Portofino Resort- Now with a new BEACH BAR!!
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#54634 - 07/08/02 09:30 PM help
Bonnie B Offline
k. and i will be spending 17 days in belize. (july-aug) placencia 5days, cayo/orange walk 2-3 each, ambergris caye 6..researched but still confused. looking for some personal input (pros/cons), recommendations,and answers.
a.c. considering banana bch, victoria house, xandua?
placencia – soulshine, seranade isl, roberts grove, nautical inn, mariposa?
regarding both locals: are air conditioning and fridge necessary? which has good swim beach? do resorts provide beach chairs and palapas on the beach? are beach towels provided? shld we do a meal plan? recommendations for dive, snorkel, tour operators? shld do diving off placencia or a.c.? what do you use first insect repellant or sunscreen?

cayo – duPlooys, 5 sisters, crystal paradise? orange walk – lamanai out post lodge?
shld we go with a pkg deal (meals/tours) in these areas? Want to tour altun ha, shld we do this from a.c. or mainland? are tikal and actun tunichi cave worth it? are we trying to do to much? Should we book everything in advance or reach our first destination and plan from there? any help will be greatly appreciated. thanks

#54635 - 07/08/02 10:22 PM Re: help
sweetjane Offline
i just stayed at duplooys and really liked it. it is jungle-y yet civillized. did you see my pics? 2 days there isn't enuff.

i think it is sillly to return to mainland to do a tour once you fly over to ac. how many ruins do you need to see? lamanai too?see the ruins as you go. xunantunich may not be altun ha, but it is right there in cayo and also cool (did you see those pics too?). you can even arrange to horseback ride to it. the 1000 ft falls & rio frio caves can be both done in one day.

i skipped tikal but many liked it. i got skin so soft's "bug guard" that has spf 30 in it. one stop shopping, and worked great.

otherwise, i would say sunscreen first & spray over it.

remember, bring lots of ziplocs!

#54636 - 07/08/02 10:27 PM Re: help
sweetjane Offline

#54637 - 07/08/02 10:47 PM Re: help
denverdan Offline
Bonnie B,
hmmmm, Victoria House I might suggest for you for first time, unless on a budget. I've read/heard great reviews about Banana Beach as well. (some construction there now but I don't know if it would bother you, being out and about most of the time) Last stay there for us on the AC was at Caribe Island and it was very nice too.
When in Plancia we stayed at Rum Point. Oh my gosh, the room was HUGE! The "flinstone" homes were a bit small but very cute. The pool was better at Roberts Grove by far being on the sea side, however when we went to dinner there we had some well... problems. So did some guests there we met on the plane. But ya know... things do change! Lan loves it even!
Heard scary stories about Soulshine in the past... but have recently heard some great ones!! That was actually my first choice to stay in Placencia at the time. All places have some good and bad... just like anywhere. Just get on Belize time and you will have great fun no matter where you are!!!
Can't really help with the rest... sorry.
P.S. Have you done a "search" on the board?

#54638 - 07/08/02 10:49 PM Re: help
denverdan Offline
lol @ Jane
you go girl!

#54639 - 07/08/02 11:18 PM Re: help
d-jon Offline
would certainly recommend Robert's Grove in Placencia.

Diving can be done off Placencia but it will expensive, I suggest doing it in AC you'll get better deals.

In Ac I would suggest the Blue Tang Inn. Very nice with kitchenett as well.

In Cayo you should consider Chaa Creek.

Lamanai Outpost Lodge comes highly recommended.


I might be able to assist you.
Hi, trina I would suggest the Orange Walk area. There is a lot to offer there. In particular there is the Lamanai Outpost lodge that offers exactly what you're looking for. You can contact me if you need more info at djones@btl.net

#54640 - 07/09/02 12:25 AM Re: help
SeaJay Offline
My vote for Placencia goes to Mariposa especially if you like things peaceful. The suite was gorgeous with 2 double doors opening to your private veranda and beach (and a private palapa). It was the only beach in the area where they raked up the sea grass EVERY morning. The suite is very tastefully decorated with Italian tile floors and exotic woods throughout. There are just 2 suites there and a beach cabana (opt for the suite). For an idea of how secure we felt, we never closed the doors...even at night or when we went to town. We loved listening to the ocean and having the ocean breezes keep us cool. No need for air conditioning....it stayed nice and cool. The owners (Marcia and Peter) live upstairs along with their 2 great dogs. They're very helpful and friendly in every way and not a bit intrusive. They have bikes for guests to use for rides into town, furnish beach towels, will stock your fridge before you get there and have dinner waiting for you. There's no pool, but we never felt the need for one...swimming was great right in front of our suite. If you're looking for a party atmosphere, this isn't the place, but Kitty's is right down the beach if you want to have some dinner and drinks and meet some people. If you want romantic, I think you'll LOVE Mariposa!

#54641 - 07/09/02 12:46 AM Re: help
divein Offline

I can only speak of Placencia as I have not had the pleasure of visiting the others.

My wife and I have visited Placencia on numerous occasions. We have stayed at Rum Point, Nautical and Serenade Island.

RG is probably the best small resort in Placencia but somewhat pricey..but nice.

Rum Point is great and they have a good dive operation in the resort that operates a 42' jet drive dive boat...the biggest and best in Placencia. Pricing at RP is somewhat less than RG.

Both of the above are located on the beach just north of Placencia Village.

A little farther North, past Seign Bight, you will find Nautical Inn. This was the first place we stayed when we first visited Belize / Placencia and we loved it. It is also on the beach.

The biggest, but not too big,drawback to the above is that they are a bit out of the village and you will need to arrange transportation via bicycle, taxi or walk, if you want to visit Placencia Village.

All of the above have pools and AC. Nautical also has their own dive shop on the resort.

The other choices you mentioned, Serenade Island. These folks have a guest hose in the heart of the village, Serenade Guest House, that has just been remodeled after the hurricane....low price, clean, friendly no pool...but they are only a few steps from the beach. They also have a private island resort called Serenade Island Resort. This is a small island located directly on top of the barrier reef. They also have a dive shop, clean cabana's, great meals included, beautiful views and the most friendly staff.

SoulShine is a small resort sitting on what is described as a private island but is really just a small area that has been carved out of the mangrove. 3 cabanas on the canal and I think a couple more along the mangroves. You have to cross a small canal to get to the resort. They do have a small pool but it leans to one side. Lodging, meals, drinks, etc. were much more expensive than we had expected. They also advertise a beach but the only thing we found was a somewhat sandy area that had been placed over the reclaimed mangrove area. Swim at you oun risk in the canal as boats zoom up and down all day and night.

Our favorite....well remember that this is our own prefference but we liked the islolation of Serenade Island Resort.

Fishing, snorkeling, diving, visiting the other cayes on snorkeling tours, eating FRESH lobster, fish, conch, etc that we had just caught was great...especially the conch ceviche'.....scrumptious.

Hope you enjoy Placencai as much as we did.

#54642 - 07/09/02 10:05 AM Re: help
sweetjane Offline
i did not recommend chaa creek over duplooys (in cayo) for a reason. not that it isn't beautiful.

ask me later, if you are considering it.

#54643 - 07/09/02 11:49 AM Re: help
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
My 2 cents' worth, based on 12 years of banging around Belize and visiting or staying at 250 or so hotels and resorts in the country:

In Placencia, Robert's Grove is the clear # 1 place -- not one but two pools, tennis courts, top restaurant (though not cheap), well-run, and the one and two-bedroom condo suites are fantastic, though again not cheap. If you want something really nice without the resort atmosphere, then I'd say Mariposa. Lovely place!

At Lamanai, your only choice (other than a home stay) is Lamanai Outpost, and a very good choice it is.

On Ambergris, all the places you name are excellent, and the decision for me might come down to price. I also like the idea of having a kitchen with fridge, so I lean toward the condotels. But Victoria House is wonderful, too.

In Cayo, again any of the three places you name are fine. I think the "deluxe" cottages at duPlooy's are the way I would go. I'd also look at Ek'Tun, which is nothing short of fantastic, with the best swimming pool in Belize.

Tikal is a must. It's at or near the top of everyone's list of Maya sites. Actun Tunichil Muknal is great, though I worry about it becoming so popular.

Altun Ha is okay -- I wouldn't go out of my way to see it, though. Caracol, Lamanai and Xunantunich are all more interesting in my opinion. And of course Tikal, which is a US$75 per person day trip from San Ignacio.

--Lan Sluder
Lan Sluder/Belize First

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