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Cotton Tree Lodge
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Reviews (286)
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Reviewed January 31, 2014

My husband and I, along with our 8 year old son, stayed at Cotton Tree Lodge for the second time in 3 years. You can be as laid back as you want or as adventurous as you dare. We love it! The employees are great, they are very friendly and are excellent with children. On our first day we went fishing with Alex (we highly recommend him!) and we took several of the fish we caught back to the lodge where the chef prepared them just as we requested and we shared them with the other guests. The lodge had packed a delicious lunch for us to take with us fishing that day, but our son did not eat very much. Alex noticed that and called the lodge and mentioned Nicholas may like something different, so after that when we had a picnic lunch, they made sure something was included that a kid would enjoy. While at Cotton Tree we went river tubing, explored Mayan ruins, learned to make tortillas from grains of corn, saw the chocolate making process, kayaked on the river, did an early morning bird watch, and fished two more days with Alex. We highly recommend staying in one of the cabanas, you have your own "deck" with hammocks and it's like having your own small home in the jungle. Yes, there are a few bugs and the sheets are a bit damp from humidity, but it's okay, if we wanted to stay in a hotel in the city, we wouldn't come here! They have a new apartment type set up, which would be okay if there was a large group of people, but we would definitely recommend staying in a cabana. As far as the food, the breakfast is a small buffet but they will cook eggs to order and they have delicious hot chocolate made from the chocolate bars they produce locally. All the food is grown at the lodge so it's fresh and the fruit is picked straight from the trees on-site. We thought every meal was very tasty. The bartender prepared awesome drinks and even made fresh limeade for our son each evening. Our favorite things were: the fishing, waking up to the sound of howler monkeys, visiting Mayan ruins, eating freshly made chocolate, and interacting with the staff members. They make you feel like you are part of their family. The owner is very friendly too and enjoys visiting with the guests. Our son says Cotton Tree Lodge is "awesome" and we completely agree. We're looking forward to another visit in a few years.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Sue L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2014

Before you consider going here, consider a few things. You will be in the middle of the jungle. It rains. There are bugs. Sometimes erratic electric & the hot water in your cabana may be quirky. Not the Ritz. But so much better than we ever expected!

Go with the all inclusive plan. (There are no other restaurants for miles & miles.) In addition, you'll be able to go on many, many day trips at no additional cost. All of which are awesome! (We did 6 in 7 days here.)

Hotel staff people are exceptional, both Anglos & Mayans. Sean the Chef is brilliant. His four course dinner menus were out of sight. Valerie, the Manager, keeps everything running smoothly & has a great smile.

The things we saw; the places we were taken on day trips...totally amazing.

We are not kids. But this in fact was the best destination trip we've ever taken.

Room Tip: Book a riverfront cabana. We had one. The best! It was beyond our expectations. (But remember, you are in the heart of the jungle...adjust your expectations. But it's crazy good!)
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank Abernathy15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2014

Cotton Tree is in an incredible location to get out and explore the lands of southern Belize and meet the people that live, work, and play there. And the lodge was a wonderful place to relax, enjoy friends and family, and eat local foods. I stayed for 6 nights at the end of October 2013 and very much appreciated the opportunities for adventure, relaxation, and learning that Cotton Tree made possible. I got to swim with a headlamp in Blue Creek Cave, discover local foods (bananas right off the tree and freshly made chocolate!) and agricultural techniques at Eladio's farm, and kick back with my book in a hammock under the shade of a beautiful wood cabana. The Cotton Tree guides were knowledgable and the staff were eager to make my stay comfortable and fun. A great place to get off the beaten path!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank AaronMN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2014

I truly enjoyed my stay at Cotton Tree. It wasn't at all what I expected -- it was much better. I was there for a weekend in late Dec. As a solo traveler, I figured I'd have a lot of time to myself to just chill. That couldn't have been further from the case -- but in a good way. I absolutely could have spent my days sitting in the hammock on the cabana porch relaxing -- but instead, I toured Eladio Pop's cacao farm, went kayaking, enjoyed getting to know the other guests, went on a night hike, swam in the Moho river, had a fantastic massage and went horseback riding. The staff was friendly and helpful -- and always interested in making sure you were enjoying your stay.

The food was not only fantastic, but the chef also went out of his way to accommodate my many strange food allergies. Everyone raved about the quality of the food while I was there. The meals were served buffet style, and there were always a good mix of items to choose from so if you didn't like something you had other option. The soups, in particular, were out of this world! The communal nature of dining provided opportunities to get to know other guests -- which was fantastic (I ended up running into some of those guests later in my travels!).

The room was spacious and clean -- the bed very comfortable. Be prepared, the howler monkeys may keep you up at night -- but that's all part of the experience.

The tours were well organized and a lot of fun. The staff leading the tours are knowledgeable and engaging. You will learn a lot! If you are going somewhere muddy (it's a jungle, there's a lot of mud) they will provide boots for you to wear. And for the night hike they have headlamps. They really think of everything!

Some of the other reviews have pointed out that the Lodge is a bit of a hike down a dirt road. This is true -- I think it was about 20-25 minutes by van to the main road, and about 45 minutes total to get to Punta Gorda. Once you are at Cotton Tree, be prepared to stay (with the exception of your tours, of course) -- but this shouldn't be a problem -- there is plenty to do and see at Cotton Tree!

Definitely check it out -- and while you are there, don't forget to try the Cotton Tree Chocolate that they sell at reception. Delicious!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Meghan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2014

This place is incredible and uber green. I love it that they grow all of their food and its fully sustainable. Most of the cabanas have an amazing views of the river, but the staff is the best feature of all.
Shawn, the chef is my favorite. He is personable and caters to all the guests needs, plus his food is gorgeous and delicious.
Armando, the gardener, took us on a jungle survival tour and taught us all we need to know about feeding ourselves in the jungle. He also let us pick all of our vegetables for dinner.
The tours were great, there was always something fun to do and I would HIGHLY recommend the place. 10 stars!!!

Room Tip: We had Cabana 1, 2 levels!
  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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Thank erin h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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