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“We've been going for 10 years!”

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Glover's Atoll Resort
San Francisco
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“We've been going for 10 years!”
Reviewed 13 May 2011

My husband and I have been together for 17 years, and have been coming to Glover's for the past 10 years. Combined, we have made probably 15-20 visits (most together, a few on our own with friends). Although we have traveled all over the world (22 countries), we have loved our time on Glover's more than anything, not just because of the beauty of the reef, or the idyllic location, but because of the relationships we have developed with the Lamont-Cabral family, and the certain feeling in our hearts that we only get when we are there. It is easy to see how people may come with certain expectations and then find that their experience is not what they had hoped for, but if you set out with the right attitude, the "expect the unexpected" and just go with the flow, your chances of loving your experience will be greatly magnified.

We have chosen not to post a review for so long now because we want our little island paradise to remain a hidden gem, not to be overrun with every traveler passing through Belize. But, we finally decided to post a review of our authentic feelings and experiences after seeing so many horrible experiences reported on Trip Advisor. Also, we are so fond of everyone on the island and like to think of them as family. We want the best for them and for their business. As small business owners ourselves, we have seen how wonderful it can be to have people spread positivity about your business, especially when it is true!

The truth is, this is not a resort. We call it upscale camping. It is the type of place that is best for DIY'ers, campers, off the beaten path, adventure seekers. Sometimes the weather intervenes and your trip may be shortened. Sometimes the conditions are rough and boats can't come or go (either out for day trips or to and fro Sittee River), sometimes the type of accommodation you booked just isn't available, sometimes there is bread and fish and sometimes there isn't, sometimes you get hot sun and sometimes you get wind and rain, but if you don't box yourself in on a tight timeline, if you are flexible, if you have your own provisions, and if you are content spending the day swaying in a hammock or playing cards for hours, you will undoubtedly have a great time. And on the magical days when everything seems right in the world, when the sun is shining, the breeze is just enough to keep the sand flies at bay, and when the sky is filled with a million stars and you look out at the glimmering water, you will know that you are having a moment that you will never forget.

So, here are some tips for you, if you are considering a trip to Glover's:

It's true, the bathrooms are composting toilets that smell badly, but if you have ever been to a concert and used a port-o-potty, I guarantee that is 10x worse. There is garbage that washes up on the island..you will see the countless stream of vessels and tankers moving down the coast all day long....so it won't be hard to know where all that stuff comes from. If it bothers you, ask for a bucket or a sack and pick it up. Sometimes the previous guests leave the rooms a little messy or the dishes a little dirty, so spend some time making the place homey and you won't regret it. We usually spend the first day tinkering around making our cabin our own, adding little touches, improvements, island decor, washing all of the dishes, getting it up to our liking.

The diving is fantastic and Becky is a wonderful teacher. There is no one who is more trained and skilled at understanding the waters surrounding the island. She grew up there! We never feel as safe as when we are with her. She can and has handled any emergency situation that may arise with calm and intelligence. We feel 100% confident with her as a dive master.

The fishing is paradise and Warren is truly the master of the reef. Fishing is like a religion to him, a spiritual experience. He has grown up fishing, from the time he was a little boy, each day yearning to get on the water and see what is out there. Guests can arrange fishing trips with him and then watch him masterfully filet the fresh catch on the dock in the dark when he gets back to the island. We have always been amazed by his skill and devotion to his craft. He is an excellent captain, has an infectious laugh and

Marsha-Jo has lived on the reef for the better part of the last 35-40 years. She knows the weather, the island, the water, everything so intimately and she really loves it. it is part of her soul. It's great to see her get in the water around sunset and swim out into the channel surrounded by her german shepards.

Little Maddie is a beautiful girl, a sweetheart who will amaze you with her swimming prowess, her endless energy and special spirit for a child who has literally grown up on the island of the blue lagoon. If you have children, be sure to introduce them to her right away. She will teach them the lay of the land, what is safe and not safe, where to swim, how to make palm frond decor and jewelry, how to pick and open up a coconut, how to play cards like a shark, and just about anything else you may want to know. Her wonderful teacher, Allison, lives on the island and they have a little school set up, so if you can bring them a book or some school supplies, they will be put to good use!

Remember that you are a guest on a very small island that is home to a family. Every family has their own way of doing things, their own communication and style. Get what you need from the kitchen (bread, water, miscellaneous items) and create your own experience on the island. Cook in your cabin, kayak out to the other island (early in the day!), explore and swim all around the island, snorkel out into the channel to see the best patches, spend some time getting to know the other people on the island and have a moonlight dance party on your deck! Some of our closest friendships have been made on Glover's with fellow travelers with whom we shared that time and then continued the relationships off-island, too!

A few things to note:
-We always stay in an overwater bungalow...nothing else compares!
-We try to stay for two weeks (it's a whole new experience in week 2)
-We always bring our own sponge, dish towel, Dr. Bronner's soap (good for you & good for dishes), a few wooden cooking utensils, sushi rollers and chopsticks (buy fish from Warren, bring your own rice, soy sauce, ginger and wasabi from home), a good knife and other kitchen items we can't live without (we are in the restaurant business and we eat well on the island, so you can imagine!)
-We bring all of our dry goods (don't forget good olive oil) in a cooler (it's called an ice box in Belize, fyi) with us from the U.S. (make sure it is a small one with no wheels, especially if you plan to fly on Maya Island Air or Tropic Air)
-We buy produce and last minute supplies in Hopkins from the Dong Lee market
-We buy beer at the Belikin distributor in Dangriga
-We get ice from the Sittee River Marina (no matter what we do, it only lasts 4-5 days) or buy it from Becky if the boat goes in mid-week
-We sleep in knee socks and hooded sweatshirts (keeps the sandfly bites to a minimum in the night)
-We bring some kind of chocolate with us...if you don't, you'll want it we promise!
-We bring a positive attitude, we are very, very patient and resilient, and we are friendly!

We can't share any more of our secrets because we have developed them over the last ten years of visiting and that is part of the experience. All we can say is that we have had some of the best times of our lives, made some of the best friendships, and enjoyed some of the greatest happiness we've ever known on Glover's. Our last trip, over New Year's 2010-2011 was our best. What's more is that when we returned home, we discovered that we were going to be having our first child, conceived on Glover's on January 1st, 2011. Our son is due in late September and we are already planning his first trip to the island. So, it is a very special spot indeed!

Room Tip: Reserve an overwater bungalow!!
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Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
15 Thank cayt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
New York, New York
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2011

I've been there 4 years ago and loved it. Lately I've read many bad reviews on trip adviser, but still decided to come because my kids wanted to revisit the place. We had a great time.
Awful stories about garbage flying around didn't prove to be true. 4 years ago their restaurant food was average, this time the chef was very good. There are more people working on the island and they are very friendly and helpful. One advantage of the place, that you can rent a kayak ($150 for a week for double one) and go anywhere you want - to snorkel or visit other islands. Great shore snorkeling too. Even when it is stormy outside it is quiet inside the atoll and the water is very clear.
Shared smelly bathroom and limited showers are definitely disadvantage. Other than that the place is incredible.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank trvlrfrmny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
victoria, bc
Level Contributor
41 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2011

I began planning my 50th birthday trip several mos in advance. We had saved for yrs so we could bring along out 2 young adult kids. I was very leery of GAR due to the vast discrepancy between reviews but could not afford much else in that area. We have sailed to Tahiti, Hawaii and Mexico and are used to doing without and roughing it. I was drawn to Glover's because of it's beauty but also liked the idea of supporting a Belizean family business. Things went well in terms of organizing the details and we would be there for Christmas. I was also taking a chance because our flights didn't work with their regular weekly run but Marsha-Jo said that for $300 each way they would be happy to arrange a mid week boat charter so we could come for 5 days. She also advised that there would likely be people to share our charter so the cost would be less. We called to confirm our arrival the eve before as instructed. The staff advised that we would be picked up at 8am. We were up with all our coolers, bags and food and waiting on the dock by 8am. When nothing had arrived by 9:30 am I called Glover's. Becky advised her son was on his way and would be there soon. Then we were told by a staff at their outpost hotel that it would be more like 10:30 am. Noon came and went. We were all getting antsy and ticked off by now. More phone calls were made and more excuses given. I asked if weather was a problem but advised that it was not the weather but that he was coming from Placencia. Becky offered us grill cheese sandwiches for our trouble on arrival and use of their kayaks/bikes. at the outpost When she offered a tour of the Cockscomb Basin I knew we were in trouble as this would take hours. 2:30 pm rolled around and Warren finally showed up blaming bad weather for his delay. I called Becky as Warren informed us we were not going anywhere due to weather. We saw many boats coming and going throughout the am up and down the river but now it seemed the wind had picked up in the afternoon which is usually the case. The boat was an open 18 ft punt not the catamaran they used for the weekly trip. Warren said he had been to a funeral in Placencia that am. Huh? While we were waiting he was attending a funeral. He didn't even leave until 10:30 or 11:00 am. We wish that they could've just told us instead of being strung along.
Now we were told that we would need to sleep at their outpost lodging for the night. The place was deserted. I had read sketchy reviews so was leery but did check out a river cabin. The first thing I noticed was the stained mattress. The second thing I noticed was the large amount of animal excrement in the shower. Like nothing I have ever seen! It looked like large rat crap and covered the entire bottom of the shower. The staff (a Guatemalan fellow with no English) pointed to the ceiling rafters when I pointed at all that crap. So something regularly sat up there and let loose. The cabins were not sealed off and having experienced a rat in our room (at a much higher end place) the night before I was done with that experience. I called Becky and advised her that we could not stay there. Keep in mind I have already paid in full ($1100.00 US) for accommodation and boat charter. Becky refused to pay or even chip in for any other accommodation anywhere else near there. I was getting really ticked off mostly around their attitude. "i own a hotel why would I pay for you to stay somewhere else." It was not our fault that they did not show up on time or keep their hotel clean. They wasted one day of our holiday by their poor organization. They were not willing to put us up elsewhere. Becky hung up on me. I tried to work things out with Marsha-Jo but to no avail. So did my husband. They were having difficulty listening, in fact she would not stop talking about how difficult everything was for them and how much money we cost them. Huh? We were called "miserable scrooges" and other insults. We were all upset. Becky sent us a taxi to collect us which was appreciated. Warren was most apologetic and seemed genuinely sorry for how things worked out. We took all our stuff to the first hotel we came to and tried to recoup. The next day they were to take us early in the am but we never heard from them til 9:30 am. Was Glover's worth this much upset, angst and negativity? What would happen when we wanted to leave off their scheduled run again. So we made a family decision to stay where we were and put it in the past as best we could. I learned a lesson or two in the meantime. I am still paying for our holiday as we incurred those extra accommodation/travel costs. We also ate the $600 boat charter. Marsha-Jo was not interested in making any kind of a settlement. I thought it fair that they pay for one night hotel and one way boat charter and we would cover the rest. No way! She didn't believe anyone would read this review either. So you be the judge. Glover's might have been a great experience but things seem to fall apart easily when they don't go as planned. If they don't you will pay for it in more ways than you can imagine. Their website has this covered pretty well.
Other folks that we ran into said that they didn't book it until they landed and that way they did not pay in advance. If you go I would recommend that you do not pay in advance. Once you pay it is most surely gone for good whether you get there or not.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
    • Service
Helpful?
43 Thank lagostina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Glovers Reef Atoll hotels

boston
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2011

if you are a traveler, and you know what i mean by traveler, or an adventurer, you will love this place. just a few comments to enlarge upon or emphasize some points in support of my ratings.
the island owners were wonderful to everyone there while we were there, and we didn't notice anything that would lead us to belive that that is anything other than their normal m.o. we were treated honestly and considerately.
staff: wonderful and helpful. they aren't there to carry your gear. you are a traveler, not a dependent. that said, you'll get what you need, and it is also why it was difficult to assign a star rating to service. it just isn't a service oriented place, it is a place for you to go to help yourself have a fantastic time.
cleanliness: this is a self contained island. if your cabin is a little less than you expected, do the self-contained thing and touch it up to your liking. there are downed palm fronds and coconuts all over the place. natural-like. some trash washes up on the beach, especially plastics. pick it up when you can. this comes from pigs on boats, not visitors or residents of the island. your kitchen utensils have seen a lot of use. wash them up again if you must (blame the prior residents of your cabin for that). there is bleach on the island to sterilize anything you might need or want to sterilize. with this in mind it is difficult to select a rating which accurately reflects the reality of this or any other isolated tropical island.
bugs: did not notice any cockroaches or anything other than what you would expect to find on a tropical island. depending on when you are there you will suffer sand fleas and gnats. if we had it to do over we would have brought mosquito netting. if you think it might be an issue bring your own of the type which enables you to tie off overhead (to your foot and head) and drape over and tuck under the bed.
bedding: didn't look under the sheets. deliberately. sheets are washed each week on the mainland. if you are a little squeamish about that, bring your own.
padi instruction: my 16 year old and i received our open water certification at a very reasonable price (cheap) in 5 days. she (my daughter) complained about the time required to study taking away from the time she needed to decompress from the stress of high school. we had assignments each night, and lots of reading, and we were tested each day on our assignment. our contained water training was in the lagoon. our open water dives, of which becky threw in one free extra after our certification, were on the reef. not really sure how she could have made us work any harder or been much more diligent with her training. if you are not dedicated to a substantial part of your island time to obtaining your certification, do a resort dive or stick to snorking (also fabulous). as the week progressed our daughter appreciated the time spent on learning the sport/hobby more and more until she was thrilled with her new potential and skill set.
food: we brought our own rice and beans, canned tomatoes, pancake mix, and some snacks. we supplemented what we brought by buying fresh caught fish from warren. running at the time was barracuda (delicious), grouper (even more delicious) and yellow fin (sashimi on the bone), which we also made a fine ceviche out of. there are basic staples available for purchase. we did take a couple of meals from becky. absolutely no complaints - they were terrific.
other 'dudes': maybe the best part. there were some young folks backpacking around central america who camped or stayed in the dorms, adults who came to relax and fish (fly fishing is big, and you are guaranteed to catch fish with warren), men and women who stayed in beach cabins or over water. i recommend over water if you can swing it.
if all goes well you will be with like-minded people and your good-byes will be sad ones.
bottom line, the traveling world is a lot better off for places such as this. and being in belize, on glover's reef, it's icing on the cake. although a small island, it appears to be deserted during the day when everyone scatters to do their own thing. it is nothing less than a stupendous opportunity for a very special island getaway.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank xrcjdx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fredericksburg, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 February 2011

Marsh-Jo sent me one email in response to endless emails I sent her, she wanted to let me know that things were going slow because of tropical storms. I patiently waited, and faithfully emailed hoping for them to honor their promise. They have not, but when I called they suggested I go to my bank and have them fix the problem. It turns out that if you are patient and wait over 120 days, the bank can't help you. I was told to go to the police, and stay on top of this hoping to appeal to their sense of "doing the right thing". I'm not sure the Lomont family knows about fairness. I played by their rules, and I assumed they would do the same. I don't think these people are not trustworthy.

Stayed January 2011
Helpful?
18 Thank sallyann57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Webster City
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 January 2011

We plan to go back soon. We read the reviews and laugh! You have to like camping and being self reliant to fully enjoy Glovers. If you want a resort atmosphere with service, don't go! Here's our advice for how to have a great stay: Stay in Hopkins and then take a cab to Sittee Sunday morning. Have Shirley cook you a great breakfast before the boat ride. Have a rain coat handy for the 1 1/2 hour boat ride. Put your bags in trash bags.
When you get there and help unload the boat, take Marsha's short tour. Then rent a kayak, pile on your bags and ferry your bags to your hut. Same with the water. Bring a solar shower. You can fill it at the one spigot of brackish fresh water and hang it in the sun for hot showers. Take meals at the lodge, or really plan ahead if you want to cook in the huts. Do scuba dive...some of the best in the world. Snorkel on the hundreds of shallow patch reefs right off the island. Bring a light weight spinning rod with 8# test and catch and release fish. Bonefish, grunts, porgies etc. by the hundreds. Bring headlamps and lots of books. It gets dark at 6:30 PM. Bring Deet insect repellent and spray before walking on the island. If you get welts from mosquito bites, then get a prescription of Prednisone and start it before coming out...or you will be miserable. Do buy Becky's fresh bread. Do take a fishing trip with Warren. He is an expert guide. Walk the barrier reef. Husk a coconut. Read under the swaying palms. Get the picture?

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank FishmanWebsterCity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guatemala
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 January 2011

I traveled with my two kids ages 10 and 12 and my girlfriend to Glover's on the last week of 2010 and was completely unprepared for what was to come. We had read some horrible reviews on the internet about Glover's Atoll Resort (GAR) about dirty sheets, polluted or foul smelling drinking water, no toilet paper, swarms of cockroaches, horrible food, etc. So we prepared for all that and brought our own bedsheets, drinking water, toilet paper and all the supplies that we would need only to find out that they were not necessary at all. The cabins, although rustic, were clean and comfortable. The toilets were much, much better than what we expected -they are composting toilets and yes there is an intense ammonia smell, but not the filthy thing that some reviews describe. Glovers had bottled drinking water for sale in 5 gallon containers.
Sand flies and mosquitoes can be a problem (we were told that because of the relatively cold weather and wind there was a reduced ammount of these bloodsuckers) but nothing that can't be fended off with bug repellant. The staff was so very nice to us. It's true that you have to carry your luggage and help unload the boat upon arriving and that you have to clean your cabin and take out your trash, but in general the staff was helpful. The owners, at least to us, were so very nice. Becky was great with my children. She taught them the discover scuba course and, since the water was a bit cold the first day and they could not enjoy their training dives she offered to take them out on the last day for a dive around the shallow reef free of charge. She was also very patient with me (I tend to ask a lot of questions and sometimes have to triple check if I understood the directions or instructions). She taught me how to dive. Ian, the Divemaster was also wonderful with his laidback style that always managed to calm you down and make you remember that you are on vacation. The bills were calculated on the last day, based on Becky trusting you to tell her how many meals and kayak trips and other stuff you had ordered ot used.
Things like being woken up in the morning by fish splash under your over-the-water cabin in the morning or watching the sunrise, sunset and moonrise form your cabin or being able to snorkle right from your "front yard" are priceless. Ah, by the way, fishing is amazing. I had never fished and caught three barracudas on my first trip and two snappers right from my cabin. Had to throw them back into the water because the place is a protected natural reserve and it's all catch and release.
The other guests were also very very nice. I guess it comes with the package of hanging out with adventurous and laid back people but things like a neighbor showing up at your cabin with freshly caught fish (caught outside the bounduaries of the reserve) of other guests volunteering to take your kids snorkeling is not something you usually find. For that I was very grateful.
So, all in all, I would recommend this adventure trip to all my friends.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jcllorca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Glover's Atoll Resort

Property: Glover's Atoll Resort
Address: North East Caye, Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize
Region: Belize > Belize Cayes > Glovers Reef Atoll
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Glovers Reef Atoll
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a Lodge, a Private island lodge located on Glover's Reef.We also have over the water cabins, thatch beach cabins, dorms and camping. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Glover`s Atoll Hotel Glovers Reef Atoll
Glovers Atoll Hotel
Glovers Atoll Belize City

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