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“Go to dive” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Isla Marisol Resort

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Isla Marisol Resort
P.O. Box 10, Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize   |  
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Chichester, New Hampshire
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Go to dive”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

This simple resort is isolated on Glovers Reef, so be prepared to dive or snorkel 3-4 times a day or read 15 books! Nicely designed, very simple, dependent on generator power (which can be problematic). Do NOT count on any kind of consistent WiFi signal (this is in critical need of an update).

Staff are lovely people. Dive operation is pretty casual, seems geared at experienced divers who don't require personal attention. Diving is frequently from a smaller, backward roll-type boat; they have one "real" dive boat that isn't used every day (depends on # of divers).

We rented the Reef House - very large accommodation, but sparsely stocked - no refrigerator or even cutlery or dishrags... Showers were lukewarm to boiling, with little to no pressure. A/C in my room never worked; toilets quit for a day. An enterprising tree rat found it's way in to steal a bag of peanuts I had in my suitcase - be careful what you stash, particularly because of ants!

We got hit by a serious tropical storm at the end of the week that destroyed many trees, knocked out power, washed or blew items all over the island, sent the 'big' boat on an unmanned voyage.... It's going to take some major clean up to get back to normal! Kudos to the kitchen staff for making sure we "starving" Americans were well-fed despite it all!

Do take bug spray for sand flies (always) and mosquitoes (when calm). Drink prices are predictably steep - BYOB is allowed. If you are at ALL susceptible to motion sickness take Dramamine before you get on the boat OUT to the island - it's a long way, and can be a rough ride. Wave conditions on dives can vary; whaleshark expeditions also involve long boat rides and precautions should be taken.

Above all, the SCUBA diving was fabulous, all wall diving on the edge of the atoll! Lots of big animals - Loggerhead turtles of awe-inspiring antiquity, many shark species, rays, lots of large Grouper species. Great clarity. Despite the lack of whalesharks this April full moon opportunity, we did see the snapper spawning, sharks and dolphins - well worth it!

I would probably choose an island resort closer in to gain access to the Barrier Reef, or a mainland resort if I return to Belize (Hamanasi is my favorite so far). Isla Marisol was rustic and my need to dive was completely satisfied, so go for the remoteness and quiet.

Room Tip: Cabins are on the atoll side, Reef House on the ocean. Depending on the prevailing winds, one side...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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133 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2013

Isla Marisol: Add one part tropical island. One part ocean breeze. One part sunshine. And a big helping of local staff to complete the Marisol experience. Eddie and Mr. Willis have assembled a wonderful group of people who make staying in paradise, paradise. Celso Mora is a wonderful Divemaster, knowledgeable and fun. His colleagues Meaghan and Casey are excellent guides and divemasters as well. Miss Jen, Ezra, Alicia, and Asianae will pamper you with delicious ample meals of local flavors and origin. Are you into fishing? So is Luis and he is an indispensable source of knowledge that comes from working in the fisheries department in and around Glover's reef. Ronald, Seth, and Douglas are excellent boat captians. I have seen them handle their crafts in rough passage with ease. The Island is kept in lovely condition by Sappo, Miss Brenda, Elmar, and Celvin. If thirst is an issue for you Ally and Tara have whatever tonic you need at the bar. Evening shark feedings are complementary ala Luis. Amazing and plentiful flora and fauna are readily accessible by snorkel trip too. One does not need to dive to see an amazing array of marine life. I do want to specify that it is a remote Island and if a Five star hotel experience is what you are looking for this may not be your best option. However, for the remoteness of the location and the peace and quiet that this offers the accomodations are more than adequate. Visitors from neighboring Cays continually remarked that Isla Marisol was superior to their accomodations. Lucky me to have come here first. I will certainly return and have already recommended this location to many sun starved Washingtonians. Its awesome at Marisol. You better Belize it!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

It's a trek to get to Glovers Reef, but I would go back in a minute. We went in mid-January and we did have a full week of rain :( but the diving was great and the crew and employees excellent. I am very much interested in conservation, there was a dive instructor that came in from Hawaii with a group to spear and study the over-abundant lionfish population and luckily, we got to help. And after assisting, the wonderful chefs cooked up the lionfish for us. Delicious. The resort is off the beaten path, but the rooms are nice and clean and the food is to die for. Bring your blow-dryer, they do not have them. We had an entire week of rain and had an excellent trip. Thank you to Isla Marisol!

Room Tip: I would prefer a room on the shore, you get more sunshine.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2013

If you want a resort, you don't want Isla Marisol. If you even want something with say... Holiday Inn Standards, this is not the place for you. Isla Marisol is, more or less, rustic. There is running water, and electricity, but I found both to be... intermittent. The electrical wiring in my shower was stripped, which caused sparks to fly every time I turned the hot water on. The first time it happened, I wasn't sure what happened, the second time it happened, I looked up to the wiring that was lined along the edge of the tile, and saw a small glowing fire. I believe it is because I tried to use the hot water, which caused the heater to engage, which was then exposed to the water from the shower (since the wiring lined the shower tile (or shower edge) and the water touching the exposed water with current running through it is what caused the sparks. When I alerted the staff, the took care of it by pulling the wire out of the shower from the rear exterior of the cabin. Which basically meant I no longer had any access to hot water. Which is better than having a fire hazard. But still not what you expect from the advertising, or even all the rave reviews on this site.

Now, on our snorkeling trips, we did pass some sites on other atolls that were truly "rustic". No bathrooms, running water, food, etc. Very much like camping. Isla Marisol is not quite that restrictive. It is more like family reunion camping, where there is main cabin with a kitchen and a bathroom and a bunch of cabins located all over the site for the family to stay in.

The electricity also went out several times. The electricity is from a generator, I think. So when the electricity goes out, there are no lights, no hot water, etc. I can't remember if the air conditioner is attached to the generator or runs on solar power, but I remember having trouble with that as well. It does not run at all during the day. Only in the evenings. And when it is not working in the evenings, you'r in for a long hot night.

The cabin is infested with roaches, which are gross, but I think that might just be something to be expected on an atoll. One of our fellow guests was having a severe reaction to what I can only assume are sand fleas. I felt terrible for him. I had brought a lot of bug repellent and didn't have a problem. He had repellent too, that he had used in the jungle on the main land with no problems, so maybe some people just have a sensitivity and some don't. You might also have geckos in your cabin. I didn't see too many, but I heard them. I also saw a lot of hermit crabs throughout the island at night. Those are delightful.

I found that the snorkeling guides were very good, and eager to show you everything and take you fun places to snorkel. They know where to look to find nurse sharks or rock lobsters, or conchs. There is a lot of snorkeling by consensus - "where would you guys like to go today!". Which can be a lot of fun.

If you are snorkeling on your own, I found the lagoon in front of the dive shop to be lovely. You might find starfish or upside down jelly fish, manta rays, etc.

I did not Scuba.

The bar is a lot of fun, although the drinks are overpriced, and watered down (wow), it is a fun atmosphere to hang out in. Most of the island's guests will be found there at various points throughout the day. I cannot recommend highly enough that you buy alcohol when you come into the airport if you think you will drink alcohol at the island. Buy more than you think you will need, to keep in your cabin. What you don't want to drink yourself, you can happily share with other vacationers.

Your fellow guests are the very best part of this experience. You will bond with them and get to know them. Some are couples, some are large families, some have young children. It is easy to get along with folks and learn about them. And you will see them often - at the bar, on the snorkeling/scuba trips, and at every meal.

There are three meals a day provided by the island. The kitchen staff is excellent, accommodating and very friendly. The food is served family style and heavily influenced with carribbean flavors. We often had fish or lobster that was caught out on the fishing or snorkeling trips.

I found the staff to be very solicitous and knowledgeable. The owner stopped by the island a couple of times. He seems to be a bit of a bully with his staff, and is even condescending to his guests. He talked badly about guests who had left bad reviews, but I did not think that a man who's showers nearly lit on fire, and didn't have working electricity or running water all the time could be too mad when guests were mad about those things.

One suggestion I would have for the proprietors, which I know may be a bit of a stretch, it to perhaps carry some over the counter drugs that guests could use. Even if we had to pay for them the way you might in a hotel gift shop. I did not come prepared at all for the throat and ear pain/ infection that I came down with while I was there. Luckily, one of the other amazing guests was able to provide me with some pain meds and something to help me sleep.

The other tip that I think may be useful to visitors is to request a cabin near the kitchen and the bar. There are cabins located in several places on the island, but the ones in the "front" are centrally located, have a beautiful view in a palm tree grove, and are easy to get to the dive shop, a public bathroom, the office, the lagoon, the kiyaks and paddle boards, etc. The kitchen/office also has free, but spotty wi-fi.

Overall, if I were considering a trip to Isla Marisol again, I would either stay for only half a week, or, honestly, not at all. Just really remember that this is a great place if you are looking for a laid back rustic style trip. It is not a great place if hot water, electricity or a bug free environment are important to you.

Room Tip: Rooms near the bar and kitchen and dive shop are where you want to be. They're still quiet (bec...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IMRGloversReef, Manager at Isla Marisol Resort, responded to this review, September 2, 2013
Isla Marisol Resort is not the Ritz nor the Holiday Inn, everything you mention has been fixed. We're located 36 mile's off the coast and our power is solar and generator, we try our best to provide a service that we feel will make our guest comfortable and enjoy and off the beaten path experience. the comments about us trying to shock you in the showers are definitely not one we would wish on our worst enemies much less our most valuable resource our guest. We've made a lot of improvements in the bathrooms of all the cabana's and we're always trying to keep our equipments in perfect condition, mother nature the salt air environment and other factor including human error are a constant part of our operation, however, as guest sometime we ask for your help in identify problems so we can continue to keep a perfect maintenance record, simple word to the management my light bulb just blown, the wire in the shower is showing sparks, my foot wash at the cabana steps just blew away in the storm are easy communication which we appreciate so we can correct our mistake and keep you our guest happy.

We're not perfect and as you mention are neither the Ritz or the Holiday Inn, but we do care and we put a lot of effort into trying to make sure our guest are happy and comfortable. sometime's trying to provide too much can bite you back, i think we should cut back on what we offer and hopefully then we'll received better reviews. We thank you anyways for sharing your thoughts and I'm responding to let you know we've fixed all the faults you mention for others coming in the future to know our showers won't shock you, thanks and have a great adventure on your next travels..


isla Marisol Resort
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Rogers, Arkansas
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2013

Wonderful, friendly staff. The snorkeling was great--the best we've ever had. The guide found and pointed out so many things to us. The other guests were mostly families with older children who were delightful to be around. The scuba divers reported great dives and even brought back lionfish for dinner one day. We would love to go back.

Room Tip: We were two couples traveling together and stayed in one of the Reef Houses. The breeze kept the ro...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SC beaches
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2013

We've been to many reef sites in the Caribbean area, but Isla Marisol is the best. Your very own casual cabana with a hammock beside the sea, a staff that's open, friendly, kind, knowledgeable, helpful, willing and professional (hey guys, that's you!). The food is excellent! and plenty of it - even my hollow-legged honey had enough and loved it. Fresh caught fish and local specialties. But what makes this place truly unique is underwater. Such a variety of colorful coral and sea life (big ones - sharks, rays, turtles, groupers and barracuda) and so many locations and environments you won't go to the same place twice. We can't dive nowadays (wah!) but we love to snorkel and there was a snorkeling boat just for us snorkers. We weren't just plopped at a dive site 45' down. And getting there is half the fun. At Belize City you take a grasshopper to Dangriga (about 10 passengers) and if you're lucky the pilot will let you sit up front. We were met and driven to the boat that took us to the island, stopping along the way to drop off groceries for another remote site. Yup, just you, the resort and your very own private island: there isn't even a post office. Can't get any safer than that! Be sure to take everything you need: swimsuit, fins and bug spray. And be careful what you ask for: you'll get it! We noted the lack of seats where we took off our wetsuits: the next morning two newly-made wooden stools greeted us at the dock.

Room Tip: You can have a rustic site by the turquoise sea or a beautiful new house on stilts near the reef. A...
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  • Stayed February 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.
New York State
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

Our notes:
-The resort is a very kid-friendly place
-Despite reviews to the contrary, there was ample hot water and electricity, due to the resort's careful installation of eco-friendly solar thermal hot water and solar photovoltaic panels for power.
-Staff went way out of their way to give us extra guidance in sea kayaking, paddle-boarding for our child, snorkeling, as well as great information and discussion on cultural issues, invasive species and other environmental concerns, their fabulous water conservation efforts, and so much more. Especially wonderful to meet and talk with Liv, Luis, Thomas, Elmer, Mr. Willis, Miguel, Jen, Alicia, and Senaida.
- Ms. Jen's food was AMAZING, delicious, always interesting, and nutritious. Lovely fresh fish, yummy desserts, constant access to juice, tea, water, coffee, etc.
-Susie Green the booking agent went way out of her way to help us rearrange things when our American Airline flight from Miami was delayed and we missed the boat.
- Garifuna drumming and dancing experience was totally cool.
- Intense, beautiful snorkeling experiences - incredibly diverse coral formations, lots of fish of different varieties
- So peaceful, we really were rested by the end of it.
- So beautiful, we loved just sitting on our porch and gazing at the sea and sky for hours.
A wonderful lifetime experience and we REALLY want to go back.

Room Tip: Reef houses are large and have the sound of waves on the reef; cabanas on the opposite side are quie...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
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Additional Information about Isla Marisol Resort

Address: P.O. Box 10, Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Glovers Reef Atoll
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Glovers Reef Atoll
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Isla Marisol Resort lies on a pristine, secluded palm-studded island on Glover's Atoll (a UN World Heritage site) in Belize, and is the only full-service, all-inclusive resort on the atoll. It offers some of the best scuba diving and snorkeling in Belize. Incredible diving just a stone's throw from the resort. Other activities include kayaking and excellent fly-fishing and trolling. The resort features comfortable, air-conditioned cabañas, excellent meals & bar over the water. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Isla Marisol Hotel Glovers Reef Atoll
Isla Marisol Dangriga
Isla Marisol Resort Belize/Glovers Reef Atoll

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