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“POSITIVELY and UNEQUIVOCALLY DIVINE”
Review of Belcampo Lodge

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Belcampo Lodge
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Punta Gorda
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 3, 2010

My mother's, sister's, and my stay at Machaca over Thanksgiving was one of the most enjoyable and unforgettable experiences of our lives. I found out about the property by way of Outside magazine's write-up in the march '08 issue (http://outside.away.com/outside/destinations/200803/best-eco-getaways-belize.html), and while it earned a top-notch review, seeing the place in person beyond exceeded my expectations. Brian and Jane are the consummate hosts, attentive and responsive to your needs, they even worked with the chef to create a special sampling buffet for the three of us when we mentioned we didn't need a three-course meal every night. The excursions--amazon boat rides, kayaking, hiking trails, bird-watching, Mayan ruins, jumping off waterfalls, chocolate-making, market-going...to name the ones that we opted for--were absolutely incredible. A lot of them were included in the price of the stay, and the ones that weren't were well worth the cost and were even served with a picnic lunch (er, banquet) that put all picnics I'd ever experienced to serious shame. Wilfred was THE MOST KNOWLEDGEABLE, ENTERTAINING, AND SWEETEST GUIDE EVER and my mom, WHO KNOWS GOOD SPA TREATMENTS, said the aromatherapy massages she got every night with Bertha were the BEST she's ever received. The spa, which overlooks the lush canopy and I was amazed to learn was designed by Brian, is absolutely breathtaking with its beautiful tiered hand-carved wood fountain. Other highlights: guaranteed wildlife sightings like toucans and monkeys, a glorious infinity pool and sun deck, Molton Brown toiletries, impromptu magic shows by a waiter named "Wiz," and Jane and Brian's darling little girls who added so much sunshine to our 5-day stay.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with family
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Thank NewYorkCitywayfarer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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249 - 255 of 259 reviews

Reviewed December 29, 2009

Brian, Jane and their family were wonderful hosts. It is like we've known them as close friends that have welcomed us into their home.

The facility, service and hospitality was unbelievable. Here are a few of the highlights:
-The early morning tea and coffee service directly brought to your room
-The incredible spa that overlooks the rainforest
-High tea and meals that are custom prepared from food organically grown on the 11,000 acre property by a incredible international chef. (He even made our daughter fresh soymilk due to her milk allergy.)
-Tour of a family chocolate making business where you make chocolate from scratch by grinding Cacao beans on a Mayan stone mortar
-Hillside vernicular spanning the lodge to a riverside dock and bar where you can do birdwatching and animal watching hikes or kayaking down the river
-Incredibly modern cabin on stilts on the hillsides adjacent to the treetops in the rainforest (dual head rainshower riverstone bath, high speed wi-fi internet, open air
sitting balcony overlooking the rainforest)
-Free laundry service
-Drinking water was produced from a reverse osmosis filter where you can fill up a your free SIG bottle given at the beginning of your stay

The staff was very attentive and friendly.

This is not a typical pre-packaged vacation. We had an incredible time and will definitely come back.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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Thank jchakra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2009

There were nine in our extended family - from ages 84 to 13. Each one of us was delighted by the property. The property was recently refurbished and updated and we felt instantly at home and well cared for by the management and the staff. The rooms (there are not many which lends to a sense of privacy) were spacious, comfortable and the bathrooms impeccible. Although some small details are still being ironed out (clothes lines to hang drying attire after cave swimming or mayan ruin hiking). Each one of us was captivated by the highly attentive staff, the local flora and fauna, the on site activities (kayaking, bike riding, field walking) and the surrounding vistas. Special on site cultural events made our holidays even more festive. The kitchen excelled in using the properties organic garden and the homemade breads were gobbled up at every meal.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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Thank ivypivy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 13, 2009

I loved the cottages, the food, the helpful staff, the pool, the views of the jungle. Centrally located to go on many adventures. Wouldn't be complete without the Howler Monkey waking us up in the morning. Amazing!

Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
1  Thank ladybugAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2009

First a preface; the name of this completely refurbished slice of heaven in Belize is now Machaca Hill Rainforest Canopy Lodge. My wife and I have traveled to an exotic destination at least once per year for most of the past twenty years. We choose no stars to five stars depending on where we are and what we feel we want to experience.

That said, here is my review: The new owner and staff of this amazing place have done an extraordinary job of blending unspoiled nature, fresh foods, flawless service and luxurious very private rooms (seemingly perched in the top of old growth rainforest). The General Manager and his wife have specialized in high-end African safari management for many years. In this part of Belize that experience transfers very well. They have brought their executive chef with them from Botswana and he and his staff serve three meals plus high tea and pre-dinner appetizers that were consistently outstanding.
Upon arrival at the Punta Gorda airstrip we were met by one of the guides from Machaca Hill for a ride up the Rio Grande River to the lodge. From arrival to departure we had a professional certified guide with us any time we wanted one. We chose to spend three days on organized expeditions. The guides all know more than any guide I have ever hired. They know Central American history very well and their knowledge of the animals, birds and plants was remarkable.
The new owner is committed to keeping the rainforest unspoiled and his and the GM’s plan for other small eco-friendly resorts in southern Belize is refreshing and commendable. This was an experience of a lifetime.

  • Stayed: February 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank NewMexicoBenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2008

My wife and I were looking for a honeymoon spot that wasn't super touristy, had 5 star service, and had an environmental bent. Machaca Hill is on the edge of a 30,000 acres nature preserve, and is basically tucked into the canopy of the rainforest. Having said that, we could make it into Punta Gorda in 10 minutes by van. During our stay, we were given a tour of the facility, where the manager pointed out some of the steps they were taking to be more environmentally friendly, including having an operating organic farm onsite, and using compact fluorescent bulbs.

We traveled during the rainy season, and while a hurricane was battering the coast a few hundred miles south of us, the weather was spectacular at Machaca Hill. It rained about two hours a day, in the early morning, and the rest of each day was sunny and perfect.

The staff was spectacular. We were one of only two couples that week, and we were treated like honored family. The staff doted on us, and gave us everything we needed. Because we were vegetarian, the chef made us unique dinners every night, each of which was spectacular. Since it was our honeymoon, I had asked for a couple of special things, including champagne and fruit basket in the room upon arrival, and dinner in our room one evening. Not only did the staff meet all my requests, but they took it upon themselves to make it even better than I had requested. When we came in for our in room dinner, there were fresh flowers on a white cloth draped table that they had hauled up the stairs to our bungalow, and tropical flower petals strewn about the room. Instead of just bringing dinner up to us, they gave us a full dinner service, with our own personal waiter.

We filled the week with scuba diving, touring mayan ruins, visiting the rainforest, and relaxing. Machaca Hill is not the place to go if you want an all inclusive, tourist style, resort. It is the place to go if you want a small, cozy atmosphere that still has all the amenities. Our honeymoon could not have been more perfect.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank gibbon22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2008

very comfortable cabanas, excellent service, lovely people, but the dinner menu never changed while we were there and some of the food eg the steak was inedible and I got fed up with fish smothered in tomato sauce with black olives . Incredible birds, toucans vermilion flycatchers bat falcons etc and booming howler monkeys at dawn made this a fabulous place to stay. If only they could make the food edible it would be paradise

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled with friends
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3  Thank famousfisherman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Machaca_Hill_Lodge, Manager at Belcampo Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 20, 2009

Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We took your comments about our food to heart and we've made some rather big changes to our restaurant. At the end of last year we brought in a new international chef with an impressive background in the luxury market. He oversees all aspects of our food and beverage department. Our menu selection, service, quality and quanitity have all been met with rave reviews. We would love to have you back to sample our new food service.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Belcampo Lodge

Address: Wilson Road, Punta Gorda, Belize (Formerly Machaca Hill Rainforest Canopy Lodge)
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Toledo District > Punta Gorda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Punta Gorda
Price Range: $322 - $744 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Belcampo Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Agritourism-chic in Punta Gorda: a Jungle Lodge, organic farm and a 12,000-acre nature reserve. Set in the verdant hills above the Caribbean coast of southern Belize in the town of Punta Gorda. From our dock you can embark on our tranquil cruises on the jungle reaches of the Rio Grande, or our guided snorkeling and fishing adventures on the Caribbean Sea. Nim Li Punit and many other attractions are located nearby. At the heart of Belcampo Belize is the Main Lodge with our Jungle Farm Restaurant, the Rum Bar, the Jungle Spa, lounge areas, a swimming pool, and observation decks that open to stunning vistas of the coast, the Maya Mountains and a seemingly endless pristine rainforest. Our 16 individual, spacious suites are well appointed with plush beds, screened fresh-air verandas, and spa-style bathrooms with floor to ceiling tropical rainforest views. Belcampo Belize has 16 private suites offering the best in luxury and comfort. A testament to Belize's natural beauty and craftsmanship, nearly every detail, from the woodwork to the tiles to the artwork, is sourced from local artisans. If you're relaxing on one of the canopy beds or lounging on your own private veranda, you will experience the magic of the jungle within the comfort of your room. Enjoy a drink in our Rum Room with ingredients sourced from our own Cocktail Garden. Meals (including complimentary breakfast daily) are served in our Jungle Farm restaurant. We produce on-site more than 70% of the food we serve to Lodge guests. With extensive gardens, tropical fruit trees, and livestock, our day-to-day food production is a hive of activity year round. Optional tours available are: •Snorkeling •Scuba diving •Fly fishing •Birding •Cultural tours ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Belcampo Hotel Punta Gorda
Belcampo Lodge Belize/Punta Gorda

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