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“Stay at Portofino.”

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Portofino Beach Resort
Ranked #18 of 55 Hotels in San Pedro
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 September 2009

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!

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank kyllmode
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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550 - 556 of 656 reviews

Reviewed 7 September 2009

We just returned from our honeymoon and stayed at Portofino. Words can't describe how wonderful it was there. The resort was beautiful and very clean. Our room was spacious and with a great view of the beach and ocean. We ate at the resort often and really enjoyed the food. Portofino is a great place to go and relax, it is just a boat ride from town if you are looking for some more nightlife. The best thing about Portofino is the people that work there. Rosalie was so personable and down to earth. She organized so many wonderful trips for us and took the time to get to know us. She is amazing. Bertha was also wonderful. I wanted to go to the spa and she wasn't getting an answer on the phone so she sent someone over to book an appointment for me. Raphael was enjoyable to talk to and we even got the chance to hang out with him in town. He is really funny and personable. Then there is Orville who we spent the most time with. He is the other bar tender at Portofino. He is an excellent source of information and a genuinely nice person. He is great to sit at the bar and talk to. I had gotten some sunburn and he cut some aloe off a plant for me. He also remembered that I like to take a coke light to my room when we went up for the night, and one night I had forgotten to order it. He knocked on our door and delivered it to me! My husband and I can't say enough good things about Portofino itself but especially the people we got to know staying there. Customer service is beyond 5 stars. We are already talking about going back and our friends saw our pics and want to come too. Portofino is a quiet place to be able to hang out but there is so many activities you can plan from there and has great snorkeling too.

  • Stayed: August 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank pandora026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2009

We stayed at Portofino during our honeymoon in San Pedro. The resort had a cool honeymoon suite and the food was fantastic! We had dinner at the end of the pier right at sunset.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Shutterbuff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2009

The Portofino Resort in Belize was simply a remarkable experience!!
- The service is top notch (Thank you Orville, Rosalee, Raphael, Mo, etc.),
- The Sunflower suite was spectacular with a great view and very clean
- The food was delicious (the seafood was the best I ever had)
- Fabulous pool and pool area to spend a relaxing day after spending the first few days
snorkeling, fishing, a day in San Pedro, visting the Mayan Ruins, etc.
- Grab one of the resorts kayak's and head out to the Mexico Rocks for a wonderful
snorkeling experience. No tour need for the adventerous ones
- On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the best, The Portofino was a 9.5! We've been to
Hawaii, Mexico multiple times, Jamaica, the Caribbean and this vacation was the best
to date! Thank you Sandra and Jan van Noord for a Top Class Resort!

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Huckster32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2009

Staying at the Portofino was the highlight of our vacation in Belize. The rooms there facing the wide tranquil ocean. I felt like a real islander walking around barefoot in the sand and walking up the 3 stairs to the private porch of our room. It is quiet and peaceful. Thatched roofs, wood floors, big windows with bright curtains, and warm breezes all serve to create an atmosphere that envelopes you and makes you feel like you belong here.
My favorite thing to do was to kayak out to Mexico Rocks and snorkel. There are countless types of coral and countless types of fish. It is a feast for the eyes. Here in the reef, life begets life. There is nothing as beautiful as this. The water is deliciously warm and you can stay in and watch the show as long as you like. We wore swimming shirts so that sunscreen was unnecessary, because sunscreen kills the coral. The longer you stay in the water the hungrier you will be when you get back.
This brings me to the amazing food you will be offered at the Portofino restaurant. We were there with a small group of people so between us we tried almost everything on the menu. We loved it all! Some of my favorites were the gazpacho basil soup, Pasta with chicken, and the pineapple pleasure smoothie. We had nearly all our meals here.
The new saline pool was another highlight. Having a pool centrally located serves as a logical hangout spot. The uniquely curved and undulating natural shape of this pool makes swimming an artful as well as refreshing experience. The kids are easy to keep track of while they have a blast in the pool.
The owners make sure you are well looked after, and help you get either to or from the airport without any trouble. The staff is friendly and helpful.
I hope you get to enjoy the good life at the Portofino on the Island of Ambergris Cay.

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled with family
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Thank NatureLoverSanDiego
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 July 2009

First and foremost, Portofino is fabulous and well worth the money! Every staff member we encountered was very friendly, helpful and accommodating. We had an awesome time and Portofino went above and beyond what other resorts throughout Belize will do for you, in our (somewhat limited) experience. Their outstanding service rang through in just about every aspect of our trip.

Pros:
~Dining – The food was pretty good; the wait staff was excellent!
~Tours/Services – The Portofino staff was helpful in exchanging a dive tour for a trip to the Lamani Mayan ruins (which was awesome). There was no monetary penalty for the change since there was a cancellation beyond our control.
~Ecologic Divers has a dive shop on Portofino’s dock. We were extremely happy with the staff, service, and dives through Ecologic. They allowed us to store our gear overnight in a locked room, they tore down our gear after diving, and they were very friendly and happy. We felt completely comfortable and at ease with this dive center. They have definitely earned their 5-star PADI Resort rating.
~Quiet location – located 6 miles north of town, this is truly an ideal place if you’re looking for quiet and seclusion. It’s definitely a place for adults only…
~They put small tubs of water at your cabana door to dip your shoes in for sand removal.
~Our cabana was cute and roomy.

Cons:
~Breakfast starts at 7am. If you’re diving in the morning, you have to be at the dock at 7:30. It doesn’t give you much time to finish eating before you’re off and diving.
~The maid services were a little odd. Not only did they clean the room and make the bed, they re-arranged our stuff and put it away (clothes, bath items).

Suggestions for Travelers:
~Dive or snorkel with Ecologic Divers.
~Eat at Waraguma (2 locations). Their huge burritos are really good – local flavor.
~Eat at Carrumba’s. They have great beans and rice.
~Eat a tamale from one of the vendors that rides around on a bike. We bought some from the guy who comes to the Ecologic Divers dock in town. They were excellent.
~If you go on the Lamani trip, buy a stone or wood carving in Bomba village. They’re less expensive here than in San Pedro or Caye Caulker.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Durwood0123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2009

We went to Belize for the 7th time and stayed at Portofino for the 3rd time. It is by far our favourite resort and it doesn't surprise us that Portofino is in the top 4 of tripadvisors' favourite hotels in Belize.
After our fishing trip in the South of Belize (Permit of course) we were looking forward to a couple of days of luxury and that is what you get at Portofino: Excellent food in a very romantic restaurant, a spacious room with an amazing ocean view, probably the nicest freshwater swimming pool on Ambergris Caye and most important, the genuine feeling of being on a Tropical Island.
You can just relax and enjoy the facilities at the resort but there are plenty of interesting and fun things to do. The staff are well informed about the several expeditions and you can book them right from the hotel. Everything is organized for you in a personal and friendly way. Staff and owners will do the impossible to make you feel good.
We cannot wait to return next year !

  • Stayed: July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Canon123_456
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:
#6 Spa Hotel in San Pedro
#9 Business Hotel in San Pedro
#12 Top resorts Hotel in San Pedro
#17 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
#18 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro
Price Range: £210 - £882 (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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