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“Belize Beach Experience”

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Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Hopkins
Certificate of Excellence
Camano Island, Washington
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Belize Beach Experience”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2012

The Jaguar Reef/Almond Beach Resort was a middle stop on an extended bird watching, jungle ruin adventure. Our package was purchased on one of those "great deals" and was a little disappointing due to the fact that we were led to believe we would be staying in one of the "beach bungalows" when we purchased. The staff was extremely nice and helpful with everything, but since it was obvious that the facility was not full, we sort of felt cheated in our fairly standard - motel type of room. Granted, we had a lot of bad weather and I would probably have felt differently if I didn't have to spend so much time in the room. The bugs were as advertised and the rain made them even worse, so no lying on the beach even for the couple of sunny days we had. The road in to Hopkins is extremely rough and does flood when it rains! The big stand out for our stay here were the two Chef Rob restaurants, in particular the "Love on the Rocks" experience. The food was incredible, the managers were awesome and it was just a lot of fun to cook your dinner at the table on your own 700F rock!

Room Tip: Be sure to try the Butterfly Spa massage. Ray is magic!
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank DOMac5376
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, 20 July 2016
Dear Tripadvisor Members

This review was posted Feb10, 2012- more than 4 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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (176)
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English first
Randolph, Vermont
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 February 2012

Just got back from a 6 night stay at Jaguar Reef in Hopkins, Belize. We had a great time! Jaguar Reef/Almond Beach is absolutely beautiful. We loved our Ocean View Room (literally a 20sec walk to the beach). All of the staff was wonderful...extremely friendly and willing to help. The food wasn't bad, but there are lots of wonderful places to eat within walking distance so we were glad we didn't buy the meal plan.
A few notes to fellow travelers:
1. Bring a headlamp so that you can have dinner in Hopkins and travel the mile home on your own (either walking or using the provided peddle bikes). It gets dark around 6pm, but it is definitely worth staying in Hopkins later than that.
2. Take a left out of the resort and go to the Sittee River Marina for drinks (on a peddle bike). It's a really cool place! Their kitchen was undergoing renovations so we didn't have dinner, but the drinks are cold and the people are great!
3. Rent a motorbike from Emma (Motorbike Rentals and Alternate Adventures) in Hopkins. She is very helpful at giving you ideas and directions for little adventures to take on your own. We love doing the Tiger Fern Trail (double waterfall) hike in Cockscomb basin, as well as driving down the peninsula to Placencia. If you go to Placencia, stop at Maya Beach Bistro for a mimosa - they also will give you a local map and some suggestions for beach-side dining (the Cozy Corner is delicious! my husband's mouth is still watering over the Cozy Corner Burger!).
4. The Butterfly Spa was wonderful! Ray and Erin work wonders!
5. For delicious meals try these local places within walking distance to the resort that serve excellent food.
a. Chef Rob's is a 2min walk down the beach (to the South)...four courses for $55 belize dollars (27 USD!).
b. Kait's Bakery in the village. Heading north it is the path-like road on the left after the basketball courts. She is great! Grab some banana bread from her and juice from the grocery store, and you'll have breakfast for 2+ days!
c. Thongs Cafe in the village. It's right across from the motorbike rentals; you can't miss it! The staff is friendly and the breakfast is simple and delicious.
d. Innies in the village. They have inexpensive cultural dishes. The Bundiga sounds funny but it is yummy! The fish is good too...fresh and plentiful!
e. Baracuda's, next to Chef Robs, is the most expensive (even more than the resort), but the pizza is a nice change for two people. We can't comment on the rest of the food, but the plates we saw come out looked great!

Safe and happy travels!!
Jessica & Jack, Vermont

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
12 Thank JessicaBTV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
42 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 February 2012

Used Jaguar Reef as a home base to dive the wonderful Belize Barrier Reef. The lodge is located south of Hopkins on the beach. South Water Key is 45min from shore, with Glover's and Turnneffe 1 1/2 hours away.

Staff are excellent and very friendly. Rooms are clean, and well appointed if dated. Stay at the Almond Beach part of the resort for the updated rooms.

Food was the real weak link at JRL. They really need to reinvent the entire dining experience. Breakfast was the best meal. Luckily we did not Take the all inclusive plan. JRL is conveniently located next to some wonderful restaurants Chef Rob's (Parrot Cove), Barracuda Grill (Beaches and Dreams) and Hamanasi.

Nice grounds with two pools, hammocks, free bikes and kayaks for your use.

'no see 'ums' are present so use bug spray. We used a natural citronella and lemon eucalyptus oil spray (we hate DEET) and it worked very well.

Local residents and town of Hopkins is very friendly. Very safe walking 15-20 mins to town. Do yourself a favor and try the Hudutu at Innies (perhaps more than once)...mmm good...

Overall impression:
Good value. Dated rooms and pour/ bland food prevent Jaguar Reef Lodge from being a 4 star resort.

Room Tip: The adjacent Almond Beach Resort is part of Jaguar Reef. Book one of their rooms for updated well ap...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Owen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albuquerque, New Mexico
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 February 2012

Jaguar Reef Lodge is a beautiful, healing place. It was hard to leave, but I know we’ll be back soon. The small plane to Dangriga, the bumpy road to Hopkins, and then the breathtaking view of the beach when you enter the Lodge are perfect hints of what’s to come. Then Stephanie welcomes you into her world and the fun begins! The charming cabana on the beach was clean and spacious. We ate all our meals beachfront in the open-air restaurant. By the second day, you remember how to relax and take in the beauty of the country and its people.

I can’t thank our tour guides enough for sharing so much of their history and culture with us. We saw Mayan ruins, monkeys, Toucans, Kudamundi, crocodiles, iguanas, and tarantulas. We swam in waterfalls while huge Blue Morphos fluttered by, and snorkeled in gorgeous coral reefs with lobsters, stingrays, tarpon, sharks, starfish, and even a seahorse! We went for long walks on the beach, into the mangroves, and to Hopkins Village...where the people couldn’t have been kinder.

We chose the all-inclusive food, adventure, and even romance packages! The bill when we left was exactly as expected, but we got so much more. Thank you again, Stephanie, and all our new friends in Hopkins. See you soon!

Room Tip: I loved Cabana #14 right on the beach. Have a romantic dinner on your own porch!
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Heidi W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
17 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 January 2012

Went to Belize for the first time, and actually found Jaguar Reef through a social deal website. We had a blast! First of all, the resort took care of all of the travel for us from the international airport in Belize City to the lodge. They arranged the transfer flight, the shuttle, the whole deal. Really impressed.

When we arrived, the staff couldn't have been friendlier. Stephanie was charming and we enjoyed chatting with her throughout the trip. The room was great - big, comfortable beds, clean bathroom, a nice porch with chairs, and an A/C and water cooler (and mini-fridge!) in the room. One note, they do say on the website that wifi is available in rooms...it's only really available in the lobby. But that's OK! Don't check email on vacation!

The facilities across the hotel were great. Dining room, lobby, bar were all well-maintained, and the dining room had big, beautiful glass doors/windows that opened right on to the beach. I felt like I was on the beach the entire time I was here.

Food was pretty tasty. Had some breakfasts, lunches, and dinners at the hotel. I will say, it was a little pricey, and we enjoyed several meals at Innie's in town, and at Chef Rob's a little ways down the beach. Again, service staff were incredibly kind and friendly.

One of my favorite things about Jaguar Reef was that you could use, for free, snorkel gear, a sailboat, kayaks, or bikes. We took bikes in to town a few days, stocked up on supplies (booze, snacks, etc.) and for some meals.

The bars were great -- King and Rick were great bartenders -- although the prices were pretty on-par with what I am used to in Washington DC. I had expected the drinks to be cheaper, so we went and got some liquor in town to avoid spending a ton of money at the bar every night, and made friends.

The trips were really fun. We did a river boat tour through Jaguar Reef, and then SCUBA diving. We did the pool training at Hopkins Underwater Adventure (loved them...super friendly, really made me feel comfortable as a first-timer) and then a dive with Hamanasi (less friendly, and honestly, less safe...wouldn't dive with them again if you're not experienced). It was a blast, although I wish the dive leader had been a little more helpful with new divers!!!

We had an amazing stay at JRL and can't wait to go back. Thank you to the staff for making this an excellent trip. Highly recommend this to couples, singles, groups of friends, anyone looking for a relaxing experience away from high-tech stress!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Washingtonian87
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:
Region: 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 Romantic Hotel in Hopkins
#5 Family Hotel in Hopkins
Price range (per night): $281 - $487
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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