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Turtle Inn or Chabil Mar?

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Turtle Inn or Chabil Mar?

Three to four nights in July with hubby for 20th anniversary.

San Ignacio, Belize
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4,770 posts
277 reviews
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1. Re: Turtle Inn or Chabil Mar?

For a 20th, maybe TI. I prefer CM, but it's more of a condo. TI is beautiful, just beware of the food; they have a bad rap in that department. I've been there twice, and the food was...less than delicious both times.

Happy Upcoming Anniversary!

Baltimore, Maryland
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33 posts
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2. Re: Turtle Inn or Chabil Mar?

I just returned from an amazing stay at Chabil Mar and could rave and rave and write about it all day. I did go next door to TI and it too is very nice but i do not understand how they can charge those prices and it didnt have the same feel as CM. Personally, I don't get the fuss.

Althea and her entire staff at CM exceeded our expectaions, as did the immaculate property, their food was delicious, their poolos perfect and spotless, and the price was reasonable albeit not inexpensive.

Many of the other guests i spoke with also ventured next door to TI and altho nobody had anything negative to say it seemed universal that they preferred CM and didnt quite understand the fuss about TI.

I will say the sister property of TI in the jungle is superb and altho i chose to stay in town versus at B it was beautiful and seemed worth every cent.

If i went to Placencia again i wouldn't even consider another place but CM...and i am sure my wife and kids totally agree...the pools, the villas, the happy hour, the staff, and the beach was perfect...

Go enjoy Tutti Frutti and read some of my other posts...

Also, i don't know the Doc...but he gives great advise...

Minneapolis...
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3. Re: Turtle Inn or Chabil Mar?

Hi Chocolatefreak,

I love your TripAdvisor profile name. I'm not sure if you're aware but Belize has awesome chocolate! Some of the bars are made with cacao that dates back to the early Mayans. I always stock up on a supply when I head home to the States.

As for your question about whether to stay at Chabil Mar or Turtle Inn, the biggest point of difference will be the style and ambiance of the properties. These are my two favorite properties in Placencia so you've done a good job narrowing down your list. Here are some key notes about the hotels that might be helpful:

Chabil Mar

-Closest hotel to town. Easy walk or bike to explore the quaint village.

-Condo style with kitchens and balconies for second floor rooms. Each condo is decorated differently. Some better than others.

-There isn't a sit down restaurant however, they have a kitchen that you can order food and pick where you want to eat. By the pool, the beach, your condo. You can even reserve the end of the dock. It's a neat concept.

-The grounds are relatively private, with mature landscaping. They have a couple pools, a fun low key bar area and a bunch of BBQ grills if you want to make dinner on your own.

-They have a great guide "Percy" who does one of the best Monkey River tours in Placencia. Very entertaining and he's guided Jack Hannah.

Turtle Inn

-Also close to town

-Owned by Hollywood director Francis Ford Coppola. As a result, the design and attention to detail is very nice. You'll feel like you've stepped into a Hollywood set.

-Rooms have a Central America feel with thatched roofs. Very comfortable and exotic.

-I've heard issues about the food but haven't had them myself. To be safe avoid their food plan which will give you the flexibility to try out the property and also go into town for some great local meals.

I have videos of both properties on my TripAdvisor profile. This will give you a really good idea of the style differences between the properties which will most likely drive your decision.

If you want a recommendation, much like the Dr., I think Turtle Inn caters more to adults looking for a romantic getaway. You might run into more families at Chabil Mar but it's also suitable for a adults if that style fits you better.

Hope this helps!

Jim Bendt, Owner - Travel Beyond

Baltimore, Maryland
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176 posts
58 reviews
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4. Re: Turtle Inn or Chabil Mar?

I know this may be small difference that hasn't been pointed out in these two very good comparisons, but worth knowing for a lot of people. Chabil Mar is an air conditioned property. TI does not have AC.

Since you are considering July I thought you might want to be aware of this difference too.

Have a great anniversary and visit to Placencia Village. Love it there.

Baltimore, Maryland
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33 posts
12 reviews
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5. Re: Turtle Inn or Chabil Mar?

Excellent feedback back by all...and a/c is very nice to have as it does get pretty hot in Placencia and in Belize...and we had dinner at CM on the end of the dock one night that was quite memorable and they set up tables beautifully near their infinity pool steps from the Sea which is amazing...and it is nice not having a dining room but instead being able to eat anywhere and anytime...

CM is small and intimate and even if there are families staying there....there will not be many and i would presume any children staying there are well behaved and have been in other nice resorts...as my boys met a couple of really nice other kids who basically hung out in the pool, played a lil beach volleyball, and used the kayaks...life preservers were provided...

A/C is nice...as is having a full kitchen and washer and dryer especially if this isnt your first stop...

truly unbelizeable resort and I loved Placencia...

Telluride, CO
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83 posts
11 reviews
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6. Re: Turtle Inn or Chabil Mar?

I have stayed at both properties. My favorite is Turtle Inn. I love the decor and the beds are wonderful. Even their gardenview rooms are big and have both indoor and outdoor showers. For an anniversary I would go with Turtle Inn, the food is wonderful and so is the service. We book our clients into that property all the time. We usually combine it with the other two properties Blancaneaux which is in the jungle and La Lancha which is in Guatemala. The no A/C thing is not really a big deal, they have fans to cool the place off during the day, and if you're hot you can always jump into the pool or ocean.

I like Chabil but it is more of a condo, and it's not as nice as Turtle Inn.

Placencia, Belize
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2,041 posts
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7. Re: Turtle Inn or Chabil Mar?

I like Turtle Inn too, and if you want to use Percy as a guide, he is self employed ad you can contact him via www.barebonestours.com. I do have the reservations about the Turtle Inn food, and are you listening TI guys, we have been saying it for years!! However, I wouldn't want to have a meal plan anywhere, as there are great places to eat, fancy and simple, along the Peninsula, Maya Beach Bistro, Rumfish, the French Connection Popup, Barcelona Dawn's Grill N Go, DeTatch to name but a few.

Baltimore, Maryland
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33 posts
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8. Re: Turtle Inn or Chabil Mar?

i really love the feedback here...and the manner by which everybody so respectfully discusses these issues...

it appears to me that TI is different than CM in many ways and all the differences appear quite appealing...and what some people need like a/c, washer/dryer, full kitchen condo amenities vs the uniqueness of TI is what research and homework is all about in order to make one's vacation the best it can be...

i agree with the no meal plan advice as there are plenty of great places to eat in town...and in turn you will not be counting the value of each meal to see if you broke even each day...

i had nothing but great food in Placencia...and at CM...

all your research will pay off...and it is very worth continuing...

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9. Re: Turtle Inn or Chabil Mar?

Thanks to all of you so much for the great feedback!!!

We def. would not tie ourselves to eating at TI as we like to explore and would try different places in town.

I'm looking at a garden casita at TI, which is not too much more costly than a condo at CM. Do want something upscale and unique since it's our big anniv and we haven't traveled without our 3 kids in a long time! By the way, we''ll be coming from a few days in Ambergris.

Good to know we could contact Percy ourselves. I was thinking I prefer to seek out tours that are private or at least a small group, not necessarily tied to a resort.

What advice do you have regarding snorkeling guides? We don't dive, but can snorkel all day long! Def. want to get out and explore some cool areas that don't have crowds.

Again, thanks for the help! Now, to weigh the pros and cons of both...

belize
Destination Expert
for Belize, Placencia, Ambergris Caye, Cayo, San Ignacio
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10 reviews
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10. Re: Turtle Inn or Chabil Mar?

Avadon is close to both hotels discussed above. The garden rooms at TI are close to the road and further from the beach and get the least breeze. See if you can squeeze out a few more bucks and book closer to the beach for less noise, better views and breezes