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“What More Can Be Said-Well Another Good Visit”

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Turneffe Island Resort
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Certificate of Excellence
teaneck
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“What More Can Be Said-Well Another Good Visit”
Reviewed 24 May 2012

We visit TUrneffe Island Resort, not to be confused with Turneffe Flats, last month. Iy t was 1 year and 1q month ago since our last visit. It looked just about the same no aging just removal of canopy style on-beds that was welcome. THough they looked nice they were a little annoying in 2011 getting in and out of bed. We were on the resort packgage that offers us 2 1.5 hour snorles a day. The quality of the coral was slightly less perfect less than last year than last year becacause of the affect of coral bleaching but we have been to 3 other spots more north in the Caribbean and it is far worse. The only place we still find fairly pristine conditions are in Indonesua but that involves a 25-28 plane ride to Bunaken, Wakatobi, and a fe places on thde Malaysian Peninsula.
We had about 15 hguests during our stat with a few divers and 8 fishermen though the resort could hold more and the folowing week it was going to be full (~32 I believe).
The food was goodand though the head cook was off the food rasked as well prepared as last year bt the Assist. Cook. The resort is fortunate to have an extrememly stable staff who understAnd cutomer service. The cottages and rooms aree nice considering the remote location with hoy cofee/rea outside your roomn at 6:30AM before a 7:30 brekfast with activities starting at 8:15 except snorkelers who start at 10. All rooms have effective A/C which is important to a New Jersey couple. Last year the age range was from about 28-60 but this year it was 40+ to a women diver who was 85 from CA.

Room Tip: If you take a cabib aske fore Bm C or D.in advance.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank stank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Virginia
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2012

My wife and I just returned from Turneffe Island Resort last Saturday (05-05-12). What an amazing experience we had!!! I have to start out by saying that we read all of the reviews and made the decision based on the fact that we wanted a dive specific destination. There were some reviews that talked about the management and some issues guests had with staff and so forth. I can 100% guarantee that the new managers (Allan & Maya) are beyond FANTASTIC!! They are great people and have taken a completely different approach in managing TIR. I spoke to them in length about the previous managers and all they said was, "We do things a lot differently than they did". I also spoke to the staff and they are much happier now that they have new managers. Most of the staff has been there for a while with our boat captain with 15 years, dive master 13 years, one of the fishing guides 25 or so years. As you can see the staff is very competent and I have nothing but praise for the entire TIR staff. So to sum up the negative reviews that you may read below, everything has changed for the better and I can vouch for the vast improvement in everything the management and staff do.

Ok, now that we got that out of the way I can move on to our vacation experience. From the first interaction at the Raddison dock loading into the boat, I knew this was going to be a great vacation. You start to meet people on the boat ride over and the excitement builds until you first set eyes on TIR from the boat. The entire staff is there to greet you, even the dogs Gator, Cashew, and Ginger. They make you feel like royalty walking off the boat. Once on the island they let you know what room you are staying in and the staff delivers your luggage right to your door!! Once you get settled in you leave your equipment or gear on your porch for whatever you are going to do on Sunday whether it is scuba diving or fishing and the staff comes and picks it up.

We were there to dive and that is exactly what we did :) We did a total of 15 dives over a 6 day stretch and saw everything. Our dive master Brad and boat captain Marcel were exceptional. I signed up to get my PADI Advanced Open Water certification while I was there and had one-on-one attention from Daniel to complete all of my tests. On the first dive we saw the biggest Logger Head Turtle I have ever seen. Brad said that it was at least 150 years old and was the size of a Volkswagen. We saw Bull Sharks and Reef Sharks when we dove the Blue Hole. We saw Eagle Rays, Moray Eels, Spiny Lobsters, Spanish Lobsters, Snappers galore, Blenies, Wrases, Snap Shrimp, Octopus....Suffice it to say we saw everything from huge to macro. The only thing we didn't see was a Hammer Head Shark, but our divemaster, Brad, literally did everything he could to try to find one for us. One thing that really stood out was how safety conscious the dive crew was. They evaluated everyone's diving skills on the first dive and planned our dives accordingly. We actually had a great group of 8 divers and we were all pretty much equal in skills. Brad was so calm and didn't try to rush us through the reefs. He pointed things out on every coral head and even wrote what it was on his slate so we could identify it. Great operation in every aspect.

I was a little nervous about the "Family Style" dining, but after the first meal we all just bonded. Every meal was really tasty. I have a seafood allergy that they really took to heart. On the day that they had shrimp salad they brought me chicken salad instead. The last night they put on a BBQ that was phenomenal!!

TIR has a saying, "Come as strangers, leave as Friends" and that is exactly what we did. We exchanged email addresses with everyone on the island and will keep in touch with all of them. The people we met ranged from young professionals to retired professors and everything in between. Everyone had a great time and really enjoyed the atmosphere set up by the TIR staff. I can't say enough about this experience!!!

The rooms are very well done. I was really impressed with the local hardwoods that they used in every room. My favorite amenity was the outdoor shower. We never used the shower inside as the outdoor shower is huge. My wife liked the turn down service that included a poem after dinner every night. We never used the air conditioning the entire week. We opened the window and let the ocean breeze whoosh through our room and slept comfortably. The attention to detail at this place is awesome. We were pleased with all of the things that

I know this review is getting lengthy, but I want to share as much of my experience as possible. I know I have forgotten a lot of things, but you can't go wrong with a TIR vacation!!!

Room Tip: We had a lower room that looked out to the ocean and it was perfect. You can spend the extra money...
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
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8 Thank GreenRubi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Bedford, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2012

OMG........ I have never been to a resort that filled the tanks to 3400 psi. IT WAS WONDERFUL. We dove for 1 hour 2 times a day. What a great dive team, and wonderful staff on the island. It was relaxing, peaceful and what great family style meals. Everything about the private island was breath taking. If you are looking for paradise this is where you need to go. Lisa and Scott B.

Room Tip: The private cabanas are the way to go. Each one has its own hammock and out door showers.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Lisa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 April 2012

The resort and people were great! Diving was good and the dive master was terrific. Local dives from smaller boats ensured that the mostly drift dives were not crowded. The meals were good and the staff made a great effort to ensure that we had a great vacation.
The day trip to the Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye and Long Caye was amazing.
The only down side the first week of March was the unsettled weather with wind and rain. In spite of the weather we had a great dive vacation!

Room Tip: We stayed in Unit #5 and the semi-detached rooms were well situated just next to the docks. A very...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank AdventureSeeker67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

I thought it was time to update my review of this little piece of Paradise. It's been about six weeks since we returned from our third trip to Turneffe, and we can hardly wait to return. I should add that we have never returned to the same "resort" three times in three decades of dive travel....

So what's new at Turneffe? Well, pretty much nothing. Which suited us just fine. The same quaint accommodations. The same great food... Actually is was pretty much the same menu.. which was awesome , since the deserts are amazing. Most importantly, the staff is the same. (As we were flying down, we were refreshing our memories about the various staff peoples' names, and it occurred to me that I couldn't remember the name of any staff member other than perhaps a divemaster, from any other place we have been to. With Turneffe, we remembered the entire dive crew, most of the servers, certainly the bartender.. We think of them as friends at this point... not "workers".

In an effort to find balance, I will point out one small thing I noticed, and that is only that the place looked like it could use a little maintenance here and there... A little fresh paint or varnish etc. I suspect that Turneffe, like many businesses, is finding things a little challenging these days, but I would happily give up a little paint for the same attentive staff and fabulous diving we have come to expect here.

We are currently planning for our next winter trip and while we are looking at other places, I have a feeling we will be returning again. Our main "reason" for considering not returning is one of "principle" only... Surely there must be other places that rival Turneffe, but we have yet to find it if it exists.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Stuart S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Park City, Utah
Level 6 Contributor
139 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 April 2012

Greeted at the airport, we were taken by boat an hour or so to a beautiful atoll off the coast of Belize. By our second dive (fifteen total), we were diving with 6 dolphins. Magical to say the least. In fact, the entore trip was pretty magical. The staff is beyond friendly and helpful. George, the bartender, can dominate at Jenga all while pouring a fine Mojito. This is my second time there and my friend's third. We will go back!

Room Tip: Stay in the cabanas!!! So worth it. We stayed in C9. Great private room but you can't hear the b...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MalbuMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Macomb, Michigan
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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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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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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