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“Amazing Resort, Friendly Staff”
Review of Blancaneaux Lodge

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Blancaneaux Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California, United States
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Amazing Resort, Friendly Staff”
Reviewed October 14, 2013

My husband and I stayed here for half of our honeymoon after spending a few days in San Pedro. Blancaneaux is a very classy outpost in the middle of the pine forest, in the middle of the jungle. We had a wonderful stay during the slow season, so the lodge was quiet with just a few other guests. The food was outstanding. Every meal we had was beyond delicious. The main restaurant there is Italian cuisine, but they always have a few local dishes to choose from also. We stuck to the local cuisine most of the time, but we had gnocchi for dinner one night, that could only be rivaled by gnocchi I had in Siena, Italy (and I used to live in Italy). The Guatemalan restaurant is also very yummy. We spent our time at Blancaneaux with a variety of activities and laziness. We had massages one day at the spa, probably the best either of us has had in our lives, and I've had lots of massages. We hiked to Big Rock Falls, which was beautiful. The hike was a bit strenuous, but we are city people and were able to get down to the falls just fine :) We did a guided tour to ATM cave and Caracol, bot terrific. Blancaneaux guides are outstanding, eager to share their knowledge and very friendly. Roads in and out of the pine forest are rough, especially in the rainy season, but they are unavoidable whether you arrive by plane or car (unless you arrive by chartered flight directly to the Blancaneaux airstrip, and even then you have to face the roads if you plan to leave the resort for any reason) They really are not THAT bad. I would definitely recommend the ATM cave if you are not accompanied by young children and if you are able to climb hike a distance. We slept very well after our visit to ATM, but it was probably our most memorable experience from this vacation.
We stayed in Casita 11, and then in the Enchanted Cottage, and although the enchanted cottage is more private and there is no need to leave since you have full butler service, we thought the casita was gorgeous and wouldn't pay extra for the enchanted cottage if we were going to do it again. We're pretty low maintenance people, plus we LOVED the outdoor shower at the casita and the cottage doesn't have an outdoor shower.

Room Tip: We stayed in Casita 11, and then in the Enchanted Cottage, and although the enchanted cottage is mor...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Amy T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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427 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (104)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 118 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2013

Stayed 3 night s at Blancaneaux and really enjoyed our stay! Would define the experience as rustic, elegance. Staff is excellent and understand the importance of good service! Food is very good, enloyed the Guatemalan restaurant. The lunches they packed for our tours were very good, nice touch were the table linens - charming.

And the best part were the tours....Caracol is really amazing! Our guide was one of the best guides I have ever had - really into the experience and educating our group about the Mayan Ruins and the life of their culture. Also loved the Barton Creek Cave tour....amazing!

A couple of people have complained about spiders, "animals", etc. in the rooms.....please remember you are in a sub tropical - pine ridge forest area. Twice I had a gecko jump on me when I entered the bathroom, we couldn't stop laughing.......adds to the experience.

Only reservation is that once at the resort, you pretty much have to stay at the resort. The dirt road leading up to the resort is full of pot holes....not easy to navigate. This also means you are paying a pretty penny while you are at Blancaneaux. But I guess the old adage "you pay for what you get" applies. Will visit Blancaneaux again!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank dld8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2013

My wife and I were able to spend 5 nights at this lodge and we could've done another 10-15 nights!!!! The property is absolutely spectacular!!!!! The entire staff ( Johnny, Peter, Edmond, Heidi, Penny and many more!!!) took great care of us and were all very informative of the property and surroundings. Our massuse was second to none!!!! The food is Fantasic!!!! Organic garden on property, how can you go wrong? We will be back!!!!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank gus m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 3 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 6, 2013

We stayed in cabana number 11- which was absolutely beautiful- the private plunge pool was amazing and much larger than the photos depict! I would recommend, if you have the choice, to select cabana number 12- their plunge pool had a better view of the rainforest as it's set a bit higher than number 11(we were able to see on the internet). Although the car ride was quite long and bumpy from Belize City Airport, our driver was very knowledgable and was able to answer all our questions about Belize on the way. Upon arrival, we were warmly welcomed/greeted with drinks and felt instantly at home. Stick with the local cuisine- the ceviche was amazing and we had it almost every meal! The staff was incredible and super attentive. They asked us almost nightly if we wanted to book excursions for the next day, but never in a pushy way. We were encouraged to take a walk around the property and explore the garden/stables. We did finally tear ourselves away from our private pool- which I have to warn- is very hard to do. The shell phone makes it too easy to enjoy the room/surroundings!!! The organic garden is not to be missed nor is the stable. The garden is lush and someone was there to take us around to explain the crops while encouraging us to try fresh vegetables- neither my husband or I ever had a raw tomatillo- it was absolutely incredible! We then walked up to the stables and saw the beautiful horses! You could tell that the stable was immaculately well cared for. We got to pet many horses and again, the staff was very knowledgable. We booked a sunrise horseback ride for the next morning. Our guide, I believe his name was Carlos, was AMAZING! The ride is rough so it's not for the faint at heart but Carlos was always very calm and the horses never stepped out of line. It was an awesome thing to do and I highly recommend! We were back at the resort by 8:30 so had plently of time to have breakfast and sun at our pool. I would also recommend getting a massage- I was a bit weary at first coming from NY and having great massages- this was definitely up there in the most relaxing setting and skilled masseurs. I could go on forever, but all in all- this was one of my best resorts I have ever visited. One last tip- if you are staying at both Blancaneaux and Turtle Inn- forego the car ride to the beach and splurge on the plane. It's more expensive but well worth it. It was one of the most memorable things we did!!! We will be back for sure!!!

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank meghan w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Landenberg, Pennsylvania
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2013

Just got back after spending 4 nights here.

The resort was absolutely beautiful. Staff and service were wonderfull!
We loved our cabana which was quaint, very comfy, and with a fantastic setting and view.
The restaurant was very, very , good, but a little more variety would be nice ( may have been tougher if we were staying for a longer stay. We loved the Guatemalan restaurant as well ( but was only open 1 night). Oh well.

Everything about the resort was really very very nice ( although the hot tub could have been a little more well kept up, but it could have been an off day).

Only down side, for some, may be the isolated location (45 minutes from the main road) and the road really is pretty rough. We didn't mind this that much, and most of the nicer resorts in the area are similarly isolated ( some may be 10 to 20 minutes closer to the main road, but it draws on you if you had to or wanted travel in on it for many days in row.

The resort is probably the closest to Caracol ( maybe a little more than an hour) which was nice.
We did the ATM tour which was So Amazing! ( was 1.5 each way,,,,,,well worth it!)
The big Rock Falls which I also highly recommend for a short trip is about a 10-15 min Bike Ride ( resort staff said it was 40 mins each way,,,,,, maybe if you very out of shape or 70 years old). This falls was way better than I expected as it was a great swimming area and could have spent a lot longer time there ( but we got there late as something to do late one day ).
We also visited San Ignacio one day, was ok for a bit,if you really want to see the local town ( I don't think most people/ families would be that interested though).

I think a 3 day stay was perfect for us, some may want more if you really want some solitude. If you want to stay busy , 3 full days seemed great.
All in all we loved it here!

Room Tip: All Rooms seemed to look great.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Romcollins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed July 30, 2013

This was our first trip to Belize, but will not be our last. We traveled in mid May 2013, my wife and I along with two adult children, 19 and 22 ,and booked the entire trip at Blancaneaux and it's sister property Turtle Inn through Mary at Destinations Belize. She took care of everything and was very helpful. We booked around 6 months early. As soon as we got
out of the PGI airport we were met just outside by our driver Eddie. He was wearing his Blancaneaux shirt and holding a sign with our name on it. Eddie took us out of town and along the Western Highway all the way to the lodge. As we moved along through the countryside Eddie explained all about Belize and everything we passed. We mentioned we were disappointed that we would not have time to visit the Belize Zoo as our flight landed after 3PM. Eddie pulled into the zoo shortly after that and said we
have a little time. We stayed around 45 minutes and the Zoo is simply amazing and highly recommended. We will visit it on one of our next trips when we can arrive a little earlier. As we approached the turn off of the highway toward the lodge the road changes from a paved 2 lane to a mix of gravel, rock and small paved sections too steep for gravel. This part of the trip took around an hour and was some of the bumpiest road I have ever been on. You travel through a scenic section of the country past a small community or two. As you approach the lodge you will see the Blancaneaux's airstrip which is a strip of dirt runway and an air sock. After that bumpy trip you contemplate using the puddle jumper next time. Turning off the dirt road toward the lodge though and everything changes, the
road becomes paved and there are beautiful trees and plants all around. When we got into the lodge Ryan at the desk greeted each of us by our names, a nice touch. Everyone seemed to know us the rest of the stay. We stayed for 4 nights there – the first night in the two bedroom villa. It was just beautiful. The remaining nights there we stayed in the amazing Francis Ford Coppola's Villa. The layout of both of these villas is very similar. An open air area in the middle and one bedroom on each side of that. The bedrooms are screened – the main area is not. The Coppola villa however has it's own secluded plunge pool just off the bedroom shielded by (and by now you realize you have been over using the word beautiful) beautiful flowering plants, a banana tree and a small grassy area. The Coppola suite comes with it's own private butler. Our butler was named Milky and was very nice and helpful. He also knew all about the property and Belize. His only job at the resort is to take care of the guests at the Coppola Suite. After we moved to the Coppola suite, Milky took care of everything. He brought us breakfast, carried our bags, filled our water bottles for us before excursions, warmed up leftovers and personally served us at the restaurants. He arranged all our activities and we were give a two way hand held radio and asked to call whenever you need ANYTHING. The nights were cool and it very comfortable to sleep. The next day we visited Caracol with our guide Jorge. This trek is on much smoother dirt roads than the trip in and takes maybe an hour to get to. Caracol is amazing and a 'do not miss' type of activity. Blancaneaux took care of everything and after our walk around the ruins, Jorge sat us down at a picnic table, pulled out ice cold towels for us to wet our faces. He setup a table cloth, pulled out real silverware and cloth napkins and we had a delicious lunch of smoked chicken wraps, homemade salsa. It was delicious. Jorge was very knowledgeable and a great guide. The following day we visited Barton Cave with our guide Jeranimo- also excellent. We were in the cave for about an hour
and it's peaceful, very quiet and dark. The cave trip took half a day so we visited Calico Jacks on the way back and had a great time ziplining. Do the whole run, it's great. The last full day we had Oscar take us on a horse back ride through some of the nature preserve to Big Rock Falls where we ended up swimming in the waterfall and were the only people there. We had that amazing place to ourselves.
All in all, the entire property is just amazing. The pictures do not do it justice. Your legs get a workout at Blancaneaux between the activities and walking around the lodge. Lots of steps and inclines. The restaurants at Blancaneaux are very good. We enjoyed the food, don't miss the Guatemaltecqua Restaurant. The weather was very nice the entire time, no rain, cool nights and warm days. There were almost no bugs at all at the resort and it is a different climate than Placencia. When it came time to leave Blancaneaux, they arranged the trip and again packed us one of their excellent lunches for the trip which our guide again setup at our stop
at the Blue Hole park. The trip to the Turtle Inn crosses Belize on the Hummingburd Highway and is very scenic. I highly recommend if you do excursions – use the guides – they are so knowledgeable and you will learn so much from them.

Room Tip: Coppola Suite has a private butler and private plunge pool
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Chuckil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 20, 2013

We stayed 7 nights at Blancaneaux Lodge this July with our 2 young children (ages 6 and 9) and we all had a fantastic time. When booking, I was a little concerned about whether the stay would be too long in one place but it was perfect for us. There is more than enough to do when you factor everything there is to do on the grounds as well as the off-site tours. The lodge organizes tours but they are more than happy to arrange whatever you have in mind. The guides are very knowledgeable in both history and culture as well as nature and wildlife. The staff and grounds are stand-outs. No need was unmet, yet we never had the feeling of being hovered over. We stayed in the two-bedroom villa and it was huge. It could work for more than one family, as each bedroom is quite large. The rooms are stylish and comfortable yet we still got the ecolodge experience. The bungalows are sited so that each feels very private. Meal prices are comparable to US hotels, but we were able to take advantage of a summer special for kids. If I had any complaint, it would be the lack of opportunities to try Belizean dishes. That said, the food is good and there is a large organic garden on the grounds which provides much of the produce for the restaurant. We all loved our stay and hope to be back!

Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank M P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blancaneaux Lodge

Property: 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 #2 of 3 Hotels in Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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