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“Saks needs work, Consider Rum Point”

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Los Porticos Villas
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
A TripAdvisor Member
Santa Cruz, California
15
Reviewed April 23, 2006

Saks was, a few months ago, Kitty's Place. It was the reviews of Kitty's that brought us to Saks. Unfortunately in those few months, the property seems to have deteriorated. What was obviously a beautiful and well maintained property now seems to have a bare minimum of attention. In talking with staff, I understand the new owner dismissed the evening restaurant staff and appeared to have let grounds staff go as well as the property was basically unattended. Booking trips from the hotel was sketchy at best, and one must be prepared to be late, or have trips cancelled if a group trip does not have enough participants.

As a couple and one friend traveling together, we booked two cabins. These were across the road from the main part of the property on the lagoon side of the peninsula. That was fine as the walk from the rooms to the beach was three minutes tops. The rooms were inexpensive and interesting as they were built on stilts, like many houses in the area, one assumes because of flooding from tropical storms. This places you in the trees which was great in the mornings as parrots, makaws and grackles would wake up next to you calling to one another. The mahogany cabins (impressive in themselves) had small kitchens, a bedroom, indoor and outdoor porches, and bathroom. They were comfortable but if you are squimish about lizards, little forgs, iguanas, etc. you may want to find better sealed accomodations. We found the creatures a plus, not a problem. The grounds around this area however are basically ignored which is a shame because they could be even more incredible than they were.

The restauraunt was adaquate, though not inspiring, for breakfast and lunch. We were not told in advance that the restaurant was closed for dinner which posed a problem of finding dinner elsewhere (we did cook in as well, though getting food was a problem over the Easter holiday). At night, the hotel shuttled you into town (a bit more than a mile) but one had to get a taxi ($2.50 pp) or walk back (walking along the beach or by the road, a dangerous journey at night). However, we quickly discovered for drinks and dinner both the Turtle Inn and the Rum Point Inn nearby (short walks along the beach) both of which were great. The Turtle Inn is a high end, small resort, very beautiful and expensive, with a wonderful beach bar and open air restaurant. We had a very good meal on the restaurant patio one night, with the full moon rising over the water, and drinks and appetizers another.

We also walked down to the Rum Point Inn one night for dinner. If we go again to Placencia, we would stay at Rum Point. The owners greet and dine with the guests and you can tell this is their home as well as business. Like Saks, Rum Point is right on the Beach, is well maintained and the restaurant serves good meals and is absolutely beautiful. The dining room is open air, beautifully crafted (mahagony again) and has an enchanting view of the blue ocean. The owners are also well versed and prepared for diving expeditions and I'd recommend talking to them if you like to dive or snorkel (and you should in Belize - fantastic things to see).

In all, Saks seems unprepared for guests and uninterested in their arrival or stay (almost to the point of rudeness by a gentleman I assumed was the owner/manager). One hopes the the new management is simply acclimating to a new location. But the main attention given to the property seems to be a new hideously unattractive "apartment" building on the property. The building was recently complete and occupied and one assumes the construction and other trash will be cleaned up at some point soon. This building is totally incongruous with the surroundings and other buildings and does not bode well if this is what is thought of as the future of the property. Be prepared to be self-sufficient.

One other note is that it is obvious that this area is being developed for tourism and retirees (US, England, Austrailian, etc). One can only hope that the growth to come does not turn this beautiful area into a city buried under concrete like Cancun. Because of the jungle, beaches and incredible swimming, diving, snorkelling, etc availability, Placencia and the rest of Belize has the potential for being a destination that can promote ecotourism, or at the least, carefully planned growth that supports both local ecomomies and natural surroundings. Unfortuately, growth is getting ahead of things like sanitation (already seen in substantial amounts of plastic and other trash on the beaches) and one hopes local interest combined with public services finds lasting solutions to the problems rapid growth presents.

  • Stayed: April 2006
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5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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148 - 154 of 175 reviews

Reviewed April 9, 2006

It's a nice spot located near the airport with a nice beach and gardens. However, the service leaves a lot to be desired!

Having travelled extensively through various developing countries and having stayed at various levels of hotels, I was surprised by the lack of service offered in a hotel where we were paying I would say "moderately" priced accomodations (US$85-100 a night). The accomodations were not the problem. They were for the most part basic and clean despite some odd noises the house made; however, besides one person, the front desk and restaurant staff were positiviely indifferent to you and what you wanted or required. We booked two excursions through our hotel and none went smoothly. One excursion was not confirmed by them and they booked the wrong excursion the second time around.

Our hotel room got broken into and NO staff, including the owner apologized or even came by to see HOW it happened. Because we were staying in a house that was "MANAGED" by the hotel, they did not seem to feel the need to take any kind of responsibility for what happened. Oddly enough, the room was not "forcibly" broken into and our cash and cell phone disappeared on our second to last day of our stay. The police were apparently called but the hotel staff apparently could not find us on the beach outside the hotel and they were supposed to return but never did...

We were charged a 10% "SERVICE CHARGE" on the entire hotel bill which we asked about and complained that we did not receive any service but they did not feel the need to refund any of that back.

The hotel is nice enough but way too costly!

  • Stayed: March 2006
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1  Thank Kwendy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2006

Saks is an attractive property in a somewhat remote location about two miles north of the Placencia village. There are few facilities, just a restaurant, a swimming pool, and a open-air bar on the beach. The restaurant was recently closed for dinner (open breakfast and lunch only), but is expected to resume dinner service in the future. This is a very quiet place, with most guests simply relaxing by themselves. It should be noted that Saks has their own rooms as well as some houses/villas which are privately owned but managed by Saks. The privately owned villas, which are usually weekly rentals, vary greatly in standards and amenities, so it is best to check in advance before booking these. Staff were generally helpful and friendly.

Stayed: March 2006
1  Thank wodart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2006

Our family of 4 ( 2 school-aged kids) stayed for 7 days in a beach cabana at Saks. It was a terrific laid back vacation. we also combined it with 4 days up in San Ignacio, which is good... don't spend all your time in Belize in Placencia. In fact, I think the 7 days was tooo much 5 days in Placencia and 5-6 days in San Ignacio would have suited us better.... but live and learn. The cabanas are a great location, as are the other rentals. We loved just sitting on the porch, playing cards with the kids and enjoying the views. very relaxing. Cleaning service great, and staff is kind. Some staff are slightly incompetent, but if you are patient, things will work out. You just need to keep asking the same question to lots of people and eventually will get some good answers. We booked 2 tours from the front desk - to Monkey river and my husband's scuba, which we would recommend. We also had a car, so did the jaguar preserve on our own and found a guide in the Maya village. Placencia is for "travellers" I must emphasize. Not for tourists. It has a slightly upscale backpacker feel in town. Outside of town there are the nice resorts -- Turtle Inn is gorgeous, but not our style.... but still, you are here for relaxation, but adventure and exploring. The food in restaurant for breakfast and lunch was great. We ventured into town for dinner - Detach and Purple Space monkey were favorites. Don't go to cozy corner hotel and restaurant. We got horrible sand fleas. Stay away from the dogs on the beaches. Sand fleas not a problem at SAks-- although we were at the pool a lot. We drove the road into town in the dark, which I would not recommend. Flying in would be good. but then taking cabs into town for dinner is a hassle, so it is a toss up. Relax and enjoy.

  • Stayed: February 2006
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1  Thank cbergh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Lansing, Michigan
18
Reviewed January 31, 2006

We stayed at SAKS at Placencia for 10 days in January looking for a private retreat for our 25th wedding anniversary. We couldn't have had a more enjojable and relaxing vacation. In reply to the posted comments that the owners are distant...I saw that as one of their strengths. They work very hard behind the scenes to ensure that you have a private but complete vacation. The last thing I wanted was intrusions and they were always accessible, accommodating, and friendly.

The place is spotless and beautifully maintained. Our beachfront cabana with only a short walk down a beatiful sandy trail to an excellent restaurant (some nights it felt like it was just ours) and a beachront bar with new friends was our dream vacation.

The staff are relaxed (as are most of the residents in Placencia) and truly interested in seeing that you have everything you need and enjoy yourselves. We went on several trips that were booked through the resort and Sandra went out of her way to ask on our return thru the office that all went well and whether we had suggestions. We were extremely pleased with the guides and the trips we took, including a visit to the mountains with tour through a ruins, snorkling, Monkey River excursion, and fishing along the reefs.

If you want to be pampered and waited over go elsewhere. If you want privacy with first rate accommodations and great staff go to SAKS. The new owners are clealy continuing the type of resort that Miss Kitty created and I'm sure they'll improve on what is already an outstanding resort as they get familiar with their new retirement careers.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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8  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2006

We stayed at this resort for 7 nights in January and loved it. The staff were extremely friendly and made us feel very welcome and "at home",
Because the place is small and intimate it felt like our own private hide-away. The beach was never crowded, sometimes we were the only ones on the beach and there were lots of loungers and hammocks to choose from.
The grounds are beautiful and well maintained. While at the resort we never wore shoes as the pathways are all sand - that's how casual this place is.
We ate in the restaurant every night because the food was very good. The menu changed each night which was a really nice idea. The food was fresh and tasty and the shrimp was to die for.Breakfast and lunch was also different every day. If you want coffee, on the beach in the morning, ask the kitchen staff to set up a tray for you, they will do it gladly. I am sure you could have breakfast at the beach if you asked ( I never thought to do it) the staff are so accommodating.
One night they had a bar b que at the beachfront bar. It was fabulous. The staff fussed for the whole day getting it ready and they even closed the restaurant for the evening so that the staff could serve us. An evening we'll never forget. I hope they keep doing the bar b que thing as it was alot of fun. The beachfront bar became our "local" and we made some wonderful friends there, both fleeting and longlasting.
We booked two trips through the resort and both were good value and very enjoyable.
Saks was a place that stole a piece of our hearts.

  • Stayed: January 2006
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7  Thank CalgaryCar0le
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2006

Ate at Saks quite often during my time In Placencia. The food was quite good and very well prices. the service friendly. We also got to know the new owners (from Calgary) and they are extremely friendly and attentive. They just purchased the resort and I think that they are molding it into what they want it to be. The beach and grounds are excellent.

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
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2  Thank DAGK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Los Porticos Villas

Address: Placencia Road, Placencia, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Stann Creek > Placencia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 31 Specialty Lodging in Placencia
Price Range: $212 - $509 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Los Porticos Villas, a luxury Condo Villa Resort on the Caribbean Sea in beautiful Belize. Los Porticos is located on one of the finest beaches in Placencia, with white sand and clear water, and nestled in tropical garden setting. Come experience the best of Belize with exciting vacation specials and great accommodation options to allow you an amazing adventure vacation or relaxation getaway! The choice is yours--with our ideal location just a mile out of town, far enough for serenity and relaxation but still close enough to explore the village, restaurants, bars and shops. Los Porticos Villas boasts well-appointed two bedroom suites with tropical hardwood furnishings, A/C, wi-fi, private verandahs, luxurious bathrooms, washer/dryer, flat screen TVs, fully equipped chef's kitchens, tasteful furnishings, spacious rooms, fabulous views, and all the amenities and services for a perfect Belize family vacation or romantic getaway. Los Porticos Villas offer Sea Front, Sea View,, Pool View and Garden View Villas. Each villa includes the use of bicycles and the front can arrange for golf cart rentals to explore the Placencia Peninsula. The breathtaking Belize Barrier Reef is just a short boat ride from the resort and is a SCUBA diving and snorkeling paradise. And just a short drive from Los Porticos, guests can discover the wonder and mystery of exotic jungles, hidden waterfalls, and ancient Maya temples. We offer a fabulous selection of tours and excursion to explore the vast natural and cultural beauty of Belize, including trips to our exclusive private island, Ivan's Caye, an original fisherman's camp on the Belize Barrier Reef for a day of fun in the surf and sun. Or if you just feel like chilling and taking it easy, Los Porticos pool is a perfect spot to relax and catch up with friends and our private beach is a great base for kayaking, swimming, playing a game of beach volleyball, or just lounging in the sun with a cold Belikin Beer or fruity cocktail. Our on-site La Dolce Vita Italian Restaurant offers fine dining, a full bar, and espresso bar, in a casually elegant atmosphere. Using only the freshest ingredients, including local catch of the day, master Chef Simone will prepare authentic Italian Cuisine with a Caribbean flare, Seafood vegetarian, and special requests are available. Come enjoy the best of the best! Come feel the spirit and treat your senses to the sights, smells, and feel of this unique Caribbean hideaway. Come for a week, a month or a lifetime... The friendly staff at Los Porticos is ready to welcome you to your home away from home in sunny Placencia, Belize! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Los Porticos Villas Hotel Placencia
Los Porticos Villas Belize/Placencia

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