96%
Members Recommend
4.5
Very Good 490 Reviews
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This Hotel meets our standards
Our editors have been here and it has met our standards

What We Love

  • Don't miss daybreak on your terrace — the light is spectacular.
  • Secluded, unpretentious pool.
  • Poolside Guatemaltecqua restaurant
  • Intimate screened-in porches overlook the river.
  • Very family-friendly.
  • Wine from the Coppola wineries is served.
  • For the full Belize experience, spend a few nights on the beach at Coppola's sister property, Turtle Inn

What To Know

  • Yes, it is in fact director Francis Ford Coppola's resort.
  • It's secluded; two and a half hours from Belize City.
  • Service is amazing and very personal.
  • No TV or phone, but there is a shell phone intercom system linked to the resort's front desk.
  • Expect spotty cell phone service.

Amenities

  •  Eco friendly
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
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Overview

The Review

I feel as if I’m on a far-flung movie set at Francis Ford Coppola’s Blancaneaux Lodge, not least because the bar is decorated with fans from the set of Apocalypse Now. Located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, one of Belize’s oldest protected areas, the resort exercises a light touch, with simple stone paths winding between the hillside accommodations. {“type”:”tab-link”,”tab”:”maps”,”text”:”Explore the location..”}

{“type”:”img-inline”,”src”:”/static/images/product/properties/102/pgal-46446-1280870884-full.jpg”,”width”:”275″,”caption”:”The resort exercises a light touch, with simple stone paths winding between the hillside accommodations.”}Guests hide away in one of the 20 thatch-roofed villas and cabanas built into the hillside above the swift-moving Privassion Creek and waterfalls. Tropical gardens, native pines and palms surround the buildings, providing a touch of privacy. Inside, the guest spaces are decorated with authentic Guatemalan fabrics and Mexican antiques chosen by Coppola’s wife, Eleanor, as well as soft, hand-woven rugs that cover the tropical hardwood floor.

I have breakfast on the screened-in porch of the main lodge: fresh-baked banana muffins, fry jacks (fried dough), fresh papaya, watermelon and cantaloupe. Afterward I indulge in a Thai massage in the outwardly simple Balinese rice hut near the creek. Inside, two massage tables stand in front of an intricate black-and-gold Asian-inspired mural of irises and wild beasts, painted by a San Francisco artist. On the high bed, the Thai masseur manipulates my joints into place while I gaze at the artwork and listen to the creek, which is almost as soothing as the massage itself.

Another San Franciscan “friend of Francis” taught the staff how to garden organically, and now three acres of gardens grow everything from roma tomatoes to basil to leaf lettuce, to supply the resort’s two restaurants.

Every Sunday the resort holds a wine tasting in the Jaguar Bar, with selections from a deep list that features vintages from the Coppola vineyards in Napa and Sonoma valleys. Besides wine, the bar also serves cocktails, including Jaguar Juice, which consists of rum, pineapple juice and a local liqueur made from the fruit of the craboo tree.

In a way, it reflects the overall experience at the Blancaneaux: all-natural, totally tropical and perfectly indulgent.

How to Get There

Blancaneaux Lodge
Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve c/o 85 Burns Avenue
San Ignacio, Cayo District, 00000 Belize

Reviews

4.5 Very Good 490 Reviews
Great Honeymoon at a first-class lodge
Reviewed 5 days ago

My wife and I took our honeymoon here in April, we stayed four nights on the coast and then 3 nights at Blancaneaux. It was obvious when we got there, this was by far the nicest lodge/resort either of us had been to. They went the extra mile to get to know us and make us comfortable, and feel welcome. They decorated our room a couple different times the first night, with different honeymoonish type things. They helped up schedule tours, and were super helpful giving us directions since we had rented our own car.

After the first night, a very rare forest fire had gotten close to the lodge, and they informed us that all the guests and staff were required to leave the lodge. As unfortunate as this was, they were super helpful by refunding the next couple nights and getting us a reservation at another lodge near-by, and making sure we could still do all the activities we had planned. It was unfortunate we had to leave the lodge for something that wasn't quite as nice, but they were so helpful it was not a problem or stressful at all.

Paradise
Reviewed 6 days ago

We were a bit delayed in writing this review because we just couldn't find the words to describe how amazing Blancaneaux Lodge truly is. We arrived in Belize on our honeymoon this past January to find that our airline had not put our luggage on the plane. We were in a foreign country with little more than the clothing on our backs and had no estimated arrival time for our luggage. The entire staff at Blancaneaux, especially Ryan (the General Manager), went above and beyond to ensure that we had everything we needed until our luggage arrived (four days later!!)
Everything about Blancaneaux makes you feel like you have found heaven on earth. We relaxed in a hammock on our cabana deck, experienced the best massages we have ever had, dipped in the hot pool while having a cocktail, and went on several excursions with the best tour guide ever (thank you, Alex! We learned so much!) We had a private wine tasting in the beautiful garden with John, who taught us about all of the delicious Coppola wines. Dinner in the garden was fantastic - but every meal we had there was truly better than the one before. Johnny, our server, met us at every meal with a joke and a smile, and we made sure to stop into the Jaguar Bar each night for a cocktail and at least one song from the acoustic guitar-playing bartender, Marlon.
We never wanted to leave and cannot wait to go back!!

Loved the Blancaneaux Lodge!
Reviewed 1 week ago

The Blancaneaux Lodge is perfect for all types of travelers. The staff is professional and extremely knowledgeable with not only hospitality, but the history of Belize, environment/conservation and all the adventure tours. I was worried that my experience would be limited traveling solo, but the lodge had enough staff on hand to give me private and extremely educational tours and companionship. I was able to add three tours to my adventure package. The grounds were gorgeous! The option of three restaurants was a plus and the garden is a must do. They have the river, hot pool, regular pool, message spa, barn full of horses and trails on site! This was the most relaxing adventure trip I’ve ever taken, as the Lodge takes such good care of their patrons. I would go there again for sure!

Perfect Romantic Honeymoon
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We didn't want to leave. We stayed seven nights, which according to staff is unusual...most guests stay two to five nights, some splitting time with the affiliated Turtle Inn in Placentia. We booked the five-night Honeymoon Package and added on two extra nights.

Upon arrival, we were treated to a Welcome Drink with an orientation to the property prior to being shown to our cabana. The cabana had a fully screened porch with a hammock and a small table presenting a welcome fruit plate and chilled Coppola champagne. Inside, the cabana had a comfortable king-sized bed, pillows that magically cured my snoring, a private plunge pool, a private outdoor shower, a wardrobe (with safe) and kitchenette (restocked every morning with complimentary coconut tablet candy!!!), and a Japanese bath with shower, a small garden (in the bathroom!), and a wall and a half that were screened from ceiling to floor and led out to the private shower.

We visited at the start of the rainy season, early June. The cabana had no A/C. A single multi-speed ceiling fan, the open plan of the cabana, breeze, high ceilings, and cool private plunge pool were sufficient to keep comfortable. The nights were surprisingly cool...we found ourselves turning the speed of the fan down during the night and/or pulling up the covers. The gist: the cabana stayed plenty cool for comfortable sleep even without A/C.

Vegetation around the pool attracted a great number of hummingbirds that whirred and whizzed within feet (sometimes inches!) of us as we relaxed in and near the private plunge pool. The sounds of the nearby river, waterfall, and wildlife were plentiful, especially at night and early morning.

What made Blancaneaux Lodge extra special was the staff. We were routinely greeted by name the second time seeing any of the staff. Everyone was attentive and chatty in a relaxed, sincere way, always asking if there was anything else that could be done to make our meal/tour/stay more enjoyable. While everyone one made us feel welcome, a few deserve special mention:

Rhyan, the concierge, was simply awesome! He helped scheduling tours and excursions and when we couldn't decide between two tour offerings, he devised a custom tour combining elements of two tours.

Geraldo was our guide for a tour that involved a visit to Rio Frio cave (a Mayan ceremonial site) and Caracol. Geraldo was engaging, entertaining, and extremely knowledgeable about natural history of the area and Mayan history.

Alex was our guide to Xunantunich and was just as engaging, entertaining, and knowledgeable. We told Alex that we had toured Caracol and he did a wonderful job pointing out connections between what we were seeing at Xunantunich and what we had seen at Caracol...comparing and contrasting the two sites, both similarities and, just as interesting, the differences between the two sites.

The Garden Spot restaurant was really unique. Dinner there includes a one-hour (with drinks!) tour of the Lodge's organic garden that provides about 75% of the food for the Lodge's restaurants. After the tour of the garden, dinner, mostly vegetarian, is served family style to all Lodge guests who have made reservations for that evening. It was a great way to mingle with other guests and the food was excellent, even for non-vegetarians.

The menu at the main restaurant typically has a few salad choices, a few Italian choices, pizzas, and a few other entrée selections. The Guatemalan restaurant serves authentic Guatemalan dishes and has a more limited menu that changes each night that this restaurant is open. The Lodge was at less than full capacity during our stay, so typically either the main restaurant or the Guatemalan restaurant was open for dinner. Both may be open for dinner when the Lodge has more guests. Overall, we found the dining experience to be wonderful.

As part of the Honeymoon Package, we were treated to a Romantic Dinner at a site on the property of our choosing. We chose a small hut near the river. The staff decorated the hut with flowers, candles, and a special greeting. We had a single server dedicated to our dinner. The night of our dinner, the Guatemalan restaurant was open, so we chose from the restaurant’s menu that evening.

The Honeymoon Package also included a couple’s massage to be selected from an essential oils massage, a Thai massage, or a hot stone massage. I can't recommend the hot stone massage highly enough!

Finally, our Honeymoon Package included three tours: a horseback riding excursion to nearby Big Rock Falls (where you can swim in natural pools and cliff dive into the upper pools directly downstream of the falls; 1-2 hours), the tour mentioned above to Caracol (full day), and a canoe tour of the Barton Creek Cave (another Mayan ceremonial site; half day). We added zip lining to the Barton Creek Cave tour and it was worth the extra cost.

There may be some "bewares" for certain guests. Some of the walks can be hilly and may be a challenge for those with limited mobility. There is no local nightlife other than the Lodge itself. The open plans of the cabanas means that you may hear your neighbors if they are boisterous (but that's true anywhere, right?). There is no TV. And, yes, there are bugs. So, if you have limited mobility, insist on going out each night to someplace different, need to find a place to watch a game (or movie, or The Bachelor), or don't care for bug spray, then Blancaneaux may not be for you.

However, if you have a bit of an adventurous streak and understand that Blancaneaux is very isolated--by design--it is a magical place for a romantic getaway. We look forward to returning.

Excellent visit!
Reviewed 1 month ago

We’ve been to Belize a number of times but this was our first stay at Blancaneaux. You travel down a rough road to get there, but the resort is absolutely lovely. Expect rustic luxury- no air con, open air villas overlooking a stream. Great bird life, nice walks and a whole series of adventure trips from the lodge. The staff is fantastic- extremely helpful and interesting to talk with. Be sure to have the garden dinner which includes a tour through the 3 1/2 acre organic garden. We also liked the Guatemalan restaurant - and the menu changes according to the chef’s plan. The continental breakfast is fantastic- fresh fruit, orange juice and two kinds of freshly baked bread. You have a choice of yogurt and granola or a hard boiled egg. The Guatemalan coffee is fantastic.
If you want a Hilton, don’t go to Blancaneaux. -If you want an adventure in beautiful surroundings, this is the place for you.