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“Different, in a very good way!!!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cotton Tree Lodge

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Cotton Tree Lodge
Ranked #4 of 17 Punta Gorda B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Westport, Connecticut
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Different, in a very good way!!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 February 2012

Just got back from a visit to Cotton Tree, with my family (6 of us, including three girls 16, 14, 8, and a boy aged 6). As reflected in other reviews, the place is awesome (counted 20 family revies, 18 of which were 5-star and 2 were 4-star). Not sure I can add more.

Everyone in our family was treated to a special vacation in a very unique place....
- grounds, including rooms, are fantastic (lots of things to do right there, whether swim, kayak, horeseback ride, hang in hammock and read, etc.),
- trips were a combination of exciting / enlightening / fun,
- group time (end of day games and discussions with family and new friends) a blast,
- dinner great (liked family setting, and food was delicious), and
- the sustainability mission admirable (and worthy of support).

Personally, I most enjoyed talking to the people from the region, whether local Mayans, or Garifuna, or even the occasional transplanted Americans who seem to have stayed... fascinating convesations!

Our family has been very fortunate to have had opportunities to travel the globe (extensively), visiting major destinations, including some real exotic locations and staying in high-end resorts. Honestly, this may have topped them all. I know it was a hit when my grinning 6 yr old tells me at the end of the trip, "Dad, this was very different, in a very good way". I'm just not sure which of us had the bigger smile.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank WarsawJohnny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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263 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (74)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
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 is a beautiful resort made up of less than 10 thatched roof cabanas connected by a fun raised wood boardwalk. The room was clean and completely enclosed by mosquito nets which, FYI, does not mean it is bug free (but what can you do? you are in a hut in the jungle!). The bathrooms were spacious, clean with lots of hot water. The grounds are beautiful, along a river with birds and iguanas running around all over! Be ready to socialize because this place operates like a bed and breakfast. You usually eat breakfast and dinner as a group. No problem with the food or water upsetting my sensitive stomach and CTL is very accommodating to special dietary needs. The staff and owner, Chris, was very nice. Everyday they offer a few tours to choose from and you spend most of your day away at the tour with other guests returning in time for everyone to dine together. At night you are serenaded by the calls of howler monkeys which is fun to listen to and fire flys. As for tours, I highly recommend Eladio's chocolate farm. I know it sounds lame to go to a chocolate farm but you will not regret it. This man tends to an unstructured 30 acre farm all on his own and will walk you through the edible and medicinal qualities of his plants. He is Belize's own man vs. wild. After walking through his farm (which is more like walking thru the jungle than a traditional American farm) your tour group will go to his home to have lunch with his family (he has 15 kids!!) and learn about how the cacao bean is made into cocoa. He even has his own documentary, The Chocolate Farmer. I paid to upgrade to all inclusive to include the meals and tours and I am so glad I did. From speaking to other guests that did not go all inclusive, they said their final bill was pretty spendy. The only downside of staying at CTL is the lodge is a ways out of town and you aren't able to just leave to go to town whenever you want. Our friends attempted to arrange for transportation to town to shop and have a beer and CTL staff told him they were unable to arrange for this. Frankly this made us all feel a little trapped because CTL is so far away from the town. You definitely cannot walk there. Good thing the daily tours kept us busy. FYI bring mosquito repellant. Some guests left with only a couple of bites. By the end of our stay, my husband and I had >15 bites on each leg, arms, hands and even face. Yikes! FYI, the CDC warns of malaria right now in the Toledo district where the CTL is so protect yourself. Our friends brought industrial strength mosquito repellant and sprayed the perimeter of their hut and did not have a problem. I wish I had thought of that. Bigger bugs were not really a problem until the last two days of our stay when he found two large cockroaches in the room AND a scorpion. Yes, you read right. But he stayed up in the corner of the room behind a post (all we could see was his tail poking out) and we kept our distance. As the owner will tell you, this is Belize and scorpions live here too. I didn't see any freaky spiders but friends of ours found one in their room on one of the nights. Bottom line: beautiful jungle lodge for those with a more adventurous soul, good for all ages and all sizes. If you are anti-social or with more dibilitating social anxiety, this may not be the place for you.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Nicole B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
forgottendistrict, Owner at Cotton Tree Lodge, responded to this review, 24 February 2012
I'm very happy this guest enjoyed her stay and wanted to address her comment on arranging transportation to town. In fact, we are happy to arrange transportation to town for our guests but are not always in a position to provide private transportation for individual guests. I believe there may have been some miscommunication as we can easily call for a taxi for our guests who wish to explore town on their own.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Barrington, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 February 2012

This is not your typical vacation! The rooms are cool jungle huts. The food is all prepared for you and meals ate typically eaten with the other guests. Excursions are ok. The grounds are beautiful.

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jennmello
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 February 2012

My wife and I just returned from a 4-day "Babymoon" at CTL during the end of January/beginning of February. We had an amazing time. I've really never been on a trip like this. It's not a resort in the traditional sense and it isn't camping either, so I guess it should be in its own category of adventure lodging. I have so many great things to say that it is hard to know where to start.

Accommodations.

Really incredible. The cabanas are very nice inside. If the Ritz is your thing, stop reading now. The cabanas are open with screens all around. There were bugs, but its the jungle! I don't recall any mosquitos in the room, but we did use the net. I couldn't have slept any better at the Ritz. The nights were very comfortable, and the jungle sounds were very relaxing. We considered the howler monkeys a treat because they never carried on very long. The porch out back had hammocks were we relaxed each day, read and watched the iguanas jump into the river.

Adventures.

CTL calls them excursions, but they really were adventures. We elected to do the Blue Creek Cave, Eliado's farm, the night hike in the jungle and horseback riding to the San Felipe Cave. I would do them all again in a second. We also enjoyed kayaking, swimming in the Moho River and fishing off the dock. A light rod with small lures and hooks would be best for fishing. The fish caught were small catfish and another fish that looked like a big shad. We were told that snook and jack crevalle make it to the lodge in the dry season. We never saw another tourist at any of the destinations, and that is what made everything so authentic. Blue Creek was awesome. It was tough swimming upstream to the underground waterfalls, but very worth it. Eliado's farm is an absolute can't miss. We loved seeing his farm, eating lunch with his family and making coco drink afterwards. The horseback ride was great. The horses were some of the best trained I've ridden.

Packing.

We packed waaaaaaaay too much. You need pants and sleeves for hiking in the jungle. No need to bring a bunch of shorts because you won't really use them. Definitely bring water-type shoes and hiking shoes. I think you have to bring rain gear to really enjoy everything in the rainforest - there's a reason no one calls it the dry forest! Bug spray, bug spray, bug spray! The bugs were bad, but are easily held off with some good bug spray. Once the spray went on, the bugs weren't an issue. Once things got damp, it was tough to get it dry. No need to bring dress clothes for dinner, as it is very casual. Waterproof camera/bag. It is helpful to have a water proof bag or case with you to make sure you don't miss a beat if it rains or if you are doing an activity in the water.

Food.

Amazing. Great soups. Great cooking. Simple ingredients, incredible flavor and very local feel. My wife is a picky eater, but she ate everything. The bar was impressive. Great mixed drinks. The staff was great. Everything was set up perfect and they jumped at the chance to help with any little thing.

Room Tip: Get the deluxe cabana!
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Blake G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mankato, Minnesota, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 January 2012

I was at CTL for 6 nights 7 days and seriously attempted to make the most of every day. I'm now leaving tomorrow morning (WiFi has worked great btw) and feel I would need to book several more trips to see half of what this area offers. The cabannas are great! The staff, like all belicians that I've met, are extreamly accomidating and are just a true pleasure to get to know. My favorite parts of this trip are hand making chacolate with Cacao at Cyrila's Farm, the river rope swing on grounds along with free kayaking, Rio Blanco Falls, Luban Tun Mayan Site, Tiger Cave, and a few strenous day hikes that turned into night hikes. oh yeah, the nocturnal jungle hike with Armondo was stellar too! Pretty much if your into adventure, especially jungle or Mayan adventure this is the best spot to be! Why can't trip advisor have 6 stars for the really awesome places?

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Dain F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 January 2012

We just stayed at Cotton Tree Lodge for 4 nights and wished we could have stayed longer. We had the best time getting to know the staff and on the amazing excursions, part of the all inclusive package. The food was amazing, everyone was super friendly and accomodating, and the location is beautiful. Would highly recommend visiting Eladio's cacao farm, the blue creek cave, swimming in the Moho River, kayaking down the river with equipment provided for free, and chatting with any local you can find. Couldn't ask for a better vacation and can't wait to get back to Belize!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Erika A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Germantown, Maryland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 January 2012

My family (wife, three adults children and my son's wife) and I spent a fantastic week at the Cotton Tree Lodge in mid-January. The weather was perfect--not too hot or cold--and it only rained toward the end of the week. January is a transition month from wet to dry. The amount of rain you can expect is dramatically high in the wet season and dramatically low in the dry season so check the monthly averages before you go. It's a 45-minute drive from the Punta Gorda airport to the Lodge, a good part of which is over a bumpy dirt road. Except for a few major paved roads, bumpy roads are how people get around in Belize and it's part of the experience. The Lodge itself is in a spectacular location (check out the visitor pictures) and the eponymous Cotton Tree is huge! The grounds, cabanas and lodge are beautiful, spacious, and hit the right balance (for me, anyway) of being authentic, ecologically sensitive, and comfortable. If your idea of luxury is tropical flower blossoms in your cabana when you check in and staff who are genuinely friendly when they see you, you've come to the right place. The river is a great place to swim, kayak, and bird watch, with truly amazing views. Our visit included horseback riding, hiking the jungle at night, and quiet reads in a hammock. We toured the Mayan ruins at Lubaantun and Nim Li Punit, swam the Blue Creek Cave, snorkeled on Snake Caye, and took the inspiring tour of Eladio Pop's Agouti Cacao Farm (I didn't know what could be so great about a cacao farm either, until I met Eladio Pop and learned how he created his farm from scratch and raised/is raising 15 children!). The tour guides were outstanding, and the obvious pride they felt in sharing their Mayan heritage and local attractions with visitors was a real delight. The Cotton Tree Lodge is a leader in promoting eco-tourism and sustainable agriculture in the Toledo District, and is working in partnership with farmers like Eladio Pop to build the local economy in a way that protects, rather than exploits, natural resources. Belize is an incredibly beautiful country, and visitors to places like the Cotton Tree Lodge help show the value of protecting that beauty. I'll finish with a shout-out to Becca and Jay, the co-managers of the Cotton Tree Lodge, who arranged a special cake for my daughter-in-law's 30th birthday and provided after-dinner entertainment from a traditional Belizean drummer who taught us rhythms stretching back to his African ancestors. While that evening was special, everything about our visit to the Cotton Tree Lodge and Belize was wonderful! I highly recommend that you see it for yourself.

Room Tip: If you like river views and seeing even more birds and animals, ask for one of the cabanas that are...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Bionysus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cotton Tree Lodge

Property: Cotton Tree Lodge
Address: Moho River, Punta Gorda, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Toledo District > Punta Gorda
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Punta Gorda
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Cotton Tree Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our eco-lodge is hidden between the Moho River, the rain forest, and Mayan villages in southern Belize. Stay in beautiful thatch cabanas with private bathrooms and verandas. Enjoy delicious cuisine prepared with organic produce from our garden. Try kayaking, birding, swimming, and horseback riding on the grounds. Connect with the people and culture of Belize on daily tours to villages, Mayan ruins, cacao farms, caves, waterfalls, and more. Or simply relax in a hammock all day. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cotton Tree Hotel Punta Gorda
Cotton Tree Lodge Belize/Punta Gorda

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