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“Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Blancaneaux Lodge

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Blancaneaux Lodge
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Central Farm | Cayo District, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, Belize   |  
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Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
New York City, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

We stayed in cabana number 11- which was absolutely beautiful- the private plunge pool was amazing and much larger than the photos depict! I would recommend, if you have the choice, to select cabana number 12- their plunge pool had a better view of the rainforest as it's set a bit higher than number 11(we were able to see on the internet). Although the car ride was quite long and bumpy from Belize City Airport, our driver was very knowledgable and was able to answer all our questions about Belize on the way. Upon arrival, we were warmly welcomed/greeted with drinks and felt instantly at home. Stick with the local cuisine- the ceviche was amazing and we had it almost every meal! The staff was incredible and super attentive. They asked us almost nightly if we wanted to book excursions for the next day, but never in a pushy way. We were encouraged to take a walk around the property and explore the garden/stables. We did finally tear ourselves away from our private pool- which I have to warn- is very hard to do. The shell phone makes it too easy to enjoy the room/surroundings!!! The organic garden is not to be missed nor is the stable. The garden is lush and someone was there to take us around to explain the crops while encouraging us to try fresh vegetables- neither my husband or I ever had a raw tomatillo- it was absolutely incredible! We then walked up to the stables and saw the beautiful horses! You could tell that the stable was immaculately well cared for. We got to pet many horses and again, the staff was very knowledgable. We booked a sunrise horseback ride for the next morning. Our guide, I believe his name was Carlos, was AMAZING! The ride is rough so it's not for the faint at heart but Carlos was always very calm and the horses never stepped out of line. It was an awesome thing to do and I highly recommend! We were back at the resort by 8:30 so had plently of time to have breakfast and sun at our pool. I would also recommend getting a massage- I was a bit weary at first coming from NY and having great massages- this was definitely up there in the most relaxing setting and skilled masseurs. I could go on forever, but all in all- this was one of my best resorts I have ever visited. One last tip- if you are staying at both Blancaneaux and Turtle Inn- forego the car ride to the beach and splurge on the plane. It's more expensive but well worth it. It was one of the most memorable things we did!!! We will be back for sure!!!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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299 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (67)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Landenberg, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

Just got back after spending 4 nights here.

The resort was absolutely beautiful. Staff and service were wonderfull!
We loved our cabana which was quaint, very comfy, and with a fantastic setting and view.
The restaurant was very, very , good, but a little more variety would be nice ( may have been tougher if we were staying for a longer stay. We loved the Guatemalan restaurant as well ( but was only open 1 night). Oh well.

Everything about the resort was really very very nice ( although the hot tub could have been a little more well kept up, but it could have been an off day).

Only down side, for some, may be the isolated location (45 minutes from the main road) and the road really is pretty rough. We didn't mind this that much, and most of the nicer resorts in the area are similarly isolated ( some may be 10 to 20 minutes closer to the main road, but it draws on you if you had to or wanted travel in on it for many days in row.

The resort is probably the closest to Caracol ( maybe a little more than an hour) which was nice.
We did the ATM tour which was So Amazing! ( was 1.5 each way,,,,,,well worth it!)
The big Rock Falls which I also highly recommend for a short trip is about a 10-15 min Bike Ride ( resort staff said it was 40 mins each way,,,,,, maybe if you very out of shape or 70 years old). This falls was way better than I expected as it was a great swimming area and could have spent a lot longer time there ( but we got there late as something to do late one day ).
We also visited San Ignacio one day, was ok for a bit,if you really want to see the local town ( I don't think most people/ families would be that interested though).

I think a 3 day stay was perfect for us, some may want more if you really want some solitude. If you want to stay busy , 3 full days seemed great.
All in all we loved it here!

Room Tip: All Rooms seemed to look great.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

This was our first trip to Belize, but will not be our last. We traveled in mid May 2013, my wife and I along with two adult children, 19 and 22 ,and booked the entire trip at Blancaneaux and it's sister property Turtle Inn through Mary at Destinations Belize. She took care of everything and was very helpful. We booked around 6 months early. As soon as we got
out of the PGI airport we were met just outside by our driver Eddie. He was wearing his Blancaneaux shirt and holding a sign with our name on it. Eddie took us out of town and along the Western Highway all the way to the lodge. As we moved along through the countryside Eddie explained all about Belize and everything we passed. We mentioned we were disappointed that we would not have time to visit the Belize Zoo as our flight landed after 3PM. Eddie pulled into the zoo shortly after that and said we
have a little time. We stayed around 45 minutes and the Zoo is simply amazing and highly recommended. We will visit it on one of our next trips when we can arrive a little earlier. As we approached the turn off of the highway toward the lodge the road changes from a paved 2 lane to a mix of gravel, rock and small paved sections too steep for gravel. This part of the trip took around an hour and was some of the bumpiest road I have ever been on. You travel through a scenic section of the country past a small community or two. As you approach the lodge you will see the Blancaneaux's airstrip which is a strip of dirt runway and an air sock. After that bumpy trip you contemplate using the puddle jumper next time. Turning off the dirt road toward the lodge though and everything changes, the
road becomes paved and there are beautiful trees and plants all around. When we got into the lodge Ryan at the desk greeted each of us by our names, a nice touch. Everyone seemed to know us the rest of the stay. We stayed for 4 nights there – the first night in the two bedroom villa. It was just beautiful. The remaining nights there we stayed in the amazing Francis Ford Coppola's Villa. The layout of both of these villas is very similar. An open air area in the middle and one bedroom on each side of that. The bedrooms are screened – the main area is not. The Coppola villa however has it's own secluded plunge pool just off the bedroom shielded by (and by now you realize you have been over using the word beautiful) beautiful flowering plants, a banana tree and a small grassy area. The Coppola suite comes with it's own private butler. Our butler was named Milky and was very nice and helpful. He also knew all about the property and Belize. His only job at the resort is to take care of the guests at the Coppola Suite. After we moved to the Coppola suite, Milky took care of everything. He brought us breakfast, carried our bags, filled our water bottles for us before excursions, warmed up leftovers and personally served us at the restaurants. He arranged all our activities and we were give a two way hand held radio and asked to call whenever you need ANYTHING. The nights were cool and it very comfortable to sleep. The next day we visited Caracol with our guide Jorge. This trek is on much smoother dirt roads than the trip in and takes maybe an hour to get to. Caracol is amazing and a 'do not miss' type of activity. Blancaneaux took care of everything and after our walk around the ruins, Jorge sat us down at a picnic table, pulled out ice cold towels for us to wet our faces. He setup a table cloth, pulled out real silverware and cloth napkins and we had a delicious lunch of smoked chicken wraps, homemade salsa. It was delicious. Jorge was very knowledgeable and a great guide. The following day we visited Barton Cave with our guide Jeranimo- also excellent. We were in the cave for about an hour
and it's peaceful, very quiet and dark. The cave trip took half a day so we visited Calico Jacks on the way back and had a great time ziplining. Do the whole run, it's great. The last full day we had Oscar take us on a horse back ride through some of the nature preserve to Big Rock Falls where we ended up swimming in the waterfall and were the only people there. We had that amazing place to ourselves.
All in all, the entire property is just amazing. The pictures do not do it justice. Your legs get a workout at Blancaneaux between the activities and walking around the lodge. Lots of steps and inclines. The restaurants at Blancaneaux are very good. We enjoyed the food, don't miss the Guatemaltecqua Restaurant. The weather was very nice the entire time, no rain, cool nights and warm days. There were almost no bugs at all at the resort and it is a different climate than Placencia. When it came time to leave Blancaneaux, they arranged the trip and again packed us one of their excellent lunches for the trip which our guide again setup at our stop
at the Blue Hole park. The trip to the Turtle Inn crosses Belize on the Hummingburd Highway and is very scenic. I highly recommend if you do excursions – use the guides – they are so knowledgeable and you will learn so much from them.

Room Tip: Coppola Suite has a private butler and private plunge pool
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
Long Beach, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013

We stayed 7 nights at Blancaneaux Lodge this July with our 2 young children (ages 6 and 9) and we all had a fantastic time. When booking, I was a little concerned about whether the stay would be too long in one place but it was perfect for us. There is more than enough to do when you factor everything there is to do on the grounds as well as the off-site tours. The lodge organizes tours but they are more than happy to arrange whatever you have in mind. The guides are very knowledgeable in both history and culture as well as nature and wildlife. The staff and grounds are stand-outs. No need was unmet, yet we never had the feeling of being hovered over. We stayed in the two-bedroom villa and it was huge. It could work for more than one family, as each bedroom is quite large. The rooms are stylish and comfortable yet we still got the ecolodge experience. The bungalows are sited so that each feels very private. Meal prices are comparable to US hotels, but we were able to take advantage of a summer special for kids. If I had any complaint, it would be the lack of opportunities to try Belizean dishes. That said, the food is good and there is a large organic garden on the grounds which provides much of the produce for the restaurant. We all loved our stay and hope to be back!

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 21, 2013

Having just stayed at an amazing Belizean adventure jungle lodge (Ian Anderson's Caves Branch), my husband and I were very excited to check out Francis Ford Coppola's version of a luxury jungle resort during our mini-tour of Belize in April 2013.
And I must admit that we were very impressed by the gorgeous grounds upon driving into the resort. The lawns and gardens were immaculate! And the main lodge was impressive with it's dark wood furnishings and jungle themed decor. The front desk staff was friendly and welcoming, and the complimentary “Jungle Juice” hit the spot after the drive through the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Preserve. Even our Riverfront Cabana (which did not have the "spectacular view of the Privassion River" as the website indicated it would) with a large deck was acceptable, albeit not completely impressive.
When not sitting on our deck enjoying the peace and relaxation of being immersed in nature, we enjoyed walking down to the river, soaking in the river pool and photographing the spectacular waterfall that ran on the other side of the river pool. We also enjoyed wandering around the grounds down by the spa, discovering a spectacular hot tub and another riverfront relaxation cabana. And although we did not make use of the swimming pool, it looked very refreshing. We also found Blancaneaux Lodge ideally located to explore Big Falls Waterfall.
We had delicious meals in the lodge’s different restaurants. Our first night we enjoyed a fantastic Guatemalan inspired dinner and the second night we were amazed by the featured Grilled Shrimp Skewers, as well as the regular menu Carbonara served in the main restaurant. It was actually the best Spaghetti Carbonara we’ve ever had, and it was in a jungle, in Belize! And breakfasts on the patio were delicious and enjoyable.
We found the concierge and other staff to be friendly and very helpful with our planning of adventures on our own (without hotel guides), helping us order a delicious take-along lunch while also providing important information about exploring nearby attractions – Rio Frio Cave, Rio on Pools, and Caracol. And on the day of the exploration, the guide (with another group) was also very helpful for us.
So the “tiny” problem with this otherwise very enjoyable experience was that we shared our room with jungle critters! Our room had several lizards running and playing across the top rafter of the thatched roof. And honestly, the lizards did not really bother us. We decided it was part of the “jungle experience”. What bothered us were the scorpions that also shared our room! Within one night we had not one but two scorpions removed from the room. And the hotel staff was very prompt and courteous in the removal of the scorpions but it also forced us to have to sleep under a very confining mosquito net. And since sleeping was less than comfortable, I should have just saved my money and slept in the rental car! The thing is that we had just stayed in another jungle lodge where the accommodations were sealed in the appropriate places to prevent the critters from entering. So, although the lodge is immaculate in almost every respect, if you aren’t comfortable sleeping in the room then what’s the point of staying at this (rather expensive) hotel?

Room Tip: The hotel manager told us a scorpion sting feels like a bee sting so if you don't mind potential...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Oakland, California
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

My husband and I celebrated a wedding anniversary with 5 nights here and 5 nights at the companion property, Turtle Inn. The location is very peaceful, in a national pine forest preserve. The staff were all very friendly and helpful, and the food was excellent. Five nights at each location was too long; I would recommend four nights here, and if you like the beach, three nights at Turtle Inn. Definitely go on side trips to Mayan sites -- Tikal in Guatemala is a daylong trip but definitely worth the three hour drive each way. Downsides - no air conditioning anyplace, no fitness facilities whatsoever, and very few wine options beyond Mr. Coppola's own labels.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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Woodland Hills, CA
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2013

This was one of the most amazing and unique vacation spots we have ever been to. The drive there is a bumpy one and worth the trip. The lodge is located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve and provides all kinds of unique vegetation, wildlife and adventure. Our honeymoon cabana overlooked the river, and one of its many waterfalls. The cabana was rustic, comfortable and romantic. It was truly the perfect place for us to enjoy each other's company. That does not mean that we did not get out and have some adventures. We did a number of excursions that were included in our Honeymoon package. Starting with the horse back ride to the Big Rock Falls was amazing. It is not very often to get into a river and climb rocks and swim up to the base of the falls and get a "natural" water massage. Truly awesome, Oscar was a fantastic guide. Next trip was Caracol. Eddie was our guide and incredibly knowledgeable. Another great excursion that included Rio Frio cave, Toucans, Howler Monkeys, Iguanas, and fantastic Maya ruins with a view from 150feet up atop the largest pyramid that was breathtaking. After working up a sweat climbing the ruins, a visit to Rio On pools, a natural river, with small waterfalls, swimming pools was the perfect "natural" cool down. Last tour was Barton Creek cave tour. We have never been in such a serene and mystical place. Thanks to Jorge for pointing out all the remains, formations, and history of the Mayans and the caves.

Now back to the resort-the staff was incredible. They all showed great pride in Belize, the lodge and the heritage of the area. Everyone was willing to answer all our questions while providing a high level of hospitality. The rooms were immaculate and clean, the bed was comfortable and the sound of the waterfall lulled us to bed each night. The service staff in the restaurant was on point and very friendly. Breakfast was delicious, dinners truly showed the Italian influence of the Coppola name. Part of the great food is that all the greens come from the organic garden on property. It is as fresh as fresh gets. The property feels so natural, beautiful, and like you are part of the jungle. You walk down the river, cross bridges, hike trails, bird watch, or find one of the many landing areas to just stop, relax and do nothing. Can't wait to return. Thanks for a great visit

  • Stayed May 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
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 Blancaneaux Lodge

Address: Central Farm | Cayo District, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Cayo > Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Blancaneaux Lodge 4.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the early 1980s, Francis Ford Coppola visited Belize, immediately fell in love with the location, and purchased the abandoned Blancaneaux Lodge. For more than a decade the resort was used as a family retreat before Francis opened his tropical paradise to the public in 1993. Tucked away in a pocket of the Maya Mountains, Blancaneaux Lodge is a 20-room luxury resort where waterfalls tumble into turquoise pools above the jungle canopy. Its remote mountain setting makes it a perfect place to relax, rejuvenate and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blancaneaux Hotel San Ignacio
Blancaneaux San Ignacio

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