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“Welcome to paradise!”

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Turneffe Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
“Welcome to paradise!”
Reviewed 26 June 2006

When we first stepped upon the island from the boat, we knew we had arrived in paradise: white sand beaches, turquoise water, hammocks swaying in the breeze. Everything was perfect. Our private cabana looked out upon the ocean . . . apart from the comfortable hammock, it had a screened in porch, was cool, large and and well-appointed, and had an amazing outdoor shower.

The lodge where we took our meals was impeccable as was the swimming pool and diving and fishing facilities.

The food was amazing! Who would think that a carribbean resort would serve such delicious meals . . . three a day, plus hors d'oeuvres and cookies between dives! Don't plan on losing weight! Everything was handmade, from the breads to the pastries. Not to mention coffee service in the morning! If we sound food infatuated, well . . .

Our dive master was fantastic. He was an underwater sleuth and really helped us both with our skills (buoancy and breathing). The coral life was amazing . . . amoungst the many fish we also saw rays, dolphins, turtles, sharks . . . Our boat captain was so helpful as well. They took such good care of us!

We also heard from guests on the island that the fishing guides were outstanding . . . they fished on the flats for permit, tarpin and bonefish . . . They also do deep-sea fishing.

All the staff was incredible. The managers were friendly, hospitable and a lot of fun. The ladies who cooked (and did the housekeeping) were always smiling as were the other members of the staff. We really did not want to leave!

If you are a diver or fisherperson, this is the place to stay in Belize! We've never written a review before, but this amazing spot prompted us to write this one . . . we hope you enjoy your trip as much as we did.

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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13 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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374 reviews from our community

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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
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2006

We recently stayed a few days at the Turneffe Lodge. This was our first trip to Belize. The reason we selected this place was the proximity to diving and the quality of the Lodge. We upgraded to the Cabana and I would certainly spend the extra fee again. Overall, we were pleased that everything was above our expectations and our expectations were somewhat high since we read the comments about this place on TripAdvisor before booking. We would stay here again if making a dive trip to Belize. It is expensive but well worth the convenience, quality and staff.

Turneffe Lodge (see pics)

Our first impression of Turneffe Lodge was the boat pick up at the Princess Marina and it was not a good one. Our departure time was 2:30 and we did not get off until 4:00 due to some additional errands the staff needed to complete that was not done beforehand. Some complementary drinks would have been a nice touch while waiting. It is a long boat ride of 1.5 hours to Turneffe. When arriving at the Island the delay was forgotten and it seems that many staff members turn out to greet you. The grounds were perfect, people friendly and outgoing. We were immediately shown to our bungalow, C7, and didn’t have too much time until dinner was served at 7:30. Meals are community style at two large tables and it gives you a chance to meet others and talk about events of the day. My wife and I are outgoing and sometimes you are stuck sitting with some not so interesting or engaging people but you are free to move around from meal to meal and meet new folks. We would rate the food as good but not great. The bar tender Carlos was wonderful and entertaining. He also makes some good drinks and in the end deserved an extra tip for his hospitality and expertise. Speaking of tipping, although not required or pressured, you will want to tip based on the great experience you will have. Plan on spending another 10-15% on top of the package price and a little bonus for those exceptional staff members. Other than the late departure the only other complaint we might have is the cost of water and sodas. I expect to pay tourist prices for wine, beer and bar cocktails but US$2 for a small bottle of water or soda was unnecessary given the fees paid for lodging and bar. Maybe a complementary water or soda per person would be appropriate. The tap water is purified and good to drink and the empty bottles are good for refilling from the tap. The pool area was very tastefully done, clean and refreshing. There are some kayaks and a hobiecat for cruising around the island.

Cabana C7 (see pics)

Upgrade to the Cabanas. They are very nice, clean, roomy and separated from the main lodge area down the beach. It felt more private and C7 was one of the last ones. Each Cabana has a screened porch to use in the evening. This is handy because the bugs can be bad. Bring bug repellent as it is really required. Note that the rooms have AC (a bit noisy) and we opened all the windows and enjoyed the night breeze. They also have an outdoor shower which was very handy and convenient.

Diving

Exceptional. Dive gear is in good condition and the crew gets everything ready for you. It is only a 5-10 minute boat ride to most dive sites. Our dive master was Brad and really excellent and very professional. Maybe one of the best we have ever had (over 100 dives) at finding and pointing out sea creatures. We have been diving for years trying to see the allusive hammerhead shark and on our first dive we saw a school of 5-7 as well as other sharks. Also, hawkbill turtles you could touch, dolphins, eagle rays, many big green moray eels, toadfish, spiny lobster, barracuda, etc. This dive was the most like the Caymans but there was more sea life and the coral was in better condition. The currents were mellow. The fact this is 30 miles off the coast with fewer divers was a real plus. We have had better visibility but 50-75’ was not too bad. We highly recommend Turneffe Lodge for divers of all skill levels.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
36 Thank deelybob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2005

I didn't know what to expect from the Turneffe Island Lodge as I think their website could use some work in accurately showing it, and I was also skeptical because the lodge is the only thing on the island. No restaurants, clubs, stores, etc. I primarily chose TIL because I had heard the diving was better at Turneffe Atoll than off Ambergris Caye, and it was closer to the Blue Hole. This turned out, however, to be one of the most relaxing, enjoyable, and easy vacations I've ever been on. The lodge is simply beautiful. Rooms are spacious, made of beautiful mahogony, air conditioned (even though my ceiling fan was plenty), and all with a screened porch and a sensational view of the Carribean. There's a large beach (which is hard because it's coral) with plenty of lounge chairs and hammocks scattered throughout the resort. They also have a nice sized pool with a great deck and more sun and beach chairs. Meals are all eaten family style with the other guests (the entire resort max's out at just 38 guests) and the food is phenomenal (as well as Sherman the bartender). The large deck outside the dining room is great for hanging out with the other guests, smoking a cigar, having a drink, and listening to music, all while staring at the sea. Paddle boats, one and two man sea kayaks, and a small hobey cat awaits whoever wants them (at no extra charge) and there's even a nice little souvenier shop on premises. Oh, and NO PHONES OR TV's!!!! You have to take a 90 minute boat ride to get to the island which is 100% worth the wait (take dramamine for the boatride, though, as you will probably encounter semi-rocky waters along the way). You truly feel on vacation thanks to the warm hospitality of Uwe, Tonya, and the staff.
The TIL serves two major purposes: Fishing (bone and permit) and diving. Personally, I can only speak to the diving, which I'll say is great. Even though the vis was just okay two or three of the dives, we still saw healthy reefs thriving with gorgeous tropical fish. And the Dive Masters do just about everything. This is an outstanding place for people who like to be active AND for people who just like reading a bok by the water.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
29 Thank jimmybar0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 5 December 2005

This little island was as good or better than I expected. Beautiful location, friendly and competant staff, good food, great diving, and more. My husband is a scuba diving instructor and felt the dive staff were first rate. My kids had a great time snorkeling, kayaking, wind sailing, swimming, playing with the dogs, and spending time in the dining hall hanging out with Sherman, the bartendar. The two couples that manage the place were fabulous. Friendly to all and very knowledgable.

Beautiful place. We would go here again in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
20 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 22 November 2005

We just returned from a wonderful week at the Turneffe Island Lodge. We have traveled quite a bit in the Caribbean and Central America, are rather particular, and really liked this place. We upgraded to a beacfront cabana, which was worth it. It has a screened porch, nice decor, made of native hardwood inside, full bathroom plus an outdoor shower. The staff were great, food is very good and the dive operation and diving were excellent. They also offer fishing, snorkeling trips (the snorkeling out front is not great), you can use kayaks and there is a small pool. Alcoholic drinks are not included and the cost is $5 for a draft beer, $8 for mixed drinks and soda is $2. You can't bring any alcohol to the island. Regarding food, they don't mind special requests, and the food is plentiful. One night, they served lobster tails- and you could have as many as you wanted.

Helpful?
23 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brentwood, California
Level Contributor
39 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 October 2005

I would have to stay that our trip to Turneffe Island Lodge was pretty great. We went with another couple and well, the four of us don't need much outside stimulation to have a good time which was good because this is a pretty quiet island. There were only about 12 other guests and not everyone is there to be sociable - many people are really there to dive and fish. So if you are looking for a good time it will be hit or miss. Turneffe Island is all about diving, fishing, and relaxing. The worker staff was somewhat engaging. I don't think they are supposed to mingle with the guests much but they were fun and we got a volleyball team together one day.

We mainly chose Turneffe Island Lodge because we wanted to go somewhere relaxing AND dive. And we definitey got what we had hoped for. The diving was phenomenal and as other reviews have mentioned it is great that you are literally 5 minutes away from most dives so you can come back from the first dive of the day and take a nap and eat lunch before you go out again. I agree with previous reviews that the divemasters seemed knowledgeable but quiet.

The food at Turneffe was better than we could have imagined and everything made from scratch. I bought their cookbook from the gift shop before I left!

The rooms were great and you must get the cabana on the beach! The room was clean and spacious. We never used the shower inside - always the one outside. It was GREAT!

The management staff consisted of two couples. The women were extremely friendly with all of the guests but the guys needed some prodding to engage with people and have a good time. One of the gentlemen did not engage much at all and was very stoic. The bartendar was great.

Great resort for a diving couple......

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
28 Thank Krista B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 1 August 2005

A top shelf resort, Turneffe Island Lodge is a great destination for scuba diving or just a very relaxing holiday. Getting there was as easy as stepping off the plane. We were greeted at the airport by the manager and our bags were whisked away only to be waiting in our rooms shortly after we arrived. The boat ride was comfortable and the staff was waiting on the dock when we arrived promptly 90 minutes after leaving Belize City. Note that Turneffe Island time is 1 hour later than Belize City.

Check-in was smooth, the air-conditioned rooms were neat and clean and cool. We had one of the private cabanas and it had its own screened-in porch with rocking chairs. By all means spring for the private cabana if your budget allows. Meals are served family style, it was excellent and there was always plenty. Coffee and Tea is served to your room at 6:30. Breakfast is at 7:30, Lunch at 12:30 and Evening meals are at 7:30, a little late for some but always proceeded by drinks and appetizers around 6:30.

Our trip was seven nights, Saturday to Saturday. We did a morning dive and two afternoon dives Sunday, two morning dives and an afternoon dive Monday-Thursday and two morning dives on Friday.

Sunday was our first checkout dive. All dives were drift dives except this and the Blue Hole.

Monday night a major lighting storm hit the island and knocked out the internet service and some of the hot water systems. The staff had the hot water re-routed before morning so none of the guests even knew of the problem.

Tuesday was a trip to lighthouse reef and the Blue Hole. The other two dives on Half Moon and The Aquarium, were worth the trip. Between the last two dives we were served a fabulous picnic lunch on the half-moon island “Red Footed Booby” bird sanctuary. Seeing the birds nesting was a added treat.

Wednesday we had a group of porpoises join us on all three dives. What a special treat that was. The dive staff said they see them often.

Thursday is normally reserved for a night dive in place of the afternoon dive but our group requested the afternoon dive instead and was accommodated without a problem.

Friday evening was a wonderful outdoor Bar-B-Q. Except for the mosquitoes it was indeed paradise. Bring bug spray. The screens on the rooms do a great job of letting you sleep without them but they are certainly there in force after the sun goes down.

Boats were fast and comfortable and all of the dive sites were just a few minutes from the dock. The dive master was extremely knowledgeable about the reefs and located a lot of marine life for all of us to see. We were all diving with computers and most of were on 32% Nitrox. There was no fixed time limit on dives and all of us were allowed to dive our own profiles and one hour dives were common. All of our gear was set up for each dive exactly as we set it for the first dive on Sunday. After the last dive on Friday, our gear was rinsed and set out to dry. Certainly first class service all the way.

The hotel staff was also first class, our rooms were always supplied with fresh towels when we returned from diving and our beds were turned down each night when we returned from eating. Check-out was as smooth as check-in. Our flights were confirmed for us when we returned from diving Friday. A pre-invoice was available for review prior to the final bill on Saturday.

The grounds were immaculate. Combed sand beaches, flowers, palm trees, hammocks on the shores and beside the rooms, chairs on the beach, a sailboat and sea kayaks. Some parts needed some repairs after the recent hurricane but repairs were on-going when we were there and we learned that they were closing for two months shortly to undergo a complete renovation.

Not much else to say except that we will certainly plan a return trip. If your looking for a great place in the middle of nowhere to relax and/or go diving, put this place on the top of your list.

Helpful?
28 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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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