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“an amazing place on this earth”

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Isla Marisol Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
82 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“an amazing place on this earth”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

This place is perfect for people like my husband and me - very remote, lots of walk to activities, delicious local food, and very informal. Major bonuses were air condition at night and a shower in our cabana. This is not a luxury resort so if that is what you are looking for then this is not the place for you but they certainly have luxuries for an extremely remote island (ac and showers in each cabana, wifi in the dining room). We are not exclusively divers and we would definitely return to the resort. We came hoping to kayak, which we did daily, but we also did many other activities We snorkeled around the fantastic patch reefs, and a couple of larger reefs. They took advantage of low winds to take us to an incredible reef that is only accessible when the waters are calm. The owner took me on two trips, when all the other guests were diving. The dive master, Mara, included me on some of the dive trips when there was nearby snorkeling. We also paddle boarded frequently. There was a lagoon, which was more placid for learning. It was just great to have all the activities accessible all the time without waiting. We were able to just walk out our door and kayak or snorkel or paddle board. The waitress and housekeeper, Analisia, was so kind and kept track of everyone's food allergies and preferences. She noticed our screen door wasn't working and had it repaired that day. The resort was very Belizian, which was very nice. Some reviewers have mentioned problems with connections and transfers. This was not the case for us. Everyone was prompt and insured we everywhere we needed on time. The owner, Eddie, is very professional and concerned for his guests enjoyment. We went fishing one morning and the fantastic cook, Ms. Jen, used our catch for several meals later in the week. Again, the meals were always healthy, fresh and local. We hope to return to this amazing little island.

Room Tip: Cabanas 3 & 4 are best for couples but we had Cabana 1, which we were concerned about being loud...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank L B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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189 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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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
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2013

We just got back from Isle Marisol and had one of the best dive vacations we have ever had. This place is low key and laid back by design. According to the owner, Eddie, Isle Marisol is a genuine Belizean experience..."we don't Americanize"...The food and people are from Belize. We were so impressed how truly friendly and accommodating everyone is on this little island paradise. Whether it was the housekeeper, waiter, cook, divemaster, bartender, or boat captain, everyone has a warm smile and willingness to make your stay a pleasant one. The food & presentation is absolutely fantastic & we wanted to take the cook, Ms Jen, back home with us.

We are very experienced divers and we have been to a large number of dive destinations all over the Caribbean, yet our experience at Isle Marisol is among the best we have seen. Our hard working divemaster, Mara, is so kind & full of joy, he made every dive enjoyable. The dives are all drift dives but the currents were very gentle so all the dives were very easy and safely executed. We did 3 dives a day for the first 5 days and 2 dives one our last day for a total of 17 dives. Underwater, we were blown away at the sheer number of heavy schools of fish, large numbers of sharks, and the incredibly health coral!

Well it goes without saying...we will be back!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Mark_Thorne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2013

We wanted a week away from it all, to leave our busy, hectic lives behind for awhile, slow down, and relax. Well, we got it.
Every day begins with the sounds of the waves lapping on the shore, just feet away from the cabanas. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are thoughtfully prepared, fresh, delicious and plentiful. Try the local specialty salbutes - you'll ask for seconds! Diving and snorkeling is within minutes, great for experienced enthusiasts and beginners. My boyfriend actually had never been diving, took a Discovery course with KC and decided to get certified! He actually completed the course over the week, completing his skills within sight of sea turtles and spotted eagle rays.
There's A/C at night but not during the day - the breeze takes care of that and we never felt "hot." Your room is cleaned daily and the towels and sheets are actually very soft. There are hammocks and lounge chairs at every cabana, to enjoy relaxing under the palm trees in between dives or swims. The staff is wonderful, very accommodating, and will get you anything you need.
Do not come if you're expecting a chlorinated pool, a masseuse, or constant Wifi to be able to stream your experience 24/7.
Do come if you like to nap in hammocks with sea breezes rocking you, if you like to have the chance for diving/snorkeling/fishing any time of the day/night, if you like to be able to spend an entire vacation barefoot, and if you like the feeling of forgetting all of your cares for awhile.

Room Tip: Request a beach-side cabana. Though, the ones not "beach-side" are about 20 feet further a...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank ellemc6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Garnet Valley
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 22, 2013

Three weeks ago, we were on a chartered catamaran anchored near the Isla Marisol Resort when an accident occurred. I slipped and opened a big gash in my elbow. Our captain radioed Isla Marisol Resort and they told us to come over thinking they could provide medical treatment. It turned out that I needed sutures and they arranged my transportation to the hospital in Dangriga (25 miles away) which included being picked up and driven to/from the hospital by Eddie, the owner of the resort. All the resort staff we dealt with, as well as Eddie, were absolutely wonderful and extremely helpful. Thanks to their assistance, I was able to get to/from the hospital in a matter of hours and return to my sailing vacation with a minimal loss of time. Based on our short visit to the resort and the friendliness of the staff, we definitely will consider vacationing there.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Location
Helpful?
1 Thank GiantsandEaglesOhMy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2013

It's always nice to "get away from it all". Isla Mirasol certainly provides that and largely in a very nice way. Accommodations are minimal but certainly sufficient and really no different than my expectations. The best cabanas are right on the water, with the water lapping the shore right below your deck. The staff were a wonderful bunch of people, very friendly and very accommodating. The meals were very good, but I wouldn't go overboard like many reviews indicate. I've had better at similarly styled remote resorts. Yet mealtime was always looked forward to as the social gathering that it was and for a large enough variety of food that all tastes would find pleasing enough.

My biggest disappointment was the diving. Expectations (by being away from the crowds) of pristine reefs, fantastic visibility, and hopes of seeing a whale shark, were dashed. The staff was great, the dive sites close, the equipment fine. But the reefs did not appear healthy, the sites were largely the same, very little variation in terrain, visibility only fair (although it's not fair to fully judge based on one week's experience, since conditions can change that) and the whale shark experience, while expensive, netted us a total of zero whale sharks. Obviously, there are no guarantees and we tried our luck during the best possible time, season-wise and moon phase-wise. I was reluctant to spend the extra money for it since there had not been any sightings for the season yet, but for the possibility of something one rarely has a shot of, we had to give it a try. We did however really enjoy the supposed prelude to the whale shark experience. While an army of us swam through the deep blue, we suddenly caught sight of thousands upon thousands of snapper spawning below us. That incredible sight might have turned totally surreal had a whale shark surfaced, but alas, the amazing snapper sight had to suffice.

In spite of religiously applying insect repellent and never actually seeing any insects, I suffered bites galore, while my wife had nary a bite at all. Depends on your susceptibility I suppose. Walking around the island did not lead very far in any direction that we tried before ending in a trash heap dead end. We never did use the kayaks but they did seem like a better way to explore the area.

In spite of the criticisms I've listed, our time on Isla Mirasol was very pleasant. While I would have liked a more diverse and/or unique diving experience, our week there was still quite enjoyable.

Room Tip: The best located cabanas were the three (# 2, 3, and 4) right on the water. I'd highly recommen...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank islander-4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chichester, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
77 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed May 5, 2013

This simple resort is isolated on Glovers Reef, so be prepared to dive or snorkel 3-4 times a day or read 15 books! Nicely designed, very simple, dependent on generator power (which can be problematic). Do NOT count on any kind of consistent WiFi signal (this is in critical need of an update).

Staff are lovely people. Dive operation is pretty casual, seems geared at experienced divers who don't require personal attention. Diving is frequently from a smaller, backward roll-type boat; they have one "real" dive boat that isn't used every day (depends on # of divers).

We rented the Reef House - very large accommodation, but sparsely stocked - no refrigerator or even cutlery or dishrags... Showers were lukewarm to boiling, with little to no pressure. A/C in my room never worked; toilets quit for a day. An enterprising tree rat found it's way in to steal a bag of peanuts I had in my suitcase - be careful what you stash, particularly because of ants!

We got hit by a serious tropical storm at the end of the week that destroyed many trees, knocked out power, washed or blew items all over the island, sent the 'big' boat on an unmanned voyage.... It's going to take some major clean up to get back to normal! Kudos to the kitchen staff for making sure we "starving" Americans were well-fed despite it all!

Do take bug spray for sand flies (always) and mosquitoes (when calm). Drink prices are predictably steep - BYOB is allowed. If you are at ALL susceptible to motion sickness take Dramamine before you get on the boat OUT to the island - it's a long way, and can be a rough ride. Wave conditions on dives can vary; whaleshark expeditions also involve long boat rides and precautions should be taken.

Above all, the SCUBA diving was fabulous, all wall diving on the edge of the atoll! Lots of big animals - Loggerhead turtles of awe-inspiring antiquity, many shark species, rays, lots of large Grouper species. Great clarity. Despite the lack of whalesharks this April full moon opportunity, we did see the snapper spawning, sharks and dolphins - well worth it!

I would probably choose an island resort closer in to gain access to the Barrier Reef, or a mainland resort if I return to Belize (Hamanasi is my favorite so far). Isla Marisol was rustic and my need to dive was completely satisfied, so go for the remoteness and quiet.

Room Tip: Cabins are on the atoll side, Reef House on the ocean. Depending on the prevailing winds, one side...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank CalypsoReid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 2, 2013

Isla Marisol: Add one part tropical island. One part ocean breeze. One part sunshine. And a big helping of local staff to complete the Marisol experience. Eddie and Mr. Willis have assembled a wonderful group of people who make staying in paradise, paradise. Celso Mora is a wonderful Divemaster, knowledgeable and fun. His colleagues Meaghan and Casey are excellent guides and divemasters as well. Miss Jen, Ezra, Alicia, and Asianae will pamper you with delicious ample meals of local flavors and origin. Are you into fishing? So is Luis and he is an indispensable source of knowledge that comes from working in the fisheries department in and around Glover's reef. Ronald, Seth, and Douglas are excellent boat captians. I have seen them handle their crafts in rough passage with ease. The Island is kept in lovely condition by Sappo, Miss Brenda, Elmar, and Celvin. If thirst is an issue for you Ally and Tara have whatever tonic you need at the bar. Evening shark feedings are complementary ala Luis. Amazing and plentiful flora and fauna are readily accessible by snorkel trip too. One does not need to dive to see an amazing array of marine life. I do want to specify that it is a remote Island and if a Five star hotel experience is what you are looking for this may not be your best option. However, for the remoteness of the location and the peace and quiet that this offers the accomodations are more than adequate. Visitors from neighboring Cays continually remarked that Isla Marisol was superior to their accomodations. Lucky me to have come here first. I will certainly return and have already recommended this location to many sun starved Washingtonians. Its awesome at Marisol. You better Belize it!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank E T
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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