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“treehouse experience”
Review of Blancaneaux Lodge

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Blancaneaux Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 20, 2008

stayed 4 days at blancaneaux with family (17, 15 and 4 year old). we stayed in the FFC Villa - amazing experience! we had our own attendant who was on 24 hour call. we would tell him what time we would like coffee made the following morning and order breakfast the night before. It was great to wake up to the smell of coffee in the next room. He would deliver breakfast 30 minutes later. It was amazing to have breakfast every morning at the outside large dining table at the villa. went on several excursions - horseback riding, carcocal ruins, hiking to waterfalls - all excellent. also, swimming in the river that runs through the property is fun! even though we loved the experience, we probably would not go back. it is more of a one time experience. **took private place from belize city to property ~ quite the airplane ride...landing on a dirt air strip!!
transferred to turtle inn for 2nd portion of trip (see review of turtle inn...not good!)

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank lizard19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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378 - 384 of 453 reviews

Reviewed March 23, 2008

We just returned from 4 days at Blancaneaux Lodge (stayed in the 2-bedroom riverside villa) and had a wonderful time. It was definitely a peaceful, beautiful setting with some options for more active pursuits. Below are our pros/cons of our experience:

PROS
- Beautiful villas nestled into the hillside and surrounding grounds
- 2 bedroom villas had an open air sitting area with vaulted ceilings
- Beautiful grounds with river flowing through the property
- Good hiking opportunities (Big Rock Falls, small trail past Coppola's villa)
- Lodge area (indoor and outdoor) where you could play board games and read books from their small library
- Service was friendly and attentive
- Hot tub was warm and inviting after a long day of activities
- Swim in the river provided a cool refresher
- Falling asleep to the sound of the river
- Nice mountain bikes (can bike to Big Rock Falls if you're not up for the hike)
- Romantic candles lit around the room at night

CONS
- Isolated location makes it difficult/expense to do tours of surrounding areas (e.g., additional charge of $120 US from tour company to do a round-trip pick-up)
- Tours offered by Blancaneaux are overpriced when compared to other operators (Caracol tour was about 60% more with Blancaneaux vs. Mayawalk – you may be getting a better vehicle, but probably not worth extra money)
- Isolated location leads to few food choices
- Main restaurant was good, but not great
Recommend: short ribs, ceviche, bruschetta, anything with fresh vegetables or fruits (grown on-site)
Do not recommend: pizza or lamb
- Second restaurant near the pool serves Guatemalan cuisine, but can't comment because we were unaware of the restaurant until we left (staff failed to mention it existed when we checked-in, we would have welcomed a change in cuisine after eating American/Italian food every night at the main restaurant)
- Staff made you sign waivers as soon as you arrived – this was not an inviting way to welcome you to their lodge

Overall we had a great time despite the cons listed above. We would recommend to others, but probably not to stay more than 4-5 days due to the isolated location.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled with family
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4  Thank shutterbug7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 19, 2008

Lush Grounds, Beautiful views, on the river, grogeous villas, but way too expensive for us to stay there. Aslo, very remote: if you stay, plan to not leave the grounds & be held hostage 24/7. We drove there to visit the falls, but closest village is 30 mins away on very bumby dusty roads. After many hours on the roads, this was a fantastic stop to walk the large grounds, and have a lovely lunch - you must have the jaquar juice! YUM! Unless you like wine from Chile, the entire country has very limited wine & very $$$, THIS is the place to have a bottle! The wines, of course, are all Francis Ford Coppala :-). Enjoyed a bottle of thier white with lunch, then stayed the day walking the grounds, and had a dip in their unique jacuzzi. It was a great afternoon!

Stayed: March 2008
Thank LindaRan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2008

On Dec 26th we were to leave Turtle Inn after 5 days and head to Blancaneaux. It is a 3.5 hour car journey on pretty bad roads so we decided to charter a plane. They arranged the tiniest little plane from Placencia to Francis Ford Coppola's private airstrip which we shared with another couple. The cost was about $100 more for each couple than going by car and it was WELL worth it. The runway was a dirt strip on top of a little hill. Not for the faint hearted.

The lodge is nestled in the side of a hill in the Pine Ridge Forest. The cabanas are adorable. They are more rustic than Turtle Inn. Most of them overlook the river. We booked 10 months in advance for the Christmas period and was too late for the cottage of choice. We stayed in the Garden view cabana. I would not choose this one again as it had a really small enclosed deck. although it was really nice being so close to the main lodge, dining room. The river view ones have a lovely outside deck.

They have just finished some really sweet 'honeymoon' cabanas within mini-plunge pools. They are fairly pricey but for honeymooners it is a must. Anyway this place is in the middle of no where, literally no where, and if you want to do any tours you have at least a 45 minute VERY bumpy ride to get there. We stayed here 3 nights which was perfect.

The first day we .... chilled. The next day we went caving at a place called Actun Tunichil Muknal which is about 2 hours away. It was probably one of the highlights of the trip. You have to swim into the mouth of a cave and then go rock climbing to find ancient mayan bones and pottery. I would highly recommend. The next day was our anniversary so we went to the spa, swam in the river, explored the gardens and chilled and ate and drank. They are in the process of building a pool there which will be nice as the river is pretty chilly indeed.

I have been trying to rack my brains for something negative to say... faults to find... but really it was amazing. The only down side about staying in these hotels is what they charge you for, and how they jack up the prices. Local beer which should have been $3BZ were $10BZ in our hotel.

We did have a slight issue with the water for our showers being cold. The first day I did not say anything. The next day I mentioned it at dinner and they said I should have told them. Finally they sent someone to check on it and whilst in discussion with the handyman he let it slip that they had been having issues. I brought this up to the front desk, who said it was a miscommunication, however when we checked out they gave us a reduced rate (just before I was going to ask for it!)

There were a lot of families staying at the same time and dining room is rather small so children running around became a little noisy. We always asked for a table outside as there were generally smaller, more intimate tables. The food was really very good (I would say almost better than Turtle Inn).

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank julialilley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2008

This hotel is beautiful and relaxing, the staff very nice and the food wonderful. The location is odd though - kind of barren pine forest. There is not a lot to do without making a big effort. The massage was fabulous but the hammering and construction right outside the spa hut was not!

  • Stayed: April 2006
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Thank SWTTRAVELS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2008

My husband planned a trip to Belize as a Christmas gift this year - 3 nights at Blancaneaux Lodge and 3 at its sister property, Turtle Inn, to brighten the dreary days of early Feb. After perusing the seductive website, I packed my bags with hope and high expectations,( though not having done the actual planning myself I was pretty much prepared for anything.) The experience was wonderful from start to finish - we were met at the airport in Belize City by our guide, who entertained us during the 2+ hour drive up into the mountains with history, geography, ecology, and general trivia to help us understand something about Belize. After braving the at times exciting drive (this trip gave me a new appreciation for pavement), we arrived at the Lodge itself. Each "room" is a free-standing thatched-roof cabana, decorated beautifully and, in our case anyway, with a broad deck overlooking the river. The food was good, if, oddly, Italian; a nod to Coppola's heritage, I guess.The only drawback might be the hillside location; lots and lots of stairs. But all in all, a wonderful place to see Mayan ruins, listen to sound of the jungle, yet feel totally pampered. We would definitely go back for a longer stay.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kelting
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2008

I have to agree with the reviews posted by the last few people and I would like to reconfirm that if you choose Blancaneaux Lodge you will not be disappointed. The service, the location, the views, the atmosphere are absolutely perfect.

Don't be put off by the fact there is only one restaurant for the time being, the food is amazing and it varies every day.

There is plenty to do around there, hikes on your own, cycling, horse riding, trips to Caracol, caves and waterfalls. The guides organised by the Lodge are great, knowledgeable and very friendly.

We were there for 4 nights and I would say that it is the perfect length of time to spend there.

  • Stayed: January 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank blim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blancaneaux Lodge

Address: Central Farm | Cayo District, Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Cayo > Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Price Range: $341 - $929 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Blancaneaux Lodge 3.5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the early 1980s, Francis Ford Coppola visited Belize, immediately fell in love with the location, and purchased the abandoned Blancaneaux Lodge. For more than a decade the resort was used as a family retreat before Francis opened his tropical paradise to the public in 1993. Tucked away in a pocket of the Maya Mountains, Blancaneaux Lodge is a 20-room luxury resort where waterfalls tumble into turquoise pools above the jungle canopy. Its remote mountain setting makes it a perfect place to relax, rejuvenate and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blancaneaux Hotel San Ignacio
Blancaneaux San Ignacio

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