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“Rustic retreat far from shore”

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Glover's Atoll Resort
Reviewed 13 January 2014

My buddy and I have been planning a trip to Glovers for a long time. We read all the reviews and made notes. Now that we are back in the US I want to emphasize a few mistakes we made.
First, we thought we could spin or fly fish from the kayaks. However, it was not very practical. In fact it was tough for us oldsters just to paddle against the wind and current. We did not find many close by places to get in and out of kayak for fishing. We rented weekly kayaks on the mainland. Better to rent out on the atoll. Check out the kayaks before renting. See if you can control and paddle.

Another issue we did not consider was weather. Two out of our five days had what is called a screaming norther, with gale force northwest winds and rough seas. We were basically shut down for the entire two days...and it was very chilly with the wind whistling through the huts. They protect against the sun, but not the wind and somewhat poorly against the rain.
Raingear and extra fleece shirts and pants are much appreciated here. If you book during the gale season in winter, be prepared to wait a couple of days to return to the mainland. Perhaps allow three days at the end of your journey before your flight out.

It would be better to book two weeks instead of one since the effort and expense to get to the Sittee River and then out the atoll is considerable. If you book for one week, you only get 5 full days of beach time. Two weeks would get you 12 days! Some stayed for 4 weeks since the fourth week is free, but that seemed like a long time to rough it.

We ate in the restaurant three times and cooked ourselves the rest of the time. A highlight was the $22 lobster dinner with pretty much all you could eat. Other meals were good, but not worthy of note. French bread twice a week was good when hot, but deteriorated fast. The banana bread was very good. It is difficult to get fruits and veggies before you leave so be sure you plan enough time. No ice was available when we left, so those that bought beer were out of luck. As others have noted there is no refrigeration or electricity available, by wi-fi worked most of the time.

Lots of coconuts on the atoll so rum and coconut was very popular. Wine is pretty expensive--you can buy rum much cheaper. Crystal water in 5 gallon jugs was for sale at $12.50. For a couple two should last a week.

We went fishing with Warren three times with good success. Cost is $125 per 3 hours plus gas. Warren is the only one that goes out so book early. We missed a day of fishing because the boat was sent to the mainland for bottled gas. When we were there only one outboard was working so diving, logistics and fishing had to share. The catamaran ride was good, but the weather was calm both ways. It does not leave if the seas are too rough. Took about 4 hours on the way out and 2 1/2 hours back.

Things for cooking: bring olive oil, garlic, rice, instant mashed potatoes, oatmeal, coffee, canned beans and milk, bread, granola bars, aluminum foil, paper towels, paper plates, coffee mug, cereal bowls. An inexpensive frying pan is good--most are pretty beat up. A machette can help open green coconuts, favored for rum drinks.

We did not go snorkeling, but one can go near the island with limited results or go with the dive boat to outside the atoll ($10).

US dollars are standard here. Euros will cost you quite a bit on exchange. Credit cards about 5% added. Cash is preferred. No problems with thieves on the atoll while we were there.

We took a pre-arranged taxi from the Belize city airport to Sittee river ($175 US each way for two of us.) Took about 4 hours and was interesting in the daylight.

Room Tip: The rooms on the back side of the island (East) are better in a northwest blow, but farther from the...
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank tekaboat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 December 2013

If you go to Glovers with a camping mentality you'll have a great time. We stayed a week in an over the water cabana. The over the water cabana is definitely worth the extra cost. Be prepared for a lot of wind. I lost one shoe and one hat from inside our cabana. We cooked most of our own food, but the meals we bought from them were excellent. Big proportions and tasty cooking. We need a lot of scuba diving half from their boats and half from kayaks. The kayak diving was supper easy, you can paddle to the wall within 15-20min. The wind and seas do need to be calm in order to take the kayak out of the atoll. The glow worms were a real treat. Supposedly they only come out during certain times of the month, but we saw them every night! One gripe I have; I really wanted to do a night dive and I made this known from the first day we were on the island. Once the seas were calm enough to do a night dive, there wasn't a captain available for the boat (due to some internal drama). I went on a night snorkel instead, which was magical. So many squid and octopuses just yards from shore. Also, buy the banana bread it's so worth it.

Room Tip: Seriously do the over the water cabana.
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Chris F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2013

There is not many places on Earth like this one! We were really lucky with the weather and the great company (only 6 guests). Its an exotic paradise, perfect for camping style lovers, who know how to enjoy being in the nature and do know that this is NOT a hotel, so you are not expecting a cleaning lady and a breakfast in bed. Preparing our own meals (food was bought in Hopkins) was really fun, especially when we all gathered in the community kitchen and had a sea food dinner. A freshly baked french loaf and banana bread can be bought on the island twice a week- very delicious!!!
Diving was amazing! Dive instructor Brian is excellent! Compliments to all the staff!!
We'll be back!

Room Tip: cabanas over the water are really spacious and very charming, each has a stove and utensils. Our (15...
  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Katarina M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2013

We stayed her with out 4 year old. Becky was a gracious host and her banana bread is well worth the price. It is silly to complain if you did not prepare your trip well. We came prepared and we had a wonderful stay. Some contributors complain about noise, wind, food and everything else. It is a rustic place, and it is it's charm. Not too many mentioned that the owners are not hassling you to buy anything. A rarity these days. The food was delicious, and yes - it is more expensive comparing to the mainland. It must be. The staff was always very helpful. We love the place and will be back soon.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with family
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7  Thank ralf s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2013

We went to Glover's Atoll with much excitement after reading all the reviews on tripadvisor. It was a great week. Sleeping in the over-the-water cabana was interesting, the first night we had to getup in the middle of the night to wrestle the doors closed but sometimes it was so still it's hot and the mosquito get you. We bought our own food and cooked for the week, as others have mentioned the kitchen stuff is not in the best condition and you might have to raid other cabanas/dorms for missing things.

It was a relaxing week, the cabanas have really good hammocks setup inside for lounging and one thing which is hardly mentioned in other people's reviews is that it's really nice hanging out with the other guests on the island. Because it is a very DIY/camping type of place you end up with a group of like-minded travellers and we had a blast. Here's my experience in further detail: http://anythingsquirrelsquirrel.com/2013/09/04/the-island/

We all agreed that it was a great week but everyone also felt the owners (Becky and co) were nasty and it gives the place a bad feel. (The workers however are all very nice and happy to help). So in summary we had a really good time and I am glad we did it but we wouldn't go back, the place has so much potential but they just don't really try.

Here's a few tips if you are thinking of going:

- pack a headlamp, it is very difficult to cook with a torch, you pretty much need 3 hands to achieve anything
- even if you are staying in a over the water cabana there are bugs (when it gets still and all over the island). They are sandflies and itch like crazy the best thing is to smoother yourself with baby oil as bug spray won't work.
- if you order fish from the kitchen check that they will have it early in the afternoon. One night I was planning a whole meal around the fish but the kitchen didn't have any.
- take cash (US or belize) to pay for extras on the stay, they charge either 5 or 10% if you use card. You have to at least buy water.
- there is wifi available for a fee. It is slow but considering there is no power it is good!
- don't stay at Sittee river, we stayed at Tipple Tree in Hopkins and caught a taxi over at 8am. (We were told by Marsha we should come at 7am which is FAR too early so ignore that)
- all the cabanas have been re-numbered recently so the tips provided in Trip advisor may not match up. However there's really no point reserving a specific one - they pretty much assign cabanas randomly once you get to the island. It's easier just to accept what you get rather than argue
- Take a little bottle of tea tree oil to dab on your hand to sniff for the bathrooms. It masks the smells very well
- Take a big packet of baby wipes, total life saver
- The sheets feel permanently damp, if you take baby powder and rub it on yourself then it will feel dry.
- Get the banana bread or the french breach. By Tuesday bread will never have tasted so good!
- If you are heading to Belize city afterwards it might be worth seeing if other guests are interested in splitting a cab. It's 300 or 350 Belize to Belize city in a Sedan for 4 or I think 450 in a 6 seater people mover. It's a lot more expensive than the bus but it's fast and hassle free.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank f44444444f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2013

First and foremost, you get out of Glover's what you put in. If you go expecting to be self sufficient then you will have a blast. Read all the reviews, take what you need from them, and go from there.

As mentioned in the previous review, in the low season it is easy to negotiate. Actually, don't even negotiate, just send them an email query and they will most likely keep on coming back to you as they want the business.

Firstly, avoid staying at Sittee River at all costs. It is filthy, and bug infested. We chose to stay in Placencia and get a cab in the morning, which was about 70 US.

When you buy your groceries, keep in mind that your ice will last until Wednesday. We bought a lot if tuna and eggs so that we could eat them with the delicious fresh bread that is offered twice in the week. The banana bread was the best that we had in Central America. If you buy your own food and are organised, then it is easy to do on a budget.

After reading all the reviews we were quite excited to meet Becky as she sounded like a fire cracker: we thought that our entertainment was set for the week. However, at the end we were tempted to ask for a refund as she was on her best behaviour (possibly as her mother and daughter were there).

The boat was also on time, the staff were lovely, and we were able to choose each day whether we wanted to be social or keep to ourselves.

We LOVED it. It was amazing, and I would definitely return without flinching. Go prepared, with a sense of humour, and it will be the experience of a life time.

Room Tip: As stated, get an over the water cabin. In low season these are quite easy to negotiate.
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Eurotash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2013

Important things to note 1st before getting over to the island if you're travelling on a budget:

- Stay at Hopkins to get your week's worth of food before you go. Sittee River has absolutely no easy way of getting food, there is no shop close by and there are no bikes to hire as advertised to try and do a longer trip. Try to get boxes to pack your food as if the boat is busy your food might well get squashed. A taxi will cost you $15 US / $30 BZ just to get from sittee river to hopkins, so a round trip will cost $30 US which is well overpriced.

- take the price advertised (i.e. £299 per person for a cabin on the water), then add 12.5%, then add 5% if paying by card - that is what will be charged when you get over there. Sales tax also gets added onto any of the advertised prices of food and activities on the boards on the island when your tab is added up at the end of the week.

- Prices are per person, which didn't make too much sense to us. If you're a couple paying for a hut on the water, you could each get your own one for the same price and they would have one less hut to make a sale on...either way we had to pay per person which after taxes worked out to be around $730. Straight after we were charged this, a group of 4 guys asked to stay in a dorm (which were available) and they were given another cabin on the water the same as ours but for the dorm price per person. So the 2 of us were paying more than 4 guys were paying in total. Really unprofessional to do business like that in front of our faces and it put a bit of a downer on the start of our 5 and a half days there which is a shame...and we're meant to be travelling on a budget so were very disappointed we didn't get the same treatment as the guys.

BUT! The island is beautiful. Don't go there thinking it's 5-star treatment. Our bed sheets were definitely not clean when we got there. If you have a good attitude to do things yourself (cleaning / cooking and cracking coconuts) then this is an awesome place to be. The seas are a perfect clear blue, snorkelling is really good and the fish that can be bought is fresh and tasty. The cabins are not fully wind-proof, so expect a good breeze when the stormy weather picks up in the night. Our Cabin turned out not to be very water proof either and the bed got pretty wet a couple of the nights. Also make sure you can build up a fairly good windproof barrier around your stove otherwise it's pretty difficult to cook in the cabin.

Expect to smell plenty of poo in the eco-toilets and also rotten eggs for the shower water which they put sulphur into.

As we were backpacking, the prices of hiring kayaks and gear was really expensive and on a per person basis again even for a double kayak. If you've got the money though you have some really good equipment available to do kayaking and diving.

You can order some banana bread on Monday's and Wednesday's that are ready the next day...get some! Although it's $8 US plus tax at the end of the week, it's moist and tastes pretty amazing. Was our only treat whilst we were out there!

The boat from and to sittee river at the start and end of the 5 and a half days was on time. I read lots before that it can be delayed by a lot of time so was expecting the worst, got pleasantly surprised. Also, we met lots of really nice people who were also staying there for the week so it was an enjoyable and relaxing week.

Room Tip: Say you want a dorm or camping in low season and they'll probably just give you a cabin on the w...
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Adam P
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

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: £44 - £59 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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