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“A Fantastice Place to Stay”

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Isla Marisol Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Grass Valley, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“A Fantastice Place to Stay”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2010

This is a fantastic resort. My son and I stayed 8 days diving and this place was awesome! The owner, Eddie, takes a personnel interest in his guests as does all of his employees. He met us at the airport, transported us to a waiting, very large two engine boat for a short ride to the resort on Glovers Atoll...he even dove with us!

We stayed in a cabana on the beach, just feet away from the water. Eddie has recently found an effective way to rid the island of sand fleas. we went the entire stay without one bite. The cabana was very comfortable with an AC unit that was instant and cold. The cabana was cleaned each day. Linens and towels were replaced daily.

The food was to die for...all meals were fresh cooked and prepared with loving care. Any and all requests for seconds or something special were always met with a "no problem!" We had lobsters, fresh local fish and veggies along with homemade breads. The food was served in the dining room, sit down atmosphere. It was always warm and tastey.

Now to the reason were went to Glovers Atoll and this resort in particular. We dove 3 times per day, always at a different site within 15 minutes of the resort. The water was 86 degrees with visability of 100+ft. Full of colorful exotic marine life. Our dive guide, Rebecca, was always full of energy and eager to point out creatures big and small. She really enjoyed the guests and it showed. She is an instructor so we took a few Advanced Padi courses from her.

All thing considered the only negative I can cite about the trip was the actual amount of time it took to get there from the west coast...6 hours flying took 18 hours in total due to layovers and connections...But it was well worth it!

while this place is no "Hyatt w/Hyatt prices"...but if you want great food, fantastic diving and lots of personal attention, Isla Marisol is the place to go. It was eveident during our stay that improvements are constantly being made by Eddie and his staff. In my opinion, this resort will soon become a "premier", must see place to visit while in Belize.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank kjlabarbera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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188 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
santa clara ca
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 June 2010

If we had visited at a less hectic time, I might not be writing this now. but we went to dive with whale sharks, and the resort was at full capacity. Unfortunately, Isla Marisol is not equipped to handle full-capacity. It lacks the kind of back-ups a place like this needs in times of high demand. And it seems like large groups receive much more attention than small ones.
Our adventure began on the 36 mile boat-ride out to the atoll: ten new arrivals and their gear crammed into a small open-air boat that was already loaded with supplies and diesel. We were told that a bigger boat usually served as the ferry, but it was out on a whale shark dive that day (yet 2 days later, when the 10 of us wanted to go whale shark diving, we were put off because they needed the big boat to ferry a group back to the mainland). But I digress). The ride out was choppy---4 - 6 ft swells, in a weighted down tinny By the time we got to the island, we were all drenched. Ha, ha. All part of the adventure, right?
Upon our arrival, we were met by one of the kitchen staff---a very nice lady who told us the manager was supposed to meet new guests and show them around since but he was out on a whale shark dive we should move on in on our own and make ourselves at home. That was the extent of our orientation. Ha ha, right? We got a little survivor island thing going on here.
So what's the first thing a tired, drenched, body-sore traveler is going to do when he or she finds their cabana? Take a shower, right? The IM website promised hot water. What it didn't mention, however, is how that water comes to be hot. There are electrical wires in the showerhead. The water heats up as it passes over them. Which is all well and good if you're aware of this and know how to work the shower-head. But we didn't get that briefing, and a fair number of us got shocked. Not so funny. And completely preventable.
But we're here to dive, right? And the diving is going to make us forget about this bad first day, right?
Our first divemaster was a nice enough fellow who didn't give a hoot about his job. On the eight dives that we did with him, he forgot his fins once, missed the dive site twice, had us swimming against current on a drift dive twice, and swam the rest of the dives so fast, we had little time to appreciate the magnificence of the wall. We were told that while he was not a regular DM with IM, he had worked here before and knew the area well. After the second blown dive, our group insisted that he be replaced. We were told no problem. Yet when we got on the boat the next morning, there he was. If we had not refused to accept this, he would've continued on as our DM. Our second DM was much
better, competent in all regards, and gave us five spectacular dives. It is because of him that this trip was not a complete and utter wash. The wall diving was spectacular. And while our trips to Gladden Spit to see whale sharks all came to naught, I don't count that among the many disappointments we experienced at Isla Marisol.
The website promises reliable AC in the cabanas. That might be true when business is slow, but at full capacity---nuh-uh. The power went out most if not all nights, taking the AC with it---no biggy for those who dig the heat, but a cause of significant distress for those who do not do so well with it. The situation grew so dire, two of our friends had to leave the island two days early. Had they known that they could not reasonably expect the degree of AC they had been led to expect, they would not have signed up for this trip. As it turned out, just about everyone on the island had an issue with the AC that week. The boat-ride back to the mainland was basically one long gripe-fest. So much for an afterglow...
Other things the website mentions that don't exist: a restaurant. It's a dining room. And there is no menu for dinner, it's all buffet-style (and very good, BTW, lots of local fish and simple Belizean food). There's no spa, either, and no masseuse. I know this sounds nit-picky, but when you see these sorts of things mentioned on a website, you assume a certain degree of high-endedness that does not exist at Isla Marisol. Also, the island is NOT bug-free. The biters aren't as bad as they are at places that don't spray at all, but there were enough of them to leave our group scratching.
I could go on. And on. Really. But you get the picture. Isla Marisol has the potential to be an awesome resort. It's in the right place. It's trying to do the right thing by going green. But it also has some serious personnel and infrastructure issues that it needs to address and rectify. A lot of the disappointment we experienced on this trip could have been alleviated or even averted simply by decent management. How sad is that?

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
12 Thank water_dragon_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Luxembourg
Level Contributor
51 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2010

We’re back from our first trip to Belize where we stayed a couple of days at Isla Marisol. Having already dived at very different locations, we must recognize that all the dives with the very kind staff from Isla Marisol have been very interesting. We were impressed by the beauty of the reef and a dive at “Aquarium” was one of the best. We also spent 2 dives at Gladden Spit to watch for the snappers turning around and the whale sharks close to them, but this didn’t happen during our dives in the big blue. We appreciated the guidance from Kitty during the dives, the excellent food and the nice atmosphere throughout the resort.
We can only regret that the volcano in Iceland decided to wake up just before we’re scheduled to leave Europe, but that’s our mother nature. We therefore spent less than a week before heading from Isla Marisol to another famous location in Belize which is Chan Chich Lodge.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank RGa5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 March 2010

During my first trip to Belize Sept/09, not only was I captured by the beauty of the county, but fortunate enough to have experienced Isla Marisol! Isla Marisol Resort is located on a quaint, tropical island not far off the coast, and caters mostly to diving/snorkelling. I was amazed by its beauty. I stayed in the reef house at the edge of the ocean, awesome view, very clean, has a kitchen, air conditioning, private deck and it doesn’t get any better than falling asleep to the sound of the waves against the reef. The island also has cabanas, a restaurant; dive shop and bar with the most incredible view, there were even dolphins playing in front while we were relaxing on the deck. The hospitality of the staff is incredible. Very friendly, warm, gracious and more than accommodating. The service was superb! The food was delicious, and very fresh, you will definitely get to experience the culture! I was not a diver, nor was it my intention, I went to snorkel, but after some “gentle” persuading, I did dive, and let me tell you, although I was extremely nervous about being underwater, I felt safe, Eddie was very patient. It was extraordinary and an experience I will never forget. I was taken out to the reef to dive, I didn’t feel hurried, it was relaxing. I was able to see turtles, coral, tonnes of fish, and all kinds of creatures. If you’ve ever thought about learning to dive, this is definitely where you want to do it! Oh, and during my first trip to Isla Marisol, I have to admit there were a lot of sand flies, but when I returned this past December…BUG FREE! It was great! (just don’t forget your sunscreen!)
If you want to experience an unforgettable trip, then Isla Marisol Resort is it! You will not get better treatment anywhere! No matter where you travel in Belize, I definitely recommend taking some time to experience this resort, you won’t be disappointed. I hope to go back to experience the incredible whale sharks I hear so much about!

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank belizedreams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2010

What a fanatastic little 'getaway from it all' dive resort. My friend and I stayed there for 1 week in February and we stayed in the reef house which was very spacious, bright and very clean. We slept to the sound of the ocean all night. The service was excellent....like family away from home. The food was exceleent with fresh squeezed juices with every meal. The resort staff went above and beyond their duty to make everyone feel welcome and essentially make you want to move in. The diving was excellent and the professionalism and friendliness of the diving staff made the diving experience all the more sweet. They also went out of their way to try to fulfill the wishes of the divers. The nbest thing of all was NO BUGS - the island had been treated and the end result wasa bug free paradise:)

Stayed February 2010, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank oceanlover10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bellingham, WA
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2010

My husband and I just got back from our honeymoon in Belize. We spent 5 days of our trip at Isla Marisol. When we arrived we both were in complete awe of the island's beauty. As soon as our boat arrived at the Isla Marisol Dock the staff and island's dog, Ninja, were there to greet us. We stayed in the Reef House which was located on the back side of the island, which meant we had complete privacy. The house was beautiful with an amazing view of the reef from the porch.

The entire staff was amazing!! They really made us feel at home. They even baked me a Birthday Cake on my Birthday! We would spend our evenings after dinner hanging out down at the bar drinking delicious margaritas, salsa dancing and playing games.

The food was by far the best that we had while we were in Belize. When we first arrived in Belize we stayed 7 days on Ambergris Caye. After a few days both of our tummy's started to not feel so well, and I was attacked by sand flies. Even after our first meal at Isla Marisol our stomach's both started to feel better, and we never saw even one sand fly!

The food was so fresh! For every meal we were served a different kind of fresh squeezed juice (papaya, watermelon, orange, peach etc). The chef was also very willing to cater to our food preferences. My husband and I had stopped eating meat right before we left on our honeymoon and they had no problem catering to that.

The snorkeling was also by far the best at Glover's Atoll. Our snorkeling guides were wonderful, constantly pointing out amazing creatures and fish and letting us stay in the water as long as we wanted.

We do not have anything bad to say about our stay here. At the end of our trip my husband said that he wished we could have spent our entire honeymoon at Isla Marisol.

Isla Marisol Resort is truely an authentic way to experience Belize.

For all the people who complained about the food, lack of hot water, etc.: If you want to stay in a "traditional resort" go stay somewhere on the Mainland.

If you want to stay somewhere:
-that will make life long memories
-where the staff actually cares about you
-that takes you on unforgetable snorkeling trips
-feeds you delicious and creative food
-and is relaxing and romantic

Stay at Isla Marisol.

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank rosalieasmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Willsboro, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2010

First of all let me say that my husband and I usually go canoe camping or back country camping in a tent. Being from the Adirondacks in New York state, however, we were not comfortable with a rugged situation in tropical Belize.
So we splurged on Isla Marisol Resort and were extremely pleased with the decision. He and I were the only guests and were treated like royalty. We were there for 7 days of snorkeling(not diving). We were taken out to reef patches twice a day and never hurried along. We saw 92 new species of assorted creatures and corals and fish. We had 2 very knowledgable quides. Plus an extremely reliable boat captain.
Our food was fantastic. Every day was different, fresh and creative. If anything, we ate too much and fell asleep early.
Eddie Usher was gracious. On the day we left there was a pretty good storm. It slowed our return to Dangriga and we missed our Tropic Air flight to Belize City. He arranged for us to be driven the 100 some miles to Belize City, free of charge.
Thanks to everyone and we hope to see you again, maybe next winter?

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank aliceinwanderland58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Isla Marisol Resort

Property: Isla Marisol Resort
Address: Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Belize Cayes > Glovers Reef Atoll
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Glovers Reef Atoll
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Isla Marisol Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Isla Marisol Resort lies on a pristine, secluded palm-studded island on Glover's Reef Atoll (a UN World Heritage site) in Belize. Of the five inhabited island on Glover's Reef, Isla Marisol is the only one offering private en-suite bathrooms, fresh water showers, hot and cold water, air conditioning, and daily housekeeping service. Isla Marisol Resort also offers frosty cold libations at our infamous "over the water" bar and phenomenal Belizean style food in our dining room. Incredible watersports are just a stone's throw from the resort, with most diving and snorkeling sites just 5-15 minutes from the island. All ages and experience welcome! Anglers can hit the "grand-slam" from their front porch, with World class fly fishing for tarpon, permit, and bonefish, quite literally at our door step. Daily deep sea fishing trips for Wahoo, Kingfish, Marlin, and a host of other fun fish, depart from Isla Marisol daily. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Isla Marisol Hotel Glovers Reef Atoll
Isla Marisol Dangriga

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