. The spa services were great, the farm horseback tour was well done, and we canoed upstream on the Macaw River and had a great time. Since we have been home, we have been telling all of our friends and family they need to go here. The location was a highlight of our trip, and if you are looking for a high end resort, you need to go here.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Garden Suite, and it was amazing. I expect any of the rooms on the main grounds wo...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ben W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2012

When my girlfriend and I decided to stay at Chaa Creek for a day we were looking at it as the expensive night of an otherwise cheaper end trip. Considering what the other places we were staying cost, we figured this place would be top notch - but that was not what our experience really was. While it does have a nice grounds and the staff are nice, it also felt like they were giving you the absolute minimum of what is offered to you. We stayed at the Macal River camp and while the room was comfy, it was also damp, the carosene lamps did not light the room well at all, there was a 5 minute walk to the bathroom with absolutely no lights in sight and the meals were simply okay. If it was as cheap as any of the other places we stayed, I might consider a night there - but given that it was MORE THAN DOUBLE the price, I would never give it another consideration.

Room Tip: If youre staying in the Macal River camp, near the bathroom is a good way to go
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank caddingtonk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2012

I stayed in Chaa Creek on the last two days of a 5 day trip to Belize. I regret that it was only 2 days! I will return! Chaa Creek was much much more than what I had heard or expected. What a beautiful place, the setting, the staff, the food (oh! the food), the rooms and everything else was INCREDIBLE! I loved how the rooms were designed, and the furnishings, the floral arrangements, the towel designs every morning and the incredible bathroom and outdoor shower. Tasteful yet not ostentatious. Everything about Chaa Creek felt good. My friend and I were having breakfast one morning and the Owner Mick Lemming stopped by our table and introduced himself. What a treat that was! Not only is he a interesting, individual, he was so kind and welcoming to us as he was to everyone especially his staff. I can tell that they loved being there and in return we were always greeted with happy, warm staff who made our stay even better. Perhaps warm and friendly service is a Belizean attribute and I LOVE it. Mick toured us through the Chaa Creek Mayan Farm, where they grow all their fruits and vegetables that is used for the meals at the lodge. Clean, healthy, sustainable living. I was so impressed of Mick and Lucy's story of how they started Chaa Creek and all the work that has gone into making it the incredible experience for all of us to enjoy. It has to be on everyones bucket list.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank sarojcorr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Lodge at Chaa Creek

Address: Macal River, San Ignacio, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Cayo > San Ignacio
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in San Ignacio
#2 Business Hotel in San Ignacio
#3 Spa Hotel in San Ignacio
#3 Romantic Hotel in San Ignacio
Price Range: $492 - $658 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Lodge at Chaa Creek 3.5*
Number of rooms: 28
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our guests say they appreciate Chaa Creek’s eco-friendly blend of pristine nature and a casually luxurious built environment, and enjoy the flexibility and choice we offer in accommodations, amenities, meals, tours and expeditions. Our wide range of accommodations allow guests to select lodgings that range from the rustic charm of the Macal River Camp to the unparalleled luxury of the new Ix Chel Luxury Rainforest Villas, whose stunning views, private Jacuzzis, plunge pools and amenities such as the attention of a personal butler have set new standards for excellence in a pristine natural environment. In addition, our infrastructure and nationwide network of colleagues enable us to offer a range of comprehensive, hassle-free tours and all-inclusive Belize vacation packages that cater to all ages, interests and levels of fitness. For example, our close relationships with premier Belizean reef and island resorts at Ambergris Caye, Placencia and other Caribbean vacation spots allow us ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Lodge At Chaa Creek Hotel San Ignacio
Hotel At Chaa Creek
At Chaa Creek Hotel
Chaa Creek
The Lodge At Chaa Creek Belize/San Ignacio

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