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“Proper Caribbean Experience and Good Diving”

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Glover's Atoll Resort
Level Contributor
58 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Proper Caribbean Experience and Good Diving”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 19, 2013

We have stayed on this island in over New years for a week.
We had our tent so we stayed on the beach. It took them 3h by boat to get there, which was good fun watching all this little island on the way to atoll.
Very laid back atmosphere, which we loved. Time stopped there.
Very basic, accommodation on the island, however you pay very little for it.

Family who run this resort were very friendly and helpfull.
Diving was very good gor caribbean standards and fairly priced.
We have rented kayaks and strolled along edge of the reef for miles.
It is very good idea if you have diving shoes to walk on the edge of the beach.
It is possible to fish there, catch release only, since this is a park now.
You can keep your catch outside the park few miles from there.
Restaurant food was excellent, all the food mainly fish, crabs or lobsters were cought few hours before. Its a perfect quiet retreat, no one hussle you, just relax and enjoy beauty of this place.
Definately we will come back in the future, to see how things changed.
It is also perfect place to get your PADI :)

Room Tip: Cabanas closer to the outer reef have better breeze and few mosquitos.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank globetrottterrr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
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10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 10, 2013

This is luxury camping with a great staff in a stunning environment. If that's all you need to be happy, go here. If you want a vacation where you wake up within an hour or two of the sun rising simply for the JOY of being awake and getting to appreciate every moment possible on the island (beautiful sunshine & views, incredible diving and snorkeling, and laid back atmosphere) then come here. If you're looking for a vacation where you can dress up or be formal in any way or have people constantly at your beck and call - then save this place for another time.

The staff is polite and does go out of their way to make your stay pleasant, but they do this discretely. For example, the cook will casually ask what you like to eat and he'll remember your answers and apply what you say to any meal he prepares for you. The cooking is excellent, although they are not formally trained cooks. So if you have less common food requests such as allergies, vegetarianism, vegan, gluten free, etc. diets then cook for yourself, although the cook will try his best to accommodate your needs but be specific. Many people around the world don't realize that having gravy or fish or meat broth in a meal violates vegetarian or vegan diets, so... sometimes you just have to make sure you communicate what you expect. This isn't the US, so standards of "cleanliness" are different, but I have an extremely sensitive stomach and did not get sick during my whole trip to Belize. Other examples of the excellent staff: another employee will see you spend an hour trying to master coconut dissection and then provide you with free, cut coconuts and straws for the rest of the week. The employees don't come right out and say "How can I help you ma'am" - but they do want you to enjoy your stay, because they're nice people. So make friends and appreciate each others company. Consider that the staff sometimes spends months on the island without leaving, hanging out regularly only with each other, and having to say goodbye to guests at the end of every week. It's not an easy life. Be nice! The dive master Brian is a cool, casual dude who I felt very safe with and taken care of when we went diving and scuba-ing.

Several other reviewers here compare the price to this place to other private island resorts that are more upscale with more luxuries for the same cost or less and I don't know WTF those comments are about. If you're able to get on the Glover's Atoll Resort Sunday to Saturday schedule, where the boat transportation is included, if you cook some of your own meals (and even if you eat all your meals in the restaurant), snorkel off the island, rent a kayak a few times, snorkel and scuba a few times with the boat AND stay in an above water hut, I sincerely believe this place is significantly less expensive than the other private island resorts I looked into. I looked at camping at other private island resorts, where I would have been charged $15US a day and $250 for transportation to the island and another $250 for transportation back to the mainland. (Lets do some quick math. $250 x 2 way transportation + $15 x 6 nights = $590 for one person, camping, and nothing like dishes or a stove provided... so I'd have to haul all that gear. I paid less than $650 for my entire trip to the island, which included a private above water hut, SCUBA, snorkel, 12 restaurant meals, banana bread, limited internet use and kayak rentals). I feel privileged for being able to spend a week on this island and I sincerely appreciate that the owners charge what they do, which allowed me to afford a visit to an incredible private island.

I travel inexpensively and would have been content to stay in the dorm or camp and many people enjoyed their experience doing that. However, I'd suggest that you cheapen out on food and instead eat the conch and coconuts that are all around the island (and FREE) for every meal, and OPT FOR THE ABOVE WATER HUT UPGRADE!!!!!!!!! I read other reviewers who recommended this too and I actually rolled my eyes at their excess. But, I did end up in an above water hut. I felt so pleased with myself. Like I was royalty in my lovely above water cabin. I watched sharks and stingrays while I read and relaxed on my private deck. I loved hearing the water all night and sitting under the lovely stars, waking up to a view of the ocean and jumping out of bed to see what marine life was hanging around my private walkway to the island.

A few tips that I haven't already read from the other reviews:
- Bring baby powder. You'll appreciate it if your rear is sensitive to sitting in a wet bathing suit all day. And change into a dry suit any time you're out of the water, as soon as you can.
- I brought a mosquito net for my above water hut, but never even opened it. You need bug spray if you travel to Belize, but the bugs were not bad on the island in April.
- Bugs ARE bad at Sittee River, stay overnight in Hopkins as others have recommended and lather on the bug spray BEFORE you get to Sittee River.
- If you're a girl, bring a DIVA Cup. I had no issue using the well water to rinse mine. This tip will change your life. Tell your friends.
- If you don't have a ton of vacation time and want to maximize your trip, consider flying from Belize City International Airport to Dangriga - will cost you around 87$ (US - ask the airline for a discount) and then bus to Hopkins, sleep in a hotel/guesthouse, then taxi to Sittee River. If possible, experience the bus trip from Belize City to Belmopan to Dangriga to Hopkins and then taxi to Sittee River. Time difference: 20 minutes to fly and 3-5+ hours for bus/taxi. If you land at Belize City International Airport, there is a $25 (US$) flat fee to get from the airport to the bus terminal, it's about $30 (Belize/$15US) for the various buses plus the taxi from Hopkins to Sittee River. Not a HUGE price difference. Depends on your needs and priorities.
- Don't bring watercolor paint, your paintings will never dry. : (
- Buy a snorkel with a design that purges the water for you - something like: at Amazon: New Oceanic Ultra Dry Flexible Purge Snorkel for Scuba Divers & Snorkelers - 100% Dry
- Bring a pair of socks to wear while snorkeling to protect your heals from rubbing

The day I arrived home, I was looking at airfare to return. I hope you enjoy your trip as much as I did. Thank you to everyone who made my experience great!

Room Tip: Above water hut.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
10 Thank MollyMuffin7422
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Helena, Montana
Level Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2013

By doing some homework using the Lonely Planet Guide to Belize, Glover's Atoll web site and emailing Marsha-Jo Lamont (the owner) ahead of time, we were very aware of what Glover's Atoll Resort was and wasn't and it was exactly what we were looking for. Primitive, quiet setting, great snorkeling, great food, great fishing and accomodating staff to get you where you needed to go. Who could complain about fresh fish and conch for dinner every night??? You did have to ASK for what you wanted/needed.....I appreciated the staff not being in my business all the time wondering what I needed, where I wanted to go, etc. We learned during the initial island tour that if you needed something, ASK. I would say that the 3 other recent reviews may have been looking for a different experience. Although there was a set price for the accommodations including a glorious ride on a 45 foot catamaran, everything else was an "add on"...again, that was clearly explained to us. The over the water cabana we stayed in was glorious.... We came on "schedule" meaning from Sittee River from Sunday to Saturday and were given a very good tour of the island. Quite a few people arrived throughout the week for shorter stays and I doubt you would be given a tour. Although we mainly cooked ourselves with a very nice set up in our cabana, the last night we treated ourselves to dinner at the lodge......FABULOUS! Wahoo, seafood pasta and beautifully prepared veges...Becky and her staff were excellent cooks. I also had conch stew one day for lunch with bread and watermelon. There were a few things that were a bit of a scramble (getting a cooler to start, getting fish one day, figuring a few things out), ask and you shall receive....

Room Tip: Ask for an over the water cabana and get confirmation from Marsha-Jo that is what you are getting. I...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank JEDHH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2013

The island is beautiful. Snorkeling was out of this world. The food they prepared was fabulously tasty. However (and it is a big however), there appeared a lack of upkeep, and a forced "Gilligan's Island" kind of feel that was not necessary. Quaint for the sake of quaint. Many aspects of our stay could have been made nicer especially for the price that was charged. Costs were poorly explained and it came out double of what we anticipated. We were never given a proper orientation to the pecularities of island life and had to search for appropriate personnel to explain them to us. It appeared that many were repeat guests and so it was assumed that they would explain stuff to us. We were housed in "the dorm" for the first nite which was unbearablly damp with bedding that I would have burned rather than sleep on. When we got to stay in the cabanas, there were broken decks, doors that didn't properly close, however it was a true step up from "the dorm". Its an interesting place with a very communal feel (which is nice) but I'm not sure I will be returning.

Room Tip: Never stay at the dorm. Best places are the cabanas on the water. Scenery is breathtaking. But ge...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank teka0050
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2013

I spent a month in Belize in March 2013, and found it a wonderfully friendly, interesting place with cheap buses, easy-to-reach attractions, amazing beaches, nice jungle and terrific people who take great pride in their country. If you've never been there, go - it's a very cool country.

I am an extremely experienced traveller (30 years+, everything from pure wilderness to semi-luxury with plenty of third world countries thrown in along the way). I've also been a travel agent and worked in different aspects of the hospitality industry. This is the first Tripadvisor review I've written which has anything negative to say, but there are, unfortunately, several serious concerns about Glovers Atoll Resort that potential visitors to the place should be aware of, when selecting between this and other coral cay holiday options in Belize.

Firstly, I don't consider their website to be an accurate reflection of the place. It's called Glover's Atoll Resort and Island Lodge. A, it's not a resort by any definition, and B, there is no island lodge there. Also, there is little mention of the bugs - even though it's a tiny island (you can walk around it in five minutes) it does have spiders (interesting) and sandlflies (annoying). A couple who volunteered to do some dead palm-frond clearing in the centre of the island emerged with ticks on their legs. Other have reported scorpions. I didn't notice any mosquitoes during my stay, but I did squish a flea that hopped onto my arm the day I got there. This (and the ticks) may have been introduced with the help of the numerous pet dogs the owner has running around the island, including a couple of german shepherds. One of these dogs bit a visitor while I was on the island. If I was surprised to see pet dogs on a World Heritage listed coral cay, I was even more astonished on the first day to see a staff member pointing a hunting rifle up toward the top of a tree. I asked him what he was trying to shoot, and he said "one of those black birds" - the long-tailed equivalent of a crow, common in Belize. Taking potshots at birds on a World Heritage Marine Preserve? Hmmm.

You know it's a Marine Preserve because the moment you step off the boat a couple of rangers are there in uniform to take the required fee off you. I never saw them again during my stay.

On the website's Activities' page, there's a photo of a modern, freshly painted diving boat with shade covering, full of happy divers. Don't expect to see this boat there - I never did. The only boat spotted with any kind of shade was the catamaran.

Their site describes the island as "White sand, coral and coconut trees left in their natural state on top of pristine reef". Well, not quite. While wandering the island one will come upon a garbage pile (supposed to be 'garbage pit' but it's a pile, 12 feet wide and six feet tall). It just sits near the beach, not confined by any barrier, not covered by any tarp, not restrained at all. It's got everything - old rotting fruit/vegatables, cartons, wood, assorted debris and plenty of plastic, big and small. The wind picks up this garbage and moves it around. The management will try to tell you most of the plastic spoons, bottle caps, syringe tubes, styrofoam chunks and bucket lids bobbing past your 'pristine' bungalow just float in from the blue ocean, and the staff can't possibly keep up with it all. Not so. I spent a day (it was too windy and cloudy for snorkelling) voluntarily taking a big plastic bag and collecting some of this high-tide rubbish for them. I got about 20 kilos of (mostly plastic) junk, filled the bag and only scratched the surface. But it's definitely not too big a job, if it was done briefly as an everyday thing by the people who own this place. Not a priority, it seems. I would suggest that a good proportion of this plastic doesn't float in from the open sea - it gets blown there from the rubbish mound. When I asked what happens with this trash pile, I was told "it's burned". Well, if so, it looked like it hadn't been burned for at least a month when I was there. Why can't rubbish be shipped off the island?

There is also an unsightly junkyard area surrounding the main work shed. Rusted old metal parts, length of PVC piping, assorted bits of wood and general debris scattered haphazardly over a wide area. This is an inexcusable eyesore on a World Heritage listed island. Is it that hard to stow what you use away, and discard the junk you'll never need off the island?

Then there's the "week's stay for $300 USD". OK, sure, if you consider 5 and a half days to be a week. You get there Sunday afternoon (don't count on arriving in the morning as promised) and leave early Saturday morning. So, don't divide your $300 by 7 - divide it by 5.5 to get your actual daily rate.

I stayed 4 days in an over-water bunglow. Rustic but quite nice with a comfy bed, and good value for money. I blocked out some of the excess wind (the island can get very windy) by shoving a couple of spare pillows in the gaping wall cracks. Mine was newer than some of the others and I was fine - a guy in one of the other huts had a leaky thatched roof and got rained on straight through it. Because a big group was coming in on day 5, I had to be bumped to one of the island's fixed tents (there were three set up when I was there). I had been warned ahead of time so this wasn't a problem. The tent was old and probably not an ideal shape for such a windblown place, the zipper seam was tattered, and the pole collapsed in on itself after a big gust. But at least the zipper zipped. Another visitor had an even worse one with a broken zipper (wouldn't close at all), and ended up with dozens of night-time sandfly bites all over his legs as a result.

When I arrived there were only half a dozen guests. When I left, about 40. This made this tiny place pretty crowded, especially with just the two toilets and showers. If you stay in the dorm (two four-bed rooms), it's directly above the communal kitchen area, so beware - it can get noisy at night when crowded.

I'm a keen kayaker, but the kayaks here were overpriced, so I didn't use them. At $150 for the week, there weren't many takers.

There are also thatched beach huts. One couple had cracks in the walls so big there was only one tiny spot in one corner of their hut where the relentless wind wouldn't blow out their kerosene lantern. Speaking of gaping slats, don't shower during the daytime unless you are completely without modesty. The flimsy shower doors are a bit see-through.

You can buy drinking water on the island. There is also well water. They advise you not to drink this or cook with it, as you will get sick. Good advice. Personally, I wouldn't be washing any pots/utensils in it either. Use a bucket of sea water instead. The well water does not smell too good.

The island has a 'restaurant' - a couple of long tables and chairs off the tiny kitchen. I'm told that the owner/manager is a decent cook, but she never cooked while I was there. In fact, despite being the sole person actually running the place or capable of answering questions a guest might have, I only saw her twice during my week - for about 20 seconds each time. In any case, I had one dinner there. I thought some fresh fish would be a nice change from my own self-cooked pasta (the island has cooking facilities for those who bring their own food). I was served spaghetti. Not bad, plentiful portions, though I honestly couldn't tell if the sauce had meat in it or not. A fellow who ate several meals there told me one of his dinners consisted of cold mashed potatoes, cole slaw and rice - that's it. He was also served raw sausage on another occasion. It appears the 'chef' was a 17-year old Belizean kid who was a nice enough young man, but simply didn't know how to cook, perhaps drafted into the position hastily because there was simply no one else to do it. Obviously, if you have any special dietary requirements, bring your own food - this island will be either incapable or unwilling to cater for you.

Which brings me to the subject of service. Essentially, there is none. If you are a totally self-sufficient camper, make absolutely no demands, keep to yourself, pay your money and leave quietly, you might make out okay. But if you have even the simplest request or query, keep your expectations low. Staff are reluctant to answer "When will the boat be leaving?" because advertised departure times mean absolutely nothing here. My boat to Glovers was over 3 hours late, and the one going back late as well. They like guests to be prompt, i.e. "Please pay your bill by 4 pm Friday WITHOUT BEING ASKED" (their caps, not mine), and "Please have your bags on the dock and ready to go for a 7 am departure". I was ready to pay my bill all day Friday but couldn't find anyone to take my money until about 5 pm. And the boat definitely didn't depart next morning at 7 am.

The white catamaran on the website is indeed lovely (I saw it briefyl), but chances are you'll be carted across to the island instead on one of their open skiffs, crammed 4 across a seat, rain and sea spash hitting your face (I had the skiff both trips). It can get pretty choppy, there's no shade and the life jackets on display looked minimalist. Presumably these boats always carry a sat phone (there's no marine radio on board). It's a 3 (at least) hour trip, 45 miles one way.

The snorkelling is exceptional, the water clear and the island is wonderfully isolated. Beautifully colored fish, nurse sharks, turtles, barracuda, plenty of rays, staghorn and brain coral, delicate purple sea fans, conch shells lying around, etc. At night, visit the coconut husking area to spotlight for hermit crabs - some bigger than your hand. You'll meet great people (thank you awesome Quebec couple for the dinner invite of fresh-grilled kingfish!), and unplug from the concrete world. Allison (the dive instructor) was competent, hard-working, and deserves special mention for her professionalism. The Belizean staff were friendly and helpful (one guy helped re-right that flimsy tent after the wind knocked it down). As for the ownership/management, one gets the distinct impression they really just can't be bothered. They've let this beautiful island get run-down and neglected, they can't seem to keep to any kind of schedule, they keep their staff in a state of fear (volatile tantrums are not uncommon, one informed me), and they appear to be putting in the minimum effort they can get away with. Which is a real shame. This place could be the jewel in the crown of Belize tourism, instead of an embarrassment. They don't mind getting the extra business that being World Heritage Listed brings them, but from what I saw, display no real understanding of the responsibilities of protecting and maintaining the island. A main goal of World Heritage Listing is to "protect the site for future generations". The Belize Government/Tourist Board should at least demand that these people adhere to some basic minimal standards. In the right hands this place could be so amazing. I think people would be happy to pay a bit more more for a friendly, efficient management that has some understanding of what the word 'hospitality' means, are less shoddy in their communication with both customers and their own staff, can stick to schedules, don't fob people off when a question is too hard (their most common staff response is "I don't know"), and have an attitude that takes the term "eco-friendly" seriously, not just as a catch-phrase to attract more people so you can take their money. At the very least, Glovers Atoll Resort's status as World Heritage Listed is, in its present state and under its current management, ridiculous.

I would re-iterate others' advice that Sittee River is okay, but you can just as easily stay in Hopkins (much better food shopping) and make a quick dash to the docks at Glover's Guest House) on the morning of departure. However, do not expect any less sandflies in Hopkins than you get in Sittee River! If you do stay at Glover's Guest House, make sure you take one of their canoes out on the river in the late afternoon - good chance you'll spot a big iguana in the trees.

Cheers, Kevin Casey

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
46 Thank Kevin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Glovers Reef Atoll hotels

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
57 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2013

I don't like giving Glover's a poor rating, but I don't feel like I have much choice. I'll start out by saying that the diving there is phenomenal, and most of the staff were great. Read the other reviews and you will get a sense of the place. It's more of a camping experience than a resort experience, so if you need amenities this isn't the best choice for you. Here's the reason for my poor rating: the week I was there was very slow for Glover's. I had reserved a beach cabin for the week. When we got there, I asked if I could upgrade to over-the-water. I was told I could, but that I would have to move back to the beach cabin or the dorm on Friday, which would be my last day. One of my fellow travelers made the same arrangement. Well Thursday came, and we were both told that we had to move out, and that, mysteriously, the beach cabins we had rented for the week were no longer available. We both ended up in tents. There was no apology or discussion of what happened to the beach cabin availability or explanation of why we were moving on Thursday, not Friday. What would have happened if we had just stayed in our beach cabins from day 1? The entrance to my particular tent did not zip closed, and consequently I was pretty much devoured by sand fleas. Meal quality was another annoyance. One night my dinner consisted of not-quite-warm mashed potatoes, rice, and cole slaw. The final contributing factor to the poor rating revolves around overall communication. Emails are often simply ignored throughout the reservation process. When I was leaving, one of the dive masters indicated to me that he had some photos to share and that I should email Becky and ask her to forward my email address to him so that he could send them. I have sent two separate emails making a very simple request: 'please forward my email address to Paul so he can send me some photos.' Never got a response, and I don't have any photos.

Some other things you might want to know: There are four or five resorts at Glover's Atoll, which includes four islands. This particular property is the only one on its island, so you have the place to yourself.t's small -- maybe 15 minutes to walk the entire circumference. As others have noted, it's quite beautiful and very rustic. Potable water is limited. Many people bring their own 5 gallon containers from the mainland. The cabins have no sink, bathroom, or running water. There is no ice and no hot water and drinks are warm and showers are cool (but not cold). The rental dive equipment varies greatly in quality. The wetsuits were in bad shape, with tears and holes. They really need to be replaced. The BCDs were new. My first regulator leaked a steady stream of bubbles from the second stage, although my replacement was fine. Many of the tanks have no legible inspection stickers, although this was consistent with my two other Belize diving experiences. Sittee is a pain to get to. There is no direct bus service to Sittee, and there is very limited service (2 buses a day) to Hopkins (which is a short cab ride from Sittee) from Dangriga. I arrived at Dangriga a little after noon and the next bus to Hopkins wasn't until 5pm or so. I opted for a $40US cab ride from Dangriga to Sittee. Some people are advised to exit the bus at the highway junction with Sittee and hitch a ride or walk to the guesthouse from there. Just be aware that this is probably a 4 or 5 mile walk and you may not even see a car while you hike it, as most vehicle traffic goes through Hopkins. The guesthouse in Sittee is also quite rustic, on the river in the jungle. Great birding and wildlife abounds, but do not forget your high quality bug repellent. If you are bringing your own food, buy it in Dangriga. Hopkins has very limited choices and there's really nothing available in Sittee. In addition to small flashlights for each person, a battery-powered lantern will make life easier in the cabins. The kerosene lanterns provided don't throw a lot of light and may be difficult to keep lit depending on where the wind is coming from, as the latter blows through the gaps in the cabin slats. Bring foul weather gear for the trip from Sittee to the island and back. While they have a larger motorized catamaran they can use for transportation, both my trip out and return were done in a small coastal boat that had no weather protection and was really not intended for ocean crossings. The way out was wet due to ocean spray, and the return went through two rainstorms. I didn't inspect, but it's a fair assumption that this craft does not have any safety equipment beyond life jackets. No antenna, so no marine radio, and no installed navigation gear. I grew up boating and, to be honest, using this particular craft for a 45 mile ocean trip in choppy seas made me nervous. In talking with some of my fellow island inhabitants, I wasn't the only one.

This place has a slew of honest reviews, and if you go you should know pretty much what to expect. There may not be another Caribbean Island that offers such affordable isolation, and clearly many visitors have outstanding experiences. Personally, if I return to Glovers I'll stay somewhere else.

Room Tip: If you are staying in a cabin, go for over the water rather than beach. Be attentive to wind directi...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
6 Thank michaelszippy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Olivos, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 5, 2013

Our family of marine biologists with 10-year-old twin boys spent a week in paradise at Glover's Atoll Resort. Your experience will depend upon your expectations. If you are comfortable without electricity, living amidst the tropical elements of sun, wind, an old growth coconut forest, shades of aquamarine, and watercolor sunsets when most visitors gather on the dock to watch sharks, rays, and low-flying frigate birds gather for feeding time when Warren and his crew fillet fish and throw the scraps into the water, then keep reading. If you value the opportunity to snorkel in the shallows and scuba dive on the top edge of steep walls in a World Heritage Site and marine reserve, you will come away inspired and fulfilled (and bring your Caribbean reef field guides or spend time upstairs with theirs in their library/restaurant/office). Glover's Atoll Resort is a window into a Caribbean paradise. The diving is as good as it gets, and this is coming from someone who spent a year as a student and intern at the School for Field Studies in South Caicos many years ago. It's a treasure. The Glover's dive masters - Brian and Alison - are likewise as good as they come - knowledgeable, passionate, dedicated, authentic, professional, and fun.

But don't expect mints on your pillows, and be prepared to bring your items of comfort from home - camping cookware, plates, and utensils if you have them (their stuff is a bit clunky and gets rusty from being rinsed in seawater), an LED lantern to complement their kerosene lantern, flashlights, colorful fabrics and dish towels to make your hut look even more beautiful, line to hang for a clothesline, your favorite pillow, a deck of cards... Also, bring your dry foods from home - rice, flour tortillas (will keep at least for several days), granola, instant coffee, powdered milk, clif or luna bars, nuts, m&ms, powdered beans or potatoes or soup mixes, parmesan, powdered gatorade (classic backpacking fare). Buy bulkier stuff in Dangriga - fruit, plantains, cabbage, limes, jam, hot sauce. Buy your beer and rum at the marina when the Sunday morning catamaran makes a stop there on the way out (and ask ahead to confirm that you'll be stopping there). Buy your good drinking water in 5-gallon carboys on the island. And if you can avoid a cooler, it will make your life easier and tidier. Keep your beer cool with a wet washcloth in the wind; adapt your expectations of "chilled." Buy your fresh fish at the dock when Warren brings the catch in; and pay attention to when he goes fishing because it doesn't happen every day. If you buy more fish than you can eat for a given meal, they'll keep the fillets chilled for you. Stoves are provided in the huts, and the propane tanks are all old steel scuba tanks (totally authentic). Eat a meal or a few in the restaurant to be social. Get to know the people you're there with.

Here's the thing that we loved so much about Glover's Atoll Resort, and why we would have rather been there than a typical resort. You get to experience the tropical elements in their fullness - wind, squalls, sun (bring plenty of good sunscreen), coral reefs, coconuts, solid tropical hardwood woodworking, ospreys, sea grapes, and long docks. When you're there, you're really there; there's no veneer or insulation. Our hut over the water was gorgeous (even if it was hard to keep the enormous wooden doors closed in heavy winds). If you want to live more like you're camping or in a hostel, then you can do so. The island requires you to be a bit inventive and to improvise some solutions for daily living. It's real. It's satisfying. We have found our Point South, and we plan to return every year or every other year. This is the Caribbean that we want to be in our boys' blood.

Having emoted about how wonderful it all is, be aware that communication ahead of time may unnerve you a bit. We paid in full many months ahead, and then never heard back when I looked for email confirmation as the time for our trip drew near. The Glover's Guest House was a bit crowded, and we stayed in the dorm because that's what was available when we arrived in the evening; thankfully there was space available at all, as most of the other guests arrived earlier, though some arrived after us, and we shared space in the dorm. But it all worked out, in fact, as good as we could possibly hope, particularly once we got to the island. One thing I was nervous about was that we had to leave a day before the Saturday morning group departure back to the mainland, and I worried a lot about whether we could arrive in Dangriga in time for a noon flight on Friday. Once we got to the island, communication was easy, and we made the Friday morning boat taxi connection no problem, in fact, with enough time to buy hammocks at the Dangriga market, as Becky had suggested, before getting on the flight to the international airport. This may well be one of the best lessons of going to Glover's, but one that requires letting go a bit: Things work out. Be patient, be friendly. Open yourself to the kind people around you, and listen to them. Things have a way of working out.

Next time, we're going for longer.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Lise-Jeff
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Glover's Atoll Resort

Property: Glover's Atoll Resort
Address: North East Caye, Glovers Reef Atoll, Belize
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Glovers Reef Atoll
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Glovers Reef Atoll
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are a Lodge, a Private island lodge located on Glover's Reef.We also have over the water cabins, thatch beach cabins, dorms and camping. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Glover`s Atoll Hotel Glovers Reef Atoll
Glovers Atoll Hotel
Glovers Atoll Belize City
Glover's Atoll Resort Belize/Glovers Reef Atoll

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