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“What a Delight!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Portofino

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Portofino
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   6 Miles North | PO Box 36, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize   |  
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EARLY BIRD SPECIAL
Ranked #21 of 53 Hotels in San Pedro
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“What a Delight!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2013

My wife and I stayed for an extended long weekend ("babymoon") recently and I cannot say enough wonderful things about this hotel. The rooms are big and clean, as are the beds. Not your traditional concrete mattress that you usually encounter at a resort. The resort is cozy with only a few guests; a departure from the traditional "you and your closest 2000 friends all inclusive". Food and drinks are not included and while more expensive than in town are not daunting (still cheaper than dining in Canada or the US). The owners are delightful and have a real energy about their resort and what Belize will become. The staff is tremendously friendly, the food is fantastic (especially fresh fish). You can either relax with a book by the pool, on the dock or in a hammock or enjoy many excellently priced activities, i.e, Scuba diving, fishing, Mayan ruins tour. We will go back.

Room Tip: They are all great. There are cottages that can house larger groups.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Thank you for your positive feedback. We know that there are many choices in San Pedro and we thank you for choosing Portofino. We are glad to know that your experience was all you had hoped for and that you were able to enjoy not only our facilities but also the warmth and friendliness of our staff. We look forward to welcoming you again someday.

Once again, thank you so much for choosing Portofino.
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424 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (119)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

My wife and I spent six nights at the Portofino in the week of Thanksgiving 2012.... and we must say it was great! The part that truly sets the Portofino apart is the staff. We can't commend them enough, all the way from the concierge, to the boat driver, to the restaurant servers, to Orville the bartender, to the on-site dive shop, down to the wakeup knock guy. All of them seemed happy to have you staying with them and it seemed almost like family.

The Portofino Restaurant
Almost all of the food at the restaurant was very good to excellent. My wife and I mostly favor the seafood dishes when on tropical vacations (and what other kind are there?), and each and every dish at the Portofino was very good. Service was generally good to very good. Prices are reasonable considering the fact it is a resort and a tropical location.

Action Divers and Adventures
My wife and I, while being somewhat novice divers, have dived at numerous dive shops around the world. We must say this was one of our favorite dive shops we have ever dove with. The dive guide was very professional, while being personable and fun! We ended up going to the Blue Hole with another dive shop, and we did not feel this was in any way better than the two dives we took with Action Divers. Highly recommended.

Last thing is we had left our dive gear to hang and dry behind the Action Divers shop. While there, someone (possibly a local fisherman) stole one of our wet suits. We do NOT blame the dive shop operator for this happening. We must commend the Portofino for following up with us on this event, offering to pay for the cost of the wet suit, and ultimately reimbursing for this cost. This is highly noteworthy for a resort to go to these lengths.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Thank you for your positive feedback. We are happy that you enjoyed your stay with us, and that it was worth skipping Thanksgiving. Our staff is truly our greatest asset and we are happy to have each and everyone of them. We pride ourselves in customer service and to us, guests are not just visitors, but also family. We surely hope to welcome you again someday.
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

After a failed taxi ride and a long day trying to get to the hotel we had reservations at, we were dropped off at the Portofino. The staff there was incredibly nice and they arranged for a free taxi service to our hotel (that would not have sent a boat for us without paying an extra fee!). While we waited they served us a nice cold beer, and Orville, the friendly bartender, offered us a nice dip in their beautiful pool. Jessica in reservations arranged our water taxi and called our hotel for us so that they would meet us on the dock. The next time I head to San Pedro, I'll be calling Jessica to see if they have a room open for us. Their service and assistance was stellar, and the facilities were gorgeous.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Thank you very much for your feedback. We would love to have you with us on your next trip to Ambergris Caye. Our staff is one of our greatest assets and we are very proud of them. We strongly beleive that everyone should be treated with the uptmost respect and friendliness whether staying with us or just stopping by. We are happy that you were able to experience a bit of what to expect when staying with us.
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saint paul
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

My husband and I just returned from Portofino and we had a great time. The staff were very nice and helpful. We did open water referral with Dive Master Roberto at Portofino right at the hotel dock; he was a great teacher and very knowledgable. He took us out, just me and my husband, which was really special. It was fun and we learned a lot. He tolerated my nervous behavior with a great deal of patience. We also did a snorkel at Hol Chan and Shark alley which was really fun. Thanks Roberto! The bartenders were funny and nice (Rafeal and Orvelle). The waiters were great (cant remember all names except alex). And the ladies at the front desk were very helpful and friendly (yolanda and ?cant remember her name). Even the other guests seemed to be extra friendly here (hi to Bob and Marianne if you are reading this, hope you got the heavy duty bug spray I left at your door! and thanks for the nice note). Also, when we first arrived, we got a fantastic welcome from Kentucky! The cabana we stayed in was perfect, great big king bed. We had to move after the first night due to being in the cabana close to kitchen and were woken up at like 5 am to cleaning sounds. But they moved us right away so no other issues. Slept great after move. I only gave this resort reluctantly a 4 rating because I did not like the food here. There are limited food options close by so it is pretty much necessary as part of staying at Portofino to eat there as well. Some of the guests liked the food so maybe I just had bad luck. I had a shrimp dish that was very over cooked and flavors off. I had chips and salsa one night for a snack it was really embarrassing how awful it was (broken crushed chips and salsa tasted really old and sour). I couldn't eat it. Eggs in the morning were never as I ordered but it was not the waiters fault because I heard him ask the cook correctly. The only good item I ordered was the quesadillas however to be fair I did not try most of the food due to a couple bad experiences. In town, there were some good options for meals. We didn't have any bad food in town. Mata Chicas is walking distance about 20 min walk south on beach. Fish tacos there were very good for lunch. Jamaican place 10 min walk south had really delicious wings (you could easily miss the place)! I wish the resort had BIKES to use or rent and also "to go" snacks available to purchase (although the nicest girl at front desk offered to give me her own granola bar one day which was very generous). We didn't have any trouble catching a free ride into town with Mo the boat captain and never had to pay the water taxi. We just looked at the boat schedule on the black board in the morning to plan the day. Mo pick us up and dropped us off at the airstrip at arrival and departure with no extra fee and was no problem. Overall, I would recommend this place mostly because the people here are so very friendly!

Room Tip: Do not sleep in room 3 (the cabana closest to the main building) if you have any trouble sleeping wi...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Thank you so much for your review. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay in general. So sorry to hear about your bad dining experience, but thank you for the feedback. In this way we can address any issues that may be occurring. We are actually in the process of adding a few more options on our menus to give some variety for our guests. We are delighted to hear that everything else was great. We hope to welcome you again one day for another opportunity to show you the changes in our restaurant.
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new york
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

My friend and I were booked at another hotel (won't mention name) and could not stay there. We were so lucky that Portofino had availability. We stayed there over New Years and the staff could not be nicer. Lovely beach and pool. We went snorkeling and had a great time.

Highly recommend it you want a great vacation. Only downside that it is far from town and the water taxi is $11 roundtrip. You can ride along on the hotel boat but it only goes once or twice a day. If you want to eat in town you need to add the price of the water taxi.

  • Stayed December 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Thanks for your review. It was a pleasure having you with us and we are glad that you enjoyed our facilities and our staff. We hope to welcome you again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

My husband and I just returned from Portofino..Our room was large and clean, but not well lit.The food and service were very good. Actually the week we were there not many were at the place so serivce was impeccable.All were delightful. We took the kayaks out to snorkel several times.The water is so beautiful, and right off teh Protofino beach. My only suggetion would be that they have a few bikes ther so we could have ridden and covered more ground as we had no car, and road is not a place to be. It was quaint to have to take a boat to go anywhere else on the island..Loved it and would return!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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, responded to this review, February 25, 2013
Thank you so much for your positive review. We are happy that you enjoyed your stay with us and would come back someday. Although we do not have bikes, our concierge is happy to arrange a rental from town and have it brought up to the resort on one of our boat runs and return it when you are finished.

Once again, thank you for taking the time out to post your feedback and we hope to see you again.
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2013

What a true paradise Portofino is. It is quiet, beautiful and peaceful. We really loved this place. The suite we stayed in was the VIP beach suite which was very nice and felt like home. From our porch a beautiful view on the pool and ocean.
The Portofino Restaurant is good, nice food and good ambiance. The portofino beach resort is a small resort with everything you need to make a lovely holiday. Pool, beach, good food and drinks and friendly and helpful staff. It is outside of the village san pedro, but you can the protofino boat everyday and there is also the watertaxi. So if you want to go in to town that's no problem.
If you go on a dive trip the boat will pick you up from the private dock of Portofino. And because you are close to the reef, the boatride will be between 5 and 30 min depending on where you are gonig. We would definately go again if we can.

Room Tip: We stayed in the VIP beach suite, which is very good and big. But if you will spend less money you c...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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, responded to this review, March 5, 2013
Thank you for taking the time out to write about your experience at Portofino. It was a pleasure having you. We are happy that you enjoyed our property, the world class diving and the unmatched hospitality of our team. We look forward to welcoming you again!
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Additional Information about Portofino

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:
#4 Business Hotel in San Pedro
#6 Spa Hotel in San Pedro
#11 Top resorts Hotel in San Pedro
#17 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro
#19 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Portofino 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 Belize/San Pedro

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