The Resort and Rooms, Cotton Tree Lodge
On one of his many sailing trips on his sailboat Juanita during the 1980’s, founder Chris Crowell ventured up the Moho River in the deep south of Belize and found a beautiful farm along the riverbank that was recently abandoned and for sale. Looming high above the spectacular location was a breathtaking huge Cotton Tree. The deal was sealed.
After ten years of annual visits and attempts to keep the jungle at bay, in 1999 Chris teamed up with his partner Jeff Pzena to bring his dream into reality. Chris’ dream was to somehow introduce others to what he considers to be the soul of the country, to create an atmosphere where individuals could appreciate other cultures while learning something about their own spirit. The dream of impacting lives… of exploring new terrain… of creating stories for a lifetime.
Today the lodge offers visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves into the local culture and learn about a totally different way of life, to explore deep into the jungle and experience the totally “last frontier feeling”. This is one of the many things so special about Belize: to explore barely discovered ancient Mayan cities or to venture out onto the barely ventured gems of the southern Belizean Caribbean waters, experiencing totally new, deeper meanings to ‘surf and turf’ itineraries.
Nestled between unspoiled rainforest and the banks of the Moho River in the undiscovered Toledo district, Cotton Tree Lodge provides a truly unique jungle experience. Guests principally stay on an all inclusive basis and this includes a wealth of daily excursions, including locally guided tours to Mayan villages, ancient ruins, waterfalls, and caves.
Activities available on the grounds include birding, horseback riding, kayaking, swimming, medicinal plant walks, or simply relaxing in a hammock. Being just fifteen miles from the Caribbean ocean means you are also close enough to enjoy snorkeling, diving, fishing, or sailing on a day trip.
For foodies, chocoholics, or anyone with a sweet tooth get in touch with us at AB about the ‘Cacao Crazy‘ chocolate week itinerary, where eight days and seven nights are spent exploring organic cacao farms, learning about Fair Trade in Belize and making your very own chocolate bars from scratch.
Whilst there is a focus on sustainability, Cotton Tree offers all the amenities to keep guests comfortable. The eleven private cabanas are fully screened with thatched roofs, private bathrooms, ceiling fans, balconies, and hammocks. The Main Lodge houses the reception, gift shop, wireless internet access, and a fully-stocked bar. The restaurant serves Belizean and American favorites prepared with the freshest ingredients from local farmers and the on site organic garden.
Guests typically stay on an all inclusive basis to ensure you get the most out of your experience and this also offers the best value, however room only and full board room options are available. The all inclusive rates include:
- Round trip transfers between Punta Gorda and the lodge (one way by boat, one way by road)
- Accommodation in a private thatched cabana
- Daily guided off-site tour options
- Unlimited on-site activities
- Three meals per day
- Drinking water, soft drinks, and juices served with meals
All rooms as standard offer the following amenities:
- Ceiling fans
- Private baths
- Louvered shutters
- Hand woven Mayan textiles
- Reading lamps
- Purified drinking water
- Tropical flower arrangements
- Daily maid service
The simplest accommodation and approximately 300 square ft, Standard Cabanas typically feature one queen bed. Appropriate for individuals, couples, friends, or small families.
Deluxe Cabanas are approximately 400 square ft and feature private balconies with hammocks. Furnished with one or two queen beds, Deluxe Cabanas are appropriate for individuals, couples, friends, or families, plus a set of bunk beds can be added upon request.
Featuring a screened in Jacuzzi tub overlooking the Moho River, the Honeymoon Cabana is one of the most popular choices. Approximately 400 square ft with a king bed and private balcony, appropriate for individuals or couples.
These larger cabanas are perfect for families, featuring one queen bed downstairs and two twin beds in a loft. An additional set of bunk beds can be added to the main level to accommodate up to two adults and four children. Approximately 400 square ft with a private balcony with hammock.
For the adventurous, this cabana is located 1/4 mile down a foot path into the jungle. This 300 square ft cabana is furnished with one king bed, appropriate for singles or couples, and has a small balcony looking straight into the jungle, where howler monkeys and tropical birds are frequently spotted.
Deluxe Two-Bedroom Cabana
The largest cabana features two separate sleeping areas with one queen bed in each. A twin bed or set of bunk beds can be added to sleep up to four children and two adults. The cabana features approximately 1000 square ft of space with kitchenette area and private balcony with hammocks.
The restaurant is located in the main lodge under the giant palapa roof, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Guests usually sit family style at meals, encouraging a sense of community. The set daily menus are influenced by a blend of Belizean, American, and European cuisine, utilizing fresh local ingredients and seasonings, with much of the produce coming from the resort’s organic garden and the local Mayan farming villages. Should any guest venture out onto the waters on a fishing trip, the kitchen will happily cook the catch for everyone to enjoy.
Breakfast is a hearty hot and cold buffet including fresh tropical fruit, eggs, and homemade breads. Lunches are light and nutritious, featuring items such as burritos, stewed chicken, rice and beans, and salads. Lunches may be eaten in the restaurant or taken as a picnic on tours. Dinners begin with appetizers at the bar followed by a four course seated meal of soup, salad, entrée, and dessert. A typical dinner menu might include gazpacho, tomato herb salad, garlic sautéed shrimp, and orange cake.
The Cotton Tree Lodge bar in the Main Lodge serves Belikin beer products, a modest range of wines, and a full menu of cocktails prepared with fresh fruit juices. Nightly happy hours and appetizers make the bar a popular gathering spot before dinner. On clear nights a campfire is set up by the gazebo, allowing guests to enjoy their drinks under the stars.
Cotton Tree Lodge offers guests three different rate structures – Room only, full board and all inclusive. We recommend all inclusive so you can get the best value out of your stay. Please note that Cotton Tree Lodge is in a remote location, and alternative dining options are extremely limited.
Room Only rates are charged per room per night and include accommodation in a private thatched cabana, most on-site activities and drinking water. Please add 12% service charge and 9% hotel tax to the following rates:
|Summer singe occupancy||Summer double occupancy||Winter single occupancy||Winter double occupancy||Holiday single occupancy||Holiday double occupancy|
|Cabana Style||June 1 – Nov 20||June 1 – Nov 20||Nov 21 – May 31 *excluding holidays||Nov 21 – May 31 *excluding holidays||Dec 20 – Jan 3||Dec 20 – Jan 3|
* contact us for half-board & all-inclusive rates.
Please view our booking terms.
Compelling! – “Cotton Tree Lodge and the surrounding communities compelled us to come back. Visiting in 2008 with the whole family, my 17 year-old daughter and I needed to return.Despite a busy week of first time visitors, the staff at the Cotton Tree found time to help us carve out our own, very personal trips. Exploring the local communities more intimately than our first visit was a life experience and opportunity that we shall never forget. Respect and understanding for local culture and ideas is evident in all that they do at Cotton Tree Lodge. And somehow the staff at Cotton Tree Lodge balance making you feel like a guest and family in the same breath.Trip number three? Absolutely!” Christine H
“Great” doesn’t cut it” – “We had such a great time in Belize at Cotton Tree!!!!! Actually, “great” doesn’t cut it. We didn’t get to do nearly all of the things we wanted to do, so we’re anxious to come back. The unexpected surprise of our trip was how much we liked the PEOPLE that we met (we thought it would be all about the rainforest, monkeys, and birds)”. Curtis B
We shall return – “We spent only three nights at the Cotton Tree, but this was enough to know we shall return. We will always remember the sound of the howler monkeys as they surrounded the lodge in the middle of the night! There are so many enticing adventures nearby – making chocolate with a Mayan family was a highlight for us. Cotton Tree’s ecotourism puts the emphasis on eco, not on tourism. Chris and the staff have developed a model ecolodge, and their engagement in the local community is admirable”. Adrian and Shirley S
Congratulations Chris, Jeff and staff, you’ve done it! – The Cotton Tree is a gorgeous little bit of luxury in the middle of the jungle. The river is the best pool ever and the river breeze is natures A/C. We were thrilled with the beautiful cabanas, outstanding food, exciting excursions and a staff that I would welcome each and every one to visit the US and stay in my home. We’ve never vacationed in the same spot twice But we WILL be returning to the Cotton Tree in the future to check up on the friends we made and to support your amazing vision of what an eco-friendly jungle lodge could and should be. Congratulations Chris, Jeff and staff! Youve done it! Katie Devane and Becky Spear