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“Secluded Paradise”
Review of Hidden Valley Inn

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Hidden Valley Inn
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed August 27, 2012

My wife and I just got back from our Honeymoon stay at Hidden Valley and we had the most amazing time.

First and foremost, the level of service was unmatched. Every member of the staff was friendly and helpful. Everyone knew our names on day one and it made us feel right at home. Misael was an excellent host, both before we arrived (over email) and once we were checked in. He checked on us a few times each day to make sure we were having a great time. We were taken from and to the airport by one of Hidden Valleys guides, Oscar. While we didn't get the chance to have him lead us on one of the many adventures offered, he was great company for the 2 hour drive from/to the airport. He even showed us around and took us shopping in San Ignacio before our departing flight. When we toured the Mayan ruins @ Caracol we had Rick as a guide and again we had a great time! (Are you noticing a pattern?) Rick was very friendly and informative, it was neat to talk to him about the significance of the ruins to his country and culture (he's part Maya). Back at the resort we were greeted at each meal by Ophelia, Ella, or Adma; always with a smile. It became an important part of our day to catch up with them and we were soon sharing stories about our families and personal histories. Alex and Tito at the bar know how to pour a mean drink, and were both very nice to talk to as well. Alex the cook came out on a number of occasions to introduce himself and make sure we were satisfied with the meals. We were very pleased with both his preparation and the food quality. It took the whole week for us to get through trying everything on the menu. Throughout the week we also met the management staff (Raoul, Amon) who were eager to hear how we were getting along and wanted to know what could be done to make our stay more enjoyable (suffice to say there was little to change). Finally, the housekeeping staff were like ninjas, quickly tidying our rooms while we were at lunch or on a hike. It was surprising at first, but we came to expect that the bed would be newly made while we were at breakfast (not always, but this was often the case).

Back to the resort itself, lets be clear, this place is secluded! To get back to San Ignacio is a +45min ride over a VERY bumpy road. We're told this road will be paved over the next few years, which can't come soon enough. The roads around the resort are much better however. This place is a hikers paradise. My wife and I aren't much for hiking, so we explored probably %5 of what's possible, but it was clear to us what a special place this is. The resort lies at the top of a mountain/hill, at approx 2000 ft above sea level. This means all your hikes begin by heading down (and end heading up). If you do not wish to hike all the way to each waterfall (they have MANY, all very beautiful), then the staff can drive you wherever you'd like for a small fee. Mind you, after being dropped off there is often a +30min hike ahead of you to get to the falls. We found this combination perfect, especially because a swim is so refreshing after a decent hike.

We spent one whole day at our own private waterfall with a champagne lunch. This was one of the highlights of the whole trip. While my wife relaxed in the hammock, I swam around the base of the waterfall. It was perfect.

The resort grounds were beautiful and well maintained. There's a modest swimming pool and hot tub. There are a few yoga platforms located around the property and my wife convinced me to try a few morning yoga sessions with the visiting yoga instructor. It was a fun thing to do as a couple. I wasn't much bothered by bugs, but they seemed to find my wife to be especially attractive. By midweek her back had a few dozen bright red bites. These were from "no-see-ums" which you're likely familiar with. They can itch like mosquito bites, but you don't have to worry about malaria. Some of them can fit through the window screens in the cottages so we did have an issue one night when the room filled with them. Like I said, they weren't really an issue with me (we both used 98% DEET spray) so it seems to be different for each person.

In summary, the scenery was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the service was exceptional. We're very thankful for the memories we now have!

Room Tip: Only 12 rooms, they're all good!
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jon_and_Becki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHVI, General Manager at Hidden Valley Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2012

Dear Jon_and_Becki

Thank you for the detailed and beautiful review of Hidden Valley Inn, we are proud of our staff and know without them we will never have this “Secluded Paradise”.

Our “People” are important to the operation and we strive to ensure all Guests are treated like royalty.
We hope in the near future the road will be paved and it will reduce the stress of travelling up the mountain.
As for the bugs ("no-see-ums"); we are in the wilderness and this is their home, we can only do what is necessary, whilst trying to maintain this fragile eco-system.

Thank you once again and hope we will see back at Hidden valley Inn in the near future.

Kind Regards

Amon Johnson

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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218 - 224 of 385 reviews

Reviewed August 19, 2012

Hidden Valley Inn was located in the Pine Ridge Mountains, and was the least favorite part of our travels in Belize. As soon as we arrived at Hidden Valley it felt more awkward than the other resorts we stayed at. Things were more confusing then they should have been. Such as: maps of the property, getting questions answered, and the menu for meals. We found the front desk/concierge unhelpful when we would go ask questions. We realized we had to very direct, otherwise we were given ambiguous responses.

The highlight: We rented the private waterfall for a day. We did not know what to expect, but they did a great job of setting up a romantic meal with champagne. The food was delicious.
The food throughout our stay was also great, though they did have a very confusing menu with odd options.
The assistant manager provided us with a free guide for half a day when he heard we were unhappy with our experience. He was the most professional and helpful individual we dealt with.

The low:
The staff's awkwardness, the confusion, and the quality of the rooms. Our room constantly smelled like mold, no matter how many windows and fans we turned on.

Overall, we felt that this Inn had little to do. Yes, you can go to waterfalls and hike the property. The map does not tell you how spread out the property actually is and we normally had to ask (and pay for) rides to or from the hike locations. How to ask for rides is my using walkie talkies, which are fuzzy and you don't actually know if someone is coming to pick you up.

You can also leave the property to go on day trip excursions. However, we had already done this in our earlier travels so we felt that the resort had little to offer. Also, due to the fact that the front desk was not helpful, we were unable to put together itineraries for the day that were full and exciting. If you do take day excursions from Hidden Valley, be prepared for long travel days, as it is down a long unpaved road.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Lizzy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHVI, General Manager at Hidden Valley Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2012

Dear Lizzy H
We are sad to hear that you did not have a pleasant stay in the Mountain Pine Ridge, Belize.
Hidden Valley Inn is located in this remote wilderness and our roads are not paved so travelling is long and can be hard on visitors.

We appreciate your review of our services and facilities. Without positive feedback such as yours, we will never develop and improve our product.

We regret that you did not enjoy your stay in the Mountain Pine Ridge and Hidden Valley Inn; we will endeavour to amend all the issues you have raised to ensure that future visitors/guests like yourselves will not have the same experience.

Kind Regards

Amon Johnson

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2012

Words cannot describe the level of professionalism and personalized service you get at Hidden Valley Inn. They provided top notch service with a smile on their face and anything you wanted they made happen. The property itself is breathtaking the waterfalls and property tour is a must our guide was incredible and shared a lot of knowledge.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank Maureen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHVI, General Manager at Hidden Valley Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2012

Dear Maureen D

Words can not describe the pleasure of reading your review, we are grateful for your visit and hope you will return some day.

Kind Regards

Amon Johnson

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2012

Great food, people, trails. Rick our guide got me hooked on birding. He was awesome. Butterfly falls and private waterfall day is a must. Caracol, Barton creek and secret pools all great. Non touristy and remote. We paired with a few days diving in placencia and it was a great combo. Don't go in peak summer, very hot.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank 91,528
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHVI, General Manager at Hidden Valley Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2012

Dear 91528

We love your review: "short and sweet" We hope you will return someday.

Regards

Amon Johnson

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2012

We enjoyed our stay at Hidden Valley Inn so much. My favorite things about the Inn are the setting and the staff. All the staff we interacted with were very friendly and went to great lengths to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable. Our regular estate room was not anything overly fancy but spacious and comfortable with a fireplace, which we did not use. The Inn property is amazing. The extensive hiking trails are a big plus for anyone who enjoys serious hiking. We did a package that included all our meals and several activities and were glad we did. Every meal we ate at the Inn was excellent with plenty of options for my husband who is a picky eater. Freddy was our guide for every guided activity we did while at Hidden Valley and we really enjoyed getting to know him and appreciated his expansive knowledge of birds, wildlife, the area and local history. The activities went on were Barton Creek Cave Tour, a guided tour of the property, a waterfall lunch at Secret Pools, and the Caracol Mayan Ruins tour. All were fantastic, especially Caracol, and would recommend all of them. Freddy as our guide really made each tour/activity very enjoyable from beginning to end. We also spent time just hiking on our own on the property. We saw so many waterfalls while hiking we lost count. We hope to return sometime as this is a really special place.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank herbie_avl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHVI, General Manager at Hidden Valley Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2012

Dear viajero_heyer

Thank you for the lovely comments and encouraging review of Hidden Valley Inn. Without people like Freddy to showcase our product we will not succeed.
We will be waiting to welcome you back to this "special place"

Regards

Amon Johnson

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2012

Hidden Valley was our first stop on our Belize holiday. Oscar was waiting patiently for us to arrive after our original flight from Miami had been cancelled and we had to arrive via El Salvador. Unfortunately only 1 of our 3 suitcases made it but Oscar stopped off on the drive to the lodge at San Ignacio and my husband was able to buy a few essential items of clothing. When we arrived Misael gave us a very friendly welcome and the wonderful hand massage helped my daughter to forget that she had no clothes to wear! Our room was one of the larger bungalows with it's own screened terrace with a very comfortable hammock. We also had a great outdoor shower which was very refreshing. By some miracle our 2 missing cases turned up at reception the next afternoon.

We spent our time at Hidden Valley exploring many of the wonderful marked trails and one day took the mountain bikes that are available to do the trail to Butterfly Falls which was a magical place for a swim. On our last day Oscar took us on a half day tour to visit some of the lookouts we had not managed to get to and also took us on a lovely trail. He is a great guide and we highly recommend him.

The day we left Rick was our driver and he took us to the Mayan ruins at Xunantunich on our way to the next lodge we were visiting. This was a really great trip and Rick was just full of good information and great fun to be with.

The accommodation, food and service were all excellent. The grounds are lovely and I would highly recommend a visit to Hidden Valley

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank TheSwissFamilyF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHVI, General Manager at Hidden Valley Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2012

Dear TheSwissFamilyF

We are humbled by your review of Hidden Valley Inn. We are proud of Oscar, Rick and all the staff behind the scenes that made your stay with us one to remember. We hope you will visit Belize and Hidden Valley Inn again.

Kind Regards

Amon Johnson

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Reviewed July 9, 2012

Hard to believe a place like this exists. Every room is a private bungalow with fireplace. Food and service were excellent. The best part is exploring the 7000 acres of magical forest with waterfalls, wildlife and amazing scenery. We saw the local Mayan attractions but pent most of our time exploring the beautiful surroundings. Very friendly people. Nice and quiet.

Room Tip: They're all good!
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Lilibird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHVI, General Manager at Hidden Valley Inn, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2012

Dear Lilibird

Thank you for the beautiful review of Hidden Valley Inn, we hope you will return in the near future.

Warm Regards

Amon Johnson

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 Hidden Valley Inn

Address: 4 Miles Cooma Cairn Road, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Cayo > Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Price Range: $151 - $422 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hidden Valley Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hidden Valley Inn, a Luxury Life Style Boutique Hotel with only 12 rooms, is located on a 7200 acres private reserve in the Mountain Pine Ridge, Cayo District in Belize. This intimate eco resort offers quality accommodation, fine gourmet food and attentive service in a natural environment. The flora, wildlife and bird watching here are truly unique in the region. Guests staying at this Intimate Luxury Boutique Hotel enjoy exclusive access to over 90 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails as well as many secluded Crystal Pools and Waterfalls set in a tropical rainforest. For those seeking romance, one of the waterfalls may be reserved exclusively for the day.Situated in the Maya mountains, also serves as a convenient base for visiting the various scenic and historical attractions of the area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hidden Valley Hotel San Ignacio
Hidden Valley San Ignacio

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