Described as a Caribbean Paradise this five star beachfront resort owned by Francis Ford Coppola consists of a small cluster of thatch roof cottages on the beach just north of the small town of Placencia.
With only 12 rooms, a mixture of palm thatched villas and cabanas or casitas depending on which name you prefer, Turtle Inn very much fits in with the boutique hotel concept, and is quietly exclusive. It seems to manage the almost impossible by being a great family vacation destination whilst at the same time being a romantic honeymoon destination.
The Casitas here are just lovely. Large rooms, and laid out to be spacious, amazing décor, and a nice porch. They have indoor and outdoor showers and a large private deck. To organise one on the beach would be a huge bonus, and there is a special cabana/casita as a honeymoon suite right on the beach, so if this is your romantic honeymoon destination, you know what you need to book!! You may be slightly alarmed at the prospect of no air conditioning in the cabanas, but in fact their design and position meant you didnít really miss it. Bug spray as with almost everywhere else in Belize is necessary.
The whole atmosphere at the Turtle Inn is one of complete relaxation and escape from the world, and they manage this very well indeed. The food by and large is exceptionally good, if a little expensive, but worth it. The continental breakfast is complimentary, and the fresh baked breads and pastries are quite superb. There are three restaurants, all different, and all are worth trying, and they will even prepare and cook for you any fish that you catch if you go deep sea fishing. You may or may not be aware that the food here is Italian, and if you want to get away from that you may decide to eat out in the village, and there are some decent restaurants there, but if you decide to rent bicycles to get you there be careful of the cars that go very quickly past, so if you arenít that happy on a bike, get a taxi. Service in the village restaurants is pretty slow, but as long as you understand the pace of life here, then that is fine.
The thing about a Caribbean paradise is probably about pace of life as much as anything. You really donít want hustle and bustle and you certainly wonít get that here. The Turtle Inn is a total chill out place, in fact the whole are is so laid back as to almost horizontal. This mind you doesnít apply to the staff, who are very much there to serve. Unobtrusive, apart from asking every evening about the activity you want to choose for tomorrow, which can be a bit wearing, especially if your plan is to sit by one of the two nice pools, or on a sun bed on the beach, and read, or enjoy the glorious views of the sand and turquoise sea, with a book, and a cold drink in your hand, occasionally dipping into the beautifully warm water.
The Turtle Inn can be described as a Caribbean paradise with some justification. It makes a lovely romantic honeymoon vacation, and even a good family vacation destination. Two things however, you need to like Italian food, and if you donít like small planes you wonít enjoy the flight in.
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Article Added on Tuesday, July 22, 2008
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