As I alluded to in a previous post, we spent less time at Hidden Valley than initially planned due to a flight schedule change, so we didn’t get to explore the property and the reserve as much as we would have liked. It was definitely a place we could have spent another few days!
Location: Hidden Valley is nestled on a beautiful reserve in the Mountain Pine Ridge area. It’s really interesting to watch the ecosystems change as you climb towards the property–the shift from tropical to pine is quite distinct. It is pretty remote (given how small Belize is), and not near other lodges in the area.
Lodge & Restaurant Area
Transfers: We arranged transfers from Belize City International Airport through Hidden Valley, which went off without a hitch. This was easiest for us, and it was fun to drive (2.5 hours) to Hidden Valley to see more of the countryside in Belize and chat with our driver. However, had we known our flights were going to be soooo much later, we may have opted to fly to San Ignacio, or to the private airstrip on the property (Hidden Valley will arrange the charter flights upon request).
Reception: As soon as we arrived at Hidden Valley, the receptionist welcomed us with a drink. Before our flight changes, we had scheduled our trip to Caracol for the day after we arrived. She had already rescheduled Caracol a day later, so we had a more resful day after our first night. I appreciated the proactive foresight, and we definitely agreed that was the way to go. Particularly because I had gotten pretty nauseous on the way up to Hidden Valley–the roads + a van + prone to motion sickness…no bueno. The staff at Hidden Valley really went out of their way to say good morning, ask how your day was, and was always incredibly helpful with any request.
Food: Hidden Valley offers a 4 course menu every day with different options; they also have a menu that they use for lunch and for dinner with lots of options, including burgers, pizza, pasta, and some more regional options. While there wasn’t much I was overly interested in on the first 4 course menu (I think there was a curry option and a lamb option…neither of which I enjoy), but the next two nights had some really appealing dishes! We also ordered off the menu at lunch, and everything was really good. Food service is a bit slow, but we like to enjoy a beer and recap the day so it really wasn’t a problem. Plus, it’s nice to know that everything is made to order. They take great care in their food and it definitely shows. The restaurant is for hotel guests only.
Rooms: The rooms are what I would describe rustic, classic luxury–everything is clean and the beds are crisp and comfortable. We also had some beautiful fresh-cut tropical flowers which I enjoyed. It cools off at night because of the higher elevation, and each room has a fireplace. With kindling and matches, DH did pretty well stoking ours; I was impressed. The chimneys work well so you/your clothes don’t end up smelling like smoke, even if you have a fire most of the night. Hidden Valley Inn only has 10 cottages and 2 suites, so booking early is a necessity.
Overall: There are lots of trails, waterfalls, and other fun things within walking distance (or Hidden Valley can arrange a quick drop off not far away to give you a head start). The staff, guides, and waiters were impeccably professional, helpful, and friendly. They also had a great bartender that made DH all the fruity, blue, disgusting drinks he desired (while I enjoyed local beer). Hidden Valley is a quiet, classic gem, and we really enjoyed our stay! If you are looking for a inland base for a few nights, we’d definitely suggest looking into the property.