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“Like staying at a favorite uncle's private estate” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Blancaneaux Lodge

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Blancaneaux Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
59 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
“Like staying at a favorite uncle's private estate”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2014

Hi there. First up, temper this review with the fact that we only stayed the one night.

So then - the first and lasting impression of Blancaneaux is of a lodge that's seen a serious amount of attention lavished on its grounds, on its rooms and above all, on the sense that you are the lucky beneficiary of Mr Coppola's friendship and that he's invited you to stay in his sprawling, serene estate for the weekend.

The greatest pleasure to be had was simply strolling around the place, taking in the fantastic trees and plants where hummingbirds and other brightly colored birds skitted to and fro, wandering down to the river to stand at the edge the peaceful river which descended down to a polite waterfall,having a nose around the enormous vegetable patches which supply the kitchens and admiring the 17 somnolent horses which are available for riding on one of a number of different trails.

The long list of interesting excursions were one of the main reasons for choosing Blancaneaux. Keen to see wildlife, we went on a rather disappointing 'Moonlight Jaguar Quest'. I don't mind not seeing much (one Grey Fox aside) but I just never felt we were seriously looking for any. And whilst we knew the chances of seeing a Jaguar were about zero, I feel anyone who puts 'Jaguar' in the title of a trip is at best, being disingenuous and at worst, deliberately misleading - sadly, this is something hotels and tour companies throughout Central and South America are guilty of. The complementary birdwatching tour the next morning and the Barton Creek Cave tour the next day was much better and the latter represented better value for money (though all the trips offered by the nicer hotels are, in my view, very expensive).

Also expensive are the meals with a quality of food which don't match the New York prices. Nice enough but nothing special. And oh - make sure you book the Guatemalan restaurant in advance - we were confined to the (Italian) Montagne restaurant because the former was booked out - a shame.

I'll end on an up-note - the staff and the guides were, to a fault, very, very friendly - and indeed all the Belizean people we met were the same. And the lodge also very kindly laid on a lovely birthday cake for me upon my arrival, my girlfriend having giving them the nod beforehand.

So if it's cake and tranquil natural beauty you're after, this is the place. If you want to see a Jaguar on the other hand, you may need to give up all your worldly possessions and move to a treehouse in the forest.

Room Tip: Room 10 - a Deluxe Cabana with its own private plunge pool is furthest out and thus the most private...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ohnobonobo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernie M, Manager at Blancaneaux Lodge, responded to this review, June 13, 2014
Thank you very much- our team try their very best in all levels of the service. I have shared your feedback with them.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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408 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    304
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
100 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 15, 2014

Set on a river, amongst birds and other wildlife, this was one of the most enjoyable places I've stayed in a long time. There's nothing quite like going to sleep with only the sound of a trickling stream, cicadas and birds chirping. The resort's layout maximizes privacy and the cabanas give you the impression you are in a remote jungle hideaway. The rooms are well appointed and the main house and Guatemalan restaurant both seem to be fashioned to be as authentic as possible.

Excellent food. I didnt find the Italian menu too exciting, but breakfast selection was incredible (Especially the fresh fruit, orange juice and coffee) and the guatemalan menu changed nightly.

The staff are _extremely attentive_ and anticipate almost all of your needs and work tirelessly to make your stay relaxing but fun filled.

Room Tip: Get a riverfront cabana
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sean M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernie M, Manager at Blancaneaux Lodge, responded to this review, June 13, 2014
Thank you very much for your feedback.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
24 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 27, 2014

Blancaneaux Lodge is in an amazing location in the Mountain Pine Ridge reserve just over the border from Guatemala. The 20 large and beautifully decorated rooms are positioned along the river and even the standard garden cabanas (ours) get a glimpse and the peaceful sound of running water. The more expensive riverfront and family rooms have enormous open sitting rooms and terraces; our terrace was plenty big enough for chairs and a hammock but screened in with mosquito netting and so felt slightly more confined. However, there were lots of sitting out places in the huge lodge grounds. The room was big and comfortable with a great bathroom and lovely art work and at 'turn down' the staff lit candles in it. The Jaguar Bar has the original fan from the opening shot of 'Apocalypse Now' and yes, we did lie on the floor looking up at it - and that was before we had been on the rum cocktails! There is gentle reggae pumping in the bar and live marimba on certain nights.
The staff are very attentive and helpful. Scarily, they remember your first name at all times. The food is Coppola's Italian menu and his own wine list: very good pizzas and pasta, interspersed with fish and meat dishes and there is also a smaller Guatemalan restaurant which is well worth trying. We thought the prices were reasonable. There is lots to do here: serious hikes and daylong trips; free bicycles; a good traditional swimming pool and a hot pool; or simply walking around the extensive grounds which include a big organic garden where many of the vegetables are grown and a stable of 17 horses. We did the morning bird walk with Oscar and saw and learned a lot. Our favourite thing was standing in the river and getting a free fish pedicure and then retreating to the hot pool.
This is a really comfortable lodge that allows you to feel the beauty of the jungle but keeps the harder realities at bay. Some people might find it a bit too landscaped and it felt slightly less laid back than the other other two Coppola Lodges (the small La Lancha in Guatemala and beachside Turtle Inn in Belize) but we really enjoyed our stay there and appreciated all the work it took to create a haven in an amazing wild landscape. By the way we didn't think the 40 minute journey on the dirt road to the lodge was at all bad and we spotted a beautiful grey fox on it.

Room Tip: All the rooms are good, including the standard garden rooms. The higher priced rooms are closer to t...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Baobabgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernie M, Manager at Blancaneaux Lodge, responded to this review, June 13, 2014
We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay. Thank you for your feedback.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Annapolis, Maryland
Level Contributor
61 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 26, 2014

We stopped here for a quick lunch after driving to Caracol and were pleased with the food. The Ceviche was good although it was a small portion and the Margherita Pizza was the best I've had in Belize. It was a nice quiet setting although just expensive compared to other restaurants in Belize.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank devilpup88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernie M, Manager at Blancaneaux Lodge, responded to this review, June 13, 2014
Thank you for your feedback. Organic farming in Belize is quite expensive to operate. our greatest advantage there is that every thing you sample that day was just harvested.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zionsville, Indiana
Level Contributor
191 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 15, 2014

We just returned from a week in Belize; 3 nights at Blancaneaux and then 4 nights down on the coast. Blancaneaux was wonderful. Very peaceful, relaxing and the tours we took to the Maya ruins and canoed through a cave were outstanding. The tour guides were wonderful; knowledgeable, nice, helpful and a delight to be with. We enjoyed our villa and the open air feeling, the fantastic stars at night and overall ambience. The food and service were impeccable and everyone knew our names. We have already put Blancaneaux on our list of places to return to in short order and have told all our friends this is a must go to place. One note; all the people we encountered in Belize were wonderful, friendly and helpful. Such a delight.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank EagleTravel29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernie M, Manager at Blancaneaux Lodge, responded to this review, April 20, 2014
We are so happy to know that you had a good time- we look forward to hosting you again. Thank you for spreading the good news.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Olive, Michigan
Level Contributor
83 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2014

We had a very tranquil and relaxing 3 day stay at Blancaneaux Lodge last week. We booked the end unit (#20) which has it's own infinity pool looking out over the river and jungle, so the heat of the day was easy to diffuse. The rest of the resort was equally magical. We had a very romantic and peaceful dinner out on the deck with the river sounds in the background. Being awakened by tropical birds in the morning was an added bonus. Biking to the Big Rock Falls was fun (beware, it is gradual downhill there and gradual uphill back, so take water and go early in the morning or late in the day). You can also hike a flat and easy trail along the river, which takes about 45 minutes. Be sure to walk through the gardens and stables if you have time. The road from the airport to the resort is bumpy and long...there is a runway strip right near the resort, so book a flight from there through TropicAir to avoid the drive back. There are lots of excursions nearby ~ we took the Barton Creek tour (canoe with guide) and it was a great experience. The Orchid Trail is a walk around the grounds of the lodge. Very pretty! We saw a white-tailed dear and lots of orchids (some blooming).

Room Tip: Book unit #20 for privacy and peacefulness. It is a hike to some of the rooms, so if you don't...
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tiamaria865
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernie M, Manager at Blancaneaux Lodge, responded to this review, April 15, 2014
Our team is pleased to know that we fullfil your expectation during your stay. Thank you for taking the time out to share your feed back.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 12, 2014

The Blancaneaux Lodge was superb! The grounds were absolutely gorgeous. We stayed for two days. On the first day we went to Caracol. Our visit to Caracol was absolutely awesome! Our tour guide, Eddie, was great and very informed about the site. After our visit to Caracol we got massages. The masseuse, Ne, was great and very nice. The second day we went to barton creek cave. Great tour of the cave. The food at the resort was mostly tasty too. I loved the ginger tea and the civeche best. The bungalows were gorgeous and the service is amazing. I'd recommend this place to anyone.

  • Stayed April 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GrantMimms
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bernie M, Manager at Blancaneaux Lodge, responded to this review, April 15, 2014
Thank you for sharing the highlights of your stay at the lodge, we are so happy to know that you had a great time. Our team do their very best to use ingrediets that are readily available to us and very familiar with.
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 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:4.5 star — Blancaneaux Lodge 4.5*
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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