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“Good but not great”
Review of Turtle Inn

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Turtle Inn
Ranked #3 of 20 Hotels in Placencia
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 June 2011

My husband and I just returned from a week at Turtle Inn, and while we had a nice time there were a few things that potential visitors should note.

As others have mentioned, there is no air conditioning and no tv. The lack of AC was rough, especially when you are paying quite a hefty rate. Some nights, when it storms, the rain flaps are rolled down to protect the cabins and there is absolutely no breeze. It led to a few sleepless nights. Speaking of sleep, we were in a seaview cottage and the bed was quite small - I'm guessing a double? Also, request a mosquito net when you arrive. They are not in the rooms and we, along with many others, experienced a whole lot of bug bites.

If you are a couple looking for lots of activity or have children, this is a good place to go. The tours were great and we loved checking out Monkey River and diving. If you are looking to bliss out on a beautiful beach or by a luxurious pool, it is not the place to go. The beach is ok but murky and full of seaweed or sea grass. The pool by the bar is nice, but there are often many children there playing. The adults only pool is a decent alternative, but it is not next to the beach, and there is no bar or food nearby.

On the plus side, several members of staff are so wonderful - especially Charlie at the pool bar and Terryann, the concierge. They both go out of their way to make your visit special and always have a smile for you. Also, we enjoyed the restaurants (especially the house-made pastas and lobster grills!) and did not find them pricey. In fact the prices seemed quite reasonable for a resort. And a massage is a must, the masseuses are wonderful.

While I appreciate the Inn's efforts to create an environment of rustic tranquility, I do think they could make a few adjustments to justify the rates and give travelers a true 4-5 star experience.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank mls37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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452 - 458 of 643 reviews

Reviewed 24 June 2011

The Turtle Inn is a place of serenity. A puddle jumper carries you south from Belize City over the rain forests and pencil thin coral sand beaches of the Belizean Coast. The smile of a hotel staff member greats you as quickly as the heat from the tarmac of tiny Placencia Airport. The hotel is unassuming and delightfully elegant. From the soaring thatched roof of the main building, to the pastels of hammocks swaying in front of each cabana, every detail here slows the heart rate.

The resort is spread out over about half a mile of beach front and dotted at regular intervals by large Bali-inspired thatched cottages. The sand is grainy and the beach never more than 10 meters across. The water, bathtub-like in its heat, still manages to wash away the heat of the afternoons, though its abundant seaweed also tickles one’s skin. As an alternative to salt there are two pools: one triangular and seemingly untouched by the hotel guests, and; one front and center between the restaurant/main lodge and the bar/beach. The later is the spiritual center of the Inn. I would recommend procuring a cottage further from this pool as it means you’re more isolated, which is the whole point of being at the Inn.

Serenity is both the beauty and the Achilles heel of the Turtle Inn. Time spent at the resort is supremely relaxing; there is no reason to think of time or life outside your novel and coconut mojito. The lack of activity may at some point become dull; I fear this is the consequence of our twittering, urban, life-style The Turtle Inn understands this and does a good job offering trips off property, from scuba to caving, there seems to be plenty of action available.

The combination of these two options made our trip. We spent two days on either end of the week sitting in hammocks, swimming, biking into town (for day drinking you can’t beat De’Tach), playing board games, and generally being in a state of blissful malaise. During the middle three days we hiked in rain forests, dove on coral reefs, and swam through long, dark, river caves. The contrasting experiences made the other all the more spectacular.

The bill at the end was a tome of endless charges but such a vacation has its price. The world is full of stunning places and I am not one to evaluate amongst them. Were I to ever attempt such a feat Turtle Inn would be on the list.

PS - A shout out to Eric and Fransisco for being great guides.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Ullage34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2011

We'd been wanting to go here for a while and finally made it. We were fortunate it wasn't crowded and we enjoyed the lack of people for a couple of days. There's enough room at the resort that you'd still have plenty of space even if the entire place was booked, but we loved the relative quiet.
As mentioned by others, the location of the cottage you get can make a difference in the quality of your stay. We had a seafront cottage (which was huge) and loved it. It's definitely pricey, but we splurged for a belated anniversary and it was worth it. It's too bad that Auntie Luba's and Gaugin Grill weren't open every night, since we enjoyed that food more than we like Italian food (the dominant cuisine at the Mare Restaurant). You can get a ride into town from the resort, so it's not like the dining options at the Inn are your only choices. The complimentary continental breakfast is good. The staff are very helpful and unobtrusive and were one of the reasons this place stands out from other resorts.
We'd recommend having at least one drink at the Laughing Fish Bar. Charlie, the bartender, had us try one of his coconut mojitos (see photo) and we were hooked. One of the best mixed drinks we've ever had, made with fresh coconuts from the property.
We are definitely planning to go back.

Room Tip: Seafront if possible
  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JEBrandt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2011

Similar to what some other reviews have said, we thought the rooms and ground were magnificent. However, the location right alongside a super busy road left a lot to be desired. The amenities were incredible, but it's hard to enjoy them when you hear big trucks, road construction, and traffic going by on the other side of the dividing wall at all hours. We also experienced some administration issues with the staff incorrectly advising us as to what was/wasn't included in our package. We also experienced some headaches with incorrect info. the front desk/activity leader gave us regarding how rain would/wouldn't impact several of our planned excursions....subsequently causing us to miss one morning. This created some headaches, which was disappointing and unexpected when you choose to stay at a place of this caliber. I would stay at Blancaneaux in the mountains over Turtle Inn again.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank blackdog1979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2011

A gorgeous setting, amazing hospitality and lots to do and see! Martin, the GM. is the best!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Mayanjourneygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 June 2011

Courteous staff, beautiful location and accommodations, and a taste of the tropical lifestyle, Turtle Inn has it all. We stayed here for the past 6-days on our honeymoon and I could not wait to write a review for this beautiful resort. I'm actually writing it while waiting for my flight home in Belize City. The food, while pricey is divine and fresh. The excursions were amazing and the guides knowledgable. Turtle Inn is not for everybody so do your research before coming here.. No, they don't have air conditioning, and no, they don't have a crazy nightlife to offer; however, Turtle Inn gives you a taste of the native lifestyle and culture. Thank you to the wonderful staff at Turtle Inn for a memorable honeymoon experience.

  • Stayed: May 2011
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1  Thank SCasie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2011

We spent one week at the Turtle Inn Resort in Placentia, Belize. It was told to be one of the nicest resorts in Belize...

We book a Seaview room which actually had nearly no sea view (we could see the ocean between two other cottages...). IT HAS NO AIR CONDITION!!!! The temperature was 35 degrees Celsius during daytime and 29 degrees Celcius during the night. No way to get a good sleep. For a price like this you really can expect aircon!

The food was good but far to expensive. For a small beear they charged 4.50 USD and for the eggs as an extra to go with the continental breakfast the price was 11 USD! We mostly had dinner in "downtown" Placencia where we paid less than half.

The staff was kind but not very reliable; even it is "just the carribean" we expected to have what so ever service without not asking several times. At least there was a slow internet connection in the room.

In total not worth the money that we paid.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BonfishBlues
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Turtle Inn

Address: Placencia Village, Placencia, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Stann Creek > Placencia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Placencia
#2 Luxury Hotel in Placencia
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Placencia
#4 Family Hotel in Placencia
#6 Romantic Hotel in Placencia
Price Range: £239 - £489 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Turtle Inn 4.5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury and unspoiled beauty on a pristine white-sand beach.Turtle Inn is a true labor of love. Less than a year after Francis and Eleanor Coppola acquired this beachside refuge in 2001, it was swept out to sea by the forces of Hurricane Iris. Turning disaster into triumph, the Coppolas led a two-year reclamation project, creating a magnificent resort that is consistently ranked among the best in Central and South America.This 25-room seafront hideaway combines natural wonders with luxury style. Accommodations are in individual thatched cottages, decorated with handcrafted Balinese furnishings and naturally cooled by the ever-present sea breezes. Just steps beyond your private deck, the white-sand beach dissolves into the clear Caribbean ocean. In addition, the resort has two infinity swimming pools for enjoying the day. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Turtle Hotel Placencia
Turtle Inn Belize/Placencia
Belize Turtle Inn

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