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“Perfect Start to our Honeymoon” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Blancaneaux Lodge

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Blancaneaux Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Woodland Hills, CA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Perfect Start to our Honeymoon”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 June 2013

This was one of the most amazing and unique vacation spots we have ever been to. The drive there is a bumpy one and worth the trip. The lodge is located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve and provides all kinds of unique vegetation, wildlife and adventure. Our honeymoon cabana overlooked the river, and one of its many waterfalls. The cabana was rustic, comfortable and romantic. It was truly the perfect place for us to enjoy each other's company. That does not mean that we did not get out and have some adventures. We did a number of excursions that were included in our Honeymoon package. Starting with the horse back ride to the Big Rock Falls was amazing. It is not very often to get into a river and climb rocks and swim up to the base of the falls and get a "natural" water massage. Truly awesome, Oscar was a fantastic guide. Next trip was Caracol. Eddie was our guide and incredibly knowledgeable. Another great excursion that included Rio Frio cave, Toucans, Howler Monkeys, Iguanas, and fantastic Maya ruins with a view from 150feet up atop the largest pyramid that was breathtaking. After working up a sweat climbing the ruins, a visit to Rio On pools, a natural river, with small waterfalls, swimming pools was the perfect "natural" cool down. Last tour was Barton Creek cave tour. We have never been in such a serene and mystical place. Thanks to Jorge for pointing out all the remains, formations, and history of the Mayans and the caves.

Now back to the resort-the staff was incredible. They all showed great pride in Belize, the lodge and the heritage of the area. Everyone was willing to answer all our questions while providing a high level of hospitality. The rooms were immaculate and clean, the bed was comfortable and the sound of the waterfall lulled us to bed each night. The service staff in the restaurant was on point and very friendly. Breakfast was delicious, dinners truly showed the Italian influence of the Coppola name. Part of the great food is that all the greens come from the organic garden on property. It is as fresh as fresh gets. The property feels so natural, beautiful, and like you are part of the jungle. You walk down the river, cross bridges, hike trails, bird watch, or find one of the many landing areas to just stop, relax and do nothing. Can't wait to return. Thanks for a great visit

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Johnb2121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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409 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (97)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2013

I don't want to review this because I don't want everyone to know about this special place. Most amazing stay that I have ever had anywhere. Its absolutely magical. The people who work there are so knowledgeable and kind. We visited the spa, and it was pretty good. The man was a bit on the rough side, but I usually prefer woman. Also, I wish that they would have given us some time to relax before and after the massage. Overall, it was a good massage. We took a trip to the ATM cave, and it was breath taking. It is an all day hike, but worth it. The tour guide, Louis, was great. He gave us great information and tailored it towards us and what we wanted to see. The food was pretty tasty, and the basil mojitos addicting. 3 nights wasn't enough. We came for our honeymoon and the staff set us up with a romantic dinner which was delightful. Tons of candles, flower petals, and the most romantic dinner we ever had! Every night we got back to the cabana we had candles lit all over.

I can't stop thinking about what a magical time this was, and can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ASA_81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
27 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 May 2013

This is a place that combines luxury with adventure. This is the first eco-lodge I have been to but not my first time in Belize. They do it right. The lodges are private and on the river. There is hiking, horseback riding, history. The food is awesome. And the service is impeccable. They have conch shell two-way intercom to the guest services desk for ANY need. Everything was taken care of without hitch. I will certainly go back. Check out a more detailed experience at http://dainehring.com/category/uncategorized/belize/ or just dainehring.com

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TravelDain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2013

We spend our honeymoon between Ambergris Caye (Matachica) and San Ignacio (Blancaneaux Lodge). My pros and cons are below.

Pros:
- Absolutely beautiful grounds.
- Fantastic guided tours. I mean incredible. Both to the ruins and to ATM.
- The indoor and the outdoor showers in the deluxe room are amazing.
- Great service and staff.
- Great drinks at the bar.

Cons:
- The food in both the Italian restaurant and in the Guatemalan restaurant was below average.
- Our spa experience was very weak. The man who did my massage had the roughest hands I've ever felt. It's like he was wearing gloves made out of dead skin - gross.
- The music in the spa and restaurant caters to an 85 year old crowd. Its really horrible.
- It's rare to find anyone at the resort under 50.
- Our deluxe room had so little light that it was hard to get dressed in the morning. The rooms could use a little work actually. Not very romantic.

Room Tip: We didn't use the private pool in our deluxe cabana at all. I wouldn't waste the money. Alth...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank brenncc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
148 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2013

This is a good place for a couple or a family that wants the luxuries of an American Hotel in a third world country jungle inn. It does not have air conditioning but you don't need it (at least when we were there in April) because you sleep in charming little huts with open screens. At night the staff comes down and pulls down canvas screens for privacy and warmth. They also light little candles and leave good sweets. We had a one room hut but many are larger since most people come with school age kids or young teens. There is a central house with a living room kind of place and then a dining room. The grounds are very manicured like an American resort. There is also a wonderful big swimming pool that is often empty which is great for a plash in such a hot place. The main activity we found on the grounds (there may be more) was a jungle walk for about an hour and a half to a waterfall. You can swim at the base and this is a primitive and great. The walk was quite hard fore me (middle aged and out of shape) but everyone else seemed fine with it. The final climb down (and then up) was tough for everyone except the natives who hopped from rock to rock easily. So what is wrong with this place? First it is really not in a very pretty location like some other lodges like Black Rock. There is a curious lack of singing birds for example and the jungle appears kind of lifeless. Also you are trapped there without a car. It iis about an hour off the main road so dusty and pitted that you won't believe it. Then you are trapped here unless you have a car. What people do is pay the hotel to take tours to local caves and to the Mayan ruins. These trips are not cheap since the hotel essentially adds a substantial charge over the price you would pay in nearby San Ignacio with the same vendors. Also you can't really go anywhere else to eat unless you have a car (you need to have rented a four wheel jeep - Crystal in Belize is great for this). I would suggest that you figure out if you want a hut close to the administration room (better for internet which otherwise is only available near the main desk) and also allowing you to hear the artificial water fall or further away which may have more of an isolated jungle feel. The food is quite mediocre and if you thought otherwise because of watching the Godfather movies and reading about Francis Ford Coppola you will be disappointed. Finally families and couples do not mingle as they do on other lodges, each stays to itself so it is not a place to make new friends. Overall it had a much more commercial feel than other lodges you will find in this Pine Forest area. I always had the feeling that the manager spent most of his time trying to sell us the next day's excursion since I suppose that is what the owner's of the hotels expect of him. It does not make you feel like they want to provide much of an experience for you at the actual hotel. However if you are or are traveling with a person who is ill at ease outside of the USA luxury resort this may be the best place for you in Belize. I notice that the guide books sing its praise though it does not score as high as you would expect it to (given the guide books) on Tripadvisor which will offer you some better options. But the Thai massages are just great.

Room Tip: Close to the admin building if you want better wifi and further away if you want more of a jungle fe...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ronaldfairbairn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
148 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2013

Our experience at Blancaneaux Lodge was exquisite. The staff was super friendly and helpful, our cabana had our own private pool. The attention to detail was amazing. We loved the outdoor shower and thoroughly enjoyed the dining and the river and waterfalls running through the property added to the ambience. According to staff such celebrities as Bill Gates, Anne Hathaway, Charlize Theron, Robin Williams & Alicia Silverstone have all stayed at the Lodge. I would recommend this place to anyone without hesitation

Room Tip: get the deluxe cabana!
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank CMacDRC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2013

I can't understand the praise this place has got unless it is for historical reaons and the love of the Godfather movies (which I share.). In many ways it is like a medicore luxury resort plunked down in the jungle. Not only is it expensive but nothing is "for free." Anything you want to do outside of the hotel (and there is not much to do in the hote except for an interesting mountain walk to a great waterfall) requires a good deal of money to pay for tours that the hotel puts a surcharge on - but which you could book on your own in San Ignacio or on the Web for less. Presumably the clientelle is rich enough not to care and that is what they count on to make money by charging for merely booking the tours run by local companies for cheaper rates. The management has money signs in their eyes - the first intro to the hotel has the manager telling you they have a 10% surcharge for service but that you should not influence you to tip less "if you like the service." Nothing about Belize. Nothing about the ecology - only the fidicuiaries and having you sign a series of "release forms" relieving them of liability. The other resorts we stayed in did not do the same so this is not merely the local custom of hoteliers in Belize. There are, in fact, no "free" nature walks led by the staff - as in other places we have been nearby. The huts you live in are cute and fine and functional and are unusually rich in electrical outlets but the locale of the hotel is actually not so pretty given what else is available in this part of Belize. There is a lovey waterfall but it is man-made. There is a lovely swmming pool but no more lovey then in any ordinary US hotel. To me it is neither fish (a fancy resort) nor fowl (a true nature lodge). I would strongly suggest you try Blackrock which is nearby and is absolutely gorgeous and has all the features this hotel lacks - a pretty setting with breathtaking cliffs and rapids, free nature walks by the staff, communcal seating which allows you to meet other couples and an overall atmosphere which de-emphasizes "the bottom line." Here the manager's main occupation seems to be to get you to buy expensive tours. Despite by love of Francis Ford Coppola's film work - this place has no heart. And the food - even the Italian Pasta- is expensive and close to dreadful.

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank leoszilard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Blancaneaux Lodge

Property: Blancaneaux Lodge
Address: Central Farm | Cayo District, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Cayo > Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Blancaneaux Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the early 1980s, Francis Ford Coppola visited Belize, immediately fell in love with the location, and purchased the abandoned Blancaneaux Lodge. For more than a decade the resort was used as a family retreat before Francis opened his tropical paradise to the public in 1993. Tucked away in a pocket of the Maya Mountains, Blancaneaux Lodge is a 20-room luxury resort where waterfalls tumble into turquoise pools above the jungle canopy. Its remote mountain setting makes it a perfect place to relax, rejuvenate and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blancaneaux Hotel San Ignacio
Blancaneaux San Ignacio

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