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“Unbelizeable Experience!” 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
Las Vegas, Nevada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Unbelizeable Experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2013

We stayed at Portofino for our anniversary, and it was one of the most amazing, romantic, beautiful experiences in Belize! We have been visiting Belize for 4 years, and we moved to San Pedro, Belize 6 months ago. We live in town, so we for our anniversary we wanted to go somewhere secluded. Portofino was PERFECT! From the time we were picked up by Moh, the boat captain, our mini "stay-cation" was nothing short of outstanding! Moh was all smiles, welcoming us to Portofino. Upon arrival, we were met at the dock by more smiling staff. Check in was quick and easy, and Yolanda brought us to our beach cabana. The room was clean, comfortable, and lovely. The thatched roof, conch shells, and hardwood floors were beautiful and lent that island feel to this luxurious resort. We then had a light lunch by pool. The hummus was incredible! We sipped wine and chatted with some other guests., then took a dip in the pool. The large, warm water pool was perfect! We had the option to take kayaks our for a ride, snorkel the amazing reef, or even get PADI certified right there at the resort.... BUT....The best part of our stay, however, was dinner!
Being our anniversary, we reserved beach dining on the pier. It was amazing! The owners, Sandra and Jan, shared a glass of wine with us, and toasted us, then the staff lead us down the dock. The pier was lined with lights and conch shells filled with flowers. A table for two was set at the end of the pier where a waiter was waiting for us. We were waited on hand and foot by Tristian, who went far over and above the call of duty. He was kind, considerate, and attentive. The food was delicious, but the service and atmosphere were even better! It was so romantic- dinner by starlight over the ocean... It was perfect.
All in all, our stay at Portofino was truly a memorable experience. We will be back, for sure! And we highly recommend this resort to anyone! We can't thank Sandra and Jan enough for creating such a special experience!

  • Stayed June 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino, responded to this review, June 12, 2013
Thank you for choosing Portofino for your special getaway. We are so glad that you enjoyed all the romantic touches and the warm hospitality of the Portofino Team.

We look forward to welcoming you again!
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422 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 (118)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2013

Just returned from a 5 night stay at Portofino. The resort is absolutely beautiful. We stayed in the VIP suite "Seahorse" and it was gorgeous, with stunning hard wood floors and thatched high ceilings. It was very humid during our stay so the AC worked a bit less then perfectly. The resort sprays for insects daily so there were very few bugs on the property.

The staff is uniformly excellent and very welcoming. Lunches and breakfasts were very nice with the french toast and lobster quesadilla being standouts. Dinner, though very good, was pricy and a bit formal for the atmosphere. It would be nice if lighter options and more local fare were available.

The beach is pretty much non-existent but the grounds are equipped with very comfy loungers, great palm tree framed views of the crystal clear seas, a cool circular pool, and a short walk down the dock brings you to beautiful clear water teaming with wildlife! The property is incredibly well kept, and is home to lots of cute hermit crabs to play with and birds to watch.

The family who owns the resort live on site, though they didn't seem to interact with guests at all (which we found a bit odd, to be honest).

All in all, an absolutely lovely resort, with a great staff, good food, and very nice rooms.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino, responded to this review, June 12, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience at Portofino! We are very happy that you enjoyed the hospitality of our staff and our small resort.

We are so sorry that we came across as unapproachable. Please accept our apologies, as on the contrary, we are always happy to chat with our guests.

Once again, thank you for taking time to write about your experience at Portofino!
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Boston, MA
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 3, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Portofino in May 2013 for our "babymoon". I wasn't sure how I was going to handle traveling to Belize while pregnant, but the staff at the Portofino took very good care of us. Moe, the shuttle boat captain, always made sure I was comfortable whenever I was on his boat. The hotel staff were all so friendly and welcoming. The restaurant staff were helpful and gave us many wonderful recommendations for activities and restaurants in the area. We truly enjoyed our breakfasts there. Once our waiter found out I had a banana allergy, the kitchen staff went out of there way to make their muffins without bananas. The cabana was clean, well appointed and was only steps away from the pool and beach. We especially loved the hammock that was right outside our front door. The resort is quiet, very well maintained, and extremely relaxing with the ocean breeze blowing all day. My husband is an avid scuba diver and it was such a bonus for him to have a dive shop right there on the premises. He made several dives with Oscar that week and earned his advanced certification. Oscar was wonderful! My husband and I went snorkeling one day and Oscar made sure I was well taken care of. He swam next to me the whole time and acted as my own personal guide.
Overall, it was such wonderful trip and the staff at Portofino made it very special. I highly recommend the Portofino!

Some tips for travelers:

-Bring bug spray! The ocean breeze definitely helps keep the bugs away but if you are dining off the ocean, the mosquitos are everywhere at night.

-Some of our favorite restaurants in there area were Mambo (at the Matachica Resort--which is only 5 minutes from Portofino. Matachica has a complimentary boat service that will come and pick you up), AJI (tapas bar), and Rojo Bar (the pizza there is AMAZING! and the drinks were fabulous)

  • Stayed May 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino, responded to this review, June 6, 2013
Yes, Portofino is definitely the ultimate destination for doing everything or nothing at all!! Diving is top notch and the lounge chairs on our beach under the shade of a swaying palm tree is certainly relaxing!

Thank you so much for taking the time out to write about your experince. It was a pleasure sharing our little piece of paradise with you. Our staff is our greatest asset and we are glad that they made your stay extra special!!

All the best wishes with your baby.....we look forward to welcoming you again for a family vacation!!
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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

Stayed at Portofino last summer (2012). The hotel is definitely nice, clean, welcoming with all the amenities necessary to enjoy a stay by the beach.
One thing: you can’t swim in the sea. It’s covered with seaweed and full of stingrays. They clean the beachfront everyday so you can still lie on the sand and walk along.
Loved Mo’s boat ride to town every day!
The pool is aging but certainly does the job. Breakfast was really good. Bed and sleeping quality were great. Overall, Portofino is quiet boutique hotel and we enjoyed our stay there.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino, responded to this review, June 6, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time out to write about your expereince! We are so happy that you enjoyed your stay with us.

The marine life found on our island is simply amazing! Due to the reef being so close to our shoreline, you will find turtle grass on the ocean floor all over the island. This grass plays such a vital role in keeping our reef healthy and is one of the main reasons why we have such an abundance of marine life for visitors to enjoy! Belize is very strict when it comes to protecting our natural resources and therefore turtle grass is not removed.

We are glad that you enjoyed our swimming pool and we very much look forward to having you again one day when you are in need of an island getaway!
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Leduc, Alberta, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

We stayed from apirl 15 - may 6 2013 and don't have anything negative to say! We had our 4 yr old with us and didn't have any problems keeping him busy. The pool just 5 steps from our bungalow was absolutely fantastic! Just a few more steps is the bar and restaurant! Great drinks and food. My son and myself especially love the fresh coconuts served to us at the pool!! thx Orville:) and he will always remember the maintenance guy (dunno his name) climbing up the tree to get them.
I am so pleased that the staff catered to my son's peanut allergy. The great kitchen staff even went out of their way and made him nut free muffins. Soooo good yumm.

Where else would you find a hotel that brings in an extra actual single bed for my son not a cot into your room for you to be comfortable? Well Portofino did for us:) sooo accommodating

We didn't know what we were getting into since we have never been to Belize, especially with a child, but was not disappointed at all. We were taken care of as soon as we landed and didn't have to worry about a thing:) Moe made sure of that.

The boat rides were great even tho I get motion sickness very easy, that wasn't a problem. For our longer boat rides to Caye Caulker, a little ginger gravol or draminine sure helped, just in case.

Oscar at the dive shop took us on a fantastic day trip snorkelling, swam with sharks/rays, turtles, went to Caye Caulker, met up with some dolphins and just had a laid back day. Thx for teaching Jaxon to snorkel and felt secure diving beside him since it was a few years since my last dive. Big thx to Erika also for being so genuine and friendly:)

The staff was exceptional not only with us but catered to my son as well. He loved all the staff and was so sad to leave his new friends and pretty girls, he says lol. Orville, Rafiel, Tristian, Alex, Roy, Jessica, Yolanda, Lorraine, Jessica, Terrence, Shelley, Moe are just a few staff names to mention. Even if I haven't mentioned their names doesn't mean they weren't fantastic cause they all were! and of course the owners well mannered & friendly children that my boy loved to play with from time to time.

We rented a golf cart for a day & had an adventure driving back to the resort on the back road or bumpy trail I should say lol. There are plenty of stores & restaurants to check out in town. Our favs were Fido's, Blue Water Grill & I forget the papousa place on middle street. So many to mention tho.

There are many positive things to say and all the great staff to thank! Our family had a fantastic & memorable time and will be back soon to stay again an bring some family along to share with them this little piece of heaven:)

ps. a coffee maker & microwave in the rooms would be an added bonus

  • Stayed April 2013, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino, responded to this review, June 6, 2013
The Portofino misses you guys so much! It was such a pleasure having your family with us for an extended vacation. The staff was so sad to see you guys leave. We have fond memories and we really hope to have you again!
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Scottsdale, Arizona
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

I would HIGHLY recommend this property! We spent a week for my 40th birthday at Portofino. We can't say enough about the property conditions, the staff and the rooms were amazing! We stayed in Barracuda and all the pictures of the rooms are exactly what they look like! The food was OK but you could venture off the property to get your meals. We are water people and love riding on boats so our trips into San Pedro were an adventure in itself. They have scheduled times the resort boat goes to town or there's a water taxi schedule too. If you are not comfortable being on a boat as your transportation everywhere then you will not be happy with this property....unless of course you don't plan to leave the property.

If we go back we will look into renting a golf cart. There are places to eat on land that you can get to if you had a golf cart. There are also other things you can do on land that we weren't able to do because we didn't have ground transportation. This gives us another reason to go back! We have told so many of our friends about this resort. If you are looking for quiet, peace and serenity...this is the place for you. You truly feel like you are getting away and completely relaxing. There's no nightlife which we were perfectly fine with. We took our iPod and some speakers and listened to music on the front porch of our cabana.

We met the owners and they are so friendly and happy to share their story about the property with you. All of their staff was so helpful and are very happy to work at Portofino.

We will definitely go back!

Room Tip: I would recommend one of the stand alone cabanas. Either Barracuda or Seahorse. You have your own...
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  • Stayed March 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino, responded to this review, June 6, 2013
It was such a pleasure having you with us. Thank you for taking the time out to write about your experience at our little piece of paradise. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed the peace and serenity that can be found here. Our staff are amazing and we are so fortunate to have them.

We look forward to welcoming you again one day.
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Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2013

We stayed at Portofino Beach resort Belize, Ambergris Caye in July 2012 for our honeymoon. This resort was amazing. It was quiet, relaxing, but also had ammenities to go and do everything we wanted to while in Belize. We went snorkeling, scuba diving, visited Mayan Ruins, did Zip line and cave tubing!
The Hotel had very accomodating staff, the bartender would remember us by name and create tasty blended creations for us each night. We ate at their restaurant every morning for breakfast, it was delicious, service a bit slow, but we weren't in a hurry. We ate dinner there several times as well and it was also delicious, really tasty Keylime frozen pie!
The rooms were well dressed and simple, we loved the thatched roofs and the hardwood floors. When we arrived the rooms were dressed with bamboo leaves and flowers on the bed, table, bathroom counter and toilet seat! Very beautiful and a great way to start off our vacation! The Bed had a bug net over it but we didn't need it, and the AC unit was in tip top cooling mode! We did not reserve a suite for our stay, as we like to stay in simplicity and spend our time out and about! However, we had our own private hammock out front, the little mini fridge kept our drinks cold, and the bathroom was large so I could get ready and hubby could shower and get ready at the same time! The Pool was cool, and we could sit in it in a lounger and still read or have our "Dirty Bananas " (A must have drink while in Belize), the pool was not huge and it was a unique design, never over crowded, as the resort was on the beautiful caribbean sea, with clear warm water, so we swam and kayaked on the complimentary hotel kayaks daily!
Overall this resort was exactly what we were looking for, it was absolutely amazing! We really loved the quaintness of it, and the originality of it, it was a slice of heaven! We loved that it gave us the feeling of living in Belize, not like being at a huge americanized resort with lots of concreat!
We are hoping to plan an anniversary trip back to the resort next year! We loved it so much we cannot wait to return!

Room Tip: All the rooms are quiet and simple but have everything you need to enjoy your stay! We prefered the...
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  • Stayed July 2012, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino, responded to this review, May 29, 2013
Thank you for taking the time out to write about your great honeymoon experience in Belize! We are truly honored that our little piece of paradise was a part of such a special celebration. We wish you many years of happiness and would love to welcome you again for your anniversary!
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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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