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Turtle Inn Resort

Turtle Inn Resort

The famed Turtle Inn Resort is another property in Francis Ford Coppola's portfolio. The hotel is comprised of 25 rooms in total, made up of individual cabanas and two bedroom villas.

The rooms are all spacious, well thought out and decorated with great attention to detail. There are two restaurants, two lovely pools and a stretch of sandy beach directly in front of the hotel, where the sea is warm, though sometimes a little cloudy due to the mixing with the freshwaters of the nearby Placencia Lagoon. There are complimentary kayaks, beach bikes and paddle boards available and the hotel can also arrange many tours to visit the surrounding area.

Please note all activities/transfers to/from the Francis Ford Coppola hotels must be operated by the hotel and not our local agents.

Our rating: First Class

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Rooms

Tucked away in the lush tropical gardens, the individually designed thatched cottages and villas, have minimalistic interiors with whitewashed walls and natural wooden features. With stunning views overlooking the pool, garden or seafront, each room feels tranquil and part of nature. Rooms have ceiling fans but no air conditioning and there are private walled gardens with outdoor showers in several of the cottages.

The garden and seafront villas are best for families, with a well-proportioned living area and large extended porch leading into the gardens. For larger groups there are spacious two and three bedroom bungalows and a pavilion, catering well for groups with expansive indoor and outdoor living areas, multiple bathrooms and private pools.

Location

Turtle Inn sits right at the tip of a 41 km (26 mile) long sandy peninsula in the Creole village of Placencia, next to the stunning Belize Barrier reef. Belize city airport is a three hour drive north. The hotel's location is perfect for exploring the ocean, jungle, rivers and numerous historic Mayan sites that are within easy reach.

Food and drink

Locally inspired Mare restaurant brings together fresh ingredients from the organic gardens and locally caught fish from the reef for a delicious fusion of Italian and Central American dishes. Dishes range from ceviche and tacos to woodfired pizzas. The dining room has a traditional thatched roof and has stunning views over the ocean. Pair one of your dishes with wine from the extensive wine cellar, where guests can also experience an in depth wine tasting session complete with cheese platter. 

The Gauguin Grill is set right on the sandy shore and offers many delicious seafood dishes alongside Belize brewed beers. Enjoy a casual alfresco meal under the stars, with the sound of the waves lapping at the offshore cayes. Auntie Luba’s kitchen is an authentic Belizean diner overlooking the Placencia Lagoon. After a long morning exploring visit for regional curries, beef stews and homemade key lime pie. 

There are three bars at the hotel, two suppling the adults with refreshing beverages and the other suppling the children with gelato. Set up next to the infinity pool, the thatched roof of the Laughing fish bar is iconic on the resort, the perfect place to enjoy a signature coconut cocktail after a leisurely swim. Settle down for an after dinner drink at the atmospheric Skip White bar, named after the charismatic original owner of the Turtle Inn.

Facilities and activities

For a really relaxing treat book in for a Thai massage at the sunset spa, which is run by professional staff who have studied the ancient techniques. All treatments at the spa use locally sourced organic ingredients. There are in house sunrise yoga classes each day and private classes can also be arranged. 

There is an onsite dive shop for those wishing to explore the watery depths of the Belize reef. Head here to experience a one off diving day or learn to become a PADI open water diver on a multi-day course.

Guests can also join snorkeling tours from the beach into the clear, calm ocean, or take a boat out to fish off the reef, looking for snapper, tuna and barracuda. The resort has an onsite ornithologist, Melvin, who is always ready to take guests around the gardens to discover more about the variety of native birds that live in Belize. Sunset cruise around Placencia Lagoon, cycle around the resort and village or learn to stand up paddleboard in the shallows.

Environmental and social responsibility

The hotel has a strong vision for sustainability and takes vital steps to preserve the natural environment such as no air conditioning, saline swimming pool rather than harsh chemicals, hydroelectric system to generate 85% of the hotel's energy, LED lighting, biodegradable products and supporting local artists, fishermen and wood suppliers.

Guests can also support local conservation by diving and catching invasive lionfish for a delicious evening meal and also participating in pine tree planting initiatives. 

Our opinion

A lovely barefoot-luxury style hotel. The individual bungalows create a romantic atmosphere, and the food at the two restaurants is excellent, though pricey.

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