Turtle Inn is one of two upscale resort properties in Belize owned by American movie director Francis Ford Coppola. (The other is Blancaneaux.) This inn is in the town of Placencia, but despite its proximity to the town's services, the privacy afforded by the resort makes guests feel insulated and more isolated than they actually are. The cabana-style accommodations are luxurious and spacious, with high ceilings and exceptional attention to design detail. The architecture blends in with the environment, but inside the cabanas and villas, guests will feel as if they've been transported to another part of the world. The decor is inspired by Bali, with hand-carved wooden wardrobes and trunks and richly embroidered textiles and tapestries. These sit alongside ultramodern amenities and conveniences, such as Delonghi espresso machines and iPod docking stations. Common areas include a triangle-shaped, infinity-edge pool and a gift shop with pricey luxury goods, including handbags and clothing.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Just a few minutes from the town of Placencia, Turtle Inn resort sits next to a very poor Garifuna community called Seine Bight, a juxtaposition of extreme luxury and visible poverty that observant guests can find jarring. Over in Placencia, visitors can stroll through the shops, buy locally made ice cream, or sign up for an ocean excursion; the very popular, award-winning Splash Dive Center is based in Placencia, and its staff lead day trips for beginner to advanced divers.
Need to Know
Rooms: 25 rooms; from $380. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Turtle Inn has three restaurants on-site, including the Mare, which specializes in seafood and Italian recipes that are a nod to Coppola family traditions. The Gauguin Grill is an alfresco option, with tables set on the sand just a few feet from the ocean. Here, fresh fish and seafood are the stars. Auntie Luba's Kitchen serves Belizean favorites and reflects Belize's cultural and culinary diversity; this restaurant is across the street from the main property of Turtle Inn, and it overlooks the Placencia Lagoon. Turtle Inn also has two bars; wine from Coppola's own vineyard is, of course, on the menu. Spa and gym details: The on-site Sunset Spa is housed in an open-air Balinese rice house, with gorgeous, hand-carved screens. The East doesn't just inspire the decor; staff are trained in Balinese massage techniques. Other treatments include facials and wraps.
Who’s it best for: While Turtle Inn is ideal for couples and honeymooners, it's also perfect for families, thanks to oversized rooms and an exceptional kids' program, which includes the option of getting certified to scuba dive (age restrictions apply). Our favorite rooms: Seafront Villas have all the amenities of the other room types, with the added benefit of a beautiful screened porch with ocean views, as well as a private garden and outdoor shower. More FFC: Guests who want to experience another area of Belize and/or another Central American country should inquire about the “Central American Safari” package, which combines a stay at Turtle Inn with time at two other Coppola-owned properties in Belize and Guatemala.