We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Fantastic for Family”

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 6 more sites!
Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Hopkins
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 24, 2008

We did the Disney Cruise last Spring Break and it was a lot of fun. But, with twins girls at six and an eight year old brother, I thought they were old enough for a little adventure.

Profanity is not allowed on this website. So, let it suffice to say our visit was unfreakin' belizable. Awesome. Great. Fantastic.

I am suprized that the ratings do not rank it more highly for kids. Ours had a blast. Pools, a beach, jungle, geckos on the ceiling every dinner, what more could you ask for?

Actually, there's a lot more. The activities were incredible. The zip line course was fantastic - I was very impressed at the safety standards. The kids were apprehensive at first. By the end, they could conquor the world. Then, imagine plonking your child in an inner tube and sending them off into at river through a cave... they loved it and couldn't wait to swim at the end.

We did the Mayflower Falls hike. Beautiful, exotic, lush. It is a hike, no doubt. But, this is where you get an idea of how Jaguar Reef operates. The hike gets steep. You grab roots, rocks, rope - whatever. There were a couple tough places for the kids (and adults). Our guide, from the resort, was fantastic with the kids. In the toughest places, he just asked them to jump on his back and he climbed them up and down. I am fit and coordinated, but I was not going to get in a one-up competition with Manuel... he was a mountain goat.

I don't have to say much about snorkelling. It's Belize. It's incredible. We talked to a guide who gave up scuba. In 30 feet of water you can see everything you will ever want. Our snorkel guide stirred up a sting ray that was five feet across - our kids were blown away.

Fishing was, uh, different. I am a fisherman. An addict. I have fished a lot of places and this was a new one for me: I arranged for a 7am start. They showed up at 8am. They were expecting a half day - I had booked a full day. (Full disclosure: Jaguar Reef had a third party doing the fishing). We head out in a panga. The fishing tackle was cheap and ancient. Our first mission was to get bait. An hour and half later, we find it. The motor has cut off three times causing us to drift ashore. We run over the cast net.

Of course, the seas are building. But, the guide and his trusty second mate put us over a reef. It's rough. The equipment is terrible. They did produce one life jacket. The hooks are ancient and stored in an old coffee can. We absolutely kill it. 50+ fish. Snapper of every imaginable kind. A Cero Mackerel. My son was not paying attention to his rod and accidentially droped his baited hook in the water... it was gobled my a huge Remora - thrills a minute.

My "Tip Meter" had been on empty to begin with and as we slid onto the sand at the resort, my son leaned over and asked, "will you please give him a good tip..." It's all about the kids.

A nice segue. I brought the mackerel and a couple nice yellow tail and mutton snapper to the chef - the rest we gave to the guide. My wife is a health-o-holic, so I requested everything grilled.

Absolutely as good as anything I can get at home (Paula Deen lives just across the river). Jaguar Reef is pretty remote. How they get their ingredients is a mystery. Not sure, but I think the head chef is Raymond - just a great guy. I will call it like it is: my wife is a picky eater and the kitchen did a fabulous job of accomodating her requests. Fruit, chicken, ohhh and the breakfasts. Spend some time in the kayaks to avoid additional boyancy.

Be prepared; the resort is wonderful, but compared to American standards, these are not rich people. Hopkins is a beautiful village. The people are friendly. We took some school supplies and met with the principal of the local school. It was a great experience for my kids - and me. Unfortunately, the school was out on Easter break, but interestingly, we went to a classroom and there were two 70ish white women working on an upcoming school fair. I asked if they were teachers and they were both working for the Peace Corps. - very cool.

The accomadations were honestly nicer than I expected. I had prepared for a "roughing it" vacation. It's not so much an "eco-lodge" as a "chic-o lodge."

My only hesitation in recommending Jaguar Reef is that if it becomes too popular, I won't be able to get my next reservation...

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
6  Thank Flytwister
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (663)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

604 - 610 of 663 reviews

Reviewed February 27, 2008

We wanted to take our teenage boys to a place where they could enjoy snorkelling, fishing and jungle exploration. My husband and I wanted to find a place where we could relax and unwind. We had done the all-inclusive Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica family trips in the past but found that the hotels were overcrowded and we did not feel that we were treated as special guests. Our travel agent suggested that we try Belize and she recommended that we go to the resort that she visited a couple of years ago.

We enjoyed a fabulous relaxing week at the Jaguar Reef Lodge and all of us had a good time. The beach was awesome and the rooms were spacious and clean. The staff were very friendly, the food was delicious (especially the daily fresh fish), and the tours were beyond our wildest dreams. It was a special treat to eat one of the groupers that our boys caught on their fishing trip. On the jungle tour, the boys also ate termites (they said the termites tasted like carrots) and we swam in a natural waterfall which was so impressive. On the day that I spent in the Spa getting a hot rock massage and a pedicure, my husband and our boys went snorkelling on the reef. They saw eagle rays, lobsters, a turtle, and hundreds of colourful fish. We are looking forward to going back next year.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
4  Thank VictoriaSusan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 23, 2008

My husband and I (who are from the U.S.) are people with grown children who wanted a relaxing vacation in a warm place, with no outside distractions. We have traveled widely in countries not as industrialized as the U.S. We hoped that the place would have competent, friendly staff and be clean and pretty. Jaguar Reef Lodge satisfied all of our requirements and more. We stayed there for one week.

The Lodge buildings are extremely attractive--architecturally beautiful--made with thatched or tile roofs, and very clean-looking smooth stucco. The main lodge building, with the hotel desk, bar, lounge area, and large dining room, is lovely, with high ceilings, tile floors, and varnished wood-frame doors open to the beach and the wonderful trade winds. Our cabana had overhanging thatched roof and a wonderful veranda for relaxing. The room itself was clean, decorated colorfully, and made up daily (with towels often made into swan shapes and placed on our bed with little flowers). We felt very much at home there. There was air-conditioning and a fan, and we sometimes didn't even need the air-conditioning and just used the fan. The grounds have sand which is raked and cleaned daily, with lovely bushes scattered around the buildings and the grounds. At night the lighted tiki torches are charming.

The beach is extremely clean. We walked the entire beach area from Hopkins, the nearby town, to the mangroves where the beach ended in the opposite direction, and Jaguar Reef's beach is by far the cleanest and most beautiful. Workers rake and dispose of the seaweed and any other items daily. The sand, while not as fine as some beaches we've seen, was nevertheless lovely and without stones. The beach lounges were comfortable, with pads over wood lounge chairs--the pads could stand to be a bit thicker, but that was a minor issue.

The two pools are lovely, also. We especially liked the newest one, which was in a free-form shape, with a swim-up bar, and had an innovative way of allowing the water to splash over the edge so that it created a waterfall and made a very nice sound.

The food was good, although not gourmet, and we were very happy with it. The baked goods and many other items had a homemade quality which we liked. This is a place where those who like seafood would be happy--we do and we were. There is some pork and chicken on the menu, but it is primarily seafood, as this is what they can most easily obtain. It would not be a good option for a vegetarian who does not eat seafood, as there was usually only a vegetarian pasta dish available for dinner, allowing for no choice. We enjoyed the breakfast buffet, particularly the fresh fruit and waffles, which were delicious. They would also make omelets with various ingredients of your choice, and there were hot trays of other breakfast foods--bacon, potatoes, pancakes, sausages, etc.

The staff was uniformly friendly and helpful. King and Kevin, managers, were wonderful. When another guest wanted to go snorkeling (nothing was scheduled for that afternoon), King arranged it and a group got to go. We did not encounter one staff person who was anything less than very friendly and helpful, with smiles and kind words. We had brought children's books for the school in town and King took us there so that we could meet the principal and see the kids and building.

We went on three of the tours offered (we didn't sign up for a package, as we weren't sure how many of these we would want to do). We found that Charlton and Gabriel, who took us to the Jaguar Preserve, were amazingly knowledgeable about the birds, trees, plants, and animals there. They were responsive and enthusiastic, and didn't seem bored or jaded, even though they had probably led hundreds of groups of tourists there!

We had never seen Mayan ruins, so our visit to Xunantanich, in western Belize, a mile from the Guatemalan border, was very special. Again, Charlton was full of detailed information about the site and all aspects of the early Mayans' culture. There was a very interessting museum at Cahal Pech. Here again, we found everything very clean and uncrowded.

John, who took us snorkeling, swam with us--he didn't just take the boat out and let us get out and swim around. He was also very safety-conscious and kept a careful eye on all of the snorkelers. His ability to point out interesting underwater fish and creatures made this trip fascinating. I would say that Jaguar Reef is more oriented toward snorkeling than scuba diving, so those who are really into scuba may want to choose a place that caters more to that. However, we want to go back and go to the Glover's Reef Atoll, farther out, since we had such a good experience snorkeling at the nearer reef area. The fish are amazing--brilliant, many kinds, lots of them. Holding a sea cucumber was very interesting. John was very eco-friendly, admonishing us not to touch the coral, step on it, etc., and to save our plastic cups (in which they gave us juice to go with the cookies they brought) to recycle.

We also rode bikes around the dirt roads, and down to the marina, which is having some renovations done. We went to Hopkins, the nearby town, for dinner at Rosey's, a very friendly place with great food. We walked back on the road at night--it's a very safe area and everyone says "hi."

We spent quite a lot of time sailing the trimaran. It is easy to learn how to do it and almost impossible to tip over. There were also kayaks which people enjoyed and plenty of life jackets for safety.

The Garifuna people, who live in southern Belize, and in the town of Hopkins, near Jaguar Reef, and their history are very interesting. We arrived shortly after the death of Andy Palacio, the Garifuna musician who encouraged the use of the Garifuna language and traditions, and now want to find out more about his music. Jaguar Reef also, on Saturday night, had a wonderful performance of dancing and drumming after dinner and this added to our interest.

In short, this is a terrific place if you want excellent service, a beautiful, clean environment with friendly people, and are not looking for excitement, lots of shopping, or night life. We came home knowing that we would go back again. It was, indeed, a special place.

Stayed: February 2008
8  Thank Northstar35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2008

We ( mom, dad, my husband and myself) had a wonderful experience at JRL. January 28-February 4, 2008. The staff were so friendly and helpful. The meals were great each and every day. The menu provided a variety of selections for each meal. Dining took place in a very relaxed,non rushed, beautiful atmosphere. Our 2 bedroom cabana suite, near the pool and on the beach front, was nicely decorated , clean and the housekeeping staff took care of our every need. Guides on all excursions were very helpful and knowledgeable, they often prompted adventure participants to ask questions, so that we could learn as much about the beautiful country, people, wildlife and history as possible. You never felt rushed through anything. The massage on the dock was a one of a kind experience not to be missed.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
1  Thank chuckieNJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2008

Very friendly and well kept hotel. Rooms were great and well equipped. The grounds down to the beach is all raked sand areas with gardens which are kept really well and look lovely. The beach sadly suffers from a lot of jetsam but the groundsmen work hard on clearing daily. You can pick up pumice stones of the beach. Apart from that the beach is very pretty.
The tours from here are very good, go to Mayflower Falls and the Mayan Ruins trips are all worthwhile. The jungle horse back riding was really good, not least because they match people with horses so if you can ride you enjoy yourself, not just sat in a nose to tail line. All the tour guides are great guys.
The only disappointment was the lack of vegetarian options on the menu in the restaurant. We ate a rehash of exactly the same meal every evening which got frustrating.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank elfcampbell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2007

Wow! What can I see. This was the most amazing place that my wife and I have ever been. If you like a small secluded resort where you can really gain a sense of the country's culture, this is the place for you. The staff was incredible. We were given a 2 way radio and were told to call in if we needed anything. They were prompt and extremely friendly. The room was very nice and spacious. The food was excellent. The best meal was the fish that we caught that afternoon. The chef prepared them to our liking and they were fantastic.

By far the highlight of Jaguar Reef was the excursions. If you are adventerous, you will love this place. Snorrkling, scuba diving, horseback riding through the rainforest and mountains (our personal favorite), spelunking, kayaking, just to name a few. This is also a great place to just lay on the beach. The beach was pristine and the water was beautiful. The barrier reef protects from waves so it is extremely calm.

We have been to Mexico, St. Thomas, St. Martin, Hawaii, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and all over the US, but Belize and Jaguar Reef Lodge still rank as our favorite vacation of all time. Go check it out!

  • Stayed: June 2005, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
4  Thank jareddeason
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 4, 2007

My husband and I spent eight amazing days in Belize following our wedding. We loved every minute of our stay at Jaguar Reef. The staff were amazing and accomodated our every need. The food was great, plentiful and delicious. The excursions were the highlight of our trip. The tour guides were fantastic, they educated us on the culture and wildlife of Belize during each trip. Belize is a beautiful country and the people were so nice. We went to Hopkins twice and the town, though very small was a slice of life that you don't see staying on the resort.

We went on an excursion each day, each one better than the last. On one day, we were the only people on the trip! I highly recommend JRL for a honeymoon that is for the adventurous couple who like to be active and see the country they are visiting. Although there are many other resorts in the Carribean that cater to overindulgance and excess, Belize's natural beauty and excitement was a much better choice for my husband and I.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
3  Thank lkbc_7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Hopkins
16.1 mi away
Maya Beach Hotel
Maya Beach Hotel
#2 of 20 in Placencia
649 reviews
23.2 mi away
Robert's Grove Beach Resort
0.2 mi away
Parrot Cove Lodge
Parrot Cove Lodge
#6 of 11 in Hopkins
306 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.1 mi away
Villa Margarita
Villa Margarita
#7 of 11 in Hopkins
86 reviews
22.6 mi away
Chabil Mar
Chabil Mar
#1 of 20 in Placencia
789 reviews
0.1 mi away
Almond Beach Resort & Spa
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa

Address: Sitee River Road, Hopkins, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Stann Creek > Hopkins
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Hopkins
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Hopkins
#5 Romantic Hotel in Hopkins
#5 Family Hotel in Hopkins
Price Range: $160 - $533 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa 3.5*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Proud member of ViVA BELiZE, the leading Hotel Group and Adventure Company in Belize for the past 20 years. This beachfront resort is - An Untouched Paradise offering a unique Jungle and Sea Venture. It is an oasis of relaxation, with sunny skies, panoramic views of the ocean and just minutes away from the Garifuna Fishing Village of Hopkins. Other features of Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa: -WINNER 2015 TripAdvisor HALL OF FAME Award -FULL Service In-house Spa -Longest & Finest Beach in Belize -Pool with Swim up Tiki Bar -Kids pool -Beachfront Dining -Water Sports & Land Adventure Tour Desk ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Orbitz, Priceline, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Hotwire and Cheap Tickets so you can book your Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Jaguar Reef Hotel Hopkins
Jaguar Reef Resort
Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa Belize/Hopkins

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing