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Portofino Beach Resort
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Reviewed November 11, 2012

We stayed at Portofinoin for our honeymoon, for four nights.
As many hotels in Cayo Ambergris Portofino is a little isolated from the village so you depends of their transport to get into town. When we made the reservation we misunderstood that you can drive to the hotel from town...not really. There is only a road to it, and it is usually inpassable because the rain and the absence of light at night.
This was a problem for us, because we don´t want to stayed all the time in the hotel, specially in the afternoon when we would prefer to go town to dinner and walk. Boat transfers were free, but you have then when any guest arrived or left , or when the staff finish their work shift. If you desired to travel in other time,recepcionist arranged taxi water which cost 20 dollars per person ( not cheap...).
Our room was nice, similar to what we expected. Problem was that the flyscreen was too small for the bed and the anti-mosquito machine run off... and mosquito were sadic there!!!Fortunately we were prepared with our own prevention (not enough but it helped)
First day we experimented a tropical storm; I was really scared but all run perfectly.
Cocktails are SUPERB the best I ever had, really. There were not cheap but it didn't mind.
Receptionist offers you a lot of excursions. We did one every day; if not you probably get bored. I explain: sun raises before 6 am, but nobody have breakfast before 8am. Sundown is nearly 5 pm. Although you get to bed early you have from 5 to 9-10 to drink, dinner...
From 8 to 5 you can lay on the beach...but it is to litlle to run, ride or play sports...it is clean because the staff removes algaes every day. You can snorkel or kayak for free, and this can be a goos plan for a morning.
Excursions were amazing but expensive.
Staff is very very friendly, so chiefs are.
Breakfast was simply but not bad, but you have to go with time enought because in caribe things go slow!
The worst thing for us was the meals. The guides says that is one of the best restaurants and we saw tourist who came purposly for dinner. The first day we have a very expensive mexican menu and I have diarrhea. Next day we take dinner and I can't finish my fish : it smells bad and tastes worst. I would hope to have great fish there ...no way. Last night we ask staff to prepare some fish we fished these day...finally they did but we payed a lot for that.

Room Tip: Honymoon suite was good. Others are literally upper the beach and too near from the swimming pool, and i some of them you share the porch with your neighbors; be careful when you make the reservation.
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank onmary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 15, 2012

We are deeply sorry to hear that some aspects of your stay with us was not up to your expectations. At the same time, we are happy to know that you were satisfied with your room choice. The honeymoon suite is spectacular! Even though we are a small resort, we do offer at least five different room types to choose from. Each unique in its own way.

We can only apologize for the mosquitoes. Although we do spray for them as much as we can, they tend to make appearance at dawn and dusk when we are experiencing some rainy weather. Although the tropics can be very beautiful, unfortunately, when it comes to nature, this is also a part of the experience.

Our little piece of paradise is accessible mainly by boat and for that reason it is clearly stated on our website and on all of our ads. We find the privacy and serenity of our resort due to our location to be a positive feature and we do agree that our resort is not the best choice for guests wishing to be in town for night life. In walking distance from Portofino, there are at least three restaurants and bars, but for more choices, then of course, you can only find that in town or closer to town. We do offer a few complimentary runs per day but there is also a water taxi that runs every two hours for guests convenience.

The sun is up at 6am normally and we have complimentary coffee of tea for guests that are already up. Breakfast starts at 7:30am, which is normal for most resorts. Breakfast extends all the way up to 11:30am, as most guests tend to sleep in.

We are happy to inform you that we now have a brand new menu, with also includes quick breakfast items that will be available as of 6am.

When it comes to the beach, as you mentioned, it is very good for relaxing. As for running, walking or riding, this is also possible as the beach goes all the way to town. Although our resort sits on 330 feet of beach front, we do agree that it is not adequate for sports, and for this reason we do not advertise as having that feature.

We do beleive that expectations means everything and we are truly sorry that Portofino was not exactly what you were hoping for.

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Reviewed November 9, 2012

I really didn't want to go to a destination wedding but it was my daughter so I was there for her. The trip was great, the resort is beautiful and the staff friendly, catering to every need. The boat ride between the resort and Belize city left something to be desired, I would recommened the plane instead.
The staff did everything they could to make sure my daughters day went off as well as possible. The rooms were excellent but water pressure in the shower was low. The food was good but slow service in the resteraunt. The staff was very caring and took care of the group (22 people)all week. It was all and all a very good week and a beautiful wedding at a great resort.

Room Tip: pay a little more and get a suite you'll be glad you did.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Kenneth R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2012

Thank you so much for your review. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your daughter's wedding and your stay in general. It was a pleasure hosting all of you and nothing makes us happier than when we have happy guests. We apologize if the service in the restaurant was slow but we will be sure to improve this to the best of our abilities.

We hope to welcome you again to Portofino!!

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Reviewed November 8, 2012

It makes me sad to write this review because it means that my vacation is over! Portofino hosted almost everyone who came to attend my wedding (22 people) for a week in October. The resort is small and it was the perfect size for our group. We took up almost half of the rooms and since it was their low-season there weren't too many other guests.

Before I get into the resort details, let me start with the wedding coordinator, Lorraine. I must have emailed her a million times throughout the year and she was always patient with me! She gave me a great group rate and set it up so that my guests could contact the resort to book their own rooms. She organized a welcome party, the wedding ceremony, wedding reception, reserved tours for us and made sure that we were always happy at the resort. She confirmed my appointments for my hair and makeup and accompanied us downtown to sign the wedding paperwork. During the wedding, she was there the entire time to make sure everything went well and if I had any concerns, she made sure that they got fixed.

During our stay, my husband and I stayed in the Honeymoon suite. It was really nice and decorated with fresh flowers. We had the best hammock on the resort (Besides the ones in the water!) There are no phones in the room and the internet connection was spotty so if we wanted to get in touch with our family, we'd just walk down to the bar or pool area and meet up with them. It was actually fun to not be wired for the week and we still knew where we could find everyone! If you have a group here, I definitely recommend that everyone stay here. The couple of people who stayed other places felt disconnected and never knew what was going on. My sister actually had a room on the other side of the island. Once she got in, she cancelled her room and moved here. The beach was raked everyday. The pool was a nice temperature. We got to use the free kayaks and go snorkeling at Mexico rocks. I liked that the beach was private, unlike some of the other big resorts downtown. Unfortunately, the trip on the watertaxi into town was very long. The resort has a trip or two into town each day that you can ride for free but the watertaxi was $11 per person. If you have a group of people, have the hotel call you a private boat. It costs the same and you don't have to make a bunch of stops before you reach your destination. We didn't figure this out until half-way through the trip! The hotel took care of everything we needed while we were there including booking a bunch of us massages and tours. The bartenders, Orville and Rafael, were so much fun and made us anything that we wanted.

Our first dinner at the restaurant didn't go so great, but the rest of the week was better. Erwin made sure that we were happy. The filet mignon was awesome! And once I tried the chicken quesadilla, I ate it everyday for lunch! The appetizers for the welcome party were great and all of my guests loved the food at the wedding reception. Erwin added in Key Lime pie at the last minute and it was the best that I've ever had.

The setup for the wedding was beautiful. Lorraine let me pick and choose some features from other pictures to make it my own. She had my centerpieces made for me there. They added little details like a "Mr & Mrs" sign behind our seats and a "Happily ever after starts here" sign for the welcome party. They placed cute notes in all the guests rooms giving them the information about the wedding day.

Overall, we all loved the staff and the resort. All of my guests, even some who were hesitant to go all the way to Belize for my wedding, had the best time! Thank you for making my week amazing!

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Jstarr926
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2012

Weddings are special and we are happy to know that your special day was celebrated here at our resort. Thank you very much for the review. We are glad that the process of orgainizing your dream wedding was pleasant and that your were able to have great memories of your destination wedding in Belize!

It was a pleasure having all of your family and friends here as well and we hope to welcome you again one day...perhaps for your anniversary!! :)

All the best wishes in your new life as a married couple. May you have many wonderful years together!

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Reviewed October 27, 2012

We stayed 6 days at Portofinos. Our initial impression was that the room was beautiful, the staff was welcoming and the resort was very well kept, however the location was a little far from town and only accessible by boat. Although the website boasts a private boat to take you back and forth, these trips are very few and far between.
The restaurant was very pretty and we had no problem getting a table, however the food choices were mundane and the service was quite frankly awful, sometimes waiting 30 mins just for water.
The beach is non existent. There is no ocean that you can swim in or even wade in. The ocean around the resort is full of sea grass and mud, but this is common for most of the island, and still gorgeous.
The bar tenders Rafeal and Orville really made our vacation. They were fun, entertaining and very attentive. We tried to book tours through the hotel with no luck. We were told that both tours we wanted we could not go on because there were not enough people. They only work with one company and if they cannot accommodate you then you are out of luck. We then booked our own tours and after that got the cold shoulder from the front desk for the remainder of out trip.
Nevertheless we made the best out of it and ended up having a great time. We met some fun people and saw some amazing things Thanks to Ricky and Leon at Seaduced Tours.

Room Tip: We stayed in the beach cabana's and although it is more like pool front cabana's they were spacious and very pretty.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank s s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 13, 2013

Thank you for your review. We are very sorry that your stay with us was somewhat disappointing. Our resort is located 6 miles north of San Pedro, as indicated in all our ads and our website. For most, our location is ideal as it allows our guests the peacefulness and privacy that cannot be found in San Pedro Town. For those wanting to be right in town, we can see how that would be a con for them. We do provide free service to town to all of our guests, whenever we have a boat going in for arrivals and departures. There is also a private company that offers water taxi services that go by every two hours for those that need to go into town.

We do not conduct our own tours, but pride ourselves in using select tour operators as there are certain standards and requirements that they need to comply with, for us to use them. Licenses, insurance and reputation are very important, as our guest safety is a priority. It is not that we are setting any limitations, but we want to be confident and have a peace of mind whenever we send our guests out on tours. Yes, we can agree that there are sometimes when a tour does not get the minimum number or guests required, therefore they do not get confirmed. We apologize that we did not get the trips you were interested in confirmed in time. We are also sorry if our staff was inappropriate in anyway and we will definitely look into this. We do have a great team and if they behaved in this manner then of course, that is unacceptable, and we will ensure that no one else will experience this again.

We are happy that despite your disappointments, you still had a great time in Belize.

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Reviewed October 23, 2012

My husband and I stayed w the honeymoon package. It is expensive for sure but the honeymoon package seemed like best fit for a couple getaway. We got the cheapest room do it was like a room cut in half. When we first arrived I was upset at how tiny the room was for its price, just enough for a bed two chairs a tv and bathroom. Never stayed in such a small room but it was decorated very nicely and romantically w flowers in a vase, flowers even in the toilet which made me laugh and the cleaning was great. Portofino is a very nice little secluded place. It's not a huge resort its private and yes each room gets a hammock which I loved. The beach was beautiful and nice with the warm ocean. The portofino restaurant was overly priced and not that great. Easier to take the boat to town and eat some local food especially Lilly's! We ate there a lot and loved the conch soup. The boat driver was nice and friendly. (you have to take boats to get anywhere on the island from portofino so make sure u check in what time they are leaving if u want to go to town and sometimes it's not always right on time) the activities by portofino were great! I enjoyed the romantic dinner on the pier a lot one of my favorite nights while at the resort. Def reccommend visiting the blue hole! This is a quiet little secluded place so if you are a party animal maybe this isn't right for you but of you want a great time w just the people you came w then definitely this is your place. Staff was nice and friendly. I'd come here again when I can afford it and have finished visiting other places. The managers even have us drinks bc they were holding us up from getting back to the resort. Very nice couple.

  • Stayed: November 2011
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1  Thank livelife7347
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded November 15, 2012

Thank you very much for your response. We are happy to hear that your overall experience with your stay with us was pleasurable and that you would come back again. Our beach cabanas are duplexes, but are still very nice. For more privacy, we would reccommend our VIP Suites as these are very spacious and they stand alone. Our sincerest apologies if your experience at the restaurant was not up to expectations, but we are pleased to announce that we have made some great improvements within the last two weeks. We now have casual dining on our newly expanded terrace on the beach, and fine dining upstairs, for our guests' convenience.

We are glad that you enjoyed the location and privacy of our property and the warm hospitality of our staff, and we look forward to welcoming you once again when you come back to beautiful Belize!

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