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“Truly a Piece of Paradise with a Family Style Twist” 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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Ranked #23 of 53 Hotels in San Pedro
Richmond, Virginia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Truly a Piece of Paradise with a Family Style Twist”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

I have been trying to find the words to describe this place, but between all the languages my husband & I speak, we have determined there are none. Paradise, Heaven, Calmness, Peace, True Life. The second Mo picked us up & delivered us to the paradise known as Portofino, we were awestruck. Greeted by wonderful owners, Yolanda, Orville (aka Drunken Master) & Dorrell, our trip was unbelievable. I have traveled 95% of the Caribbean, and Belize & specifically Portofino resort blew my mind. We stayed in the Royal Orchid (Honeymoon Suite) & had no complaints at all. Food was fresh & local. The beach was extremely well maintained (raked clean every morning of seaweed). Every single staff member made our trip so enjoyable, to the point were we are in the process of booking for next January. You wont make a mistake with this choice!!!!!!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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, March 5, 2013
Over the years, we have worked very hard in creating this little piece of paradise for guests to enjoy. It gives us great pleasure when we exceed guest expectations as this is what our team strives for. We are happy that you enjoyed your stay and we feel honored that we are in your top choices in comparison to other destinations.

Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you again in January!
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501 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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 (141)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cape Town Central, South Africa
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

We have nothing but good things to say about this place. We hesitated because of some recent bad reviews, but once arrived we realized what a great choice we made. We were welcomed by Yolanda and greeted by the manager with a delicious rum punch and a refreshing towel. The 15 minute boat ride from town was well worth the effort. We stayed in a Beach Cabana and o lord what a cozy little room was that! Simple, but sophisticated design with impeccable views on the pool and the Ocean. The Soaps were freshly cut upon arrival and we had a choice of our favorite variety! Never had someone cut a soap freshly for us before. We had multiple dinners in the restaurant, and although there are a few great restaurants nearby, we loved the food and the service. You must try the Conch Trio and the Grouper...the local fisherman brought it in freshly almost everyday at the end of their dock! What else you could wish for? All-in-all we had a blast and hope to return soon to this beautiful place!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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, April 13, 2013
Thank you so much for your wonderful review. Our new soap butler service has been a great success and we are delighted to hear that you enjoyed it! We look forward to welcoming you again in the future.
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Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
36 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

We love fishing, and therefore we came to Belize. There are great fishing tours to be organised from the resort. Unfortunately it was quite windy during our stay so a few trips got cancelled...but hey, you can't help the weather! Instead we stayed at the resort and enjoyed the pool, the friendly attentive service and the conversations with Rafael. Alex took great care of us and we enjoyed the food, though service was sometimes a little slow (not to bad!), the quality of the food was great and the Chef even checked on us. We could not imagined a better vacation, if not next time we will pre-order some better weather:)!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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, April 13, 2013
We are so sorry that the weather was not cooperative, but we are glad that you made the best of it and were still able to enjoy our little piece of paradise. Next time we will definitely order some good weather for fishing for you!!
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Medford, Oregon
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2013

We did not stay there but walked down from a rental we were staying just a bit north. WONDERFUL staff. I cannot enough good things about them. Conch was amazing. They even went so far as to prepare a special table with flowers for the night of our Wedding. I WE DID'NT EVEN STAY THERE! Company, atmosphere, food and drinks were great. Highly recommend.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, April 13, 2013
Thank you for your review. We are glad that you enjoyed our staff and facilities. Next time you come to Belize we would love to have you with us!
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Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2013 via mobile


Eight of us spent a week at this north Ambergris Caye resort. The place is a "has been". It needs a complete facelift to improve the tired decor and somewhat shabby rooms in the beach cabanas. I'm not sure which Is worse- the apparent unhappy, bored, aloof staff (except for Orville at the bar and Mo the boat driver or the very poor breakfasts (which were included in our package). The service was completely erratic, making it a challenge to get both utensils and food close enough together to eat. The menu boasts 4 types of juices, most days it's just orange from concentrate. The hollandaise sauce on the so called eggs Benedict was lumpy and flavorless. The granola was store bought and there was no yogurt for several days in a row. We resorted to eggs most days and the same old toast and jam. (One kind only for 7 days straight!) I had to ask for salt and pepper, milk and sugar as there was no anticipation that these items were needed with breakfast.
The first day there I noticed a number of chipped dishes and mugs. When I asked for a tea pot I was told there were none. Tea was a cup of lukewarm water and a tea bag on the side. Breakfast became a struggle and not a pleasant start to the day.
Lunch at the beach was better with OK quesadillas and fish sandwiches but don't dare ask for salad instead of fries. You will be told NO!
The place lacks good management. For a small place where our group occupied 4 out of 17 rooms we expected some interaction with the manager and his wife. Never once were we asked if we were having a good time or if there was anything they could do to make our stay more enjoyable. I tried to use the pay phone and when it didn't work I told the front desk. I was told, "oh , it hasn't worked in years." The manager seemed insulted when I suggested that he put a sign on it to advise other guests.
The New Years Eve menu was so bad that we opted to dine elsewhere. In fact, after our first dinner which was expensive and ordinary we found better places to have dinner on the other nights.
We are a well travelled family and know what service looks like in this price range.
I had expected much more from Portofino after reading mostly positive Trip Advisor reports and the "expensive category" listing in Fodors.
Needless to say, we won't be returning to Portofino, even though Belize is a great destination for a family holiday.

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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, April 10, 2013
Thank you very much for your review. We are very sorry that your experience at Portofino was not the best and we sincerely apologize for this. It is, perhaps, even more disappointing for us to hear that we did not meet or exceed your expectations as this is always the most important thing for us. Over the years, we have established a reputation for having unmatched customer service and an amazing staff that go above and beyond to satisfy our guests. It saddens us to know that you did not feel that way.

We understand how important it is for a guest to enjoy a vacation and we are very sorry that we failed. We have taken eveything you have pointed out to avoid any further occurrences.

We are glad that this experience has not dampened your view on Belize as a country and are happy to hear that you would still visit our beautiful country again.
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Miami Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2012

Excellent service, friendly and effective. The grounds and landscaping are exquisite, the rooms are awesome with all Brazilian hardwood floors and furniture. The only negative is the cost of water taxies if you want to go into San Pedro or to dine at one of the other resorts on the Cay

Room Tip: No fitness center or spa but you can book massages on site
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, April 10, 2013
Thank you very much for your review. We are thankful that you choose our resort out of all the options available here in San Pedro. We are very happy that you enjoyed your stay with us and we look forward to welcoming again someday.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palatine, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

We recently had our wedding at Portofino's beautiful resort. The experience was nothing short of mind-blowing (in the best possible way!) From the moment we stepped foot on the resort we were truly treated like royalty! We have traveled all over the world and never felt so welcome or had such a personalized experience. Even after our 30 wedding guests arrived, all of the staff at Portofino took the time to know every single person by name. It was truly extraordinary.

The scenery is amazing and the sunsets are truly to die for. If you like boat rides and ocean-front property, this is the place for you. The only way to travel around between San Pedro and Portofino is by boat. Portofino is very good about scheduling trips to and from San Pedro to suit the needs of the guests. Some people do travel up and down the coast by bicycle or golf cart, but it is more for recreation that really trying to get anywhere.

The ocean right off of the resort is more like a giant aquarium full of interesting sea life and beautiful nature. Because the reef is so close, the waves break a few miles out (on the reef). So if you want to go to a place where u can jump into the waves right from the beach, this isn't quite it. Because of the shallow water near the shore, the sea-grass grows abundantly right up to the shore. It is visible and not exactly pleasant, but it surely is not a hinderance to having fun. My wife and I thought this may be an issue, it really was not. We had just as much fun snorkeling right off of the dock and seeing all kinds of sea life, even nurse sharks! (Don't worry, they are as friendly as cats!). We saw sting rays, crabs, nurse sharks, and a whole gamut of sea life from just off of the dock at Portofino, it truly was amazing.

The restaurant at Portofino is also VERY good. They are always freshening up their menu with new items and they have a very multicultural and dynamic range of flavors in their food. Not to mention they will work with you to customize almost anything you want by request. Sometimes when it is VERY busy the service is a bit slow, but the restaurant manager and wait staff are always there to reassure you and make you feel like you really are being taken care of and that the food will be delicious and freshly made.

Then there was our wedding. It was an absolute marvel. The staff at Portofino arranged the most beautiful wedding we could have ever dreamed of! We could not have been happier. Everything from the cake, to the outdoor tent for the reception to the little area were we said our vows was just perfect. So much attention to detail with flowers and shells and everything you could think of really showed how much the Portofino staff wants to make your stay amazing and what lengths they will go to really knock it out of the park!

The rooms and accommodations were just perfect for a nice mix of luxury and truly feeling like you are living on a beach. The rooms and decor just perfectly fit the beach feel that you will want right after you step off the boat onto the Portofino dock. Everything was just right for us. There was a TV, air conditioning, several fans, drinkable water, a refrigerator, and plenty of space in both the bedroom and the bathroom to suit our needs. Everything was also very clean and tidy.

If we had any complaints at all, it was the mosquitos and sand fleas. They really are a nuisance even if you have a lot of bug spray. You will get lots of bites, but it is still totally worth it! Just make sure you bring heavy duty bug spray and you wear as much long clothing as you can at night.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Honeymoon Suite and it was....well SWEET!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
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 27, 2012
A wedding is indeed a very special day and we are very happy that it turned out to be all you dreamed of! Our staff are dedicated to ensuring that each and every guest at Portofino are well taken care of. We are glad that everyone enjoyed our little piece of paradise and we hope to welcome you again someday. May you both have many wonderful years together and may your memories last a lifetime!
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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
#9 Business Hotel in San Pedro
#13 Top resorts Hotel in San Pedro
#17 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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