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“Beautiful resort, wonderful staff”
Review of Gaia Riverlodge

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Gaia Riverlodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed October 24, 2013 via mobile

We visited for three nights before heading to their sister resort on ambergris caye. The resort is lovely and lush, with geckos and birds lulling you to sleep at night. We stayed in two different rooms: a mountain view room called "mangrove" and then the final night in a waterfall room "summit". I'm surprised that so many reviews raved about the falls rooms. We much preferred mangrove. It's secluded, yet close, and cooler for being under the trees. It's lush landscape and sound of the birds lulling us to sleep was exactly what we pictured for a jungle escape. It was also bigger than summit. Highly recommend.
Our package included meals and a trip to caracol. Food was excellent- we loved the belizean breakfast, the fajitas, steak dinner and the hot sauce at the table. We at every meal overlooking the falls. The menu was extensive enough for us, and we never had a bad meal.
The trip by car from the airport was very long so we broke it up with a stop at the Belize zoo. If you choose to drive its worth the stop to see this place. We also had a great lunch along the way.
The staff at gaia go out of their way to make you happy. I suggest going with a full itinerary of day trips because there is nothing to do at the resort itself besides walk down to the falls and take the little funicular back up. As others have mentioned there is nowhere else to hang out other than the bar/lobby area with limited seating or the restaurant. There is no pool- I'm told people swim at the falls but I wasn't game for that. The hammocks at the falls are great too, but there needs to be more places to relax up near the rooms.
The rooms themselves feature huge screened windows with a table and two chairs to enjoy the view. Everything is made out of beautiful wood but I found the chairs rather uncomfortable. The beds are lovely, as are the bathrooms. No air, tv or phones- none of which were missed. It cools off in the evening and can even be a little chilly in the am.
Do note that gaia is on the edge of the mountain pine reserve area- meaning its not the kind of jungle you picture. It's a lot of Caribbean pine trees. The resort itself is landscaped with tropical trees and plants but the surrounding area looks much different. You will not see howler monkeys here.
I would recommend gaia with the caveat that one should plan ahead to do activities every day. We did caracol and an added trip to xunantunich on the way to the maya flats airstrip. Both were wonderful in their own way. Wish we had booked something for our first day but we were exhausted and needed to sleep in.

Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
5  Thank maynecorse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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190 - 196 of 248 reviews

Reviewed October 16, 2013

It’s horrible to travel so far and get so excited about your vacation only to be so disappointed.

The ride from the airport to Gaia is about 3 hours. The last hour being uphill up an unpaved and very bumpy road.

Once you arrive you are greeted by the only great thing about Gaia, the staff. Javier and Nigel in particular were lovely and welcoming.

The rooms are pretty but very basic. Which given what they charge is very disappointing. I have paid considerably less for far superior rooms all over the world.

The lack of air conditioning isn't so much of an issue for the heat as it is for the humidity that is trapped in the rooms. The sheets are actually moist and some of the furniture was wet.

Again at this price range this is unacceptable. There is also the issue of the bugs. Lots of bugs of varying sizes and appetites. We were so afraid of attracting bugs that we didn't want to keep the light on at night for any amount of time.

But the biggest problem with Gaia is that there isn’t much to do. You can walk down to the waterfalls and walk around the property but once it gets dark there isn’t anything to do. This is it. You can eat and sit at the bar. And to top it off the food is bland, boring and expensive for Belize. The drinks are watered down and overpriced. For example, they sell the local beer for $7US, the same is sold elsewhere at three for $5US.

Gaia is a rip off. Save your money and go elsewhere.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank eecp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Matachica, Owner at Gaia Riverlodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 25, 2013

I was disappointed to learn that you didn't enjoy your experience at Gaia Riverlodge. It sounds as though the choice of a rainforest experience itself might not have been suitable for you. Indeed, Gaia is somewhat secluded, nestled on a sixteen acre property set upon a river in the mountains of the Belize Rainforest. As such, the initial effort to reach the property is indeed a bit of an adventure, but for most of our guests, that is the point! We celebrate our location rather than apologize for it.

Gaia is a quiet property surrounded by flowers, birds, butterflies and the subtle sound of the wonderful waterfalls below. We offer an opportunity to escape from life back home and settle in to a temporary home from which you are encouraged to take part in the many activities of the surrounding area.

Horseback riding, mountain biking, caving, canoeing, zip-lining, hiking and Mayan Ruin exploration are just some of the activities that we offer. While not all of these activities are available 'on site', they are accessible from Gaia with our own tour guides and new tour vehicles. We have our own canoes, bikes, land cruisers, van and experienced certified guides to ensure a great guest experience. For access to the onsite waterfalls, we even offer an electric tram in addition to the walking path.

While Gaia can be humid and the rainforest does indeed have insects as part of the habitat, we rarely receive complaints as guests expect those elements on a rainforest adventure.

We draw our energy exclusively from a hydro-electric plant on site supported with a battery back up system. As such air conditioning is not possible. Nor is it necessary as the evening is cool and our in room overhead fans do a fine job.

With respect to your comment on the price of beer, you are simply incorrect. The 7.00 quoted is in fact in BELIZE DOLLARS, and as such is actually 3.50USD for a beer. I would suggest that if you find that overpriced for a beer, you probably chose the wrong hotel.

Again, I am very sorry that you did not enjoy your experience with us.

Most Sincerely,

Daniel Lighter

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 24, 2013

Amazing, peaceful location. Good food. The waterfalls are really pretty.
We did the zip lining and the nearby butterfly farm both of which were brilliant.

The place could do with a few more places to sit out, maybe a swing seat or 2 and more seating in the dining/ bar area.

We drove from Belize airport and while it was a nice drive, you could cut it down from 4 hours to 1.30 by flying to Maya flats which takes only half an hour or so and was an amazing experience.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank V R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 19, 2013

the hotel meet all my wife's expectations. " hard to do seeing that is shes a hotel manager herself"
we stayed 7 days and not one was unpleasant, the staff set up everything for us from guided trips to driving directions to the coast with the best sight seeing routes(2 hours away). the staff also was very interactive with the guests personally meeting us every night. the grounds are very well maintained and our room on occasion was cleaned twice in one day. some advice if you decide to chose this hotel is to have your own vehicle "to enhance your adventure" and to arrive before sunset, at least on the first day.

very nice, clean and friendly

thank you
Nigel, Silvia, Lucy, Herman and Oswald and all the other staff for the extraordinary visit
the frog lady and the guy who liked to drive

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank scott b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 18, 2013

It was simply amazing! The gorgeous grounds and the natural surroundings were, well, amazing!! Warm days and perfectly cool nights, waking up to the mist over the falls, the pine forest, and the jungle, it was picturesque! We've been to some of the highest rated resorts in the world and we have never had service this incredible! The entire staff, including Nigel, Lucy, and Oswald went above and beyond everyday to provide our entire family their every request! From bringing snacks and beverages down to us at to the falls, to taking us on each excursion we requested, always accommodating and with a smile! We had a "roll away" for our son and oh-my-goodness, NOT a roll away, it was fit for a king! They educated us on the area, recommended the perfect excursions, and truly cared about making our visit magical! We considered these guys friends by the end of our stay and were so sad to go onto San Pedro, but we vow to return. I have never rated a hotel before today, but the people at Gaia inspired us to give just some of the kindness they showed us, in return, it was the least we could do! Be sure to ask Oswald (Ozzie) about the legend of Sasquatch and tell him his friends from Texas say hello! Go, you won't regret it!

Room Tip: We stayed in the waterfall view rooms and it was incredible! The view of the pine forest, the falls...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Kristi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 15, 2013

Oh my god ! This place is incredible, first because the view from your room (River View) is incredible. No Windows, no air conditioning, simple life in a luxury room. First feeling when you arrive by the main entrance is incredible, this garden with tropical flowers, make you feel great. Arriving at the lobby, people take care of everything, with a real kindness not only a "sales" service. THey show you the view from the restaurant, I'll let you see by yourself when you will go there !
Rooms are great, decoration is very nice, it is just a room where you want to be the night to ear the birds and the falls. That's will be the only sound you will have in this resort, birds and falls !

We always have to find something not perfect: I believe they should work on the menu and may be have a special. If you stay there for a week, the menu is the same and not incredible. That the point they should change.

We went for a tour at CARACOL Mayas Temple with Elmo. Great guide, great explanation, great day. I recommend you the different tour with Gaia, it is very well organized. We stay 2 Full days but it was not enough, this place need more time, this part of the country id beautiful and people are just unbelievable.

GO GO GO 100%

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MathiasFrance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2013

Gaia Riverlodge was fantastic! My husband and I spent 3 nights here after visiting Matachica on Ambergris Caye (Gaia's sister resort). The resort is breathtaking and the staff is so welcoming and friendly. The views of the river and waterfall were beautiful to look at and listen to. We had plenty of relaxation by the river as well as fun exploring Mayan ruins and caves (We loved the ATM cave tour & Caracol ruins!). We would love to return one day!

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank AlanaJac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gaia Riverlodge

Address: P.O. Box 173, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Cayo > Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Price Range: $213 - $243 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Gaia Riverlodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our Eco-Lodge is located in the Scenic Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. We offer earthy yet stylish thatch roofed cabanas with excellent views of our waterfalls or Mountain Range, amazingly comfortable beds, Frette and Matouk linens and towels and bathrooms with hand painted Mexican tiles. Among our amenities are our natural fresh water pools, waterfalls, authentic Belizean cuisine, nature trails, day tours to the many Maya archaeological sites and adventure trips. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
5 Sisters Lodge
Five Sisters Hotel San Ignacio

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