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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Los Porticos Villas Hotel Placencia
- Los Porticos Villas Belize/Placencia