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“a romantic week” 5 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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Hotel amenities
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WhaleSharks Week Fullmoon
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“a romantic week”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

My Husband and I were blessed with a wonderful weeks stay at this beautiful and amazing resort. We ended up being the only two guests for the week. It was like the " lifestyle of the rich and famous" for us. A private tropical island with the awesome meals and all the truly friendly staff taking care of us for a week! Our cabana which was spotlessly clean, comfortably appointed, featured our own private bathroom with a flush toilet, hot shower and a A/C unit in the room and was just a step from the beautiful, clear, warm water. What is really amazing is that the owners where even able to establish such a beautiful resort with all the amenities on such a remote island on a reef. They produce electric, clean fresh water, a septic system, recycle and save resources while striving to also protect the environment and reefs. We were truly impressed.
We snorkel and the location of the Isla Marisol resort on Glovers did not disappoint us. It was some of the best snorkeling we have done. Krista is a wonderful soul and was very helpful in pointing out sea creatures and types of coral we may have missed without her.
I would be amiss if I did not mention the staff. You can always hire people to take care of guests and they can do a good job, but the staff at the resort treated us like family. Their wonderful smiles reached their eyes, and they were always ready to help you in any way. The people at the Isla Marisol truly helped to make our vacation wonderful. It really was a week in paradise!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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149 reviews from our community

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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 (56)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Elk Grove, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2014

My husband and I spent the week of July 5th – 12th at Isla Marisol Resort, and it was a dream come true for us. We loved every minute of our stay.

Being slow season, we were the only guests at the resort that week, which meant we missed chatting with other guests over drinks and dinner, but it also meant we had the friendly, helpful staff to ourselves. This turned out to be a real bonus for us, as we hadn’t SCUBA dived for a number of years, and we were a little apprehensive about “taking the plunge.” We did a brief refresher, and we were soon cruising along the most beautiful coral reef I have ever seen. Dive guides Aly and Krista took excellent care of us.

The dive and snorkel sites are all within a VERY short boat ride, which means you come back to the resort to relax in between tanks. There is also a wonderful patch reef a short, fun kayak ride away, or you can snorkel around the boat dock, where there were many fun fish and critters to check out. I heard there were even sea horses there, but I never did see them. (We later spent 3 nights in San Pedro, and the snorkeling there didn’t come close to Glover’s)

My husband caught countless bonefish with his fly rod right in front of our cabana. We also caught fish with our spinning rods right off the boat dock at night (including a 5 foot nurse shark and big snapper!) The tarpon eluded us, but we saw them. They are there! Alan also went on a couple fishing excursions in a boat… both with his fly rod and trolling with the spinning gear. He caught many fish and had a wonderful time. Luis is an excellent boat captain and guide.

The facilities at the resort are great and quite extraordinary when you consider the remote, “off the grid” location. The cabanas are basic, but very comfortable, with a quality bed, hot showers, electricity and A/C at night. Each cabana has a lovely porch with a hammock and comfy chairs. I learned to appreciate afternoon naps in the hammock. We never once needed the A/C, due to the wonderful ocean breezes. Our home in paradise was just a few steps from the sea.

The resort has an over-the-water bar, which serves fairly priced beers, sodas and cocktails. Krista and Aly make some great margaritas and pina coladas! The meals are freshly prepared by the wonderful head chef, Jen. She serves up some tasty meals with local ingredients and freshly caught fish. Bottled water, coffee and juice are available 24/7 in the dining room. They even provide WiFi in the dining room and bar, which worked well most of the time.

I had read a lot about the sand flies in that area, but we had no problem with them at all. They periodically “fog” the area with a product that has worked very well to keep them under control. That, along with a nice breeze, meant we didn’t get bit a single bite all week.

Without exception, each and every staff member provided us with excellent service… with a big smile. I will be dreaming of Isla Marisol’s coral reef, swaying palms, and blue waters for a very long time.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Johannesburg, South Africa
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

We chose to spend a week at Isla Marisol but coming from Johannesburg presents a myriad of logistical problems. From the word go, Taryn assisted us with every aspect of our trip and made actually getting to Marisol far easier. My husband is an avid angler and we had so much help and assistance from the staff beforehand too. This may seem insignificant, but it ensured he had the right rods, flies and equipment. The fishing was outstanding and the fishing guide, Luis, was extremely knowledgeable and went out of his way to ensure the angling was extraordinary. And it was. The staff don't actually have to do any of this but they did, making our week on the island absolute bliss. The resort is nothing short of charming. It has that family atmosphere so you are at ease and relaxed within an hour of arrival. Almost immediately the staff know who everyone is too. Nothing is too much trouble and often, because of the angling, we had later meals. Miss Jen had it all ready and waiting. The accommodation is more than adequate. We had AC (though we did not use it much); beds were very good and lovely pillows too all made for a good night's sleep. We always had hot water and were able to charge phones etc. when needed. There is good wi-fi in the dining area too. We particularly liked the communal dining arrangement. The resort, being small, makes for diverse and very interesting dinner companions, all of which adds to the charm that is Isla Marisol. Our crossings to and from the mainland were very safe and comfortable and to top it all, we were accompanied by a pod of dolphins on the way back to Dangriga!! Very telling is the fact that several guests were repeat bookings - and I always feel that speaks volumes. We would find it hard to beat the experience.

Room Tip: We were lucky enough to have Canana No. 4 (highly sought after) but No. 3 is also fabulous.
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  • Stayed May 2014, 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.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2014

Isla Marisol we found to be relaxing, clean, has awesome staff, and incredibly good food. For the money, we thought it was very well done. We had some qualms after reading the negative reviews, but then realized two things: First, most complaints were about the weather or environment (rough crossings, sand flies, cold...) to which the resort has little control over, and we were looking for a place closer to nature anyway. Second, and most incredibly, the mgmt responded to complaints on line and explained what steps they took to rectify issues, and truly seemed to try to be accommodating even to people it seemed would have been unhappy with any issue and seemed to have unrealistic expectations. We were looking for a quiet place without the sound of motors that was a step above camping. We found Isla Marisol to be less rustic than we thought - our cabana was very well maintained and the staff and food was excellent.

We did luck out with the weather, the crossing there was a bit rougher as one might expect late afternoon, and almost glass-like on the return early in the morning. Seas tend to build as the day goes on. The last day was cool, late January, but no comparison to home in MN on the same day;-) We did opt not to swim or snorkel on the last day. We took the relaxing package. The staff pointed us to a nearby reef for our own snorkeling. We kayaked and SUP'd as much as we wished. We had no issues with sand flies and didn't use any of the deet, deet candles, or bug jackets I've used in the Arctic. We donated our bug juice to a family heading next to the inland.

We enjoyed wandering around the small island and looking at the physical structures like the solar power cells. We used the fan but not the air conditioner. Staff were very accommodating with any question. The bar over the water was great for happy hours, but our own cabana was as well when we didn't feel like socializing. My partner is not a morning person. After she didn't show for the first breakfast, every day after they had a 'breakfast to go' ready for me to take back to her.

Recently they added what they called 'trampolines'. These are mesh platforms over the water suspended between posts. If there were sandflies around I'd think they would be great havens. As it was we'd use them daily for sunning and reading. Suggestions: call them 'sun platforms', not trampolines; cut the posts off at a 60 degree angle to discourage birds from sitting there; cupholders would be well used too. I'd also have liked better paddles, better kayaks, and a leash for every SUP.

Since the pleasure on any trip has as much to do with the participants as the accommodations, I'd like to first thank my friend for joining me and making our trip so very memorable and special. She was interested in a more traditional resort experience, but we were not interested in spending that much money. I was thinking Cinnamon Bay on St John but with better food, and would have happily slept under a boat on the beach. We both were highly pleased by the excellent meals prepared on site, and for the quaint bar and the company of the other travelers. We came looking for a place to sun, read, and snorkel where we didn't have to cook our own meals. We found Isla Marisol much closer to a high end resort than we expected.

  • Stayed January 2014, 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.
Monterey, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014

Everything was very clean, the staff friendly, the food awesome. I went with the main intention of snorkeling with Whale Sharks. Although I'm a diver, I didn't intend to dive on this trip. But the staff encouraged me to dive as the opportunity/experience with whale sharks is generally better from the diver perspective. So I did a quick refresher and ended up diving. No disappointment there - saw a whale shark on the second dive. Wow! And the staff was right about diving versus snorkeling. I think the wave conditions (a bit high) would have made snorkeling a little challenging. For the rest of the week, I snorkeled. The staff is very patient (I stayed out there until I was chilled) and extremely knowledgeable about underwater life. I will go back again some day. I wouldn't have changed a thing.

Room Tip: A few of the cabanas are located a bit farther away from the dining room and bar area. You might fi...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2014

40 miles away from shore... each mile takes you away from the noise of our every day lives and leads you to paradise! the beautiful sand, the coconuts, the relax atmosphere, the amazing dives, the great fishing, yoga early in the day, good meals..... everything we hoped for!

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eaton, Colorado
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2014

I want to go back right now! It has only been a week! But when you have had a taste of paradise, you want more. Over two decades of diving in the Bahamas and Caribbean, each great but none compare to Isla Marisol Dive Trip. Leading dive groups can be challenging with multiple expectations and requests. This dive trip was no different and we were celebrating two birthdays as well. We researched many options and decided Isla Marisol on Glovers Atoll would be our destination. Little did we know that we would be spending the best dive week in paradise. I am thankful for Trip Advisor’s contributors, but consider what type of vacation you are looking for. If you can’t live without 24/7 Wifi, texting, FaceBook, or you want your current world that you are trying to escape on a remote island, you will probably be disappointed. Remember, this is why you are trying to relax and leave that behind you. I said “probably” because many may find that when you don’t have all that technological noise around you that you can actually relax and enjoy life on a more personal level. You may be transformed into a happier form of yourself, one you may not have seen for a long time. As a dive group leader and sailor, I understand the beauty and the challenge of the sea. Best said by Eddie, “the salt water is my best friend and my worst enemy.” Salt water and air means tremendous upkeep on an island 40 miles off the coast of a small, most beautiful country (Belize) with limited resources. In spite of that, most travelers here will not know or appreciate the effort that must be vigilantly maintained to keep things as wonderful as they are here on Isla Marisol! When you do understand this, you will be even more appreciative of all the outstanding merits of this experience. Isla Marisol works like a team and a family. We could not have been more welcomed and cared for anywhere else. I love reading some of the previous contributors- eloquent and well spoken- “tranquility”, “miraculous offshore oasis”, “great place to get away”. “superb diving”. They also found paradise!

Isla Marisol is ideal for diving. On a healthy and vibrant reef system with short boat rides, no dive crowds and our divemasters were AWESOME! From Mora – truly a gifted divemaster, to Daniel filled with whale shark and reef fish knowledge, our boat captains Ronald and Luis- we were never disappointed. Our underwater experiences were phenomenal. And yes, we did see a whale shark. Contrary to rumors that the whale sharks aren’t around anymore- they are. Potential divers- if you want a guaranty to see ANY specific sea life, please go to an aquarium. Otherwise remember that you are here to enjoy the diving for what it is and any large sightings are a gift from the sea and not trained circus animals. There is so much more than just driving a boat out- this is a marine reserve and there are rules. Eddie’s relationship with the reserve and timed departures are perfect for this type of dive. Trust in Isla Marisol's relationship with the marine park! Another whale shark was sighted the next day by our new dive friends from the island. Their recount of the dive was amazing but also sad as there was another operation’s dive group behaving poorly underwater. Divers- please be mindful that we are guests in the whale sharks home!

We dove with pods of dolphin, daily with loggerhead turtles the size of tables as well as numerous beautiful shark, eels, and colorful fish. In between short boat trips, we had time to snack, dry off, snorkel and even nap in the afternoon. The dive schedule was as relaxed as we were, 3 dives daily. Snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, reading, hammocks, and the bar at the end of the pier. Watching Bowser the dog bark at the frequent shark or eagle ray swimming under the dock to alert us was delightful.

Our initial 1.5-2hr boat trip to the island in a large covered boat saved us from having to take daily long boat rides to dive sites as you would have from the mainland, and allowed us to dive in the outer reef system. Our accommodations were comfortable and clean. Wind and Solar generated power provided the electrical needs as well as A/C in the evenings. The daily breeze was the ocean’s natural way of cooling off the sun’s warm rays. Eddie has better control with the sand flies as they too, are a natural process. They were far less nuisance than we have experienced in Roatan and Utila. The kitchen staff kept us well fed and even created a special cake to honor our birthdays! The entire dive operation staff and ground crew were incredibly attentive and took interest in our comfort as well as providing appropriate safe diving. Divers have a responsibility to know their equipment and skills but the trained dive staff is there to help assist. I will be happy to respond any questions you may have, to help you have the same “paradise found” that myself and others before me have experienced. I cannot recommend Isla Marisol more highly, and thank Eddie and his team for our recent island experience!

Room Tip: The Guest Houses have beautiful ocean views, breaking waves. We loved it. 5 minute walk to cabanas...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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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
Amenities:
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 #1 of 1 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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