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“Some great, some not so great, some bad”

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The Lodge at Chaa Creek
Ranked #2 of 33 San Ignacio B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
261 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Some great, some not so great, some bad”
Reviewed November 17, 2008

If you stay here and do any off site activities, be prepared to ride in vans and land cruisers for most of your day. Everything takes a long time to get to because it's all down curvy dirt roads, I can't imagine what it would have been like if we'd done any of these activities from San Pedro.

Darin was waiting for us right outside the airport and drove us to Chaa Creek, he's very friendly and knowledgable, he also drove us across the border to Guatemala to Tikal for our visit there. Tikal was excellent, although a very tiring day, but something not to be missed. The ATM tour also should not be missed and was the highlight of our time in Chaa Creek. The other tour we did was Barton Creek canoeing into a cave, but if I got to do things over again I'd take cave tubing over Barton Creek.

The grounds are beautiful and so are the rooms, the staff is very accomodating.

Some minor things that we can overlook but still can be annoying. The rooms are much closer to each other than I thought they'd be. We'd stayed in places like this before with just screens and no windows so at night you could go to sleep to the sounds of nature, but here the sounds we heard were of a very loud snorer and a woman who was vocal during sex. Geckos live in the thatch roof, and when they poop, the poop must go somewhere, so be prepared to find gecko poop on your sheets and floors, but at least they keep the bugs down. Also be prepared for the meals to not be prepared quite they way we're used to. In some instances it seemed like they tried to overcomplicate some things on the dinner menus. At breakfast after trying and finding out that omlettes and french toast were prepared differently I settled in on the simple two eggs sunny side up, bacon and white toast.

The bad: the bed in our unit (treetop jacuzzi suite) was hard, I felt like I was trying to sleep on the floor, and didn't sleep well our entire stay, the first night we got to San Pedro after this I slept for 12 hours. Our free afternoon we decided to try the jacuzzi. I started running the water and what was coming out was the color of used toilet water. We decided to let the water run for a while to see if the pipe would clear and gave up after half an hour. We brought this to the attention of the concierge when we went down for dinner and another woman from the resort (owner's daughter) jumped in and said it was river water that was mucky because the floods had buried their pumps in the mud, but that it was safe to brush our teeth with. This horrified us as we thought more about it that night. The river is not clean looking, it comes out of Guatemala, we'd seen everyone washing their clothes and selves in the rivers and where the rivers flooded they were flowing through livestock pastures and everything else. So the next day we brought it up again to a different concierge, and he was like no, no our water comes from a well and is filtered, something is wrong with the pipes, the woman didn't know what she was talking about and should have sent maintenance to our room. He comped us some drinks, but it still made us feel very uneasy.

  • Liked — Beautiful grounds, people
  • Disliked — Hard beds, food, iffy water
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Rob S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Indiana
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2008

Chaa Creek Lodge is a 5 star luxury resort located in the jungle. The furnishings are fabulous!!! The owner apparently decided the stuff he could buy was too expensive and not nice enough so he opened his own woodshop on the property and makes most of the decor with a full staff!! Amazing mahagony furniture, countertops (some granite) and more throughout, you cannot help but be impressed at the decor this property has. That on top of the landscape makes this a property you will not be disapointed with. 5 Course meals are served with private dining (no family style here as you will find at many belizean resorts) with just you and those you are traveling with. The food was very good and fancy albiet pricey.

Someone early commented on the excellent cheap massage. I would agree with excellent , although cheap I wouldnt. The massages are $85/hour US. Not overpriced by US standard but we are in the middle of the jungle.

I think you can learn the most in a resort through the problems that you encounter and how they deal with them. While we were there the water level was at a 40-50 year high due to excessive rain. I would not recommend going to belize durign the rainy season as we did. Several bridges and roads were under water from overflowing rivers (not the resorts fault at all). This made getting around very challenging but they still went through great lengths to make as many of our excursions as could be done safely possible.

Despite this they arranged for two tour vans to still take us to Tikal (over the Guatamala border). Apparently rumors were flying around about the guatamala government spontanously (without warnign to belize) changing border crossing policy so that Belize tour bus would not be allowed to cross the border. Between that and heavy rain they still made arrangements for us to go and when the border guards did bring up this issue (first day Chaa creek had this problem) they had already made backup arrangements with a guatamalan tour provider to come and get us. So we hopped on the guatamalan tour van which was very nice and still got to go. A less experienced resort probably would not have the contacts chaa creek does and we may have had to turn around but we still got to go thanks to their patience and planning. By the time you guy this issue may be resolved as apparently guatamala pulls something jerkish like this on a fairly regularl basis. Apparently guatamala has a 250 year old territory dispute in that they claim the own belize which is simply not true that probably relates.

On the way back a few roads had become washed out throughout the day and made getting home difficult. The resort wound up having to strand two tour vans to get us home but we finally made it. They did everything possible to make our stay wonderful!!!

  • Liked — Amazing Rooms
  • Disliked — Weather (Not their fault)
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Capaneus7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale
Level Contributor
39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2008

My family had a 2 week trip planned this December 2008. After much research and thanks to Trip Advisor, we had planned on staying for 10 days at the Lodge at Chaa Creek.

Unfortunately, I was hospitalized this week (October 20th) after being very sick and must have surgery by the end of the November. This has led us to cancel our family vacation scheduled in December to Belize. When we called the Lodge at Chaa Creek, they were unbelievably understanding and agreed to refund the cost of our entire trip without penalty.

I can assure you, once I am completely healed and we can pick another two weeks out of the schedule, we will complete our trip to the Lodge at Chaa Creek -- they have truly earned our loyalty and we will refer others.

The remainder of the trip was scheduled at Pelican Reef Villas in Belize who have refused any refund at all of our deposit.

Stayed October 2008
Helpful?
Thank BZ_NZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
54 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2008

We traveled all over Belize in November 2007. This hotel was our favorite.

We spent one night in a double occupancy cottage.
The owners had apparently recently brought back new furnishings and decorations from BALI -- but it was a beautifully, elegantly appointed cottage w/ outdoor jungle shower. Everything was in perfect/ working condition. The room was reasonably spacious, the bathroom was bigger than average and the outdoor shower was set in a small private garden setting. There's a recessed patio area out front that we shared with the adjacent 'cottage' and there's hammock in the closet that you can relax. I loved the hammock. The restaurant was delicious. I thought that the cocktails could have been a little stronger -- but we enjoyed the healthy and delicious cooking. There is a nice bar adjacent that we just glanced at, but that looks like a nice, polished place to kick back and hang out. There are trails to walk around and canoeing/ kayaking nearby but we did not have time for this. We found some nice coasters in the gift shop.

The cons? They were mowing lawn both days we were there and it was LOUD. Very not relaxing. The BIG disappointment was the Spa. I paid for a full hour of some Mayan technique massage. The lady that I had was nice, but the massage did not feel good - I felt that the technique was lacking and the pressure was inconsistent. But I had no idea what I was in for later. The next morning at Chan Chich lodge, I got up early to go bird watching despite severe neck pain as a result of my massage and I had to let it go because I was unable to move my neck to look around with the binoculars. I have never before sustained such painful muscular injury that persists after a massage. But, this was our favorite place...we LOVED our cottage.

  • Liked — Our cottage
  • Disliked — My massage at the Spa
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Stephanie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
56 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2008

I was a recent guest at Chaa Creek and was amazed by the beauty of the property, accomodations and most importantly the staff! The property definitely rates as one of the best not only in Belize, but in all of Central America!

We were greeted by the front desk and offered 2 beautiful rooms (the one had a romantic outdoor shower) and chose a location that looked out on the river and was extremely private. The decor of the room was stunning and noticed that it was followed throughout the rest of the property (restaurant, bar, business complex - masculine, warm, yet very personal - not overdone). The interior design, decorating was so well done, I ended up taking numerous pictures to assist with ideas for my own home!

As stated, the staff was outstanding! They were very personal, but very professional at the same time! Our food was excellent and loved our meals at dinner. We also had an excellent chardonay from South America - wish I had copied down the label - would love to order a case!

We ended not participating in too many activities - just relaxed and enjoyed each other's comany and the grounds! This was perfect because we had been on the road for a good portion of the trip prior to getting to Chaa Creek. An exciting addition in the next few months will be a pool - again from what I could tell, a lot of thought has been put into the design and location.

I will definitely be visiting Chaa Creek again - an amazing property and most importantly a fabulous experience!!!

  • Liked — Beauty of the Property
  • Disliked — Nothing
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank dld8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cedar Knolls, New Jersey
Level Contributor
106 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2008

We spent four days here before continuing onto Caye Chapel (check out my review for that too!). Chaa Creek is a beautiful little gem in Belize. Accomodations are beautiful, each one is different and unique. Decorations are amazing in the room and through out the resort - lots of natural woods. There is NO air conditioning, so it does get a little hot, even at night, and there is NO pool, but our suite had its own jacuzzi on a private porch, so we filled that with cool water to cool down.

The food is very good. There were always choices that gave you a chance to sample the native fare, but some tried and true "American" classics as well. Beef is grass fed, and a little different texture than us Americans are used to, but it has a good flavor.

There are activities on property and great guides to help/assist you with all of them. We did the early bird walk, a canoe trip, and the butterfly farm. We also arranged two trips. I know some people say you can get guides cheaper than at Chaa Creek, but personally I would advise against this. The guides we had were AMAZING!!! You get picked up and dropped off right at the resort and feel like you are in good hands. How many times are you going to Belize? This is not a time to skimp in my opinion. We took one trip to Jaguar Paw which is a inner tube trip through caves. Very neat!!! We also go a big kick out of the little mostly tame monkey that hung out at the entrance. The other trip that we went on was the ATM trip. This is an all day excursion that treks you through the rain forest for about 1/2 hour and leads you to this cave where there are mayan ruins. The cave is partially in water, so you do a combination of swimming, rock climbing, and hiking to get in. You wear sort of a miner's hardhat with a light because most of it is pitch black. The guide was AMAZING - and full of reverence and appreciation for this Belizian natural wonder. It is not an easy trip, but one worth doing!!!

We found 4 days to be a perfect amount at this resort - we were looking for a little adventure, to be followed by some true R & R. On our last day, we had a guide take us to the local mayan site, Xunantunich, just a short distance away. (We choose to do this instead of the zoo - too hot for to see any animals) Once again, the guide that Chaa Creek provided was friendly, and extremely knowledgeable.

The pick up and drop off at the airport went smoothly. We choose a package that included meals and the tours. We think this is the way to go, you might get it "cheaper" someplace else but at what cost?!! Chaa Creek takes care of it's guests.
All in all - a great resort, just what we were looking for!!!

  • Stayed May 2008
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Lisa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hamilton Ont
Level Contributor
51 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2008

Chaa Creek has a rich history, having started decades ago as a humble place where you could rest your head in return for helping out in the garden. The owners used to canoe their vegetables downriver to San Ignacio to sell them at the market. But today, it's pure rustic elegance and luxury in the jungle.

The thatched roof casitas look like they came from a Travel + Leisure magazine spread, all high beamed ceilings and teak furniture etc. and the restaurant serves a great menu in alfresco splendour and the grounds are gorgeously manicured with forest right behind. There's an onsite butterfly farm and natural history centre, horseback riding stables (the horses are obviously well-cared for and content!), and canoes you can take downriver to San Ignacio (you leave them there and catch a ride back to the lodge after sightseeing and eating. Have lunch at the awesome Hanna's). The business centre is housed in a huge open lodge where people also choose to hang out and chat at night. Outside on its deck, you can catch a wifi signal for no extra charge.

My husband, me and our 6-year-old daughter participated in the night creatures walk, where we saw wolf spiders, tarantulas, colourful centipedes and other creepie crawlies. We also rode through the jungle and passed some Mayan ruins, and visited the Mayan farm, which organically grows much of the produce the restaurant serves.

Our daughter got a blue morpho butterfly chrysalis to keep in our room overnight. In the morning, it hatched! We let its wings dry, then released it outdoors. The lodge maintains the eggs, caterpillars and cocoons at the farm. Some are released in the screened butterfly observatory, others outdoors. You can see the chrysalises hatch every day because they keep several on display in the dining room each day replenishing the stock as they hatch. Kids staying at the lodge get one to keep in their room. The observation cases they come in are beautiful in and of themselves, made from glass and local hardwood stained a dark colour. Sorry if I am going on too much about the cases. They just really wowed me and I am a journalist who specializes in interior design and decorating, so, y'know... BTW, the casistas are also spectacular! Huge bathrooms, private terrace or patio, great decor as I mentioned earlier.

The other cool thing about the lodge is that there are no keys! There is a safe to keep your valuables, but theft is unheard of, so your other stuff is safe. (Well, mostly. Whilst we were swimming in the river, the son of another patron stole my sunglasses from my pile of stuff which I had left on the canoe dock. But that's not the lodge's fault..) The doors have locks so you can feel safe sleeping at night, but when you leave, you just leave them unlocked. That felt pretty cool!

Lucy and Mick Fleming, the proprietors, are very charming and often seen chatting with guests at the bar or dining room. They have a lot to be proud of--this place rocks and we will definitely be back within the next couple years!

  • Liked — Beautiful, beautiful surroundings and lodgings; wonderful staff and activities; for once, hype living up to reality!
  • Disliked — Everything was perfect. Okay, wait, I think I couldn't get onto the internet from one of the two complimentary computers.
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Yuki_8
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

Property: 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:
Ranked #2 of 33 B&Bs / Inns in San Ignacio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Lodge at Chaa Creek 3.5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
For over 30 years Chaa Creek has been providing a comfortable base for exciting inland adventures for thousands of visitors, from explorers, scientists, filmmakers, research groups, students and people of all ages looking for intellectual and physical stimulation in Belize's vibrant rainforest - the heartland of the Maya. We also realise that any rewarding adventure is enhanced by comfortable accommodations and excellent food. Our 23 palm thatched cottage rooms ensure a good night's sleep and delightful mornings accompanied by the sing song of a rainforest waking up, and guests can choose a Complete Garden Suite, an Orchard and Spa Villa, Macal Cottage or Tree Top Suite, all equipped with a Jacuzzi for even extra comfort. As one example, under our Chaa Creek Cares program, 10% of all accommodation revenue goes straight into environmental and social programs, and in supporting Green and community groups. We sleep better, and you will too, knowing that your stay at Chaa Creek has a positive effect on Belize and our very special pristine natural environment. Families share some of life's most cherished moments - and memories - during a Belize family vacation. And to guarantee a family vacation that everyone will enjoy, multi award winning Chaa Creek is the only Belize destination you'll need. Our affordable, all inclusive family friendly adventure holidays are absolutely stress free and bring everyone closer together through sharing a variety of amazing adventures along with quiet moments to reconnect - all in a stunning rainforest setting. Nature and romance bloom year round in the stunning beauty of Belize. Our all-inclusive romantic vacation packages allow lovers of all ages to immerse themselves in nature and each other. An exquisite rainforest filled with colourful tropical birds, canoe trips down the meandering Macal river with the misty Maya mountains in the background, unwinding together in your private Jacuzzi surrounded by a tropical garden, couples massages, candlelit dinners and sharing once-in-a-lifetime experiences create the perfect conditions for love to flower. ... 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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