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Isla Marisol Resort
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Reviews (199)
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Reviewed 19 May 2012

My friend and I spent a week here in April and I almost had to drag her back on the boat to go home.
Our adventure getting there was a bit stressful. Our flight from Carolina was late getting into Belize city, resulting in our missing our flight to Dangriga and only getting there just before the boat was set to take off. No one seemed annoyed that they had to wait for us (we weren't that late) and we appreciated that.
The cabanas are simple. The beds on the hard side. The view from almost any cabana, stunning.
We were lucky to be with a group of cool, laid back people who didn't mind if the power went out and the blender didn't work. The other guests are what turned a great trip into an "awesome" trip.
The food was delicious and the staff was willing to accommodate if there was something you couldn't eat. That said, there was not a huge selection at each meal; they were only feeding 25 people.
Our group was incredibly lucky to have a new snorkel guide, Louis. Louis was able to identify almost any fish you asked about. He single handedly is in the process of ridding the Carribean from the invasive Lion Fish. He found us a wild pod of dolphins to swim with. He caught us a turtle and a shark. What more could we ask for!
I was lucky not to get many bug bites. A few others were not so lucky. Bring bug spray just in case.
This Island is how a vacation should be. You can be as busy (2 snorkels a day) or as relaxed as you want. It is private and isolated.
As other reviews have stated, if you are expecting cocktails by the pool a spa and executive suites, you need to go somewhere else. The other guests will be as pleased with your decision as you are. If you want to leave the mainland for a while and enjoy some quiet, stars and clean air, this is your place.

Room Tip: Cabanas 1, 2, 3 and 4 are right on the water. Cabana 1 is closest to the bar. I didn't hear any complaints from the other rooms (we were in 6)
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank K2511
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 May 2012

You won't see any complaints here! I have to say that the guy with the review entitled 'Fairy Tale Wedding & the Honest Truth about the Resort' is exactly spot-on in his review, and that the negative reviews dated 2005 and 2008 are waaaayyy out of date and do not accurately reflect even close to the experience my husband and I had in August 2011.

We stayed at Isla Marisol in low/hurricane season so there was a grand total of 8 of us on the island. I loved it and would recommend seeing the island during this time. There are no big groups of divers or rowdy people that can get on your nerves but perfectly custom tailored dives and lots of time with the dive master.

Speaking of the dive master, Mora was excellent. Just excellent. A real pro. The scuba diving was amazing but that goes without saying. I mean, the water was clear and the sealife was unreal!

Also while we were there, there was a tropical storm, that almost turned into a hurricane but didn't. Eddie did a wonderful job of handling this situation. He quickly evacuated the island as a safety precaution and put us in a hotel on the mainland which we didn't have to pay for of course and which provided us with an excellent dinner and rooms for the night for all 8 of us. We were brought back after the tropical storm had passed and continued diving with amazing weather. I really can't say a bad thing about Eddie. He breaks his back to run the place and does a damn good job on continuously improving things and in communicating with the guests and receiving feedback graciously and professionally. He really made us feel right at home and like VIP guests, always making the time to talk to us and to organize every little thing. I mean, we were completely in his hands, a million miles from home and he took wonderful care of us.

So back to island life...

...the food. Oh the food. Freshly squeezed lime juice, papaya juices, watermelon juice, galore. Freshly baked cookies some days and lobster and fresh white fish so good, like I have never experienced before. It was just a pleasure to start the day with a wonderful breakfast, go for a dive, come back, have lunch waiting, enjoy every last bite of it, have a siesta in the afternoon, go for a dive, then get back, have a shower, watch the sunset and sit down for another beautiful meal at 6:30 pm. Then socializing for a little bit and being in bed by 8 pm at the latest and falling asleep by 9pm.

My husband and I just loved it. It was such a purely relaxing rhythm to the day that left us feeling in a state of blissful relaxation for two weeks after the holidays had already ended. I mean, what more can you want?

Looking back through the pictures, the place is just stunning. I have traveled quite a lot and I have to say, that some of the images that I saw on Isla Marisol just took my breath away. I was mesmorized by the beauty of the place. I really would go back in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank WorldTravel335
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 May 2012

My brother, my son and I spent a week at Isla Marisol last month and had a fantastic time. I don't know of anything I'd change (except perhaps the long trip to get there from where I live). I would just add one comment about the bugs - we had almost no bug bites the whole week on the island, never even bothered with bug spray, but all three of us found we got munched while waiting for our plane in Dangriga on the way home. My advice is just to put some bug spray on when you're on the mainland; then see how the bugs are at Isla Marisol.

That being said, if you like to be off the beaten track but comfortable and well fed, go to Isla Marisol. The snorkeling, the staff, the sunrises and sunsets, the other visitors - just fantastic. I'm keeping an eye on Living Social and Groupon for another deal, so I can go back with my husband who had to work that week.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Reef House, a two-bedroom/two bath place on the east side of the island, facing the open sea. Loved it. A little more private than the cabanas, but still an easy walk to the restaurant, bar and dive shop.
Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
2  Thank Karen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 April 2012

It is easy to feel like your in Paradise when on the Isle of Marisol. My wife and I went there on April 7th for our thirtieth anniversary. Paradise is a frame of mind and Isle Marisol would not be a paradise for everyone and some will never find paradise on this earth, but we found our paradise for a week.

The diving was incredible, the food was great, the location could not be beat, the staff was awesome, etc. The cabanas, although far from fancy, was better than I expected after reading other reviews. We stayed in Cabana 3 and you had to walk in the water if you walked in front of the cabana. We listened to the small waves and enjoyed the constant breeze. We did not even use the air conditioner. Sure, their were some issues with the electricity and more than usual boat trouble, but Eddie and the staff always managed to take care of things and everything worked out in the end.

I know that the guests at other locations in the area stay in tents or in cabanas without air conditioners or indoor plumbing. The beds were nice and I slept better than at home. Sitting on the deck or lying in the hammock, I truly felt fortunate to be there.

There were over twenty quests when we were there and we really enjoyed everyone. Even though the quests were from all over the US we were all like minded. We couldn't have asked for such a great group of people, including the staff, to spend a week on a tropical island with.

Each time we look at pictures or talk about our stay on Isle Marisol, we smile and dream of going back.

One word of advice, go there with a laid back, relaxed attitude and try to adjust to Island time and you may find paradise too.

Room Tip: Cabana #2, 3, or 4.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Davekimbro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2012

Even with Jerry's typos...all he said is true. My husband and I were with him.

The travel time was long enough without being dropped at the local hotel for three hours while Eddie did his errands. We arrived at the island in the dark (no lights to the Reef House) pulling our luggage through the sand to find the house had not been cleaned. Fortunately, Jerry, my husband, and I are old friends and diving buddies and can find the humor in most situations. But when you are paying a lot of money one would expect clean floors and bathrooms. Instead, sand throughout the house, used bathrooms ( used feminine hygiene debris), no potable water, no glasses, ceiling fans not working, no AC, no hot water, at various times of day no electricity....the bed sheets changed ONCE in eight days.

When we spoke with Eddie the following morning regarding the dirty accommodations he summoned the head of housekeeping (I cannot remember her name). He did not have the courtesy to question her in privacy, instead in front of us as he dressed her down causing her great embarrassment. It was wrong!

The diving was beautiful and the food was very good. I will say it was the first time diving that water was not provided either to drink or to put masks, cameras, etc., in to keep clean of salt water.

The Marisol website states the island is Bug Free. Not in the least true. The first day we were covered with red spots and told they were from 'no see'ums'. The spots later became very itchy welts which were still on me for a week after returning home.

I do find it interesting that Eddie can so easily say unkind and unfounded things of Jerry but does not defend any of the criticisms Jerry made. He'd have been smarter to simply not reply to Jerry. As a result I am compelled to write my review!

We certainly were not alone in the complaint department; other clientele approached Eddie to voice dissatisfaction. It was a topic of conversation at the bar in the evening.

Room Tip: Another resort!
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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9  Thank patricia j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
IMRGloversReef, Owner at Isla Marisol Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2013

Dear Guest,

First off, As the manager of Isla Marisol Resort in no way was I trying to bribe you with a dive to compensate your travels to the Resort. Our Captain was instructed to change boat on his way in to pick you up from Dangriga and was instructed on his way out to change boat at Fantasy Island for your journeys out, unfortunately he made the decision to cross using our 25ft boat rather than our 38ft boat during your cross. I apologies for the rough ride by offering you a complimentary dive which you accepted.

As for the comments made on the diving, You we're not on the Boat or in the water with the dive master so you're repeating something which is not totally true. I'm enlighting you on what happened after discussing this with Mora our dive master for 12 yrs at the resort. Mora and Captain was out on the dive that morning, according to Mora the weather was fine going to the dive site and entering the water they had no problems, during the dive he heard the boat over head and the rain started. He was with a couple who had visited the resort before and dove with Mora before, once they surface from the dive they couldn't see the boat and the guest wanted to try and go directly to the reef near the lighthouse approximately 100yds away, Mora decided to guide the guest throughout the channel approximately 200yds ahead which due to the wave and current it took them 50 mins. to reach safety. During this treading water they could not see the boat Captian who never abandoned his position but was definitely not in position to see the divers. Once at the neighbor island on the beach, Mora and the security called the Boat Captian to come pick them up and returned to the island.

I've instructed Mora, all dive's will be done from Marisol using floating device to assure all guest they'll be pick-up from there dives and no dive are ever to go out in uncertain weather. I understand your upset about your boat ride out to the Island, It shouldn't have happened and yes the Captian was punished for his bad judgement. For 12 years operating Marisol we've been through all sort of weather from Mild hurricane and thunder storms. You made it sound as if we did this intentionally to you and your husband, I assure you our most important resource is our guest and we take pride in trying to offer you the best service and trip possible. The ocean change's with wind and currents. Our captian s are humans and sometime's over look what we're used to, that others might not think its natural or safe, i appreciate the sensitivity of your response to the remaining portion of your trip and as management its my responsibility to try and correct all matters pertaining to guest dissatisfaction as I'm doing today in hope's I'm apologizing to you and letting others know this is not a practice of the resort. Once more I hope by my response to you via trip advisor to say again we apologies for your travels on the small boat to Glovers Reef and also to let the world knows this was an error in judgement on our Captian but definitely not a trait we sponsor at the resort.

Isla Marisol Resort, it 36 mile's off the coast. the biggest boat we have is 45ft with twin diesel, any weather blowing in the range of 15 to 25 knots is consider dangerous and for 12 years we've made route's available that we can safely transfer our guest to meet there schedule departure or arrivals to the resort. some days its flat calm and you might feel we're charging too much for such a fast smooth ride, but when the weather is rough we usually prepare our guest for the crossing and we try our best to make sure safety is our number one priority. we travel almost every Sat. and Weds. to and from Isla Marisol Resort, the weather is one we cannot confirm with anyone but yet we make sure we arrive and depart within the schedule time sometime's even a little late just for you our guest to make sure everyone is happy at the end of the day and we don't get a report on Trip advisor saying we don't care or we're unsafe.

It's the little things that make a resort looks bad or sound bad, We're humans and we're trying daily to offer the best service to you our guest and when our Captians make bad judgement calls its our Job to control the situation and make sure it doesn't happen again. I hope I've clarified your issues by apologizing for the misjudgment and assure all other guest coming to the resort that this was just a bad judgement call on our Captian who lost his Job because of this review and will now need to seek a new position as we cannot afford another issues in the future..

Thanks for being concerned and highlighting our faults and we're correcting them immediately..

managemennt

Isla Marisol Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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