My wife and I took our two boys (8 and 9) to Belize and stayed at the Placencia. It was absolutely amazing. I’m so glad we didn’t pay attention to the whining negative reviews. You just have to know what you are looking for and pick a place that matches your plans and lifestyle. This is an incredible resort property and is perfect for an active family wanting to experience the best Belize has to offer but still stay in extreme comfort. If you are looking for a “Spring Break” kind of all-inclusive you will be disappointed with the Placencia. But if you want a fantastic relaxing vacation with the opportunity to get off the resort grounds and experience a beautiful country and have a very safe and enjoyable luxury resort to come home to every night, this is it. The staff is extremely helpful and friendly and the resort grounds and facilities are unbelievable. The resort is relatively small, so no there is not the disco and party nightlife but if that’s what you’re looking for there are more than enough traditional all-inclusive options elsewhere and you probably wouldn’t enjoy the Placencia anyway. This resort is for those that truly want to enjoy the beauty and culture of another country but appreciate the safety, cleanliness and service of a luxury property.
Our accommodations consisted of three full bedrooms, each with its own ensuite bath and flat screen TV and the kids thought that was great. The rooms were kept quite clean but without ever making you feel like you were intruding on the housekeeping staff like so many of the larger resorts. The food was quite good – even the buffet where we ate most meals. I know there have been some negative comments about the food in other reviews, but you really have to remember that this is another country. If you only want what is familiar, then stay in Canada and the US. Part of the experience of going to another country is to experience their food, customs and culture. If our two boys could get through the week without ever really complaining about the food options, I would hope that most grown-ups could have an open mind too. The authentic dishes were delicious and the fresh fruits and vegetable are incredible. There were always at least three options for main course and at least one of those was reasonably tame for the unadventurous. We really had no complaints about the food and we all enjoyed the local flare (even our boys valued the chance to experience something outside their comfort zone).
The pool is immaculate and quite warm and never crowded – big bonus over the typical all-inclusive. The resort grounds are very enjoyable and well-groomed. They are not huge but you can visit their organic garden, the beach is beautiful and the water is very warm and the entire area around the resort is owned by the same company as the resort. There are residence houses and a lagoon just outside the gates and lots of opportunity to explore the area. If the water near shore is not as clear as you like (there are some grasses near shore but they don’t really present a problem for most people), then jump off the deck outside the pier restaurant. It’s a great way to feel refreshed. One recommendation is to be sure to have good insect repellant (Ben’s, Sawyer’s or Ultrathon or the like) and keep it with you, even at the pool. Around 4:00 or so the no-see-ums (aka sand flies) come out. While they are about the size of a fruit fly, they bite like crazy and they will leave an itchy bite mark. If you apply good bug spray when they first appear, they’re really a non-issue. Otherwise we had no problems with bugs.
We went snorkeling, took a trip up the Monkey River into the rainforest and went cave kayaking on the Caves Branch River. The cave kayaking was incredible. It’s a bit of a drive (about 2.5 hours) but the scenery is beautiful and the experience is definitely worth the effort. But be warned – it is an active tour and requires all participants to be in relatively good shape. Our boys are very active and love to explore nature and new things, so they did well, but I would guess not a lot of kids their age would have done nearly as well. The actual kayaking is about 4.5 hours and requires about a 10 minute portage through the rainforest (which is an amazing experience in itself). This is not an amusement park ride though – it’s very isolated and you can’t “get off” if you change your mind. But if you are relatively adventurous and want an amazing experience deep in nature, I highly recommend this one. It was a highlight.
If you love Belize as much as we did, stop by and see Wayne and his team - Pat and Kim - at the sales office. The future plans for this place are incredible and, from what I saw, the prices, while definitely not cheap, are likely an excellent investment. There are residence options for just about every budget and preference, so consider speaking to the sales team. They are incredibly friendly and enjoy showing you around. Plus they have some great ideas for how to really experience this amazing country. No I do not work for the Placencia and I am not getting paid to say this. Wayne and the team just really added so much to our vacation it would not be right to forget to mention them. And who knows, someday I may take my own advice and explore ownership a little more seriously. Visit the Placencia and you’ll understand.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Placencia Hotel is the fastest growing Hotel in the general area offering the finest amenities and service to an ever discerning clientele visiting Belize. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- The Hotel Placencia
- The Resort Placencia
- The Placencia Hotel And Residences Belize