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“Turneffe Flats Lodge” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Turneffe Flats

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Turneffe Flats
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Turneffe Atoll, Turneffe Island, Belize   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Fresno, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Turneffe Flats Lodge”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2013

Spent a week at Turneffe Flats Lodge the week of Nov 2-9, 2013. This was my first trip to the Turneffe Atoll so I had no idea what to expect. We arrived at the airport in Belize City and was driven to the dock where we would catch the boat for a 90 minute ride to TFL. We were greeted at the dock by the staff, Cameron (manager), Karen Hayes (co-owner). Craig Hayes was back in South Dakota hunting pheasants. He arrived on Friday.
We were directed to the lodges dining room/ relaxation area and given our room assignments and had some dinner. You would think being on a remote island the food would be kinda OK but not so.
The staff served the whole group in a short amount of time and were there whenever you needed something. While we were doing our orientation and having dinner, our luggage was taken to our assigned rooms. A group of us stayed in the Reef Villa. Pretty spacious with three bedrooms, we each had our own bathrooms and a large sitting area, with TV and DVD player. The coffee was prepared daily by the house keepers. The rooms were cleaned daily and not a spec of sand was left of the floor.
The next morning we had a short orientation on what the fishing days was going to be like. Cameron did an excellent job going over every thing and then we went to meet our guide. They looked at our equipment, flies and then it was off to the boat and a full day of fishing.
Unfortunately we had a cold front come through while we were there. It rained a couple times, the clouds where heavy at times and the winds, well all I can say is that every place in the tropics I've to the wind always blows. On the bright side of the cold front is that it's a sign of the hurricane season ending.
Ahhh, off to the fishing grounds… Amazing no other boats or fishermen in the area. The only boats you see zooming by are the boats from the lodge and a few local sail boats which are the commercial lobster fishermen. Jumping out of the boat I was surprised to find the waters were quite warm for wading. PERFECT. We were soon into a school of tailing bone fish. First cast, SPOOKED the whole school. Soon found out that you don't want to cast to the ones tailing. There is a perimeter of bones on the outside of the tailers. Had four shots at permit, hooked two and farmed both of them.

Well, long story short, I'm in the process of losing the 5 pounds that I gained while staying at Turneffe Flats Lodge, tying smaller flies and have already booked the group trip for 2014.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
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180 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Clermont, Florida
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

We arrived at the docks in Belize City to be wisked off to Turneffe Flats on the Miss Ellie. The trip took about 1:20 mins and the waters were wonderful. We started our stay by being introduced to the staff for a welcome coctail, then off to our rooms. We were on a dive trip of 3 dives a day and they were all better than the next. Weather was in our favor.
Denroy was our Captain of the boat and John was our Dive Master for the week. Waters were so clear and fish were every where in every color.There is an over population of the destructive LIONFISH,so we did our part in reducing as many as we could and by the way they are WONDERFUL to eat. The crew was very knowledgeable about all the fish and corals that we saw and did everything to make sure that we saw everything there was to see.
We managed to fit in a day of bone fishing on the Flats just because we were in the best bone fishing spot in the world!!! Missed catching a Permit so we have to go back next year.
Karen and Craig the owners of the resort bent over backwards to make our stay a total success. The Ladies in the Kitchen produced one great meal after another. It is a MUST DO SPOT if you dive,flyfish or just want to go to a BEAUTIFUL area so untouched. We will be back!!!

Room Tip: We were in #8 on the very end and it was just perfect. Very nice beds and soft sheets. Quite ac unit...
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  • Stayed October 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Key West, Florida
Level Contributor
106 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013

I've fished from a lot of lodges over the years and Turneffe Flats is definitely among the very best. The lodge is located on an atoll about an hour and a half boat ride from Belize City. Though remote, the accommodations are first rate for a fishing lodge. Our duplex unit was right on the beach with a spectacular flat at our doorstep. The room was clean and kept that way throughout our stay. Water is provided through the accumulation of rainwater so showers were soft and the tap water potable. Fantastic appetizers were served nightly in the main area of the lodge and drinks were available at the bar for an extra charge.
Dinner was served family style and was uniformly excellent with plenty to eat even for a 200+ pounder like me. Breakfasts were also excellent and we had our choice of lunches packed to take with us or available if we wanted to return al noon. We always took them with us so we wouldn't miss any fishing time.
We were fly fishing and the bonefish and permit were plentiful and willing to eat.The guiding was as good as any I have ever experienced in more than 60 years of fishing. We were there in October so the tarpon were lacking but that was to be expected and the permit and bones were so plentiful that it didn't matter. Although we did no diving those who did absolutely raved about their experiences.
Perhaps best of all, our hosts and their staff would rival any anywhere. Bear in mind this isn't a Four Seasons, it is a fishing and diving lodge catering to serious fishermen. The location is remote and there is no nightlife unless you want to sing to yourself but it is one of the best fishing lodges you could ever hope to find.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Charlotte, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

My first trip to Turneffe was so good, I returned for another week of fly fishing during the week of August 24, 2013. I am a casual fly fisherman (4-6 times a year) without all the gadgets and equipment you see all the diehard anglers caring. With that said, the guides were wonderful and I still caught a number of bonefish each day. So regardless of your skill, you will have a great time. For those less experienced I recommend bringing a spinning rod, it will be a good fun break. The guides take a lot of pride in their ability to put you on fish.

Travel tips: Unless you have ever stood on the surface of the sun, you have not experienced sun of the strength you get standing on the flats. I learned my lesson the first year. Bring long sleeve shirts, hat with a big brim and anything else you can imagine for sun protect. They sell a clothe that goes around your neck that you can pull over your head as well. All guides wear them, laugh, then go buy one. Worth every penny. Sun screen not an option. Good polarized sunglasses a must.

Rooms are immaculate and well cleaned each day. For a remote destination, the food is exceptional. Prepare to explain how you gained 5 pounds out in the middle of Caribbean ocean when you get home. They have local sauce that goes on just about everything, Lissette's Secret Sauce, the ingredients simple says "goodness".

Sadly, even paradise has some problems. At Turneffe, they come with two wings and are locally known as "doctor flies." There is nothing comforting or healing about them, so I renamed them while I was there. Do not expect swarms or clouds of them, I don't want to mislead. Occasionally one find your boat or you while you are fishing on the flats. I suspect they stalk you from the vegetation near the water, and then wait until the moment when you first hook a big bonefish or have a permit about to take your fly. At this moment, they know they have put you in a position to either, (A) stop the fly from biting you leg and lose the fish, or (B) get the fish and take the fly bite. Approximately 6 times I choose to take the bite.

I highly recommend this lodge and look forward to returning next year.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 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.
Calhan, Colorado, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

This was our second trip to Turneffe Flats but won't be our last. I was a novice diver and my goal was to be a better diver and Emi and Denroy answered my request. They were understanding and my final dive on Friday was amazing. A big thank you to them. They were understanding and great teachers. Never could understand how Capt could back that big boat right up to every diver! Karen, Craig, Cameron and all were excellent hosts and made everyone feel welcome. The cabanas were as close to the beach as you could get without getting wet. Hugs and Kisses to everyone!!

  • Stayed September 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san juan capistrano
Level Contributor
194 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

My wife and I returned to Turneffe Flats for the second year. It is remarkable for this to happen. We like a well -run, clean and efficient resort. We primarily went for the fly fishing, but many other guests went diving. The beach-front cabanas are great. Rooms so well maintained and clean. Towels were good and the sheets and pillowcases clean. Bedspread? Floors clean, even under the bed and in the corners.
Food was plentiful and generally good. Family style dining was OK. We had a very small group this week. Led to good conversation. Pre-dinner munchies very nice. Everyday a new drink special. Selection of drinks adequate. Lunch when out and about was OK The lodge was willing to make changes in the fare offered.
Our fishing guide Michael Anderson was great. Other guides also top-notch. Owners Karen and Craig Hayes were attentive and pleasant. Minor glitches with the electrical and hot water in our room,but was handled well. Overall we like the place so well we booked for next year. The boat trip from Belize City to Turneffe was about 1 1/2 hours. Biting bugs of various types live in this environment. Bring strong insect repellant...30-100% DEET and plenty of sunscreen. Use the overhead ceiling fan in the room to minimize the small flying bugs during your stay. Need flashlight at night around the grounds. All rooms have plenty of electrical outlets with 110 V.

Room Tip: Beachfront Cabanas are the best. Room 1 & 2 are the closest and 7 & 8 are the farthest away...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roswell, Georgia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

I've been to a handful of top "off the beaten" path destinations. This resort is a great sport destination.

I fished 6 days with success each day. This is the Rainy season bet the weather generally moved through quickly. The guide "Pops" was very knowledgeable and a great teacher.

The rooms were well done oceanfront villas and the main lodge was a great place to hang out in the evenings. Internet was reliable and fast enough to check email and read the news.

This is a rare place with a chance at a Flats Grand Slam as well as world class diving. I spotted crocodiles while I was down there and caught a number of Jacks off the dock in the evening in addition to fishing for Tarpon/Permit/Bonefish all day.

As an impulse decision, I decided to do an intro to Scuba one afternoon and had one on one time with the Divemaster. I was comfortable out there my first time and we did a real dive, not simply a shore dive looking at grass and rocks. A great experience.

I thought the food was excellent and they catered to my requests as needed.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Turneffe Flats

Address: Turneffe Atoll, Turneffe Island, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Turneffe Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 14
Also Known As:
Turneffe Flats Hotel Turneffe Islands
Turneffe Flats Islands
Turneffe Flats Hotel Islands

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