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Belize: Any reviews/experience re the Hyatt properties?

Belize: Any reviews/experience re the Hyatt properties?

Old May 2, 2022, 4:20 pm
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Question Belize: Any reviews/experience re the Hyatt properties?

Perhaps they're new, or newly affiliated with Hyatt, but I did a search and don't see any reviews of the four Hyatt hotels in Belize. Does anyone have any reviews or other info to share? Thanks.
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Old May 2, 2022, 4:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Thunderroad
Perhaps they're new, or newly affiliated with Hyatt, but I did a search and don't see any reviews of the four Hyatt hotels in Belize. Does anyone have any reviews or other info to share? Thanks.
They are SLH properties and should be discussed in this forum Small Luxury Hotels (SLH) - FlyerTalk Forums
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Old May 2, 2022, 5:33 pm
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Thanks. I did a search there as well and came up empty. Hoping for some info now that the post is in the SLH subforum.
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Old Sep 3, 2022, 10:09 am
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Question

Just bumping this thread, in case anyone has any reviews or other information to share on the SLH properties in Belize. Thanks.
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Old Dec 9, 2022, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Thunderroad
Just bumping this thread, in case anyone has any reviews or other information to share on the SLH properties in Belize. Thanks.
We spent a few days at Mata Chica Resort in the island of San Pedro, 15 minutes flight from Belize City. It is one of the SLH properties in Belize. Hotel was full, so no upgrade fro WoH (typically SLH don't give special recognition to Globalists compared to general WoH members). They did offer one day of free rental of golf cart, needed if you want t visit town (about 25 minutes of a super bumpy road to get there, but necessary if you want to try a local restaurant). Accommodations at the hotel are simple casitas (bungalows) of different sizes, with the room not too big, but with a decent size bathroom and closet. Pool is nice. There are 2 restaurants served by the same kitchen apparently. Food is good but service is very slow. Very friendly staff try hard but their training is so and so. Comp breakfast is only continental, if you want eggs or other stuff you pay extra (reasonable amounts though) Beach is nice but water is not great, you need to take the comp kayaks (or hire a boat) to get a little further out and explore the reef (nice but not extraordinary as it was described to me). In summary a pretty decent experience, but I would not return.
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Old Dec 16, 2022, 5:00 pm
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Thanks very much for this. Your review of Matachica matches the information I'd otherwise gleaned about it since my original post, which is why we decided not to go there. Good to get these impressions confirmed.

However, in March we will be going to the sister resort, Gaia, in the mountains/forest. I'll try to post a review here after our trip.
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Old Jan 9, 2023, 5:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Thunderroad
in March we will be going to the sister resort, Gaia, in the mountains/forest. I'll try to post a review here after our trip.
Ill be at Gaia (and at Blancaneaux nearby) in early February. Will try to remember to post a review/comparison.
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Old Jan 9, 2023, 5:37 pm
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Originally Posted by l etoile
Ill be at Gaia (and at Blancaneaux nearby) in early February. Will try to remember to post a review/comparison.
Please do! Thx.
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Old Aug 12, 2023, 4:33 pm
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Looking to visit belize this year.
Any updates on hotels
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Old Aug 12, 2023, 5:32 pm
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Thanks for the reminder; I'd meant to post a review, but had forgotten. Here goes...

My wife and I LOVED Gaia, where we stayed for four nights in March. Beautiful setting overlooking the river. Great views and fine food and drinks from both inside the restaurant and on the lovely terrace. Great service and staff. A number of nature/tourist activities to indulge in, some free and some $$$. But if you just want to hang out and be lazy, it's a fantastic place to do so.

An activity we liked was the early morning bird watching, which takes place totally on the hotel's grounds. The guide was excellent.

One thing they don't advertise that they should is that they light a fire pit in the evenings, though sometimes guests might need to request this. We found it a fun place to hang out and chat with several other guests.

One of the staff members is also a fantastic magician (and a very nice guy)! Again, they don't advertise this but should. Ask at the front desk abotu arranging a show.

Another thing we did that might not have been mentioned at the hotel's site/activity list was booking a ride (which we shared with another couple) back and forth to the nearest (small) city, San Ignacio. I don't recall the price, but it didn't seem exhorbitant. San Ignacio is not a beautiful town or one that features many activities, except for a market some days. But it was a pleasant, clean place to get lunch, wander around and hit a few tourist shops. One street in particular, near the small park in the center of town, seemed to feature such shops. Also, just being in an apparently predominantly Mayan town was kind of interesting.

Back near the hotel: Yet another thing to do was a walk to a small nearby waterfall and swimming area. Be aware that it's a somewhat steep walk down from the road to the falls. My wife liked it: I didn't. To my mind, it didn't offer anything different from what you could get at the hotel itself far more easily.

We booked a Garden View Cabana on points, then contacted the hotel to upgrade for cash. For the first two nights, we upgraded to the Watrerfall View Cabana. It was quite nice, but just a little disappointing in that there's only one comfy chair by the window to take in the view.

The last two nights, we stayed at the Riverside Villa. Wow!

Let me say that again: Wow! The photos on the site don't do the Villa justice. A spead-out house, well-screened, situated on its own right by the river, with a hot tub. hammocks and lots of different places in which to hang out. One of the nicest places we've ever stayed.

The one small drawback is that you're a pick-up truck ride or decent hike down a hill from the main resort. But it's easy to call to get rides back and forth, or to simply have any room service meal brought down to you at the Villa. Our only regret about our fantastic stay was that we didn't spend all four nights there.

The Villa is very private, but also an easy walk from the hotel's pleasant swimming/wading area by the river. But if you're in the Villa, you have no need to visit that area anyway.

There's a nice, hour-long, mostly shaded nature walk you can do down from the main area of the resort to that wading area, with the very friendly hotel dog probably accompanying you. Again, it's a decent amount of up and down, so probably best done if only if you're in decent shape.

In booking Gaia, you actually go through the company's main office, which I believe is located at its sister resort, Matachica. Upon our arrival, there was a small kerfuffle over our planned bill, but it was straightened out easily once Gaia contacted that main office. I'd recommend bringing with you print-outs or easily available online copies of your booking arrangements.

We arranged a ride to get up to and back from the resort. It was a nice trip with a great driver (who also does the morning bird watching tours). There's a pretty good tourist shop/cafe on the way if you're interested.

Except for the last few miles, the route to the resort is now paved. So if you'd rather rent a car, it's pretty drivable. For our purposes, though, we didn't want one.

I'm sure Gaia is delightful all year round. But it's nicest when driest, which is why we went in March, I believe the driest month of the year in that part of the country.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them here or PM me.
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Last edited by Thunderroad; Aug 13, 2023 at 3:41 pm
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Old Feb 4, 2024, 5:34 pm
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Appreciate the reports and would love more information about the hotels in Belize. I do wonder if the rumored breakup of SLH with Hyatt will occur in 2024. I am looking for availability in December. Although I can find a points calendar for Gaia, I cannot book using points.

I see it is roughly a 2 hour ride to Gaia. How do you get there if you don't book a car?

Last edited by SanDiego1K; Feb 4, 2024 at 5:42 pm
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Old Feb 4, 2024, 6:09 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K
Appreciate the reports and would love more information about the hotels in Belize. I do wonder if the rumored breakup of SLH with Hyatt will occur in 2024. I am looking for availability in December. Although I can find a points calendar for Gaia, I cannot book using points.

I see it is roughly a 2 hour ride to Gaia. How do you get there if you don't book a car?
Might it be possible that the hotel simply hasn't opened up December for points redemption yet? Have you checked the points redemption calendar for earlier and later than that?

We booked the car and driver to get us to the Gaia through the hotel. If you prefer, you can rent a car and drive yourselves. As I mentioned, except for the last few miles it's now all paved road along the way. My impression was that it wasn't too crowded and the that the drivers on the road were relatively sane. I also seem to recall that in Belize the driving is on the right side of the road (the same as the USA), even though it's a former British colony, but you'd want to check to make sure.

If you do rent, be aware that Belize City is reputedly pretty crime-ridden, so you want to get in and out of there without stoppiing. I didn't hear any reports of folks with rental cars having problems, though.

FWIW, we didn't go to Matachica because it seemed that the rooms you could get on points were pretty basic with no view of the water, and that the upgrade prices to the best rooms (if they were even available) were prohibitive. We instead went to Caye Caulker, where there are no Hyatts or other chains at which you can redeem points. The place at which we stayed was fine but overpriced for what we got. The whole CC experinece was all ok, but pretty much beach-free and nothing I'd recommend.

Hope this helps!
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