We were greeted by Portofino staff with hot eucalyptus towels once we arrived at the Portofino dock as well as two delicious rum drinks! This seemed like a great start to our honeymoon but unfortunately it didn't last long. Setting up our stay with Portofino we were aware that it was a bit pricey however we had assumed that this meant that the resort provided excellent services (our fault for assuming). We ended up becoming regulars at the resort down the beach, which I think saved us from a ruined honeymoon. The service we were provided at the other resort was phenomenal and we weren’t even guests at their resort!
During our stay we took the complimentary water taxi with a group of 4 other couples into town. We were told to meet back at the dock 8:30pm for our ride back to Portofino. After waiting at the dock for about an hour we finally realized that the boat was not coming for us, we ended up having to find our own transportation back to Portofino, which we all had to pay for.
Breakfast service is extremely poor. Once we were given our food we never saw the waiter again. As we ordered breakfast one morning, we were asked if we wanted anything to drink, we both chose coffee. We told that we could get the coffee ourselves at the self-serve coffee maker near the bar that is available for guests. This would have been fine if we hadn’t paid the extreme amount of money that we did to stay at this resort.
At one point I asked the front desk for two pens/pencils so we could play a board game. The front desk informed me I could only have one pen, since they were “using the other one.” Apparently, there were only two pens on the entire resort?
We watched the individuals that are in charge of the boating/diving activities use the end of the Portofino dock to relieve themselves several times during our stay at Portofino. That was lovely.
The resort allows vendors peddling local wares to come up to the bar and attempt to sell their product to the guests. Unfortunately, this is not limited to cute woven items or wooden carvings. We were offered illicit drugs on three separate occasions while on resort property, sometimes by vendors allowed to roam the property, and at other times by other resort guests. In fact, the scent of marijuana was strong in our bathroom one evening, due to people smoking it directly outside of our hut. We realize that many places worldwide are legalizing marijuana, and we respect everyone’s decision to put whatever substance they want, into their own bodies, but it certainly seemed pretty “low end” for a high priced resort. There are plenty of places in the slums of San Pedro, where you would expect this kind of behavior, and pay a lot less to stay there.
The best services we received were provided by Jessica, Roy, Ivan, and Raul. The rest of the Portofino staff should take some lessons from them. Dinner menu was extensive, and dinner service was well executed, but the cost was prohibitive, expect to spend about $80-100 per night to eat dinner as a couple. The housekeeping staff is phenomenal, and always made sure our room was well stocked and kept very clean. The pool is beautiful and well maintained. Views of the ocean are spectacular.
Overall, Portofino may be a victim of its location. Belize is touted for its beautiful diving, and extensive barrier reef. However, the country is certainly third world, or at best “developing”. The electrical grid is unreliable, producing frequent power outages, at which time, the resort generator is inadequate to power the AC in the rooms. Most of the trash the country produces becomes flotsam on the beach, or is burned directly behind the resorts, in unending, smoldering heaps of refuse. The mangrove swamp behind the resorts is also used to dump tons of resort garbage/plastic, and who knows what else. Belize has not yet embraced the worldwide environmental movement, to say the least. If the country doesn’t clean up soon, it will become “paradise lost”.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Portofino Hotel San Pedro
- Portofino San Pedro
- Portofino Beach Resort Belize/San Pedro