I stayed at the Black Orchid Resort for three nights in February 2015. Should I return to Belize, I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again. I did not go to Belize for a chaotic city vibe, so staying outside the city in a small resort on the river was perfect for me.
I had arranged an airport transfer from the hotel and was warmly welcomed by the driver who took me to the resort. Check in was easy. My room was clean, comfortable and cozy. It had everything we needed and maid service cleaned and tidied up for us daily. Luggage was delivered to my room which was nice as it was on the second level (no elevators).
I had the opportunity to see several of the different rooms and each one is unique with a Belizean flavour, but different interiors. Some have been more recently renovated than others, but all of the three or four that I saw were lovely in their own charming way.
I had hot water and lovely showers while I stayed at the hotel which is always a plus when you’re staying in a country with less infrastructure than Canada.
The staff were extremely helpful, friendly and attentive. I didn’t have any issues, but if I did, I wouldn’t have hesitated to ask them to help me. And I feel confident that they would have gone out of my way to assist as quickly as possible.
The grounds of the Black Orchid are rustic, but charming. Full of nature from the trees and flowers to the monkeys. It was lovely just to take in the peace and quiet of the surroundings while sitting by the pool, overlooking the beautiful river or relaxing in a hammock.
While I was there I took one of their free bicycles and rode around the small community. People were incredibly friendly, as well as curious. They were surprised to see tourists biking around, I guess most visitors take tours, rather than explore the small community.
I stopped for a drink at a local convenience store and chatted with the owner, and I met a man who regularly races in the big Ruta Maya Canoe Challenge, so I heard about the race from a competitor which was interesting.
The Black Orchid is outside of the city, out of the hustle and bustle, completely quite, serene and relaxing. I didn’t spend any time at the bar, but a few of my co-travellers did and enjoyed the evenings chatting away over drinks.
I was particularly impressed with the food. Every day I ordered something different and it was just as good, if not better than the previous day. The soups were full of flavour and ingredients, the fish was fresh and the chicken dishes were all very flavourful as well.
Breakfast was sufficient but not luxurious. There was always cereal, juice, coffee, tea, some kind of bread or pastry and a couple of fresh fruit options. I never left the hotel hungry. If you arrived near the end of breakfast, supplies might be slightly limited, but the one morning this happened to me, I just asked for replenishments and a couple of minutes later I had everything I needed.
As for location, there is nothing within walking distance of the resort, but there are a myriad of great adventure activities in the surrounding area. This makes the Black Orchid a great central point to stay for a few days.
You can do canoeing, cycling and bird watching right at the resort. The Baboon sanctuary is only a few kms away. Within an hour or two you have Lamanai Ruins which are fantastic ruins hidden in the jungle, accessible by river. In the other direction you can head to San Ignacio for caving, tubing or many more ruins sites. Most of these would be full day trips from the Black Orchid.
On the flip side, you can also easily reach the Caye’s from Burrell Boom. Arrange your transfer into Belize City, hop the ferry and off you go to Island Paradise. Two to three hours and you’ll go from jungle to beach.
Although I wouldn’t suggest spending your entire Belize vacation in Burrell Boom, it is certainly a lovely, off the beaten track resort that caters to those who appreciate the sights and sounds of nature over the hustle and bustle of the city.
You’ll be sure to be well taken care of by the friendly staff.