Kukulkan is a modern home with 3BR 3 1/2 baths in a magnificent jungle setting
- english, french, spanish, italian, Mayan
About Alvin Granoff
I fell in love with Belize over 30 years ago as a young man and have come back many many times. In 2003 I decided to semi-retire and completed this house in 2006 as a place to live. It took two years to build and I was lucky to have Irish designer and Belize resident Brendan Odonoghue help me design and build my dream house. I have traveled a good deal in my life and you will see some of my art collection in the house including a piece by my old friend and well known artist Gregory Amenoff whose large abstract painting greets you on the way into Kukulkan as well as paintings by local artists and others from travel to China and Bali. I lived at Kukulkan for almost 5 years before deciding to move back to Texas in 2010 and returned to Belize for another two years in 2015. Now I am living in The Netherlands where my next project will involves wine and perhaps a small hotel somewhere in the future. I love Belize in large part because it is a special place filled with charming, warm and friendly people. I suppose it is the people of Belize more than anything that kept me and continues to keep me coming back to this beautiful country. I encourage my guests to get to know not just the physical beauty of this land but also the kind and gentle people of so many races and backgrounds who inhabit Belize and make it their home.
Alvin Granoff purchased this Estate in 2006
Why Alvin Granoff chose San Ignacio
I had been traveling to Belize since 1981 taking a week to rejuvenate myself every few months from my hectic life at the time in Dallas and Austin.. For many of those years in the 80s and 90s I had an active business and political life as a lawyer and member of the Texas House of Representatives and escaping to Belize was critical in keeping my sanity and putting things in balance. It still is. My trip was always a mix of spending some time in San Pedro on the seaside and then going inland and staying at The Lodge at Chaa Creek. I remember in the early 80s when Chaa Creek first opened and had 3 cabanas and one outhouse. Today Chaa Creek is one of the finest mountain lodges in the world and its owners Mick and Lucy Fleming are among my closest friends. In 2003 when I decided to base myself in Belize it was the magnificent beauty of the Macal River Valley and the land around Chaa Creek that attracted me. I wanted to live in this rich green environment full of both the beauty of nature and charming and friendly people. At first I stayed with Mick and Lucy at Chaa Creek then rented a little home in town. Within a few months Mick Fleming found me this very special 50 acres right on the Macal River and just one mile down river from his own Chaa Creek. I bought it and proceeded to design and build my dream home with the help of the amazingly talented Brendan Odonoghue who is without doubt the leading designer in Belize. That dream home is Kukulkan. With Mayan ruins literally right on the property we named our villa in honor of the leading Mayan god who is featured in Chichen Itza. Over the years we expanded the trails, built the swimming pool to hang over the valley and planted many fruit trees. Come in the summer and enjoy our mangos and avocados. I love this 50 acres of greenery and trails and riverfront as much as I love the special house we built to sit atop it and be a part of this unique and special environment.
What makes this Estate unique
Let me simply make a list of some of the special things you should not miss while staying at Kukulkan. 1/ Just lay out on the comfortable lounge chairs on the deck in the evening and watch the stars. Do it for 20 minutes and your bound to see a shooting star and more stars than you ever saw in your life as well as whole clouds of galaxies in the distance. 2/ Always open the windows (we have screens) and listen to the sounds of the night when you go to sleep. You'll sleep well. I have come to miss it so much that when I'm in the USA I listen to recordings of evening sounds to help me sleep. 3/Take a walk on the Kukulkan trails with Leonardo or Manuel (and the dogs if you like) and make sure to visit the orchard area just above the river for a special memory and have a nice swim in the river which is quite safe and clean or in the pool when you're done. 4/Get Leonardo to drive you over to Chaa Creek for lunch and a visit to their museum and butterfly farm or maybe have a treatment at their elegant spa. If you feel energetic take our kayaks to get there . It will be harder getting there going upstream and quite easy downstream on the way back. At Kukulkan you have your own full time private tour guide with Leonardo. Let him take you around or make any arrangements you want to explore the area. Just relax and enjoy my home. And maybe take an outside shower on the master bedroom deck. Everything is quite private at Kukulkan. I designed it that way. I know you'll never forget it.
Check-in: 3:00 PM
Check-out: 12:00 PM
no smoking inside the house but allowed on decks.
Unless it is a special need we prefer have no pets
No refunds for bookings during the christmas new year holiday period even if cancellation is more than 60 days in advance of reservation.
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
This property is amazing! We spent most of our time in the pool, which was a great addition to the property. The views are amazing! Leonardo was a great host and very helpful regarding our stay in San Ignacio. I would highly recommend this property.
Amazing house and amazing views
My family of 4 absolutely loved this house. There was plenty of room for all of us, the views were spectacular, and it had everything we needed for our stay. The infinity pool is amazing - we spent our afternoons relaxing and cooling off in it after a day of sightseeing. The home's caretakers, Leonardo and Adelita were so welcoming. Leonardo was a huge help to us, bringing us to town or the grocery store whenever needed and giving us recommendations for restaurants. Almira and Lilian organized our tours and transportation to and from the airport which was so helpful. I highly recommend this home.
We surely want to thank you for this wonderful review!
This is an amazing villa, nestled into an expanse of very private jungle acreage. This home is beautifully maintained and well appointed with so many comfortable amenities, great beds with wonderful sheets and pillows, wonderful bathrooms with fantastic showers, comfortable seating areas in the main living area of the house, fully equipped kitchen with everything one would need. Also a large deck with dining table and chairs overlooking the jungle plus deck areas off of both the large bedrooms. An incredible infinity edge pool that was clean and cool and perfect for a relaxing and refreshing dip, and which also had an amazing view into the jungle beyond. And lastly and most importantly the house has a caretaker, who lives in another property adjacent to the villa, who was the icing on this cake!! He and his family looked out for us, cooked a spectacular bbq meal for us one night, went above and beyond in looking after our needs and accompanying us on our adventure tours. After you book he will get in touch with you to arrange transportation to the house. Leonardo definitely made this stay one we will always remember! We hope to return back one day and stay again at Kulkukan Villa!!
Magnificent Property with Amazing Views, Privacy, and Hospitality You Can't Beat!
I really don't know if I can say enough about this beautiful home and the incredibly kind and attentive family who cared for us. We stayed at Kukulkan for 7 days with our 3 children, ages 9, 7, and 3, and I'm not sure what we would have done without Leonardo and his lovely family who live on-site and take care of anything you might need during our stay. For us, this was Leonardo taking my son and I to the market and grocery store, taking the whole family kayaking through caves in the jungle (while even kayaking with our 7-year-old son and two children from another family so we could all enjoy the experience together), taking my sons and I on a day trip to Tikal in Guatemala (my husband and 3-year-old daughter stayed behind, so Leonardo also really helped look after our young sons and even got them some chips when he thought they were hungry and some of the Mayan natural chewing gum which was such a cool treat!), taking the whole family zip lining through the jungle (and offered to take pictures for us that we will treasure for a lifetime!), getting us little things we needed from town while he was out, pointing out spider monkeys, howler monkeys, and a toucan as we saw them in the wild on our excursions. And Adelita, Leonardo's wife, came in while we were gone and washed dishes (unfortunately, the dishwasher was broken while we were there), washed, dried, and folded our laundry, cleaned up and restocked toilet paper, paper towels and such, and cooked the most delicious traditional Mayan meals for us on two occasions!!! The kids loved the house and the pool so much they could have just stayed at Kukulkan the entire time, but we all really enjoyed our excursions as a family and have memories that will last a lifetime. We enjoyed family time at the house--relaxing by the pool, grilling out one night on the HUGE deck, and waking up each morning to the beautiful jungle. One suggestion--the expansive windows truly make the house and help provide the jungle experience, but bring an eye mask if you're a late riser. Also, although Kukulkan has A/C in the bedrooms for comfortable sleeping at night, the rest of the house does not, and our 3-year-old daughter developed heat rash a few days we were there. Just something to consider if you have very young children. We are so very grateful for this experience, and we would return again and again!
Jamie thank you for your very generous comments. In response I think it best I simply quote the comments Leonardo made in an email to me on how much he enjoyed your stay and how happy the staff was to have you as a guest.
"Ms Jamie and her family were so lovely we had a great time with them, on tours or just staying at the house. One thing is for sure it is a pleasure having them staying with us at Kukulkan and we simply just do our best to make them feel as if they are at home and make their vacation a memorable one."
I can't really add to those sincere comments from Leonardo. The house and location may be beautiful but it is always the dedication and charm of Leonardo and Adelita that gets the most stars. Hopefully your generous comments will encourage more families to enjoy this unique experience in a very special place with the personalized care of a wonderful Mayan family.
Beautiful home in amazing location
We had a very enjoyable holiday week in this gorgeous property. The kids won't forget this trip for a long time. Thanks again to Leonardo and family for making it a great experience!
Matt it was great having you and your family at Kukulkan. It was especially nice that you all were able to spend time with your nearby Belizean relatives. Please let us know if there is any way we can earn that fifth star in the future as Leonardo and Adelita want everyone's stay at Kukulkan to be absolutely perfect. We hope you come back and stay with us again.
Absolutely one of the best vacations I've ever had
It is close to being in heaven as you can get without actually getting there. The views overlooking the mountains are just spectacular
Adelita and Leonardo really enjoyed having your family as guests and loved how you spent time at the house and really enjoyed yourself on our little hilltop hacienda.
We hope one day you will return.
We designed Kukulkan to really make it all one 5000 square foot house part of it inside and part of it on the decks leading from each main room.
The large social living room which is 1200sf has a wall of windows and sliding door leading to its own great deck which is also 1200sf. The first master bedroom has its sliding door and wall of windows leading to its own wrap around deck which even has an outdoor shower. Both decks sit 15 feet above the ground as do the bedrooms. The second master bedroom also has its own beautiful deck overlooking the valley and the pool.
The swimming pool is quite near the second master bedroom but the pool is entered by a door in the hallway and has its own smaller cement deck. The pool sits just a few feet lower than the two decks that surround it but is still high off the ground.
What makes all these high decks even more special is that the birds whether a toucan or other tropical birds that visit the trees will be at almost eye level as they fly by. It's quite amazing to see a full keel-bill toucan flying by, half beak and half bird, and right at eye level.
The pool is very special and was designed by Brendan O'donoghue to blend in with the house' angles and curves and be well off the ground. The pool is fan shaped and 4.5 feet in depth with the whole pool being tiled in blue glass tiles which are beautiful to behold as they reflect the light and also very comfortable to the feet. The view from the pool is as amazing as it is from the decks but in a pool, you just don’t expect to be hanging out at the end of it totally safe yet suspended above a jungle valley with scenery that is really once in a lifetime beautiful. There is also an infinity edge to make it even more dramatic (and safe)
Some guests spend most of their time between the pool, the kitchen, the bar and the decks. It is a unique and wonderful environment so why not just take it easy. Remember Leonardo can come over and do a cookout for you or Adelita can make you a local dish and the worlds best flour tortillas whenever you like.
After all it's your vacation!
OUR MANAGER Leonardo Moh is a Mayan from southern Belize and is a safe driver and licensed tour guide who can be your private guide to many locations.
Leonardo can pick up 5-6 people at the airport and arrange for a van to pick up larger groups and take you directly to Kukulkan. Leonardo can also arrange all your activities in advance or when you are here. Leonardo and his wife and daughters have lived on and managed Kukulkan for over 10 years and can help you have a very special journey to this beautiful and undiscovered part of Belize.
You can’t use GPS to arrive at our door.
We can pick you up at the international airport in Belize City when you arrive or the municipal airport if you are flying from the island or anywhere in Belize and take you to Kukulkan. Or if you have your own rent car (we always suggest 4WD for Belize) then Leonardo can meet you in San Ignacio Town 10 minutes away and lead you to the property. Kukulkan is not easy to find and you can’t use google maps as we are down a road we built that has no name plus we like Kukulkan to be very private. Of course, charges apply for pickups and drop offs and vary depending on the number of people and location.
PRICING FOR AIRPORT PICK UP AND DAY TRIPS UPON REQUEST. Those costs can be paid by credit card at Kukulkan or in advance.
You can also fly Tropic Air a small local but very good local airline that will take you to an airstrip quite near to us. This could be the best way to come to us from San Pedro and we are happy to pick you up and take you to Kukulkan. You would simply book online on Tropic Air to San Ignacio or you can ask us to make the booking for you and we will take care of everything. You can also fly up to San Ignacio on Tropic from Placencia in southern Belize but the drive is pretty beautiful if you don’t mind 3 hours in a vehicle you’ll have lots of dramatic photos to take.
You can certainly rent a vehicle in Belize but it's not really necessary or always advisable. But you do NOT want to rent a regular sedan, so if you rent please rent a 4WD SUV. As the cost of rental for a good SUV is fairly high and as it is quite easy to arrange transport I generally recommend you let Belizeans do the driving when you are on the mainland of Belize. Of course on the island in San Pedro you can roam around in your own golf cart rental but although it is very safe on the mainland there are lots of very rough roads and all the places you would want to go on a side trip are not easy to find. So an SUV rental is certainly possible but having a professional Belize driver and tour guide is usually a better way to go.