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“Perfect Introduction to Belize”

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Cahal Pech Village Resort
Ranked #8 of 14 Hotels in San Ignacio
Colorado
Level Contributor
53 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Perfect Introduction to Belize”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2012

This was my first time in Belize, and San Ignacio (a great and fun little town) was where i stayed at the first part of my trip). I chose this place because the price was right, the photos seemed right, and I liked the idea of staying in a cabana. First of all, walking from town, there are two hills, one right after town, and the other right before the hotel. Both are doable, but can tire you out. That being said, the cabanas were perfect for what i wanted- screened patio with hammock overlooking the town at night, soft bed, and warm shower. Yes, the roofs are thatched, but i was there when it rained and never got wet and only occaionally saw a lizard. Nothing at all to complain about. Also, the pool are relaxing and clean, and the restaurant had really good food and drink. I was pleasantly suprised. Plus, the hotel arrainged pickup for me from the Belize Airport and a return to the Belize Dock and the drivers were very enjoyable to talk with. In fact, all the staff was kind and quickly greeted me by name. Besides the cabanas, the best part of this hotel is the view overlooking the town and the close proximity to the Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins just about 100 yards away. Amazing to go to in the early morning and hear the birds come to life- I had the place to myself. Also, there is a great pancake place at the bottom of the hotel hill (fantastic banana pancakes), a grocery store, an ice cream store that makes soy ice cream, and a little farther down was an amazing bakery that had the best coconut cake! It took me about 15 minutes to walk down to Burnes Avenue from the hotel.
A cab back up is about 5 BZE. I would stay here again just for the view and the ambiance and the polite staff.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank tallcodude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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579 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (142)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lunenburg, Canada
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2012

Let me start by saying we usually don't stay at resorts or fancy hotels. We're budget to moderate travellers, and usually prefer basic and laid-back. As long as the rooms are clean and the service isn't rude, we're happy. Nothing fancy. However this time we decided to treat ourselves by staying at the Cahal Pech Village "Resort", and were excited to have a higher-end experience... I should have known by the price (~$85US/night) that it wouldn't be what it says it is.

The location and grounds of this hotel are beautiful. The view over San Ignacio is amazing, and it's within a 2 minute walk to the Cahal Pech mayan ruins. A $3US taxi ride to downtown, or 20min walk.

However, I couldn't help but feel this place was past its prime, and could be much better. Many times the difference between an exceptional hotel and an average one is in the details, and in this case, the details are where this "resort" fails. We stayed in one of the cabanas (caracol), which from the outside is beautiful. Inside, the room feels a bit dark and dingy. The bed sags, the sheets seemed old and worn, the pictures on the wall are tattered and unlevel, and while the bathroom is done in nice colourful tiles, you can see shoddy plumbing and painting work, and general signs of grime and wear. They even give you the cheap soap that you see at hostels and budget hotels. Even the hammock didn't quite work right, it was too tight and not at all comfortable.

The restaurant setting is quite nice, but the laminated menus and awkward service could be improved. Avoid the restaurant. The food was average and expensive, and there are much tastier and cheaper options downtown. We wanted to charge our meals to our room bill (nothing unusal there), but after our meal the waiter literally ran after us to our room to see if we had swiped our credit card and signed for the meal - never before have I experienced such paranoid hotel service. Usually you say you want to put it on your bill, and you pay upon checkout... easy. We felt like they expected us to rip them off or something.

I can live with all of the above, especially for the cheaper-than-resort price. However my main problem was this: The pools are spectacular. However, both days of our stay they were overrun with children yelling and running and jumping into every pool. I could be wrong, but it seemed like they were the children of the staff, or maybe from within the town (do they pay to come use the hotel pool?). We tried to relax by the pool with a drink, but the screaming and splashing was unbearable, so we had to leave. The comfort and convenience of the hotel guests should come first. Maybe put the kids in one pool (the shallower one), and adults at the other pool, or have a set time where the kids can visit the pool. It was unfortunate as we paid extra to treat ourselves to a hotel with a pool.

I would recommend staying in a cheaper hotel closer to downtown where you have access to some of San Ignacios great restaurants and market. Don't waste your money by thinking you're getting the "resort" experience, because you definitely aren't at this place.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank fortunehotel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
156 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2012

As others have mentioned, Cahal Pech Resort is indeed on a hill. But, it's a great calf burner and there's a grocer that sells cold beer close to the top where we recommend a pitstop. (Taxis are around $8BZ down to the bus station).

Waking up in the morning here is what a giant must feel like, overlooking his domain. San Ignacio emerges below as the mist burns off and the distant horns and rumble of a town waking up float upwards. The view is quite stellar.

Cahal Pech has immaculate grounds and cozy cabanas with screened porches to take in the distant hum and ever present grackles and woodpeckers on the move.

The pools are lovely (though the chaise chairs have seen better days--the best ones are picked over early), and the upper dining area offers a great perch for sunset. Bartenders are busy cranking out slushy rum drinks but are happy to provide ice for in-room drinks (no fridge in room).

The room itself has a hotel-feel, which is very different (and slightly disappointing) from the more rustic exterior that gives off a Mosquito Coast kind of appearance. There is little soundproofing though, so if you have rowdy neighbours, you will hear them. And the barking dogs of San Ignacio, who, like to bark around the clock.

We had only one glitch in service, which was eventually resolved. We had booked a private ATM cave expedition with a local provider and were to be picked up from the hotel at 6:45 am. Front desk assured us that they could arrange an earlier breakfast for us, no problem. We pre-ordered for 6:15 am but, upon arrival in the dining room, the staff were completely unaware and unprepared for this. The fastest item they could offer was yogurt and granola and some wimpy watermelon (for 18BZ each). Still, it took them 20 minutes to provide this, and I had to take mine to go. Management later apologized for the lack of communication with the kitchen and, with some pressure, finally offered to compensate us with a free buffet breakfast to counteract the mix-up (and the heap of fry jacks, scrambled eggs with sauteed squash totally won us over).

The facilities are of a three star quality. Again, the rooms could use a polish and slap of paint, but for $198US for two nights, it was agreeable. The bar snacks and dinner entrees are cheap (fab coconut curry chicken), but pass on the green salads (slaw is the favoured salad here, for good reason).

There is a gift shop, full restaurant, internet 'cafe' and pool-side bar. The walk (downhill) to San Ignacio takes 15 minutes.

Room Tip: The cabanas offer more of a Central American feel than the standard hotel rooms with King beds and a...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jtorti7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis
Level Contributor
2 reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2012

The location on the hill was great - make sure you take a taxi - and the views were beautiful. It had 3 nice small pools. The outside decor (plants, etc) was nice. The outside dining area was well done with great views over San Ignacio and the hills. The breakfast was good. The dinner menu left a bit to be desired - no apps, no vegetarian, nothing for kids (that we could see). The rooms seemed old - poor locks on the main door to the room, the beds left a lot to be desired and finish was not all that great. The AC worked well and the balcony was great. It was quite a bit of distance from downtown (we walked down but not up) so it's gonna be a cab fare to see the city.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank calvindakota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 February 2012

The resort experience was okay. Some of it was very good, some of it not so. First night was in a cabana. Big closed in porch with hammock but had many bug bites at night, room was not so spacious, was a bit dark, bed was old and sunken in middle, building felt cattywampus. Front desk staff was very helpful and quickly switched us to another room in the main building. Aaah, much better bed and no bugs. Room felt more spacious, hot water in shower was amazing. Super-duper. I don't think all cabanas were created equal. Some had a better experience than us. I definitely prefer the main hotel. Breakfast is great, dinners are okay. Great location with great views but something a little bit off with the entire place. Some things worked well, and some things were just afterthoughts. It could be a great place primarily due to location. Front office staff was knowledgeable and very helpful. Restaurant staff was efficient to the point that they seemed bored at times. They helped us arrange tours and transfers and they were all very good. The property is a 20-minute walk downhill to the main town. Easy to take taxi up and down to main square.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rconcepcion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Renton, Washington
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2012

This was our first trip to Belize and the Cahal Pech Village Resort helped to make it a great one. Prior to the trip, they responded quickly to my emails and helped to organize everything for the time we were in San Ignacio, from transportation from the airport to the tours of Tikal and Caracol ruins (which are totally worth it--check them out!). We booked a thatched roof cabana and it was very clean and comfortable. Our first night a monsoon of a rain storm blew through and impressively the thatched roof kept us dry! The mosquito screened porch was bug free and private. We felt it was definitely worth the price for the cabana. Of note, we met a couple from Boston and they complained of an ant problem in their cabana so I guess some of the cabanas have bug issues but I bet if you told the front desk they would help you out. The tour guides were knowledgeable and friendly and everyone spoke excellent English (and Spanish, French and German!). There were two desktop computers in the lobby for guests to use FOR FREE to check email etc which was great since the wi-fi was almost non-existent. The restaurant was only so-so. What guests should know is the lack of hot water for showers. You only get about 15 mins of hot water so you and your significant other better hurry up with those morning showers! Also there was a night club down the hill in town that would keep the music bumpin til 3 AM on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. At least they were playing some good dance music! Bottom line: I'd stay here again. The staff and tours really made this trip for me.

Room Tip: For added fun, book a thatched roof cabana. I bet kids would especially love this. May not be a good...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Nicole B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lucerne, Switzerland
Level Contributor
500 reviews
262 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 242 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 February 2012

We wanted to go to Guatemale and reserved there already a hotel room when we were informed by the rental car company that it is not possible. We wanted first to ask if we could stay two instead of one night, but we changed our mind, after we met the ants in the room. We had a cabana (see ChrisandJeffs review) with two rooms, one upstairs, the other downstairs, with an outside stair. In the room upstairs, we could not use the bathroom, there was an army of ants, even the toilett was black instead of white because there were everywhere ants. I told this at the reception, but nobody seemed to be interested to solve the problem. I told it again when checking out, but I had the impression that this is nothing new for them. The resort coluld be nice, if the only would taking care if it.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank xonthebeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cahal Pech Village Resort

Property: Cahal Pech Village Resort
Address: Cahal Pech Hill | P.O. Box 1, San Ignacio 00000, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Cayo > San Ignacio
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in San Ignacio
#4 Top resorts Hotel in San Ignacio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Cahal Pech Village Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 53
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cahal Pech Village Resort is located in the heart of the Mayan world, San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize. We offer professionally guided tours of local and other Mayan ruins in English and Spanish, as well as access to Mayan Healing, Culture and Art. We also offer Eco-tours, Jungle Adventure, Horseback Riding, Reef Diving and more. Relax at our Pool, or see Belize’s Beaches and Caves, Waterfalls, Sink Holes and Zoo. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cahal Pech Village Hotel San Ignacio
Hotel Cahal Pech Village
Cahal Pech Village Resort Belize/San Ignacio

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