A Little Jungle Hideaway
We ended up staying at the Mayan Mountain Lodge (http://www.mayamountain.com/) because a few days before we decided to go to Belize I found them on the internet and they had an available room. We wanted to be on the jungle side of Belize rather than the beach side because we wished to visit a lot of Mayan ruins. This seemed to fit the bill.
At the Maya Mountain Lodge, we stayed in a hut for a two nights and a room for a few more. They then had over bookings and put us up at the Aguarda, a decent hotel, down the road. When we were at the Aguarda they came to pick us up every morning for breakfast and we did activities with them or on our own then returned for dinner at the lodge.
Even though the hut is twice the cost of a room at the Maya Mountain Lodge, we think it was worth it. The hut has room to move around in and a bit more privacy. There are screens at the top of all the walls that makes for excellent cross ventilation so we did not want for air conditioning. In the room it was rather hot and stuffy and we heard our neighbors pretty easily.
The staff at the Maya Mountain Lodge are experts in hospitality. We can't put into words how superb they are in this, except to say they were beyond compare. Most people let the hotel pick them up at the airport and arrange their activities for them. We drove ourselves to the lodge but did the day trips most of the time.
The lodge offered a good assortment of day trips where they provided transportation and hooked us up with the appropriate guide if the location required an specific guide like Che Chem Ha which is family run and Actun Tunichil Muknal which has guides that are approved to go into the cave with groups.
We did a canoe trip where they dropped us off with a canoe and it was supposed to take 3 hours but it only took one and we did not paddle - just rode the current. And we also did not know we were supposed to get a cab to bring us back rather than be picked up. So sometimes maybe we did not ask enough questions and wanted to mentio this so you would be able to ask enough if you visit.
Dining at the Lodge
We ate at the Maya Mountain Lodge (picture above) most the time which is so convenient when you are staying there. It was very good, but rather expensive. At $18 (US) in 2004 for dinner, we got a delicious four course meal. You get what they serve each night rather than ordering from a menu. We always got a fresh drink like lime juice or banana shakes. A mixture of familiar foods and local specials and ingredients prepared by expert hands was always a delight at the end of the day. The dining area was beautiful as well.
You need to let them know ahead of time if you are eating there. We ordered dinner for the day we would arrive to make things easy. They also make a really nice breakfast. Tea, local coffee, and fresh juice was always available and for an additional cost the made a bag lunch for us.