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“Absolutely delightful!”
Review of Blancaneaux Lodge

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Blancaneaux Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Zionsville, Indiana
Level 6 Contributor
209 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“Absolutely delightful!”
Reviewed 15 April 2014

We just returned from a week in Belize; 3 nights at Blancaneaux and then 4 nights down on the coast. Blancaneaux was wonderful. Very peaceful, relaxing and the tours we took to the Maya ruins and canoed through a cave were outstanding. The tour guides were wonderful; knowledgeable, nice, helpful and a delight to be with. We enjoyed our villa and the open air feeling, the fantastic stars at night and overall ambience. The food and service were impeccable and everyone knew our names. We have already put Blancaneaux on our list of places to return to in short order and have told all our friends this is a must go to place. One note; all the people we encountered in Belize were wonderful, friendly and helpful. Such a delight.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank EagleTravel29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bernie M, Manager at Blancaneaux Lodge, responded to this review, 20 April 2014
We are so happy to know that you had a good time- we look forward to hosting you again. Thank you for spreading the good news.
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427 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Value
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (104)
Date | Rating
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English first
West Olive, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
94 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2014

We had a very tranquil and relaxing 3 day stay at Blancaneaux Lodge last week. We booked the end unit (#20) which has it's own infinity pool looking out over the river and jungle, so the heat of the day was easy to diffuse. The rest of the resort was equally magical. We had a very romantic and peaceful dinner out on the deck with the river sounds in the background. Being awakened by tropical birds in the morning was an added bonus. Biking to the Big Rock Falls was fun (beware, it is gradual downhill there and gradual uphill back, so take water and go early in the morning or late in the day). You can also hike a flat and easy trail along the river, which takes about 45 minutes. Be sure to walk through the gardens and stables if you have time. The road from the airport to the resort is bumpy and long...there is a runway strip right near the resort, so book a flight from there through TropicAir to avoid the drive back. There are lots of excursions nearby ~ we took the Barton Creek tour (canoe with guide) and it was a great experience. The Orchid Trail is a walk around the grounds of the lodge. Very pretty! We saw a white-tailed dear and lots of orchids (some blooming).

Room Tip: Book unit #20 for privacy and peacefulness. It is a hike to some of the rooms, so if you don't...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Tiamaria865
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bernie M, Manager at Blancaneaux Lodge, responded to this review, 15 April 2014
Our team is pleased to know that we fullfil your expectation during your stay. Thank you for taking the time out to share your feed back.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 April 2014

The Blancaneaux Lodge was superb! The grounds were absolutely gorgeous. We stayed for two days. On the first day we went to Caracol. Our visit to Caracol was absolutely awesome! Our tour guide, Eddie, was great and very informed about the site. After our visit to Caracol we got massages. The masseuse, Ne, was great and very nice. The second day we went to barton creek cave. Great tour of the cave. The food at the resort was mostly tasty too. I loved the ginger tea and the civeche best. The bungalows were gorgeous and the service is amazing. I'd recommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank GrantMimms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bernie M, Manager at Blancaneaux Lodge, responded to this review, 15 April 2014
Thank you for sharing the highlights of your stay at the lodge, we are so happy to know that you had a great time. Our team do their very best to use ingrediets that are readily available to us and very familiar with.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2014

The property is gorgeous, the rooms are basic but beautiful and the staff is outstanding. We went mountain biking on old logging roads with Abi in the mornings (fantastic, challenging) while Francesco and Marcus took our children to "camp" (where they rode horses, gathered eggs, made and flew kites). After lunch we hiked, swam in the river and hot tub, followed by massage (the thai massage was exceptional). It was hot during the day (90s) and cold enough at night that we needed sweaters and duvets. Idyllic! Thanks to everyone at Blancaneaux for a lovely stay.

Room Tip: We loved villa number 5, right on the river with two bedrooms, but all of the rooms looked lovely an...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank J D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bernie M, Manager at Blancaneaux Lodge, responded to this review, 1 April 2014
Thank you for sharing your feed back- we are pleased to read that we met your expecttions at all levels. I will share with our team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Diego, California
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 March 2014

We just returned from a 4 night 5 day stay at Blancaneaux lodge and I have nothing but praise for the facility. The grounds are well maintained and beautiful, accommodation is comfortable and isolated and the staff were attentive to our every need. We had an all inclusive package, which wash't cheap, but was well worth it. We could choose anything from the menus at the 2 restaurants, both excellent, and modify our meals if needed. The food is either grown on the property or sourced locally. All fresh and all beautifully prepared. We stayed in 2 of the cabanas. The first 2 nights in luxury cabana with a plunge pool….we came back at night to a room filled with candle light! Very romantic. The third and fourth nights were at a river view cabana, much smaller but still lovely. The day trips were personalized and if a picnic was included it was silver service (well almost!). Thank you to all the staff at Blancaneaux for giving us a truly wonderful vacation.

Room Tip: the luxury/honeymoon cabanas are fabulous. a little more expensive but well worth it
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank DrCmh2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bernie M, Manager at Blancaneaux Lodge, responded to this review, 31 March 2014
Thank you for taking the time out to share your experience with us, I iwll share with our team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
dallas
Level 6 Contributor
110 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2014

Let me just say my overall impression of this lodge is a good one. We had a wonderful stay and thoroughly enjoyed our time here. I would go back. But there were a few things I didn't like.

We stayed in a family cabana (# 8) which really was perfect for our family. There were three beds in the room, which is perfect for a family willing to share a room but with kids who don't want to sleep together. Unfortunately, our cabana was about 10 feet too close to the main lodge, where the bar and restaurant are located. Both the bar and restaurant are mellow and the clientele is reserved, but we had the sound of clanking dishes from the kitchen start up at 6 am every day, and go on well after the restaurant closed at night. Our cabana also filled with the smell of cooking bacon every day. Again, 10 feet would have made all the difference! On the plus side, the wifi reached into our cabana. We had also booked our trip with a Virtuoso agent, which meant we were eligible for an upgrade to a two bedroom unit. The day before our arrival, the lodge website indicated a two bedroom unit was available, although we weren't upgraded. I realize that there are many good possible reasons why we weren't upgraded, and it is courtesy and not an expectation, but I did want to share that with others who might be using a Virtuoso agent.

Our ride in from BZE was very interesting. There is no question the last hour is a bumpy one, but it was part of the adventure and our driver Theo was great. We also did two excursions through the hotel. One to Caracol (including the river and cave stops) with Eddie, which was outstanding. Great sites and a great guide. We also did the Barton Creek Cave with Theo. That was another outstanding afternoon with a great guide, who clearly loves sharing the cave and the area. We traveled to Placencia after Blancaneaux, also with a Blancaneaux driver. That was also long, but the Hummingbird Highway was beautiful. I had considered the charter flight from Blancaneaux, but I'm glad we drove, as we got to see lots of Belize that we wouldn't have otherwise.

The food at the resort was very good, and we ate at both restaurants. The pack lunches that came with the excursions was also very good. Service everywhere was very attentive, and housekeeping was great, especially the turndown service.

The one issue I had that really left me with a raised eyebrow had to do with an involuntary change in an excursion. We had originally planned to visit ATM. Unfortunately, the night before we were to head out, someone had a campfire on the bridge, resulting in it being structurally unsound. The hotel staff was very straightforward about our options, and we decided to change our prepaid ATM trip to a morning at the spa (which was great) and an afternoon at Barton Creek Cave. The price for the ATM trip is listed as $1006 BZ, and Barton Creek is $406 BZ. Our spa bill was $432 BZ. The price listed for the tours includes a 12.5 % Government tax, while the price for the spa does not. None of those prices include a service charge. According to my math, that is a $114 BZ difference between the ATM tour which we paid for and the Barton Creek Tour and spa services which we ultimately used. At check out, we asked at the front desk if we would be refunded the $114 BZ, and were told "No, because that's the difference in taxes and service charges." It clearly is not. Which is either a mistake on their part, or deceitful and insulting. I'm hoping it's the former. Blancaneaux makes it clear in their literature that they are not responsible for tours that go awry for reasons beyond their control, so I was glad we were able to change our tour around and get into the spa on short notice. And had they said something like "We had to change the tour 12 hours before it was scheduled and already paid the driver and guide" I also would have understood and not worried about the difference. But it bugs me to not get a straight answer. That left a bad taste in my mouth, as it came up when we were settling our bill, and was my last impression of the resort. I know this seems like a minor complaint when overall our stay was great, but part of the reason I get to take vacations is managing my money, so I want to be sure what I'm paying is appropriate.

Overall, we had a really pleasant stay, with memories our family will treasure forever.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ElsieLew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bernie M, Manager at Blancaneaux Lodge, responded to this review, 31 March 2014
Thank you for sharing your feed back with us on the enjoyable time you had at our resrot. The incident on the ATM road was unfortunate, which are not constant occurances.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 February 2014

I can't say enough good things about our four days at Blancaneaux. The resort grounds are gorgeous (love the hot tub by the river and the sound of the waterfall as you walk back to the rooms), the thatched-roof villas spacious and comfortable (especially with thoughtful touches like candles appearing on the deck when we came back each night from dinner and a hot water bottle tucked between our sheets), and the food was above average. They make an effort to use produce and herbs grown in the onsite garden. There is an interesting blend of local and Italian cuisine, given that the property is owned by Francis Ford Coppola. We much preferred the Belizean and Guatemalan dishes because we wanted a more authentic experience, but the Italian dishes we tried were tasty. Definitely go to the Jaguar bar and have Edmund make you a drink--we probably had one of everything, but the ginger mojito is what I'm still thinking about. The service and staff is what made our stay truly exceptional. Rhyan, Cesar, and Melky were incredibly helpful around the lodge. Others in my group took advantage of the spa services, and gave rave reviews about the Thai massage.

As others have said, the property is remote and it's a bumpy ride on dirt roads whenever you leave the resort. Bring your sense of adventure and plenty of bug spray. We had an unbelievable tour of Caracol (local Mayan site) with guides Eddie and Jorge-- their passion and knowledge was incredible. We also enjoyed a great drive with Theo to the ATM Caves, who taught us about local medicinal plants among a number of other topics.

Blancaneaux set a high bar for the rest of the places we went on our trip, and we all agree we would go back if given the chance.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Julia D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bernie M, Manager at Blancaneaux Lodge, responded to this review, 21 February 2014
Thank you very much for your comments, I will share with our team. We hope to host you again very soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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:3.5 star — Blancaneaux Lodge 3.5*
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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