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“Do not miss Blancaneaux Lodge”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Blancaneaux Lodge

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Blancaneaux Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Washington DC
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Do not miss Blancaneaux Lodge”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2009

We went to Blancaneaux for the second phase of our honeymoon. Because of a recent storm, land travel was a little more difficult, so we decided to charter flights from Turtle Inn to Blancaneaux and from Blancaneuax to Ambergris Caye. If you save a little extra to pay for the flights, this is absolutely the way to go. It saves so much travel time and allows you more time to enjoy the different spots you're visiting. If you check with the concierge, there may be other folks interested in flying to the same spot as you are, which will help defray the costs.

The hotel staff is so friendly, the food is delicious, the grounds are spectacular, and the rooms are comfortable. Our time in Blancaneaux offered relaxing days by the pool, in the spa, in the river, and on our private porch's hammock, in addition to more adventurous days spent hiking to Big Rock falls, traveling to Tikal, and exploring the ATM cave. You really should not miss TIkal or ATM. The trips, though pricey, are spectacular, especially Tikal. It was a long day to make it to TIkal and tour the grounds and return home, but it was worth it.

If we have to say something bad, we can talk about the bugs, but then who complains about bugs when they're in the rainforest!?

Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank NewlyTurner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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415 reviews from our community

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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 (99)
Date | Rating
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English first
London
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2009

this is the best hotel/lodge we have ever stayed in. The setting in the jungle is magnificent with views across the river; the tress are not as lush as they once were because they have been attacked by beetles but even so it is beautiful. The cabanas are fantastically designed so that when you lie in bed you look out t at the other end of the room through fine mesh netting stright into the trees; it really makes you feel like you are right in it. The design of the cabanas is lalso very good because you are not overlooked or indeed find it difficult to see anyoine else. The service was excellent without being too intrusive. It is expensive and easy to run up a bill - we spent £500 over the two days on food, which is very good whilst not 5* , trip to Barton Creek Caves ( do it on the morning run) and presents. Also, go to Great Rock Waterfalls and swim in the lovely waters - but do not take the mountain bikes unless you are prepared for the constant up incline on the way back. They do have an airstrip and if you can it would be worth looking into a hopper flight in as the road journey is very bumpy and long (we came from Tikal and it took 4 hours)

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank harleynut5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2009

This hotel is trading on the Francis Ford Coppola name. It is horrifically expensive and stuck an hour's drive up one of the worst roads I've been on. You are therefore held captive regarding eating and drinking. The rooms were fine with some nice little touches like candles alight when you returned from supper but the service was erratic (requested early morning tea but it did not appear 2 days out of 3) and some of the restaurant staff seemed bored and disillusioned (so were we when we saw the prices!) The 'Italian' restaurant is a pale imitation (Marinara Pizza without any fish???).
Excursion costs ranged up to $400US for a day trip - out of our price range. Some very tiny bugs (too small to see) went on full attack before we had had a chance to apply insect repellent - you need to use it 24 hrs a day from the moment you arrive and I think the hotel should stress this. Four weeks later we still have the marks!
The setting on a river with small waterfalls is pretty but the pine forest itself is dead, both from some kind of destructive beetle and from fires. The feature we enjoyed most was the hot pool and there are many nice features but by and large we wished we had given it a miss. Their sister restaurant La Lancha, 2-3 hours drive away in Guatemala, is much nicer.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank mrstoady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philidelphia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2009

Our family was here for 4 days and rented 2 of the two-bedroom villas. Everything was really nice. Its pretty remote but I knew that going into it and was looking forward to the escape. The service was great with the exception of the restaurant which I found to be extremely slow, even when just ordering the complimentary continental breakfast which was a fruit plate and bread basket. But when the food did arrive it was very good. They have 2 options the main dining room is mainly Italian and a new small addition of Guatemalan which was very good. We rented SUVs to get there and was glad to have a car. We were able to do many self guided adventures which save a good amount for all. It was a great start to our vacation before heading to Ambergris caye.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travlinphilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2009

We spent 4 perfect days at Blancaneaux before heading to Turtle Inn. The Lodge is marvelous - perfectly run; professional, caring service; good food and wine; great tour options (we went to Tikal, Caracol and Barton Creek Caves. The hike to Big Rock Falls is strenuous but worth the effort. I wish we'd had more time to just hang at the Lodge and spend more time is the gorgeous clean river. Next time. My only tiny snivel is that the rooms don't match up to those at Turtle Inn. We had Riverfront Cabana 6, which turned out to be the smallest one and while it was lovely it lacked an indoor seating area and desk or table. We were on our honeymoon and would have spent more time in the seclusion of our cabana if we'd had the space (such as a dinner in our room). Next time we will be sure to request something larger(Luxury Cabanas 11 and 12 are sweet). There were a few kids there -- and happily their parents managed them well, but I would not recommend this as a place for most families with kids. It's a quiet, romantic place with not a lot of space for kid-type activities. Probably fine for well-traveled kids who will go on lots of excursions like the group with TravelMommyof4 (who I beleive was there when we were and seemed very tuned in to keeping her kids well managed).

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank WanderingOne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Weston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 18, 2009

We traveled to Belize and found paradise in this wonderful lodge! The location was gorgeous... more beautiful than the pictures displayed on their own website. We rented Villa 6 and 7. The accommodations were lovely and very spacious. The views of the waterfalls from our rooms were spectacular! The river was easily accessible for swimming and our 4 children spent hours playing in the clear river. Geronimo was our guide to Barton Creek. He was very knowledgable and friendly. The cave tour(canoeing 1 mile into the cave) was fascinating. We also went by horseback to Great Rock Falls. The entire family played in the falls...the 2 guides were fantastic on this excursion. We loved seeing the properties gardens. Much of the scrumptious food that is served in the lodges restaurants is grown in these gardens. The service was top notch. We can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travelmommyof4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york city
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2009

The road to Blancaneaux is long and winding - only about 18 miles from the Western Highway, but it took us over an hour by car to traverse the mud, rocks, holes, steep hills, fallen trees, etc. And so when you finally turn into Blancaneaux's palm-lined driveway, it looks and feels a bit like heaven.

From the moment we arrived, we were taken care of like family - handshakes from nearly every staff member we encountered. Cool, casual, customer service at its best. Tracy briefly familiarized us with the grounds and then took us to our 2 bedroom deluxe villa (absolutely perfect for a group of 4 friends). While the bedrooms were perfectly comfortable, I mostly slept in the lounge area overlooking the Privassion River, either on the couch or in the hammock. I'm still for the most part speechless about the accommodations: the Japenese style bathrooms - soap on a leaf, etc., the screened porches off of each bedroom, the towering thatched roof, and the artwork are all worth mentioning.

The staff brought us coffee in the morning, covered our villa with candles in the evening, and occassionally a voice would call from a giant conch (the shell phone - que cool!) to see if we needed anything or if they should expect us for dinner. Every request, no matter how out of the ordinary, was met gladly (i.e., Thelma loaning us pots and pans from the chef's kitchen). If you do head to the restaurant, you must try the lasagna and/or the seafood risotto. There are also some nice wines available from Francis Ford Coppola's very own vineyard (I believe his wine is called The Director's Cut). The bartender was always chatty and filled with fun facts about The Blancaneaux, surrounding wildlife, the Coppola's, and Belize in general.

Apart from the staff, the most remarkable thing about Blancaneaux would have to be the way the architecture blends so effortlessly into nature - the pathways, the hot pool, the bridges and waterfalls only enhance the natural surroundings, rather than detract from them. That, to me, is what makes this place so rare. It's all very inspiring.

In short, from beginning to end we were very, very pleased. When our car broke down on the way out, it was hard not to smile at the possiblity of staying a little longer. But Lluvia (Assistant Manager) and the mechanic came to check out our car and made arrangements for a replacement. And a short while later, we were off again down the bumpy road.

Go here. Do this. You will be happy.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank willtjordan
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: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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