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“Enjoyed the Paradise with excellent service”

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Portofino Beach Resort
Ranked #19 of 53 Hotels in San Pedro
Certificate of Excellence
Hollis, New Hampshire, United States
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Enjoyed the Paradise with excellent service”
Reviewed May 23, 2013

We just spent a week in Portofino - bought a special on living social and not really expecting anything - and where so pleasantly surprised right from the first step out the airplane in San Pedro. Everything was arranged, pick up with taxi to the dock and then boat ride to the resort Portofino. The staff was amazing, greeting you and welcoming you as it was their home we shared. Always very helpful and knowledgable about the resort, the island and their country.The cabins had charm, beautiful and very clean and super nice pool. Small but well built for a quick dip or relaxing after a snorkel trip to the reef. The food in the restaurant is superb and well presented. Overall, we def. want to come back here. We loved the small place, the quiet and familiar atmosphere and the location. It's def. not for the person who expects being pampered in luxury and spa treatments or is looking for an entertaining resort.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Angelika H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 23, 2013
Thank you very much for taking the time out to share your experience with us. We are glad that you enjoyed the charm and intimacy of our small resort and most importantly the warm hospitality of our staff.

We hope to welcome you again!
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640 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (184)
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English first
Middleboro, Massachusetts, United States
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 20, 2013

Accomodations were immaculate. Service was 5 start, and location was perfect. Staff was friendly and always ready to help. Will definitely reccomend this resort to family and friends. The only change i might make is having coffee and tea available in the rooms. Being up before the restaurant was open made this the only thing i could find wrong.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kevin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
Thanks for choosing Portofino for your 1st anniversary. We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed our service and ammenities. We are also pleased to announce that we are working on having coffee available in rooms for our guests' convenience. We really do appreciate your input and will use it to make our guests' stay more pleasurable. We hope to welcome you again one day!
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Greenbrier, Tennessee
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2013

From the moment we were picked up from our dock to board the Portofino boat we were treated like royalty. The staff is amazing, very friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and everyone went above and beyond to make our trip a success. The Resort is beautiful, rooms are clean, pool is nice. A wonderful location just north of San Pedro. The view of the Caribbean is spectacular. We were very fortunate that we had beautiful skies and a cool tropical breeze for most of our stay. We were very pleased with our stay and are very thankful to the entire staff of the Portofino for making our trip amazing. Thank You All!

Room Tip: From what we could tell every cabana has an amazing view of the Caribbean, the water is amazing. M...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sgiles68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
Our guests are very special to us and we are very happy to hear that you felt pampered by our staff. We truly have an amazing team here at Portofino. It was a pleasure having you and we hope to see you again in the near future.
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Los Angeles, California, United States
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed at Portofino in August of 2012. We were originally scheduled to stay there for five nights but a hurricane hit the area and we were evacuated after only 3 nights.

Property:
Portofino is one of the most beautiful resorts in Ambergris Caye. My boyfriend and I kayaked along the coast of Ambergris Caye and also rode water taxi many times and saw numerous resorts but none beats Portofino in terms of beauty and remoteness. We really loved the thatched roof huts, beautifully decorated and comfortable rooms, warm beach with its powdery sands and the remoteness.
We stayed in the bigger 2 story suite in the back on the first floor. It was huge with two beds and we absolutely loved it.
One day, we kayaked for about 4 hours along the coast looking for a snorkeling spot and it was just lovely. Water was calm and clear, just perfect for kayaking and snorkeling. It shouldn't have taken hours to find the snorkeling spot though, but the negligent lady at the front desk did not specify the location, except that it was "up north." Although the restaurant service and general indifference of the reception staff there sucked, we did not mind it too much, nor the 4 hour kayaking trip, because that was just how beautiful ambergris caye was.
Before the evacuation, we planned on doing some snorkeling around the property. You could actually see more fish around the shallow end of the pier than out in the ocean.

Location:
When I was booking for this vacation, I really wanted to go somewhere quiet and remote. I just wanted to sit back, relax and enjoy the beach with a cool drink in my hand. Portofino fit the bill. It is pretty small (only 9 buildings with 2 units each, I think), far enough from other bigger resorts and it seemed like only way in and out of this resort was by boat. So you are secluded enough to just quietly spend your time at the resort.
However, if you do need to get out and do more village things, they offer complimentary water taxi service. We took advantage of it every day we were there and visited San Pedro City for awesome restaurants in town.

Service:
Even though the negligible service at Portofino did not affect our enjoyment, I thought I’d point it out for their future reference. The reception lady mentioned above was quite unpleasant to deal with. She was the one who greeted us when we first docked and she was cordial enough. But more times we encountered, she became more indifferent each time. What made us stop dealing with her altogether was the kayak incident mentioned above. We asked her where a good snorkeling location was. Even though she was not doing anything but sitting around at the desk, she rushed in telling us to just kayak up north and we will find a spot called “Mexico Rock” which is a popular self-guided snorkeling spot. I wanted to ask her how long it would take and whether there is any distinct markings we will recognize, but she was bordering on impatient and rude that we just decided it was not worth it and thought we would surely find it. Long story short, we kayaked for four hours and absolutely loved it. But we did not deal with her afterwards.
The owners seem nice enough. We did not interact with them while on the property like other guests, until the day of evacuation. He seemed nice enough informing us the evacuation procedures and etc.

Food:
Portofino has one restaurant on the property. Food is okay but certainly overpriced. We would not have minded the price if food were good but it certainly did not justify the price. However, I would like to note that we really enjoyed the complimentary breakfast that came with the rate. Fresh fruits such as papaya were so refreshing.
I personally recommend that you ride out to the town and eat at restaurants there. Better food and cocktails at affordable prices. And more options too.

Evacuation:
We were more than upset about having to evacuate. We had planned scuba diving and boat fishing trips in the last two days of our stay and those were supposed to be the highlights of our trip but we could not get to do them. But I have to admit the resort and its manager Meike (Mieka? Don’t know how to spell her name) did a pretty good job escorting people out of there and relocating us to another beautiful area in Belize called Cayo/San Ignacio.
Our stay was cut short than planned, but since the evacuation was due to an Act of God, the property did not owe us anything except to place us in a hotel with a comparable rate for the last two nights. (We thought we were smart to have gotten travel insurance but we are still waiting on the check from them.) Meike coordinated the evacuation and took us to a jungle area called Cayo which was about an hour inland on the mainland. She really took time and effort to make sure we were all comfortable and our needs were met. She first took us to a grocery store where we could get food for the night and also some emergency supplies in case the hurricane would come close to Cayo as well. Then we were situated in our hotel rooms and she tooks us out to dinner where they served a variety of delicious food.
Even though the hotel was not of the same caliber as Portofino and it was not part of our plan, we were so grateful for a chance to see the beautiful Belizean jungle along with its beautiful coast. We enjoyed the town excursion there as well and tasted some delicious food and beer.
I would also like to thank the outragely funny and friendly Dutch driver who transported us to and from Cayo and the airport. Sorry, but I don’t remember his name.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Jay 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 review, May 21, 2013
Thank you for taking the time out for commenting about your experience at our establishment. We are glad that you had a great stay in general, but saddened to know that your experience with the Front Desk was not equal. It comes to us as a surprise as we have a great team here at Portofino and we can hardly imagine such behaviour. We will certainly look into this as this is not acceptable behaviour and we certainly do not wish to dampen any of our guests' stay.

We are happy that you appreciated all the efforts our team made in such unpredictable situations. We hope that everything works out with your Travel Insurance and if there is anything we can do to speed up the process please do let us know. It has been almost a year so we surely hope that this is resolved for you soon.

Again, thank you so much for posting your opinion as your experience is very important to us. We can only succeed by improving everyday and our customers' opions are what matters the most.
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Dumfries, VA
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2013

Looking for seclusion with a Great Staff that knows you by name??? Then this is the place for to go. Great food, Excellent Bartenders and all the excursions you will want to take while in Belize are all on the property! Only 18 or so rooms so the staff can really take car you you and any of your needs!

4 Stars only because the resort is far from town. That is the only bad thing I can say about Portofino!! They do offer free boat rides to San Pedro and all the other Restaurants down the beach.

Would definitely return!!!

Room Tip: All the rooms face the beautiful sea, so none are bad!!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Sean U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time out to write about your experience here at Portofino. Our little piece of paradise is indeed a great escape. We are glad you enjoyed the warm hospitality of our staff and the personalized service that we pride ourselves in.

Our location has its pros and cons. If you like having a private beach and a quiet getaway to just relax, then yes, we have the perfect location. If you want the best of both worlds, this is also possible as nightlife and shopping is also accessible. However, if you like being in the middle of the action, where nightlife etc is, then we can definitely agree with the location being at a disadvantage. We are glad that even though our location wasn't ideal for you, that you still enjoyed everything else we had to offer.

Once again, thank you so much for your review and we hope to have you with us again one day.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2013

I must say the staff were extremely friendly at Portofino. They get to know you as family.
We were upgraded to the Royal Orchid which was a beautiful room with a wonderful ocean view along with thatched roof! However, we had ants in the room and advised the front desk. Someone came by and asked what type of ants. I told him what my husband saw. I was told they would come by the next day and spray. Apparently not because the ants had gotten into my medicine pack so I had to throw them all out. There is bottled drinking water in the room but ours was salty. This was told to a staff member but never taken care of. We could not drink it. There is a Jacuzzi in the room but it did not work. Even the plug for the tub was so worn that it did not keep the water from running out. My husband used a wash cloth to try out the tub. The ladies did come every day to clean or tidy up but the bath robes were not replaced but fresh towels were supplied. Be sure to bring all your own toiletries as nothing is supplied except for a bar of soap.
Prices in general on Ambergris Caye are rather high. Do not expect inexpensive meals or bar tabs. Also, the bartender is very light on the alcohol so you may end up ordering more drinks.
The meals we had at Portofino were very good. No bad meals anywhere we ate.
Due to the location of the resort, you need to take the boat to any place you want to go. The town of San Pedro is about 6 1/2 miles away which is where the shops and restaurants are located. The resort does have a boat that runs into town at certain hours and will also get you to the airport in time for your flight.
If you really want to get away from everything, this would be a good location, but there are better resorts available for the price we paid. Again, I must say the staff were very friendly.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Liz M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 21, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with other travelers.

We apologize for the unresolved issues you mentioned that took place thoughout your stay. At the end of all our guests' stay, we issue a guest survey, with the sole intention of getting as much feedback from our guests, so that if there are any weak areas in our resort, we are able to use these to improve our services. As soon as we received your review, we immediately started investigating where these incidents went wrong and who was responsible. Although this cannot be resolved at this point, we can definitely avoid such things to occur again.

With regards to toiletries, we are a bit puzzled as we do provide daily fresh cut soaps, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Upon receiving your survey that was left in the room, we immediately checked your room and all of these toiletries were still on the rack in the shower but they were untouched. After checking with our housekeeping department, we were told that for some reason these products were not being used. However, they didn't really think anything of it, as most of the times, guests bring their own personal toiletries and don't use what we provide.

Our honeymoon suite doesn't have a jacuzzi anymore, but it has a small soaking tub. We are sorry that you had some issues with it but were unaware of the situation as we've had guests in that Honeymoon Suite for weeks and nothing was mentioned prior.

As we are in the tropics, although hardly an issue, ants can be a nuisance at times. We apologize if this was not attended to, especially if you had reported already.

With regards to the location...yes we are located about 6 miles north of town. This is often times deemed as an advantage due to the privacy and seclusion, but for some, this is a disadvantage. For this reason, we always mention our location in all of our advertising so that guests know exactly what to expect.

At the end of the day, we want nothing more than happy guests and for that reason we believe in doing our best to sell our property for what it is for. Small, personalized, private and charming with all the modern ammenities.

Again, we really apologize if there were some miscommunication during your stay, as mediocre service is not what we stand for. Guests are our priority so thank you for your review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
badlab2
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2013

Stayed five nights, great service. Food was good, very accommodating, make sure you try a fresh smoothie. Close to town but yet far enough away. Staff was friendly, few bugs at night. Impressive first impression. Do not want to tell all, it is worth to have a few surprises. Nice size, not to many rooms. I would recommend to stay. Pool great for all ages. Very nice stay....

Room Tip: All are great by what we could see
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank badlab2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PortofinoBZ, Owner at Portofino Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 14, 2013
Thank you for your review. We are thrilled that you enjoyed our intimate location and the personal touches we do to make our guests' stay extra special. We are glad that you had a great experience and we thank you for choosing to stay with us over all the other options available in San Pedro. All the best wishes, and we hope to welcome you again one day!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Portofino Beach Resort

Property: Portofino Beach Resort
Address: 6 Miles North | PO Box 36, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Ambergris Caye > San Pedro
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in San Pedro
#9 Business Hotel in San Pedro
#12 Top resorts Hotel in San Pedro
#18 On the Beach Hotel in San Pedro
#18 Romantic Hotel in San Pedro
#23 Family Hotel in San Pedro
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Portofino Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Characterized by its warm and friendly hospitality, Portofino is the epitome of barefoot luxury, unpretentious and relaxing… for most; it will be an experience of a lifetime. Our small, boutique resort offers just 17 beautifully appointed rooms, ranging from charming beach cabanas to spacious suites, dotted amidst swaying palm trees, in a private setting with unmatched personal attention and the modern comforts of home. It is a haven of tranquility, where guests will enjoy the subtle sounds of the nearby waves lapping over the reef, gentle breeze, breathtaking sunrise, star studded night sky and spectacular views of the crystal waters of the Caribbean Sea. The perfect setting for a romantic getaway, intimate wedding, honeymoon, family and friends.Portofino offers leisure options to suit every taste. Relax in our fresh water outdoor swimming pool; enjoy a great book from our book collection or simply indulge yourself in a massage on the beach under our hand thatched palapa hut. Explore the underwater world with snorkel equipment or skim along the surface in our complimentary sea kayaks. Delicious meals prepared by our resort chef can be served in the privacy or your beach cabana or suite, on our private dock with a romantic setting or at the Portofino Restaurant. Sip on amazing tropical cocktails at the Green Parrot Beach Bar or perhaps a late afternoon snack from the Green Parrot Bistro. Take advantage of our DVD library and unwind in front of the flat TV screen in your room. Or, simply take in the view. In short, relax and enjoy! Reception in the main building is manned by professional and knowledgeable staff. From, activities bookings and directions to itineraries and dining reservations, our friendly and professional staff is eager to assist you. Access to PORTOFINO is by boat only, and therefore we offer a complimentary meet and greet service at San Pedro Airstrip and boat transfer to the resort, an approximately 20 minutes ride. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Portofino Hotel San Pedro
Portofino San Pedro
Portofino Beach Resort Belize/San Pedro

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