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“All good, above and below the water”

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Isla Marisol Resort
Certificate of Excellence
vancouver
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“All good, above and below the water”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 8, 2013

We really enjoyed our stay at Isla.
"I've done 2500 scuba dives in my life and that's the clearest water ever. Best visibility"
The overall experience is amazing. If your a diver the diving is world class, If you just love tropical perfect places that make you understand the word Paradise. Then this is the place.
The boats the dive gear the food the bar the rooms the beaches all the exact way they should be.
If you want the best transfer boat to that area they have it. This is a picture perfect island in the middle of one of the best ocean environments anywhere.
Its amazing how they provide you with the all the modern amenities.
Its not a five star hotel.Its a five star island paradise.
Just go, dont think twice.

Room Tip: there are a coupe that touch the water we liked those
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vancouvertigerlily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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188 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
36 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 29, 2013

Isla Marisol is just paradise. The water and views are stunning. The food, although served kind of summer camp style, was fabulous. One in our party had dairy intolerance and gluten intolerance and the cooks made wonderful accommodations.

Every staff person is friendly and nice. My boys loved hanging out with the boat guys.

Although meal times are set (sort of), you can do whatever you want all day -- snorkel, paddleboard, kayak, swim, or laze in the hammock. The temperature was heavenly -- warm but with nice breezes.

The only small negative is the sand fleas....they don't seem bad at first, and then the itching starts.... Bring your bug spray.

If you must be wired in at every moment, or get upset if the electricity goes out, this is not the place for you. But, if you want a relaxing, calm, Belize experience, this is the place.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank KimandFamily4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dallas
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013 via mobile

My sister and I stayed here in early May. When they picked us up to take us out to the island they said something about the other people that were to be going out there with us changed plans and were coming out later. What we didn't know until we stepped off the boat, was that we were the ONLY guests on the island. We felt like movie stars or something. Obviously, the service was completely catered to our every want and need and even then, they blew us away. We had our own cook, three guides and an entire island to ourselves.

The food was amazing. Fish that was swimming that morning was in our bellies that afternoon. We hung out at the bar in the evenings with the 'locals' and by that I mean, people coming in off their sail boats, researchers from one of the neighboring islands on the atoll and all the staff. Music, booze and great company...can't beat it.

We did the 4-day snorkel tour so they took us out twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. We saw nurse shark, lobster, rays and crazy amounts of fish. Oh! And dolphins on the way out to the island the first day, on the 36-mile trek across open ocean to get there. The second day we snorkeled we asked them to take us out on the kayaks. That was very cool. We paddled almost all the way to another island, got out and snorkeled right there. Awesome!

Our cabana was amazing. We had one at the opposite end of the island from the dock. It was literally feet from the water and kind of on its own little bay. We would get up, put our masks and snorkels on and tootle around right there in our own private aquarium. I couldn't get enough. My sister chose to sunbathe a lot of the time, which was also a perfect way to spend the morning or afternoon.

The island was beyond amazing. The people were beyond amazing and so was the food. Even the two island dogs, Ninja and Cujo (that wasn't his name but he looked like a Cujo) were awesome. Sweet as could be. The owner came out to the island the last night we stayed, had drinks with us and even showed us around town back on the mainland because he went back with us the next day. Talk about V.I.P. treatment : )

If you're debating whether or not to go, go! It will be well worth it.

If any of the staff read this, hello from Dallas! Hope we get to see you all again someday soon!

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jenni m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2013

Isla Marisol is a great place to get away from it all, with beautiful views, amazing snorking, and gracious staff. The pace is laid back and you can lay in your porch hammock and do nothing. Or, you can swim, snorkle, dive, play volley ball, paddle about on stand up paddle boards or in kayaks, read paperback on your cabin porch and enjoy drinks at the bar at sunset.

If you are someone who gets upset if something doesn't work perfectly or is a minute late, Isla Marisol is not for you. But if you can get in a Belize mindset, you will have a wonderful time (and the staff will cut you a fresh coconut to drink from while you wait for the internet to resume).

The snorkling was awesome and the dive guides were great at pointing out interesting fish. The food was ample and tasty, and the staff were very accomodating to the lactose/gluten intolerant member of our group. All in all, we had a super vacation and would love to visit Isla Marisol again.

Room Tip: Our cabin on the water had fabulous views and the sound of the water lapping under the porch was ver...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Martha L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portsmouth, Virginia
Level Contributor
43 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2013

The previous reviews are right on the mark. There are a few minor inconveniences and plenty of joys at Isla Marisol that I don't need to repeat. However, this is all assuming that nothing goes wrong. And by that, I don't mean no hot water-- I mean wrong.

Other reviewers are correct that the ride to the island is rough, and that the boat makes several stops along the way. I had read reviews before the trip and had been prepared, or so I thought. My husband and I are an adventurous, outdoorsy couple in our mid-thirties, are used to roughing it, and have been on boats hundreds of times (my husband is a sailor, and we dive, snorkel, and whale watch any chance we can get) in all sorts of weather and surf, so we took anti-motion sickness medication and didn't think much of it, until we were taken to the boat in which we were to cross the sea. It was a tiny fishing dinghy (you can reach your arms across it), weighed down heavily with food and water for several resorts. We were given life jackets to wear, and without any warning, were given the ride of our lives. Within 30 seconds of entering the open ocean, we were completely soaked-- I mean down to dripping underwear, water up our noses and in our eyes, ears, and mouth --by ocean water and waves coming over the sides of the dinghy. There was a 6-7 foot swell, and the boat would rise off the waves at such a height and such a steep angle that you would lose sight of the horizon, seeing only the sky, and then the boat would slam back down onto the waves -- HARD. Really hard. It wasn't your normal washboard experience, it was getting hurled into the air, hanging for a few seconds, and then getting slammed down. Over and over. For hours. IN A DINGHY. We've been in rough seas before, and have many times experienced the situation I described, but in large enough, seaworthy vessels made for crossing oceans. It also rained on us, but that hardly mattered as we were completely soaked already. What mattered was that we feared for our lives. I thought that I might actually die, that we might get thrown off the boat, or that the boat would crack in half or flip over. We both independently thought (we were not speaking, as we were so scared and bent on survival) about the return trip, and how much a helicopter ride might cost instead. I screamed to the captain that I was scared. He very casually told me not to be scared. He then proceeded to tell us about two people who had died the previous week in a boat right where we were because the ocean was too rough.

We finally arrived to the island, and were given no apology, only an explanation that the biggest boat, the vessel normally used for ferrying passengers to and from the mainland, needed to be used for a large group of divers, and that the next largest boat was out of commission. In other words, the resort prioritized getting a group of divers out on the water over our safe passage. The resort might claim that it was safe, but it absolutely did NOT feel even remotely safe to us. Even if the captain did get us to the island alive, there was no warning of "it's going to be rough, but you'll be ok". The other guests at the resort were absolutely shocked when they heard that we made the crossing in the dinghy, as the trip is bad enough in the large double-decker boat.

We met the owner of the resort a few days later, and not surprisingly, he had not been told about the situation. He apologized and offered us each a free dive in compensation. We accepted, although we did not feel that one extra dive was worth what we had been through. I did not argue about it because I wanted a sincere acknowledgement of the situation rather than material compensation, and one cannot force that from someone.

Partway into our stay, we were hit with a severe tropical storm. A pair of divers went out right as things were starting to pick up (not sure why the resort thought that was ok), and the weather worsened as they were underwater. The swell got higher and the captain (different one from ours) was no longer able to follow the bubbles and LOST HIS DIVERS. He drove the boat back to the island without them. The divers and divemaster surfaced and there was NO BOAT to pick them up-- every diver's worst nightmare, come true. They had to swim for an hour, in high seas, back to the island. I believe that that captain was relieved of his duties.

In summary, Isla Marisol is a lovely place, but I would not trust them with your lives. In our situation, they had a choice to make in the vessel that they took us in across the open ocean. They made the wrong decision and gave us the most terrifying few hours of our lives. It was not an accident. It was a result of their poor judgement. I cannot imagine how it would have been if children or elderly people had been traveling and not us. In the case of the other divers, they made a poor judgement on the weather, and endangered the lives of the divers by stranding them out at sea.

We did manage to enjoy the beautiful reefs, the yummy food, and the sweet staff, which are the only reasons for my two-star rating instead of one, but the disregard for safety is what would absolutely keep us from coming back, even if we were offered a free trip. Not worth it, in my opinion. Both of the situations I described could have been prevented. What happens if an accident or emergency were to happen on Isla Marisol? I don't want to be there to find out.

If you go, make sure they promise that they will take you to the island in the big boat. And good luck.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank claratea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IMRGloversReef, Owner at Isla Marisol Resort, responded to this review, September 2, 2013
Dear Guest,

First off, As the manager of Isla Marisol Resort in no way was I trying to bribe you with a dive to compensate your travels to the Resort. Our Captain was instructed to change boat on his way in to pick you up from Dangriga and was instructed on his way out to change boat at Fantasy Island for your journeys out, unfortunately he made the decision to cross using our 25ft boat rather than our 38ft boat during your cross. I apologies for the rough ride by offering you a complimentary dive which you accepted.

As for the comments made on the diving, You we're not on the Boat or in the water with the dive master so you're repeating something which is not totally true. I'm enlighting you on what happened after discussing this with Mora our dive master for 12 yrs at the resort. Mora and Captain was out on the dive that morning, according to Mora the weather was fine going to the dive site and entering the water they had no problems, during the dive he heard the boat over head and the rain started. He was with a couple who had visited the resort before and dove with Mora before, once they surface from the dive they couldn't see the boat and the guest wanted to try and go directly to the reef near the lighthouse approximately 100yds away, Mora decided to guide the guest throughout the channel approximately 200yds ahead which due to the wave and current it took them 50 mins. to reach safety. During this treading water they could not see the boat Captian who never abandoned his position but was definitely not in position to see the divers. Once at the neighbor island on the beach, Mora and the security called the Boat Captian to come pick them up and returned to the island.

I've instructed Mora, all dive's will be done from Marisol using floating device to assure all guest they'll be pick-up from there dives and no dive are ever to go out in uncertain weather. I understand your upset about your boat ride out to the Island, It shouldn't have happened and yes the Captian was punished for his bad judgement. For 12 years operating Marisol we've been through all sort of weather from Mild hurricane and thunder storms. You made it sound as if we did this intentionally to you and your husband, I assure you our most important resource is our guest and we take pride in trying to offer you the best service and trip possible. The ocean change's with wind and currents. Our captian s are humans and sometime's over look what we're used to, that others might not think its natural or safe, i appreciate the sensitivity of your response to the remaining portion of your trip and as management its my responsibility to try and correct all matters pertaining to guest dissatisfaction as I'm doing today in hope's I'm apologizing to you and letting others know this is not a practice of the resort. Once more I hope by my response to you via trip advisor to say again we apologies for your travels on the small boat to Glovers Reef and also to let the world knows this was an error in judgement on our Captian but definitely not a trait we sponsor at the resort.

Isla Marisol Resort, it 36 mile's off the coast. the biggest boat we have is 45ft with twin diesel, any weather blowing in the range of 15 to 25 knots is consider dangerous and for 12 years we've made route's available that we can safely transfer our guest to meet there schedule departure or arrivals to the resort. some days its flat calm and you might feel we're charging too much for such a fast smooth ride, but when the weather is rough we usually prepare our guest for the crossing and we try our best to make sure safety is our number one priority. we travel almost every Sat. and Weds. to and from Isla Marisol Resort, the weather is one we cannot confirm with anyone but yet we make sure we arrive and depart within the schedule time sometime's even a little late just for you our guest to make sure everyone is happy at the end of the day and we don't get a report on Trip advisor saying we don't care or we're unsafe.

It's the little things that make a resort looks bad or sound bad, We're humans and we're trying daily to offer the best service to you our guest and when our Captians make bad judgement calls its our Job to control the situation and make sure it doesn't happen again. I hope I've clarified your issues by apologizing for the misjudgment and assure all other guest coming to the resort that this was just a bad judgement call on our Captian who lost his Job because of this review and will now need to seek a new position as we cannot afford another issues in the future..

Thanks for being concerned and highlighting our faults and we're correcting them immediately..

managemennt

Isla Marisol Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
79 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank L B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mark_Thorne
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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