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“Not worth the money. Lots of hidden charges. Try Island Expeditions or others.”

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Isla Marisol Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Not worth the money. Lots of hidden charges. Try Island Expeditions or others.”
Reviewed January 12, 2013

We wanted to go out to Glover's and read bad reviews about Glover's Atoll Resort, and though Marisol was more than twice the price, we thought it would save us some heartache if we just paid through the nose to begin with. Not the case.

The reef there is beautiful, but can be explored while staying elsewhere. Mainland trips would be a much better idea and hundreds of dollars less. Bugs are terrible here. Everyone had hundreds of bites. Not sure if it was all sand fleas and flies or bed bugs. We counted 78 just on one back after one night.

Scuba gear is in scarry condition and you should absolutely bring your own regulator and never consider a Blue Hole or any deep trip with their gear. Regulators breathe funny and gages bounce all over the place. Depth gages vary from person to person so unless you have your own gear, you won't really know your true depth.

It is extremely difficult to get straight answers regarding prices and costs for trips or packages. They like to play the "oh yes, this is the price, I think" game and then it turns out double. We talked to other people there who were having the same problem. You are quoted less than what they will in the end try to charge you. Everyone gets quoted different prices, so you may pay more for a snorkel than your neighbor. Dives/snorkel trips may have 30+ people on them, and they don't get broken down so all levels will be together from divemasters to discover scubas. If there isn't space for you or gear available, you still have to pay for the dive if you have a package booked. They allow people from other resorts to snorkel/dive for less and this crowds the trips and changes the experience. We didn't even get 11 dives on a 3 dive a day package for a week.
If you do a dive class, they will try to charge you for the dives as well, so you could end up paying 700 rather than the 350 they tell you it costs. If you go to the Blue hole to dive/snorkel, they charge $250 extra and only take you on 2 dives that day. If you have purchased a package, you have paid 60 per dive already, so when you do the math, the blue hole costs $430. This is the highest price in Belize. Other companies charge $240 and provide 3 dives not just the 2. If other snorkelers/divers choose to go to the hole and you stay back, you may miss your oportunity for daily events but will still have to pay for them.

Food is wonderful, so you won't go hungry.

Cabins are run down and ours had roaches even though it had no fridge or cooking area.

Airconditioning is only available a few hours a night, and only after they are done using the generator for other things and you ask them to switch it on. The airconditioning cuts off every night at 4 in the morning (when they cut the generator) so by 530 you are hot and need to get up to open windows. The high price of acommodations is not worth the extra you would pay here verse Island Expeditions or any of the other resorts which are less expensive. If you insist on going, don't book a package, just get there and choose activites day to day, but don't say you weren't warned.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
9 Thank M M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
austin tx
Level 5 Contributor
42 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013

My family just spent New Year's at Isla Marisol Resort and had a very enjoyable visit. Despite some windy days we were able to snorkel every day in the calm, warm waters of the lagoon. We saw stingrays, crabs, sea fans, hard corals, many colorful fish and even a nurse shark while out on the boat snorkels. The resort itself is the only game on a small island but there's still lots to do. I kayaked around the mangroves while my son tried out the paddle board. One day there was an excursion to the Blue Hole and it was fun to snorkel around the rim. Food is not exciting but very tasty, especially with the local sauces by Maria Strong. There are two large beach houses on stilts with two bedrooms and 10 or so cabanas with 1 bedroom. Ours were 3 &4, right on the water. Boats transfers from Dangriga take about 1.5 hours and the staff can arrange the flight to Dangriga from Belize City. We had a great time and I would definitely go back.

Room Tip: cabanas 3 and 4 are right on the water. Beach house 1 has a twin room and a double room; beach house...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank traveling_sun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012

My family booked both of the reef houses for the 6 of us. We had more then enough room as each was big enough to hold a family. The island only had one other couple staying there as guests so we pretty much had the run of the place.

Lets set some expectations... This is a resort 36 miles off the coast of a country who's population is smaller than most major cities and air conditioning can be a rarity on the mainland. Salt water is very good at causing breakdowns and they are very far from replacement parts. Things will break and the excellent staff will do their best to fix it quickly assuming they have the parts and are made aware of the problem. If you miss a night of AC, just enjoy the ocean breeze and relax.

Eddie (the owner) has built this place from the ground up over the past 10 years. The island is powered by a mix of Solar, Wind, and a generator which is only run a few hours each day to power the ACs. This island is the only one on the Atoll that has a desalination plant (fresh water all the time) or AC. Some of the other resorts can literally run out of water during your stay.

The diving was great, but the cooking was better! During my week on the mainland I ate at a lot of very good restaurants, including one at one of Belize's best resorts, but the food on Isla Marisol was better. The off season for tours is also the on season for Lobsters. Our last night there, Eddie went out and got us a lobster about the size of a small dog. This was the best lobster I have ever had!

Room Tip: Book reef house #2 - it is the newer and better of the two.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Ashton H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2012

my husband and i purchased a groupon for 7 days food and lodging plus diving. we were extremely pleased with the island itself, the breathtakingly beautiful scenery, the friendly and helpful staff, and of course the unparalleled scuba diving. the cabanas themselves were a bit run-down, we had some problems with the air conditioning, no hot water and some bug issues. we also had a misunderstanding about some of the fees--it wasn't clear we'd be charged extra for some things, and we didn't get the bill until right before departure which made it difficult to resolve. but every problem we encountered (including the fees--they're mailing us a check) was quickly fixed by the wonderful staff. don't expect a full service resort or spa, but adequate accommodations with spectacular surroundings. would do it again in a heartbeat!

Room Tip: you MUST get a cabana on the beach (i think they were 2, 3 & 4)! when we were there, the shore...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank sheebadu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 21, 2012

I went on a Whale Shark adventure, staying at Isla Marisol, last May. The resort was very comfortable - indoor plumbing & electricity most of the time! Cabana #1 was great - lovely ocean breezes - didn't need the AC! The snorkeling at Glovers was wonderful - like swimming in an aquarium. Unfortunately I didn't see any whale sharks but others in our group did. So going back next April, 2013.

Room Tip: Cabana #1 is great - nice ocean breeze so didn't need AC.
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Virginiabarns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Somerville, Massachusetts
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2012

I do not dive but wanted to learn a little here. I expected what i was told. An Island off the coast with a daily boat back to the mainland if we wanted to do or see things there. That is not the case. It is a 3 hour very rough boat trip one way. I had to leave on a day the boat was not running...it cost me $500 to 'pay for the gas'. So if you have an emergency and need to leave..it will cost you if you want to leave on an unscheduled day. There is no cell phone coverage but there is wifi in the dining room.

Make sure you take something for seasickness before you board the boat. It was quite a ride...ten foot waves...yee ha!! and instead of taking us right to the island they went out of the way to stop and do an errand on another island...that was after we had a three hour delay waiting for the boat in the first place. Not very customer oriented. But everyone was very friendly..Edie and the staff...nice people. Edie made sure we got to the airport ok.

The accomodations were ok, rented the reef house. The kitchen was worn, pitted and not too clean. But my biggest disappointment was the AC or lack of it. It only ran at night and then you had to use fans as well. I went in June...not a good month to go. It was extremely hot and very humid. Even the islanders were dragging. Everything was wet. You could not keep your clothes dry or dry them if you rinsed them out.

Edie has done an amazing job of building up a place like this so far off shore. But be warned...there is very little to do other than dive. i took a kayak out but not many places to go because when i was there the sea was so very rough. It was so rough that it was hard for the leaders to find good places for people to snorkle safely.

Room Tip: I think the cabanas are as good as the reef house. do not go with a person who cannot get around we...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank dogzzarecool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, TX
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2012

This was an AMAZING dive vacation. The reef was unbelievably beautiful and only a 5-10 minute boat ride from the dock. Mora was a fantastic dive master - the best. In a week of diving, we never went back to the same spot. Mora knows the entire reef system and can describe/explain everything you are seeing. We saw an incredible variety of fish, many turtles, rays, beautiful coral & vegetation, enormous lobsters. Some days my husband and I were the only divers and Mora was our personal dive guide. Ronald was our boat captain and I was constantly impressed that he always knew exactly where the divers were on drift dives.

There was also a beautiful snorkel spot a very short kayak from the shore. We didn't go on any of the organized snorkel trips but the other guests raved about it.


This IS the place for you if:

You are happy just to play in the water (swim, dive, snorkel, paddle board, kayak), sit under a palm tree with a book, or swing in a hammock.

This is NOT the place for you if:

You want an upscale resort - there are no drinks served on the beach, there is no night-life, no room service and no souvenir shops. While the food is good, it is not gourmet. If you need any of those things for a happy vacation, go somewhere else.

What you need to know:

* There are no TVs or telephones (glorious) and only intermittent internet at the dining room.

* The facilities were clean and comfortable. They were not plush but fully adequate. The air conditioning is turned off during the day. While it was plenty hot, there was always a breeze and shade.

* Bring everything that you will need. There is nothing to buy on the island. Nothing.

* Renting snorkel/dive equipment was very expensive. We decided not to bother packing our own gear - big mistake. Bring your own stuff and save hundreds of dollars per person,


I give the excellent staff, beautiful island and casual resort 5 stars. Unfortunately, the overall rating was dinged due to the stressful arrival and departure. Eddie had our group wait 5 hours (yes, 5) in Dangriga without our bags and nothing to do or see. On the return, despite knowing what time our plane was leaving, he scheduled the boat to leave too late. The attendant at the Dangriga airport was irate and told me that Eddie does that every week. Not cool.

The week was magical despite the messy arrival/departure. We can't wait to go back and intend to take our teenagers and parents.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank AustinRoam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Isla Marisol Resort

Property: Isla Marisol Resort
Address: Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Glovers Reef Atoll
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Glovers Reef Atoll
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Isla Marisol Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Isla Marisol Resort lies on a pristine, secluded palm-studded island on Glover's Reef Atoll (a UN World Heritage site) in Belize. Of the five inhabited island on Glover's Reef, Isla Marisol is the only one offering private en-suite bathrooms, fresh water showers, hot and cold water, air conditioning, and daily housekeeping service. Isla Marisol Resort also offers frosty cold libations at our infamous "over the water" bar and phenomenal Belizean style food in our dining room. Incredible watersports are just a stone's throw from the resort, with most diving and snorkeling sites just 5-15 minutes from the island. All ages and experience welcome! Anglers can hit the "grand-slam" from their front porch, with World class fly fishing for tarpon, permit, and bonefish, quite literally at our door step. Daily deep sea fishing trips for Wahoo, Kingfish, Marlin, and a host of other fun fish, depart from Isla Marisol daily. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Isla Marisol Hotel Glovers Reef Atoll
Isla Marisol Dangriga
Isla Marisol Resort Belize/Glovers Reef Atoll

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