Hidden Valley Inn & Reserve
What We Love
- On arrival guests are treated to a hand massage and a glass of lemongrass tea
- The morning java is grown on the inn’s small coffee finca
- Jungle platforms host yoga sessions and fabulous birdwatching
- Set in a 2,700-acre private reserve, the Hidden Valley offers easy access to nature excursions and ancient Mayan sites
- The inn has a private air strip
What To Know
- There are no TVs in the rooms, but WiFi is free
- Rooms are not air-conditioned but each has a ceiling fan (average night temperatures stay at 70 degrees)
- Eco friendly
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Six cozy cottages surround the main lodge, once the family homestead of the Hidden Valley estate. The design reflects the graciousness of high-country living with vaulted ceilings, cypress-paneled walls and four fireplaces spread through three lounges, plus a dining area and a bar leading out to the pool and hot tub. Guests have the gorgeous front and back yards (a 7,200-acre private reserve in the Mountain Pine Ridge region) all to themselves.
Bed and Bath
Surrounded by gardens, hanging orchids and pails of firewood, the six Estate Cottages are split into 10 rooms and two suites. Each has a ceiling fan and screened louvered windows, and all feature en suite bathrooms with full showers and tubs. Brick fireplaces with fireside seating, terra-cotta floors, handcrafted mahogany and leather furnishings, a writing desk and fabrics in earthy tones reflect the warm intimacy of the inn. Of the six cottages, two come with screened decks, hammocks for two, bathrooms with clawfoot tubs and outdoor showers.
Sip a frosted margarita while soaking in the hot tub. Have lunch or dinner on the pool terrace or in the dining room. Our Chefs Javier Tzib and Reydel Mesh creatively combine Mayan and Mesito flavors with her signature culinary style: caribbean snapper in banana leaves, pork tenderloin with pineapple relish. There are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, too. The private reserve is home to 81 species of wild orchid, flamboyant bird species such as the blue-crowned motmot and the keel-billed toucan, and four kinds of jungle cat. Enjoy exclusive access to 90 miles of well-maintained hiking and mountain-biking trails (guests have free use of 21-speed mountain bikes) and forest roads that lead to babbling brooks, secluded forest pools and a dozen waterfalls. For a romantic lunch you can request a champagne picnic by a private waterfall.
In the Area
Book a guided horseback ride through the rain forest and take a swim under a waterfall; head for some spectacular caves, such as the Rio Frio Cave, with its stone ceiling and stalactites; or Barton Creek Cave, a sacred Mayan site that can be explored on foot or by canoe. Or canoe the Macal River, tube the Mopan River or weave through the cave systems at Jaguar Paw and Caves Branch. And don’t miss the majestic ceremonial sites from the ancient world of the Maya, on view at the well-restored Cahal Pech, which features decorative artwork and architecture. Caracol, with 4,000 structures (many yet to be excavated) is spread over 55 square miles and is one of the largest Maya sites in the world. Then move on to explore the modern-day Mayan village of San Antonio, including the museum and handicraft shop of the Garcia sisters.
How to Get There
We spent two nights here as part of two weeks in Belize. We truly wished we could have spent more time at Hidden Valley. We were a group of 4 (two adult sisters; two teenage kids) - they set us up in two separate rooms with a shared living room/lanai area - absolutely perfect for us. The staff absolutely couldn't have been nicer (particularly the restaurant/bar staff), food was beyond great, amazing rooms w/ outdoor shower, beautiful grounds with nice pool/hot tub. We used Hidden Valley as a base to take a trip to Caracol. Were able to go on one beautiful hike, but honestly just didn't have enough time here. We would have loved another few days to hike and just enjoy the peaceful property. As others have mentioned, it's a bit remote on a bumpy road to get here -- but that's exactly why it's so nice. Hidden Valley was one of the highlights of our trip -- Highly, highly recommend.
We came to Hidden valley on a family retreat and the hotel really made it feel like home. The team went out of their way to make our stay special including creating al fresco dinners, beautiful turn down every night and advising us on the best hikes around the property.
What a beautiful hide away with 90 miles of trails perfect for walks in the morning or evening. An intentional adventure on a trail leads to waterfalls over 100 ft high with clear, deep pools below to swim in and refresh and reflect on nature. Food, conversation and coffee is always awaiting on the return with a great hot tub and pool to take the load off. A distinction off the grid that I can’t wait to return to. Thank you Gladness, Christian and HV family for a wonderful time!!
Hidden Valley hosted our family retreat last weekend and it was absolutely fabulous. The secluded location, the activities, the accommodation, the food…. all superb. Our family ranges in age from 1 to 70 years and all were well taken care of by the hospitable team. The 1000ft falls is a must see and a dip in the Butterfly Falls should not be missed. The biking and hiking trails allow you to soak up nature at your leisure and enjoy a dip in the pool or a soak in the hot tub on your return to the inn. Perfect. The little ones visited the nearby Maya center to learn about the Maya Culture and cooking which they thoroughly enjoyed. Thanks to Chris and Gladness for being the most accommodating and welcoming hosts and we look forward to visiting again soon!
My husband and I came to Hidden Valley for just 2 nights on our honeymoon nearly 20 years ago and enjoyed the exclusivity of the resort while dining with Peter the manager nightly. When we returned 20 years later with our teenage kids, we were just as enthralled as we were back then. While the landscape has changed to feel more open and jungle-like than the thick pine forest that greeted us then, the incredible waterfalls, pools and hiking paths were breathtaking once again and we had an extra day to enjoy them all. Gladness and Chris are the perfect hosts of this evolved resort, as they oversee 1st class accommodations, dining and services, in addition to supporting wildlife conservation. The grounds and rooms are meticulously maintained and the food is outstanding -- breakfasts are a feast to energize you for a day of strenuous hiking rewarded by dips in spring fed pools. If I had one recommendation, it would be to limit guests to couples or families with older (15 up) children. The ambiance is perfect for honeymooners (and those of us revisiting our honeymoons), but noisy young children break the spell. Hidden Valley is a treasure and you will feel like you are in paradise when you find those waterfall fed isolated pools! A must for honeymooning in Belize!