|Old Reviews - Windy Hill Resort|
Because this is the first review of this resort on this site, we will try to give an overview of Windy Hill. This resort is located about 1 1/2 hours from the Belize International Airport and five minutes from the town of San Ignacio near the Guatemala border.
In the process of researching Belize, we found this resort in a tour company's brochure. When I looked at Windy Hill's website (www.windyhillresort.com), I discovered that it was more reasonable to book it directly through the resort, and you can pick from one of their many packages, or request your own. We had a package for 4 days (May 8-12/08) that included our meals, a full day trip to Tikal ruins in Guatemala, a full day tour to the Caracol ruins, a half day tour to Xunantunich ruins, and a trip to the Belize zoo. Our transfers to and from the airport were also included. Windy Hill also co-ordinated the additional 4 days of our trip at Blue Tang Inn on Ambergris Caye.
Windy Hill Resort is built on 100 acres with tropical trees and flowers. There are about 20 private cabins, some with air conditioning. Although the temperatures were in the eighties during our stay, there was a nice breeze 24 hours a day and we did not have to use our air conditioning at all. Each cabin has a large porch with chairs and a hammock. The cabins are decorated with native wood and local crafts. We had plenty of storage room for our clothing, a table and chairs and a little sitting area with arm chairs. There were two ceiling fans and plenty of lights for reading.
We found all of the staff to be very friendly, professional and helpful in accommodating our needs.
The small infinity pool overlooks the grounds and the San Ignacio area. There is an abundance of birds on the property, including a resident scarlet macaw "Mac" and a parakeet/lorakeet "Sam" who talks, laughs and screams to keep the guests entertained. Apparently, both of these birds were rescued.
There is a medicinal plant trail at the back of the property that is well marked. There are guided early morning bird hikes and evening jungle hikes, although we did not take part in these. You pre-register so they can make sure they have a guide and there is a charge for the hikes.
There is a small bar on the grounds, although we are not late night people, so can't say how busy it was or wasn't. We were never bothered by any noise in the evening during our stay. You may be awakened early morning by the sounds of the birds and cicadas in the tropical forest though! Every evening, about 6:15 the cicadas would "sing" for an hour or so and then stop. We did not experience any problems with mosquitoes or other insects during our stay.
The Black Orchid restaurant serves all of the meals. The menu is quite extensive and it has Belizean and Mediterranean choices. We found all of the food to be very good. If you are on a package like we were, you order from the regular menu. All drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic are extra and will be charged to your account that you settle on check-out.
There is a fitness centre on-site, but we didn't need it after climbing the ruins all day. There is a gift shop at the main office also.
On our free day, we took a taxi into the nearby town of San Ignacio, about a 5 minute ride costing $10 Belizean ($5 U.S.). You can ask the front desk to call a taxi, or local buses are available. The local ice cream, "Cayo Twist" shop just before San Ignacio was highly recommended. Unfortunately, it was not open when we were there. I think their hours were Thursday to Sunday from 5 p.m. In town, there are a variety of shops selling souvenirs (t-shirts, jewellery, etc.) for reasonable prices. We found a large grocery store (Selena's) where we bought organic Belizean coffee for $14.95 BZ for one pound (about $7.50 U.S.). We bought fruit from one of the stalls in town and stopped and had some fresh fruit juice at a stand near the river. There were banks, police station, several restaurants and other facilities in town. Everyone was very friendly, and George, our taxi driver (Savannah Taxis, I think) watched for us to be finished wandering around and then he returned us to Windy Hill.
We thoroughly enjoyed our 4 day stay here before moving on to Ambergris Caye. From the time the driver, Otto, picked us up at the airport (with a cooler with delicious sandwiches and cold drinks) until the time he took us to the municipal airport to the TropicAir terminal, everything was extremely organized and well run. We felt very well taken care of.
We highly recommend this resort and look forward to returning. It is a very relaxing place and a good base for trips to the many ruins and other natural sites in the area.
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