‘Belize Vacation on the wild side’ – this unique slogan caught my eye when I first saw the Maruba Resort Jungle Spa website. That looked interesting, actually more, it looked exciting. Truth is, the more we travel, the harder it is to find things that excite our interest. A Jungle Spa – I thought, why not?
Maruba Resort is located in the little village of Maskall, near Orange Walk in North Belize. Here is where we began our Belize Adventure.
The Resort arranged for us to be picked up from the little town of Orange Walk. The ride was bumpy, unexpected and exciting as we drove through unpaved roads into the jungle. I loved the drive. We drove for almost an hour, and then, rather suddenly, here we were – at Maruba Resort Jungle Spa!
We entered a rather unusual lobby, full of pieces of art. Boy, this place is seriously unique! Melanie, the owner, was standing in the middle of the lobby, waiting to welcome us. I loved that she addressed us by name even before we introduced ourselves to her! She made easy work of our check-in formalities and put us at ease with her contagious laugh. Over our welcome drinks of Rum Punch, she told us how the Resort came into being.
How the Resort Began
The original owners of the Resort, Dr. Nicholson and his wife, Anna, realized their dream of settling down in a jungle, post retirement. They found this property for sale in Belize, bought it, and in keeping with their research into the healing properties of coconuts, they planted a thousand coconut trees in this reserve. Then as years went by, in 1986, they, with their children, shared this wonderful space as an exclusive jungle spa and resort.
Melanie took us on a tour of the Resort, and I can say it certainly has the ‘wow’ factor. Although we were to stay in a standard suite, we were generously upgraded to the Chapel Suite – both suites are unique in their own ways, but I will focus on the one we stayed in for the purpose of this review.
The Chapel Suite
I’m not a religious person, but if every chapel looked like this…I’d probably be a nun by now! Ha ha. Ok, let me start with the most eye catching part of the suite. The wall behind the headboard of our king sized bed – it had what looked like a stained glass window (the sort you find in churches), but this was a mural made of glass bottles. Very striking!
On either side, were flowers in two wall mounted vases. Candles, paintings and rosary beads have been tastefully used on the walls. Mosaic floors add to the whole effect of a décor quite out of the box. You get the picture? The vibrant colors, the startling décor, drapes and cushions of unusual prints, everything that makes a boutique hotel stand out and be different!
The Suite includes an in-room hot tub. Just perfect to relax in. Toiletries are packaged in containers made of coconut shells that are recycled after every use.
We had a flat screen TV, DVD player, air conditioning, mini fridge, etc..the only thing we missed in our suite was WiFi connectivity. But then, that was the idea, to disconnect from everything and chill. When needed, I could have WiFi access in the lobby.
Here’s a panoramic view that should bring you right into the Chapel Suite. Use the arrows to navigate inside:
This Jungle Resort and Spa sits on 1000 acres of private jungle reserve. There are just 18 uniquely designed rooms scattered over this space. Privacy? Lots of it!
Two swimming pools – one for adults, and the other for family use. If you feel the need to exercise, there’s the Weight Room. Choose to relax in the Hookah Lounge or the Bar. A solar heated mineral bath and a Spa to get pampered in, if you fancy an indoor out outdoor game, there’s chess and a racquetball court.
With so much on offer, I really wish we had more time to enjoy it all… A leisurely walk through this jungle resort brought us an appreciation of the lovely trees around, I found a lot I had never seen before.
Oh boy, if I have to describe the food at Maruba – two words – SIMPLY DELICIOUS! We ordered goat curry, salads and lemon pie among other dishes, and they were all so flavorful. And, as you know by now, I am dead serious about my food! As it turns out, the other owner of Maruba Resort, Nicki, is the man behind this mouth watering food. What’s more surprising is that he is not a chef by profession but by passion. The food here is to die for and wins hands down over any other food we have tasted in Belize.
The Staff and Service
From Melanie and Nicki, the owners, to their wonderful staff, everyone was nice, kind and respectful. When they learnt that I was feeling a bit under the weather when we arrived at the Resort, they promptly swapped my welcome drink for a traditional one made of local herbs with the promise that I’d feel as good as new the next day. And I did!
The Neighborhood – Maskall Village
Maruba Resort is in the middle of nowhere. Maskall village is about a mile away. This gave us the opportunity to hop onto bicycles provided by the Resort and visit the village. Yeah, yeah…we were so out of shape, but the couple of trips we made were so worth it. Here’s a couple of pics from around the village:
Maruba Resort Jungle Spa offers a variety of interesting tours – both private and small, around Belize. The ones we joined were to the Altun Ha ruins, Lamanai ruins and the Horseback riding tour. All excellent, and I would highly recommend all three!
The Spa at Maruba is as unique as the rest of the Resort. The setting of the Spa sets it apart from any other spa I have been to. No cement walls here – instead, great use has been made of rocks, glass bottles and other materials to create an atmosphere that is stimulating and soothing at the same time. And in keeping with it all, they have a great mix of relaxing world music. It couldn’t be more perfect.
Jonah and I tried the Aromatherapy and the Mood Mud Massages. I highly recommend them! But, if you have time for just the one – go with the Mood Mud Massage. Why? You’re not going to get one like this anywhere else. That’s why! If you remember, I mentioned that the original owners were into researching the healing benefits of coconuts. Well, that is what is put into practice here, all the products are made from coconuts and plants grown around the Resort. And, as it turns out, this massage is so much fun.
You can see more pictures and read about my experience here.
How to get to Maruba Resort
The best way? Request a pick up from whichever city you happen to be in. The Resort does have a helicopter transfer service, too. But I suggest, if you’re the adventurous sort, rent a jeep to get around Maruba and the rest of Belize.
Who would enjoy this resort?
Well, it’s obviously not for everybody. It’s ideal for a nature lover, art lover and anyone who loves being in the middle of natural surroundings, oh, and those who appreciate super food. I love art and I found so many unique works of art all over the resort.
The Resort is far from everything, no shops or restaurants nearby. Just you, the jungle and the best food you could ever be served.
Would I recommend this Resort?
Absolutely! Its appeal lies in its uniqueness and style. It has all the amenities you would get in a luxury hotel, but with a difference, it connects you to nature.
I can honestly say this was the best bed we slept in, in Belize. We were comfortable and had everything we asked for and more. If you are curious enough to want to know more, here is their official website:
Name: Maruba Resort Jungle Spa
Rates: Low season rates begin at USD 200
Disclaimer: We were invited by Maruba Resort Jungle Spa to spend a week in their private jungle reserve. However, my recommendation comes from the amazing time I had during my stay!
This has been among my best experiences in Belize. It was so different from any other Boutique Hotel stays. Have you stayed here? What was your experience?