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“Neglectful/rude customer service, overpriced food and spa, beautiful grounds but it's quite far from anything else.”

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Maruba Resort Jungle Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Maskall
Certificate of Excellence
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
78 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Neglectful/rude customer service, overpriced food and spa, beautiful grounds but it's quite far from anything else.”
Reviewed January 24, 2013

I visited Maruba as one of ten people on the second half of an "adventure" package. The grounds are lovely but it's rather far from anything else so once you're there you're there to stay. Lunch was expensive for mediocre food. All four people at my table received cold food almost an hour after we ordered and we would have mentioned it to our server but she was MIA for most of the meal. She, the owner, and the other staff members all treated us as a nuisance and not as customers. No one in our tour group was happy with the visit, but we were stuck there for hours.

Most of the activities listed on the website that are normally offered were not available, and they weren't going to allow us use of the pool until our confused tour guides spoke with the owner. Whatever miscommunication happened between Maruba "resort" and Seaduced Watercraft Adventures should not have been reflected in their treatment towards our small tour group, all of whom were customers of their restaurant and paid quite a bit of money for cold, small meals and neglectful service.

Maruba received a travelers choice award from tripadvisor. Baffling! Now I know not to regard them with much credence.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank ErmMac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merickston, Owner at Maruba Resort Jungle Spa, responded to this review, January 26, 2013
This review addresses several other experiences from Lunch visitors to Maruba and unfortunately did not meet expectations. Maruba is a resort and many activities at the resort listed on the website are for hotel guest only like the pools, mineral baths, and other activities. The waitress enforced the pool use which caused issue and that was the problem as it has been in other reviews. The pools and mineral bath at Maruba are for Hotel Guest.

Generally lunch orders are served within 20 minutes of ordering. Some items can come out quicker if you are hungry but you need to ask what is fast and that you are Hungary. Some items take longer to produce so your tables order may take longer if everyone is served at the same time.

Merickston Nicholson
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Placencia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2013

My daughter and I went for my 60th birthday, we live in Placencia and I own Millers Landing Resort. I have to say this was so worth it, rooms clean comfortable and filled with flowers. We were kind of talked into the mud massage, I told my daughter that we should listen to the owner and it was incredible, the best and she bathed us after in these neat outside tubs. We, also got the aroma therapy massage, and facial, you could get 2 things with lunch as a package, I would of thought that you would just get whatever lunch came with it, but you could order right off the menu. The grounds are beautiful and the music is incredible.
I totally want to go back with husband, Everyone, from owners, managers and all staff are friendly, professional without being intrusive. So many times, masseuses talk too much, but not here. Normally, it is above our budget, but you only live once and I will go again

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank CaptainAnne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Ridge, Virginia
Level Contributor
66 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2013

My wife and I went to Maruba for our anniversary and had an excellent time there! This is a creative, one-off, unique place that lends itself to a really special experience. The hotel is built in the jungle, down a bumpy road, and fairly secluded from all the tourist traffic (although there are plenty of day trips offered that will take you there if that is where you want to go during the day).

The grounds are just beautiful, with tropical plants and a selection of pools and places to lounge around and relax. The food is fantastic and a lot of thought goes into the menu to make it special and reflect some of the local cuisine, as well as the individual tastes of the owners (that represent the US, Austria, Belize and the Caribbean). There is a hookah bar with a television and drums, bicycles available for the guests to use for free, an onsite spa with very cool treatments (like skin scrubs with killer bee honey and "native" mud treatments), AND a comprehensive list of nice day trips to a variety of places.

The staff is nice, the owners are so down to earth and approachable I initially thought they just worked there, and they pretty much help you take care of everything in terms of scheduling day trips to Mayan ruins, the beach, cave tubing, zip-lining, pretty much anything on their list. The rooms are all uniquely decorated and the ones we stayed in were more like bungalows.

Just a wonderful place I would highly recommend...unless you are looking for more a standard beach resort kind of hotel...in which case, just go stay in one. Some of the negative reviews here are almost comical based on my experience.

Room Tip: I would suggest staying in the bungalow type of rooms, rather than in the main hotel building. It i...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank A_Tropical_Snowstorm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
114 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2013

We spent New Year’s & consequently, also our honeymoon at Maruba Resort & it was a nice relaxing way to celebrate lots of new beginnings. Unlike the other reviewer who also enjoyed their honeymoon at this resort, we had no celebratory champagne waiting in our room but we had brought our own wine so it was no big deal. Tons of coconut trees all over & lush hibiscus stationed everywhere the head turns, from your room, bathroom, adorning all kinds of rails & plants outside. It’s even in all the drinks & food…we truly found this to be a jungle paradise. We took advantage of their Mood Mud Massage & let’s just say Kimberly rocks – we were given a great slathering of mud & a gentle rub & the pics were hysterical – be sure to bring your camera. We also indulged in the Sugar Scrub & wow! Maricela scrubbed me within about 1 inch of my life – it was so awesome! My skin has never felt so smooth & soft – I’m telling you, Napa Spas could take note here!

As far as tours, we did Lamanai & Altun Ha – you can climb the pyramids & the history was fun – medicinal plants are pointed out to us all along the way & their uses were extremely interesting. You’ll also want to be sure to take advantage of Cave Tubing & Zip Lining. Zip Lining = fun ride along the canopy; Cave Tubing = gentle floating in mostly shin-deep water. Poor Dellwyn (our tour guide) had to basically walk our inner tubes through the entirety of the “river” since water levels were so low & there was zero current but it was cool to be inside the cave & see the lights from the other tours also taking a tubing experience. Only “tour” that we’d recommend passing on is a ride to Boomba. We specifically asked to go there to get some souvenirs - $45 USD – as you’re in a remote location & at least 1 hr from the nearest town, gifts for loved ones are going to be impossible to find. There were people selling wood carvings in Boomba & while they came recommended, we found the quality & selection to be much, much better at Altun Ha

Rooms were large (we had a Junior Suite) & each had their own A/C unit & while it was not overly hot when we were there, it was nice to come into a nice cool room. Super quiet & we had people in rooms all around us, plus our room was the closest to the parking lot. Bathrooms were incredible & there was a ton of hot water (which we’re not used to when traveling to tropical destinations – so extra bonus!) Our room was mildewy the 1st night – there’s A LOT of humidity – but after reluctantly mentioning something – as we didn’t want to cause any trouble, they proactively lit incense each night as we were at dinner so there was a nice pleasant fragrance each night as we went back to our rooms. Beds were really comfy, pillows were nice & fluffy. And for the entire 6 nights we were there, I think we saw maybe 3 mosquitos in the room – awesome job at keeping bug control at a maximum! No other critters in our room & we were prepared for just about everything – frogs, tarantulas, snakes – anything’s possible when you’re in the “elements” so we counted ourselves extra lucky

Speaking of though, be sure to wear your repellant b/c they’re definitely out there & we each got a handful of bites even w/ protection

Keeping to the animal theme, their cute little Dachshund Maya was the sweetest adorable little lovebug that ever walked! She made sure to come around & give each person lovings so no one would feel left out & she especially appreciated belly rubs & ear scratches. She could have been her own “Adorable Spa” therapy!

Now, onto the food…….portions are HUGE. We never had the need for lunch since breakfast & dinners were so large & it got to the point during dinner that we couldn’t even do their entire 3-course menu. Thanks so much for taking care of our veggie needs & each night the chef would come up w/ a delight but also making sure we knew if we didn’t like the offering, they were willing to make us whatever we wanted (providing they had the ingredients). We enjoyed Eggplant Napoleon, Chana Masala, Black Bean Pesto Pasta & a few varieties of Stir-fried Veggies – all were winners! Desserts were likewise super-delish & we tried the Chocolate Mouse, the Key Lime Pie & the Coconut Tart (which is a secret menu item!) Again, everything was homemade, fresh & just fantastic. Drinks were large & generous & when people tell you to be wary of the Rum Punch, they mean it. That thing is lethal (in a good way) We had 1 every night we were there & 1 was all we could handle

Specifically for New Year’s Eve, they made the resort very festive – there were confetti, streamers, balloons. party hats & horns all over the dining area & they even provided a local band to help ring in the New Year – it was an extra special touch that made for an extra special holiday!

Only recommendation for improvement would be to have a set schedule for your tours. We found ourselves not knowing when certain tours were happening & when we’d ask, we were told something like “Maybe Tomorrow” or at the last minute they’d schedule something & we didn’t know if it would be offered again so felt pressure to take it right then. Of course we got to see & do everything we set out to accomplish but it just would have been nice to know a bit ahead of time what was happening when

Room Tip: Junior Suites are large & comfortable - we had Room #4 & were pleased
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank wanderlust s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013

We had visited this isolated jungle hotel/spa on a day trip from San Pedro 10 years ago and swore we would return. An on-line special just made this possible for my wife and I, and our daughter and grandaughter. I must admit that we probably wouldn't have booked a three-night stay for four at the regular price. Many of the other guests we on coupon specials also - maybe a sign that the resort has lost a little of it's exclusivity as it gracefully ages. After five days/nights of activites in San Pedro, the laid-back nature of Maruba Resort was just right for us. Our suite was comfortable, cool and well appointed. The cottages, pools, dining areas and spa are spread out and connected by beautiful pathways through the natural jungle setting. Every day the pathways, rooms, pools are decorated with fresh Hibiscus blooms, palm fronds and jungle foliage - one aspect of the overal level of care and service we experienced throughout our stay. Our one excursion was an all-day Cave Tube/Zipline/lunch package arranged by the resort. An overnight rainstorm had flooded the cave but the staff made a quick adjustment and got us to a nearby (and excellent) optional location. The resort drivers even went with us on both adventures - great and friendly service. The women in our group all enjoyed several massage sessions, the beautiful and private pools and even a few sessions in the Hooka Hut! The food was just varied enough to provide a nice dining experience. One warning - don't expect fast food service. The liesurely pace is intended. Just relax, you're in Belize after all. Responsible for most of this is one of the best hotel managers you will ever meet - Melanie was efficient, caring and extremely personable. She checked with us several times every day and was always available when we needed help or advice. I want to hire her to work for me!

Room Tip: All rooms are very similar, variation is mostly by size/price.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Gary K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2012 via mobile

We had punched 'included' in our trip to the Mayan Ruins and maruba resort was where it was scheduled. The grounds we beautiful and the pools looked great, but we only had lunch.

It was more than awful. We waited half an hour to get drinks and then another hour to get our food. The waitress was clueless and she only informed one of the people at our table that they didn't have ingredients for her meal ONLY WHEN SHE BROUGHT OUR food.... You couldn't have told us a while before so you could make something else? By that time we were starving and the food wasnt worth the weight. It was horrible. The hotel may be nice but I would not recommend the restaurant!

There isn't much else in the area so I would think twice about your hunting skills if you want to eat while at this hotel.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank activecanadian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockholm, Sweden
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2012

This is probably the worst experience we have EVER had when traveling – and trust me – we have travelled a lot. Today we drove all the way from Palenque in Mexico to Belize (8 hours inc border). A wonderful drive normally – but we rushed to get in time for the supposedly fantastic hotel – Maruba – where we had a booking for two suites at quite a cost. The rooms had been booked and paid for long time ago and we were thrilled about staying there. In early afternoon we attempted to call the hotel to check on the main road to it, as the road apparently is one of the worst in Belize. No reply on any of the numbers – we tried to call at least 10 times throughout the afternoon. But as we already had paid and that Lonely Planet said this to be one of the top attractions as well as premier hotels in Belize we didn’t think too much about it…

Just leaving the main road for Maruba it was getting dark and after driving the extremely bad road to the hotel it was soon pitch black. After an hour on the broken gravel/asphalt road we were sooo happy to finally see the hotel sign and the main gate. This was around 6.30 pm.However, this soon changed into horror when realizing that the main gate was locked with an old padlock and a hatch. We tried to open the gate and look for a doorbell – without success. Unfortunately we could not call again because there was no reception on any of our phones (but tried again later with no response). After a long discussion on what to do – trying not to panic about the fact that it is pitch black and that we are in the middle of the jungle – surrounded by crime and NO other hotels in the near distance… we decided to leave and search for somewhere else to stay. Now that is NOT an easy task in Belize after dark. Three hours later we have finally gotten in to a hotel and want to warn other travelers. We still do not know what have happened – has the hotel shut down or have they taken a holiday?!??! No info by the main gate, on their website or on the various answering machines. DO NOT GO THERE UNLESS YOU HAVE CONFIRMED THE BOOKING BY THEM PERSONALLY! We do not wish this happen to anyone – not even our worst enemy.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank NSS2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Merickston, Owner at Maruba Resort Jungle Spa, responded to this review, December 31, 2012
It was unfortunate they could not get into Maruba after dark. The Resort locks the gate but a simple honk of the horn and a couple of minutes will get you in. We agree you should contact the resort prior to arrival to comfirm your reservation especially when using expedia, hotels.com or some other internet booking engine. We'd confirm you booking, help with tips getting to the resort, planning excursions or that special occassion. The information for the resort listed on tripadvisor is correct and if this visitor would have made an atempt to contact the resort her experence would have been different.

The resorts phones and e-mail work and we respond but when trying to get through from Mexico is another thing.

Just because your confirmation from an online booking system says you do not need to contact resort, one should. It's happened to me.

Merickston Nicholson
Owner
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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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