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“The Best of Ambergris Caye”

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Portofino Beach Resort
Ranked #16 of 55 Hotels in San Pedro
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 September 2011

Portofino is the best place I have stayed at, on the island of Ambergris Caye and I consider myself familiar with what it has to offer. My girlfriend and I enjoyed every minute in the Honeymoon Suite………. at the restaurant, bar and pool. The staff is personal and professional, at all times. The Suite is a bed in a large room with a high ceiling and a panoramic view of the ocean and beach while lying in bed. The glass was clear and clean, as was the rest of the room. The room did an excellent job of bringing the natural island environment together with all the comforts and class one would expect from a Honeymoon Suite. Portofino resort is an intimate experience from the conversation at the bar to the pool vibe. Portofino knows what you deserve when on vacation, like a deep pool in a circular design, which works well for privacy, potable water in the rooms, plenty of linens, pillows and towels and each room is separated from the next, no common wall. The amenities are well maintained, no signs posted all over warning of limitation of the facilities. The last important praise I would like to make, to you, is that considering the excellent location of Portofino, there is no foreseeable construction going on around you. Whatever, you are looking forward to on your vacation; Portofino is the place to choose, when visiting the beautiful Ambergris Caye.

Room Tip: Honeymoon Suite
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank griffen9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 14 September 2011

We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay in our Honeymoon Suite, our location and amenities and most importantly the warmth and hospitality of our team. It makes us very happy to know that your were able to find everything you wanted in a getaway, right here at Portofino - our little piece of paradise! We certainly look forward to welcoming you again.

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Reviewed 5 September 2011

How do I even begin to express my love for Portofino and it's staff for making my Honeymoon simply remarkable?
My husband and I didn't really know what to expect. When booking we had a general idea of what we wanted: seclusion, an authentic feel, beach front and an onsite dive shop. We got all of that and more than we had ever dreamed!
Mayan Air had a slight mix-up with our bags, but Julio the boat captain was happy to take us to the resort where we could relax while he returned to the airport to wait for our luggage. After relaxing on the beach and a few much needed rum punches our luggage was delivered to our cabana! Now that's service!
Upon arriving we were greeted by Orville, a bartender we would later be sad to leave at the end of our trip. Orville had drinks in hand and wonderful refreshing towels for us to cool down with while we got checked in.
I couldn't have dreamed a better view. The best part is that the view is visible from every angle. Our front porch, the dining area, the bar, the pool...everywhere we were had a clear unobstructed view of the beach and ocean.
Our cabana was perfect. Clean, authentic, and the presentation upon arrival was gorgeous! The staff was remarkable. From the front desk staff (David) to the bartender (Orville) to even the owners Jan and Sandra, we could tell that making our stay a comfortable and memorable one was their number one priority.
The food was delicious! Breakfast, lunch and dinner were all so fresh and tasty! (My husband recommends the creole lobster and I recommend the stuffed grouper! Delicious!!) Everything is hand made right here at the resort down to the smallest detail! (Even the bread and salsa were amazing) YUM!
Even the excursions that the resort offered were great! My husband and I wanted to have some fun so we booked zip lining, cave tubing, snorkeling with sharks and stingrays, and we even got to see some Mayan Ruins! On the days we didn't have anything booked we were perfectly content with relaxing on the beach with an ice cold Belikin or building sand castles.
I will say that one night we ventured out to a neighboring resort, Matachica, and while the food was good the service and hospitality were atrocious. It being the off season they had an almost completely empty restaurant and we were still asked if we had reservations. When we said no they replied, "Well we'll have to see if we have a table for you." RUDE! Another time we had made friends at the resort and they mentioned a restaurant near by, Mambo, that they were going to and asked if we would like to share a boat. It being our honeymoon and it their romantic vacation we made reservations for 2 separate tables. Little did we know that Mambo was Matachica's restaurant. We thought that maybe since we had reservations this time we would be a bit more welcomed. Not the case. We were still treated rudely and made to feel like our presence was a nuisance to the staff. While the food was good, I could have stayed at Portofino and had great food and amazing service!
We made so many friends during our stay, guests and staff alike.
Thank you, Portofino, for making our honeymoon a fun, relaxing and memorable one.
Would I stay here again? You bet! Will I stay here again? You can guarantee it!

Room Tip: We stayed in a cabana which was perfect for us.
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lopez722
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 13 September 2011

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments. We are so happy that you enjoyed your honeymoon with us and are deeply sorry to hear about your experience dining out. We are delighted to have been able to share our little piece of paradise with you and your husband and will definitely be looking forward to your return! All the best wishes in your new life together!!

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Reviewed 5 September 2011

First I would like to say thank you to Jan, Sandra, and the entire Portofino staff for making our stay so amazing and most memorable to us. My wife and I recently returned from our honeymoon which we stayed at Portofino for 8 days. We absolutely loved everyday more and more. The staff made sure we were taken care of every chance they could and gave us a warm welcome when we first arrived. Every cabana has a gorgeous view of the ocean. Their restaurant is fantastic and reasonably priced compared to the other resort restaurants in the area. Basically if you want to have a great get away this is the place to be. Everyone is very personable and eager to ensure your stay as pleasant as possible. I can tell you first hand the bad reviews I've read so far are complete rubbish. You have to see it to believe it in my book and let me tell you folks I'm a huge fan of Portofino as they gave my wife and I our own personal paradise!

Thanks guys,

Ted and Jen

  • Stayed: August 2011
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Thank tedlopez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 7 September 2011

We are so delighted to hear how much you enjoyed your stay with us, especially due to the fact that it was such a special trip. Nothing makes our team happier than to know that our guests leave with pleasant memories to last a lifetime.

All the best wishes for your new life together.

Thank you so much for choosing our little piece of paradise and we hope to welcome you to Portofino again someday.

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Reviewed 18 August 2011

My husband and I booked Portofino for our wedding. We were concerned that it was during "rainy" season but were very happy that it did not rain once. In addition, we had no issues with mosquitos, which was also an initial concern.
Portofino is a nice, quiet and quaint resort. It has more of a rustic feel to it. We stayed in the honeymoon suite which was very big and had a wonderful view. Their were AC units, it was not central AC. If you are looking for a super trendy, modern resort this would not be for you. The resort has a pool although we did not spend time it. They have kayaks that you can use to go snorkeling but they also have a dive shop on their pier, which is very convenient. This area of Belize does not have a real beach so to speak because of the reef, so you cannot really wade out in the water from the beach. You can wade a bit off the dock. It is great for snorkeling and diving.

The food was average. If there was anything I would reccomend them improving on it would be the food and variety. With not that many options in the area it would have been nice if the menu changed nightly or at least if their were a few different options each night. We did go into town one night for dinner and used the water taxi, which is easy but pricey. We also went to another resort close by that had their own water taxi which was convenient. It would have been nice if they also served some local food as a dish, they cooked it for the staff but it was not on the menu.

As for the wedding, the resort staff did a great job. They gave excellent reccomendations for a photographer and a hair and make-up person. The docorations including flowers were beautiful and the cake was amazing. It was perfect.

The owners would frequently hang out at the bar in the evenings and were very friendly and helpful.

Overall, we would definitely stay at Portofino again!

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Kara G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2011

I stayed at Portofino in January, 2011 and felt like I was a castaway on a deserted island. Upon arriving I was instantly relaxed and greeted with a cold towel and refreshing beverage by the owner Jan.
My room was actually a one bedroom thatched hut with amazing views of the ocean. The bathroom was very large with only a shower. I'm a bathtub person so always appreciate the opportunity to relax in a lovely large tub, the shower was fine for my needs.

Portofino is family owned by Jan and his wife, Sandra. They are amazing hosts and made me feel so appreciated. The restaurant serves exceptional food which was a huge surprise given our location.

Once landing on Ambergris Caye in San Pedro guests take a 20 minute boat ride to Portofino so getting there might be a problem for someone with back problems on bumpy ocean.

However I highly recommend Portofino for the gourmet, the adventurer, the honeymooners and folks who just want to soak up the culture and sunshine that is Belize.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled on business
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Thank ARubins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2011

If I was only rating on aesthetics and privacy, this hotel would get a 5.0! The grounds were immaculate, the view was breath taking, and the resort itself was very secluded. The food in the restaurant was pretty good, but seemed a little over priced. However, when you factor in that you don't have many other choices eating at the hotel seems appealing.

The only real complaints I have regarding our stay was that the staff seemed pushy at times. They tried to 'up sell' everything. Which I tried to remain understanding because I know they are only trying to make a living. But at times they almost seemed argumentative or somewhat annoyed when you didn't comply.

Also, the bar staff seemed a bit shady. They actually admitted to charging people for top shelf drinks instead of local liquors when they didn't know they were ordering them. Then giving the excuse "Well, why wouldn't I charge you for top shelf, I'm making a living here." Seemed dishonest. As long as you are not naive to this fact and do question any charges they try to throw your way, you should be OK.

I probably wouldn't stay here again since other resorts on the island seemed just as nice. For what we paid (wasn't cheap) I would rather try my luck at another place for a different experience.

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Boogiegirl18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 July 2011

Thank you very much for taking the time out to rate our property.

We are happy to hear that you were impressed with the appearance and location of Portofino. We are also glad that you enjoyed the food our menu offers. We are sorry that you felt it was overpriced as when compared to the restaurants in the area, and even some in town, we do find that our prices are comparable and in some instances, more affordable.

On the other hand, we are saddened to hear that our staff made you feel uncomfortable or pressured in any way. This is the first time we have been faced with an issue of this nature as we have always been approached by guests regarding our staff but in a positive way. All of our services are listed on a menu with prices, so we are uncertain how they would try to up-sell anything.

It is very difficult to understand why one would admit to dishonesty, especially to a guest. Our Bar Menu is broken down into sections and each drink has a description, including which liquors are used, as well as the price difference. The only time you would be charged for top shelf liquor is if a drink is made with top shelf liquor.

It is even harder to understand why our staff would up-sell anything for that matter, as even if they did, it would not be beneficial to them in any way, as they do not, as indicated, make a living off sales.

As this situation apparently happened almost a year ago, and its the only incident of this nature that we are aware of, it is hard to find out what really happened. But we will definitely have a meeting with our staff to discuss this issue as we do not encourage this type of behavior.

Portofino has always been known for friendly and professional staff and we do not want to jeopardize that in anyway.

It is and has always been of utmost importance to us that our guests leave with great memories of Portofino and Belize. Please accept our apologies for the bad experience you had. We are happy to know that you still have fond memories of Belize and that despite this experience, you will be returning to our beautiful country.

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Reviewed 9 July 2011

When my fiance and I checked into our room around 7pm, we were amazed with all the flower petals all over the bed and room. When we woke up we had a great view of the beach and reef, the sun was out and the wind was blowing. We stayed for 5 nights and all the staff we so friendly and polite we got room service and ordered beef nachos which was not on the menu and one of the bests nachos we have ever had.

The rooms are very spacious with TV, King size bed with large glass wooden doors with a private balcony 2 chairs and a hammock which we really enjoyed watching the sun rise.

The Restaurant at Portofino is excellent and everything on the menu is really tasty.

Staff are all friendly and helpfull in many ways especially making sure we got on the Coastal to down town it takes a while but we get to see the all the beach properties and Hotels along the way and every trip you get to see a new one.

If you want a romantic get away this is the place to go Yan and Sandra the owners will make sure you stay is one to remember we had great laughs with them at the bar. We will be back again soon.

Room Tip: We were in a standard room but we felt as though we were in a deluxe as we had beach front and nothi...
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank midasresort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Portofino Beach Resort

Address: 6 Miles North | PO Box 36, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Region: Belize > Belize Cayes > Ambergris Caye > San Pedro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in San Pedro
#9 Business Hotel in San Pedro
#10 Top resorts Hotel in San Pedro
#15 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
#18 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro
Price Range: £211 - £342 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Portofino Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Characterized by its warm and friendly hospitality, Portofino is the epitome of barefoot luxury, unpretentious and relaxing… for most; it will be an experience of a lifetime. Our small, boutique resort offers just 17 beautifully appointed rooms, ranging from charming beach cabanas to spacious suites, dotted amidst swaying palm trees, in a private setting with unmatched personal attention and the modern comforts of home. It is a haven of tranquility, where guests will enjoy the subtle sounds of the nearby waves lapping over the reef, gentle breeze, breathtaking sunrise, star studded night sky and spectacular views of the crystal waters of the Caribbean Sea. The perfect setting for a romantic getaway, intimate wedding, honeymoon, family and friends.Portofino offers leisure options to suit every taste. Relax in our fresh water outdoor swimming pool; enjoy a great book from our book collection or simply indulge yourself in a massage on the beach under our hand thatched palapa hut. Explore the underwater world with snorkel equipment or skim along the surface in our complimentary sea kayaks. Delicious meals prepared by our resort chef can be served in the privacy or your beach cabana or suite, on our private dock with a romantic setting or at the Portofino Restaurant. Sip on amazing tropical cocktails at the Green Parrot Beach Bar or perhaps a late afternoon snack from the Green Parrot Bistro. Take advantage of our DVD library and unwind in front of the flat TV screen in your room. Or, simply take in the view. In short, relax and enjoy! Reception in the main building is manned by professional and knowledgeable staff. From, activities bookings and directions to itineraries and dining reservations, our friendly and professional staff is eager to assist you. Access to PORTOFINO is by boat only, and therefore we offer a complimentary meet and greet service at San Pedro Airstrip and boat transfer to the resort, an approximately 20 minutes ride. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Portofino Hotel San Pedro
Portofino San Pedro
Portofino Beach Resort Belize/San Pedro

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