Turneffe Island Resort was our top choice for our scuba diving honeymoon. Overall, it was everything people raved about and more-we couldn't have been more pleased! Although a bit pricey and not completely an “all inclusive” resort (no alcohol or tips included), the experiences were one of a kind and the people we met were unforgettable.
We landed in Belize City, transportation took us to the Radisson Hotel which is the departure point for the boat to go to the resort. There, we had drinks and lunch before climbing aboard. The water was a bit rough-we were fine but of course you may want to considered bonine or Dramamine before any long excursions. Once on the island, our baggage was carried to our room, we were given time to settle in and enjoy the property then we were to meet for dinner to have an orientation of the resort. We arrived on a Saturday- you could also arrive on a Wednesday, however due to the nature of the Blue Hole dive, we wanted extra time between diving so deep and flying.
The food was amazing, in fact our meals were so good I purchased a Turneffe Island cookbook so I can prepare these delights for my husband to remind us both of our amazing honeymoon. Water, lemonade and iced tea are complimentary however any soda or alcohol is charged on a bar tab. The only downfall regarding food is that there was little flexibility regarding meal time. Meals are served family style, which we enjoyed especially after diving. It gave us time to reflect on our dives and share other adventures with those staying at the resort. However, it was our honeymoon and we would have liked to spend a few dinners alone or perhaps arrive later in the morning around 10 am for breakfast. The schedule is this way due to the activities: Diving typically begins around 8 am therefore breakfast is early. The kitchen crew provides delicious snacks through the day though, usually a hot snack and then plantain chips and cookies. We certainly didn’t go hungry (nor thirsty! Thanks George!) and enjoyed the daily drink specials each afternoon by the pool. George, the bar tender makes sure everyone, young and old, are taken care of whether you want a cocktail and a few good jokes or a sprite and a mind boggling bar-game. He even helped my husband turn a fallen coconut into a delicious drink in the late morning!
Service was outstanding, each morning we were brought either tea, coffee or hot chocolate along with a weather report and a wellness tip of the day. Our beds were turned down with a little poem enclosed with a wax seal which I saved as a momento from our honeymoon. Crabtree and Evelyn products are included for soap, lotion and shampoo. A spa is available for those who want a massage or mani-pedi.. I did not have a massage but another woman did who said it was fantastic. Eddie in the office was extremely helpful and he is the dog whisperer to Gator (cute, but he bites if you surprise him!) and Cashew. The other dog is very shy and rarely comes over but it was nice seeing the dogs here- it made us not miss our own pup as much. If you have any questions with your bill, Eddie is very knowledgeable and helped us. The entire staff was excellent, there were even staff and guest volleyball games taking place during some afternoons:)
The dive shop crew was very helpful and professional. I felt spoiled, as they made sure everything was set up for us each dive after our first “check out” dive. They ask that you take care of your mask, fins, snorkel and any wetsuit/booties you may have and they take care of your tank, bcd and regulator. Each diver is required to wear a computer which I had never used before my stay at Turneffe (I am about 33 dives in now) but Daniel assisted us and it helped us maximize our dive time while still being safe. My husband and I took the Nitrox course, did the coursework and test on our time and had to watch a dvd to pass. I am glad we did this, as our no decompression time was never an issue. We were given about 32% O2 for dives and between 3000-4000 psi so most dives were ~60 min 60 feet or less. They helped us into our gear, sprayed antifog for us, helped us when getting back in the boat and we all looked forward to oranges after each dive as a nice treat to rid our mouths of the salt water taste. Dive masters pointed out organisms daily and we saw different things on each dive. Brad-dive boat captain and dive master, hunted lion fish and fed them to grouper for us to witness. Marcel - dive master, knowledgeable and gives lots of tips and reminders making dives safe and enjoyable. Daniel- helped us with the Nitrox course along with Eddie, writes down the name of creatures he sees on a tablet. One really nice thing about diving here is that at the end of your stay, they print out a table of each dive, the depth and length of time (we gave this after each dive from our computers), a description of the organisms we saw and the date. It was so nice and helpful for filling out our dive logs, especially since on the days we did 3 dives (including night dives!) we just wanted to relax afterward and not record.
Certainly the Blue Hole Trip was special for us, as we saw multiple sharks swimming close and the structures of the underwater caves were breathtaking. The other dive spots that we hit on the same day were very good, we saw a wide variety of life including turtles, rays (eagle and southern sting rays), eels and of course many fish. Even the docks that had been ruined by the hurricanes out in front of the resort had a plethora of life underneath-urchins, shrimp, and a nurse shark! We even saw Caiman Crocodiles and a manatee swimming –very cool!
The night before we left, there was a Belizean barbeque complete with delicious meat and lobster, side salads of all kinds and even a hermit crab race! The sort of fun you will have here revolves around nature and being in the company of good friends. There were only around 20 guests or so on the island when we stayed, it can accommodate just above 40. Do not come here if you want a club-nightlife scene or casino or super kid friendly resort. Kids could have fun here if they are able to entertain themselves a bit and enjoy nature- no cartoons or stores to buy trinkets (although if you need a souvenir t-shirt or sunscreen the office has some). Even the typical honeymooner may not be over-enthusiastic if they are not willing to hang out with people other than their spouse or want a lot of meal-time flexibility.
Tipping was a bit confusing for most, in fact a group of four of us tried figuring out what we would do over some drinks the last night of the stay. It is suggested that you tip almost everyone including the maintenance crew and such. We used our discretion and tipped as if it were not all-inclusive to whom we thought we should. Beware that the diving does run the tab pretty high due to renting equipment and tanks, especially nitrox which is more expensive (although by taking the course we had some free nitrox dives). We were sad to leave but are excited to perhaps one day come back again! Go here if you are a serious diver, snorkeler or fisher-person. You will not be sorry.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Turneffe Island Resort is a secluded 14-acre private island located 35 miles off the coast of Belize. We offer 7 night, 4-night, and 3-night Diving, Fishing and Resort packages. Packages include airport transfers, deluxe lodge accommodations, scheduled activities, all meals and hors d’oeuvres served throughout the day. All accommodations are located on white sandy beaches. All rooms include indoor and outdoor showers and spectacular ocean views. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Turneffe Island Hotel Turneffe Islands
- Turneffe Island Lodge