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“Personal service, loads of activities and just enough downtime”

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Portofino Beach Resort
Ranked #19 of 53 Hotels in San Pedro
Certificate of Excellence
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Personal service, loads of activities and just enough downtime”
Reviewed 27 December 2013

We stayed at Portofino with another couple for my 1st anniversary in December. The property is smaller than I expected but that made things more intimate and the service was very personal. Immediately we got to know everyone around the bar including our bartender Orville. It was an excellent social atmosphere but you could easily get away to solitude on the beach, by the pool or on your own personal front porch complete with hammock. They cut fresh handmade soaps for you upon arrival and fresh flowers make for a very special touch throughout the room. The mosquito netting is both romantic and practical to keep the no-see-ums away. We brought bug spray but there was also some available at the bar.

If you like snorkeling, there is a full-fledged coral reef right under the dock, complete with octopus, morey eels, and all types of fish. If you are a scuba diver, there is no place in the world quite like Belize....the local dives (2 dives, 3-4 hrs) with the property's dive shop are truly amazing and my dive master and captain were patient, professional and very friendly. The dive to the blue hole was a full day adventure, so be prepared to be on a boat for a very long time, bring extra clothes/towels in case it gets chilly.

We also did the Mayan ruins tour which was a full day journey. (hint: take the flights not the water taxi, totally worth it) You'll get a little sick of boats if you don't do the flights.

There was no end to the diversions available to a guest and Yolanda was very helpful in showing us what the benefits/drawbacks were to the tours.

We had breakfast every day at the hotel and twice we had dinner as well as appetizers on our down days. The ceviche was delicious! The food was fresh and delicious!

The owners live on the resort and can be seen in the main lobby and are wonderful people. They truly love the resort and want the very best for their guests. What more can you ask for in personalized services?

Overall I would definitely go back and I'm certain my favorite cocktail would be waiting!!

Room Tip: All rooms are excellent
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank terryinlv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, 24 January 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write this long and wonderful review.

We are glad that we have made your anniversary extraordinary. Your recognition to our team’s excellent service and your overall experience is much appreciated. We will strive to continue upkeeping and making every guest stay memorable through our services.

Wishing you and your husband an everlasting happy marriage and we look forward to your next visit.
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639 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (184)
Date | Rating
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English first
Los Angeles, California
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 December 2013

It is such a wonderful hotel runs by wonderful people in a wonderful place.
People at Portofino make you feel at home. Any time we had a question or a request the front desk ladies (especially Michaela and Yolanda) were always very nice, patient and accommodating. Tristian, Jessica, Ivan, Roy, and everybody were very kind and friendly. Friendly staff is important to me and they were all beyond me expectations.
We stayed at the Cabana #2. The view from the room was amazing. You can wake up everday with the beautiful sunrise on the sea. The room was rustic (nothing fancy), spacious, clean, and the bed was very comfortable. The only negative for the room was the noise from the suite above. The first day we arrived the couple staying upstairs was kinda loud, probably walking with high-heels or something, but luckily they left on our second day. The subsequent couple that replaced them was completely the opposite.
Yes, there is sea grass in the water, it’s Nature, get over it! Take the canoe or the bicycles and explore. We did almost everyday. It was a lot of fun!
We took the ‘no worry package’ so we had breakfast and dinner included. The breakfast is decent, everything you need to start a good day. The dinner was exquisite. The lobster bisque (amazing!), the snapper (amazing!), the lobster (amazing!) and so on. Lunch is really good too, but we used to explore some other restaurants for lunch instead of stay at the hotel. Some people complained about the price but really if you compare the price to the quality of the food it is not expensive. If I want to eat the same quality of meal in Los Angeles I will pay almost twice the price.
If you want to go to San Pedro, ask the front desk they will tell you at what time Moe is leaving/arriving. We never had a problem with the schedule.
I really recommend Portofino. I will be back.

Room Tip: The view from Cabana #2 is great.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joriver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, 31 January 2014
Good Morning greetings from La Isla Bonita, Joriver
Thank you so much for taking the time in sharing such a positive feedback of our resort! It was indeed a pleasure to have had you as our guests and are delighted to know that you enjoyed your stay with us in particular in cabana 2
On the other note, we are patiently awaiting for your return to our little paradise since we will be more than glad to receive you with warm welcoming hearts.
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New Haven, Connecticut
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 17 December 2013

We stayed at the Matachica resort and wanted to try a different restaurant. Portofino offered complimentary boat rides to guests with reservations for dinner. It was first class service and made the night that much more special and romantic. We had the lobster and steak, as well as the conch appetizer. All of which were delicious. The server Tristan was very nice and accommodating. It was a great night out!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Li M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, 31 January 2014
Greeting from our little paradise Li M,

Thank you for taking the time in composing such a wonderful review of our restaurant.
We are very pleased that your dining experience with us was a memorable one.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2013

By definition, if we you want to get away from it all, you are going to have to travel a long way. This is the case with Portofino. But if that is indeed your destination - away from it all, you've come to the right place. This is a wonderful place to unwinde. The accomodations are on the rustic side, but being in a Caye, it is to be expected. What made the experience memorable were the people. We took the time to learn the names of our hosts and treat them with dignity, and they absolutely responded in kind. Moe, Michaela, Yolanda, Danika, Orville, Roy, Ivan, Tristian, Jessica were genuinely accommodating, kind and generous. Thank you all for making it so pleasant and personal. Michaela loves what she does and it shows. Her attention to detail in helping us have the experiences we wanted was heart-warming. The food is fresh and delicious (if not Island-wide expensive) and at Portofino was consistently well made and beautifully presented. The flies that joined our meals are part of what to expect when visiting a remote tropical island. Bring mosquito repellent! The mosquitoes here are very tiny and nearly imperceptible - until you wake up with red bumps all over the place. Don't scratch - treat with cortisone or some anti-itch agent. We got a fair amount of rain, but this is part of accepting that you are visiting a tropical island and this is how nature keeps it all as green as we want it!

The only reason this review has 4 stars and not 5 is because of the following:

This part is much tougher to report in that it has nothing to do with Portofino but seems to be largely absent in other reviews: One day we took out 2 complementary bikes and used them to ride across the Ambergris Caye beachfront - as many of the locals do to get from San Pedro to the respective resorts where they might work. We thought we might tour the beachfronts of other resorts. We travelled about 3 miles South toward San Pedro. The views are unbridadle beauty mixed with the horrors of neglect as mile after mile of beachfront was littered with untold amounts of plastic debris. The juxtaposition of this was so striking - it brought home what a miracle of beauty nature has created and what a mess we as humans have done with it. The resorts take care that the debris is picked up on each of their respective beachfronts well enough, but go a couple of yards on either direction and what we found is a collective dumpsite that nobody seems to talk about and should be an embarrassment to their nation. The good news is that it is fixable! The bad news is that nothing seems to be done about it! I for one would be happy to pay extra as a (relatively rich American tourist) say $10 more for my exit tax to help fund a recycling program that incentivizes the locals to collect the plastic in exchange for cash. We were wracking our brains thinking of incentive programs that could be put in place that would change the collective climate for locals to gain benefit from changing their habits and keeping their environment clean for them and others to enjoy - it would be good for all. Why this is not being done is an absolutely embarrassment to what Ambergris Cayes is versus what it could become. Since it was miles of this debris, and not just an isolated spot, this is about a climate of either indifference or outright neglect. If it is the tourists that are responsible for this kind of neglectful littering then there ought to be stiff fines associated with this behavior, but since we saw lots of dumping of motor oil containers and everyday products not particularly associated with short stay tourists, chances are the locals simply don't have an understanding of just how much they are shi**ng where they eat and what an impact this will have on them not too far down the line. Is it unconsciousness, corruption, indifference? With proper incentive this could actually be turned around pretty quickly, in that if the plastic can equal money for locals, then they would have an immediate financial incentive, not to mention a renewed sense of pride to keep their beautiful home as prestine as it was given to them by nature. It is beyond me how this is not inborn into the population, but it just isn't. Perhaps the laissez faire attitude that comes from island living contributes to this, but that simply cannot be an excuse for trashing paradise. I struggle as I write this to be respectful of the people in the island and mindful of the poverty that pervades many of the inhabitants. Many struggle to simply eat everyday, so asking them to clean up after themselves might seem anathema to them - this is why it would require early education along with these incentives to actually make it profitable for locals to clean up. We took to picking up some of the plastic ourselves, and quickly got overwhelmed by the enormity of the problem. Belizean government needs to intervene in a meaningful way as the represenative of their people and as the custodians of one of the most beautiful places on earth, to keep it that way. They haven't thus far, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves. I was ashamed to be a human being as I walked through the dumped debris among the prestine beauty. Paradise trashed - profoundly sad amongst this kind of pristine beauty!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Michel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PortofinoBZ, General Manager at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, 25 April 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write the review and we are happy that you enjoyed your experience in Belize and our little piece of paradise. We and our staff take pride in providing the best possible service to meet our clients needs and expectations.

As for the issue for with trash, it is an issue that stems from neighboring countries as well as from the people of the community. Resorts and other business have organized beach clean ups. That only solves the issue on a temporary basis, and it is an ongoing attempt to alleviate this issue. Our ultimate desire is of course that this issue will end so that people can enjoy the true pristine nature of the island.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2013

What a great place! We stayed there for a week during my wife's birthday. Besides the amazing tranquility of the property, the staff is what I remember the most about Portofino.
One other reviewer wrote "like family" is exactly true.

We had never been to this place before and everyone from the front desk to the wait staff and in my eyes even the grounds staff worked everyday day in day out to make sure that everything was in order. My wife and I were always addressed by name and even though it was the off season and things were slow we never had a request denied.

Since it was my wife's birthday I wanted to mske sure the event was extra special. I had asked the staff for dinner service on the end of their pier. Just a table for two with candles, a blue moon and the open ocean. Wondering what the limited possibilities of actually getting a birthday cake was, I asked. To my suprise the chef actually baked an amazing birthday cake for my wife.
Furthermore the service was excellent. The table was set up at the end of the dock which was about 150 yards and two filghts of stairs from the kitchen. Service was prompt, polite and unheard of domestically.

For us this was a great place! Portofino offered free use of kayaks and the Mexican Rocks Reef was only a 15 miniute paddle to some great snorkling in shallow water.

We WILL surely be back.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank brian h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, 31 January 2014
Greetings from our little piece of paradise brian h,

We would like to Thank You for taking the time to write such a wonderful review. In addition, we are very pleased to hear that your experience with us was such a memorable and cherished one.

Your recognition for the team’s excellent service and the overall experience is much appreciated and we will strive to continue upkeeping our service standards.

We hope to see you back soon so we can welcome you with warm welcoming hearts.
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Litchfield, Connecticut
2 reviews
Reviewed 12 December 2013

My husband and I stayed for 8 days for our 1 year wedding anniversary. The resort was recommended by a friend who stayed there 6 years ago. The moment Moe picked us up, I knew we were in for a treat.we got off the boat and entered into what seemed like a hidden gem, a quaint, beautiful nook hidden behind palm trees. We were met immediately by a female staff who checked us in, brought us to our room and cut fresh soap for us!
We would see the female owner in the evening at times and she was exceptionally nice and informative. We loved how the resort was quiet and peaceful, its definitely not a party spot, which was great for us. The welcome drinks were non alcoholic, which was exciting for us since we don't drink. We were 6 miles from town which felt like we were away from any busyiness and could just relax. Exceptionally friendly was our waiters Tristan, Roy, Ivan and the bartender Rafael. And of course Moe!! They were always smiling and asking us how our day was. My husband had some negative experiences with one of the front desk staff,(the same person who checked us in) whom he felt was short with him and that she seemed put out with any questions, I did notice it at one time. I chaulk that up to people having a bad day, but it seems unnecessary...you almost dont want to ask anything! There was one day we asked for more drinking water because we were taking a walk and it was hot. We were told by a front desk staff that we couldn't have any until the cleaning ladies came by, even though we were leaving. The paperwork clearly stated we would have drinking water as needed so that didn't sit well with my husband.especially since we drank the water from the day before already. The only other negative was that the complimentary boat ride into town had been leaving at 430pm, it was changed to 5 without any notice yet the return time (6:30) remained the same. We felt that if 30min got shaved off it should'be been made up for in the pick up. We took the coastal express back one night but we had to wait until 830pm.
Any of the negatives we would have chatted with the owner about just for feedback.But we didn't see her again and honestly all the greatness outweighed any of that.
Other than that, our room was cleaned everyday....they even folded our clothes, the cleaning crew was quite friendly as well. I felt very safe an comfortable
there. Overall, the full
experience made our first time in Belize amazing and we would definitely go back to Portofino.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Erin2146
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PortofinoBZ, General Manager at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, 25 April 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write your positive response. We are thrilled we made your anniversary a very special occasion.

As for the boat service, for arrival and departures we can ensure times it will be available for you but our regularly scheduled runs on occasions, alter based on resort needs. We apologize for that inconvenience.

As for the staff, we re saddened you felt they were a bit surly and unapproachable and have since and currently gong through retraining and monitoring. Our staff are important to us and the functional of the resort to ensure our guests' happiness.

We thank you again for your review and are proud to have made your anniversary so special.
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New York City, New York
1 review
Reviewed 11 December 2013

what a great place to go chill out. you cant get any better than Portofino. Just got back and it was like a dream. Everything about this place was the best. The staff just great no joking about that like family. The food just great no the best. you have too go and see for your self. take this trip and enjoy. I will return very soon.

Room Tip: all the rooms have ocean view. no gym or spa but a great Massuse
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Ron S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, 31 January 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write us such a wonderful review.

It was indeed a pleasure to have had you as our guest and are delighted to know that you enjoyed your stay with us.

Your recognition for our team’s excellent service and overall experience is much appreciated.

We hope to have the pleasure of hosting you again.
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Additional Information about Portofino Beach Resort

Property: 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:
#6 Spa Hotel in San Pedro
#9 Business Hotel in San Pedro
#12 Top resorts Hotel in San Pedro
#18 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro
#18 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
#23 Family Hotel in San Pedro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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