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“Trip to remember”

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Portofino Beach Resort
Ranked #21 of 54 Hotels in San Pedro
Certificate of Excellence
Clinton, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Trip to remember”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 May 2014

I would like to start out by saying that for the people who wrote negative reviews for this resort must be miserable people. My fiancé and I got engaged and the staff was accommodating and amazing! especially michaela. They surprised us with a candle light dinner on the beach and a room filled with flowers! Overall our trip the portofino resort was our favorite vacation so far!

Here are some helpful tips:

The resort is on an island. So please know that you first fly into the international airport then take a 15 min cab ride to belize city which is $25 then take a 90 min boat ride to San Pedro. San Pedro is where Moe will pick you up and take you to the resort. You can also take a separate fight to San Pedro which is more money and might be worth it after the traveling. You can get round trip boat tickets at the dock for about each $30.

We stayed in the beachfront cabanas which had a view of the pool and ocean. The other rooms such as the treetops are set back behind the cabanas. The room was equipped with a nice cool a/c, mini fridges with bottled waters and homemade soap that you can choose. The bed was very comfortable as well as the hammock on the porch.

The resort as a whole was very clean and well kept. The beach is small and you don't have to fight for a chair. the water along the beach is not swimmable but please don't let that discourage you as there is a long dock that goes out to clearer and deeper water. I would suggest to swim and snorkel out there as there are many fish under and around the dock. Behind the resort is the unpaved road with a view of the lagoon. My fiancé also caught big lizards out back.

The food was good. The dinner is expensive but every night moe goes into town from 5pm to 6:30pm so you can eat in town or bring it back with you when you return to the resort. All the locals in town are nice and speak fluent english and Spanish. They do not bother you and are not pushy. They take american dollars.

We went to Mexico rocks, hol chan and shark ray alley. Mexico rocks is free as you can kayak there and very worth going to. If you snorkel or dive you must visit Hol chan and shark ray alley. Very awesome! We were going to do the cave tubing but found out that it is about a 2 hr trip into Belize city for only about an hour cave tub ride. Also the cave water is cold.

The weather was nice. The first day was windy but kept the bugs away. The last day it rained but was still warm. Bring big spray.

  • Stayed May 2014
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lcduarte1
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, 10 June 2014
Thank you for sharing your experience with the resort. Also, for sharing travelling tips on getting to the resort from the mainland. We are very happy you enjoyed your experience here with us. And the staff always tries their best to make all or guests feel as comfortable and welcomed as possible.

We do feel we are in paradise and are happy to have others share int his wonderful place. All the excursions bring something unique. and there are more travel options available.

Thanks again for sharing and hope to see you again in the future.
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624 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (178)
Date | Rating
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English first
Izamal, Mexico
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 May 2014

I been to Portofino several time and is getting better and better over the years. I love my room full of color and the romantic atmosphere and every details is a perfection, you just step few feet from your room and find the warm crystalline water a pleasant wake op ....Original breakfast and fast nice service, I am Italian and I love food there is a good good food make with love and experience
We wore a couple but next time I will cam with my family is a perfect setting for kids and oldest people very large pool and commodity. nice owner very friendly and there for any your needs

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Nadia T
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, 28 May 2014
Thank you for your wonderful review and we are happy to have been able to have you with us over time. The resort staff always do what they can with love and look forward to making every experience enjoyable. We look forward to having you with us again in the future!
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Omaha, Nebraska
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2014

From the moment you arrive at Portofino Beach Resort, you notice something special. Your senses are aroused with the aroma of beautiful wild flowers blooming on the trees. You are greeted by a Belizean girl with eucalyptus scented towels served on a palm frond and soon after, greeted with a tropical drink while you wait for the room presentation.
My fiancé and I took a trip to Ambergris Caye (San Pedro, Belize) to find a resort to get married at in February of 2015. Online, Portofino ranked in our top five list of resorts to consider. It didn’t take long for Portofino to stand out head and shoulders above the rest of the resorts we visited. We travel quite often; so it is hard to impress us with scenery, accommodations and service, but Portofino Beach Resort delivered! Located just five miles north of the town of San Pedro, Portofino is only accessible via boat. Portofino also shares the same dock as Fido’s (pronounced “fee-dos”) restaurant and bar. Portofino can arrange for transportation to and from the airport in San Pedro or you can catch a cab to Fido’s for five dollars.
We stayed in one of the colonial suites a few steps away from the pool. The room was very large and spacious. The room was so spacious that it could have doubled as a ballroom dance floor. The bedding was luxurious and extremely comfortable. After a massage on the beach a few steps away from the ocean, the bed will certainly become your best friend. Everything from the sheets and luxury duvet covers screams comfort and relaxation. Part of the room presentation is choosing two pieces of homemade soap. The aroma of the soap filled the room day and night which added to the sense of relaxation and ambiance of the room. Another wonderful perk was the turning down of your bed. After dinner we came back to our room and the bed was turned down, our robes laid out on the bed and a personal message from housekeeping written on a palapa leaf along with homemade cookies.
We decided to eat dinner at the resort restaurant. The food was amazing! We were treated to a palate cleansing warm cauliflower drink before our meal. I don’t particularly care for cauliflower but I enjoyed the drink. I ordered a mix of lobster, fish and shrimp which was easily five star quality. Diane ordered a seafood pasta dish which I tasted and loved. The meal was so large that neither of us could finish our meal let alone dessert. If you choose to eat dinner at another resort, Portofino is wonderful at providing transportation via boat to the resort of your choosing. Just give them a time to pick you up and they will be there!
Everything at Portofino is always in place and very well appointed. The grounds are well maintained, manicured and the beach is raked every morning. We noticed that at any given point in the day or evening, someone was raking the sand to and from the cabanas. You would be hard pressed to find footsteps in the sand anywhere on the property.
The property at Portofino is very quiet and serene. Peace and quiet is certainly the theme here along with a backdrop of soft soothing sounds and scents inside and out. The resort offers free sea kayaks, bicycles and snorkeling equipment. Just check out what you like at the front desk and be on your way. A few of the guests mentioned that they saw more wildlife on the reef in front of Portofino than they saw on guided snorkeling tours. Along with the hammock on our cabana porch, you can also relax in a hammock over the ocean in front of the resort. If diving or excursions are what you are looking for, you can arrange day trips from the dive shop on the Portofino pier in front of the resort. One of the things we loved about Portofino is they didn’t allow pandering or vendors selling local wares to the guests. There was one person in front of the resort, but they were not allowed to approach the guests. If you want something, you can approach them, but they will never attempt to flag you down or call you over. This wasn’t the case at other resorts we visited.

Room Tip: Any room you choose is a great choice. The resort is small but charming and the staff is wonderful.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Keith L
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, 28 May 2014
Thank for you sharing so eloquently your experience with us. We do make our guests feel as comfortable and relaxed as we can and also, happy to have met your expectations. Being 6.5 miles out of town, We feel gives us a great secluded appeal of peace and tranquility.

The staff and everything we do is to make our guests feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. Thank you once again for such an amazing review and we hope to have the opportunity to make your special occasion even more memorable.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brouwershaven, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 May 2014

I have been to this beautiful accomodation Portofino many times and Im in shock to see there are bad looking pictures on TripAdvisor that are NOT taking in this resort. In this way people get a totally wrong impression about this paradise. Isnt there any control from the side of TripAdvisor if people are adding correct pictures or not? In this way this concept will harm a lot of hotel owners, dont think this is fair.

Portofino Beach Resort is an amazing place to stay, trust me. Go there and find out yourself!

Room Tip: All rooms are romantic and great!
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Sintje_11
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, 29 May 2014
We are happy to hear you have enjoyed our paradise in previous stays. Also, Thank you for noticing the errors of photos that are not associated with Portofino. We have made contact with the those who have written the reviews in order to have the issue resolved.
Thanks you again for noticing and for sharing your experiences with us.
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Tracy, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 May 2014

Our trip was April 16th - the 21st. Portofino Resort was a beautiful and relaxing place to stay. We were greeted on the dock by the receptionist, which I wish I remembered her name. She was very sweet and did her best to accommodate all our needs. We booked a beach cabana and are very pleased with the room we stayed in. It was very cute and made you feel very comfortable. The employees were very nice and helpful. The restaurant was top notch. Food was amazing.

On our first full day we took a catamaran snorkeling trip. We snorkeled at Ho Chin Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley. What an amazing experience! The guides were awesome and extremely knowledgeable. We did have an incident where one of the tourists on our boat decided to stand on a piece of brain coral and play Tarzan then proceeded to break off a piece of coral. He was reported and since the rangers didn't catch him in action, they just warned him and he was unable to dive anymore. PLEASE PEOPLE show some respect for these fragile places!

We went to Caye Caulker for lunch. My hubby and I hung out at the Lazy Lizard. Such a beautiful island!

We then headed back to the resort.

The next day we took the resorts bikes out and rode to San Pedro. We hung out all day and rode back. We could do this everyday! Loved it! No waiting on or missing of water taxis. Although we had no issues with them when we did use them. Mo is very reliable. On the way back approx. 4 miles from the resort my husbands bikes chain broke. Being a mechanic and avid cyclist he attempted to fix it to no avail. So we just pushed the bikes back. Not being prepared for this we had run out of water. The bars on the way back were closed cause it was Good Friday. We came across a group of party goers in a bar on the beach that welcomed us with open arms and full cups! Our saviors! :-) They were some local bar owners, One in particular is Sue, a Canadian native, now owner of Coco Loco Bar. Sue was extremely sweet and hospitable. And, the No Rush, sailboat crew. They do snorkeling trips and are some great people! We would highly recommend them! We continued on our journey to the resort with quenched thirsts.

The next day we walked to town. By choice cause that's the way we do it! We stopped at the Aji Bar and enjoyed some tapas and drinks. We met the owner and some of his friends. Very nice place to visit. We continued in and found Coco Loco where we hung out for a bit and visited with Sue. She gave some history of the island. We continued on our way. When in town we found a small bar with outside seating. We sat and had some drinks. We were met by the crew from No Rush and bought them some beer. We met some of their family and had a wonderful visit. We stayed in town for a bit. Had diner then caught the water taxi back to the resort for $10 US dollars a person.

On day 4 we took the resorts kayaks out to Mexico Rocks and hitched up to a buoy. We had our own snorkel gear so we snorkeled. It was almost as good as our first trip out but without the Green turtles and sharks. I need to warn you, we used a lot of sun screen, but still ended up sun burnt. Be advised that there is no such thing as too much sun screen! We had a great day otherwise.

On day 5, sunburnt and all, we took the bikes out again. This time we rode the back "roads". It was fun riding along the lagoon. There were spots where the mangroves were on both sides. In one such spot we had to ride through about a 20' puddle. I got my sandal stuck and was attempting to retrieve it when we heard the calls of baby crocodiles. No mistaking them. I grabbed my sandal and skedaddled! About 9 miles from the resort we came across Victoria House. We had heard great things about them from some friends we had met on the Catamaran trip. So we stopped there for lunch. We then rode around a bit more. It was Easter Sunday, so we went by the Catholic church and said a prayer. We did some shopping. No beggars in Belize! At least not anywhere we went. We even had locals come up shake our hands and thank us for coming to their country. We rode back to the resort to spend our last night at "home". We had dinner there. Which was amazing! Spent the evening hanging out on the beach in the hammocks.

The next morning was checkout time. We were greeted with a thank you bag. It was a very nice gesture that we appreciated. Checkout was easy and they had us moving out quickly. Before we knew it we were on the beach at san Pedro with plenty of time to spare. We hung out a bit more and did some more shopping. Then headed out to Belize city.

If I had any complaints they would be that the bikes and kayaks need some upkeep. Quite a bit of it. But we were glad to have them there and more than happy to use them. The rooms could've been picked up a bit earlier. I would've liked a shower and nap before dinner, but oh well the hammocks were nice too. One more thing is lock your doors! No visible room numbers can make a romantic moment very embarrassing real fast!!!!!

Thanks for a wonderful Visit!!!! We would definitely return!

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jo G
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, 29 May 2014
Thank you for sharing your experience with our resort here. We are extremely happy you enjoyed your stay and this place we call paradise.
Belize is unique and beautiful in so many ways and people do need to be more careful of what they do.
we are happy you enjoyed your experience and as per our conversation willing to correct the photo errors you came across.
We look forward to chance for you to enjoy the island again.
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 May 2014

The Portofino is a great place to stay with a friendly staff, delicious drinks and comfortable rooms.

Our first full day there was a bit dramatic. A miscommunication regarding the water taxis to and from town left us stranded for two hours with no cash. As you would expect, this left us very upset and ready to cancel our whole trip or at the very least change hotels. Upon arriving at the hotel the manager calmed us down, refunded the money we had spent on the taxi home (btw do NOT take a ground taxi anywhere in Belize if you can help it) and gave us some free drinks. From that point forward our stay was wonderful. The staff truly felt bad about the miscommunication and did all they could to make it up to us.

The one downside/upside to this resort is the distance from San Pedro. While the hotel does offer complimentary transportation between San Pedro and the resort, the times are limited so you have to be very mindful with your time. Additional water taxis operated by a separate company are available as late as 10:30PM and will cost you $11US each way. On the plus side...the resort is very quiet and right on the beach, so if you are looking to be very secluded, this is the perfect place for you.

If you are an avid scuba diver/snorkeler then this is probably an ideal place to stay. The dive shop is amazing and was definitely the highlight of our trip. Portofino offers great dive packages and actually provided us with a free snorkel trip. Overall, the cost of diving is pretty comparable if not a bit cheaper than other dive shops, also - they are located on the hotel grounds (a 2 minute walk from reception) so you can't beat the convenience. We had a ton of fun with these guys and loved our snorkel/scuba trips.

If you are on a budget I would recommend sharing food and/or eating most of your meals in town. The cost of transportation/restaurants definitely adds up. If you feel like splurging, the Matachica restaurant/resort is a 10 minute walk or so from Portofino and has amazing food and top notch service.

Overall, an awesome experience. Next time I would stay closer to town but that's just a personal preference, the hotel itself is fantastic and the staff is very friendly.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank SurryElle
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, 29 May 2014
Thank you for sharing your experience and again we do apologize for the logistics error we had with having our personnel available to pick you up. We always advertise our distance from the town to show the we are secluded and private, most love the idea.

We are happy you enjoyed your stay despite the error. and we hope you enjoy your next trip to Belize.
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Lake Elsinore, California
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 May 2014

The check in process was simple. It started at the airport with a waiting taxi, an easy boat ride with Mo, our boat operator extraordinaire, a greeting at their dock with warm handtowels until we were walked to our room. Our luggage was waiting for us in the room. The wait staff, bar staff (you'll love Rafael) and housekeeping staff are so accommodating! They make their own soaps and bath products. A selection will be in your room. . .try them all. . .you won't be sorry! Go scuba diving or snorkeling with Roberto or Blinky. . .they're great. All of the PADI guys were helpful and friendly. Tell Tristian, our favorite waiter, Karen and Tammi say Hi!! You'll be planning your return trip before you leave. I have dietary restrictions and the kitchen staff was very accommodating.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Karen P
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, 28 May 2014
Thank you fro sharing your experience and happy you enjoyed your stay. The staff here truly is amazing and from all of us here, a thank you for sharing and hope to see 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:
#7 Spa Hotel in San Pedro
#9 Business Hotel in San Pedro
#12 Top resorts Hotel in San Pedro
#18 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro
#20 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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