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“The Best Vacation”

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Blue Marlin Beach Resort
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“The Best Vacation”
Reviewed February 16, 2009

Southwater Caye is without a doubt, one of the most beautiful islands there is! It sits literally on top of the reef and you can snorkel/fish right off the beach. My family and I spent a week there during the summer and loved every minute of it. Not to mention the diving which is some of the best I've ever done!

Blue Marlin is an excellent lodge, with friendly and attentive staff, and a great local menu. The rooms, although decorated a little tacky, are great. The beds are comfortable, plenty of hot water and AC for the nights when the breeze isn't blowing. It's great to just sit in a hammock under a coconut tree, read a book and relax as the waves roll up onto the beach.

Since the lodge is quite small, there is plenty of space and you never feel crowded by the other guests. They take excellent care of the grounds and the cottages on the beach have an incredible view of the sea!

We thoroughly enjoyed Blue Marlin and will defiantly be going back!

  • Liked — The sea, food and service
  • Disliked — I liked it all
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank cayebway89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
La Verkin, UT
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 5, 2008

Four months into our marriage I was ready for a honeymoon on the beach. I had been to Puerto Vallarta and my husband had been to Cancun, and we both had been to Hawaii. So we had a decision to make since Tahiti was not an option for us until very far in the future, if ever. Then came my husband's Scientific American magazine with a full-page ad of Belize. My husband was thrilled to see the barrier reef for some fabulous snorkeling, along with solving his geology curiosity. I went to the travelbelize website and we researched many places and found the Blue Marlin to be our choice. By far, it was way beyond our expectations! Julissa, the owner's daughter, was our U.S. contact who provided us with all the answers to our questions. She coordinated our flight from Belize Int'l airport to Dangriga (about 20 minutes), and the boat ride to Southwater Caye (about 30 minutes). From our Vegas-Houston flight we were greeted at Belize Int'l by one of Blue Marlin's reps, a very helpful and pleasant chap, who checked our bags for us at Maya Air, and the customs department also went very quickly. The flight was short but scenic. Upon arrival in Dangriga we were greeted by Richard who drove us to the dock where the boat awaited us. Along the way he stopped for bottled water and some good local beer to quench our thirst for the short drive and the boat ride to the island :) Everyone was so welcoming and fun! Steven the lobster diver was very informative to any questions on our short cruise to the island.

When we got to the island we were welcomed by our very own personal crew because at this time we had been the only guests. This was at the end of the hurricane season, and we had the very best of weather early November. Although we were exhausted from traveling so long, Kay the manager seated us for a late lunch/early dinner of freshly caught red snapper (right from the pier) that was to die for, prepared by Sam the chef. And Ionie the cook makes the best coconut bread ever! Every meal (inclusive, 3 times a day plus snacks) was just as delicious as the rest. (Oh no, not lobster again :)) And Gloria our housekeeper, along with Kay, made sure our cottage remained clean daily and the fridge stocked with water, fresh juice and the local Belikin and Lighthouse beer. Kay even makes an "alka seltzer" from scratch :)

Two mornings we didn't make it to breakfast so Kay brought it to our cottage...yes, breakfast in bed of your choice! Plan to gain a couple pounds! Our cottage was right on the beach with a perfect view of the sunrise and the waves breaking on the barrier reef that we could see out our window from our bed! Then after breakfast and/or after lunch we were cruised to the greatest snorkeling areas by our personal guide, Ernie. He was the best! He took us to all his private hidden places that were spectacular! I've snorkeled before but this place was the best--a whole new world with phenomenal coral and sea life. One day Ernie even took us island hopping to see all the nearby cayes and their activities. Since I was trying out a new underwater camera I wanted to be sure my pics were backed up and Rosella the owner let me keep a backup stored on her computer for safe keeping. (You can find a large assortment of these pics on the Belize page of my "hikingallery" website.)

Before checking out we chose to not take our Belize flight to the Int'l airport and asked to have Ernie give us a personal tour through Belize. With pleasure, he drove us to some tourist attractions like St. Herman's Blue Hole with the underwater cave while explaining history of the country along the way. It was well worth the small extra fee! It made our last day very memorable. We plan to return again next year, and many more after! This was definitely a honeymoon to remember! Our only advice is to be sure to have insect repellant for the sand flies. Blue Marlin sprays their beach area but I can't be sure of the rest of the caye. We did wander around the island each day or evening to explore, and managed to get a few itches somewhere along the way. All in all, my geeky husband and myself were excited that it was not only a fabulous honeymoon vacation, but an interesting eco tour also. Thanks Blue Marlin Lodge!

~Ellen & Jim

  • Liked — The best service ever! Weather was fabulous! Snorkeling was fabulous!
  • Disliked — Sand flies.
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank ellenjim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iowa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 21, 2007

Next winter we'll have our 7th stay over the last 10 years at the Blue Marlin--so you know we love it there! As other reviewers have said, the staff is uniformly eager to please; the food is good; the snorkeling extraordinary (we learned of the BML from a man who studies fish and reefs worldwide); the rooms comfortable but not luxurious; the sand fleas a horrible problem if you're allergic (I am, my family members aren't); the booze expensive (except Belizean beer) and the wine ordinary; the weather in January a bit unsettled (i.e., "fronts" of chill and rain do come through), better in February; the setting absolutely relaxing and restorative (perfect for reading, napping, eating, snorkeling--our 4 activities there).

This is not a place for anyone who needs a first-class hotel or 3-star restaurant; has children who can't entertain themselves with swimming, snorkeling, reading, sand play; wants a busy nightlife; swims only in pools.

But if you have reading to catch up on, don't mind putting on a few pounds eating too much, like to snorkel or dive or fish, can cope with a bit of rain perhaps, and find contentment in being far, far away from any kind of pressure (there is phone service, and email if essential), this is the place for you. Pack *very* lightly!

  • Liked — Staff. snorkeling, calm
  • Disliked — sand fleas
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank ICmermaid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2007

Blue Marlin Lodge is a rare gem.
If you want a glitzy hotel, this is not for you. But if you want to step into beauty, tranquility, and exceptional care, go to Blue Marlin.
I was met at tiny Dangriga airport by Blue Marlin's charming owner...and then we were off to the pier occupied by one boat (hers) and into her boat for the 40 minute ride to Southwater Caye, which was a trip in itself! By the time we arrived I already felt I'd found a kindred spirit.

I consider the dive operation to be first rate although small. This was my first trip to Belize, having dived previously in the Caribbean and Indonesia. Everything I'd heard about Belize diving was true. The reef was in great shape and the variety and abundance of marine life was spell binding. And we were ALONE. Over 8 dives, we did not see a single other dive operation. The atolls around Dangriga are less visited than the more famous Ambergris area: perhaps this accounts for the excellent condition of the reef. Richard, the dive master, is experienced, knowledgable and fun. He and his team do everything possible to provide an excellent dive experience--from dealing with your gear, to consulting with you on the kind of diving you want to do, to making sure you see as much as possible of what they can see--which is alot. Great Eyes! When my new mask started fogging up, Richard insisted on trading masks with me mid-dive, even though he didn't prefer my pink to his black one!

Blue Marlin is for divers and fishermen...side benefit, wonderful fresh fish at every meal. The fish is their strength, but the food was good across the board. (Dinner included both fish and meat.) Endless fresh juice, strong coffee, a well stocked bar, and canapes delivered each afternoon to your room--what more can one want?

I stayed in one of their beach front cabanas and liked it very much. Full bath, comfortable large bed, table and chairs, closet, dresser and porch looking at the water. I would have been comfortable much longer that the five days I had. And the walk to the dive boat? Less than a hundred yards, where my fully tanked up gear was waiting in the boat for my arrival for every dive.
Blue Marlin is not fancy, but is very well kept. There are plenty of hammocks strung between the palm trees and a small gift shop which Juliet will open at your request. Kayaks for the asking, snorkelling and fishing guides available for a change of pace, and a staff who were welcoming and attentive across the board.

I registered on TripAdvisor so I could shout about this place. I simply loved it, and I'll go again.

  • Liked — Extraordinary setting and staff
  • Disliked — That I couldn't live there permanently
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank uktravelerUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria VA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2007

Working through a travel agent we booked 3 nights at the Blue Marlin Lodge on Southwater Caye. I wanted to stay on a beautiful island where we could snorkel right off shore, in a cottage literally at the edge of the sea.

While the island is spectacular and the snorkeling terrific, we were very disappointed in our cottage at Blue Marlin. Their website led us to believe that we would stay in a cottage with an "...all wood...handsome tropical interior....mounted on posts at the edge of the sea". Instead we were in a rather dingy cabin with wall-to-wall carpeting, heavy curtains, old screens, that was fronted by 50 feet of sand, a ragged volleyball net, and a 2 foot concrete abutment where the sand met the sea. Not the view we were hoping for. And not the view that we were led to believe we would have by the pictures on the Blue Marlin website.

On the positive side the staff was wonderful--they knew we were unhappy with the cottage and did everything they could to make our stay pleasant. We did some great snorkeling and fishing, and were able to eat our catch at every meal. They were very flexible with our meal times since we were the only guests at the time. And the grounds were very well tended.

But the fact is that even with great tending that concrete wall in front of our cabin caught whatever the wind was blowing through and the view was nothing like what we had expected. We spent most of our time away from the cabin, especially on the snorkeling beach (about a 15 minute walk away) and at the IZE restaurant/bar, which was much more pleasant and tropical than Blue Marlin.

So we will go back to Southwater Caye but we would stay at IZE.

Be aware too, that while there may not be sand flies at Blue Marlin (as noted on their website), there are most definitely sand flies at the beach.

We loved Belize and will definitely go back again--both the people and the country are so beautiful and inviting. If you need help putting together a trip to Belize we highly recommend Mary Toy of Destinations Belize.

  • Liked — Southwater Caye
  • Disliked — Our Cottage
  • Stayed January 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank KenyaLogan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 21, 2006

Staff was consistently friendly and concerned about my experience. Each and every one expressed a sincere interest in making sure that I had what I needed and felt comfortable.
The grounds are very well kept though travelers should definitely bring something to ward off sand fleas who are relentless. The rooms were very simple - plywood walls, minimal lighting - but very clean and sufficiently spacious to accommodate a single and double bed with a comfortable chair, nightstand and dresser. There seemed to be plenty of room for scuba gear. The bathroom was generously sized with a stall shower, bench, toilet, and sink. (I had plently of hot water though others in our group did not.) There was also a large closet (the only one) in this room. My only complaints were with a noisy air conditioner and the lack of adequate lighting to read at night. Double bed was firm with three pillows and a spread.
The dining room is pleasantly laid out and comfortable with open doors and overhead fans. Meals were served very promptly and pleasantly. Breakfast was consistently good - cooked to order eggs and meats with daily specials like pancakes or waffles. Fresh fruit was served at most meals. Lunches and dinners were best when simple broiled fish with fresh local vegetables.
The scuba dive operation was staffed by a competent and helpful crew. I also had an excellent snorkel run with an eagle-eyed diver who pointed out many creatures that I might have missed (like a porcupine fish hiding under a coral shelf). I am partly disabled by MS and could count on a hand whenever I needed it.
And, last but not least, the director of Blue Marlin ordered a birthday cake for me as a surprise. I was surprised but probably shouldn't have been since it seemed completely in character for this charming group.

  • Stayed May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed April 11, 2005

As though the pristine reefs and impeccable accomodations weren't enough, the Blue Marlin Lodge is home to the most friendly and eager staff I've ever had the pleasure of staying with. I cried when it was time to leave, and not because I wasn't ready to go home... because I wasn't ready to leave my fast friends from the island.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blue Marlin Beach Resort

Property: Blue Marlin Beach Resort
Address: 14 Miles Offshore Dangriga, On Top the Barrier Reef, South Water Caye, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > South Water Caye
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in South Water Caye
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Blue Marlin Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Idyllic private island getaway atop the Belize Barrier Reef offering easy access to snorkel, dive and fishing adventures with leisure time for relaxation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blue Marlin Hotel South Water Caye
Blue Marlin Beach Resort Belize/South Water Caye

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