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“Wonderful Time.” 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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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
5TH NIGHT FREE
Ranked #23 of 53 Hotels in San Pedro
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Roosevelt, Utah
1 review
“Wonderful Time.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The Portofino Beach Resort in Belize is a wonderful place to stay. The management and staff are excellent. They are always willing to help. The room that we stayed in was very roomy and kept very clean and tidy by the staff. From the moment that we were greeted by Jerrilee we were made to feel right at home and she went the distance to make sure that everything with our trip was to our expectation. We will definitely recommend Portofino Beach Resort to our family and friends.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Jaguar.
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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472 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 (132)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Corrales, New Mexico
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

My husband and I just returned from a week long stay at Portofino. Its a terrific place to stay to relax in a quiet, friendly atmosphere. The pool is clean and lovely, the food is excellent, if a bit pricey. Every staff member was really helpful and pleasant. Several went that extra mile to make our stay even better (checking on boat departure times, grabbing an extra towel, getting that hot coffee). We took three snorkel trips, two short and one full day with the crew from the hotel dive shack. Snorkeling is wonderful and one site is literally a five minute boat ride away with turtles, nurse sharks, rays and eels. Crew was great. Nice enough to let us get off the boat first when they had a boatload of newbies when they knew we were experienced, allowing us some time to explore. Had massages in our room with Lillian that were not truly "deep tissue" but very relaxing. Certainly not a place to go if you want the party scene! Definitely the place for deep relaxing and quiet. Husband did one dive with them and one to the Blue Hole with outside group, also with the hotel's assistance. Just a terrific place. Room is very nice but could use maybe a more comfortable inside chair or two when you are staying out of the sun and wind. A few suggestions - Because we are quite a ways from town having more items that can be purchased like sweet and salty snacks and your t-shirts would be nice. We stayed in Jasmine and are sort of modest old farts, so I don't know if other bathrooms are like this, but a drape or something across the toilet area would have been nice. We would recommend this resort to anyone who knows and loves the Caribbean and is looking for simple, relaxing atmosphere, not mega-resort. A huge thank-you to all the staff members who made the trip so special.

Room Tip: We stayed in a second story with balcony-nice view, nice breeze, roomy, and clean.
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Villahermosa, Mexico
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I stayed there with my family for 3 days and the experience was facinating. The staff really friendly and always willing to help, the room Orchid was absolutely stunishing, with a beatiful view to the beach, ample area and very clean (this is the first time i had stayed in a hotel where they clean the room twice a day).
The snorkling experience at the Mexican Rocks is something not to be missed. swiming with sharks, sting rays, turtles and of course fishes, amazing.
The restaurant is a bit pricy, but the food and attention is worthed. We sat one night at the "special dinner" prepared at the sand and we all loved it. We will return!

  • Stayed April 2015, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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PortofinoBZ, Manager at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, 1 week ago
Hello Josmar H,

We are happy you enjoyed your experience at our resort. The staff does their absolute best to make everyone feel welcomed and comfortable. They are a very important part to our resort.

We are also very happy that you got to experience the sea life around this wonderful place.
We look forward to the opportunity to have you with us again.
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Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We went to Belize for our honeymoon 10 years ago and recently returned to Portofino to celebrate our anniversary. We stayed at the same resort and even in the same room. It is a very peaceful, secluded spot, and we enjoyed our stay very much. However, while we do plan to return to Belize, we would probably not go back to Portofino. Here's why: it is just too far north of the town (San Pedro), inaccessible by roads, and the 20-minute boat trip to get into town becomes tedious, especially when the Portofino boat schedule varies every day. Your only other option for transportation is the water taxi, which costs $11 per person per trip and takes even longer. We wouldn't have minded just staying at the resort the whole week except for this: we got kind of tired of the food and somewhat limited menu, although the ceviche is awesome and I love the Belizean breakfast (ask them to add jalapenos to the eggs, which is how they did it 10 years ago!). There are some great restaurants in town which offer more variety and authentic Belizean and Mayan cuisine, and for that reason I think we would stay somewhere closer to town next time.

A note about the staff: they are all outstanding! Great people, servers, bartenders, housekeeping, administrative staff, everyone was helpful and exceeded our expectations. The rooms were very clean and mostly comfortable, although they need to install better lighting, b/c there's not enough indoor light to read by at night, so you're kind of left with the option of watching TV.

Portofino is overall a great place and we will have good memories of our special times there.

Room Tip: The treetop suites are nice and have a great view.
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  • Stayed January 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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, Manager at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, 1 week ago
Hello mama2threelittleones,

Thank you for sharing your experience with our resort. First of all, we want to congratulate on your Anniversary. It is always an honor to be able to share in such momentous events in someone's life. We are happy you were able to stay in the room you once celebrated your anniversary in years ago. The small things make a big difference and we hope that did for you as well.

We are happy you appreciated the staff’s efforts to make your stay so memorable. We know being this far away from town has its pros and cons. While it makes for a very relaxed and serene atmosphere, doing stuff around town becomes a different accomplishment. We know our resort is not for everyone, and since you are returning, we are sure getting around town has been something to do. We are glad you are still happy in Belize and hope you enjoy your future visits.
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Minneapolis, Kansas
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Once again Portofino has surpassed vacation standard. Not only did I have a wonderfully relaxing vacation I also felt like I was visiting family. The accomodations, cuisine, and staff were all amazing and we can't wait to return next year!

Room Tip: All the rooms are excellent!
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  • Stayed March 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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, Manager at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, 1 week ago
Thank you for sharing such warm comments here Ireinbold. Please remember you are visiting family now. it is always great to have returning visitors so we can build a stronger bond. We look forward to seeing you again on your next visit.
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Maryland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The rooms at Portofino were beautiful and very comfortable. We especially loved the front porch on every cabana. Great for watching the sun rise or having an evening cocktail. The layout of the resort was very nice including the pool. The staff was very friendly, but we were sometimes confused on what was included and what wasn't and whether tips we included in certain things or not. It just felt like some of the details could be a little better organized. The front desk was very helpful when we needed to change some of our arrangements and all of the staff worked hard to make sure we were enjoying our vacation. The kitchen even cooked the fish we caught that evening even though they were just about to shut down. We especially enjoyed the staff in the dive shop who took us snorkeling, diving and fishing. They were knowledgeable and very friendly. One day we took the ferry into town and checked out some of the more popular resorts in town and although they were closer to different eateries, we like the feel of being more remote and island like. We would definitely consider going back and would recommend the resort to friends.

  • Stayed March 2015, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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, Manager at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, 1 week ago
Dear Billie L,

Thank you for sharing your experience with the resort here. We are thrilled you enjoyed your experience with the resort and your experience in Belize. We really are happy not to be in the center of town. The town has its appeal but at the end of the day quiet relaxation is what we prefer to have at our resort. The staff does their best to help everyone feel welcomed and relaxed. It is part of their personalities.

We are also very happy you got to experience the sea life in this paradise. It is an amazing experience every time.

As to organization, we will keep working with the staff to improve communications with our guests.

We hope to have the opportunity again to have you with us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cockermouth, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

I chose this resort for its close proximity to Mexico Rocks for snorkelling without having to take a boat and for its peaceful location away from San Pedro.
First the many positives.
We caught an early flight from Belize city and thanks to the wifi at Belize City airport I was able to email the hotel to report our early arrival and despite the fact that the hotel is 6 miles by boat from San Pedro we only had to wait 20 minutes to be picked up .We were greeted with cold eucalyptus scented flannels and a welcome fruit drink while filling in the arrival paperwork.We then chose scented soaps for our room.The reception staff, especially Asheira and one other young girl were very helpful and friendly.It would help if the front of house staff wore first name badges as this would help to identify them.
We stayed in a Treetop suite ,the room was first class, large comfortable kingsize bed with a romantic overhead canopy which served a dual purpose preventing debris from the thatched roof falling onto the bed.The bed was decorated with flowers in colours matching the decor which was a lovely touch.The decor was bright mustard yellow and fuchsia.There was an unexpectedly powerful hot rainwater shower,and 2 vanity units.The open plan layout without doors wouldn't suit everyone but my husband and I were fine with this.There were many electric sockets,TV with lots of cable channels,wardrobe with hangers, fridge.2 complimentary bottles of water were supplied daily.The wifi was good.There were no tea or coffee making facilities in the room.The balcony had one hammock and 2 loungers.The view was of the pool and in the distance the sea between the beach cabanas.
The not so good points:
The remote location from San Pedro was more of a hindrance.The hotel rooms did not feel particularly private - the beach cabanas were in a crescent around the pool on the "beach" which was a public stretch of beach .Luckily the treetop suite was behind these but in close proximity to the staff quarters from which there was occasional noise.I was under the misapprehension that it would be quite easy to walk down the beach to find alternative places to eat.There were one or two places but they were either closed in the evening or quite empty and the beach path wasn't inviting or well lit.You could walk to Matachica but if dining there they provide a complimentary boat pick up anyway.The popular options appear to be eat in the hotel restaurant or get the boat into San Pedro for dinner. Portofino has its own boat service but only when dropping off or picking up guests or staff at the end of their shift.There is a water taxi run by Coastal express but this significantly adds to the dinner cost being $11/person one way.You can pay this by credit card in the office by the jetty in San Pedro.The return boats are scheduled about every 2 hours up until 10pm.
We were on the bed and continental breakfast package - the full board option was only open to guests on the honeymoon package.This would have been fine if the continental breakfast had been substantial but it was rather meagre.One slice of toast with about 15 pieces of fruit, one glass of freshly squeezed Belizean orange juice and no offers of seconds or refills.The coffee was served with carnation milk on the side.This meant most days purchasing additional breakfast items which were individually priced add ons such as $6 for fried jacks.Saying this the Eggs Benedict was one of the best I have ever had.
In the restaurant it just felt like they were trying to get more money out of you.American prices without American service.We dined in one night and I had the snapper special ,it wasn't particularly special and very overpriced -a whole meal for 2 in San Pedro cost less than this one item.The tables are all out on the balcony but the ambience was disappointing as there were only another 2 tables occupied.The staff appeared disinterested most of the time.
There was supposed to be complimentary coffee available all day.This was provided in the morning in an electric urn,often this was not hot or there were no cups.Polystyrene cups were supplied with sachets of non dairy creamer.If you didn't catch this when it was functioning you had to ask the bar or restaurant staff for coffee and it felt like this was an intrusion on their time.
We did kayak out to Mexico Rocks ,we were the only guests to do so while we were there.It is possible , there is no significant current but there is a constant chop from the wind making it hard going into the wind on the way out and took 30minutes into the wind and 20 minutes on the way back.Leaving from the beach is quite difficult in a double kayak as it is shallow for a significant way out and hard to use the oars .We were lucky that there was a house boat moored at Mexico Rocks and we were invited to pull up our kayak to get in and out otherwise it would have been very difficult to get back into the kayak as the water was at least 12 feet deep.There is an activity waiver form that you have to sign to use the kayaks ,actually we weren't given this before we kayaked out, but on a different occasion when we used the bikes.This form stated that it was dangerous to kayak out to the reef and was not recommended.
Using the bikes was a challenge there is a very poor road running north to south behind all the resorts towards San Pedro, this is full of potholes and in some areas the road is submerged by large puddles.The other option is to bike along the beach ,again it is hard going in places where the sand is deep , the path is narrow and varied and winds over all the beach front properties.It also took a while to get used to pedal back brakes for the first time since childhood.
Apart from the reception staff mentioned previously the staff didn't feel particularly welcoming.
The beach is manmade sand over concrete which was particularly obvious on windy days when it was blown thin in places.The ground staff struggled to keep seaweed at bay raking it into wheelbarrows all day to prevent it building up and smelling.This was a problem for all the resorts not just Portofino who did a reasonable job to control this.
The seagrass wasn't a big problem, knowing about it in advance meant we were prepared for this.
A foot bath would be useful at the bottom of the steps up to our suite to prevent trailing sand up .Some of the ground level rooms had this.
The thatch above our balcony was in disrepair and a large chunk blew down and into our room one day, but was promptly swept up.
The management at times appeared disorganised ,at least on one occasion the boat arrived back at the hotel without picking up 4 new expected guests.
This good resort has the potential to be a great resort with just a little more attention to the infrastructure.The numerous minor irritations have detracted from my rating.

Stayed March 2015, traveled as a couple
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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 Business Hotel in San Pedro
#6 Spa 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
#22 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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