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“You won't regret it.”

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Turneffe Island Resort
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Certificate of Excellence
Macomb, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“You won't regret it.”
Reviewed 17 April 2012

This was our second trip back to Turneffe Resort with our last time being in 2009. I have been back to places before and have been disappointed; this was not the case at this great resort. It was nice to see that almost all of the staff that was there last time was still there and just as pleasant as always.

The location of the resort is about a 1 1/2 hour boat ride out to bottom of the Turneffe Islands from the marina at Belize City. The boat is very comfortable and the ride actually flies by. This makes the resort very private and exclusive which is perfect if you want to get away and unplug yourself from the daily grind. If haven't stayed at any of the other resorts out there because the value seems to be perfect at Turneffe Resort and my wife loves the accommodations.

Food. The food is the best that I've ever had at an all inclusive resort not that this is anything like that because I think that they can only accommodate 40 people when they are at full capacity. The food is served family on about 5 tables so that everyone can sit and talk to other guests that you will meet throughout the week. It's always been such a great group of people that it's really comfortable and nice to have some great conversations. The food is always fresh and delicious and it's nice to have desert for lunch and dinner. There is always plenty of food as well and they will offer more if the plate is empty. There is different foods every night, anywhere from lasagna, red snapper, and a couple of side dishes and fresh vegetables. Friday night is the BBQ and it is truly a feast with all kinds of different food to choose from. There are delicious hors d'oeuvres served around the bar prior to dinner where everyone gathers to have a drink or two and talk with each other.

Rooms. There are regular rooms, superior and private cabanas. The rooms are pretty much all laid out the same way. So the only difference if the view from the superior being up top or the privacy of the cabanas. They all have outside showers which is a really great feature. It's nice to wake up with coffee, tea or hot cocoa on your porch. They seem to sneak in and deliver it without you hearing them.

Diving. The diving is great and it's nice to make the trip out to the Blue Hole. The staff really does a great job setting up lunch out on the Caye and I think the two dives after the Blue hole are some of the best. The diving around the resort is quick and easy to get to. They have two boats that they use and is valet diving so once you set up your equipment the first day you won't have to worry about anything but your fins and mask the rest of the week. Daniel was our dive master and George was our captain I believe. Daniel is great at pointing out all kinds of little critters and really makes the dives enjoyable. When you get done with the dive the have citrus on the boat for you to enjoy and then head back to the resort for the surface interval for water and cookies. The boats are not the huge one most places use but smaller ones that are quicker and you have to back roll off of the boat which is pretty easy after you do it once. Daniel would take suggestions from the divers on where they wanted to go and would even revisit a site if people really wanted to. The vis was a little green when we were there but March is a windy month and with the north winds they had greened up the water a bit but it was still great diving. My wife actually got hit by one of the three spotted eagles rays that were playing around. It was something that she will never forget.

Fishing. I think that they have about 6 or 8 guides at the resort and many have them have been there for years. I fished with Clifton "KP" Wade and he is one of the most patient and understanding guides around. He is willing to work hard to put you on the fish and let you know what you need to do to catch the fish. I'm used to fishing on small rivers so when you are out on the flats with a 15mph wind trying to cast 30-40 yards was a little tricky at first. I was there three years ago and had a tough time catching fish but I did great this time and didn't have a zero any day we fished. I really wanted to catch a permit and wasn't able to do it last time and this week King Permit had me on them every day but I either couldn't get the right cast or they didn't want to take the conch. Yes I did catch my first permit on bait because all I really wanted to do was catch one. Well after many tries I finally caught my first permit on Thursday. I was as happy as a kid in a candy store. So after trying all morning we headed back for a late lunch and then went back out in the afternoon and I was able to catch one on the fly and then another on the next day. I was great to get the monkey off my back and catch one. I also felt that KP had a lot to do with that. Not that any of the other guides aren't great but I caught 3 and there was only one other guy out of 6 that caught on. I was able to catch bonefish, and we even caught three barracudas on the flats on afternoon when the sun and wind weren't cooperating. This place has it all and compared to other regions of the Caribbean I don't think you can find a place with better accommodations and fishing for this price. They don't have a huge selection of flies or lures so it's best to bring your own. I would definitely suggest some 30lb. shock tippet for the permit. Also maybe try to bring wiggle jigs in brown and make sure to have weed guards on your flies.

The resort. This resort is great and although there isn't diving 3 times a day my wife said she preferred that so that she had time to relax. The 14 acre island is big enough that you aren't on top of other guests if you don't want to be and there are lounge chairs spread out along the entire beach. The beach and island are composed of crushed coral and sea shells so it's really not that great for toddlers that have a hard time walking and I'm not even sure if they impose the children no rule anymore. I guess talk to Danielle and she'll answer any questions you have. It's so nice to be able to leave your room and never lock the door, there is no need because it is so secluded and safe that there's nothing to worry about. I could go on and on but I think that this will give you a good idea of the resort. You won't be disappointed I can assure you of this. I just wish I could stay longer.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Troutbum75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (139)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
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  • Any
English first
Victoria, BC
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 April 2012

My husband, Bob, and I stayed at Turneffe Island Resort from January 18 to February 2 — and LOVED it!

Like other reviewers, I ‘could’ praise the idyllic, tropical island setting (which truly was marvelous!) — or I ‘could’ talk about how much we enjoyed our private cabana on the beach (amazing!) — or I ‘could’ rave about the excellent food (definitely 5-star, every meal a delight!) — but these wonderful attributes alone aren’t what ‘made’ our trip.

What 'made' our trip was the TIR staff!

The owners of this resort are lucky to have such hardworking, warm, fun-loving people working for them. I wish I could name EACH staff member and give EACH of them the recognition they deserve, but, in doing so, I fear I might miss someone — and the truth is, ALL the staff at TIR are first-rate!

(Okay, okay… it’s true that ‘Carlos’, the snorkel guide held a special place in our hearts because he took such good care of us and was the best snorkeling guide we’ve ever had — and, yes, it’s true we favored ‘Bertha’, our primary housekeeper, because she saw to it that we had everything we needed, ‘whenever’ we needed it’ — and we were also very grateful to ‘Mary’ and ‘Tiffany’ and ‘Delvedeen’ and ALL the other women at TIR who worked such long hours, but still had a smile on their faces for us, including the diligent Laundress and TIR’s fabulous Chef (who told me her name a zillion times, but I bet she’ll laugh at me for forgetting it again) — and we loved the delicious fruit drinks that bartenders ‘Sheryl’ and ‘George’ made especially for us — and we thoroughly enjoyed meeting ‘Juan-the Gardener’, who kept the grounds immaculate, and ‘Daniel’ and ‘Neftali’ and ‘Eddie-G’ and ‘Office Eddie’ and his co-worker (oh, dear, I can’t think of his name either, but I’m sure that’s because he was always working so hard at his desk!) — plus we had a LOT of fun with ‘Fabian’ and his buddies as well! (Thank you, Fabian, for teaching some ‘Broken English! We sure laughed! (“Way-da-gwon-Fab'yan-y’alllrright?”) **) — BUT, even as I try to name a few people, please note that, as I said — ALL the staff at TIR were great! (even though my memory may not be!) LOL! ☺

We were also very impressed with TIR’s new managers, ‘Maya’ and ‘Alain’. We feel Maya and Alain, with their keen eye for detail and their genuine, caring attitude toward their clients, will prove to be the key to this resort’s continued success.

We’ve been to other high-end resorts before and we have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending TIR to any traveller who is looking for beautiful surroundings, comfortable accommodation, outstanding food, superb service, and fantastic snorkeling!

Cheers,
‘Joy in Canada’

PS
Thanks as well to ‘Danielle’, in TIR’s Texas office, who did such a good job of streamlining our reservation!

Room Tip: We loved our private cabana, but we didn't hear any complaints about the other rooms. They'r...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Victoria_BC_Alegria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TurneffeIsland, Manager at Turneffe Island Resort, responded to this review, 11 April 2012
Dear Guest,

Thank you for you response! We really appreciate it! I am very happy to hear that you and your husband enjoyed your getaway! I'm glad you had a unforgettable experience with Turneffe Island Resort. We would love to have you again, Contact us for your next vacation! Have a great week!

Nitashah Sirajuddin
Reservations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairfield, Connecticut
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

We have been to Belize diving before and the experienced divers are correct--you have to go to the atolls for the best diving. We went for a week in mid-February and the diving was excellent--great coral, lots of large marine life (turtles, sharks, rays, tarpon, pompano, permit, groupers, etc.) and wonderful dive masters. The week we stayed at the resort it was full and about half of the guests were divers. The dive team did a great job of managing the groups and by Tuesday people were skipping dives and we were diving with four or five divers all the time. My wife and I took our 18 year old son and a friend--both enjoyed diving and just hanging out on the island even though not a great location for teenagers as if you don't dive or fish, your alternatives are few. We also did an afternoon of fishing which borke up the routine. The resort was very Hemingway-esque which we loved--a bit rustic, but you feel very catered to by the staff. The family style dining was great--food was very good and the chance to speak with the other guests worked very well. We are not overly social as a couple but htere was no pressure to join a particular group or to socialize at the bar any more that you would want to--noce thing is everyone is there for the same reason--relax and dive or fish as you like. Great snorkeling at the resort as well--we dove but all of the guests who were snorkelling reported a great experience as well. Night dive was very well run. Dive sites very close, with the exception of the Blue Hole. Overall, I was very very impressed with the staff and the way the resort was run--a tough task s far removed from the Belize coast. Highly recommended for divers who want to have a great stay and great diving.

Room Tip: All the rooms are great--we took the lowest priced and it was perfect for a couple. Private cabanas...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sailor67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TurneffeIsland, Manager at Turneffe Island Resort, responded to this review, 12 April 2012
Dear Sailor,

I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed your vacation! The blue hole is simply amazing! Its nice to always meet new people. Im glad you had a chance to mingle some of the other guests on the Island! Thank you so much for review, we appreciate it! Have a great weekend. Send me pictures from your trip!


Nitashah Sirajuddin
Reservations Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington, DC
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2012

We spent the first week of March here, after hectic weeks of work in order to be able to take one week off. We are both divers and the diving is absolutely first rate. Weather was terrible: windy, chilly and rough seas most of the time we were there. But the cabana was beautiful, food very good, staff incredibly friendly and helpful. And despite the weather, we had fun diving. The other guests were very down to earth and friendly, too. We would go back in a heartbeat! They have lots of repeat guests, too.
Note: We had them schedule a tour of the Belize River the first day b/c our plane arrived in the morning and the boat doesn't leave until around 4. We went with a guy named Tony and saw manatee, crocs, iguanas, howler monkeys and lots of birds. It was so much fun!

Room Tip: pay the extra money for a cabana. it's worth it!
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank crmack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chestertown, Maryland
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2012

This was our 3rd visit to TIR. We like to explore the world, but we come back to TIR for a totally relaxing vacation. From the time we depart the airport until our return, the staff at Turneffe provides attentive and friendly service. From the airport, we are transported to the mundane Princess hotel to wait for the boat transfer to Turneffe. Because of our flights to Belize, we always have a long (usually 3 hour) wait until the boat leaves the dock. The Princess is not a particularly nice place to hang out, but the Calypso restaurant on the dock is at least a place to grab a meal and enjoy the warm air and watch the pelicans. (Our return transfer was to the Radisson, which was a much nicer place to dock.....also closer to town. We hope this will be a permanent transfer point, as it is closer to town in case of a long connection time before boat transfers).
Once boarding the Lady Rama, the relaxing really begins. We are all offered a
rum punch to sip on during our 90 minute ride to TIR. We have been lucky. All of our boat trips to and from the Atoll have been relatively calm, so we can enjoy the ride. As we leave the harbor, we see several large cruise ships, and we are so glad we are two of the six going out to TIR, instead of one of the thousands on those ships. Along the way, we see a large turtle surfacing for air, and enjoy the changing colors of the water as it becomes clearer and more pristine the farther we travel from the city.
Arriving at TIR, we are met by most of the staff and resident dogs. Some of the staff remember us from previous visits. The new puppy, Ginger, is a little shy, but Cashew and Gator (who have been there for a while) seem to accept us as friends. Eddie shows us to our cabana, and we settle in. Although we have heard that all rooms at TIR are very similar, we enjoy the privacy of the stand alone units of cabanas. We love the wood throughout, the outdoor shower, and the screened porch furnished with rocking chairs and a table on which our morning coffee would quietly be delivered by 6:30 a.m. each morning so we could enjoy the sunrise.
Since meals at TIR are set and family style, that leaves one less decision to have to make while on vacation. Although I would not recommend the resort for someone looking for a gourmet experience, the meals are wonderful. Appetizers at the bar every evening are a treat.
We enjoyed conch ceviche, hummus, wings and various dips while we were there. In our 3 trips, we haven't had conch fritters, and were hoping for that treat...maybe next time!
Meals are all delicious, though we would like to have had more fish and less pork and beef. We don't come to Belize for a hamburger and french fries. It is so much fun to try new dishes that are authentic to the places we visit.
We booked the resort package. My husband and I love to snorkel, and he is and avid fisherman. He brought LOTS of tackle, rods and reels so he could fish sometime during the week. Although the conditions for fishing were lacking due to wind and rain, my husband enjoyed kayaking out to the flats several times to at least make the attempt to hook a bone or two, and he had fun trying! Other fishermen who had bought the fishing package were less happy, since the weather really wasn't the best, and fishing trips were cancelled.
Our snorkeling experience was wonderful, even if the weather didn't cooperate for a couple of days. We were happy to learn that our guide for the week would be Carlos, the same guide we had in 2010. Carlos is very knowledgeable, attentive and fun. We were lucky to be the only 2 snorkelers on several of our trips, so had a lots of fun exploring places with Carlos at our own pace. Unlike many places, TIR has dedicated snorkeling trips/guides that are scheduled twice a day. Many of the sites have spectacular coral, fans, and fish life...and in spite of the winds and weather, the guides can usually find a site that delivers clear, if not crystal clear water in which to explore marine life.
As always, part of the fun of traveling to TIR is meeting like-minded travelers and sharing their experiences. We enjoy having the opportunity to share stories and travels with other guests while having a drink at the bar, or during dinner.
Maya and Alain were the best managers we have encountered during our trips to TIR. They make a wonderful team, and unlike some of the other managers, they seem to balance the responsibilities of running a smooth operation, and at the same time give the impression that they are really enjoying their jobs. Both were very accessible during the day and at meal times.
Eddie is probably the glue that holds the place together during the transitions between new management (which seems to have a lifespan of 12-18 months). I hope that he is dully compensated for his efforts in training new management staff. Many of the staff at TIR have been there for years, and we believe that because of these people, the resort continues to maintain their excellent reputation.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank JPCRWC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wrentham, Massachusetts
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2012

From the time we got on the boat to the island, until we got back to the airport, we left all of our worries behind. The private cabana was gorgeous...it had a beautiful wood interior, modern tiled bath, double sink and huge windows. The outdoor shower was a huge bonus along with the screened in porch. It was a treat having our coffee delivered every morning. The fact that you leave your room unlocked all week and everything is safe and sound is a testament to how wonderful the island is!! Valet diving describes how you're treated at the dive boat. Daniel was a terrific dive master and spotted lots of sea life to show us. He was a great help in finding photo ops underwater! John, our boat captain, was so helpful getting our gear out of the water and handing out warm towels before we even sat down! Maya and Alain were around, checking on how things were running and would stop for a chat, making you feel welcome. Loved the food, the family style dining and Jorge at the bar was terrific and always had a smile or trick to show you. The other guests were great and we enjoyed getting to know everyone.
We lost a bag on our way home between our cabin and the airport. Danielle in Houston helped out working with the island and they located our bag and will be shipping it back to us! We could not have asked for more and do plan on going back when we can stay for more than just a week. Both of us are normally ready to go home by the end of the week....but not this time!! Thanks for the best stay!

Room Tip: Go for the cabana...worth every cent!!
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank KateLee57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
philadelphia
Level 6 Contributor
183 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2012

It takes about 1 1/2 hours to get to the resort from the Princess Marina in Belize City. Turneffe Island provides the boat shuttle (and rum punch) to the island. Upon arrival we were greeted by the staff at the dock and shown to our cabanna. The rooms are all tastefully furnished. The beds very comfortable with crisp white sheets. I loved the outdoor showers after a long day of snorkling. Turneffe Island does not have sandy beaches because it is a coral island. The resort has plenty of longe chairs and hammocks for relaxing.

I loved the coffee/tea service delivered to the cabanna every morning. Nothing like waking up and having your coffee on the porch over looking the Caribbean at sunrise. All of the meals were delicious and filling (served family style). We enjoyed the cocktail hour with appetizers at the pool bar. George can sure makea great pina colada!

Our guide while snorkling was Carlos. However, Carlos is also a scuba diver. He wouldn't think twice about diving down 20 feet to take a picture with my camera!!! I must say I have some great under water pictures thanks to him. He also is very conscious that everyone is safe while in the water. Carlos is a gem of a guide and the resort is lucky to have him. Don't miss out on visiting the Blue Hole and snorkling with sharks.

The reosrt also has three resident dogs...Cashew, Gator, and Ginger. All of them friendly and ready for a belly rub anytime.

We had a wonderful stay and wouldn't hesitate to come back!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rg2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Turneffe Island Resort

Property: Turneffe Island Resort
Address: Turneffe Atoll, Turneffe Island, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Belize Cayes > Turneffe Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Turneffe Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Turneffe Island Resort is a secluded 14-acre private island located 35 miles off the coast of Belize. We offer 7 night, 4-night, and 3-night Diving, Fishing and Resort packages. Packages include airport transfers, deluxe lodge accommodations, scheduled activities, all meals and hors d’oeuvres served throughout the day. All accommodations are located on white sandy beaches. All rooms include indoor and outdoor showers and spectacular ocean views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Turneffe Island Hotel Turneffe Islands
Turneffe Island Lodge

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