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Cotton Tree Lodge
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Reviews (284)
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Reviewed 7 May 2007

Cotton Tree Lodge has only been open since December 2006 and while they are hard at work putting the finishing touches on the lodge, you can tell it has been developed and launched with the "it takes a village" approach and lots of love for staying true and honest to the surroundings and background of the Belizean jungle. The locals that work there helped design and build it, and the daily trips you take to learn how to grow/make mayan chocolate, swim through a river in a limestone cave are really interesting, but what makes them extra special is that you get to do it with local folks and even meet their families along the way - it has not been "touristized" and is real, human and a great learning experience for adults and kids. Be prepared for a rustic stay - if you are used to turn down service and air conditioning - this is not the place for you. Yet, the beds are comfortable, there is enough privacy, and the rooms are lovely open air thatched huts (better to hear the fantastic birds singing in the morning and the low hum of the howler monkeys at dusk) and we're talking spiders in the shower and eco-toilets (they flush, but you can figure that one out). The hammocks on our porch provided an excellent way to chill during the heat of the day. I do think they could provide a little more FAQ type information to NYers like me to make sure we're prepared (e.g., wear closed-toed shoes on certain trips - you WILL be following a guide through the jungle wielding a machete and many of the "rest stops" are wooden outhouses with a hole in the ground). While you want to sleep in on vacation, on this kind of trip they may want to start the activities earlier in the morning, as it takes a while to get to places (only 2 paved roads in the country!) and it does get pretty darn hot during the midpoint of the day. Great for nature photography. We were there for four days - and for the first three, there was only one couple besides my friend and I - on one hand, we got pretty much private tours of everything and got to pick and choose whatever we wanted. On the other hand, once other people got there, it was fun to share in the experiences. Most of the guests were adventurous singles or couples from the U.S. in their 30s, 40s. I would recommend combining a stay here in the jungle with a few days in Placentia, or another low key beach location so you can get the best Belize has to offer.

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled with friends
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5  Thank ladyesq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2007

We stumbled onto the CottonTree Lodge purely by chance – and primarily because it was listed as an “eco tourism” lodge. We were not disappointed one bit! CottonTree Lodge strives to be ecologically and economically sustainable by utilization of solar energy in its efforts to be “off grid,” bioremediation to handle waste water, and involvement of the local community.

We took our two teenage children (daughter-18; son-15). We stayed in two cabanas since the family cabana was occupied. This provided a great respite for my husband and I and much needed independence for the kids. My husband and I upgraded to the Jungle House for our second and remaining nights. The experience of staying in the Jungle House is indescribable. After walking a bit on a raised walkway, you reach an elevated two-story cabana, complete with a raised bed overlooking the jungle. It has a porch that is great for watching birds, monkeys, etc. The jungle noises surround you in the early mornings and evenings. Howler Monkeys romp – and howl - in the trees over the cabana. The first time hearing them will send chills up your spine – but you get used to it and the nights they woke us were well worth it!

The included activities were very exciting (e.g. swimming in a cave, kayaking up the Moho River) and informative (e.g. sustainable cacao harvesting, Mayan ruins). There was always time in the mornings and evenings for a dip in the Moho (with rope swing) or a paddle up the river (for wildlife viewing). Our son even kayaked with the owner at 4:30am to scramble up a hill to see the sunrise! Of course, hammocks abound, so simply relaxing is always an option!

The staff – more like the family – of CottonTree Lodge makes everyone feel at home. Everyone went out of their way to ensure we had anything and everything we wanted. The food was great – generally bought fresh from local farmers and fishermen and cooked immediately. Delicious!

Our only regret is that we were there for only 4 nights….way too short for such a fantastic place.

On a side note – if you can’t live without a hair dryer or make-up, must wear heels in the evening, or can’t stand the sight of spiders or bugs, this Lodge may not be for you. For everyone else – this is a wonderful sensory experience!

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled with family
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5  Thank HARDavidson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2007

Just got back from Cotton Tree Lodge with my 18 year old daughter and her friend. Not only did i have a great time but they said it was the best vacation they have ever been on. It was relaxing but so much to do. We went swimming in caves, on hikes, to Mayan Ruins, horseback riding, to the cays and much more but the best part was the people we met. The staff was so friendly, accommodating,knowledgeable and fun. Can't wait to go back!
travel4fun247@aol.com

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2  Thank travel4fun247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2007

The Cotton Tree Lodge was everything we were expecting in a lush jungle setting and then much, much more. The entire staff headed by Chris and Gloria were terrific and made us feel part of their family. The meals were delicious including lunches that were usually packed and taken on our daily excursions. Planned activities were exciting, educational, and staffed by local people who know and appreciate the delicate ecosystems of the jungle. Their website gives you a sense of how nice it is to visit there. However, be prepared for something wonderful that cannot be described by words and pictures.

The facility is made up of a main lodge and a number of individual cabanas, each raised above the ground and very comfortable. Several of the cabanas are situated next to the Moho River, although all are very private and make you feel part of the jungle surrounding you. At night and early morning you hear the calls of countless birds and often the howling of the howler monkeys.

Visiting the Lodge will allow you to learn and absorb the magnificence of the jungle, enjoy the ambiance of very good people, and relax to the point of forgetting what day it is -- you will be on Belizien time.

Our only sadness was the day of departure when we realized that we wanted to spend another week there. We will definitely be making plans to return to the Cotton Tree Lodge within the next year or two.

Stayed: January 2007
9  Thank John-in-Larkspur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2010
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  • Stayed: January 2010
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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