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“surreal, relaxing and fun”

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Turneffe Island Resort
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Certificate of Excellence
Tucson, AZ
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“surreal, relaxing and fun”
Reviewed 7 May 2008

Go to this resort only if you are a scuba diver or fisherman because it is focussed on these activities and there is not much else to do.
The facilities were fabulous and very upscale. The resort is the only thing on the island and you are completely safe, dont even have to lock the door to your room. It is very remote. The beachfront cabana included a queen bed, indoor sitting area, oudoor screened porch (but there were no bugs except a few ants), bathroom with indoor and outdoor shower. All facilities were modern and the mahogany walls beautiful. You could lay on your bed and see the beach. The views and the sunsets from the island were continuously spectacular.
Your choice of hot beverage was placed outside your door at 6:30AM every morning. The food was tasty and varied, and served to you at your table. The kitchen was extremely accomodating to my partner's gluten-free diet. Tables were shared which created a nice friendly atmosphere; you shared the dive boat with the same people, as well as happy hour so it was all one fun party.
We took the advanced open water dive course with Paul, the manager. We received excellent one-on-one instruction. The reefs were pristine and deserted. The only time we saw other dive boats was at the Blue Hole and Lighthouse Reef. Diving at Turneffe was very private.
The staff was very friendly and the service was incredible.
There is a beach but it was not good for swimming. This is the only flaw in an otherwise excellent place.

  • Liked — small personalized scuba trips, setting, room
  • Disliked — no swimming beach
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank poona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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396 reviews from our community

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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (139)
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English first
california
Level 6 Contributor
178 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2008

This is a high end, totally take care of you place. It is a 14 acre private island with room for about 40 people. In April 2008 there were virtually no bugs. The food is first class, the 40 member staff very friendly, and the accomodations much better than you might expect for such a remote location. The diving was very good, with lots of diverse fish, sharks, big fish, spotted eagle rays, turtles (some huge), and easy conditions. Visibility was generally around 60 feet. Blue Hole is a waste of time, but the other dives that day were outstanding. Highly recommend this place, although its pricey. Anglers had relatively poor luck, although the place is renowned for bonefish, tarpon, and permit.

  • Liked — Very good room, food, diving
  • Stayed April 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank harvey44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 February 2008

Island and surrounding reefs for snorkeling - awesome. They teach you how to fly fish, and there are great places (flats) with LOTS of bonefish a 5 minute boat ride away. Staff - awesome, they are all friendly, energetic, and helpful. food - ridiculously good. rooms - comfortable and clean. it's different than a traditional vacation - that's what makes it nice - and they are all about making sure you have fun!!

  • Liked — Large room w/outdoor shower
  • Disliked — Slow internet access (then again that can be a bonus)!
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Love2Travel017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frisco, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
37 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 January 2008

Where do I start?

I LOVE diving, however hauling around and cleaning the equipment can be the boring part. No worries here! The first day they observed us put together our equipment, and then I never had to worry again. Each dive I would come around the corner and voila, ready to go. I just had to hop on board the boat and away we went. The dive sites were all very interesting we saw tons of marine life, including the largest nurse shark I had ever seen, maybe 12 feet, no 14, possibly 16 feet long!! Lots of sharks, spotted eagle rays, large schools of large fish, sting rays, turtles - green and hawskbill. The dives were intimate - 8 divers with one very attentive and alert dive master. Request BO (divemaster) and John (captain)! The surface intervals were all spent at the resort on land - the dive sites were minutes from the resort. Something like 70 dive sites within 10 minutes.

We had a private cabana and it was worth every penny. We watched the sunrise while sipping on yummy coffee that was quietly delivered to our private screened in porch every morning. The entire cabana was a beautiful wood interior, comfortable bed and extremely clean. The bathroom was nice, but the outdoor shower was perfect! Showering under the sun, ahhh, I miss it already.

There were loungers and chairs right outside our room and we hung with friends during off time. It felt like our own private beach - 38 guest max helps! The sand was a shell dust beach, different, hard, muddy like when wet, but nice - a beautiful white. The water had eel grass, so I never made it in far. Rumor has it there is a croc in the area! I do not think this is a place for a diver with a beach goer spouse. There are Kayaks and a catamaran to use for free. There are always lots of interesting fish hanging around the docks, we saw a batfish!

The food was FANTASTIC. There was a momma in the kitchen who knew what she was doing. I can not even remember an OK meal, all were extremely delicious. Although they brag about the family style dining, I personally am not crazy about it. I do understand it is an intimate resort and they encourage friendships among guests. My husband and I got stuck listening to one too many boring stories. Oh well, we excused ourselves and went out on the deck to have after dinner drinks.

Our friends and us pulled our lunch table settings out on to the dining veranda and had several lunches in the sun with a beautiful view of the water. Everyone else dined inside, maybe we were unknowingly being rude to not join in, but I definitely do not regret it. Best lunches ever!

The staff was friendly and accommodating. The grounds were well maintained. The price we paid did reflect an upscale resort. However, after having gone, I believe it was actually reasonably priced for all we experienced and the overall quality of the resort.

We went on the Blue Hole day trip, I was so nervous about diving 135 feet but there was nothing to be concerned about. It was actually really neat to see the stalactites and sharks. Our friends stayed at a shallow depth of 50-60 feet and they took video of sharks that looks like movie footage, really cool. So either way, you'll have a great dive there.

Well I think this is a long enough review, so email if you have questions. I really recommend experiencing this resort. It is my understanding they plan on putting a spa in very soon. That would have really topped off the trip - a massage under the dock gazebo!

Oh yeah, one more thing. We woke up at 6:45 am to eat and catch the first dive. We were really tired after this vacation, if I returned I would fight the urge to dive every dive and sleep in one or two days. It would be nice to have a day of late morning diving and two in the afternoon, after all we are on vaca right?

  • Liked — Intimate, We were catered to, good food, excellant diving.
  • Disliked — Not sure, maybe getting up so early.
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank 1FourFun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, WA
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 December 2007

I would agree with the reviewer who liked this resort, but had reservations about enthusiastically recommending it. The staff are friendly, very knowledgible and helpful. The remote location provides you with a wonderful access to reefs and fish. But it is very expensive and I doubt if we would return. One major drawback is the dining/bar area. All guests are thrown together "family' style in a noisy room. If that is your cup of tea, great. If you are a quiet person, be warned, it is a little loud.

  • Liked — The guides and reefs
  • Disliked — The dining room
  • Stayed December 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Zigi666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, TX
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2007

14 Acre island in the middle of beautiful water ideal for diving, snorkeling, and fishing. Incredible staff who really seem to enjoy their jobs - from kitchen staff, room attendants, grounds keepers, bartenders, dive instructors, boat captains, and management. The rooms
are made of beautiful hardwood. Coffee/tea is delivered every morning to your room to watch the sun rise, turn down service at night. A fantastic outdoor shower in each room for after a great day of water activities. Food is incredible, plan for some extra pounds.

For divers, they do a great job for a day at the Blue Hole, making sure you're the first ones there (very important). Then lunch on Half Moon Caye, and two other dives. Its a shorter trip that from Ambergis Caye..

  • Liked — Service
  • Disliked — Slow speed/intermitent internet connection
  • Stayed November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank LindaSK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 September 2007

Turneffe Island Lodge is FANTASTIC! If you've read terrible vacation stories about Belize, those people didn't stay at Turneffe Island Lodge.

Our favorite adventurous vacation to date, was hosted by Turneffe Island Lodge (TIL), located 30 miles east off the coast of Belize (Central America), just inside the southern tip of the Turneffe Atoll on “Little Caye (key) Bokel”. A privately owned caye only 12 - 14 acres, with a staff of 35 entertaining a maximum of 38 guests at one time.

TIL picked us up at the Belize City International Airport and took us via van, to the Princess Marina (short trip), where their sparkling clean 48' yacht, Miss Rama, traveled a quick 1 hour and 20 minutes to their caye.

Upon arrival, greeting us at their beautiful white dock, they immediately escorted us to our incredibly impressive Belizean mahogany cabana right on the beach. It was extremely clean (and I'm a clean/freak), comfortable king bed, cozy seating area for 5, secure (we didn't lock our doors), with a beautiful up-to-date bathroom, screened in front porch, incredible screened in outdoor shower on back porch, plenty of hot water, no sand fleas, guided snorkeling excursions twice a day to fantastic sites (70 sites less than 1 mile from shore), filled with colorful tropical fish, wild dolphin swimming just off the pier in front of our cabana, thermos of hot beverages delivered to our door step at 6:30 a.m., 5 star food (chef is on her 3rd cookbook), delicious drinking water right out of the tap, catering to only 38 guests at a time.

Also included in our Beachcomber Package was a full-day guided snorkeling trip to the Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye, and Long Caye (incredible)!

Other guests with a Dive Package and/or Fishing Package had just as much fun!

This Saturday to Saturday all-inclusive beachcomber package in a private cabana was only $4,900 (without airfare). We stayed during the end of May/beginning of June. Weather and water was PERFECT! Check out their web site for current rates.

We’re having trouble looking for the same resort in other parts of the Caribbean and not having luck. They spoiled us. If anyone can tell us of a similar snorkeling resort plan, please let us know, we haven't found one yet.

  • Liked — Toss up between snorkeling, cabana, food, and security.
  • Disliked — Nearest hospital is a helicopter ride.
  • Stayed May 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank DallasDog
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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