My boyfriend and I stayed here recently for three nights and four days, and had a really fabulous time. We were some of the only people staying there, and so the staff and the owner were particularly friendly and attentive to us–and very interested in making sure that we were enjoying our stay! The room was very nice: hot water was available, there were very few mosquitoes on the property which was a miracle, and everything was very clean. The hotel reminds me of a middle school science classroom… in a good way. All of the plants are labeled, and you end up learning a lot during your stay. The property has a lot of cool birds on it, iguanas, (friendly) dogs, interesting spiders, and some small crocodiles. It’s neat. As for excursions, we particularly enjoyed the cave tubing and zipline excursions, but we also had a wonderful trip to the zoo. Our excursion to the Mayan ruins, Lamanai, was nice too–the only negative was that in December, the mosquitoes there were terrible! Make sure you cover up (also for the boat ride, which was *very* cold.)
One of the best things about our stay was the food–I’m a vegetarian, and the chefs there made me some absolutely Delicious meat substitutes using tofu and a variety of fresh vegetables. Because in Central America it can be tough to get non-fried, non-cheese-laden veggie options, I was soooo grateful for this place. All of the meals were 3+ courses, came with neat juices, and were just excellently organized. The owner was considering taking the restaurant completely vegetarian when we left, and I hope she does–they have a ton of interesting options, and I could tell my boyfriend was a little jealous of my dishes. The hotel also managed to make sure I had enough vegetarian options whenever we had catered food during excursions, which was unusually considerate.
I would highly recommend this hotel if you’re hoping to tack a few days of inner-Belize excursions onto a longer trip to the Cayes (like we did,) or if you’re planning a shorter trip to Belize and want a good vantage point for an excellent tour guide to drive you around (we also did driving tours of Belmopan and Orange Walk, so we ended up seeing a lot of places during our four days there.) The only negative I could see would be if you *weren’t* doing a lot of excursions, because there aren’t really any other commercial establishments immediately around the hotel, and because the (developed part) of the property is a little bit small, I could imagine things getting a little monotonous… it isn’t really the sort of place you can easily wander around without awkwardly stumbling into people’s backyards. But they have good excursion packages, so if you plan on taking advantage of that, this is a great option in Belize, especially for a couple of days in tandem with something else.
We hope to come back at some point–thanks again to the staff at Orchid Garden for organizing our great stay!