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“Pretty Good” 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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Austin
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Pretty Good”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2009

If you are looking for luxury, this is not the place for you. If you are looking peace and quite with some good diving - this may be the place for you. The cabins are VERY basic. But, our cabin was located less than 10 feet from the waters edge. You cannot beat that. The food was average, at best. The diving was great. We got lucky and swam with a pod of @30 dolphins on our way back from the morning dives. It was amazing! There is not much to do on the island other than dive and relax on the beach. This was perfect for us. Eddie was very friendly. His staff was very helpful with our entire 2 week vacation in belize - not just the week we sent on Isla Marisol.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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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133 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    86
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24
63
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Business
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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
Michigan
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2009

This is a very good place to relax for a week and just dive. The staff is incredibly friendly and they go out of their way to help you. The food was great, fresh seafood just about every meal. The diving is very good and the accommodations are basic but more than adequate. The only issue we had with the island is the bugs that they are working hard to fix. Make sure you pack plenty of bug spray if your are easily bothered.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Montana
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2008

Isla Marisol is an adventurous place that lacks the amenities of what you expect in something called a "resort." It's really more like what I think of as a dive camp. (Keep in mind that I would prefer a dive camp to a resort any day.)
The villas were basic. There is no hot water (pretty unecessary in the tropics anyway). There is no air conditioning which might matter if you stay on the lee side of the island, especially if you are from a cool climate. On the windward side of the island, when we were there, it was incredibly windy which made for wonderful sleeping despite the heat.
The plentiful food was very traditional and local in its preparation and ingredients. As a result, it was quite simple. We love traditional local food and very much prefer it over fancy food imitating some other more famous cuisine. The food featured local seafood and incredibly varied and high quality tropical fruits and juices.
I loved the bar. It is way out over the ocean. Much or most of the bar is open windows and the wind howls through creating a wonderful effect for people like me who generally hate bars. It's the only time I've ever sat and had a drink indoors in a howling wind.
We don't dive but we are enthusiastic snorkelers with a strong interest in nature. Our kids loved the snorkeling. We were taken to a different reef twice each day. One complaint about the snorkeling is that Isla Marisol is located pretty far from the protected area (bological reserve) of Glovers Reef. Perhaps because of the Belizean price for gasoline, the guides only took us to the protected area on the last day of our week. The protected area is many times better than the unprotected reefs which are pretty hammered by commercial fishermen and bleaching. Keep in mind that the number and variety of sea life on even the hammered reefs is absolutely astounding. However, if you are an experienced snorkeler who is picky about reef condition you should obtain promises regarding trips to the protected area of Glovers Reef before making reservations. Perhaps you could offer to reimburse gas. (It really is expensive in Belize.) While snorkeling we regularly saw things that absolutely astounded us and deeply touched our hearts.
I had some success self guiding bonefishing on the flats around the island. There certainly were lots of bonefish. We could see them from our deck and from the dining room regularly. We never sat on our deck and had a drink without seeing several bonefish cruise past!!
Like everywhere I've ever been in the Caribbean, Isla Marisol can be buggy and hot. You will of course want to bring plenty of bug repellent (Deet not that other junk) and powerful sun block.
Isla Marisol may pose some environmental problems. Virtually all the islands off of Belize are made by clearing environmentally vital mangroves and then dredging sand from the area and filling the island to above rather than at or very near to sea level. The cleared and filled artificial land is then planted with more desirable plants such as Coconut Palms. Tourists then arrive to see their fantasy tropical island. The tourists aren't privy to the environmental devastation which precedes the admittedly wonderful result. I also found myself wondering about the wisdom of having that many flush toilets on an island that appears to be barely above sea level. Presumably the water table is entirely flow through salt water. There was a lot of turtle grass on the lee side of the island. While we were there, one of the employees said he could remember when the lee side had been beautiful white sand flats. I suspect that Isla Marisol is seeping nitrates into the interior of Glovers Reef. I doubt Belize has much in the way of environmental controls over this sort of thing. On the other hand, it is probably difficult to market the idea of composting toilets to your average tourist and you still end up with a significant waste volume problem. It's easy to second guess their profit motive. On the other hand, its tough to imagine a solution. The stuff has to go somewhere.
We are adventurous people who like things like backpacking, canoeing etc. Less adventurous people might not like Isla Marisol. Our kids were thrilled with everything about it; the food, the iguanas, the birds, the fishing, the snorkeling, the guides. We opened up a whole new world of wonder to them with our trip to Isla Marisol.

  • Liked — adventurous place with really cool outdoor activities in tropical marine environment.
  • Disliked — Belize needs to protect more of its reefs from commercial fisherman. the money is in ecotourism not pounds of fish meat.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
US
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2008

A dream place with great diving only minutes away. Excellent food and a fun team operating the resort.

  • Liked — everything
  • Stayed July 2008
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
idaho
1 review
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2008

We stayed at Isla Marisol in January and to our disappointment it was not what we thought it would be. Their website definately did not represent the reality of the situation. The most concerning aspect of our trip was SAFETY. The snorkel guide took us out in a boat that was old and crappy with no life vests, radio, and we ran out of gas which he had to bum from another resort. Two days before that our friends went out with the snorkel guide and he dropped the anchor in the water without the rope being attached and made our friend dive for it, because the guide couldn't swin. The composting toilets smelled horrible and there was no hot water for showering. The food was authentic alright, both my husband and I got a case of travelers you know what. The entire back of the island is littered in garbage and the front of the island has some garbage that the cleanup crew leave on the beach. Dream vacation it was NOT!! Thinking of vacationing there, you might want to think again. We stayed other places on our vacation that were top notch.

  • Liked — Nothing
  • Disliked — Everything
  • Stayed January 2008
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2008

I just arrived home 2 days ago from Isla Marisol. I enjoyed a full 10 days of amazing friends, delicious cuisine and the main reason I was there.... TO DIVE & FILM THE WHALE SHARKS.... and Spotted Drum Fish!!! To say the least.... I got ALOT of what I wanted. The first 4 days we spent at Gladden Spit and dove with the Whale Sharks and huge groups of Snappers and Jacks every day we were there. This is my second trip to Isla Marisol in 2 yrs and plan to visit each and every year to come. I have made some very special friends there and can't wait to get back for more diving. I made 30 dives in 10 days.... and I want more. :)

Special thanx to Eddie Usher (Owner) & Mora (Manager), Feliciana, Alicia & Barbara (Chefs), Chad, Kitty, Giovani & Blinky (Dive Masters) and especially my good buddy George (Boat Captain), Aurora (House Keeping) for making another vacation a complete success.

Hope to see everyone soon.

Brian Goddard, San Diego

  • Liked — Our Reef House. It is a 2 Master Bedroom, 2 Bath with Large Living Room and Cabinetry, Couch & Breakfast Table. The deck, overlooking some of the best dive sites in Belize, is very large with many wood lounge chairs to relax and take in the incredible view... with a breeding pair of Ospry nesting between the home and the ocean. You see them every afternoon flying all around the house and adjoining forest. A must if you appreciate Birds of Prey.
  • Disliked — I would like to see a refrigerator installed to be able to bring some of your own drinks and snacks from Dangriga. The house is very private well away from the cottages located near the dining building and over water bar. I can't say anything negative about it.
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2008

My husband and I decided to take our honeymoon in Belize and we got Scuba certified before we went. After reading an entire Lonely Planet about Belize, a few places stuck out and one was Glover's Reef and Isla Marisol. Because it was our honeymoon, we wanted to spend an entire week in one place (no hassles) and have it be remote and private (not a lot of tourists or cruise ships). My only disappointment with the entire stay was we arrived in Dangriga too late to get out to the island the first night. The resort made arrangements for accomodations in Dangriga for the night - very nice - but the downside is that we had to pay for these accomodations while we were also paying for our accomodations at Isla Marisol the same night - making it an expensive night. It would be nice if Isla Marisol put guests up for a night instead in this case - it would be more customer friendly. But after a week's stay, we got over it. Other than that, Eddie, the owner, picked us up early the next morning, took us to the boat, and we were at Southwest Caye by 11 a.m. Plenty of time to get into our cabana, unpack, get lunch and then make the 3 p.m. dive that day. The diving was incredible and Kitty, Chad and George are the best!! It was our first time in open water and I felt entirely safe and cared for the entire time. The Long Caye dives were my favorite although they were ALL incredible. The staff is wonderful at Isla Marisol and we will definitely go back again and again. The food was delicious (all fresh and a lot of fish) and Feliciana, the cook, was warm and welcoming and became a good friend. Our favorite meal was lunch that first day - barracuda enchiladas. YUM!! Feliciana served fresh fruit and baked goods with every meal and fresh-squeezed juices that were out of this world. We moved cabanas half-way through the week so we were beachfront -- and it was devine. I could read in the hammock on the porch while my husband fly-fished for bonefish right in the water in front of the cabana. The showers are electric-heated and the toilets flush - the only resort on Glover's Reef to have these ammenities. The staff cleans the rooms daily and clears the interior and porch of all sand. Excellent! All in all, the best vacation I've ever had. No phones, no TV, no internet , not a ton of people (there were about 6 to 10 guests the entire week) and nothing to do but eat, drink, dive, snorkel, kayak, fish, nap, read and swim. We have told everyone we know to go here for a great getaway...we plan to go back soon for the whale shark diving in May or June...Eddie highly recommends it. As Eddie says, 'welcome to paradise' and it was paradise for us. Thank you, Isla Marisol!

  • Liked — Location, diving, location, bonefishing, location, Eddie (the owner) and staff
  • Disliked — The double charge on the first night
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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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 #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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