Mile 36 Hummingbird Highway, Belmopan, Cayo, Belize
Delivering rainforest views in a remote jungle setting, the Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge in Belize offers luxurious accommodations only steps away from endless outdoor adventure.
Set amongst lush rainforest, Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge features 26 uniquely designed rooms, offering everything from comfortable garden- and river-view rooms to one-of-a-kind mountain-view suites that feature private plunge pools.
Located about 17 miles from Belize's capital city of Belmopan in the Cayo district, Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge gets its name from one of the most well-known mountains in the country. The property—especially the mountain view suites—showcase the Sleeping Giant mountain that has become a recognizable symbol in Belize.
If it's available, splurge for the Mountain View Penthouse. There is a required three-night minimum stay and five nights minimum during Christmas and Easter weeks. It's a workout to get up there, but the views are worth the 78-stair climb. You'll enjoy spectacular views from the suite itself or head out on your large rounded balcony to the private plunge pool or Jacuzzi tub to connect even more with nature.
Spacious king beds are adorned with hand-carved Belizean mahogany wood headboards, while local art fills the rest of the expansive suite. An indoor/outdoor shower combo rounds out the large bathroom and the whole suite offers air conditioning as well.
Although you're in the jungle, Sleeping Giant spared no expense in their accommodations. The only luxury amenities you'll be missing here are TV, phone, and Wi-Fi in the rooms. But, with those incredible views, you'll likely be spending most of your time in the pool or Jacuzzi tub anyway.
Wi-Fi is available down in the main lobby and restaurant area if you do need to stay connected to the outside world. You'll find the open-air lobby to be more of a communal gathering place, and it's a quick walk to the well-manicured pool. Keep going a few minutes more and you're at the Sibun River.
If you're not keen on the 78-stair climb to the mountain view suites, you'll find other lodging options which include the garden- and river-view rooms, "river guide" rooms, creekside cottages, and the two-bedroom river house that is great for families and groups of friends.
Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge is part of the ViVa Belize collection of resorts. Travelers wanting to mix a little rainforest with beach time are advised to consider a combination package that gives you a few days inland at Sleeping Giant and a few days at one of their sister resorts on the beach in Hopkins. Almond Beach is a great option, especially with newly upgraded ocean view suites that feature private patios with plunge pools.
If you're traveling without a car, you'll need to be okay with eating all meals on property as the resort is pretty remote, with nothing else nearby. The restaurant is open daily, but be advised that the meal times are set and they aren't open very late at night. The chef has done a nice job with the resort's Grove House restaurant, serving up elevated Belizean cuisine. Just be advised that service times can vary depending on how busy they are: you may be served quickly at dinner and then find breakfast runs at a slower pace if you order off the menu, so factor that in if you have booked a tour or transfers. Another thing to note with buying food and drink on property—Sleeping Giant is a cash-free resort. This means you'll need to settle any charges with a Visa or MasterCard only.
Unfortunately, I only had one night at Sleeping Giant, and you really need at least three days just to explore all the resort's amenities. There is a canopy hike you can take that offers views to the valley below and Sleeping Giant mountain in the distance. Take a canoe out on the river and definitely make time to lounge by the pool in one of the private hammocks. Sleeping Giant also has their own Maya ceremonial cave on site that is reserved exclusively for ViVa Belize guests. You should see a variety of Maya artifacts and geological formations like stalactites and stalagmites, crystal curtains, and rimstone dams. Given the popularity of the ATM Maya ceremonial cave tour in Belize, make this a priority if a Maya ceremonial cave is high on your list of Belize adventure activities.
Transfers are available to Belize City, which is about two hours away, along with transfers between other ViVa Belize properties for an added cost. The transfers can be expensive, as high gas prices in Belize are primarily to blame. And, with how reasonably priced rooms are at Sleeping Giant, especially when they are running a seasonal special, you're still getting a great deal for this level of luxury adventure resort.
Web Address: www.vivabelize.com/sleeping-giant
Total Number of Rooms: 26
Published rates: $249 (Garden Suites) - $749 (River House)
Review and photos by Erin De Santiago