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“Very nice resort with good adventures and lots of birds”

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Bocawina Rainforest Resort & Adventures
Ranked #2 of 20 Hopkins B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Ogden, Utah
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Very nice resort with good adventures and lots of birds”
Reviewed April 21, 2013

We found Mama Noots as part of an online deal and it was a great find. It is a very nice setup within the Mayflower Bocawina National Park with an open area where the restaurant, rooms and support facilities are, surrounded by jungle. The room was nice and clean and the screened porch was good, although we didn't use it much. We did a number of excursions, which were good and well guided. The Antelope Falls waterfall rappelling was fabulous and the zip lining was fun. It was a birder's paradise. We saw so many different species during our stay. The bugs were bad. Even with sufficient bug spray and wearing long sleeves and pants most of the time we still got bitten quite a bit. Be prepared for that. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Stephanie was very helpful with everything. The restaurant accommodated a wheat and shellfish free diet very well. A little more spice and flavor in some of the dishes would be good.
There were only a few things that weren't so great. The bill at the end was a mix of Belizean and US dollars, which made calculating the total confusing for both us and them. Just pick one currency and stick with it. There were inconsistencies in prices too, which was also somewhat frustrating. Prices listed in the information in the room for food and excursions were different from the prices on the menu in the restaurant for food and on the chalkboard for excursions.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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258 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (67)
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English first
Emeryville, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2013

Mama Noots is located down a typically bumpy road in the jungle, which you barely notice as your host / driver (in our case Shelly) tells you about the country and what you are seeing along the road. You feel welcomed by the staff immediately upon arrival and will feel like family the entire time you are there. The room was clean, well decorated, and comfortable, a nice retreat after a day in the sunny jungle. Our only issue with the room would be the thin wall between us and our neighbor (this was our honeymoon). The food served by chefs Sean and his crew (Marcie) was amazing everyday - being so far away from most things, plan to eat here every night but you won't mind. This location is ideal for getting to other attractions and for their own attractions; either way they will take care of everything you need. This location is slightly isolated and for the nature lover , and solar run, so the power would blink (never for long, recovered under 2 minutes) and the water could be cold and refreshing, but this was fixed immediately after telling staff. Overall, the area is breath taking, the staff warm, friendly and genuinely fun people, and your needs met. Also, thanks to Daniel, our bartender for the trip, for some great rum punch! We should also mention, you have that opportunity to get to know the other amazing guests during your stay too!

Room Tip: Our room was wonderful, minus maybe the bird that would sing nightly starting around 1:00 AM, but wh...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sunsetdreams246
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
90 reviews
90 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed April 19, 2013

We stayed in one of the smaller rooms at Mama Noots, but it was still perfectly acceptable – the bedroom was large and airy with a ceiling fan, the bed was comfy, and the bathroom had a decent shower. All of the accommodation is situated in big and beautiful grounds, themselves surrounded by the Mayflower reserve, with lovely views of the hills.

There’s been a fair amount of recent development at Mama Noots, and heavy marketing of the zip-line and rappelling that they now operate. For the moment, this doesn’t detract from the best thing about staying there – the peace and quiet and beauty of the surroundings. We saw numerous species of birds in the grounds, and there are several trails that head out through the Mayflower reserve to various waterfalls. These are definitely worth doing, particularly fairly early in the morning when you will have the pools to yourself.

In Stephanie, they have a brilliant manager – friendly, engaging, and helpful. The continental breakfasts that come as part of the package are big and filling, although this was the only place we stayed where there was no fresh fruit juice available. Dinners were generally tasty, but a little bit on the small side and fairly expensive. But it was the bar prices that really shocked us – far and away the most expensive of anywhere we stayed during our three weeks in Belize, including places far remoter than Mama Noots.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank acr606
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2013

We stayed here for several days and enjoyed most of the onsite attractions as well. Hands-down, the people are what make this resort great. Resort owner Don went out of his way to drive us around town, Stephanie was so pleasant and helped us book excursions almost daily, the young man behind the bar was friendly and polite and our guides for ziplining and waterfall rappelling were wonderful. Everything is well-maintained - the rooms look like they were renovated pretty recently, everything is clean and the scenery is of course gorgeous! The food at the onsite restaurant is delicious (if not a bit pricier than places in town). If I have to be picky, I will say that the linens had a funky (almost moldy) odor to them, maybe they were dried outside? Luckily our room included a bottle of Febreeze to solve that problem.

Evenings can get pretty quiet. I'd suggest adding some nighttime activities, maybe a movie night or a trip into town or something. But overall, I would absolutely recommend this resort to anyone looking to add a bit of adventure to their Belize vacation!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Thank MissedConnections
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marietta, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 7, 2013

How can anyone adequately describe paradise. But that is exactly what my 2 week experience in Belize was. From the moment I arrived, I was enchanted with the country, the culture, the people and the diversity of entertainment.I visited the zoo, the beaches, the ruins, and great dining places. But the highlight of my trip was visiting the Bocawina mayflower National Park, where I met Don and Stasha Troutman, owners of the Mama Noots Resort and Zipline. Being a bit on the older end of life, I had some reservations on zipping through the jungle on the longest zip line in Central America.BUT, what a thrill, the guides were professional and put me at ease, and I thank heaven that I did not let fear get in the way of the best moment of my vacation. Mama Noots is a hidden treasure. I plan to go back soon and will stay at Don and Stashas resort.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank EUGENEK822
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cornish maine
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed March 26, 2013

I somehow, almost by accident ended up at Mama Noots and it was absolutely the highlight of an already amazing trip in Belize. I can go on and on about how beautiful the grounds are, how much fun the zip line was (i've done this many times and this was the best!) the amazing hike to Antelope Falls and Bocawina.....but if you read on, everyone does that. And they also, and most importantly wax poetic about the staff, and for good reason. It was the entire crew who made my stay so lovely...from Don picking me up, to Steph and Shelly arranging and rearranging details, service in the restaurant by Odis and Daniel, Chefs Sean and Dawn, and all the guides who were professional, helpful and just plain delightful...Ronal, Tony, Jose, Jesus, Benjamen.....Since I own a restaurant and have done customer service my entire life....I know it...And i really appreciated it when it is done so well. Props and so many thanks to everyone at Mama Noots!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank kristaCornishMaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Ignacio, Belize
Level Contributor
276 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 221 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2013

Not only is the drive down the Hummingbird Highway beautiful as it winds down central Belize, but it is the first step in getting to Mama Noots. The drive is amazing as you go along side and around the Maya Mountains. Mama Noots is not too far off the Southern Highway, and the Hummingbird is what feeds the Southern. Once on the Southern, you go a little ways farther to the turn off, where you go into the mountains for 4 miles.

I'm doing this review in a slightly different format to change things up a bit. I'll be looking at the strengths and weaknesses of Mama Noots, and covering each of those in detail. Before I start that, I'll clarify that we were in a student group numbering around 40, and that most hadn't had any experience with zip lines or rappelling before this trip. It was a happy and excited, and slightly anxious, junior college group of tourism students. We got there early, before 9:00am, and left around 4:00pm or so. I've also written reviews for the 2 places that helped us get there: Yute Expeditions, and Nine Cultural and Ecological Tours(not submitted yet). Strengths first.

Mama Noots is around 48 acres, but has around 7100 acres to play upon, and that includes miles and miles of trails, multiple waterfalls, some rappellable, hikable rivers(wear Tevas for foot safety and to stop from slipping), and zip lining, with all of this being in a very lush area, which means they really line up with eco and adventure tourists want in a vacation destination. Lucky for them, Belize is one of the sweet spots when it comes to those types of travelers. Another strength is that they have the longest zipline in Belize, and one of the longest in Central America, and the runs are mostly all high quality runs.

Mama Noots Really fits into the national park there, because they are completely off the grid, meaning they are fully alternative energy driven. One can see the signs they post, reminding guests to turn off the lights when they can in order to save energy. You can also see the solar arrays there, where they get their energy. They also get some power from a hydro turbine. How awesome is that? The entire lodge has recently been upgraded to make the cabanas feel a little more luxurious. Yes, they do have cabins there, and you can see them speckled around the property. They made them feel more jungly by creating them with thatch roofs. One of them is a duplex, and they've named the rooms the Howler Monkey and the Parrot's Nest(I've heard that name somewhere before). Being totally run on alternative energy from the sun and rivers made the place really feel differently than most others, and add that to the fact that you could tell they'd really spent some time and effort to refurbish the place, and keep the lush, jungle feel, and you realize that it really captures the meaning of what it is to be an eco-lodge.

The guides there are top notch. They made sure everything went smoothly and that we were all aware of the rules regarding safety and attraction use before even starting the walk to the first zipline run. Their attention to safety was nothing short of perfect. They would coach individuals for each run, letting them know if they needed to break hard, could brake softly, or didn't need to break at all. Since I zipline regularly, they didn't mind if I inverted for a short time to show off for the others. Sidenote: It's great to invert immediately when going first on the first run because it'll get a few gasps, and even a short scream or two before newbies realize that it's not an error or mistake. There were a few times, when someone was a little over-anxious, and the guides would actually attach, and tandem together to give added comfort and safety. That's going above and beyond the normal call of duty.

They continued to show how professional they were when they took us on the waterfalls for some rappelling. There was a little ride(on the back bumper of 4 runner for a couple of us) and then hike to the waterfalls. Once up and ready to go, they make sure everyone is secured, using heavy duty equipment, and then slowly and expertly explain how to get the most out of the rappelling experience while being absolutely safe. They pretty much make it so you can't mess up while rappelling. One guide will be in control of the rope below at the base, and will be able to pull it tight, which will stop any downward movement from the rappeller.. There's also many guides on top to coach the rappellers, and make sure everything is set up correctly before starting the descent. Another strength is how they think strategically: once they realized that our group wasn't rappelling fast enough in pairs, they called another gaggle of guides, and rigged up 2 more ropes so we wouldn't be there too late, assuring us that we wouldn't have to drive back home in the dark(and trust me, you don't want to be on the highways here at night...I've seen things, crazy things, and hit things, many of them, and...LOOK, Squirrel, I mean HORSE, I mean FOG!)

One thing that stood out about the trails and the river was the conspicuous lack of trash. Really, nobody wants to admit it, but it's 2013, and it looks like our legacy on this planet will be 50 gazillion plastic bags in some state of decomposition. There's more trash littering the landscape than can be measured, but along the trails of Bocawina Mayflower, there is none, nada, they are CLEAN! This means that they actively clean it, and that's commendable.

Another thing they are known for, although we didn't get there early enough to see it, are the highly diverse species of birds they get there. Being in the sub-tropical rain forest, they tend to get many more birds than the savannah or mountainy areas. As always, it's best to be on the trails at dawn or dusk, in order to see the most species.

They have a really nice looking website, and it's minimalistic at the same time, not over-loading the eyes, or ears, of the person that's looking at it. It does the job well, passing the 'what you see is what you get' test, relating to the guest well what kind of time will be had while visiting. They also spell out the mission in a really eloquent way: “The dream is to have a place where people from every walk of life can come and commune with nature, where couples and families can find that quality time together while learning how to preserve our Mother Earth.” They also utilize social media, and have two fb pages, one for the hotel, and one for the adventure company. Once again, they use them enough, but don't post so much that they come across as spammers. They also have links to their Tripadvisor page, and that gives the potential guest a piece of mind, knowing that the business isn't afraid to show previous reviews, or allow a new review to be created.

And last but not least, was the great staff, that we found to be very helpful. They worked with us from the get go to make sure that the timing was right, that we had a great lunch and could all be served at the same time(great logistical skills), and that we all knew where the bathrooms and other facilities were. They were great help when trying to decide which souvenir shirt to get too.

So yes, they get a 5 out of 5 based upon all the strengths. Now, some recommendations, aka, the weaknesses. There aren't many recommendations as far as improving the establishment, but I'll mention just a few things that might be helpful, and I'll try not to nitpick.

The restaurant food was good, and I don't think anything was left on the plates, and that's a good thing, although telling that maybe the portions could be a tad bigger. The restaurant, named the 'Wild Fig,' is open air, with screening to keep out any unwanted bugs. It's a huge restaurant, has a full bar, and the pseudo-office is right in there too, along with a small souvenir kiosk. It's been updated since the picture was taken for the website. I found it perfect for our group. Some of the others did mention that the prices for the food were high. I mention this because, being in the industry, I have a good feel for prices. My opinion: yes the prices are more than what you'd pay at the street vendor, by far, but if we'd ordered the same thing at Turtle Inn, it would've been 5 times more, and nowhere near as good. Sidenote: Do not under any circumstances eat at TI, it's by far the worst food I've had in the country. I mention this under weaknesses because perception is reality, and they are more than what a local person would ever pay. I think what most everyone else didn't take into consideration is that the lodge is a long way from the supply chain, and it's more than 30 minutes from the closest store, and that's added into the price of food.

I think they could have more souvenirs there. They have an extensive collection of t-shirts, possibly the most choices I've ever seen for an establishment, but that's where it ends. I didn't see too much else, although maybe that's because you can get souvenirs at the tourist center at the entrance to the park. In that case, they are actually promoting people to go buy from the locals, and that's a great thing.

I think they should expand a little. They were working on a structure, but I didn't get what exactly it was. They only have 2 separate cabanas, and a building with 6 rooms in it. I think that they need a few more stand alone cabanas. Separate cabanas are a bigger draw than being in a building, and they could increase their bookings. I'd think that they could add 4 more cabanas, getting them to 12, and they'd have 6 of each then, possibly securing them a bigger share of the market.

That leads me to marketing. While I've seen the sign for Mama Noots, I rarely see or hear a lot about them anywhere else. Well, that's not totally true since they added the new runs to the zipline, because now you hear about them having the longest zipline in the country. This weakness might be a subjective weakness because they might be advertising in every publication out there but the ones I see. I know they don't want to get too big, but a few more would fit in, and wouldn't detract from the beauty of the place. I would suggest more promotion, if it's in their budget.

Finally, their remoteness is a weakness...but it's also a strength. They are hard to get to in Belizean terms, although compared to daily commutes in the States, it's nothing. It's off the beaten track, and I know that shuttles to get there are quite expensive, and flying to the nearest landing strip and getting a cab would be just as expensive. Many people nowadays don't want to be limited to one place for food, so they like the option of getting to a close village or town to try the local flare and experience the local nightlife. On the flip side, if you drive there, you understand that once again, they really hit the target when you think of the terms 'eco-lodge' or 'jungle lodge.' If you want remoteness, you've got it.

I can't wait to go back, and this time spend a night too.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank DrFeelAwesome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bocawina Rainforest Resort & Adventures

Property: Bocawina Rainforest Resort & Adventures
Address: Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Hopkins, Belize (Formerly Mama Noots Eco Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Stann Creek > Hopkins
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 20 B&Bs / Inns in Hopkins
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Bocawina Rainforest Resort & Adventures 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bocawina Rainforest Resort & Adventures is located in the heart of Mayflower Bocawina National Park. We are powered by hydro and solar. We have 6 standard rooms, 3 rooms in Traditional Thatched Cabanas, 3 deluxe rooms, all with with ceiling fans and private bathrooms hot and cold showers. We have a restaurant and bar on location and we serve local food as well as other dishes and we provide vegetarian meals on request. Our on-site activities include: Zip-lining in the longest Zipline course in Central America (Night zip-lining also available); Waterfall Rappelling in three different waterfalls; Hiking trough the jungle and swimming on different waterfall pools (we have 5 waterfalls); Birdwatching tours (with local Mayan guide with over 20 years of experience); Mayan ruin tours (the park has two unexcavated Mayan Temple Mounds). Off-site activities include Mayan Ruin tours, Monkey River tours, Cave tubing, Horseback riding in the jungle, Cultural tours, Spice farm tour, and snorkeling/diving. And our new Tikal National Park tour (Guatemala). ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Mama Noots Eco Hotel Dangriga
Bocawina Rainforest Resort & Adventures Belize/Hopkins

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