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Isla Marisol Resort
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Reviews (201)
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Reviewed 22 June 2013

Three weeks ago, we were on a chartered catamaran anchored near the Isla Marisol Resort when an accident occurred. I slipped and opened a big gash in my elbow. Our captain radioed Isla Marisol Resort and they told us to come over thinking they could provide medical treatment. It turned out that I needed sutures and they arranged my transportation to the hospital in Dangriga (25 miles away) which included being picked up and driven to/from the hospital by Eddie, the owner of the resort. All the resort staff we dealt with, as well as Eddie, were absolutely wonderful and extremely helpful. Thanks to their assistance, I was able to get to/from the hospital in a matter of hours and return to my sailing vacation with a minimal loss of time. Based on our short visit to the resort and the friendliness of the staff, we definitely will consider vacationing there.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
    • Location
1  Thank GiantsandEaglesOhMy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2013

It's always nice to "get away from it all". Isla Mirasol certainly provides that and largely in a very nice way. Accommodations are minimal but certainly sufficient and really no different than my expectations. The best cabanas are right on the water, with the water lapping the shore right below your deck. The staff were a wonderful bunch of people, very friendly and very accommodating. The meals were very good, but I wouldn't go overboard like many reviews indicate. I've had better at similarly styled remote resorts. Yet mealtime was always looked forward to as the social gathering that it was and for a large enough variety of food that all tastes would find pleasing enough.

My biggest disappointment was the diving. Expectations (by being away from the crowds) of pristine reefs, fantastic visibility, and hopes of seeing a whale shark, were dashed. The staff was great, the dive sites close, the equipment fine. But the reefs did not appear healthy, the sites were largely the same, very little variation in terrain, visibility only fair (although it's not fair to fully judge based on one week's experience, since conditions can change that) and the whale shark experience, while expensive, netted us a total of zero whale sharks. Obviously, there are no guarantees and we tried our luck during the best possible time, season-wise and moon phase-wise. I was reluctant to spend the extra money for it since there had not been any sightings for the season yet, but for the possibility of something one rarely has a shot of, we had to give it a try. We did however really enjoy the supposed prelude to the whale shark experience. While an army of us swam through the deep blue, we suddenly caught sight of thousands upon thousands of snapper spawning below us. That incredible sight might have turned totally surreal had a whale shark surfaced, but alas, the amazing snapper sight had to suffice.

In spite of religiously applying insect repellent and never actually seeing any insects, I suffered bites galore, while my wife had nary a bite at all. Depends on your susceptibility I suppose. Walking around the island did not lead very far in any direction that we tried before ending in a trash heap dead end. We never did use the kayaks but they did seem like a better way to explore the area.

In spite of the criticisms I've listed, our time on Isla Mirasol was very pleasant. While I would have liked a more diverse and/or unique diving experience, our week there was still quite enjoyable.

Room Tip: The best located cabanas were the three (# 2, 3, and 4) right on the water. I'd highly recommend one of those.
  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank islander-4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2013

This simple resort is isolated on Glovers Reef, so be prepared to dive or snorkel 3-4 times a day or read 15 books! Nicely designed, very simple, dependent on generator power (which can be problematic). Do NOT count on any kind of consistent WiFi signal (this is in critical need of an update).

Staff are lovely people. Dive operation is pretty casual, seems geared at experienced divers who don't require personal attention. Diving is frequently from a smaller, backward roll-type boat; they have one "real" dive boat that isn't used every day (depends on # of divers).

We rented the Reef House - very large accommodation, but sparsely stocked - no refrigerator or even cutlery or dishrags... Showers were lukewarm to boiling, with little to no pressure. A/C in my room never worked; toilets quit for a day. An enterprising tree rat found it's way in to steal a bag of peanuts I had in my suitcase - be careful what you stash, particularly because of ants!

We got hit by a serious tropical storm at the end of the week that destroyed many trees, knocked out power, washed or blew items all over the island, sent the 'big' boat on an unmanned voyage.... It's going to take some major clean up to get back to normal! Kudos to the kitchen staff for making sure we "starving" Americans were well-fed despite it all!

Do take bug spray for sand flies (always) and mosquitoes (when calm). Drink prices are predictably steep - BYOB is allowed. If you are at ALL susceptible to motion sickness take Dramamine before you get on the boat OUT to the island - it's a long way, and can be a rough ride. Wave conditions on dives can vary; whaleshark expeditions also involve long boat rides and precautions should be taken.

Above all, the SCUBA diving was fabulous, all wall diving on the edge of the atoll! Lots of big animals - Loggerhead turtles of awe-inspiring antiquity, many shark species, rays, lots of large Grouper species. Great clarity. Despite the lack of whalesharks this April full moon opportunity, we did see the snapper spawning, sharks and dolphins - well worth it!

I would probably choose an island resort closer in to gain access to the Barrier Reef, or a mainland resort if I return to Belize (Hamanasi is my favorite so far). Isla Marisol was rustic and my need to dive was completely satisfied, so go for the remoteness and quiet.

Room Tip: Cabins are on the atoll side, Reef House on the ocean. Depending on the prevailing winds, one side or the other will be windy, the other relatively still and hot. Reef House for a family needing a bigger accommodation, noting that there are literally no amenities.
  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank CalypsoReid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2013

Isla Marisol: Add one part tropical island. One part ocean breeze. One part sunshine. And a big helping of local staff to complete the Marisol experience. Eddie and Mr. Willis have assembled a wonderful group of people who make staying in paradise, paradise. Celso Mora is a wonderful Divemaster, knowledgeable and fun. His colleagues Meaghan and Casey are excellent guides and divemasters as well. Miss Jen, Ezra, Alicia, and Asianae will pamper you with delicious ample meals of local flavors and origin. Are you into fishing? So is Luis and he is an indispensable source of knowledge that comes from working in the fisheries department in and around Glover's reef. Ronald, Seth, and Douglas are excellent boat captians. I have seen them handle their crafts in rough passage with ease. The Island is kept in lovely condition by Sappo, Miss Brenda, Elmar, and Celvin. If thirst is an issue for you Ally and Tara have whatever tonic you need at the bar. Evening shark feedings are complementary ala Luis. Amazing and plentiful flora and fauna are readily accessible by snorkel trip too. One does not need to dive to see an amazing array of marine life. I do want to specify that it is a remote Island and if a Five star hotel experience is what you are looking for this may not be your best option. However, for the remoteness of the location and the peace and quiet that this offers the accomodations are more than adequate. Visitors from neighboring Cays continually remarked that Isla Marisol was superior to their accomodations. Lucky me to have come here first. I will certainly return and have already recommended this location to many sun starved Washingtonians. Its awesome at Marisol. You better Belize it!

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank E T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2013

It's a trek to get to Glovers Reef, but I would go back in a minute. We went in mid-January and we did have a full week of rain :( but the diving was great and the crew and employees excellent. I am very much interested in conservation, there was a dive instructor that came in from Hawaii with a group to spear and study the over-abundant lionfish population and luckily, we got to help. And after assisting, the wonderful chefs cooked up the lionfish for us. Delicious. The resort is off the beaten path, but the rooms are nice and clean and the food is to die for. Bring your blow-dryer, they do not have them. We had an entire week of rain and had an excellent trip. Thank you to Isla Marisol!

Room Tip: I would prefer a room on the shore, you get more sunshine.
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank DiverChic65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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