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“Slightly disappointed”

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The Placencia Hotel and Residences
Ranked #16 of 19 Hotels in Placencia
Syracuse, New York
Level Contributor
141 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Slightly disappointed”
Reviewed December 31, 2012

The hotel, pool and beach are absolutely beautiful. Our room was of good size and clean. I cannot speak to the meals which seem to be a concern for others as we did not eat there. I was very disapppointed that the wifi which was advertized as free wasn't and there 'seemed' to be an additional cost for many things. It is about 10 miles from the village of Plancencia so you'll be best to have a car as we spent time in the village and had our meals in the area at the many very high quality restaurants. The staff was very friendly and attentive, no complaints there at all or with the physical property. We enjoyed lounging at the beach soaking up the sun between trips to the village.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Linda and Joe C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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333 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (84)
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English first
Belleville, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed December 30, 2012

Returned from the Placencia Dec. 24/12. The accomodations, hotel grounds and pools were fine. We were very disappointed with the quality and availability of meals. The meals were repetitive with little choice. Breakfast was always runny scrambled eggs with bacon or chicken sausages. Very little fruit - watermelon and pineapple. They'd run out of papaya and oranges. Supper was always a chicken dish (legs/thighs) and another meat dish that came with rice and coleslaw. One dessert only and looked the same night after night. The meals were basic, limited selection and of 2 star quality!!

The website stated 2 a la cartes restaurants - there was only 1 and the menu was limited to about 10 items: chicken wings, marguerita pizza, chicken or beef dish, fish of the day and a pasta. The meat meals came with a scoop of rice and a small green salad. No appetizers on the menu. The meals were very plain and something we could have had at home. We were NOT impressed.

At orientation, we were told NO food between 3 - 6:30 pm. Many guests returning from day tours after 3pm were starved!! Nothing to eat. The only all-inclusive we have been to and have been hungry! The resort eventually brought out pizzas or nachos to the pool area. The food was devoured iin minutes. We ended up eating off the resort numerous times.

The staff were friendly and accomodating. We did note many new staff who were not familiar with the menu and unable to answer our questions about the food.

We did enjoy the snorkeling, jaguar preserve and visits to the town of Placencia. The people are very friendly and Belize is a beautiful country.

Unfortunately, we will not be recommending this resort to anyone!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Amy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orillia, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2012

Just returned Dec. 24, 2012 from a one week stay at The Placencia. I left from Toronto on the 17th. Belize was fine, not nearly the poverty as many other counties I have visited. I have vacationed about 30 times. The weather was good, temps. 28-30 daily, rained one day. Friendly staff, decent service and management was quiet. My room was a beautiful picture perfect room with ocean pool view, good rain shower head and A/C wonderful. Room stocked daily with 2 bottled water, coffee, but pay 7US each day if used. The hotel has a nice sandy beach, but cant swim in the water because of jelly fish. Food tasty, but limited, not like usual all-inclusives. There was 3 meals daily at a buffet, served to you, about 4-5 choices only, hardly no veggies or fruit. Be on time for food because it runs out. This was my biggest disappointment, two days at 9am they were out of food for breakfast and ran out at lunch one day of the chicken. this is unacceptable, not good and definately not of a 4 star rating. All other A/I vacations I have visited, have all offered 40-50 options of food choices, you helped yourself and food 24 hours a day. I think because the trip was so expensive I expected the similar service from this A/I experience. What they did serve was tasty, similar day to day, hardly any seafood, just very limited and dessert the same cake all week with different topping. Snacks at the pool in the afternoons were fine, often late though, and ranged from cake and muffins to chicken wings and tacos. All bars at the resort close at 10pm, and no food/snacks after your supper meal. Swim up bar is nice,cleaned daily, good bar service from Alex and other bar tenders. The best time was definately spent here. Hoor-ay to you. The 2 el'cart meals were better than the buffet without a doubt, but the room service meals were fantastic and by far a better rounded meal. It does cost about 50 US or 100 Belize dollars for two meals, but the beef meal was fantastic, melt in your mouth. The local drinks and pizza are good, there is lots of ice and bottled water at the bar. Dirty monkeys, pina colattas, dacaries and mohitos were fabulous. Coffee in room expensive if using each day, billed 7US each day., cleaning of room daily was good but only change bedding every 3rd day. One day I took my sheets off because of a cut foot and I had gotten blood on the botttom sheet, they actually made up my bed and put the same sheets back on. I did complain and then the service staff did change them, but VERY disappointed about needing to ask and the fact that because I had stripped the bed completely that they actually would do that!! Disappointing!! There is a beach towel shortage at hotel so bring towels from home. I did not expect to leave from Toronto and fly to Cozamel either, have to get off the plane and go to customs, get back on the plane fly to Belize city, get off at Belize and get on a 320 cesna charter which then proceeded to fly to Placencia, land and then take a bus to the hotel. This made for a long first day. Once at hotel they did a great welcome with food and beverage and were well organized, thank god. We did need to change time back 1 hour so this made me happy. The return trip did not have to stop at Cozamel, saved time. A Free shuttle from the hotel to the local village was great, pay 1US dollar to take the bus back to the hotel! Belizian people are friendly and helpful. Food at the local Barefoot bar was great and cheap. Purchase gifts for home at the Belize airport on your return back to toronto, cheaper than buying from locals, however I did shop on many local sidewalks and managed to get some nice items. My trip to the Blue Hole was expensive but had a wonderful time and friendly people and great service. I would rate this hotel 3 and 1/2 stars. Beautiful place, but without a swimable beach, long travel time and in my opinion, suitable flavored food but real shortage on amounts available to compensate guests even running out 3 times, room service big error, I would not think of giving this hotel a higher review. There were too many unexceptable issues when I paid almost $3300.00 for two people for one week. I have travelled alot, and never pay this much for so little. Sorry, Lynne from Orillia Ontario Canada. Belize itself was nice, just not this resort. There needs to be more than beautiful surrounding. This hotel can easily fix these problems if they want. Thanks to Sandy from Sunwing, you were amazing.

Room Tip: Pool View!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Lynne K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sault Ste. Marie
Level Contributor
35 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2012

Despite the many positive amenities and features of this hotel, the menu and food quality was so lacking, it really undermined everything else. The resort has no apparent desire to be an "all-inclusive" operation, resulting in a much less than enjoyable experience for guests. For instance, the lunch and dinner menus were limited at best, with a dreadful repetition of tasteless rice, pasta, coleslaw, followed each day with more rice, pasta, coleslaw. With no exaggeration, every lunch and dinner meal consisted of a carbohydrate fest of pasta and rice, with not one green salad all week. Pasta salad or coleslaw, one or two pasta dishes for main course, and little of anything else for variety. There might be a meat item such as a grilled steak on one occasion, which was admittedly good, but usually bland chicken or fish; nothing remarkable in quality. Dessert was disappointing at best as well.
Breakfasts were no better, with runny scrambled eggs every morning! Truth be told, the lack of variety and quality became quite nauseating and disappointing in the extreme, undermining every other positive aspect of the resort.
These meals are served on the hotel pier, and were consistently late in their service. Though breakfast was to be served by 7, there were several days that at 7:30 it was finally presented. And the service hours are very short. Similarly with dinner, meals were often served later than scheduled.
In fact, one evening, we approached the pier to dine, and were told by a manager that the afternoon wedding party still had not finished, so dinner was not yet being served. This was perfectly reasonable and not a problem. To her credit though, and quite unnecessarily, she directed us to the a la carte restaurant, telling us to order appetisers compliments of the resort. When we entered, we were treated dismissively by staff, saying we were not entitled to appetisers because we were “all inclusive”. Despite the gracious generosity of the manager in offering appetisers for us all, we’d attempted to order only one appetiser, for our young daughter, who was quite hungry. As the staff declined our order, the manager arrived and quibbled with them about this, having to assert her authority. Staff were less than congenial after the confrontation, and indicated they didn’t have the ingredients for the appetiser our daughter ordered. She had only a glass of juice instead.
However, this gave us an opportunity to look over the menu in this restaurant, which appeared to be quite attractive, with many selections of appetisers through a variety of appealing main course dishes and splendid desserts. This was promising, after the dreadfully bland rice and pasta routine up to this point. We were informed by the manager than in fact we were entitled to two meals in that restaurant as part of our package, and as this was the last night, she would allow us to dine here that night, and have breakfast there the next morning. Exciting is no overstatement, given the repetition of rice and pasta, and limited selection otherwise on the buffet all week, so we decided to stay. It looked especially promising when we saw that for breakfast there was a huge selection of items which we never saw all week on the “scrambled egg buffet”. (That buffet was literally scrambled eggs every morning, all week, with no variation.)
So when we elect to stay in the a la carte restaurant, we then learn that this lovely leather bound, multipage tantalizing menu we are drooling over is in fact for non-all-inclusive guests. In fact, we are told this interior elegant dining area we are seated in is for “paying” guests, and are escorted to the porch of the restaurant, where we are told the “all-inclusives” dine. The “all-inclusive” menu is then brought to us, and it is a ONE PAGE LAMINATED menu of all the same items we’d seen all week on the buffet!!! It lacked all of the mouth-watering and interesting variety of the menu inside; the menu for the “paying guests”… And it had none of the breakfast variety of the interior “paying guest” menu! Not only was this a huge disappointment, but it really made us feel like prisoners or second rate travellers. Though we’d paid for our vacation, we were not “paying customers” in the eyes of the resort, but a nuisance at best. Service of course in this area of the restaurant was poor, with lengthy waits and staff less than happy to serve us.
We understood afterwards that we could have dined in the interior restaurant, but would have to pay the prices on the menu, plus mandatory gratuity. However, the prices on this menu were higher than reasonable, and we have reason to believe the mandatory gratuities did not make the way to staff pockets. We’re not cheap and don’t at all mind paying for quality. Having stayed at Zoetry and other higher end resorts, we’re not at all adverse to paying for quality. But that is the point; the degree of quality at this resort was incongruent with the cost. Further, we’d paid as all-inclusive guests, and expected something which approached reasonable service and quality for same. If we’d known in advance the “all-inclusive” menu was so horrendously poor, we’d have tried to go as “paying guests”. One pays more for all-inclusive, and should not then have to pay more for basic items that at other resorts are included.
For instance, on both the comprehensive “paying guest” menu and the limited “all inclusive” menu appeared pizza. However, the pizza delivered to “paying guests” was abundantly and robustly topped with a variety of fresh garden items and looked very good. Our pizza, however, was limited to sauce, cheese and dry basil, with a sprig of fresh basil in the centre for garnish only. Drinks were the same. The “all-inclusive” alcoholic drinks are limited to Belizean alcohol, which is limited in variety and quality. Everything else was considered extra, which is fine, but the fees for the extra were extraordinary and excessive.
The unfortunate reality of starting with such a negative description is it overshadows all that can be said positively about the resort, but that is the reality for us; all that was positive was overshadowed by this enormous negative. This resort needs to decide whether it wishes to cater to the “all-inclusive” traveller or not, and if so, then treat those travellers as appreciated guests, not second rate nuisances.
The location is quite nice. Being in the midst of the Placencia peninsula, it is fronted by the sea and backed by the brackish lagoon. The resort has exceptional staff, apart from those in the restaurant. Harry and Bubbles of the dive and fish shop, for instance, are extraordinary. They are exceedingly competent, attentive and capable, caring very sincerely for the guests. They really go all out to make your outing special, be it deep sea fishing, snorkelling, diving, or an excursion to Monkey River and the jungle.
At the pool bar, Alex is outstanding. This seventeen year old young man is mature beyond his years, with a quiet respectful dignity rarely experienced elsewhere. He too goes out of his way to make your vacation relaxing and enjoyable.
Physical plant and housekeeping staff too are extraordinary, and work very hard, attending to every need.
There are no employment standards in Belize and staff are paid poorly, working very long hours of 12 or more a day, with as many as 30 consecutive days with no time off. We spent about $1,500.00 in voluntary tips and gratuities over the week. This was very much appreciated by staff, but to be sure, did not affect how they treated the guests. All guests were treated with equal warmth and attentiveness, though some guests were not as generous with their gratuities. This is emblematic of the professionalism of the staff.
The facilities are very nice as well, with a beautiful view of the sea and a nice sheltered harbour as a result of a man-made break-wall. The down side of the break-wall is it traps in the silt laden water, resulting in cloudier water in front of the resort. There is abundant sea life here though, with a variety of jelly fish seen, none of which were terribly harmful, rays, gar, small fish, and up to larger fish including shark. But conditions are less than ideal for swimming, and the pool offers the only opportunity for same. It is a very nice pool, however, and seating was always available.
The villas were amply comfortable and well appointed. Here too nature was healthy and found in a variety of forms, including crabs, lizards and several enormous iguana. Resort ameneties are otherwise poor or overpriced. The fitness center entails a daily fee if used, and WiFi is $50 for the week, but inconsistent at best and a nuisance requiring log-in after each dropped connection.
We would recommend booking excursions through the resort as the staff are exceptional and the equipment very good. The fishing trip was over market-price, however it was nice that fish of our choice and catch was prepared by the resort chef for our meal. The other prices for excursions were very reasonable, though at checkout, management missed over $,1200.00 USD in charges for same, and we had to bring this to their attention, which they appreciated of course.
It is a 30 minute ride to Placencia on the tip of the peninsula, but with complementary shuttle service, easily done. Taxi service too is reasonable, and not overly priced at $25 each way.
Meals off of the resort are far better than those on the resort. The mainstay of the Belizean diet is rice and beans, but off of the resort, this dish is very good. In fact, the nicest meal had all week was off resort on the Monkey River tour, with an excellently prepared fish accompanied by rice and beans prepared in coconut milk. It was outstanding, but especially so when compared to the bland rice of the resort.
In short, there were many wonderful features of this resort and it is recommended, but not as an all-inclusive. Attend as a “paying guest” instead and avoid the buffet which is nothing short of appallingly limited in quality and quantity.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank jeffbro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chatham, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2012

We enjoyed our week at Placencia Hotel. The overall value was better than we expected for the price. We booked through Sunwing Vacations and would recommend this package as long as you are aware of the positives and negatives.

Positives- Staff was excellent, very friendly and helpful. Special thanks to Emmanual (concierge), Dive Master Harry, waitress and bar tenders, Rosita, Alexander, Richard and our tour guide/ bus driver Basilio, all of which made our stay enjoyable and treated us like gold. Room was beautiful, had lower level Ocean View on Beach. I recommend this upgrade, well worth it. Overall resort was very nice and well kept. We enjoyed the mix of excursions available. Dove with Harry at Laughing bird Caye, took trip with Basilio to cave tube and zip line in the mountains. Used hotel shuttle service to get to Placencia village. The country is great to visit. We felt safe everywhere we went. Note: Local flight from Belize airport to Placencia airport was great fun. Almost like a free excursion!
Negatives- Food included in all inclusive was good quality but very limited variety. Got tired of chicken and rice for majority of meals. I recommend they review what they offer and add in some basics like pasta, potatoes, some pizza or burgers for a lunch. We opted to purchase a few meals in town or at the pay restaurant on site in order to get some variety. Still found value in the all-inclusive package but plan to buy a few meals. Beach is nice but as mentioned in other reviews not good for swimming. Got the impression that the staff did not feel they were treated well from senior management (not Angie but others). The management you meet were very friendly and helpful but if you watched and listened closely there were definitely issues with how the staff felt they were treated.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JCP70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2012

Any negative comments on The Placencia Hotel is true. The staff is friendly, but the hotel is managed poorly and customers are not being informed with the correct information ahead of time. We did not have orientation because it was disorganized. I am surprise that the hotel has a 4 star rating. Its true about the poor quality of the food, for the all inclusive package (no fresh juice for a country that has orchards and orchards of oranges), and that you can not swim in the beach ocean because of the jellyfish. The water pressure in the shower is low. The staff is not well informed, but they try to do their best with what management provides them. We returned from our trip December 24, 2012. I would go back to Belize to visit, but not stay at The Placencia Hotel.

Room Tip: Mayan Hotel (Placencia Village) -- the local driver said the food was good
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Anaekogroup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed December 19, 2012

There is no doubt that the resort is beautiful, has a lovely pool and is in a serene setting but you can get that in most Caribbean destinations. What really made my trip was the over the top service and friendliness of the staff. They made sure to help me book my diving trips and suggested best tours to take. Also, gave great recommendations on restaurants in area and how to get around since it is out of the way. Emmanuel and other staff members always remembered your name and tried their best to accomodate. Would love to go back and truly be able to relax again! Thanks Placencia team!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank B P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Julia291977, General Manager at The Placencia Hotel and Residences, responded to this review, December 21, 2012
We are happy to know you enjoyed your stay. We enjoyed having you, and hope you and your friends will visit us again. If we don't see you in Belize maybe in Miami.

Take Care and thanks again for the feedback!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Placencia Hotel and Residences

Property: The Placencia Hotel and Residences
Address: Placencia Village, Placencia, Belize
Location: Belize > Stann Creek > Placencia
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Placencia
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Placencia
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Placencia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Placencia Hotel and Residences 4*
Number of rooms: 90
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Placencia Hotel is the fastest growing Hotel in the general area offering the finest amenities and service to an ever discerning clientele visiting Belize. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Hotel Placencia
The Resort Placencia
The Placencia Hotel And Residences Belize

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