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“Here is where you pamper and spoil yourself a bit”

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Portofino Beach Resort
Ranked #19 of 54 Hotels in San Pedro
Certificate of Excellence
San Ignacio, Belize
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Here is where you pamper and spoil yourself a bit”
Reviewed 29 December 2009

I spent Christmas at the this resort Hotel, and it was awesome !!
Great Customer service - actually one of the best I have so far experienced in Belize - The staff were helpful, cheerful and prompt in attending to our needs and queries.
I highly recommend this resort if you are looking for peace and quiet and a relaxing beach vacation, with a bit of fun thrown in.
Food was the "bestest",. You can see it was prepared with love. I know, sounds a bit corny, but I cannot find other adequate words to describe it. Tasty and nice presentation.
Last but not least......the wine list.......great variety, great wines !!

Yes, you might be a bit far from town and getting back and forth(although it is only 15 minutes by boat/water taxi) is not always easy and can get costly, but at least you are away from the noisy hustle and bustle and you have the beach all to yourself without being constantly accosted by street peddlers.

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank BelizeitReston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
36 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2009

My wife and I stayed at Portofino for the long Memorial Day weekend. Overall, we were very pleased with the resort and would definitely consider staying here again if we came back to the Ambergris Caye area.

The quick taxi/boat transfer from the San Pedro airport went fine, and hotel's "water taxi" back and forth between San Pedro and the resort was a quick 10 minute ride. Everyone at Portofino was very nice and helpful, from the front desk to the restaurant to the dock.

Portofino's location is great; just steps away from the beach and the immediate area has great snorkeling if you take one of the complementary sea kayaks out a bit. The rooms, while basic, are clean and well maintained. It appeared that basically all the rooms opened out to either the beach or the pool area. The resort is fairly small, which is really nice. The pool area was great too.

The folks at the front desk were very helpful in getting us signed up for excursions, coordinating our arrival/departure, and making recommendations for places to go in town. We would highly recommend the Lamanai Ruins/Junge River tour!

The biggest negative about this property is the on-site restaurant. The service is fine, but the food is overpriced and not very good. We repeatedly gave the restaurant "one more chance" to redeem itself but were disappointed each time. This in itself is not a reason to avoid Portofino, since it is easy to go into town for dinner each night on the water taxi. Breakfast was passable if you stick with the basics like fruit, cereal, coffee/tea, etc.

Overall, we'd recommend Portofino; it was a great place to relax for a few days!

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank JustinCase713
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado Springs
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2009

My husband and I recently stayed at Portofino for 10 nights in November. We chose Portofino as the location for our destination wedding as well as our accommodations during the duration of our trip. Most of our guests stayed here as well and everyone seemed very happy with their experience. We were truly pleased with our decision to stay here. The rooms were clean and very pretty. The service was wonderful-such friendly people and a very accommodating staff. If we had any issues they was quickly addressed and fixed. We had mixed feelings on the food at the restaurant. Some dishes were delicious; however, many of the fish entrees were topped with heavy cream sauces that we felt were too rich and as a result took away from the fish itself. We did really enjoy our breakfasts with the fresh fruit and yummy egg dishes (and the bacon was mouth watering!). We also ate at Mambos and Capricorn and would highly recommend both of these restaurants. At Portofino, we found all of the staff we came across to be cordial, however, we were especially taken by Rosalee and Lorraine for their help with our excursions and for creating a wonderful wedding dinner reception; Raphael and Orville for being such fun and engaging bartenders; and Rachel for her ever present smile and laughter during meal services. We also had a chance to get to know one of the owners, Jan, and found him to be a really nice, genuine guy. Unfortunately, his wife was visiting family in Europe so we didn't get a chance to meet her. However, we can say that they have both done an excellent job in creating a very charming and quaint atmosphere at this resort. The location is beautiful and quiet, so it is perfect if you want to have a truly relaxing experience. If you're searching for nightlife, the town of San Pedro is only a 15 minute boat ride away and there are a few very nice restaurants at nearby resorts as well. One of the only things that we did not like during our trip had nothing to do with the resort itself, it was the ubiquitous mosquitoes. The rainy season was just ending during our stay so we did have to deal with these little buggers, unfortunately. Other than that, we cannot say enough good things about our experience at Portofino. I would highly recommend this resort to anyone looking for a special, relaxing getaway in Paradise. We also had a great experience with ecologic divers (you can read our review for more info.) and our guides, Bicho & Nestor (for our fishing trips) and Gustavo (for our day trip to Xunantunich). And finally, Keli, of "I Do Belize Weddings" is an amazing wedding coordinator who made sure that we, the bride and groom, were stress free on the most special day of our lives!

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank lunajade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Troy, Alabama
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 16 November 2009

If you want a true romantic getaway with secluded beaches, great food, and 24 hour service, Portofino is the place to go. We had such a wonderful time for our honeymoon and we plan on going again soon!

Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank AdamBarr12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
boston
Level Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 October 2009

Portofino had a beautiful beach and nice rooms, but after that it went downhill. The swimming in the ocean is mediocre, because the water is very shallow for a very long way out; they built an area off the dock as an ersatz pool but it doesn't work very well; when we were there, they were rebuilding the seawall, so it was noisy; and most disturbing, the management nickled and dimed us: when we went on an excursion, they wanted to charge us extra to take snorkle gear with us and wouldn't lend us a hair dryer because we were not in the more expensive rooms. This was 4-5 years ago so this may have improved, but we found it vwery unsatisfactory.

  • Stayed February 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rantau_abang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank kyllmode
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Connecticut
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank pandora026
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

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 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
#18 Romantic 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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