My husband and I spent 5 nights at Belcampo Lodge and had an overall wonderful time.
Belcampo is gorgeous! The lodge, our suite, the pool, the grounds - all are absolutely stunning! The resort is located in mostly untouched rainforest, which means we were surrounded by natural beauty on all sides. The flora and fauna were constantly breathtaking, and provided a sense of being in a truly unspoiled place.
The food at the lodge was excellent. Each meal consisted of fresh, whole foods, mostly grown on the property or at local farms. The meals were great, and reflected the agricultural bounty of Belize.
The activities were awesome. We took a guided kayak tour with Desmond, went swimming at a local waterfall with Desmond, and went to the market and chocolate "factory" tour with Chan. All were great experiences - particularly enhanced by the guides' friendly, knowledgeable input on every detail. I know more than I ever expected about the culture, history, and natural environment of Belize!
By far the most amazing activity, though, was the trip to Blue Creek cave and the Lubaantun Mayan ruins. This trip was lead by Vince and Chan, and is absolutely not to be missed! The cave tour was a once-in-a-lifetime adventure (no details - you have to go experience this!), and the Lubaantun tour was amazing. Vince is so knowledgeable about every detail of Mayan history and culture. The ruins were amazing, and Vince was a terrific guide! On this trip we also had lunch in Vince's home, which was a wonderful opportunity! His family was gracious and welcoming, and made an amazing Belizean meal for our group. This was the type of experience every traveler should have.
The staff! The staff here is unfailingly warm, gracious, and fun! They took such good care of us, made us feel welcome, and met our every need. Our waiters - Mark and Ducky, our guides - Vince, Chan, and Desmond, our bartender - Duane, the concierges, the housekeepers... everyone absolutely shone! Belcampo radiates warmth and kindness, and it all stems from the truly wonderful people that keep this place running!
The odd drawback:
Visitors should be aware that staying at Belcampo very much means STAYING at Belcampo. It was made clear to us that we were expected to eat every meal at the lodge, and exploring the local culture was to be done through the lodge-planned (pricey) activities. I must emphasize - the activities were truly great! (Thanks again to the amazing guides.)
When my husband and I travel, we like to stay at nice accommodations, and use that as a base to go out and explore the area. We enjoy eating at a variety of local restaurants (from dive bars to high-end cuisine), chatting with local folk, and generally seeing the sights from the ground level in order to explore a culture. This mentality was at odds with the Belcampo routine, which we didn't realize before arriving.
Luckily, we met up with some other travelers of similar mindset, and the concierges were kind enough to arrange for us to go into town on a few different evenings, which was also a great experience.
Unfortunately, this departure from "the plan" was met with disapproval by the GM, Mara, who made it very clear that we were not playing by the rules. We tried to explain that we wanted to visit town and get to know Punta Gorda outside of Belcampo, but this seemed to be interpreted as us being too cheap to eat at the lodge. This was, partially, true - dinners were in the $200(USD) range. Although they were worth it, who wants to eat a $200 meal at the same place every night?
Apparently many visitors to Belcampo do want exactly this, as we were seen as weird for wanting to get a wider sampling of what Punta Gorda had to offer. I will say, the concierges were very nice and accommodating - it was ONLY Mara who was rude and problematic. We had not won her favor, and she seemed to go out of her way to let us know that weren't doing things the right way. She made us feel like unappreciative cheapskates, which was ludicrous, considering how much we were willing to pay for the food, drinks, and activities that we WANTED to enjoy. When she was around, it was like having someone else's controlling parent trying to call the shots, telling us what we should want, and should do. She was the only unpleasant part of this trip, but unfortunately, she was majorly unpleasant. (I got the sense that she is probably an excellent back-of-the-house restaurant manager - she definitely has both eyes fixed firmly on the bottom line. Unfortunately, she swans around the front house, mingling with guests, sweet talking those who "play right" and bullying those who don't.)
I must say that despite this one blight, our trip was excellent! I just cannot praise the Belcampo staff enough. They are so kind and warm, and truly reflect the beautiful heart of the Belizean people. For travelers who like to stay in one place with one great restaurant and terrific planned activities, this is the perfect place to do just that. Or, this would also be a great place to spend 2-3 nights before moving on to another destination in the country.
ALL the rooms are great! Each of the 12 suites looks out into the rainforest, including a glass wal...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.