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“Belize is really Unbelieveable”

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Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Hopkins
Certificate of Excellence
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Belize is really Unbelieveable”
Reviewed April 5, 2010

I'll admit, when we went from a large airplane, to a smaller airplane, to an even smaller airplane - I thought "What have I gotten myself into??" Then we landed on a dirt road in the middle of a field surrounded by a jungle and any tropical drinks I might have had to soothe my jitters had since worn off. Following a dusty ride through a little town my fears ended. We came to Shangra-la! My first experience in the Caribbean was meant to be the first of many. It was so beautiful, so relaxing, the staff was wonderful - one whose name we remember - Denny - would literally shimmy up a palm tree at a moments notice to get us a fresh coconut for a rum punch whenever we asked. Ask to take out the little sailboat and help was at hand. Everynight they combed the sands around the property to make them pristine again. The food was wonderful - even for me a rather picky eater. I had to remark to the cook one day that everyone was commenting on how good the eggs were - I being from farm country originally knew that these people had probably never had eggs fresh from the chickens running around! One day I asked the girl at the desk where to get the beautiful fabrics they wore - not only did she offer to take me to her grandmother's house (who sewed), she picked up yards of the fabric for myself and another woman at the resort. When have you had anyone treat you like family in a resort in some of the US towns? All in all we would return in a heartbeat - but we have been busy trying every Caribbean Island since then - but our favorite is still Jaguar Reef/Almond Beach Resort - stay in the honeymoon cottage - you won't regret it!

  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TheVegasGreekGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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619 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (176)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Wyoming
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2010

First thing's first: the only reason I can think of that anyone would ever give Jaguar Reef a poor review is if they are some type of elite, whiney, high-end traveler. If that is the type of person you are, then I would recommend you go someplace soulless like a Sandals resort. IF, however, you are the type of person who is not so stuffy and wants a vacation with a mix of adventure, leisure, culture, and amazingly wonderful staff.. then Jaguar Reef is an excellent choice.

This resort does not tout itself as some sort of Americanized, snobby, fenced and gated fortress, and thank god for that. If you have an issue with a few tiny ants or a gecko here and there, then I have no idea why you picked the edge of the Belizean jungle as the your vacation destination. The diversity of flora and fauna are amazing, assuming you're into that sort of thing, which I hope that you are! You will see incredible bird, fish, and reptile species with the help of some very knowledgeable guides. Jaguar Reef is a green resort as well, so you can rest assured that their business has minimal footprint and impact on the surrounding habitats.

The choices of trips on the adventure package are excellent and cover a wide variety of activities and skill levels. The snorkeling is NOT to be missed!! The inland tours are great fun as well, and include cultural sites, zip lining, jungle hikes and river tours. The food? Again I cannot imagine why anyone would take issue with the food, unless they are used to being hand-fed gourmet meals on a daily basis. The food was excellent. Fresh fruits, local pastries and such for breakfast, lovely sandwiches and light meals for lunch (and some fun local stops for lunches on the tours), and elegant, diverse choices for dinner. The cook staff will even prepare your own fresh-caught fish for you, if you happen to go on one of the fishing tours. We found the fresh fruits and seafood to be our very favorites. Complaints about price make no sense to me either: if you buy an all-inclusive package (we recommend the adventure package) the only thing you'll pay at meals is the tip.

Now.. the staff. Again, I cannot fathom how anyone could give the staff a bad review. Every single guide and staff member we interacted with was friendly, gracious, and wonderful. Our very favorites were Manuel, Soldana, Gabriel, Nancy, Denroy, Charleton (our hero!), and of course the amazing and lovely Laurel! Jaguar Reef is the kind of place where you hug staff members goodbye, because they are so warm and kind that you cannot help but become friends.

Did I mention we got married while we were at Jaguar Reef?? The staff, including the owners, bent over backwards to make sure that we were happy.. and we most certainly were. Their efforts were second to none, and we will forever have an exciting and entertaining story to tell our friends and family about our experience.

We are returning to Jaguar Reef for our 1st Anniversary in just a few short weeks. We are nothing but excited and giddy to go back and spend our days exploring the reef.. scuba certified this time around! Looking forward to seeing our friends and Belize once more!!

--Heather and Aaron

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank jestoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 30, 2010

We just returned to Canada after a family vacation, with teenagers. They loved the trips, especially the Monkey River Trip where we saw howler monkeys, otters and manatees. The food each night was good, even for less adventurous teens, wiith a choice of fish, shrimp, chicken, pork and beef. As ex-pat. Brits we especially loved the new English Pub food at the second restaurant.
This was our second trip to the resort and once again it was the wonderful employees that made the difference - thanks again to Rina, Erdulfo, and Catherine.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rxty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Va
1 review
Reviewed March 27, 2010

Upon arriving in Belize, our transfer was not at the airport to take us to the resort. We ended up in a vehicle that did not have working air conditioning. We roasted for several hours .. This is not what we had paid for or expected.
The hot tub was broken the whole time we were there. The food is expensive and tasteless. The beach chairs cushions are dirty and Don't be deceived by the "free water sports and activities"...the snorkel equip is HORRIBLE. We went snorkeling and the equipment given to us was used dirty mouth pieces. When I asked the staff about this the reply given was the salt water will clean it. The bikes have 1 gear and don't work.
As far as the food went, JRL’s was less then adequate much less than we expected. It was what you’d expect from a chain restaurant in an airport. The meal service was below average. A simple request for a grille cheese was refused by the chief. Servers often ignored you (and you have to sign a tab after every meal and drink orders) and half the time we had to track them down to sign. Poor quality and very over priced
One night while sitting in our room a very large BAT nearly hit me in my face.

We became so disappointed with our experiences at the Jaguar Reef Lodge that we decided to come home a day early.
I wish that I never went to Jaguar Reef Lodge. Basically below average there are much better values out there.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 2010Explorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VBQuality, Managing Director ViVA BELiZE Hotel Group at Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, July 19, 2016
Dear Tripadvisor Members

This review was posted in 2010- more than 6 years ago.
The Jaguar Reef Lodge was integrated into the ViVA BELiZE Hotel Group and Adventure Company on July 1st. 2012 and our Hotel Group has taken over financial control / ownership of the Lodge in 2013.

We have informed Tripadvisor many times now that this review is not only very old- but got irrelevant due to the fact that the Lodge is under new Management/Ownership since 4 years now already. We can't make any statement to the content of the review- this review was posted far before our time and we will continue requesting Tripadvisor to remove those old reviews that describe Travelers' experiences made at our Lodge far before our time. We refuse to change the name of the Lodge just to get Tripadvisor to comply with our request. We feel that the name of the Lodge is highly connected to the people of Hopkins- and the Villagers are proud of their very first Hotel - The Jaguar Reef Lodge.

We have invested into the complete renovation of the Jaguar Reef Lodge over the last years as well as into the continuous training of our staff. The product can't be compared to what it was back in the years before July 2012. We don't say that we are walking over water- not at all- but we are trying very hard to meet and exceed all our guests expectations- every day of the year! We are a Group of Tourism Pioneers- in love with Belize and the Belizean people since over 20 years- proud to present that beautiful country to you- Traveler's from around the World.

The ViVA BELiZE Hotel Group and Adventure Company has an Excellent reputation and our Resorts & Lodges won numerous Tripadvisor Awards on a National as well as on a International level over the last years. Under the ViVA BELiZE Management the Jaguar Reef Lodge was "Traveler's Choice Award Winner 2013"- for Small Resorts in Belize- and in 2015 the Lodge received the " Hall of Fame Certificate of Excellence 2011-2015". This special designation is awarded to businesses that have earned a "Certificate of Excellence" for five consecutive years. Also in 2016 Jaguar Reef Lodge again earned the Certificate of Excellence by Tripadvisor. We are not about winning Awards- but about making our guests happy.

Please be so kind to read the new Tripadvisor Travelers' reviews about the quality of our product (s). We would love to welcome you at the Jaguar Reef Lodge in Hopkins soon.

ViVA BELiZE- Your Gateway To A Breathtaking Belize Experience.

Sincerely
ViVA BELiZE Management & Ownership
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed March 21, 2010

My family and I stayed at the Jaguar Reef resort in Belize and were quite surprised by the lack of care shown regarding the inspection of rooms prior to a guest arriving. The room should have been inspected properly and items damaged should have been replaced and or repaired. The resort other than the rooms was well maintained. The water sports equipment need better maintenance as well. Some staff members are polite and helpful while others need more training in customer service.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lc42NewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VBQuality, Managing Director ViVA BELiZE Hotel Group at Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, July 20, 2016
Dear Tripadvisor Members

This review was posted in 2010- more than 6 years ago.
The Jaguar Reef Lodge was integrated into the ViVA BELiZE Hotel Group and Adventure Company on July 1st. 2012 and our Hotel Group has taken over financial control / ownership of the Lodge in 2013.

We have informed Tripadvisor many times now that this review is not only very old- but got irrelevant due to the fact that the Lodge is under new Management/Ownership since 4 years now already. We can't make any statement to the content of the review- this review was posted far before our time and we will continue requesting Tripadvisor to remove those old reviews that describe Travelers' experiences made at our Lodge far before our time. We refuse to change the name of the Lodge just to get Tripadvisor to comply with our request. We feel that the name of the Lodge is highly connected to the people of Hopkins- and the Villagers are proud of their very first Hotel - The Jaguar Reef Lodge.

We have invested into the complete renovation of the Jaguar Reef Lodge over the last years as well as into the continuous training of our staff. The product can't be compared to what it was back in the years before July 2012. We don't say that we are walking over water- not at all- but we are trying very hard to meet and exceed all our guests expectations- every day of the year! We are a Group of Tourism Pioneers- in love with Belize and the Belizean people since over 20 years- proud to present that beautiful country to you- Traveler's from around the World.

The ViVA BELiZE Hotel Group and Adventure Company has an Excellent reputation and our Resorts & Lodges won numerous Tripadvisor Awards on a National as well as on a International level over the last years. Under the ViVA BELiZE Management the Jaguar Reef Lodge was "Traveler's Choice Award Winner 2013"- for Small Resorts in Belize- and in 2015 the Lodge received the " Hall of Fame Certificate of Excellence 2011-2015". This special designation is awarded to businesses that have earned a "Certificate of Excellence" for five consecutive years. Also in 2016 Jaguar Reef Lodge again earned the Certificate of Excellence by Tripadvisor. We are not about winning Awards- but about making our guests happy.

Please be so kind to read the new Tripadvisor Travelers' reviews about the quality of our product (s). We would love to welcome you at the Jaguar Reef Lodge in Hopkins soon.

ViVA BELiZE- Your Gateway To A Breathtaking Belize Experience.

Sincerely
ViVA BELiZE Management & Ownership
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marquette, MI
Level Contributor
276 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2010

We stayed at Jaguar Reef eight years ago, before many of theother hotels were built in the Hopkins area. I liked it much more back then, but things change! The rooms, like eight years ago, are dark with terrible lighting. If you get placed in a gardenview cabana, that is close to the front entrance and road which I found to be noisy at times (mostly staff). The newer portion of the hotel, Almond Beach seems fresher and more private. I will not go back to Jaguar Reef. Ther food was good. Service was slow and at times the order was not correct when brought, but that is more Belizian culture than anything else. Management staff is very friendly as well as the guides who took us snorkeling. It is a beautiful beach there and the snorkeling outstanding. They have two pools to use at Jaguar Beach, but I foulnd alot of kids haning out at the nicer pool (the one with the bar at poolside).... and hanging out well into cocktail time when the resort says it asks parents not to have children there at that time. Kids are nice, but not on vacation for me! I have never considered Jaguar Reef to be a bargain, but this time I felt the place was getting a bit run down. The air conditoner in our cabana was terrible, luckily we did not really need it.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lizardMarquette_MI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
VBQuality, Managing Director ViVA BELiZE Hotel Group at Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, July 20, 2016
Dear Tripadvisor Members

This review was posted in 2010- more than 6 years ago.
The Jaguar Reef Lodge was integrated into the ViVA BELiZE Hotel Group and Adventure Company on July 1st. 2012 and our Hotel Group has taken over financial control / ownership of the Lodge in 2013.

We have informed Tripadvisor many times now that this review is not only very old- but got irrelevant due to the fact that the Lodge is under new Management/Ownership since 4 years now already. We can't make any statement to the content of the review- this review was posted far before our time and we will continue requesting Tripadvisor to remove those old reviews that describe Travelers' experiences made at our Lodge far before our time. We refuse to change the name of the Lodge just to get Tripadvisor to comply with our request. We feel that the name of the Lodge is highly connected to the people of Hopkins- and the Villagers are proud of their very first Hotel - The Jaguar Reef Lodge.

We have invested into the complete renovation of the Jaguar Reef Lodge over the last years as well as into the continuous training of our staff. The product can't be compared to what it was back in the years before July 2012. We don't say that we are walking over water- not at all- but we are trying very hard to meet and exceed all our guests expectations- every day of the year! We are a Group of Tourism Pioneers- in love with Belize and the Belizean people since over 20 years- proud to present that beautiful country to you- Traveler's from around the World.

The ViVA BELiZE Hotel Group and Adventure Company has an Excellent reputation and our Resorts & Lodges won numerous Tripadvisor Awards on a National as well as on a International level over the last years. Under the ViVA BELiZE Management the Jaguar Reef Lodge was "Traveler's Choice Award Winner 2013"- for Small Resorts in Belize- and in 2015 the Lodge received the " Hall of Fame Certificate of Excellence 2011-2015". This special designation is awarded to businesses that have earned a "Certificate of Excellence" for five consecutive years. Also in 2016 Jaguar Reef Lodge again earned the Certificate of Excellence by Tripadvisor. We are not about winning Awards- but about making our guests happy.

Please be so kind to read the new Tripadvisor Travelers' reviews about the quality of our product (s). We would love to welcome you at the Jaguar Reef Lodge in Hopkins soon.

ViVA BELiZE- Your Gateway To A Breathtaking Belize Experience.

Sincerely
ViVA BELiZE Management & Ownership
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, VA
Level Contributor
33 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2010

We loved our stay at Jaguar Reef. The resort was quiet and peaceful. The service was excellent. The food was good. The beach was beautiful. We enjoyed our casita, literally on the beach with the doors opened you could feel the ocean breeze and watch the sun rise over the water. The resort is remote, so if you are looking for lots of action and nightlife, this is not the place for you. We enjoyed all of our excursions, especially the Mayflower waterfall hike and the cave tubing. The only issue is that we went in the off season and in order to avoid paying additional fees, we had to coordinate our excursions with another couple as the minimum for an excursion is 4 people. It worked out though as we were all interested in the same activites. However, I can see where this might be an issue if you aren't flexible.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GlobeTrotter1025
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa

Property: Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa
Address: Sittee 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:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Hopkins
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Hopkins
#5 Family Hotel in Hopkins
#5 Romantic Hotel in Hopkins
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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- A Diver's 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 -PADI 5 Star Dive Centre -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 
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Also Known As:
Jaguar Reef Hotel Hopkins
Jaguar Reef Resort
Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa Belize/Hopkins

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