Turtle Inn Resort is a true labor of love. Less than a year after Francis and Eleanor Coppola acquired this beach side refuge in 2001, it was swept out to sea by the forces of Hurricane Iris. Turning disaster into triumph, the Coppolas led a two-year reclamation project, creating a magnificent resort that is consistently ranked among the best in Central and South America.
This 25-room seafront hideaway combines natural wonders with luxury style. Accommodations are in individual thatched cottages, decorated with handcrafted Balinese furnishings and naturally cooled by the ever-present sea breezes. Just steps beyond your private deck, the white-sand beach dissolves into the clear Caribbean ocean. In addition, two swimming pools offer a choice of freshwater and saltwater bathing.
With its friendly, attentive staff, three restaurants, a rejuvenating spa and idyllic seafront setting, Turtle Inn is a perfect refuge for those seeking a stress-relieving getaway. But the unique location also provides a wealth of exciting activities. The coral reef just offshore offers some of the best diving and scuba in the world, and the on site dive shop can accommodate the needs of both beginners and experienced divers. Inland hikes to hidden lagoons, canoe trips up the Monkey River and the short bicycle ride into the local, typically Belizean town will also enrich guests' experience of this magical country.
Not all that is beautiful at Turtle Inn resides outdoors. Balinese-inspired cabanas have artisan-crafted furnishings, a luxury private bath and a broad screened deck to welcome in the tropical sea air. Enjoy the luxury in the spirit of the natural landscape.
Each dwelling includes the following:
- In-Room Dining
- Safe deposit box
- Refrigerator stocked with water, wine, soft drinks, Belikin beer and local snacks
- Shellphone for communicating with Reception
- Ceiling fan
- Writing table & chair
- Sofa & coffee table
- Coffee & tea making equipment
- Umbrellas (2)
- Organic, locally sourced, hand made toiletries
- Alarm clock & iPod docking station
- Copy of Zoetrope: All-Story magazine
A variety of cottage options are available to guests, including those nestled in the lush gardens, poolside, with seaviews or seafront, just a few paces from the Caribbean Sea. Each cottage has a private screened porch, spacious bathroom with Japanese bath, and private walled garden with outdoor shower. All rooms feature Balinese hand-carved doors and decor.
A variety of villa options are available to guests, including those nestled in the lush gardens, poolside, with seaviews or seafront, just a few paces from the Caribbean Sea. Each of the 2-bedroom/2-bath villas provide luxurious proportions with living room, separated seating areas, and extended screened porch. Each is surrounded by private walled garden with outdoor shower. All rooms feature Balinese hand-carved doors and decor.
Enjoy complete privacy in the comfort of a handcrafted, nautically-themed cottage set on the shores of the Placencia Lagoon. Features a full kitchen, an expansive living room and bedroom as well as a private pool and deck offering spectacular views of the sunset.
The Beach House is a one-of-a-kind modernist-tropical hideaway just steps from the Caribbean Sea, which shares a beach and all the luxury amenities of Turtle Inn. Designed by architect Laurent Deroo as a stylish but soothing getaway, comprising an open-plan main house and two guest bungalows, the Beach House opens to the ever-present sea breezes while connecting to the romantic, Balinese-styled resort it adjoins.
This exclusive Balinese-inspired pavilion is designed to maximize privacy and is located at the southern edge of the property, surrounded on three sides by a high walled garden. There are two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms and a third loft bedroom accessed by a bamboo ladder. The Pavilion features antique hand-carved wooden doorways and detailing, stone sculptures, and artwork selected by Francis and Eleanor Coppola. The two spacious bathrooms feature indoor showers and in addition one of the bathrooms incorporates a luxurious steam room. Beyond the airy bathrooms are private walled gardens with outdoor showers. Between the two bedrooms is a living area and screened porch with comfortable sofas, writing desk and wet bar area with Delonghi espresso machine and fridge.
Overlooking the pool is an open air, thatch-roofed dining terrace with unbroken views over the beach to the Caribbean Sea. Below the dining terrace is the private pool crafted with original tile art and surrounded by a tropical walled garden.
The Mare Restaurant
Fresh seafood and traditional Italian cooking come together at Turtle Inn's flagship restaurant. Local fish is brought in daily from the fertile reefs just offshore and fresh vegetables are delivered from the hotel's organic garden. The changing daily menu offers such dishes as ceviche and gazpacho, fish cooked in a sea-salt crust and a selection of pizzas made to order in a wood-burning oven. The Mare offers a relaxed dining experience beneath the towering vaulted thatch roof, with incredible views out to sea.
The Gauguin Grill
This beachfront restaurant features fresh, charcoal-grilled seafood including lobster, jumbo shrimp and snapper all served on woven plates accompanied by a choice of Balinese-inspired sauces and spices. Tables are set just a few feet from the sea giving fantastic views of the offshore cayes and starry night sky. The sandy-floored bar and lounge also offers an excellent selection of Belize-brewed beer, wine and cocktails.
Auntie Luba's Kitchen
The hotel's own authentic Belizean diner, Auntie Luba's overlooks the calm, shallow waters of Placencia Lagoon. The menu of this rustic-style restaurant is filled with regional fare like curry chicken, coconut shrimp and hearty beef stew, all served in a fun and friendly atmosphere.
Laughing Fish Bar
Just steps from the luxurious infinity pool, a towering thatch roof provides a shady retreat to enjoy a wide selection of drinks. Bar stools sit directly in the golden-sand beach, offering panoramic views over the sea to the offshore cayes.
Skip White Bar
Named after the charismatic original owner of Turtle Inn, the Skip White Bar displays antique microscopes used by Skip and his Marine Biology students. This open-air bar offers an excellent selection of drink options throughout the day and into the evening and is an ideal place to chat about the day's adventures over a glass of Coppola wine or a Belize-brewed beer.
Kid's Gelato Bar
Neatly tucked to the side of the Skip White Bar hangs a sign 'Gelato Bar – No Adults Allowed.' Kids are invited to enjoy a supervised party atmosphere at the sand floored Gelato Bar. Hanging Chinese lanterns, plenty of open space and superb ice cream make this a favorite hangout for children of all ages. Locally made gelato includes flavors ranging from strange-sounding exotic fruits to popular Italian classics.
The gift shop features an assortment of items that are actually used throughout the resort -- Balinese hanging textiles, handcrafted decor items, sarongs and tabletop linens, and more. It's a great way to bring some of Turtle Inn back home. There's also a wide variety of resort apparel and swimwear, beautiful jewelry made by a local artisan who only uses materials he finds washed up on shore, and a wide variety of books for people looking to read while relaxing on the beach. The shop also carries a selection of toys for guest families, informative materials for the adventurer as well as practical items and toiletries that you may have forgotten to pack.
After a day of scuba diving or fly fishing along the barrier reef, experience the rejuvenating qualities of a luxurious spa treatment. A wide selection of massage, body treatments and face and head treatments await. Set in an open-air Balinese Rice House featuring hand-painted murals inspired by ancient art, the Sunset Spa boasts some of Turtle Inn's most stunning views of Placencia Lagoon.
All treatments use only locally-sourced organic ingredients and specializes in traditional Thai massage practiced by a professional staff that has studied the ancient techniques at the Sacred Wat Pho Temple in Bangkok.
Beach and Pools
The best beach swimming in Belize is located in Placencia. The sandy beach and calm, clear waters create perfect conditions for swimming and snorkeling as well as a host of other water-related adventures. Visit the on site Dive Shop for more information on renting sailing boats, snorkel gear, kayaks and beach bicycles.
Turtle Inn also has two infinity swimming pools to help you enjoy the day. The oval-shaped infinity pool is located between the Mare Restaurant and the Laughing Fish Bar while the triangular infinity pool with its striking ceramic turtle tiling and tranquil surroundings is located to the north of the property close to the Gauguin Grill.
With a subtropical climate, unspoiled cayes and atolls, as well as the largest barrier reef in the western hemisphere containing a dizzying array of fish and coral, its no wonder Belize is considered one of the top diving locations in the world. At Turtle Inn, they specialize in attentive, professional dive services dedicated to safety and guests' individual needs. Scuba diving and snorkeling equipment is offered and tours as well as a wide range of PADI certification courses for both the beginner and more experienced.
All Turtle Inn dive trips will be lead by a licensed Tour Guide who is also a PADI Divemaster or a certified PADI Instructor. Snorkel guides are all intimate with the local marine environment and conditions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. A licensed boat captain will also accompany each trip and remain on board the boat at all times.
Turtle Inn uses only name brand, well maintained scuba equipment. State of the art air compressors are inspected regularly and the filters are changed ahead of the manufacturers' recommendations. If you have your own gear, they will be happy to wash it, store it and set it up for your next trip, free of charge.
All boats are all equipped with VHF marine communication, first aid kits, life support oxygen, life vests, diver down flag, and of course, a captain that knows and respects the sea.
Turtle Inn is a proud member of the PADI International Resort Association, the world's leader in scuba diving. All of the courses offered by Turtle Inn are conducted by professional PADI Instructors who follow standards set by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Courses include Discover Scuba Diving, Scuba Review/Scuba Tune-Up, Open Water Diver and Adventure Diver/Advanced Open Water.