Old Reviews – Jaguar Reef Lodge and Spa

February 2005

We just returned from a great vacation at the Jaguar Reef Lodge in Dangriga, Belize. This is one great place to visit. The accomodations, food and the beach were perfect. I have been to some other resorts, but none can compare to this one.

Since there are no direct flights to Belize we flew from Toronto to Atlanta, Georgia and from there on to Belize City. Upon arrival in Belize City we flew via Maya Island Air to Dangriga. This is a short 20 minute flight. Aerial view was fantastic.

This is without a doubt one of the most accomodating places that we have visited. This is a small lodge. There are only 7 cabanas, each with 2 rooms.

The staff at the lodge were great. These are friendliest people on the globe. Big thank you to Ruthie, Laurel, Danisha and so many others who helped to make our vacation memorable. It helps tremendously that English is the language of Belize. Garifuna, Creole and Spanish are also spoken.

Rooms: The rooms are spacious and well done. Ours contained a king size bed, dresser, rattan couch and a couple of chairs. There is plenty of room to store your belongings. The room also contained a mini fridge (extra charge if you use any on the contents) and even though Belizean tap is drinkable there is bottled water in the room. The rooms are clean and well kept. Daily maid service is included. There is a full bathroom complete with shower and tub. Each room is complete with beach towels which are changed every day.

Restaurant: There is only one restaurant, but the food was beyond compare. We had a couple of very windy days and cool nights. Jaguar Reef is in the process of enclosing the dining area, but it was not complete during our stay. Once this is done the restaurant will be perfect. It was difficult to eat when the lettuce blew off my plate. I would call this an all inclusive except for the fact that alcohol and soft drinks are not included in the price. These are extra, but we aren’t big drinkers so I didn’t matter to us.

Breakfast is buffet style. Every morning there was an assortment of cereal, fresh bread, fruit, good coffee, omelettes made to order, home fries, bacon, ham, fresh fish, fresh juice….the list goes on. I especially liked Ruthie’s "fry jacks". Breakfast is served from 6 am to 10 am, though we found that breakfast didn’t really get going until about 6:30 am.

Lunch is served from 12 pm until 3 pm. You order lunch from a menu that includes everything from hamburgers to fajitas and pizza. The Caribbean Curried Shrimp salad was my favourite. There is also a kid’s menu complete with hot dogs and fries. I tried several items on the menu and all were delicious.

Dinner is from 6 pm until 8 pm. If you love seafood as much as I do you are in for a real treat. We dined on lobster, shrimp, grouper, snapper, conch. Each night there was a minimum of 4 entrees…all extremely tasty. As well as the fish and seafood there was beef ( I had a T-bone steak cooked exactly the way I like it), chicken, pork. The choices also included traditional Belizean fare. Before travelling to Belize I was a little worried since I had been told that all food in Belize is very spicy. There are spicy choices but not all food will burn as you eat. All in all I have absolutely no complaints about the food.

Beach: Great beach and good swimming. Water is shallow enough along the shore for children. There is also a small pool for those who don’t like the ocean. Except on very windy days the ocean was great for swimming. No waves. Belize is protected by the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere. Beach chairs and lounges were plentiful. Because the lodge is small there were a couple of days that I was the only one at the beach. The only draw back at the beach is the sand flies. You can’t see them, but some days they were plentiful. There is a small shop on the grounds and once I purchased bug repellant I was fine. Remember to bring bug repellant…I didn’t. We plan on returning next year to the Jaguar Reef and I am going to bring some anti-itch cream. I did get several bites and boy do they itch. On windy days the bugs are no where to be seen.

Take a look at the lodge’s website. www.jaguarreef.com There is nothing misleading. We you see on their web page is what you get. They also list many tours that are available…..from Mayan ruins to snorkeling at the barrier reef, dive trips, tropical bird tours etc. etc.. Something for anyone. We didn’t go on the tours but other guests that we spoke to said they were worth every penny. We had booked a half day snorkeling trip, but it was cancelled due to weather.

Oh….I almost forgot. My husband is into fishing in a big way. He went fly fishing for bonefish and permit. While he didn’t manage to hook a permit he did get some bonefish, shark and barracuda. All fishing in Belize is catch and release. We originally chose the Jaguar Reef Lodge because he loves fishing and I love the beach. Here we had the best of both. We booked a fishing package. He had 6 days of fishing complete with his own guide each day. Since I was the "non-fishing companion" the cost for my stay was considerably less. Only one person per boat and guide. Boxed lunches were included for the day.

All in all this was one of the best vacations my husband and I have taken.

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