Caribbean Coast & Cayes
Turtle Inn

This 25-room beachfront hotel offers a slice of coastal calm with its Balinese-style cottages, excellent dining options and superb sea views.

Owners Francis and Eleanor Coppola have created an idyllic refuge for those seeking a relaxing or adventure-filled getaway to Belize. It works just as well for couples as it does for families, with an array of activities to keep guests busy, as well as a Thai spa, PADI dive centre and 2 impressive pools.

Facilities & Activities

You won’t be far from water activities here. The calm seas of Palcencia are ideal for swimming and snorkelling, while the hotel’s dive shop can help arrange rental of sailboats, snorkel gear, kayaks, water bicycles and stand-up paddleboards. You could also book an excursion to Mayan ruins, ziplining or visit an organic farm.

The hotel has 2 infinity pools, one of which is for adults only, as well as an open-air spa that specialises in traditional Thai massage. There’s also a gift shop selling everything from sarongs to jewellery made by local artisans.

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Dining

With its vaulted thatch roof and stellar sea views, Mare Restaurant is the main place to eat. It offers mainly fresh seafood and Italian cuisine, such as pizzas cooked in a wood-burning oven, ceviche and gazpacho. Fish is brought in daily and much of the veg comes from the hotel’s organic garden.

For a meal or cocktail that’s even closer to the sea, The Laughing Fish Bar is a relaxed venue right on the beach, while Auntie Luba’s Kitchen overlooks the lagoon and offers authentic Belizean meals, including curry chicken, coconut shrimp and key lime pie. Or, you could tuck into grilled lobster and fish surrounded by flaming torches in the sand at The Gauguin Grill.

Sample Coppola wine in a tasting, offered at the Wine Cellar. There is also a children’s ice cream parlour, Kid’s Gelato Bar.

Rooms

Set in 3 rows, the thatched cottages are all the same size and style, though you pay more to get one positioned closer to the sea. All feature a private screened porch, spacious en suite with a Japanese bath, and a private walled garden with an outdoor shower. Balinese touches include hand-carved doors, artwork and bamboo furnishings.

There are also two-bedroom villas, plus other larger villa options including Sofia’s Beach House (sleeping 10 people) and a private island, Coral Caye.

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Family

The entry-level cottages can sleep up to 3 people with the use of a rollaway bed for children, while the two-bedroom, two-bathroom villas are ideal for larger families (sleeping up to 6 with two rollaway beds). The self-catering Starfish Cottage can accommodate 4 people, while the Francis’ Family Pavillion is a more exclusive option – sleeping up to 6, with a private butler on hand. Sofia’s Beach House offers extra privacy and space – up to 10 guests can stay here.

High chairs and a children’s menu is available in the main restaurant, and babysitting service can be arranged at check in. The Kids Gelato Bar has children’s tables and is supervised.

Sustainability

Turtle Inn strongly supports Belize’s ecotourism efforts, they have a set of sustainability and conservation initiatives that work towards the hotel’s sustainable goals, which include:

  • The hotels construction was designed so that the buildings blend into the surroundings, regional plants are also used on site to reduce irrigation.
  • All housekeeping products are in reusable bottles and guests have the option of reusing towels and linen.
  • 80% of produce from the restaurants comes from the on-site farm.
  • The hotel supports scholarships at local schools.
  • Guests can participate in planting pine trees throughout the year.

Turtle Inn have a full & in-depth sustainability efforts report that you can read in full on their website.

Location

Turtle Inn is perfectly placed at the tip of the narrow Placencia peninsula, bordering both beach and lagoon. To the East lies the Caribbean Sea, scattered with coral cayes and the Belize Barrier Reef UNESCO World Heritage site. To the West, the tranquil Placencia Lagoon sits calmly, amidst the backdrop of the Maya Mountains and Victoria Peak.

Guests can take a 2 – 3 hour road transfer or a shuttle flight to Placencia Airport, a short drive from the hotel.  It’s a ten-minute cycle into Placencia town with its restaurants, galleries and shops or the resort also offers a complimentary shuttle.

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