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!
- 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