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“Delightful” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Portofino Beach Resort

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Portofino Beach Resort
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   6 Miles North | PO Box 36, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize   |  
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5TH NIGHT FREE
Ranked #23 of 53 Hotels in San Pedro
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Delightful”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

Portofino provides wonderful accommodations. A mere few steps from the beach and boasting a rather large swimming pool, there's no shortage of entertainment. The staff were very willing to cater to our requests and the food was exquisite. Portofino is the place to be for beach-based comforts in Belize.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, December 4, 2012
We are happy that you enjoyed the hospitality of our staff, our scrumptious menu and the beach life at our little piece of paradise...We hope to welcome you again. Thanks for sharing your experience!
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493 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (139)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Longmeadow, MA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

We stayed during Thanksgiving weekend. The resort is warm and inviting. The room (Toucan Room) was large and very comfortable. There is free wi-fi and the TV has all U.S. stations. The broadcast stations were from New York City. The restaurant is excellent but be sure to tell the waiter if you want your food spicy or not. The free continental breakfast is ample but you can order off the menu as well. The hotel staff is excellent. When we came back from an excursion, the staff greeted us at the dock. You fly into Belize City. Then you take a puddle jumper, Tropic Air to San Pedro. The resort staff pick you up in a taxi which takes you to the dock at Fido's restaurant. The boat takes you to the resort. The water is beautiful and warm. You can take the scheduled boat to San Pedro for free, or take the water taxi which the staff will call and have them pick you up at the Portofino dock. You can snorkel or arrange to go to the rain forest to the Mayan temple or zip line. This is a great place for families and couples.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, December 1, 2012
Thank you for taking the time out to write a review of your recent stay with us. We are glad that your family enjoyed your stay with us as our goal is to exceed our guests' expectations.

We hope to welcome you again when you come back to beautiful Belize!!
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Beverly Hills, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2012

I stayed at Portofino by myself and had a wonderful stay. From arrival to departure the staff is pleasant and extremely helpful. I loved my room which is exactly what you'd expect from a tropical boutique hotel with the bonus of cable television and wi-fi. They have a bar/lounge and their own restarant which is one of the most popular on the island because the food and view from the restarant is equally amazing.

Conveniently, at the end of the dock is a dive shop owned and run by Roberto that taught me how to dive for the first time! I had an hour lesson and soon after I was out in the deeper part of the ocean with all of the beautiful ocean life. I went snorkeling the day before (for the 3rd time in my life) and all amazing given the fact that I can't swim. Roberto is a great instructor and really makes you feel relaxed when you're out in the water.

You can relax by the pool, grab the complimentary boat into town, or venture out to The Blue Hole, Shark Sting Ray Alley, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, or along the barrier reef with Roberto. I had a short stay but made memories that will last a lifetime. Also, I made friends at Portofino that I'm excited to see again.

*** I highly recommend taking the small plane from Belize City to San Pedro (Portofino has a boat that will pick you up just outside of Fido's Restaurant and take you to the resort) because the boat ride from Belize City to San Pedro is about 1.5 hours. ***

Room Tip: I was staying right by the bar/lounge so I could hear the staff preparing for the day and guests in...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Thanks for your review. It is wonderful to hear how you enjoyed the serenity of our resort and the amazing water adventures with Action Divers. We also agree with the suggestion of taking the flight from Belize City to San Pedro. It is the easiest and most convenient means of getting here.

It is always an honor to hear that guests leave our resort with great memories, not only of our beautiful resort but as well as our lovely staff.

We hope to welcome you again one day, and once again, thank you for your review.
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Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Level Contributor
23 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

We stayed at Portofinoin for our honeymoon, for four nights.
As many hotels in Cayo Ambergris Portofino is a little isolated from the village so you depends of their transport to get into town. When we made the reservation we misunderstood that you can drive to the hotel from town...not really. There is only a road to it, and it is usually inpassable because the rain and the absence of light at night.
This was a problem for us, because we don´t want to stayed all the time in the hotel, specially in the afternoon when we would prefer to go town to dinner and walk. Boat transfers were free, but you have then when any guest arrived or left , or when the staff finish their work shift. If you desired to travel in other time,recepcionist arranged taxi water which cost 20 dollars per person ( not cheap...).
Our room was nice, similar to what we expected. Problem was that the flyscreen was too small for the bed and the anti-mosquito machine run off... and mosquito were sadic there!!!Fortunately we were prepared with our own prevention (not enough but it helped)
First day we experimented a tropical storm; I was really scared but all run perfectly.
Cocktails are SUPERB the best I ever had, really. There were not cheap but it didn't mind.
Receptionist offers you a lot of excursions. We did one every day; if not you probably get bored. I explain: sun raises before 6 am, but nobody have breakfast before 8am. Sundown is nearly 5 pm. Although you get to bed early you have from 5 to 9-10 to drink, dinner...
From 8 to 5 you can lay on the beach...but it is to litlle to run, ride or play sports...it is clean because the staff removes algaes every day. You can snorkel or kayak for free, and this can be a goos plan for a morning.
Excursions were amazing but expensive.
Staff is very very friendly, so chiefs are.
Breakfast was simply but not bad, but you have to go with time enought because in caribe things go slow!
The worst thing for us was the meals. The guides says that is one of the best restaurants and we saw tourist who came purposly for dinner. The first day we have a very expensive mexican menu and I have diarrhea. Next day we take dinner and I can't finish my fish : it smells bad and tastes worst. I would hope to have great fish there ...no way. Last night we ask staff to prepare some fish we fished these day...finally they did but we payed a lot for that.

Room Tip: Honymoon suite was good. Others are literally upper the beach and too near from the swimming pool, a...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, November 15, 2012
We are deeply sorry to hear that some aspects of your stay with us was not up to your expectations. At the same time, we are happy to know that you were satisfied with your room choice. The honeymoon suite is spectacular! Even though we are a small resort, we do offer at least five different room types to choose from. Each unique in its own way.

We can only apologize for the mosquitoes. Although we do spray for them as much as we can, they tend to make appearance at dawn and dusk when we are experiencing some rainy weather. Although the tropics can be very beautiful, unfortunately, when it comes to nature, this is also a part of the experience.

Our little piece of paradise is accessible mainly by boat and for that reason it is clearly stated on our website and on all of our ads. We find the privacy and serenity of our resort due to our location to be a positive feature and we do agree that our resort is not the best choice for guests wishing to be in town for night life. In walking distance from Portofino, there are at least three restaurants and bars, but for more choices, then of course, you can only find that in town or closer to town. We do offer a few complimentary runs per day but there is also a water taxi that runs every two hours for guests convenience.

The sun is up at 6am normally and we have complimentary coffee of tea for guests that are already up. Breakfast starts at 7:30am, which is normal for most resorts. Breakfast extends all the way up to 11:30am, as most guests tend to sleep in.

We are happy to inform you that we now have a brand new menu, with also includes quick breakfast items that will be available as of 6am.

When it comes to the beach, as you mentioned, it is very good for relaxing. As for running, walking or riding, this is also possible as the beach goes all the way to town. Although our resort sits on 330 feet of beach front, we do agree that it is not adequate for sports, and for this reason we do not advertise as having that feature.

We do beleive that expectations means everything and we are truly sorry that Portofino was not exactly what you were hoping for.
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Saugus, Massachusetts, United States
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

I really didn't want to go to a destination wedding but it was my daughter so I was there for her. The trip was great, the resort is beautiful and the staff friendly, catering to every need. The boat ride between the resort and Belize city left something to be desired, I would recommened the plane instead.
The staff did everything they could to make sure my daughters day went off as well as possible. The rooms were excellent but water pressure in the shower was low. The food was good but slow service in the resteraunt. The staff was very caring and took care of the group (22 people)all week. It was all and all a very good week and a beautiful wedding at a great resort.

Room Tip: pay a little more and get a suite you'll be glad you did.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Thank you so much for your review. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your daughter's wedding and your stay in general. It was a pleasure hosting all of you and nothing makes us happier than when we have happy guests. We apologize if the service in the restaurant was slow but we will be sure to improve this to the best of our abilities.

We hope to welcome you again to Portofino!!
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Abington, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

It makes me sad to write this review because it means that my vacation is over! Portofino hosted almost everyone who came to attend my wedding (22 people) for a week in October. The resort is small and it was the perfect size for our group. We took up almost half of the rooms and since it was their low-season there weren't too many other guests.

Before I get into the resort details, let me start with the wedding coordinator, Lorraine. I must have emailed her a million times throughout the year and she was always patient with me! She gave me a great group rate and set it up so that my guests could contact the resort to book their own rooms. She organized a welcome party, the wedding ceremony, wedding reception, reserved tours for us and made sure that we were always happy at the resort. She confirmed my appointments for my hair and makeup and accompanied us downtown to sign the wedding paperwork. During the wedding, she was there the entire time to make sure everything went well and if I had any concerns, she made sure that they got fixed.

During our stay, my husband and I stayed in the Honeymoon suite. It was really nice and decorated with fresh flowers. We had the best hammock on the resort (Besides the ones in the water!) There are no phones in the room and the internet connection was spotty so if we wanted to get in touch with our family, we'd just walk down to the bar or pool area and meet up with them. It was actually fun to not be wired for the week and we still knew where we could find everyone! If you have a group here, I definitely recommend that everyone stay here. The couple of people who stayed other places felt disconnected and never knew what was going on. My sister actually had a room on the other side of the island. Once she got in, she cancelled her room and moved here. The beach was raked everyday. The pool was a nice temperature. We got to use the free kayaks and go snorkeling at Mexico rocks. I liked that the beach was private, unlike some of the other big resorts downtown. Unfortunately, the trip on the watertaxi into town was very long. The resort has a trip or two into town each day that you can ride for free but the watertaxi was $11 per person. If you have a group of people, have the hotel call you a private boat. It costs the same and you don't have to make a bunch of stops before you reach your destination. We didn't figure this out until half-way through the trip! The hotel took care of everything we needed while we were there including booking a bunch of us massages and tours. The bartenders, Orville and Rafael, were so much fun and made us anything that we wanted.

Our first dinner at the restaurant didn't go so great, but the rest of the week was better. Erwin made sure that we were happy. The filet mignon was awesome! And once I tried the chicken quesadilla, I ate it everyday for lunch! The appetizers for the welcome party were great and all of my guests loved the food at the wedding reception. Erwin added in Key Lime pie at the last minute and it was the best that I've ever had.

The setup for the wedding was beautiful. Lorraine let me pick and choose some features from other pictures to make it my own. She had my centerpieces made for me there. They added little details like a "Mr & Mrs" sign behind our seats and a "Happily ever after starts here" sign for the welcome party. They placed cute notes in all the guests rooms giving them the information about the wedding day.

Overall, we all loved the staff and the resort. All of my guests, even some who were hesitant to go all the way to Belize for my wedding, had the best time! Thank you for making my week amazing!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, November 26, 2012
Weddings are special and we are happy to know that your special day was celebrated here at our resort. Thank you very much for the review. We are glad that the process of orgainizing your dream wedding was pleasant and that your were able to have great memories of your destination wedding in Belize!

It was a pleasure having all of your family and friends here as well and we hope to welcome you again one day...perhaps for your anniversary!! :)

All the best wishes in your new life as a married couple. May you have many wonderful years together!
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

We stayed 6 days at Portofinos. Our initial impression was that the room was beautiful, the staff was welcoming and the resort was very well kept, however the location was a little far from town and only accessible by boat. Although the website boasts a private boat to take you back and forth, these trips are very few and far between.
The restaurant was very pretty and we had no problem getting a table, however the food choices were mundane and the service was quite frankly awful, sometimes waiting 30 mins just for water.
The beach is non existent. There is no ocean that you can swim in or even wade in. The ocean around the resort is full of sea grass and mud, but this is common for most of the island, and still gorgeous.
The bar tenders Rafeal and Orville really made our vacation. They were fun, entertaining and very attentive. We tried to book tours through the hotel with no luck. We were told that both tours we wanted we could not go on because there were not enough people. They only work with one company and if they cannot accommodate you then you are out of luck. We then booked our own tours and after that got the cold shoulder from the front desk for the remainder of out trip.
Nevertheless we made the best out of it and ended up having a great time. We met some fun people and saw some amazing things Thanks to Ricky and Leon at Seaduced Tours.

Room Tip: We stayed in the beach cabana's and although it is more like pool front cabana's they were s...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, April 13, 2013
Thank you for your review. We are very sorry that your stay with us was somewhat disappointing. Our resort is located 6 miles north of San Pedro, as indicated in all our ads and our website. For most, our location is ideal as it allows our guests the peacefulness and privacy that cannot be found in San Pedro Town. For those wanting to be right in town, we can see how that would be a con for them. We do provide free service to town to all of our guests, whenever we have a boat going in for arrivals and departures. There is also a private company that offers water taxi services that go by every two hours for those that need to go into town.

We do not conduct our own tours, but pride ourselves in using select tour operators as there are certain standards and requirements that they need to comply with, for us to use them. Licenses, insurance and reputation are very important, as our guest safety is a priority. It is not that we are setting any limitations, but we want to be confident and have a peace of mind whenever we send our guests out on tours. Yes, we can agree that there are sometimes when a tour does not get the minimum number or guests required, therefore they do not get confirmed. We apologize that we did not get the trips you were interested in confirmed in time. We are also sorry if our staff was inappropriate in anyway and we will definitely look into this. We do have a great team and if they behaved in this manner then of course, that is unacceptable, and we will ensure that no one else will experience this again.

We are happy that despite your disappointments, you still had a great time in Belize.
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Additional Information about Portofino Beach Resort

Address: 6 Miles North | PO Box 36, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Ambergris Caye > San Pedro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in San Pedro
#6 Business Hotel in San Pedro
#13 Top resorts Hotel in San Pedro
#16 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro
#22 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
#23 Family Hotel in San Pedro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Portofino Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Characterized by its warm and friendly hospitality, Portofino is the epitome of barefoot luxury, unpretentious and relaxing… for most; it will be an experience of a lifetime. Our small, boutique resort offers just 17 beautifully appointed rooms, ranging from charming beach cabanas to spacious suites, dotted amidst swaying palm trees, in a private setting with unmatched personal attention and the modern comforts of home. It is a haven of tranquility, where guests will enjoy the subtle sounds of the nearby waves lapping over the reef, gentle breeze, breathtaking sunrise, star studded night sky and spectacular views of the crystal waters of the Caribbean Sea. The perfect setting for a romantic getaway, intimate wedding, honeymoon, family and friends.Portofino offers leisure options to suit every taste. Relax in our fresh water outdoor swimming pool; enjoy a great book from our book collection or simply indulge yourself in a massage on the beach under our hand thatched palapa hut. Explore the underwater world with snorkel equipment or skim along the surface in our complimentary sea kayaks. Delicious meals prepared by our resort chef can be served in the privacy or your beach cabana or suite, on our private dock with a romantic setting or at the Portofino Restaurant. Sip on amazing tropical cocktails at the Green Parrot Beach Bar or perhaps a late afternoon snack from the Green Parrot Bistro. Take advantage of our DVD library and unwind in front of the flat TV screen in your room. Or, simply take in the view. In short, relax and enjoy! Reception in the main building is manned by professional and knowledgeable staff. From, activities bookings and directions to itineraries and dining reservations, our friendly and professional staff is eager to assist you. Access to PORTOFINO is by boat only, and therefore we offer a complimentary meet and greet service at San Pedro Airstrip and boat transfer to the resort, an approximately 20 minutes ride. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Portofino Hotel San Pedro
Portofino San Pedro
Portofino Beach Resort Belize/San Pedro

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