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“Great Staff, Great Location, Great Experience...Divers, don't miss this!”

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Turneffe Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Certificate of Excellence
Birmingham
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Great Staff, Great Location, Great Experience...Divers, don't miss this!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2009

My son and I spent a week here on a diving package, and we both agree it was the best vacation of our lives. If you are looking for a diving package and a quiet, relaxing place to enjoy it, this is your place!

Normally, I am not known as someone who gushes about anything, but I will make an exception for this place and its staff.

Our divemaster, Marcelle, and our boat captain, Brad, were extraordinarily helpful to us; which, to us novice divers, was especially important. Marcelle stuck close on all dives and kept an eye on us and helped us feel comfortable, even as we went deep into The Blue Hole (great experience)! They made diving easy and fun!

Jason and Karen, the husband/wife general management team, were down to earth and always accessible. Everyone on the island was pleasant and smiling.

The lodging is decorated in kind of, well, "lodge-style," so it wasn't what you would call posh. But don't take that as a negative, it really was a nice spacious room and had all the amenities you could ask for, including an outside shower (don't worry...it's got privacy screening...and there is an inside shower too) and a screened porch.

Our room was clean, and everything worked well, including the A/C. And, best of all, the beach, with water lapping gently at the edge, was only 25 steps (Yes, I counted) from our front door. It was really an idyllic setting.

Meals were served "family style," and were delicious. A good variety was offered, and seconds were always available. Everything from chicken to snapper to lobster to tacos made their way in front of me, and I loved it!

The island only accomodates about 40-45 people, and there were fewer than 30 of us there that week. It's a shame, because 15+ people missed a great opportunity.

I would go again in a heartbeat; and, indeed, hope I can arrange another trip there someday.

Thanks, everyone at Turneffe, you did a great job!

Linnie Pride

  • Stayed August 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank LinniePman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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374 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (131)
Date | Rating
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English first
NORTH PADRE ISLAND
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 July 2009

June 29-Grand Slam-July 1-Grand Slam. What a wonderful place to achive a slam. the guides and staff are incredible. They rank at the top of the list. thank you Fabian ( slam man ) for the trip of a lifetime. the staff is out of this world. a quiet, peaceful venue with a romantic flare. Life seems to slow down and becomes enjoyable. god could not have created a finer setting. a must visit resort.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DOUBLE-SLAM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
61 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2009

Before I begin, I'd like to note I am a diver, so I cannot rate the fishing services. Turneffe Island Resort is 10 acre island 35 minutes from the coast, so you really have a sense of privacy. One thing they strive for is a family atmosphere, and I'm not sure if they could do a better job achieving this. Food is served family style, so you quickly form a bond with the other guests. The staff is very friendly and helpful, and the managers like to join guests at the bar and dinner to socialize in more than just a business sense. The food tastes great and is very fresh, though there isn't a huge variety (though they are extremely accommodating if you have any requests or requirements). The rooms are very clean and feature a screen porch overlooking the beach, some sitting chairs, AC, and an indoor and outdoor shower. The island also offers a pool, an outdoor bar, an indoor bar, and a lounge with a large LCD tv (no cable though). The fisherman I met seemed extremely pleased with the trips they made and one caught his Grand Slam on his second day.
The diving: being a part of Turneffe Atoll, 70 or so dive sites are within minutes of the island. Given this, surface intervals are taken on the island, which is especially nice if bumpy waters make you ill. Unfortunately I missed The Elbow and the Blue Hole due to bad weather, but the resort puts their best effort to make these sites when possible (they normally go to the Blue Hole on Tuesdays, but will try Thursday if Tuesday doesn't work). The dive staff is very friendly and provide a diver's valet service: you setup your equipment once and they take care of it for the rest of your trip. The team is also very professional, taking the greatest of care for the equipment and make sure that the divers are safe to themselves and the other divers. Dive sites can vary quite a bit and the dives are done as a group no more than 11, so people tend to spread out and you have plenty of space. The dives were also very long, averaging 62 minutes. The guide I had during my stay was Marcel, and he was great to talk to and dive with. He will find tons of species and make sure everyone gets a look. One great thing they do is log your dive time and depth, and give you a spreadsheet at the end of your stay with your dive profile and species spotted during each dive.
Overall, I loved Turneffe Island Resort and will definitely be going back. Their great service, dive service, friendly staff, great food, and family atmosphere was a fun and relaxing experience, and of course the dives themselves were great (though I will admit Glover's Reef was the best diving I did in Belize). One thing to keep in mind is this is a dive and fishing resort, and basically the only other thing to do here is snorkel or hang out in the pool, so this is not the place for you if you don't fish or dive.

  • Stayed June 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Daniel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, South Dakota
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 March 2009

1 1/2 hour ride to Lodge from Belize City. Staff is very good. Food is WONDERFUL. Prepare to gaine weight. We dove there. One boat saw Hammerhead sharks; of course not us. Reef seems healthy. It was very windy, so diving the calmer spots was not as pristine.

  • Stayed February 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank South dakota-914
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 November 2008

I was just thinking about our first-rate time at Turneffe Island Lodge this summer and decided that I must share my experience with anyone who is considering booking their holiday at Turneffe. My wife and I stayed at the lodge this summer and enjoyed the combo package (fishing and diving). From top to bottom the entire experience that Turneffe Lodge provided was outstanding. The accommodations were warm and beautiful. We opted for the private cabana on the far side of the island. The immaculate detail to the upkeep of the grounds was maintained for the duration of our stay.

The fishing at Turneffe Lodge was marvelous. From the experienced guides to the picturesque flats, I felt assured of my choice to stay at Turneffe. My goal was to capture the coveted “grand slam” but the bonefish, permit and tarpon had other plans for me! I managed to catch all three fish, but not on the same day. My guide knew the flats very well and was able to direct us very professionally.

When not on the flats during the day, we enjoyed fabulous diving. Turneffe Lodge excelled at the valet diving service. We were very thrilled to enjoy effortless diving! Our dive master knew so much about the dive sites and aquatic life. The vibrant reef around the island appears unscathed by humans, which was a major advantage.

Lastly, I must mention the food. Feeling hungry on the island is not an option. Delicious food is available all day – the daily snacks offered in the lounge are scrumptious in addition to the terrific feast-like meals. The sales office in Houston assured me that the holiday would be great and they were absolutely correct. My only complaint was that we did not stay long enough!

  • Liked — Remoteness of the island
  • Stayed July 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank flyscubafish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2008

Our family of 5 (children aged 7, 9 and 11) had a blast at Turneffe Island Lodge. Although weather thwarted most of our fishing and snorkeling plans, we loved it anyway. The food was outstanding, the management and staff couldn't have been friendlier or more helpful, and the isolation of the island was divine. Beautiful clear water, lovely rooms and great fun meeting the other guests.
As avid fishermen (we booked fishing packages), we were a bit disappointed that fishing from the island was not permitted. We haven't encountered that policy at other fishing lodges in the Bahamas, Florida Keys or Central America.

  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank I.S.H.Atlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2008

My wife and I just returned from two weeks at TIL and loved every minute of it.

The Lodge picks up and drops off its guests on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Princess Hotel Marina in Belize City. We flew into Belize City on a Friday so we spent the night at the Great House Hotel. it's not an understatement to say that Belize City isn't a great tourist destination, but I found it interesting and enjoyed the little bit of time we spent there by walking around downtown and talking to the locals.

The next day we were taken to the Marina, where we were met by Assistant Manager Jason and off we went. The boat ride takes about an hour and twenty minutes. We spent the time chatting with the other guests and crew. The entire TIL staff comes out to greet you at the dock and whisk away your luggage. The first thing you do there is re-set your watch as the Lodge is an hour ahead of Belize City, probably to match up with the front office Houston. Then you're shown to your room or cabana--we had asked for Cabana 8 as it's the last one down the line.

As noted in a review below, this place runs like a well-oiled machine. Managers Paul and Kelly along with Assistant Managers Jason and Karen work very hard to make everything look very easy. They did an orientation the first night and explained how things work, which went pretty much like this: meals every day at 7:30, 12:30 and 7:30. Snacks available at the lodge all day (going hungry really isn't an option here). Diving schedules announced daily, usually at dinner, with an emphasis on fun and relaxation. If you need something, just ask. They made it abundantly clear that our job was to be on vacation and that their job was to make our vacation as fun and relaxing as possible.

The community dining hall is a big plus as it turns meals into a big social club. Given that everyone there shares common interests in diving, fishing, beachcombing and/or goofing off, it is very easy to make friends with everyone.

Our divemaster and boat captain were Brad and Marcel, who rotate their jobs each week. These guys were large and in charge. They picked the dive sites. They gave great dive briefings, ending each one with "Let us see what is in store for us today. The pool is now open." They worked hard to find interesting things to see. They took care of all of our gear. In short, they were superb.

The same is true for the lodge staff at meal time. The meals were delicious. Not gourmet, but even better because it was good, hearty food every meal. The staff would position themselves on both sides of the room to keep an eye on us. If a pitcher of tea or a platter of food ran low, they would swoop down with a full one before you could ask. It's hard not to put on weight here.

Since we were there for two weeks, I went back to the mainland on the first Wednesday to check out the Belize Zoo. TIL took care of the arrangements so all I had to do was get on the boat. A guide met me at the dock, took me to the Zoo and brought me back to the dock in time for me to catch the boat back to the Lodge.

The Lodge also made arrangements for us to tour Altun Ha the day we left. Our flight didn't leave until 4 o'clock, which gave us plenty of time to check out the ruins. As Mayan ruins go, these aren't the most impressive ruins I've seen but it sure beat sitting around the airport.

We had a wonderful time and look forward to returning in the near future.

  • Liked — Everything
  • Disliked — Having to leave
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank DowningB
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 #1 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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