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Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa
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Reviewed July 17, 2005

We went to Jaguar Reef on our honeymoon. We decided exactly one week before the wedding where we were going. I have to admit, after reading the other reviews I was excited and nervous. It is a long journey to get to this resort, you fly to Belize City and then take a small plane to Dangriga and from there you take an hour (about) car ride to the resort. The entire way there we were amazed at the beauty this country has to offer. Once we got to the resort we were so pleased with everything! We were very tired so we checked in and went straight to the room to rest for a few minutes. The rooms could use some "sprucing" up. The furnishing are OK, they are very in tune with the surroundings. The a/c was great some nights and others it was a bit warm for our liking. There are no TV's in the rooms, unless you get a family suite. If you are like us and enjoy watching television before you fall asleep I would strongly suggest you bring a portable DVD player with you. They have a DVD collection (about 20 movies) there you are free to use anytime for no charge. The rooms are very spacious and always clean! They keep a water dispenser in your room full of purified water at all times and your mini bar completely stocked. The food was fabulous!!! We hate all inclusive vacations because we always seem to come home 5 pounds lighter! I really think we both gained weight this past week!!! The breakfast is a buffet with made to order eggs/omelets and the meet and carbs are served buffet style. The lunch and dinner were out of this world!!! I love to cook and I am the most brutal food critic, but I cannot say a bad thing about the food here!!! For lunch and dinner you order from a menu which also consists of a daily special, which there is always a fresh soup and a fresh seafood catch. You can taste the freshness in every single bite! Each morning we were amazed when the local farmer came by to sell the resort fresh fruits and vegetables for the day! You can also go fishing and if you catch a fish/lobster you want to eat, bring it to the kitchen and tell them how you want it!!! AMAZING!!! The excursions are too long a list to mention them all, but the snorkeling on the reef was fabulous, the fishing was great and we heard the other tours were just as great! We will go back and experience the others, but like I said we were on our honeymoon and wanted to relax a bit! The staff was wonderful! Our favorites were Kimberly (front desk receptionist) and Irvin and Amir (bartenders). The three of them insured our return even if things would have been worse. I cannot tell you how phenomenal this tiny country is! The water is so clear while out on a fishing trip we watched 5 foot long fish speed under the boat (about 40 feet down)!!! You will see what I mean in some of the pics! I hope this helps and everyone can see what I am talking about!

  • Stayed: July 2005
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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20  Thank ammooney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Celina, TX
118
Reviewed May 27, 2005

My fiancée and I were recently engaged and decided to celebrate by spending a week there last summer. While we were there, we realized the resort was an idyllic place to have a wedding and a honeymoon. All the money spent on a wedding could not have paid for such romanctic scenery that we found at Jaguar Reef. The sand, sun, jungle and reefs-we were surrounded by breathtaking beauty. When we wanted peace and quiet, there was no better place to be! I think it was as close to heaven as we could get. Well, we came back to the states and planned our wedding, but still couldn't get Jaguar Reef off our mind. Finally, we decided to get married in our private paradise. We cancelled all of our reservations with the caterers, florist, minister, cakes...you get the idea. We got our deposits back and planned our 2nd trip to Jaguar Reef.

The staff quickly becomes family. In fact, our last night on Coco Plum, we even had a "family night" with the staff. We stayed up playing cards and had hermit crab races on Coco Plum (just watch your fingers!). The days there were spent watching the pelicans dive, cruising in the kayaks to go snorkeling in nearby reefs and taking "nammocks". Our code word for a nap in a hammock! Truly relaxing, my stress just melted in the warmth...

The adventures were a blast! I couldn't believe how many animals we saw in the preserve, we were even serenaded by howler monkeys right above our heads! Then we cooled off a waterfall. I felt like I was in a movie...The tour groups were always small and intimate, you truly had one-on-one attention whether you were on a boat or in the jungle. The reefs and dives are beautiful and well planned. We took advantage of a night dive. That was my first open ocean dive and the dive staff knew I was a little nervous, so they stuck close by. I highly recommend the night dive...even though I was a little scared about what I "couldn't" see, when it ws over, I kept thinking "Can we go again?"

So we've decided to "take the plunge" and get a little "R&R"-that's reef and relaxation for all you who haven't been! We were there 8 days and there wasn't possibly enough time to do everything we wanted to do, so we're coming back for more.

Tara & Chris Cordina
-Celina, TX

18  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Lichfield, United Kingdom
113
Reviewed April 27, 2005

Lets face it. How many times has a holiday not lived up to expectations because the hotel or resort has been a disappointment. There is no danger of this with Jaguar Reef, which manages to combine excursions and activities with a a relaxing environment that blends well with the Belizean environment.

Especially impressive were the guides whose knowledge on just about everything never ceased to amaze us and for whom no task was too great a burden. A real plus as far as the excursions were concerned, was the willingness of the hotel to arrange excursions for small numbers and in many cases they would accomodate requests at short notice.

As regards accomodation, we stayed in the Cabannas which whilst really for two people, were spacious enough to easily fit in another bed for our thirteen year old daughter. Once again, we had no complaints as it was clean and serviced every day to a high standard. The fact that there was no TV or telephone merely added to the feeling that at Jaguar Reef and in Belize, we were on a real holiday and not just a break from home and work.

The food was good and plentiful and served in a restaurant that looks out onto a beach and sea not more than a few yards away. A nice pastime was sitting in the restaurant, mid afternoon with a cool drink, simply listening to the many birds in the palm trees.

Jaguar Reef was well worth the visit.

13  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Sherman, Connecticut
121
Reviewed April 22, 2005

My husband and I, along with our two kids ages 13 and 8, spent a week in April at Jaguar Reef Lodge. We had a fantastic time. The setting is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, right on the beach with two lovely pools overlooking the Caribbean. Our two-bedroom, two-bath suite was very large and comfortable and had a kitchenette and a nice sitting area. Yes, JRL is one of the older resorts on Sittee Point and while the exterior of the buildings are in great shape, the rooms themselves need a bit of updating (new blankets would be nice, some of the furniture is due to be replaced, our bed was way too firm and clearly had a board beneath the mattress).
But the truth is, we didn't spend much time indoors anyway, because the daily excursions kept us very busy. We spent a day jungle hiking in Cockscomb Basin, where our fantastic guide, Charlton, pointed out peccaries, coaxed howler monkeys into howling for us, showed us a jaguar track in the mud, and spotted a crocodile along with numerous colorful birds. On other trips we tubed into a cave and then hiked to a Mayan ceremonial carving, snorkeled the Barrier Reef, spotted a big boa on our river excursion, and swam in the famous Blue Hole. On every trip our guides were terrific -- very informative and eager to share what they know about their country, its history, and the wildlife we saw there. Every day was a new and exciting adventure for us. When we weren't on excursions we had excellent massages out on the Lodge's pier, took bikes into the friendly town of Hopkins, and kayaked on the river.
Some other visitors have complained about the bugs, but we had no problem at all with this. Perhaps the Lodge has been spraying, or maybe it is the time of year that we visited. A quick spritz of deet for our jungle hike seemed to keep things under control.
The food is fine, but not great. The fruit is very fresh, and there were made-to-order omelets every morning but in general we weren't excited about our meals. The twice-each-week buffets were much better. And yes, the service is spotty. But the people who worked at the resort were so friendly that it seemed unimportant that we had to ask for things more than once sometimes.
In general, this was a very memorable vacation. Belize is a beautiful country with much to offer adventurous families, and JRL is a comfortable and friendly place from which to explore.

  • Stayed: April 2005
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21  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Pittsburgh, PA
16
Reviewed April 14, 2005

  • Stayed: September 2003
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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