My wife and I stayed at the Placentia Hotel and Residences for our 10th anniversary trip this year, from April 22-29. This was our first time staying at a 'smaller' resort, and I think it may have changed how we plan our vacations in the future. We thoroughly enjoyed our week in Belize, and hope to return again in the next few years. Note that the hotel is about a half hour drive from the village of Placencia, so you'll have to consider that for any offsite plans. This location helps to ensure a peaceful atmosphere onsite - if you're looking to party, this probably isn't the place for you. Google Maps actually shows the resort in two different places - one at the south end of the penninsula, and one toward the north end - it is the north location that is correct.
The staff were all extremely friendly, ALWAYS smiling, and seemed to remember more of the little details about us. The hotel's concierge, Manny, was always helpful if we needed information, or to try to contact someone offsite. Debbie was our favourite server for mealtimes, always ready with a big smile and a hug for my wife; she even arranged a special dessert for our anniversary dinner, in the a la carte restaurant. Rick, one of the bartenders on staff, was great to chat with, and talk about life in Belize, or just share a joke and a smile. We were happy to meet Anselmo, the pool bartender, early in our vacation, and learned that he was finishing work early for the week to prepare for his wedding - Anselmo, we hope your wedding was fantastic, and that you find married life as wonderful as we have!
Our room was on the 3rd floor (top level of the villa buildings) - room 145. We had a beautiful view of the property, and could see the ocean from our balcony. The room was nicely equipped, with travertine tiled floors, throughout, and matching tile on the bathroom walls. The king-size bed was comfortable, and we slept well. The air conditioning worked well, as did the large ceiling fan, to disperse the cool air throughout the room. The closet and clothing storage were perfectly adequate. The safe in the closet worked fine, and there's no charge to use it. There was a small bar-sized fridge, however, it is only stocked with water. There is a coffee maker in the room as well, but the coffee is extra. We were quite happy to go to the breakfast buffet for our morning coffee. The bathroom is modern, with a rainfall showerhead in the shower. We found that you had to let the water run for a few minutes to get hot water, and the water pressure was lower than we're used to in Canada - such that my wife found it a bit challenging to properly rinse her hair. Housekeeping staff did a good job of maintaining the room, and towel replacement was pretty consistent. If you've browsed the pictures on this site, you've no doubt seen the 'quirky' chairs on the balconies; if I had to scrounge up something to complain about in the rooms, it would probably be these chairs. Not overly comfortable, and very low to the ground, making them difficult to get out of. In the whole scheme of our stay, I'd say that this is not only a minor complaint, but one that could very easily be remedied by the management, if so desired. The room is equipped with a large flat-screen tv with satellite reception, but seriously, we didn't go to Belize to watch television!
The grounds are well maintained, with gardens all over the place. The resort also has its own organic garden, where vegetables used onsite are grown. There is relatively little lawn area, but it is kept well watered and mowed. Strangely, they don't appear to use trimmers, which means that the grass is allowed to creep over the sidewalks, and grows up around the sprinkler heads somewhat; a very minor detail, but again, would make a difference in guests' perceptions. The walkways are concrete with pieces of tile inset into it, and the walks are bordered with a brown gravel, which has the added bonus of being largely maintenance-free. There are carved tree-trunk 'totem pole' carvings found all over the site, which suit the atmosphere of the resort..
The pool is a triple-infinity pool with a waterfall and a swim-up bar. This is where most people swim, as the beach isn't great for swimming. There are also sun loungers built right into the middle section of the infinity pool, which is only about 7 inches deep. Generally, we found the pool water to be quite warm, but then, we did have a humidex in the low 40s celsius every day. As we were there at the end of tourist season, there were always deck loungers available, but the only shade is from umbrellas.
Again, we were there towards the end of the busy season, but still, we were amazed at how few people were using the beach. It is groomed each morning, and seldom difficult to find an available chair, and plenty of shade available. The sand is a coarse, crushed-coral sand, rather than the soft, powder sand you might be used to on some Caribbean islands. There isn't a long stretch of beach to walk along, as the area to the north is under construction, and to the south, the beach becomes grassy south of the resort. The waves are few, if any, because of the breakwall that has been built to protect the not-yet-finished marina next door. This makes it easy to use the area for kayaking, pedalboating, or stand-up paddling. The water is a bit murky, both due to the construction, and the resort's proximity to the nearby river. Small fish frequent the area, as evidenced by the frequent dive-bombs by hungry pelicans. In addition to the murkiness, the slope of entry from the shore, and some weeds, few people swim from the beach. Instead, there are stairs that extend down into the water from the end of the pier, which is how most people choose to enjoy a swim in the ocean.
Some friends who had visited this resort previously had advised us that there was a slightly different approach to 'all inclusive.' Rather than 24/7 food availability like you might find at large resorts elsewhere, meals are available at specific times through the day, and snacks are available at the pool bar. Again, because it's a smaller resort, you're not going to have the mega-selection you might be used to. Generally, for meals, there is a starch, vegetable/fruit, and two meat options, as well as dessert. It is served buffet-style, so the quantity is up to you. The main dining room is at the end of the pier, and has a full bar available. The pier pavilion seats about 50, and usually has a nice ocean breeze. There is also an a la carte restaurant, which guests are allowed two seatings per week. The food was delicious, and Chef Laurenc loves to stop by each table to greet his patrons.
This is another area which, at least to us, we found different to the 'norm.' According to Rick, Belizean bartenders have 'heavy hands,' which might result in your drink being stronger than normal, as opposed to 'watered down,' which is often the standard for all inclusive resorts. We're not big drinkers, but still found ourselves enjoying a tropical drink prepared by the Placencia's staff.
To summarize, we had a wonderful week at the Placencia Hotel, with friendly smiles, beautiful weather, good rest and good food, and would definitely return.
- 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