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Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa

3.5 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

Wonderful location in Hopkins and great beach. Staff was very friendly. Our room was spacious and a quick step outside and we were right on the beach. Room décor slightly dated, but had everything we needed. Easy walking distance to other restaurants and quick bike ride or golf cart rental into town. Kept our dining to mostly other options outside of the resort as we thought the room was a good value, but meal prices were high and choices limited in the onsite restaurant.

Our family of 4 (mom, dad, 2 boys 16 & 13 years old) stayed at Jaguar Reef Lodge for 3 nights from 7/29-8/2/17. Here's my summary of our stay in Hopkins at the JRL. FYI- I wrote several detailed reviews of restaurants and activities we did during our trip, so to not re-type it all, I reference those for anyone interested in greater review detail. We flew from the US into Belize City and then flew our on a prop plane (Maya Air) for a 20 min flight to Dangriga. I booked our stay at JRL and then Sleeping Giant Resort through Viva Belize. Cathy G was extremely helpful in making the arrangements and everything ended up working as planned/promised. I also pre-booked transportation from Dangriga airport to JRL and also from JRL to Sleeping Giant and finally from Sleeping Giant back to Belize City to fly home. I booked my own air reservations from Belize City to Dangriga, although Cathy offered to do this too. She could only book on Tropic Air, and the time on Maya Air was better for our needs. Upon arrival at the Dangriga airport, we were met by our driver who would take us to the JRL. He was very friendly and helpful and quickly loaded our bags into the van. The 40min drive from Dangriga to Hopkins went quickly as our driver explained a lot about the area, the people, history, citrus business, etc. The van was well worn but comfortable enough. The only problem was that it smelled strongly of fish...like a load had just been dropped off before picking us up (it probably had). Not exactly a welcome smell in the heat and humidity and for 40 min! I was surprised that JRL would allow such a first impression? I highly recommend that they fix this issue. We're low maintenance, so besides some laughter and feigned gagging, we rolled with it. We were greeted nicely at check in and taken to the restaurant/bar area to sit down and have a welcome drink. Since we arrived early (9:30am), our room wasn't ready yet but we were told that it should be ready within an hour and a half, as someone had just checked out. In the meantime, we had breakfast and enjoyed the made-to-order omelet bar. The restaurant (called the Paddle House) is right on the sand, overlooking the beach, palm trees and the ocean. It was hot and humid out already, but there was a fairly strong breeze blowing, which made the temperature and ambience (with all the restaurant doors towards the beach open) very nice and tropical feeling. The room ended up taking longer than expected and hoped for. We watched the cleaning team come and go over an hour or more but it was never quite finished and ready. Such is life in Belize...get used to waiting and just be patient. We really just wanted to unpack and change after a long red eye flight. Several checks later with the front desk, we finally got into the room. The 2BR suite was immaculately cleaned and prepared. It consisted of a living room with couch, several chairs, a dining table for 4, a TV and a 5 gallon purified water dispenser. There was a full kitchen, refrigerator, stove, coffee maker, microwave, dishwasher, etc. The air conditioning unit for the kitchen/living room is located against the ceiling in the kitchen. It was controlled by a remote control and it was VERY effective in keeping the room cool...even cold. There were exactly enough plates, glasses and utensils for 4...sparce overall but everything was modern, in great shape and worked well. I recommend that JRL provide more plates, bowls, cups, glasses and utensils. There is a hallway past the kitchen that came to the first, smaller bedroom, which consisted of 2 twin beds, a ceiling air conditioning unit, a ceiling fan, closet and a safe in the closet. Basic but comfortable and perfectly fine for my 2 teenage boys. Across the hall is a full bathroom and further down the hall is the master bedroom. The master had a newer, comfortable queen bed, dresser and connected full bathroom and a walk-in closet. The air conditioning unit was like the other rooms..against the ceiling, remote controlled and very effective. My only complaints about the room is that the window coverings are sheer, which allowed way too much light into the room early in the morning...to the point of being difficult to sleep. The digital read out on the air conditioner also stayed on all night, shining towards the bed. I never got around to covering the LED with something but it was a slight annoyance. The windows definitely deserve better/darker drapes. We were on the bottom floor of a 2 story/4 unit building of similar suites. I would have preferred an upstairs unit, which has a better beach view and a nice patio with lounge chairs, but our room was great. We never once heard our neighbors next door or above us. The building were very solidly built and well insulated. The pool is small and shallow. Great for young kids or to hop in to cool off, but it feels like a kiddie pool. It didn't bother us because we would much rather sit in the chairs under thatched cabana umbrellas and look out at the beach. There are a number of these and never a problem to find at least one available. There are also probably 8-10 hammocks spread around the property, right on the beach and 2 out at the covered end of the resort's dock. These were a big hit with my kids (and my wife and me too). It was very relaxing to swing in the shade with a warm breeze blowing. We usually had to wait our turn, as people came and went, but nobody monopolized them, which was nice. As many have mentioned about Hopkins and Belize in general, the ocean is more like the pacific than the pictures you've seen on sparkling turquoise tropical beaches. It's due to the off-shore reef, which keeps the inner waters stirred up, warm and shallow...so quite a bit of short sea grass grows on the bottom. The water temperature was very warm (at least 80F). It was fun to jump off the end of the dock and swim around and back into the beach. Walking past the sea grass the last 5-10 feet to shore was not a big deal. We observed clean up crews very diligently raking and hauling away grass that washes up on the sand. It was very impressive since it's a task that has to be repeated every day. JRL does an incredible job keeping the grounds looking pristine. They really work hard and have a great pride for the resort! There were 2-3 single kayaks and 2-3 double kayaks that could be checked out for free and were almost always available when we wanted them. They were all in very good condition and each had good quality life jackets that guest were asked to use. There is also a rack with 4 or 5 stand up paddle boards. They were in good shape, but unfortunately, none had the bottom fin any longer (I was told that guest break them off when they drag them onto the beach or run aground in the shallows. This means that it's nearly impossible to control the SUP in a straight direction. I was disappointed because I love taking a SUP out at the beach, especially with no waves. I tried it once, went 100 yards out and then came back...too frustrating, so I exchanged it for a kayak. The SUPs are fun however to kneel on and paddle with your arms (like a paddle board). The beach captains were super friendly and outgoing and there to help in any way. This included helping drag kayaks into the water, coaching any novices about how to use them, where to go, where not to go, etc. If I walked by within 100 feet of any of the beach staff, they went out of their way to wave, ask if i was happy and needed anything, and even run over and give us a high five. A big hit with all of us was their assistance in retrieving ripe coconuts from the surrounding trees, hacking them open with a machete, and serving them to us as a very refreshing snack. We did this a number of times (the whole family LOVES coconuts), and we really enjoyed it. It's a wonderful small touch which helped make the stay so memorable. We took 2 double kayaks out several times and my kids brought masks to look for fish and hopefully manatees. The water clarity is not great, especially when the wind picks up, but we're pretty used to that coming from Southern California. My sons found several rock outcroppings near the resort that had 5-10 lobsters hiding inside. Unfortunately we never saw a manatee or the dolphins that sometimes come close to the pier. One day we rented a golf cart from the activity desk at the hotel. You can rent in 2 hr, 4hr, 8hr, full day or multiple day increments. We opted for 4 hours, which cost around $45 USD, including gas. The carts were in good shape, with big knobby tires for the dirt roads, a good sun roof and a cable lock in case you make stops in town. We drove our cart to the far opposite end of Hopkins and explored several other resorts, as well as just having fun driving around. We stopped at Thongs cafe in town, which we really enjoyed. It's very clean and great food (plus wifi if you need it). I highly recommend it for breakfast or lunch. Read my review on trip advisor of the restaurant if interested. We stopped by a market and bought some food for our kitchen, drinks, snacks etc. Like everything in Belize, it's not necessarily really expensive, but more than you expect to pay given where you are. We then took the cart to the other end of the village, where the Sitee river meets the ocean, making a full loop along the river and for several miles through the marsh area, and back to the JRL. The roads in general were dirt and bumpy/rough...especially along the river back roads, but we all had a lot of fun..especially my teen boys. People we encountered were generally friendly and smiling and we never felt unsafe, anywhere we went. Weather-wise, I think we got really lucky. It was the rainy season with the potential for hurricanes (a big tropical storm came in the day after we left, and a category one hurricane hit Belize exactly one year before our trip). Yet it never rained during the day...just a bit very late at night. Also, there was a constant medium strength breeze blowing which had several positive effects. It cooled the temperature and humidity (a few times when the wind stopped it got VERY hot and humid quickly). The wind also kept mosquitoes and biting sand flies I'd read so much about completely away...which was a godsend. And lastly, the wind added to the tropical vacation resort feel...blowing the palm trees lightly, drying us off quickly, etc. While on our cart ride, we stopped by Happy Go Luckie tours, nearby Thongs Cafe. I had read about their private boat charters to the outer reef and we were interested in spending a day snorkeling. We met Cheryl, one of the co-owners and she explained the trip options, costs, etc. At first, it looked like there wasn't availability the day we could go, but she was able to rearrange some things and it worked out. if interested, read my more detailed review of our Happy Go Luckie trip on Trip Advisor. I can say that I HIGHLY recommend them and a full day private outer reef charter if you have a group of at least 4 people. It was a highlight of our trip (one of many). We only wished that we had more days at the beach to do more trips and diving. We ate most meals at the Paddle House (the on-site restaurant that served JRL and the sister property next door..the Almond Beach Resort). We enjoyed the food and the ambience. For more details, read my separate review of the Paddle House on Trip Advisor. The bar in JRL was nice, with a great bartender and good drinks. Happy hour was daily from 4:00-6:00, making good drinks like pina coladas inexpensive (about $4USD). Guests at JRL can use the pool and swim up bar next door at Almond Beach Resort and charge drinks to your room. Their happy hour was from 2:00-4:00 I think. The staff at JRL was attentive and helpful. Some really went out of their way, with a big smile to treat you well, which is very noticeable and makes a big difference overall. The waiters in the restaurant, the bartender, several front desk personnel and the beach captains went above and beyond. I was surprised several times when i encountered stern, unsmiling expressions from a few staff members..especially in juxtaposition to those that strive to go above and beyond. I didn't let it bother us...just an observation and maybe something to keep working on. I would really like to thank the front desk and the manager, who agreed to let us check out as late as 3:30 on our departure day. Check out is normally 11:00, but there must not have been someone arriving that day for our room, so they happily agreed, which was not lost on us at all. In my experience, most hotels tell you NO to this type of request, just on principle. JRL's flexibility allowed us to enjoy most of a full day on the beach before we left...much appreciated! We would definitely go back and can highly recommend JRL. When our transit van arrived to pick us up to take us to our next destination in the jungle, we actually briefly discussed whether we could cancel and stay at least another day at JRL. We loved our next adventures at the Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge, but I wish we had a longer trip overall to enjoy both even more!

The JRL accommodations were absolutely fabulous! Very, very clean and well maintained by the staff from the guys who were cleaning & raking the sand everyday to all the Adventure excursion staff (Stacey, Mykel, Indyrah) who were so courteous & helpful. Pete Taca shared the history of his Mayan ancestors with us during our Jaguar Preserve & water tubing adventure. His love of the nature was so evident. Jonathan Miranda was inspiring as he regaled us with stories & history at the Mayan ruins. Felix Galeana (our driver) gave us all the local town "hot spots" for shopping & visiting. Larry Leslie & Dennis Castillo became good friends during our 14 day stay, constantly checking with us to make sure EVERYTHING was perfect for a great stay. They helped with all the free beach activities and gave us plenty of coconut drinks on the beach. Loved those guys😎 A special thanks to Darwin who found us EVERYDAY to make sure we were happy with every aspect of our stay & went over & above to resolve any concern we had. We met the resort owner who was very friendly and I'm thrilled to see that he is making renovations constantly to make the accommodations even more luxurious than they already are (and they are terrific already)!! No one told us prior to arriving that we could split our stay between JRL and the sister lodge, Sleeping Giant (which is a spectacular rainforest lodge in the mountains with impeccable accommodations and an awesome cave experience)! I would recommend considering doing a split stay, even though our entire stay at JRL was beyond compare! Definitely plan on returning again!!!!

From the moment you arrive they do not disappoint. Everyone is very friendly and want to make sure you enjoy your time at the resort on in their country. Darwin, Blaine, Charlie, Dennis, etc... they are GREAT. If you want great snorkeling its here (I hear the diving is great to). Fishing AWESOME. Cave tubing yep. Myan ruins, zip lining. From the beach to the jungle there is lots to do.

Immediately upon arrival the staff was extremely professional and friendly. The staff was welcoming throughout our entire stay. The rooms were clean and gorgeous and exceptionally large. The breakfast was delicious, cant say much about dinner however, I didn't eat any other meal at the resort. The resort offered many amenities such as paddle boards, kayaks and two pools. Additionally, the staff would let you take out a sail boat or go snorkeling for a small fee. I would like to mention two amazing staff members as well here. "Local" Larry and Dennis went above and beyond. They greeted our entire group everyday by name and made it a point to ask us numerous times throughout the day if we needed anything, without being overbearing. Larry even assisted my girlfriend who got stung rather badly by a jellyfish. He brought her inside, washed her leg, and provided a vinegar compress which helped almost immediately. I have nothing but great things to say about this establishment. I plan on staying here again as soon as possible!

We absolutely loved our stay at Jaguar Reef. The staff were all wonderfully kind, remembered our names, and went out of their way to make sure we had an excellent trip. Dennis and Larry took great care of us on the beach and even knocked fresh coconuts from the trees for us. We loved chatting and joking with Charlie at the poolside bar. Darwin was also exceptionally helpful and made sure we had plenty of ideas for local excursions. All of the staff at the adventure desk, restaurant, and front desk were accommodating and kind. The room was clean and nice. The location on the beachside in Hopkins is perfect. We spent multiple days just relaxing at the resort as there's plenty to do without having to ever leave. We also loved the tours we arranged through the adventure desk. We went snorkeling twice with Captain Nick, went tubing at the Cockscomb preserve, and went to the Xunantunich ruins with Cipi. All the tours were well done. We would come back to Jaguar Reef without any hesitation. Make the effort to connect with the staff, because they are wonderful!

This resort was a great second half to our honeymoon. I have a weird diet, and it took a day or so to get on the same page with the staff. Once we did, they made delicious dishes for me!! Rico's Bar was great. We did the Mayflower hike, and that was a once in a lifetime experience. The beach wasn't great for swimming, but it was good for relaxing and walking. This is a good place for couples, families, or groups of any age.

We had a wonderful time staying at Jaguar Reef's sister hotel, Almond Beach Resort, which was right next door. The rooms were wonderful, as was the food at the Paddle House restaurant. Our favourite part of our stay was the water activities available. Included in the hotel price were kayaks, snorkel gear, tubes, paddle boards. They also have catamarans for cheap rental. The lifeguard, Larry, was phenomenal!! It was our first time on a catamaran, and he took the time to explain every detail, and even kayaked out to help us when he saw we were having difficulty out at sea. He also helped us load our bags when we left. Very friendly guy, and a true star of the hotel! Definitely recommend staying here if you are looking to get away from the over-crowded tourist spots in San Pedro and Placencia.

Stayed for a week with three families....three different units. Beach front cabana for two...two poolside suites For two families of four each. The suites had full kitchens....the cabana had a small fridge and a coffee maker. All rooms were very spacious and quite comfortable. We made good use of the two bars during happy hours....one goes from 2-4 another goes 4-6. We didn't do the food plan but we did eat at the paddle board restaurant a few times. It was very good. The kayaks, paddle boards and pools were put to good use. We rented a golf cart because the town was more than a mile away ,although there were some other restaurants close by. We arranged activities off campus ......the adventure desk had schedules which didn't coordinate with ours. This resort exceeded my expectations and I would recommend it!

We just returned from four nights at the Jaguar Reef and had a wonderful time. We have stayed in hotels and resorts around the world from budget hotels to high end luxury resorts and believe that the friendliness and hospitality of the JR staff is second to none. The hotel gardens and beach are absolutely amazing and the ocean view cabana (#11) was very nice, comfortable and clean. The a/c worked great. (Note, the ocean view cabana #11 has an amazing view and would be considered beach front at many resorts and is just 30 to 40 feet from the cabana that is listed as beach front at Jaguar Reef. We very much enjoyed relaxing in the hammock on the porch.) The resort restaurant is very good but a bit more expensive than some nearby options such as Chef Rob's at Parrot Cove which is just a short walk down the beach and if you rent a golf cart to go to the village, the fish and chips are fantastic at Inni's restaurant just before you get to the main part of the village. We also enjoyed a meal at the Belizean Dreams resort next door. The beaches were much less crowded and the are is less commercial than other beaches which we have visited. Free use of kayaks and stand-up paddle boards were a great bonus. We saw sea turtles, manatees and dolphins while kayaking and paddle boarding directly in front of the resort. Highly recommend!

Hopkins Village Hopkins

Hotel highlights

  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Free parking
  • Onsite dining
  • Spa

Anderson Lagoon is within 2 miles (3 km) of Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa while other popular attractions such as Hopkins Pier are within 3 miles (5 km). This 18-room, 3.5-star resort welcomes guests with conveniences like a full-service spa, an outdoor pool, and free in-room WiFi. It's on the beach and also within the region of South Water Caye Beach.


Dining

This resort is home to a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Savor a meal from the privacy of your room with room service, or get a pick-me-up at the coffee shop/café. For your convenience, a full breakfast is served for a fee each morning from 6:30 AM to 10:30 AM.


Rooms

The 18 rooms are air-conditioned and have an array of amenities, including balconies, refrigerators, and coffee makers. Guests can expect free WiFi and TVs with cable channels. Bathrooms have hair dryers and free toiletries. Free bottled water, ceiling fans, and safes are other standard amenities.


Property features

Guests of Jaguar Reef Lodge & Spa enjoy a full-service spa, an outdoor pool, and a children's pool. There's free parking, and an airport shuttle (available 24 hours) for BZD 99 per person one way. A multilingual staff is on hand to assist with concierge services and securing valuables. Other amenities at this beach resort include a spa tub, free WiFi in public areas, and coffee/tea in a common area.

Room options

Family Suite, 2 Bedrooms

Queen 1 | Sleeps 6

Beachfront Cabana

King 1 | Sleeps 2

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

90% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 643 reviews