The Cayo District Hotels

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Fodor's 2012 Hotel Award Winner

The Lodge at Chaa Creek

The Lodge at Chaa Creek, San Ignacio

At a Glance

    Pros

  • stunningly landscaped grounds
  • excellent staff and service
  • lovely cabañas and suites
  • gorgeous pool
  • green and socially conscious owners

    Cons

  • lodging and meal prices, except at the safari camp, may strain your budget

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

The Lodge at Chaa Creek Review

This was the first true jungle lodge in the Cayo, and owners Mick and Lucy Fleming (he's from England, she's from the U.S.) have spent three decades polishing The Lodge at Chaa Creek to a fine, rich patina, while adding new features like a gorgeous bi-level swimming pool and appealing tree house Jacuzzi suites. To start, the gracefully landscaped grounds, surrounded by 365 acres of rolling hills above the Macal River, are magnificent. On the grounds are the Rainforest Medicine Trail, Natural History Centre, butterfly farm, horse stables, Maya organic farm, and one of the best spas in Belize. There's a friendly and highly competent staff of around 100. The whitewashed cottages with thatch roofs and custom-made furnishings are both simple and elegant, but not inexpensive. Ten percent of accommodations revenue goes to environmental and social programs. For cost-conscious travelers there's the Macal River Camp, with small A-frame rooms on raised wooden platforms, and the bargain rate gives you full access to all lodge facilities. At the lodge itself, dinner is a special event, starting with cocktails in the bar and perhaps ending with brandy and Cuban cigar under the soaring thatch palapa. Chaa Creek's tours, although not cheap, are among the country's finest, and horseback riding is available. New air service to Maya Flats airstrip by Tropic Air makes getting here much easier.

    Hotel Details

  • 14 rooms in duplex cottages, 6 suites, 4 villas, 10 casitas, 1 2-bedroom suite.
  • Rate includes breakfast.
  • Credit cards accepted.
Updated: 08-30-2013

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    Heaven in the jungle

    WOW! Chaa Creek is incredible. Our cabana was absolutely gorgeous, indoor and outdoor showers, super decor, really comfortable beds...
    We arrived after visiting the ATM cave (don't miss this once in a lifetime experience)and were ready to be pampered. Our exciting Belize itinerary was arranged by Katie Valk, thanks for the recommendation Fodors! Chaa Creek did not disapoint! We canoed to San Ignatio, rode horses with Roberto as our guide (he is an incredible young man...wonderful with the horses and so knowledgeable about the jungle and archaeology), went on a night time nature walk and lounged by the pool. Meals were delicious and the staff were wonderful. It is expensive but truly exceptional...I am so glad we stayed. If you are venturing into Guatemala...as we did...this is close to the border and so is also convenient.

    by Myswansong, 8/5/13
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    Beautiful Jungle Lodge

    We do not often stay in a high-end place like this so it was a huge treat. The property is large and beautiful and lush. Every person we met who worked there was warm, welcoming and made an effort to speak to us, say hello, or chat with us. The reception and concierge were both highly attentive. We had an issue with one member of our party not being able to come at the last minute and the Lodge handled the financial aspect of this in a way that we found satisfactory and which was done with courtesy.

    We were greeted upon check in with juice and a cool, wet, peppermint-scented washcloth. We were then shown to our room which was strewn with flower petals.

    We stayed in two different rooms-#10 and #12 because we wanted a treehouse the whole time but it was only available for part of our stay. So I can compare the two rooms a bit (both were wonderful). None of the rooms are air-conditioned and all have screens instead of windows. That means being a polite neighbor and mindful of what noise you make--it also means Howler monkeys might awaken you at 6 a.m. as they did for us! All rooms have places to hang a hammock for an afternoon doze or reading spot.

    Room 12: What I liked here was that it had a bathroom with a separate door, an outdoor shower, and though it was right next to another room, one room could not see into the other.

    Room 10: This had a ton of space including a sitting area. The entire room is screens so it feels very open and had a pretty overlook onto the river. The negative is that it is a bit close to the other tree house near it and, therefore, not as private as room 12 felt. There is an outdoor jacuzzi, which was fun, but was on the side of the tree house facing the other room (swimsuits therefore required). The other issue with the jacuzzi is that Belize doesn't have super-clean water and especially in a place like a jungle lodge, so the water has a yellowish tinge that isn't terribly appealing visually.

    There is a water cooler in the bar for filling your water bottles. The Lodge provided bottles to us to use and keep in order to cut down on plastic disposable bottles.

    The bar and concierge were in the same spot. We did several on-site and one off-site activity. On-site we did the night walk, the early morning bird walk, and canoed into San Ignacio. All were fine and relaxing. Nothing spectacular but nature isn't always cooperative. The off-site activity we booked through the Lodge was a tour of ATM cave, which was amazing!

    The saltwater pool is beautiful and relaxing. It wasn't too cold so we spent most evenings lounging there.

    We ate all our breakfasts and lunches there as they were part of our package. Lunches were, too, but we arrived after lunch our first day, had a packed lunch on the ATM day, and opted to buy lunch in San Ignacio on our last full day. The meals we ate were terrific--there was plenty of food and it was all delicious. There was always a vegetarian option on the menu for me.

    One negative is that it is a little annoying that they don't have a plan that includes alcoholic drinks. Their beverages were on the pricey side (beer was reasonable by U.S. standards, expensive by Belizean). On the other hand--unlimited alcohol tends change the atmosphere of a place and I wouldn't change a thing about the feel of this hotel.

    The other negative is that this hotel is a long way from town and their a la carte food prices are expensive so plan on doing their meal-inclusive package. We heard it costs a lot to get a taxi in and out of the hotel because it is down a long gravel road. Since the food on site was great and part of our package, we were glad to eat there all three nights.

    by schlegal1, 9/11/12
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    A true paradise! Luxury in the jungle!

    Stayed at Chaa Creek in October 2007 and absolutely loved it! The rooms and grounds are extremely well kept. Service is outstanding. Any small request was met with a smile. The food was quite delicious. Definately do not miss out on dinner. It was so hard to choose a main-dish option (there are three each night) because they all looked so yummy! Plenty of activities on-site or close by, but it's also perfect if you just want to relax and do absolutely nothing.

    by paprikachipz, 10/29/07
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    Jungle Love!

    We stayed at Chaa Creek Lodge during the first week of Feb. '07. The pristine property, beautiful room (tree top suite), fabulous food (choice of healthy or less diet conscious), tons of activities and best of all the staff! The staff was extremely knowledgeable (i.e. horseback riding to the Mayan Farm, morning and night hikes, Nature Center, etc.) were so nice and so accomodating. We had an amazing trip and highly recommend Chaa Creek Lodge to all.

    by Marcusito, 2/20/07

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