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“Perhaps the best Beach Resort in Belize”

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Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Hopkins
Certificate of Excellence
Colorado
Level Contributor
121 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“Perhaps the best Beach Resort in Belize”
Reviewed 11 March 2012

On this, our third trip to Belize (our first to the South) we were once again amazed by the cordiality and helpfulness of the Belizean people. Yes, it's a tourist-based economy, but at every level, one senses that the friendliness is genuine. Almond Beach/Jaguar Reef are one in the same with the latter being the bit older of the two; travelers on the Living Social deal respond to an offer from Almond Beach but are more likely to be staying at Jaguar Reef. No matter, the rooms are huge and the suites gargantuan, and all rooms are but steps from the Caribbean. Best Beach in the world? Not at all, but very nice none the less, and the coral offshore on the reef (14 miles) perhaps the healthiest and surely most beautiful in the Caribbean.

If one is expecting St Barts, Kauai, Maui, or Santorini and think "resort", they should carefully consider whether they wish to come to Belize; there, the best of accommodations are more rustic, but for this guy, Jaguar Beach, its excellent restaurant (by Belizean standards), its many options of tours to unspoiled and frequently primitive wilderness, and... by wide margin... its terrific staff are more than adequate.

Room Tip: Request a suite on the ocean. Bring DEET-based spray in large supply, and do consider Malaria proph...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank madqdog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
brucejaguar, Public Relations Manager at Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa, responded to this review, 14 March 2012
I would like to thank this former guest for all of the wonderful things he said about our resort. We would like to think that we are "the best beach resort in Belize" as he claims, but our opinion is obviously somewhat biased and we do not want to appear immodest so we will let our guests do our bragging for us!

One issue that we must unfortunately challenge him on is his comment about malaria. Although he is right that Belize ( and actually all of Cental America ) is in the malaria 'zone', we have never heard of a single case of malaria ever in our area. Even the Centers for Disease Control list our area as being 'low risk' for tourists.

We do not recommend guests take malaria medication before staying with us as it is simply not warranted. During the 20 years we have been in business we have been fortunate to host some 10,000 guests, not one of whom, to our knowledge has ever contracted this or any other tropical disease during their stay in Belize.
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (182)
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English first
Dallas, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2012

We have friends who are considering moving to Hopkins, Belize so had heard a lot of context from them about the area. They had mentioned a couple of other nice places as well as Jaguar Reef so I wasn't sure what to expect since we had bought our deal from LIving Social.

I liked it, especially compared to the others that we saw from the outside. The beach was wide, and there was enough room for guests to enjoy themselves, both on and off the beach.

We went to Nevis a couple of years ago and stayed in the Nesbit Plantation. I found it similar in that it was not terribly up to date; however, it was peaceful and allowed you to see the beauty of the water, even if your room wasn't on the beach.

Hamanasi is touted as being the best lodging and we at dinner there--it was good but I didn't think I would have rather stayed there. The lodges were "tree house" type (beautiful) but tucked in together and most of them had a second story--I preferred to stay on first floor. Hope this helps!

Room Tip: Although it looked like most rooms had a view of the ocean, I would ask for a room on the beach.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank bellatok
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Taos, New Mexico
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2012

Jaguar Reef is a wonderful place. The hotel is beautiful, with 2 gorgeous pools and a hot tub. The food is absolutely delicious. Breakfast is an yummy buffet that changes daily, lunch and dinner have specials that change too. The drinks rock. My husband and I stayed here for a week and can't wait to go back. It is family friendly, there is tons of stuff for kids (and adults!) to do. We felt safe and pampered.
The best thing about Jaguar Reef are the staff. The staff are excellent! Everyone is very personable and kind. Each person went out of their way to make sure we were happy and taken care of, and did so with jokes and smiles. We did a few of the trips, and each guide shared different information and stories about their lives and culture in Belize. I feel as though I made friends in Belize that I can't wait to visit again.

Room Tip: Be sure you get the size bed you reserve
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank SLErskine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saskatoon
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2012

My husband and I stayed at this awesome resort in February for our honeymoon and were there when the 2 previous posters where there as well. I cannot for the life of me figure out how anyone could not love it there. I had read previous reviews before we went on our trip and was very curious as to how accurate they were.

We were treated like royalty the whole time we were there and every single staff member that we encountered was super and wanted to make our stay there perfect! Our favorites were Stephanie (she made you feel like family), Gabriel (amazing tour guide!), Mitch, Ella, Ruby, Tino (you rock!), King (best bartender in the history of the world-you must try one of his Pena Coladas)...don't get me wrong though, everyone was awesome! The staff were always friendly and welcoming, and always went out of their way to make sure the guests were happy.

The food at the resort was amazing (we ate every single meal there but one) and there was a ton of variety with the menu. The portions were huge, it would be impossible to ever leave hungry. The breakfast menu was great as was the continental breakfast option-love the fresh fruit! Lunch was always fun and tasty and suppers were out of this world. The appetizers were always unique and delicious as were the entrees that they offered. We always tried to take pictures of at least our suppers because they were so pretty to look at, the presentation was always impressive. Desserts were really good too!

The tours that we went on were amazing (barrier reef snorkeling, birds of paradise tour, zip lining & cave tubing, jaguar preserve hike-we loved them ALL!) and yes maybe you did have to check in at the desk to find out if the tour would go the next day, but really? You are on vacation and we all had a few minutes every day to do so. I don't see what the big deal is with having to do that? We totally understand WHY certain tours can't go unless there are a minimum number of people, in some cases the resort would lose money if they didn't set a minimum. Of the four tours that my husband and I went on, 1 of them was just the 2 of us (no problem there), and for the others there were 4 of us. Another reason that they sometimes weren't sure if a tour would be going the next day was because of the weather. Understandably bad weather could mean having to cancel some tours at the last minute. Common sense. They are looking out for the safety of the guests.

The owner was there while we were there as well, and although he did keep to himself a lot, we noticed that he was just observing. We certainly never felt unwelcome because of it. He seemed like the type of man who treats his employees wonderfully (we were told by a couple of staff members that Bruce is a great guy to work for). It also seemed that he was very particular about how his resort was run. He has high expectations and there is nothing wrong with that. For example, one evening while we were having supper the wind had picked up quite a bit. One of the doors that we were sitting by, leading out to the beach, was rattling a little bit and it rattled the latch open. Now even though it didn't hurt anything by being open, Bruce was still concerned about the fact that it was opening. He actually came over and apologized to us and had a good look at it himself. He cares about his guests and wants them to be happy. I think some people might view the fact that he did keep to himself, as him being respectful of the guests.

The resort was beautiful and the grounds were very well maintained, as was our casita on the beach. The beach was gorgeous and was raked every single morning to get rid of the debris that washed up at night. We stayed in the 'Almond Beach' section in the Guava casita. It was always very clean, the maid visited daily and always did a great job. Most mornings by the time we returned from breakfast, our room had been cleaned (very well too). We always had fresh towels folded in the shape of swans or flowers, there were always fresh flowers in our room from the grounds, our fridge was very cold, the 2 air-conditioners worked wonderfully, the large TV with satellite was great, and the clock radio worked very well and helped us to always be up early enough for our morning tours. They did offer to wake us if we ever needed it though, how nice of them! Yes there were sand flies (no see ums) and yes they do bite. Wear bug spray (or try baby oil-that works too). You are in a TROPICAL CLIMATE RIGHT NEXT TO THE JUNGLE and so there will be bugs. If you don't want bugs go to Antarctica. Yes there was a bar near by that played music at night, it hardly bothered us at all, and the music seemed to stop quite early.

The resort also offered the use of their bicycles, snorkeling gear, and kayaks...for free. Nice! They also had some local Garifuna dancers and drummers come in one evening for entertainment after supper. It was outstanding and the place was packed. Everyone had a great time watching the show and at the end the dancers invited the guests up to dance with them if they wished. Everyone had a blast!

The gift shop is fantastic and the prices are quite reasonable.
Try Marie Sharp's hot sauce while you are there-the best I've ever had! Leave room in your suitcase because you will definitely want to bring some of this home.

The nearby village of Hopkins is definitely worth the visit. We rode bicycles there and quite enjoyed that. The local people are very friendly and we always felt very safe. There are plenty of places there to buy souvenirs, some groceries, and alcohol. David's Wood Carvings is awesome, and the nice Mayan lady who has a 'booth' set up on the main street has a lot of fun things to buy. There is a great bakery and lots of awesome restaurants (do visit Driftwood Pizza in the far North end on the beach-best pizza ever!). Also there is a man who lives on the South end of town who sells polished sea/conch shells and other unique things. I purchased a few items from him and could not be happier. His place is definitely a must to stop at.

Also they have the Hopkins Belize Human Society who do WONDERFUL work for the surrounding area and the animals. They have improved the quality of life for so many animals, they have done an amazing job of educating the local people on how to properly care for their pets and they rely so much on generous donations. If you are able to, check out their website or visit their facebook page. It has a 'wish list' of items that they are desperately in need of. We had packed a couple of small pet carriers and some flea control in our suitcases to bring along. They were very grateful for our donation. :)

So as you can see, we quite enjoyed our time at Almond Beach & Jaguar Reef Resort! We loved every single thing about this beautiful place and hope to go back again one day soon! We have posted some of our videos from this vacation on youtube (before we went on our trip we would have LOVED to have had some more recent videos to watch so we decided to post most of ours). Do a search for 'Almond Beach' or 'Jaguar Reef'. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG4GnE8Gkjc)

If you are looking for a warm, relaxing vacation and want to do something a little different than everyone else, we highly recommend that you check out Almond Beach & Jaguar Reef Lodge, in Belize!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank CandJAdams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 February 2012

You know what they say - if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. We bought a "deal" on Living Social and were so excited for our first trip to Central America. We did our research and new that the town of Hopkins Village would be "rugged" so that was not the issue. We were told we were reserving one of the cabanas, but ended up in a suite. Not to put a damper the vacation we resigned ourselves to make the best of it. The funny thing was - the resort was not booked to capacity and many cabanas sat vacant, they could have easily complied and put us in one. This suite was in desperate need of upgrades and upkeep. The refrigerator didn't close so your food was not kept at a safe temp. Neither bathtub had a stopper, but that didn't matter as neither faucet worked, only the shower heads, so baths were out. The clock didn't work, so we were late for our first tour, and when we asked 3 times for one that would work, they finally sent someone to see if we didn't know how to set a clock. When Isaac saw that the clock was in fact broken, he took it away and we never saw another one. There were dead bugs on the floor that remained there the entire 6 nights so we know the floor was never swept or mopped. We were educated on the sand fleas (no see ums) so we were prepared with bug spray - but didn't know we'd need to spray the floors of the bedroom! My husband did one night and then wiped up no less than 100 fleas...One night it rained and the rain came in under the balcony door and drenched our duffel bag. If you booked a tour, it was a gamble if you would really go on it. They won't go unless they get a minimum number of people, but don't communicate the status to you. You have to get up and go to the front desk to find out IF you are going for the day - as there are no phones in the rooms in order to call them. So if you want to do a tour, you might not get to at all if you book through the resort. The swimming pool was always dirty. The one positive thing I can say is that the servers in the restaurant and the front desk gals were always so sweet and inviting. We enjoyed their service very much. We occasionally would see the owner sitting in the corner of the dining room observing, but not greeting or speaking to guests, which many of us said made us feel very unwelcome. After we checked out of the Jaguar Reef we went to a B & B in town and will be returning to them in the future. They had everything we could have asked for and more, for much less money. We won't be going back.....not to Jaguar Reef anyway.

Room Tip: Don't bother.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank lovetotraveldenver
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 Feb 21, 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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Additional Information about Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa

Property: Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa
Address: Hopkins 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 Top resorts Hotel in Hopkins
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Hopkins
#5 Family Hotel in Hopkins
#5 Romantic Hotel in Hopkins
Price range (per night): $184 - $627
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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TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Wotif.com, Expedia APAC, Hooroo Pty Ltd, TripOnline SA, lastminute.com.au, Booking.com and getaroom.com so you can book your Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday 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

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