I did a lot of research and decided on Chabil Mar instead of Turtle Inn for our honeymoon and we were not disappointed. We stayed from January 15-22nd. The reservation process was excellent. I probably had 10-15 emails with Althea while she worked to answer all my questions and get our honeymoon package perfectly customized to what we wanted. The resort, which comprises villas that are privately owned, is absolutely gorgeous. The grounds are maintained to perfection and there are beautiful flowers, palms and topiaries everywhere. The pictures just don't do it justice! My wife was giddy with excitement as we arrived and walked the grounds and she is not easily impressed! Our villa, #11, was upstairs on an end next to the bar. It was beautifully decorated and had vaulted ceilings with granite countertops everywhere, hardwood floors and all the amenities you could want. It had a full size stacking washer and dryer, dish washer, stove and fridge so you could easily cook all your meals should you like. It also had an amazing wrap around deck with table and chairs where we ate most our meals and chez lounges outside the bedroom. It also had A/C which we needed the first couple days it was so hot. It was all very high end and oozed luxury.
The staff are really what makes this resort. From the moment you arrive you feel like they are catering to your every need. Shane brings you on a tour of the grounds and explains all of the amenities of the resort while you sip a freshly made limeade and you wrap up at your villa where your bags are waiting. Merli and Shane are the concierges and they make sure everything for your tours and excursions are handled to perfection. Deshaun and Jose are fantastic bartenders and you are never without a drink! They run a happy hour everyday from 4-6 as well where they have a daily signature drink that never disappoints! The rest of the staff make sure your meals are where you want them whenever you want them and will literally cater to whatever your need is.
I was a bit nervous with there dining situation (there isn't a restaurant - they cook everything in a restaurants kitchen and you can eat your meals anywhere on the grounds). This turned out to be spectacular! The food was really good and they had a good selection of american and belizean food. We really enjoyed breakfast on our balcony every morning and loved our dinner on the pier our last night. But if you don't want to stay on the resort for meals you can find amazing restaurants in the village. We wished we hadn't gotten as many of our meals in the package only because we wanted to try so many different restaurants.
The restaurants we ate at were Secret Garden, Pickled Parrot, Rumfish, Wendy's, Purple Space Monkey and Omar's. We heard from others that Cozy Corner, De-tach, J-Dees and Dolce Vita were really good as well. I'll be writing separate reviews for each restaurant so look for them if you want to know more.
The tours we took were the southern ruins, monkey river and snorkeling. The southern ruins were great and very informative. If you are looking for a lot of history this tour is great. If you are looking for massively impressive ruins, the tour that goes near Guatemala is probably better suited to you. The southern ruins you drive about 1.5 hours to the first and you have to walk up a fairly steep hill to the site entrance and then you hike around the various ruins while your guide gives you very detailed historical facts. Then you grab lunch at Colemans (a really cool local spot in the middle of no where) and then you drive 10 minutes up the road to the next site and get more historical facts while walking the site and then you drive back 1.5 hours. We were back by 3pm where as the other tour was 3.5 each way in the car!
The monkey river tour with Alex was great! You see awesome wildlife - every bird imaginable, crocs, iguanas, turtles and howler monkeys. Just make sure you have bug spray and wear long sleeves/pants if you can tolerate the heat. The mosquitos will be on you by the hundreds as soon as the boat stops on the edge of the jungle. But man are the howler monkeys awesome. You stop for lunch on the way back and then go look for manatees and dolphins. Again, we were back by 3pm.
Snorkeling on laughing bird caye was awesome. We saw so much I can't even begin to describe. We went on a cloudy day be cause we didn't have the greatest weather but there was no problem seeing everything. I highly recommend this tour!
We also rented golf carts. This was a really great way to see the village. We went down a road by the soccer fields that took us out past Yolie's and Paradise Resort out to Sunset Point. We also took them north to the other really cool village Seine Bight and drove around. Also, it is really easy to walk. There is a sidewalk a few hundred yards down the beach that is in the guinness book of world records as the smallest main street. You can also walk down the road about a mile and it is really easy.
I don't know how else to convey how beautiful and amazing this place is. They will take complete care of you and having looked at other resorts while we were in Belize I can tell you this is the place to stay. The staff is the best in the village and the grounds are like no other. There was a wedding while we were there as well and it was beautiful.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Chabil Mar is the Guest Exclusive Resort of Placencia, Belize. All Caribbean Front Villas and the closest full service resort to the Village of Placencia. Restaurant and Bar, two infinity beach-side pools, private beach and pier, on-site concierge services to include tour and adventure reservations. Villas are approximately 1000 square feet of living space, include a personal veranda. Al fresco dining throught the resort. A stroll along the beach, bicycle, kayak or golf cart provides easy, at your leisure access, to all Village activities. Specialize in Destination Weddings and Honeymoons. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Chabil Mar Hotel Placencia
- Chabil Mar Placencia
- Chabil Mar Belize/Placencia