Turtle Inn is the 2nd Francis Ford Coppola resort we stayed in on our honeymoon. It is a beautiful, relaxed, thoughtfully designed resort on a lovely beach in Placencia. We had a few minor problems with room maintenance including a lock that never functioned properly, a squeaky ceiling fan above the bed, and bits of trash/cleaning rags left outside the cottage that never went away. That being said, the staff was extremely responsive and warm and you can't help but feel like an honored guest and friend. We stayed in cottage 18, a seafront cottage at the far end of the property. The location was ideal, it was very private (although the outdoor shower in the enclosed garden is quite viewable from the balcony of the private residence next door). The cottage is steps from the ocean and the view is amazing. That being said, next time we might save a few dollars and reserve Seaview cottage #17, 14, 1, or 2, which we think offer the same level of privacy and a lovely view at a lower price).
One substantive complaint is that you can't take a bike for a ride unless you return it by 5 pm when the dive shop closes, which seems arbitrary and inconvenient (we get that they want you back by dark, but sunset was much later than 5 pm).
We weren't very active -- we had exceptional massages, and did a half day fishing trip in the mangroves on the bay. Our fishing guide Paolo was excellent and extremely patient (he spent a lot of time unhooking my lures from the mangroves). We did take advantage of the water transfer, which was well worth the $100 Belizean to avoid the long bumpy road. Finally, we witnessed an exceptional act of heroism by Liston the beach bartender, Tyrone, one of the beach captains and a third beach captain, when they heard cries for help from offshore. A local fisherman's boat had been flipped by a powerboat and he had been swept out to sea, entangled in his fishing lines. The 3 Turtle Inn staff jumped into sit-atop kayaks and raced out to help him. The rescue took about an hour and they truly saved the life of the fisherman who could not swim and was several hundred yards offshore in a strong current when they finally reached him. We were very impressed.
Our only problem with our stay was a problem one could encounter anywhere, particularly at beach resorts. A group of 6 30-something Americans traveling as a pack (if not a hoard) seemed to think that they were the only guests and therefore could act anyway they wished. They were loud, boorish, and showed up a table away wherever and whenever we tried to enjoy a quiet evening. They actually made the families with toddlers look quiet. The staff helped by moving our table more than once, and were most solicitous, but I would have appreciated it if they would have let the sextet know that others were complaining (we weren't the only ones). For me, the rooms here are the tops, but Blancaneaux is the winner as it seems to attract a more sympathetic clientele.
- 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