This was our first time in Belize. My wife and I got married at the end of August and decided to honeymoon in Belize because it's beautiful, romantic, and offers a lot of adventure and relaxation.
Originally, we were going to stay in San Ignacio for 3 nights and Portofino for 3 nights, but the other resort canceled at the last minute, which ended up being a blessing in disguise. Portofino worked with us to extend our stay and we're so glad we stayed the entire 6 days. By the end, we weren't ready to leave.
They arranged for Mo to pick us up from the airstrip and drove us by boat to the resort, 6 miles north of San Pedro. When we arrived, the bartender, Orville, had a fruity welcome drink (alcohol optional) waiting for us with a cool moist eucalyptus towel for our face. Lorraine gave us a brief orientation and showed us to our beach cabana, where our luggage was already waiting for us.
Rosalie and Bertha, at the front desk, set up all our excursions (cave tubing, zip-lining, snorkeling, massages, etc.) at no additional cost. Mo made the trip into San Pedro at least twice a day, and we could always hop in for free and go into town, saving us $20/person roundtrip via island ferry. Room service cleaned our rooms, gave us clean sheets and clean towels daily. The pool was cleaned and the beach was raked daily. We were able to put all drinks, dinners, excursions on our room number to pay all at once - very convenient. They had snorkel gear, two kayaks and two canoes that we took out to Mexico Rocks and snorkeled for free anytime.
These are only a few examples of how wonderful and detail-oriented the service was during our stay.
At night, people came from all over the island to eat at the restaurant. We ate there everyday and almost every night. They served mostly fresh seafood - cooked and seasoned very well. While the food was fantastic, we wish there was a couple local dishes (beans, rice, plantains, etc.) to get a bit more island culture. The continental breakfast was included in our room and they served fresh local fruits, toast and coffee. We split the omelet a couple days, but everything was fresh, delicious and health portions. We often ate lunch at the bar downstairs - try the Pesto Chicken sandwich!
A few things to expect...
- The beach is beautiful, but you can't swim in the water due to the turtle grass. However, if you take the canoe out to Mexico Rocks, there is plenty of swimming in the ocean - just not right off the beach.
- Portofino is 6 miles north of San Pedro (10 minute boat ride) and you can only get there by boat. There may be another resort within walking distance where you can eat, but there's not much to do in the way of dining, shopping, music, etc. within walking distance. Personally, I liked that Portofino was quiet and away from the bustle - you can always take a trip into town for nightlife activities.
- Try to tip. All the flyers and signs say that tips are not required, and they're not, but they are greatly appreciated. Belizeans are such genuine, kind and giving people, especially the tour guides, and workers at the resort. They all went above and beyond and I noticed very few that tipped our guides.
- Weather. We were there the first week of September, which is supposed to be their rain season, but it was gorgeous the entire time. It rained twice for 10 minutes. The rest of the time, it was warm and sunny. The water was between 80-85 degrees - great for snorkeling. So take weather reports with a grain of salt. We still purchased traveler's insurance, just in case.
Overall, it's earned 5-stars all around and we can't wait to go back for an anniversary! Thank you Portofino!
- 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