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“Come as Strangers, Leave as Friends”

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Off The Wall Dive Center & Resort
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Guatemala
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Come as Strangers, Leave as Friends”
Reviewed 11 January 2012

I've stayed at OTW twice already and plan many more trips. I can't recommend it highly enough. Jim, Kendra and the staff are all just the loveliest people, the place is a rustic dream and the scuba diving and snorkeling are the some of the best I've ever seen-- OTW is right smack in the middle of a World Heritage site, with the main attractions just a wade away! I gotta tell ya, I felt a little sorry for the boats I'd see from resorts on the mainland-- it's such a long haul to go do something that I could just indulge in whenever I felt like it : )

My son got certified by instructor Doreth, who is just the greatest guy-- and I can't recommend my divemaster, Matthew, enough. We saw turtles, barracuda, octopi, squid, eagle rays, and a million other awesome things. Jaw-dropping, sublime beauty at every turn. It's like "Finding Nemo," but for real!

And they keep the place so nicely. And everyone is so gracious. And what a cook! She's amazing!

And last, but very important-- Belize has a sand flea problem. OTW has NO SAND FLEA PROBLEM!!! I've stayed at fancy resorts in Belize and I've just gotten chewed up by sand fleas. Not here-- which makes it worth every last penny. Seriously. Sand fleas are the worst.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank katharinesapper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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205 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (62)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2011

From the moment the boat pulled up to Off The Wall's private dock I knew I was going to love this place. The entire staff (of 7) were there to greet us and grab our gear. Jim and Kendra - our hosts for the week, were accommodating, kind and fun. It didn't feel like they were the owners and we were customers, rather I felt priviledged to be their guest for the week. It's tiny and quiet, rustic and charming. There were only 6 of us guests (take up to 10), so we were out-numbered by staff who joined us for meals and shared stories with us.
If people are wanting all the amenities of a Sandals-type all inclusive, this is NOT the place. But if people want to literally escape to the ocean for diving, snorkling and relaxing in the Belizian sun, then they will enjoy Off the Wall immensely. It's an island paradise with solar powered reading lamps in the cabins, and a shared washroom just a short walk down a sandy pathway away. You shower under the stars, and fall asleep hearing the waves on the rocks on your own private waterfront. The diving was wonderful and the staff were amazing. They accommodated our food allergies graciously and patiently, sometimes having to cook separate meals for us when seafood was on the dinner menu.
It's a bit of a challenge to get to. I wouldn't recommend staying in Dangriga the night before which we did. I understand there's a resort you can stay in near the airport which will shuttle you back to the domestic airport in time for the connecting flight to the coast to meet the boat that takes you to the atoll.
I loved every second I was there and was very sad to leave it behind. (It's just great to know Off The Wall is there for us to return to someday!!)

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank vlawless
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2011

Each year, I return to Jim and Kendra's at Off The Wall to renew a sense of tranquility and to connect with nature. And, every year when I return, the staff all welcome me like family, and the island is more lush with new personal touches that befit a Caribbean retreat. I really appreciate their new covered boat, so comfortable, smooth and dry. I just heard they added another paddle board, so this year, a new adventure awaits.

I appreciate Kendra and Jim as hands on owners and their well chosen staff who are so welcoming and full of humor. Eileen, one of their cooks, has catered to my sensitive stomach, by providing extra veggies and tropical fruits. And I love her grilled shrimp, and the deep water snapper they get from the Hopkins' fishermen. She sings when she is cooking, and loves it when I offer to join her in the kitchen. It is another of my favorite places to hang out.

The privacy of each of the cabanas is a big plus here, making them into a personal retreat. I have stayed in them all, but The White Cabana is my favorite. The duplex as well as the thatched cabana have huge verandas. Hammocks are strung on each of the porches with the ocean only a few feet away. With swing beds, thatched umbrellas and hammocks strung among the palm trees around the resort, I can move around between sun and shade, relax, catch the breeze, read my book, take a nap and watch time pass.

Every time I get in the water here, be it diving or snorkeling, I am amazed at the abundant sea life, gorgeous colors and warm, clear water. I felt safe and professionally attended to when I took my PADI dive course from Beverly and Jim. I love snorkeling off the dock, and paddling over to the sandbar on a kayak. Watching the staff and guests sport fish off the dock is extremely entertaining too.

On my first trip to Off The Wall, I wondered if I would be OK not using internet, TV or my phone, (WI-FI is available if you need it), but I actually never missed them. It is my year long desire to go back to OTW and drop down to time without the "buzz" and were humor and personal connection come so easily when not plugged into my digital devices.

When I am at Off The Wall, I am in a paradise, a week there is richly simple and complete. It is worth a month of restoration and realness. In my book, it rates over a 5.

Room Tip: The White Cabana is my favorite, and they are all charming
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  • Stayed February 2011, travelled solo
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Helpful?
5 Thank Els07
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Asheville NC
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2011

My family stayed for a week at Off the Wall. They have created a magnificent, family like environment on a gorgeous coral atoll 50 miles from the mainland. The diving was the best in the world. 8 foot wide Loggerhead turtle and 8 foot wide Eagle Ray 6 inches from our nose! The food was fantastic. The divemaster was very safety conscious and knowledgeable. Overall it was an incredible experience that far surpassed our wildest hopes. Make your reservation today. You won't be sorry.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank pohlzaret
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Holland, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2011

First, let me say that Kendra and Jim have a lovely island location and have done a splendid job of outfitting it for shady spots, relaxation, socialization (we met some great folks), and the water sports are great. Dinner conversations were a highlight. Kendra is very artisitic and has creaeted lovely mosaics in the generous outdoor showers and a community table, and Jim has done a fine job creating sources for energy and great outdoor furniture, although if takes a beating in the salt air. They have created a lovely retreat from virtually nothing, but there were a few disappointments that make it less than 5 star, depite its charms..

First, the positive. The dive and snorkeling spots are outstanding, depending on wind and weather. We did not see whale sharks, but that's just luck sometimes. The reefs were spectacular, many sponges and pristine coral formations..Dive the "Aquarium" if you can, it is protected and has HUGE black groupers as well as other large fish that would normally end up as food. We discovered that the turtle grass area in front has little coral mounds with juvenile fish ( see picture) and there are lobsters under the dock in knee deep water. Lots to see and enjoy. We loved the hermit crabs, blue crabs, and other crabs all over the island, as well as lovely iguanas and some birds. If you bring snacks, bring an AIRTIGHT container and consider keeping it on the porch.....just a warning to keep critters outside.

Before I comment on anything we found lacking, let me add that we are very active and fit people who love camping and the outdoors. Not looking for luxury of any kind, just a lovely natural setting and some good water adventures, eating, and relaxation. We selected this resort based on the reviews as well as the impressions we got from the the website.

Our first disappointment was that as companion couples we were put into a "duplex", which is a large cabin split in two by a wall. it was obvious right away that this reduced the cross ventilation, dramatically so in the side away from the wind; it was stifling day and night. The unit was so full of bugs and the heat so oppressive that our fellow travellers slept outside - luckily there are generous swinging beds out in the wind, better than those indoors, as long as the rain holds off. All the other units are on higher ground and have ventilation on all 4 sides. Bring strong repellent and cortizone creams in any case for tiny biters.

Second, we were looking forward to the baked fish dinners, lobster bake, and conch chowder described in the website. We love fresh seafood and were eagerly expecting fresh fish, given the abundance in the area. In actuality, we never got any of those meals, nor anything I think you could reasonably consider "goumet". Mostly chicken, meats, lots of fried foods, including the fresh snapper, which was deep fried with flavored breading. Such a disappointment in the middle of such an area. Why not baked, moist fish?? The cook is eager to please and will try to accommodate any special needs, but in general the food selection is limited although tasty, so beware for picky eaters. There are fresh oranges and grapefruit which you can juice for your breakfast as well as fresh papaya & pineapple daily. If you really like cereal, bring your favorite - they provide yogurt.

I would characterize this resort as a great getaway, lovely and relaxing, but not as described in terms of food and cabin comfort, at least in the duplex. As campers, we have never been so hot and bedevilled by bugs in a tent as we were in the duplex. My ratings reflect comparisons to other "rustic" locations, not fancy resorts, and take into consideration all of the wonderful things to be found here. My pictures include some shots we found interesting which you may not see elsewhere, but which we thought potential visitors might also like.

Room Tip: avoid the leeward side of the duplex!
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  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
14 Thank Diane S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2011

Basically after reading all the positive reviews we were really excited about the place, but we didn't think it would quite live up to those reviews. Now after being there it's the other way around, the reviews don't quite match how amazing the place really is. Not much else to say, read the reviews and believe them!

Tips (use the info that Kendra sends you, but here are some that we either didn't heed, or found extra useful):
Stay in Hopkins overnight before catching the boat instead of Dangriga. We had a great stay at the Bluefield Lodge, but the town itself didn't seem to cater to tourists.
Solar chargers for things like cameras etc come in handy
Extra towels & sheets if you have room in your luggage (didn't heed and could've used)
Book lights were handy
Skin suit, surf suits, rash guards - great sun protection while snorkeling
We didn't have them, but some other guests brought their Kindles & Nooks

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank zilabeth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level 6 Contributor
120 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 June 2011

Everything you have seen about Kendra and Jim the owners of Off the Wall is true. Kendra helped me with arrangements long before getting to Belize. Kendra helped me with reservations with Maya air. The staff they have are all fantastic people. Doreth the dive instructor is a saint and is such a nice man. (He saved my life at least twice). He is great to go snorkeling with he knows so much about the reef and the fish. I want to thank Junior for taking us everywhere to go snorkeling and diving. Therese, thanks to you too. You are an amazing cook. Some places are all about the things. Off the Wall is about the people. They don't have WIFI, they don't need it. They don't have a pool, the lagoon is amazing. They don't have a restaurant. What they do have is family style sit down at large table with everyone. You can talk about your adventures or listen to others adventures.
I loved every minute and want to go back.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank NMHiker1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Off The Wall Dive Center & Resort

Property: Off The Wall Dive Center & Resort
Address: Long Caye, Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Belize Cayes > Glovers Reef Atoll
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Glovers Reef Atoll
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Off The Wall Dive Center is situated on a private island in the turquoise waters of Glover's Atoll. We are a small Eco-friendly, PADI 5 star Dive Center and Resort and offer Scuba Courses, Whale Shark trips and the best diving, snorkeling and fly-fishing in Belize, as well as kayaking and stand up paddling. Or, just come to relax and enjoy our white, sandy beaches and idealistic setting for getting away from it all. Our packages include Saturday boat transportation to and from our island, 7 nights accommodations in charming, ocean front cabanas, and all your meals. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Off The Wall Dive Hotel Glovers Reef Atoll
Off The Wall Dive Center And Resort

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