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“An amazing and memorable experience - we loved it!”
Review of Hidden Valley Inn

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Hidden Valley Inn
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Port of Spain, Trinidad
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
“An amazing and memorable experience - we loved it!”
Reviewed May 24, 2013

My wife and I spent 4 nights at Hidden Valley Inn last March, and we would have to rate it as the most special vacation we have spent together to date. We have travelled fairly extensively in the Caribbean, and this was not our first visit to Belize. The gentleman who met us at the airport was great. Our luggage having been delayed, he took us shopping for some essentials in Belize City, which was an interesting excursion in itself. Then off for the 2 hours drive to Hidden Valley, through scenic central Belize and then up into the highlands. The staff at Hidden Valley were exceptionally helpful, always willing to answer questions and make suggestions. They were very flexible in terms of customizing whatever we asked for. We had all our meals on site. The food was excellent and creative (OK – so the steak was mediocre one night), and it was obvious that a great deal of personal care was put into service generally. We drank a lot of lemon grass tea – in fact, took the recipe and started boiling up our own version at home. We went zip-lining at a nearby (1/2 hour drive) facility, and visited a local butterfly farm. Apart from that, we did not leave the resort area or go on any tours. I would however recommend the tours if you have not been to Belize or seen Mayan ruins before.
My wife said that the pedicure was the best she had ever had, due largely to the extent and quality of personal attention. Very often spas and other ancilliary services at hotels and resorts are tacked on as relatively low quality money spinners – not in this case. We did some personalized pilates and yoga stretching classes, and the visiting instructor was very good – you can tell when someone is adjusting exercises to an individual’s capacity.
We ran, walked, biked and canoed for several days, and really did not see any one else except on the service roads. Felt perfectly safe. You do have to be prepared to interact with nature. In many cases, you are walking through the forest, over and around logs and trees etc. The forest trails are obviously designed to be as minimally invasive and as eco-friendly as possible – which means a somewhat reduced comfort level. Not being professional hikers, we used sticks for support on the steeper trails. We used Off as a standard insect repellent – no problems noted. We were not really looking for wildlife, but we did spot a river-otter that splashed off the path next to a stream and swam away as we approached. Similarly, we were not bird watching, but there were numerous birds to hear and see, and the serious bird-watchers at the lodge seemed quite happy. The views were exceptional, for example of Vulture Falls. We did rent Secret Falls for the day, and the experience was well worth it (did I say “amazing”?). The pine trees are in recovery mode from the beetle infestation about 10-12 years ago – I can only imagine how they looked in full growth. The resort area has two main eco-systems – tropical pine forest, and tropical rain forest, so there is a lot of variation in vegetation and wildlife.
Great fun lighting the fire in the room at night – not something we get to do regularly. Not air conditioned, but the temperature was fine for us. Little or no light pollution, so the star views at night were dramatic, as expected. No problems noted with internet or phone access. Rooms were clean and well maintained. Amenities reasonable for the price point, especially given that you are a long way from urban areas and you are trying to minimize ecological impact. I think also that some or all of the profits are used to maintain the nature preserve. All in all, would highly recommend this for couples, particularly if you are reasonably active and looking for an opportunity to relax and reconnect in a quiet, natural environment. Probably not bad for families as well, if you are bringing the kids to see nature.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank KyleR2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
36 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2013

This hotel is amazing. The customer service is the best I have ever experienced at a hotel. Every staff member comes up and introduces themselves and they remember your names for the whole visit. The attention to details is fantastic. The cottages are clean, airy, & lovely and the fresh flowers in the room and in the main lodge are such a nice touch. The property is stunning. 900 miles of hiking trails- The hike to Butterfly Falls is strenuous but so worth it! We had the gorgeous falls all to ourselves and went swimming in the ice cold water- one of the most amazing things we've ever done. The hiking trails are perfectly maintained (which is amazing with the amount of property they have!) and there are so many things to see! The pool area is quiet and beautiful (although the hot tub was barely warm).
The staff was just spectacular! Rick was our driver and he was fantastic! He gave us a wonderful tour and lesson on Belize on the ride to the hotel- what a wonderful, kind, and fun person he was! Tito was our dear bartender and he did such a great job with always using our names and remembering which drinks we liked. Keedan (I think this was his name) was also very kind and friendly. And thanks to Marvin, for waking up extra early to have coffee ready for us and breakfast made since we were leaving for a very early tour to Tikal. Truly a 5 star staff.
A few things to know before you go.....
*Food is outrageously priced at this place. Around $45 per person for dinner unless you ask for the main course only, which is still $24! Breakfast and lunch were $20 per person (and the breakfast spread was pretty much what you get for free at other hotels). You are isolated out in nature and you really feel like the owners are taking advantage of you with these crazy prices. Dinner was very delicious though!
*Tours are VERY overpriced for this hotel. Look into BZM tours (Belize Magnificant Tours). Albert was the most amazing tour guide...we went to Tikal with their tour. They charge about $100 less than the hotel per person and pick you up right at the hotel, so you will save lots of money and also support a local business/guide. I highly recommend looking into them for your tours rather than the hotel, who really seems to take advantage of your isolation with the dinner & tour pricing.

Overall- I would gladly return for their gorgeous property and warm, welcoming staff who provided top notch customer service!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Sidra B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed May 14, 2013

My husband and I came to Hidden Valley Inn for a fun vacation with my brother and sister-in-law and our expectations were far exceeded!

Hidden Valley is located in the Mountain Pine Ridge area on a 7000+ acre private reserve, and every square inch is stunningly beautiful (the online photos just don't do any of it justice). There is roughly a three hour car ride from the airport to the resort but with the fantastic and knowledgable guides (and when I say "knowledgable", I mean they know everything about anything to do with Belize as they take their jobs as guides very seriously), it barely feels like 20 minutes.

You are greeted at the resort to hand massages and lemongrass juice, followed by a tour, and then shown to your room where someone has already brought your bags.

The rooms are clean, screened-in for protection from bugs, and beautifully decorated. However, we didn't spend much time in our rooms as we spent most of our time outdoors hiking on one of their many trails, swimming in the waterfalls, doing the yoga class that was offered by the guest instructor, going on a local excursion (horseback riding at the Mountain Equestrian Trails farm, snapping photos as butterflies landed on us at the butterfly farm, cave touring, eating a traditional Mayan lunch with a Mayan family, visiting Caracol, the Mayan ruins, etc.), hanging out at the pool, or eating the delicious food (seriously, we didn't eat one bad meal) that the resort offers. I read another review where someone complained about the cost of the food, but we have steak houses here in Cincinnati that are more expensive and aren't as good as what we ate at Hidden Valley ($70 a day evens out to about $17.50 per meal if you count the "high tea" portion of the day that they offer in the afternoon (tea/on-site-grown-coffee and snacks between lunch and dinner) and in my opinion, that's cheap!). I also received a deep tissue massage one day while there, and it was phenomenal! They have a great list of massages to choose from at their spa, as well as mani/pedis and facials.

The staff treats you like family and does everything they can to make you feel at home. I've gotten good service at hotels and resorts on previous vacations, but the staff at Hidden Valley actually care about whether or not you're comfortable and having a good time and a good stay while there.

This was the best vacation, by far, that we have been on, and we will definitely be returning to Belize to stay at Hidden Valley!! Highly recommend them!

  • Stayed May 2013
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Helpful?
Thank KaleighAnne123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2013

First of all let me say this is a lovely venue, and the quality of the rooms and spa products in the bathrooms are of 5 star quality rather than their alloted 3 star rating. Its also very reasonably priced. You arrive to lemongrass iced tea and handmassages. You're acquainted with the property by the manager. Dinner is served by the pool at night. The staff are friendly and gracious and remember you by name, which is a personal and caring touch. The coffee is grown on the property, as are many of the ingredients used in the dining room. The chef also uses lots of ingredients from local markets and the local mennonite farms.

We were on our honeymoon and our bedroom was covered in beautiful arrangements of melon & peach coloured hibiscus flowers. Complimentary afternoon tea is served everyday between 3pm and 6pm. I was enchanted.

However, there is something that doesn't sit right. You can't shake the feeling that you're being taken for a ride when it comes to the extras on the bill and it leaves a bit of a sour taste in the mouth. Which is a shame.

The food is just too expensive for what you expect to pay at a three star venue. It is very nice food and I am very supportive of how it is grown and the efforts put into how it is prepared. The chef visits the guests during the evening and that is a very nice touch as you dine poolside by the light of a kerosene lantern. But even given the remote location, it should not be cheaper to eat here in London at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant, than at a three star hotel in a Central American country. And I'm afraid that it is pretty comparable in price. And as you are so far from any other towns or villages, the inn is the only option, so you feel a bit held to ransom. Even if you go with a car, be aware that it will take some time to get to the nearest town.

The excursions are obviously going to cost above the odds, given the remote location of the hotel, but they are just ridiculously expensive. Just to engage in local activites and see local archaeological sites. We just laughed when they quoted us the prices of 270 USD pp to see a local ruin.

Don't get me wrong - it was a wonderful experience in many ways, but there should be a mechanism for warning guests that they will need to budget 70 USD per person per day for food. Not what you expect in a Central American country. We were spending far less at our five star hotel in Belize, also in a remote location, the following week.

On the plus side, the yoga classes are a nice touch and are very good value at 15 USD per class. There are a number of platforms on the property where you can do yoga and mats are provided by the hotel, so you can go solo and do some yoga without lugging along your yoga mat. Also, the hotel provides you with two way radios, so you feel secure as you hike throughout the immense property and numerous trails. Budget in some 'taxi' money if you get exhausted at the end of the walk and need to request a pick up. Its 10 USD pp, which is okay if you're at the far end of the property and it saves a couple of hours walk back!

We stayed for four nights and saw very little wildlife during our stay, so if you're after seeing lots of wildlife, you might be better off spending a little time at the Jungle Lodge in Tikal where toucans, spider monkeys, howler monkeys, etc run riot!

Oh yeah, and take bug repellent. Lots of it. I looked like I had chicken pox by the time I left, I was so covered in bites.

Don't rule Hidden Valley Inn out, because you'll sleep like a baby, love the yoga and eat like you know you should. Just...pad your wallet a bit.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank MrsHarris3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Pedro, Belize
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 6, 2013

This was our second trip to Hidden Valley Inn. We live in San Pedro and decided to take a few days off from our restaurant to explore the mainland some more. We called Hidden Valley Inn from the road and they were gracious and found us a room for that night and the next without any of the trappings you find when booking on line....the front desk staff was excellent. We arrived and immediately we were greeted with a soothing hand massage....such a treat as we were exhausted from taking a quick trip to Rio on Pools just before we checked in and I must say we were pretty grubby...but the staff didn't seem to mind. After our orientation...a quick dip in the most relaxing pool with some of the most interesting bird sightings I have seen in Belize and we were completely won over. Our room was exquisite...with a gorgeous fire place. It was a little warm when we visited, but I do know that it can get chilly up in Mountain Pine Ridge, so I know that the fireplace could come in very handy. Dinner service was perfect....they really know how to cook and I'm a foody, so for me to be impressed, it must be good. Breakfast the next morning...again excellent....a packed lunch by the resort, a quick instruction on the walkie talkies...grabbed a walking stick and away we went. Hidden Valley Inn has some of the most impressive trails and water falls that I have ever seen. Make sure that you check out the King Vulture lookout. Huge falls and king vultures circling to make it picture perfect. Don't miss Butterfly Falls and definetly go for a dip. There are many pools that you can pop into along the way and all of them are breath taking. After about 5 hours of hiking...another relaxing late afternoon in the hot tub and the pool...high tea....some cocktails, a quick nap in our very comfortable king bed and then another fabulous dinner.

Please note...there are many places in Belize and the surrounding Mountain Pine Ridge area that are incredible, but the porperty at Hidden Valley Inn, seems to have the most impressive sights and hiking trails. The general public will never see these sights unless you stay at the resort. It is funny that every publication about the beauty of Belize uses the photo of Butterfly Falls....yet so few have had the chance to view it. We saw no one else the whole time we were hiking....no one...."how awesome is that"?, especially when most of these type of places would be swarming with people....we felt like we were the only ones out there. It is definetly a place for those that love the outdoors, birding, hiking and a staff that takes care of your every whim. They go above and beyond to make you feel like you have been invited into their home and it is a very impressive home with a lodge like feel. Thank you Raul and your whole staff. We feel rejunenated and ready to go back to work. What a great experience.

Room Tip: All if the rooms are great....there are a few with an outdoor shower...which are awesome as well.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank jacquelinefldmn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thornton, Colorado
1 review
Reviewed May 6, 2013

My husband and arrived as guests at Hidden Valley Inn and left as family. There are no words to describe our stay at the Inn. If it wasn't enough that the property was a piece of paradise, the staff truly made our adventure complete. From the minute we got there we were pampered and welcomed with hand brewed lemongrass tea and a hand massage. The food was out of this world!! The amount of passion that goes into their food was very evident. And... you must have their doughnuts... unlike anything we have ever had!! YUMMY!! They serve their very own coffee that is grown on the property and served only to their guests. It is a treat!! My husband and I chose to be a bit adventurous and took advantage of their property for hiking and biking and diving off of waterfalls. There was never a dull moment at Hidden Valley Inn. However; if you are looking for a quite get away, Hidden Valley will also serve you well. The birds and the wildlife were absolutely amazing and the top notch guides employed at Hidden Valley knew exactly where and when to go to see these amazing animals. There are endless possibilities of adventure, relaxation, good people, great food and all of this is located on the most secluded property in Belize. If you are wondering if Hidden Valley Inn is the right place for you... think no more. Hidden Valley is by far the most unique and genuine place that I have ever traveled to. You will not regret staying here. My husband and I left a piece of our hears at Butterfly Falls when we left.

Room Tip: All of the bungalows are awesome!!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank StephAnnScott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Pedro
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed May 3, 2013

I have just had a baby and her Daddy decided we needed an impromptu trip to the mainland of Belize for some R&R. We were welcomed like family when we arrived at Hidden Valley Inn - all the staff were amazingly helpful, the suite was beautiful - we loved the outdoor shower. So much attention to detail just makes the place magical. I unfortunately lost my wedding ring and everybody went out of their way to find it, I thought it was gone forever but it turned up a few days later! We're eternally grateful! Even with the baby it was a total treat to hike through the acres around the Inn to get to the beautiful waterfalls, a definite must do. I cannot thank everybody enough for making me feel wonderful - thank you Hidden Valley :)

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Cindytheconquerer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hidden Valley Inn

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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