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“The Turtle Inn should sink back into its shell”
Review of Turtle Inn

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Turtle Inn
Ranked #3 of 19 Hotels in Placencia
Certificate of Excellence
Richmond, VA
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“The Turtle Inn should sink back into its shell”
Reviewed 6 June 2006

The Turtle Inn was supposed to be our perfect honeymoon getaway, but it didn't live up to our expectations. First, a reviewer on this site had warned that some of the cabanas were too close to the road and loud. I specifically asked about this, and I was told that my cabana was not close to the road, and it was more private than the others. The cabana was as close to the road as they get at Turtle Inn. As for privacy, we were right next to the service entrance, so the employees were constantly going by at all hours. I had printed out my e-mail correspondence with Reservations, and proved to them that I had been lied to. When you dream of an ocean getaway and get awakened by trucks at 6:00 am, it doesn't leave a good taste in your mouth. All gardenview cabanas are close to the road, and you will hear trucks early in the morning.

Next, I specifically asked to be on the ocean. I was told that I had to spend the first night in a gardenview cabana, but I would be moved to the oceanview cabana for the rest of the week. Of course, when I arrived, no one knew what I was talking about. The only thing they did was apologize and put us in an oceanfront cabana for our very last night.

One evening, we called the front desk to ask for a 7:00 am wake-up call. Later, the concierge verified the wake-up call while we were at dinner. At 8:00 am, they called us to see why we weren't at the dive shop for the Monkey River Tour. When I asked about the 7:00 am wake-up call, the only thing they said was "someone should have called you." Since we had already paid for the all-inclusive meal package, I thought maybe they could comp us a meal or some snacks, but that never happened.

In the time that we spent at Turtle Inn, I may have seen one or two other people get in the ocean. The water was not clear, the ocean floor was covered with sea grass and coral, and I had to dodge the trash. I'm not sure if Placencia uses the ocean as a dump, but the beaches were covered with trash. Turtle Inn made sure that most of the trash was not in front of the resort, but there was still trash in the ocean. When I talk about trash I mean bottles, pants, styrofoam, newspaper, oil cans--everything. This was not the Carribean getaway I envisioned.

Be forewarned that the excursions will take all day long. You will either travel hours on a bumpy dirt road or hours on boat. Most, if not all excursions leave at 8:00 am and return at 2:00 pm or later. The Monkey River Tour was a waste of time, unless you like birdwatching. Yes, we did see five monkeys gathered in a tree ultimately.

Overall, Turtle Inn is a nice resort, but it is not worth the time, money, or hassle to get to it. When you dream of a nice Carribean vacation, you do not dream of Turtle Inn. Go to the Virgin Islands or somewhere else. On a positive note, the service at the bar and in the restaurants was great. The Thai massage is spectacular.

22 Thank travelersfromric
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (194)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 26 April 2006

Spent 4 days of our honeymoon here and had a marvellous time. The rest of the world melted away and our every need was taken care of. The service is refined and not overbearing. I'd highly recommend this place. We were repeatedly treated like we there the only people there. When not on tours we spent our time lazing at the beach or the beachside bar. The ocean breezes were beat only by the outdoor courtyard showers.

A couple of small notes to be aware of. There were a lot more families than we expected but the sounds of the ocean kept your eyes and spirit focused out to sea. Food and drink are expensive, but you know that going in. Service was excellent, if a bit laid back. Be sure to double check reservations, spa times, etc. English is spoken widely, so it's easy to think you're always being understood.

Stayed April 2006
7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 5 April 2006

Recently got back from our honeymoon there. Overall this hotel was perfect and the best getaway possible - we arrived within 24 hours of "breaking the glass" (the end of the ceremony). I disagree with a couple of the other surverys but to each his own.

We stayed in the honeymoon cottage RIGHT on the beach. Yes you can't really sleep past 7 am because the fresh breeze, rising sun, singing birds, and small waves crashing wake you up - can't really complain about that! The rooms are immaculate with amazing outdoor bathrooms.

The beach is tiny but empty - we had two private lounge chairs right on our "front lawn". The pool is magnificent and yes if there's kids there then they may be a little loud, but they're kids for God's sake. But, mind you, there's no more than 5-8 people at the pool at any time.

In terms of the service, they are a little shy and indiscreet. Basically, I think Belize is pretty new to the whole tourism thing (but that's actually nice) but everyone we dealt with was extraordinarily nice, considerate, helpful, and truly passionate about their job and country. It would have been nice if they came up to you at the pool a little more and asked if you wanted a drink - but to be honest it was kind of nice that no one bothers you. If you wanted anything at all, all you have to do is walk 20 feet to the bar and they'll be more than happy to get it for you. I just found the atmosphere and service to be extremely relaxing and more than accomodating. We had no problem at all booking excursions, the front desk was very good. The Thai massage and regular massage that we got were unbelievable - the masseuses really are from Thailand, pretty unbelievable.

The restaurant is very good - not as good as Blancaneaux, but very good. I too am from NYC and used to very high prices. The restaurant isn't cheap but it's not so overpriced that I would complain. For instance when we checked in it was 'all you could eat pizza night' which costs $20 per person - not really all that bad for fresh, brick oven pizza in Belize! Also the gelato, yes about $5-6 for two scoops isn't cheap but then again you're not getting a McFlurry in the boonies of America. A continental free breakfast is included every morning with your room (FRESH fruit, coffee, fresh baked pastries, and the BEST orange juice you'll ever have) and you can also order typical breakfast stuff for an extra charge - ie huevos rancheros, french toast, pancakes, fresh yogurt (ranging from $8-15 - not all that bad)

I was a little disappointed however by the food elsewhere in Placancia - The Galley, which came highly recommended is very casual (indoor seating is not nice, and outdoors you sit on a concrete slab overlooking a soccer field. The food was alright, definitely cheap, but overall a fun experience. The Purple Space Monkey was cool for lunch. As "touristy" as it gets, relative for Placencia. The food was actually very, very good (try the smoked shrimp appetizer) and free internet was a nice bonus. Definitely go to Habaneros - a mexican restaurant across from the Inn at Roberts Grove. Very nice outdoor setting overlooking a bay, surprisingly good fresh food and very reasonable prices. The best thing I had was the spicy shrimp soup. Believe it or not the best meal we had in Placencia, including the Turlte Inns restaurant, was in the village of Monkey River! You'll hear more about this tour when you book a trip, but basically the town is tiny (less than 200 people) and everyone pretty much lives in shacks. The restaurant you eat at is an absolute dump but the food - fried snook (a local white fish) with rice n beans, and coleslaw but so authentic and tasty. A nice beer (Belikin - the beer of Belize) for an extra $2 made it all the more better.

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed 3 April 2006

Let's cut to the chase. You've read about how beautiful the place is and how wonderful the staff and service is. True. Also true that the food's excellent (compared to the other choices available in the area), if not overpriced. But here's the point, and a huge one it is: The area is infested with sand flies / no-see-ums / call 'em what you like. I counted 149 of the itchy bites on my wife and she counted over 125 on me. You want to go through that . . .? God bless you and have a great time.

Maybe there's a way to protect against them that we couldn't find, or maybe bugs just don't bite you. If that's the case then go and have a blast. But we've both traveled extensively throughout the 3rd World, and having met my share of travel challenges in many out-of-the-way places I can tell you that never before have I ever suffered as much as during our 4 days in the Turtle Inn's Chinese Matrimonial Suite (supposedly one of their nicest, if not, aside from Mr. Coppola's own on-grounds residence, their nicest cabana).

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
22 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2006

My two friends stayed here recently while I stayed in a small apartment next door. I was beyond impressed with the resort's willingness to welcome me as if I were a guest as well. The staff learned my name on the first night I was there and repeatedly offered me full use of their property. My friends and I all enjoyed the setting so very much. It was luxurious but in no way formal. Serene, natural, and just lovely. Our only complaint was that the restaurant's menu doesn't have enough diversity or variety, so during a 6 day stay we'd had enough after just two dinners and one lunch.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank LJoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Turtle Inn

Property: Turtle Inn
Address: Placencia Village, Placencia, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Stann Creek > Placencia
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 Luxury Hotel in Placencia
#2 Spa Hotel in Placencia
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Placencia
#4 Family Hotel in Placencia
#6 Romantic Hotel in Placencia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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