Outstanding service in a beautiful setting. The food was the only shortcoming.
We just returned from an 8 day stay at Jaguar Reef. We purchased the Ultimate Honeymoon package which included everything imaginable (food, activities, spa services, transfers, gratuities). The resort is just south ofthe small village of Hopkins. It is owned by a Canadian and is adjacent to Belizean Dreams and Almond Beach. Hamanasi is about 200 yards to the north. Jaguar Reef and Almond Beach act as one resort. They are managed by the same team and share use of the central pavilion where meals are served and activities are coordinated. I will offer my opinions in an itemized fashion in hopes of giving a fairer apraisal of our visit.
Accomodations: 5 stars
The Ultimate Honeymoon package is suppose to include use of the premium beach fron cabanas. We booked our trip on short notice, so we were only able to use a cabana for three of the eight nights. The management generously offered a price concession as compensation. It was a beautiful room with a vaulted ceiling that was inlaid with bamboo. It had a separate area where the shower and vanity was located. The sliding door offered an incredible view of the ocean. It was literally just 50 feet to the water. The particular room we stayed in was called "Papaya". The next room we stayed in was I think what they called a cabanita (room #11). It was smaller than the cabana with a half-vaulted ceiling. It was further removed from the water, but was closer to the pavilion. The final four night were spent in a pool side room called Soursop. It was in a small complex of rooms that resembled a conventional hotel arrangement. Our room was lovely and had a partial ocean view. It was quite large and well insulated for sound I beieve it was the largest of all of the rooms we occupied. It had a separate seating area and a nice bathroom. We actually enjoyed this room as mch as the cabana. All rooms were very clean and well appointed. Each had a safe. A/C and a refrigerator. Papaya and Soursop also had a king bed and a coffee maker. Each day room service cleans the rooms and create sculptures with the towels and flowers that they assemble on the bed.
Service: 5 stars
As is a common remark, the service was incredible. The staff couldn't have been friendlier. They made usfeel welcome from the instant we arrived. The Belizean culture does not value possessions as much as the American culture, which probably explains why everyone seemed happy even though they live simply. They truly care about making sure are every need was addressed. While help was always available, we never felt that is was at the sacrifice of our privacy. The staff/tourist ratio was ample to prevent us from ever waiting in line for a table or other assistance. The service is as fine as any I have enjoyed.
Activities: 5 stars
Our package included unlimted activities. The activities we chose included river fishing, reef fishing, snorkeling, Mayan tour, Jaguar Preserve Hike, Birdwatching and zipline. To our amazement, nearly every activity we chose was private; meaning we had a dedicated guide and vehicle just for us at no additional expense. Even though the website implied hat we would only get one private snorkeling and on private hiking expedition, we also had private arrangements for Birdwatching, the Mayan tour and both fishing trips (I had a boat all to myself both trips). It was truly a luxury to get such special attention. I think part of the reason we received the extras for free is because we did not partake in diving, which was also included. This special attention made the Honeymoo package worth the investment all by itself. All guides were friendly and knowledgable. There was also a very nice variety of things to do even when the seas got rough.
Food: 2.5 stars
Unforunately, the food (particularly dinner) was not as exceptionl as the rest of the experience. What we enjoyed most was the breakfast and drinks. The pina coladas were the best we've ever had. Lunch was good especially the nachos. Dinner was the real weak spot. Nearly everything we ordered was overcooked (lobster, chichen, fish) to th point of being dry and tough. Unfortunately, there was rarely a sauce that could have helped diguise the mistake. I finally complained the night beef tenderloin was offered. I asked for it rare in hopes of at least getting it pink. To my surprise the chef told the waiter that it could only be prepared well done. Without exageration, I sent the waiter back three times in an attempt to win a compromse (I even askedto have it served raw). Finally the management got involved and convinced the chef to prepare it as I requested orginally, rare. It was very tasty although the fuss I had to make to achieve the result left me a bit unsettled. Dessert was also a bit of a dsappointment. We actually chose to eat at several other local restaurants during our stay at extra expense included Hamanasi, Chef Rob's and Innie's. Our experience at each was superior to what was served at Jaguar Reef.
Even though the food was average our stay was was very pleasurable. I can recommend this place very highly. If you enjoy good food for dinner, it can easily be found nearby. This place is a great value and deserves a place on your short list of must-see beach destinations.
pool side view is a great choice
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC