The Lodge at Chaa Creek – located in a rainforest in W Belize, close to the Guatemalan border – is one of the best hotel experiences we have had and we were sorry to leave after our three night stay. The current property is the evolution of a 20 year + project of its British-American owners – originally a rooming house for backpackers, it has morphed into a luxurious and environmentally sensitive complex, with a large pool, beautiful rooms and a range of activity options: guided walks in the forest, butterflies, visits to nearby Maya sites, river trips etc.
Our spacious room was half of a casita, elegant and well equipped (shower only and – thankfully – no TV). We had an oversized deck looking onto the river and the rainforest, with nothing else in view. But only 50 metres away there is a well stocked bar and an atmospheric restaurant (with a limited but adequate menu based essentially on locally sourced products). The staff are uniformly friendly and competent and the general ambience is one of calm excellence and unforced hospitality.
The only irritant was the painfully slow internet service (there is free central WiFi and two guest pcs) – but, hey, we’re in the jungle!
We took only the half day forest tour. There are some major Mayan sites which can be visited in day trips (Tikal marginal for this, in our view), but we see The Lodge less as a base and more as a destination in which to wind down.
The Lodge is no longer low-budget but neither is it a Four Seasons and it might not appeal to travellers who require 24 hour room service or need to have their bags unpacked by a butler. But we thought it a good balance between these extremes.
The Lodge is an exceptional property, world class, and we strongly recommend it to all travellers, especially honeymooners and families with children.