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“Great Tropical Resort in Belize Paradise”

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Maruba Resort Jungle Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Maskall
Certificate of Excellence
Northridge, CA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great Tropical Resort in Belize Paradise”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 11, 2012

The Maruba Resort is amazing. The owners Nicky and Melanie are absolutely fantastic. The resort is beautiful, the rooms are jungle chic and clean, the spa treatments heavenly; the food very good, and everyone is so helpful and nice. I wish they had some activities in the evening as there is not much to do at night. Great for honeymooners, although I was a mother-daughter duo enjoying some special family time. Note you have to eat at the resort as there is nothing else in the vicinity. The tour options were great and the guides were outstanding. The resort is really quite secluded so bring your lap top, your kindle or books and lots of magazines!!! Definitely recommend for honeymooners and anyone up for an adventure at a lovely resort. Would love to have had some exercise classes or something like that in the morning or late afternoon.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Northridge09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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293 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (66)
Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
61 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 5, 2012

Arrived with sore muscle, unable to lift right arm. All better now!! Wonderful Spa staff and Tour guide, David.

Room Tip: Check for signs of insects/bugs. ie: Spiders, Ants, Mosquitos etc... Smaller rooms cool better than...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank debrabird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2012

Let me start by saying that my sister and I are very much city girls and always stay in luxury accommodations and have never done the out doors, camping, or any thing like that before mostly because we do not appreciate bugs and Geico or anything that crawls. However when you book a resort that it clearly states the word "Jungle" in their name, you better be prepared to experience everything that comes with it. Also let me mention that I am a vegetarian and packed a lot of snacks with me because I was not expecting to have many options as far as food goes. So here we go:
We arrived at the airport and was picked up by Nikki, and had a nice informative ride to the resort, where we met the warm, friendly, always smiling and wonderful Melanie and shortly after we met their dog MAYA (whom made this stay 100 times better for us). We were offered some nice rum punch and were given a tour of the premises. Our room was clean and nicely decorated with fresh flowers (Melanie advised us to eat them since they are edible and last for only a day, and I assure you we did eat lots of them.). This resort is huge and you feel like you have the whole place to yourself (none of that crowded large resorts that everyone is in your face). We spend many hours by the pool and enjoyed the quieter side of things. We did some horseback riding and cave tubing (Highly recommend it), but other than that we just soaked up the sun. breakfast was ok based on North American standards, but considering you are in Central America and not the NORTH one I would say breakfast was better than good. Dinners were excellent and as you may recall I said I am vegetarian and they made sure I had options available (which means a lot in my book, and I actually did not have to use any of the food I had packed with me). We found the food delicious and very home made, but as the others have mentioned the service was a little slow. Once again taking into consideration that you are in Belize and on vacation so what if your food takes a while to get to you, what is the rush anyways??? I found the whole country to be chilled and relaxed about time and delays and etc.
Overall Maruba Resorts is one of a kind experience you just have to go with an relax and open mind and keep in mind there are bugs and Geicos and weird stuff which you would not experience anywhere else but in a jungle resort and yes there is a guy with knives and guns that walks the resort at night ( We thought it was actually pretty cool).
One last thing, since we all love snacking so much ;) I agree with others in terms of taking your favorite snacks with you because you would not have access to any stores while staying in Maruba Resorts.

Room Tip: Our room was #3 and it was a good one as far as location goes. Good size for two adults, but if ther...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank OlilR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
75 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2012

Tucked in the middle of the northern Belize rain forest near Maskall Village, the Maruba Resort Jungle Spa is a wonderful combination of sophistication, relaxation and family atmosphere. If you want to enjoy a peaceful environment, have great food and drink and a wonderful spa experience, this is the place for you. If you are looking for exciting nightlife and an activity packed vacation, go to Cancun.

At Maruba, you will be greeted every morning by “Nikki” and Melanie Nicholson, the owners, Sterling and Merickston, their sons and Maya their miniature dachshund. Mention a desire or voice a concern, it will be addressed before the day is over.

The rooms are neat and clean and are exactly as they are portrayed on the Trip Advisor website. The spa, hosted by Elizabeth and Marlanie, will exceed your expectations. Couples are welcome and encouraged to have their treatments together.

Want to venture out? Take a boat ride up the Belize River to the Lamanai archaeological site…Visit the ruins at Altun Ha…Dive at Caye Caulker…Visit the howler monkey sanctuary at Bermudian Landing …Spend the day in Belize City or Ambergris Caye. Just ask.

We went to Maruba wanting to chill out from our stressful jobs, get lots of sleep, and be pampered. We were not disappointed. Try it for a long weekend or a full week. You won’t be disappointed either.

Room Tip: If you want a colder cottage, choose a smaller one. Some of the larger spaces are slightly under-ai...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Noodlebrain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edgewater,FL
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2012

My husband Jon and I just returned yesterday from a 5 night stay at Maruba Resort. Upon arrival at the airport we were quickly greeted and our bags taken on the van by Nicky (which I found was the owner of the resort). There was another group that landed a bit earlier than us and they were eating lunch at the airport (A fun family from Texas!!), we waited about 15 or 20 minutes for them to finish. Upon arrival our bags were taken directly to the rooms as we had welcome Rum Punch and completed the check in process. Melanie was wonderfully warm and receptive providing a great first impression.

We had Room #7, a standard less expensive room. Was hoping for an upgrade as it was our 20th anniversary (a perk but I paid for a std room). Hibiscus peppered through the whole room. Exotic.... The decor was interesting, pleasantly surprised. The bed was VERY comfortable. Showers...hmm recommend an evening shower as the hot water was not hot in the morning. Not a big deal to switch to evening showers- need to get the bug spray off anyway. Power went out one night for a bit but a generator was used at that time.

The food- Build in time, delivery was slow, late leaving for the tours waiting on breakfast. Breakfast was delish! There were chef specials regularly. Specials were Water Buffalo, Curried Goat and many local vegetables. It was expensive for the quality but being off the beaten path I guess that adds to the price. Felt that there was an opportunity to improve the food especially after watching the DVD seeing Nicky as the Chef at some point in the past. Some attention to orders and choreography of delivery could be improved. Appetizer before the main course etc... Purified water in the rooms. Desserts could use some work. The Coconut Pie was the recommendation from Trip Advisor finally got that the last day. Yum!

The resort and grounds were ecclectic in design. Some areas looked in need of some updating. I loved the Hookah lounge. We spent an afternoon there lounging on the sofa's reading with Incense burning. We brough some supplies to give to the School there. Melanie arranged to have Nicky take us there to bring the items and meet the faculty and students (one of which was there little boy..a sweetheart). Our trips were all arranged through Maruba. David quickly became our new best friend. His passion and knowledge were exemplary!! Cave Tubing I felt David's leadership was perfection. We had two people in the group that were not strong swimmers (or couldn’t swim) and he was nurturing and provided them with what they said was a great experience. We loved the tubing adventure!!!!! The tour to Lamanai was the same. David was the star -besides the ruins themselves.

The medicinal tour was a walk in the woods. I would pass on that "tour". The guide forgot a machete and seemed concerned. Not sure what that meant. Although he did take us to see the newly born foal. Three or four days old. Oh so cute!

The SPA...mood mud was an experience I will not soon forget. Elizabeth would run circles around the girls in the States. Great talent and personal respect. The massages and pedicures were great!

I was taken back when I saw the massage therapists were actually also the maids and servers at the resort. Additionally there was no way to include a tip for them in the service bill. That should be an option. They are a large part of the vibe at the Maruba. Strange to see the person that just provided your mud massage or pedi to clean your room.
The guards with weapons in the evenings did concern me at first but being in the jungle I suppose the pesky animals and possible Jaguar encounters needed to be addressed.
Maya was the sweetest little puppy! I will remember her sitting at my feet and off on her hunting missions. Loved seeing the dogs there.
Overall the staff was very good, professional, and attentive -like 2 to 1 service -even with a couple in training. I never felt "un-pampered" for one minute!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank luckofbolton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2012

My wife and I just came home from a four night stay at the Maruba Resort and Spa. The experience had both it's positive and negative points.

On the positive, Melanie, our hostess was a wonderful resource for us before we ever even arrived. She pointed us to Caye Caulker (fantastic!) when we asked for other Belizean destinations and made us feel comfortable with our arrangements even though we made some changes on the fly. The staff as a whole was always helpful and welcoming.

The spa treatments were fantastic and definitely constituted a once in a lifetime experience for us. The mood mud massage should be a right of passage for anyone staying at Maruba.

The excursion to Lamanai Mayan ruins was led by a very informative and personable gentleman named David. The trip was full of photo opportunities and exposure to local wildlife - monkeys, crocs, birds etc...no complaints there.

Difficulties for us arose primarily around the food. Maruba is a remote resort with no alternatives to what is provided by the resort itself. We would HIGHLY recommend coming with a stock of snack foods for your consumption during your visit. Chips, bars, crackers...nothing of the sort is available once you arrive.

The menu itself is fairly limited, and considering lack of alternatives, expensive. Had the food been included in the price, we would have been much more understanding, but since it is all a la carte, we found the food underwhelming.

Our accommodations were very unique and spacious, but do be prepared for the bugs, both indoors and out. Upon arrival, the bottle mosaic at the head of our bed was covered with cobwebs. Some would say bugs are just part of the experience at a jungle resort, but the holes in our walls leading directly to the outdoors and the cobwebs were disconcerting nonetheless.

Additionally, a chandelier ripped out of the ceiling in the middle of the night at the foot of our bed. We did not request any kind of compensation for the disturbance, but we were disappointed that no compensation was offered by our hosts - no complimentary spa treatment, not even a free drink. In fact once we told our hosts about the incident, no mention was made of it again. The chandelier was rehung using a spare piece of wood, and no further action was taken.

While the appearance of the accommodations is initially very appealing, it is issues like the holes in the wall, cleanliness and the crashing chandelier that made us a little uneasy about the experience.

Finally, in all our research about Maruba, we did not find any mention of the gentlemen who patrol the premises at night with rifles "hunting possums". While I appreciate the added security, I was disconcerted by one of these gentlemen, gun in hand, coming to our suite one morning to provide us with a wake-up call.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Rockawayvoyager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2012

My husband, Jeff, and I stayed for a few nights at Maruba in early February 2012. We stayed in Room #7, which is a smaller (less expensive) room. The bed was comfortable, and the bathroom wasn't enormous, but it was not small either. My husband and I really dug the ecclectic decor throughout the resort. The propery is very cool, and while it is not in the dense rainforst like one might picture when they see "Jungle Spa", the grounds are still heavily treed and landscaped. The attention to detail throughout was impressive, up to and including the fresh red hibiscus flowers spread throughout the grounds and rooms on a daily basis. The staff was fantastic! The food, while pricey, is fantastic, locally sourced fare. Keep in mind that part of the price is related to the fact that this resort is not in a highly populated area with supermarkets readily available. The Melanie and Nicky, the owners, were fantastic, and Nicky's mother Annie is a real treat to get to know. I forget the name of the waitress that served us every night in the restaurant, but she was a real sweatheart. When I asked her about sampling some of the Belizean liquors, she brought us a sampler of three different rums and some Nance, or "jaguar juice". You owe it to yourself to try these drinks. Needless to say, a few bottles were purchased later and brought back with us to the States.

Be sure to book some tours. While the tours have a higher price than what you might pay for a cruise ship excursion, you defintely get what you pay for. The guide, David, is phenominal! Definitely take the time to get to know him and ask about life in Belize. He is quite the interesting gentleman and really knows about the tour sites he takes you to. We went to Lamanai (I highly recommend!) and also went cave tubing (again, highly recommend!). On the Lamanai tour, it was just us, one other couple staying at Maruba, David, and Dionisio (or "Junior") the boat captain. It was just David, Jeff, and I on the cave tubing trip. On both tours, we saw the massive herds of folks on cruise ship type tours, and they were quickly being herded along with little opportunity to check things out or ask questions of their guides.

All around, we highly recommend Maruba! I would not recommend Maruba for those wanting traditional decore, bland American-style food, and a culturally sterile atmosphere. Maruba is anything but! My husband and I will definitely be back!

Room Tip: Some rooms have external stairs that you must use for access, so if you have issues with a flight of...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank HHZistler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Maruba Resort Jungle Spa

Property: Maruba Resort Jungle Spa
Address: 40 1/2 Mile Old Northern Highway | 30 Miles North of Belize International Airport (BZE), Maskall, Belize
Location: Belize > Belize District > Maskall
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Maskall
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Maruba Resort Jungle Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Prepare yourself for the ultimate experience in adventure & relaxation at Maruba Resort Jungle Spa, Belize. A short two-hour flight from Houston or Miami transports you to a place where you can fully immerse yourself in nature and truly relax. Maruba offers a great vacation escape in casual elegance.Voted the Best Boutique Spa by Spa Finder Readers’ Choice Award, and One of the Top 10 Spas in the Caribbean & Central Americas by Maco Destination Caribbean & Central America Magazine, the resort’s neo-primitive style with a touch of jungle urban flair makes it an eclectic and hip place to stay while indulging in everything a modern spa has to offer. Its restaurant boasts a nouveau jungle cuisine, best described as a fusion of “east of Paris meets the Caribbean”. Your room will be one-of-a-kind and features rich hues and textures, vaulted hardwood ceilings, mosaic tile floors, exotic fabric and beautiful carving made by local artisians. Signature bungalows offer 900 square feet of private space with an indoor lounge room, indulgent hot tubs, and incredible jungle views.Maruba is one of the first spas in Central America and offers a variety of exotic treatments which revitalize, detoxify, and reestablish the skin’s natural pH balance while leaving your skin feeling silky smooth. A must-try treatment is Maruba’s Mood Mud Massage – take your camera along for pictures! For those seeking adventure, several day tours available, such as exploring Maya Ruins, the rainforest and caves ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Maruba Resort Jungle Hotel Maskall
Maruba Hotel Jungle
Maruba Resort Jungle Spa Belize/Maskall

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