Honeymooners Samantha and Curtis just returned from a romantic/adventurous stay in Belize, at Francis Ford Coppola’s luxury beachfront lodge, the Turtle Inn. They were kind enough to share some really detailed feedback (and gorgeous photos), and it sounds like they had an amazing time. Try not to be TOO jealous! Better yet…give me a call and we can book your own “escape” to Belize 🙂
Belize was wonderful! We had such a great time!
Belize was beautiful! Our resort was located in Placencia which was a very safe community with no crime being reported in the last 10 years! English is the official language of Belize so it was very easy to communicate with people. The other languages spoken are Spanish and some Creole. We visited during the dry season so it was very warm but that provided great weather all week long!
Turtle Inn was splendid! Very clean resort and the staff were all very friendly and helpful. Our accommodations were directly on the beach which provided a great view day after day. Prices for items in the gift shop and for meals/drinks were a bit pricey but since it is a 5 star resort we understood the pricing. American money was easily accepted and prices for food/drink were displayed in USD. Only two things that may be concerning to others traveling here. First, you cannot throw toilet paper in the toilets as it clogs their septic so you needed to dispose of your toilet paper in a waste basket. We had no issues with this but I can see this perhaps being an issue for other guests. Second was the sand fleas. During dawn and dusk is when they strike and after getting to the resort we should have gone right to the gift shop to buy bug spray but we did not. That night at the beach restaurant, we gotten eaten alive! I got the worst of it and my legs were covered in small red bites that look like bed bug bites and itched like crazy! This was the only part of the trip which I found to be troublesome as I was constantly itching and applying anti-itch cream.
There were 3 restaurants located on the property but due to it being the slow season only 2 would open each night on a revolving schedule. All 3 restaurants were great but we seemed to eat at the main restaurant called “The Mare” the most which offered Italian and Seafood. There was Gauguin Grill located right on the beach and served seafood and then the last restaurant called Auntie Luba’s which served authentic Belizean style dishes. On Mondays and Thursdays at The Mare they held a traditional Dutch-Indian supper which we participated in and the food was all very good. All their seafood is caught fresh daily then prepared later that day. Curtis mostly ate seafood for all his meals and never had any complaints! I on the other hand could not get enough of their pizza! It was so delicious! There was a continental breakfast every morning which included fresh fruit, hard-boiled egg or yogurt with granola, fresh pastries, coffee, tea, and fresh squeezed juice. As a bonus you could have breakfast delivered to your room! If you did not want the continental option they did have additional options on the menu for an additional cost. I personally loved ordering the beignets! There were 2 bars located at the resort as well which were open daily. One was right on the beach! All our drinks were delicious — especially my favorite, the coconut mojito, in which they literally would chop down a coconut from a nearby tree and make your drink in the coconut! You could also go into town which was a 5 minute drive and had additional eating options. We only went out one night to a restaurant called “Secret Garden” which was recommended by the resort and it was good and the prices were very reasonable. They also had a gelato cafe in town which was really delicious! Wish we would have known about it sooner as we would have gone there every night or at least I would have liked to!
As mentioned before the cost for food/drink was pricey and we tried not to think about it since it was our honeymoon but we met another couple at the resort who informed us that they had gone with the honeymoon package which included all meals. I looked this up on Turtle Inn’s website and I think it looks like a great deal. It was unfortunate that it was not brought to our attention when booking. Having all meals included (2 appetizers, 2 entrees, and 2 desserts per meal) would have been a nice bonus.
We went on 4 tours/excursions while in Belize. The first was a manatee watch which I loved as manatees are my favorite animal! We saw plenty of manatees and our tour guide was very knowledgeable about them and knew where to find them! Our second tour was a trip to the Jaguar Preserve which was probably my favorite. It was very hot that day and we took a strenuous hike through the rainforest but the views from the top and getting to swim in waterfalls and see all types of birds and some lizards along with where a jaguar took a dust bath made it all worthwhile! After our hike, we got to go river tubing at the preserve which was very relaxing and we got to see a lot more birds! The third excursion was Cave Tubing/Zip Lining. Cave tubing was very cool but not for those who are claustrophobic. It was also very dark and quiet in the caves which made it eerie. Learning about the Mayan history with the caves was very interesting and we even got to see some left over Mayan pottery. Fruit bats lived in the caves and I personally love bats so I was excited to see so many! Water was shallow in the caves but at one point it does drop deep and another time when walking back it did go up to your chest. We then stopped at a local Belizean restaurant for lunch which was very good. Once finished we headed to zip lining in the jungle! That was fun as well but also a bit nerve wracking! I would not recommend if you are afraid of heights. Finally, we ended our stay with a sunset cruise on the lagoon. There were plenty of snacks and drinks and our guide boated us around the lagoon and waterfront homes while we watched the sun set. All our tour guides were great but our favorite has to be Melvin from Turtle Inn! Very knowledgeable and friendly! Always providing us with interesting facts/information, taking our photos, and answering all our questions! He always made sure we had enough to drink and eat when on the tours. Another neat part about the tours is that we were always the only ones on them which made them very personal which was nice. We thought this was due to the slow season but the resort said they prefer to do them this way because it gives it the personal touch and experience.
The only other comment we have is that we heard a lot about their sister resort, the Blancaneaux Lodge. A lot of people staying at Turtle Inn raved about it as they split their trip by staying there a few days then going to Turtle Inn or vice versa. With everyone saying so many good things about it we kind of wished we had done so as well. We know at the time we were concerned about losing a day due to the traveling but from everyone we spoke to it seemed it would have been worth it.
If I think of anything else, I will be sure to let you know! Thanks so much for helping us book an amazing honeymoon!
Samantha & Curtis