Historical Traveller Reviews of Blancaneaux Lodge Hotel
A safe bet!
This place has great surroundings, though a bit pricey.
We have been to the jungle a few times and I would rate it in the top tier. DuPlooys has fallen on hard times and is getting a bit worse for wear. It is also very expensive for what you get.
Chaa Creek Lodge is a safe bet, too. But you can't go wrong with Blancaneaux.
This is really a remarkable place with beautiful scenery. The staff was just amazing. The excursions, while pricey, were definietly worth it and the guides really knew their stuff. Don't miss the sunrise horseback ride through the rainforest (which you can just do as a couple with no other guests)...or the cave canoe (one other guest was on this with us). I know that Italian food might seem a little odd for Belize, but it's amazing. Don't worry about whether your cabin is gardenview, riverview, etc. because they really all face the same thing, just from varying distances. We stayed for four nights and I think it was perfect.
Diamond in the rough
from A TripAdvisor Member
We could not say anything less than perfect for this resort. Beautiful rooms, breathtaking views, polite and helpful staff. Plenty of things to do even if the weather doesn't cooperate. Very pleased with the food.
Don't listen to everyone who says "it wasn't worth the money". You get what you pay for here and more! It was worth every penny we spent.
We stayed for 4 nights for our honeymoon. Absolutely amazing experience. The staff was very kind and helpful. For a few days, we felt like ancient Kings (Or maybe just rich & famous). The views are breathtaking. The tours were all great. The Thai massage was the best massage we ever had. The food and drinks were all great. Everyone should experience this once in their lives.
We loved Blancaneaux!
from A TripAdvisor Member
My husband and I call Blancaneaux "Camping in Luxury". The Staff - AMAZING, the views - INCREDIBLE, the food - DELICIOUS (although would have liked to see more Belizean dishes).
WE WILL DEFINETELY RETURN!
Blancaneaux Schmlancaneaux-- Whatever
My husband and I were so glad that we stayed here for just one night. The Cayo is an awesome place-- the best in Belize. But rent a car and see all the sights yourself! We spend 4 days at Pine Ridge Lodge, right next store, and with out own car were able to see all the ruins, caves, and waterfalls when and how we wanted to, and with nobody else there at the same time! When we stayed at Blancaneaux for a night "for fun" we were both deeply unimpressed. Yes, it is very luxurious, but we felt like we were being taken advantage of. You will pay for everything! The food was quite mediocre (but expensive!) Basically, we wanted less hype. Even if it had been cheaper we still would have preferred the experience at Pine Ridge Logde, where we felt like travelers instead of rich, pampered, white Americans
Spend the money its worth it....What a garden
Now if you are happy in a tent or place with just a fan in the room then this place isnt for you. But if you want a real Jungle feel, with first class comfort... this is the place, the cabins make you feel like tarzan and jane, they over look a BEAUTHFUL garden that has been grown out of the jungle by one of the greatest gardners i have ever known. I could have spent my whole vaction just talking with hime about all the tons and tons of compost they have brought in to make the jungle grow. Another time, they also over look a river with beautiful swim holes full of little fish, really cool for the kids...The food is to die for. (lots of fresh garden stuff) After eating at so many so so places in Belize it was great to have some really good food to eat. The staff was well trained and you could tell they liked there job, this is not the norm in Belize. The price is a little high but well worth it, spend the money.
Garden of Eden
My husband and I just returned from a 9 day adventure in Belize where we split our time between Blancaneaux and Turtle Inn. While Turtle Inn was FABULOUS (check out my Turtle Inn review), Blancaneaux stole our hearts forever. Turtle Inn was all about luxury and pampering, while Blancaneaux offered a more rustic elegance. I was disappointed when I tried to book a riverview cabana and all that was available was a gardenview, but when we arrived, my disappointment completely disappeared. There are no bad accomodations here, and if your budget is a bit limited, or if availability is a problem, don't fear the anything-but-basic gardenview cabanas. They're beautiful and private, but in a good central location within steps of the river, main lodge, hot pool, and spa, with views of tropical flowers and fauna from your private screened-in porch. When first arriving at Blancaneaux, the first descriptive that came to mind was "summer camp for rich kids." The lodge and cabanas had a rustic "campy" feel, but with gorgeous hardwood floors, handcarved furniture, and lots of attention to detail, such as candles, fresh flowers, handmade soaps, fluffy towels and robes, comfy beds, and nightly turndown service. There are no modern conveniences such as air conditioning, TVs, radios, or internet access here---nothing to interrupt your total relaxation or drown out the wonderful sounds of the surrounding forrest/jungle. You'll only find peace and tranquility, and the best sleep of your life. The food at Blancaneaux is excellent--even something as simple as a banana is exceptional here because everything is grown on site, and the service..... well, I hesitate to even call it service, because it's more like visiting family. All your wants and needs will be happily taken care of in the warmest and most personal way you can imagine. Take the time to get to know your Blancaneaux family; they all have stories and anticdotes to share, and they are genuinely interested in getting to know you as well. After dinner, be sure to visit the bar. This is where guests get together and share stories of their daily adventures. In our experience most guests had rental cars and went about adventures on their own (that's what we did as well and I highly recommend it just for the experience). Blancaneaux's staff will be happy to provide you with any directions and information you need---there is no pressure to participate in the guided tours. However, if you do choose to take a guided tour, you will likely have the guide all to yourself, or there may be one other couple. There will never be large groups, and the guide will go at your pace. Whether you go alone or with a guide, I recommend the following: Belize Zoo, Caracol, Xunantunich, 1000 Foot Falls, and if you can actually find it.... Big Rock. Blancaneaux also offers a sunrise horseback ride that everyone seems to LOVE, though we didn't have the opportunity to try it. I'd like to also recommend that if you are thinking of staying at Blancaneaux for 3 nights, you might want to reconsider. We thought that 4 days would be PLENTY of time to see and do everything, and it wasn't. We could have easily spent 7 days here and stayed very busy the entire time. There are many things to do and see in this area, and due to the road conditions, it takes at least 2 hours to get anywhere (don't let the roads scare you though--they are actually pretty fun). The overall resort is incredibly romantic, and there are plenty of places for a couple in love to disappear together. In our experience, the main lodge was where you made friends, but the grounds were where you had time alone together. We rarely encountered other guests while exploring the grounds and enjoying the hot pool. In fact, we were surprised at the number of guests who were actually staying there when we showed up for Barbeque Night and everyone was in attendance. Until that night, we had only seen 2 or 3 other couples, but that night almost every table in the restaurant was full. I can't articulate the wonderful experience we had here, so you'll just have to experience it for yourself, but if you are reading these reviews because you are uncertain if Blancaneaux is right for you, let me say this..... If you are in love with your partner and you genuinely enjoy each other's company, and you are looking for a little bit of luxury and a little bit of adventure, Blancaneaux is DEFINITELY the place for you. If you are looking for 24 hour all-you-can-eat buffets, raggae dance contests, volleyball tournaments, belly flop competitions, and art auctions, and you want to catch the latest football scores, play a round of golf, email your friends, and call your office, Blancaneaux is MOST ASSUREDLY NOT for you. Go to Cancun.
Extremely Romantic, Private, Beautiful
Breathtakingly beautiful lodge. It is a very very far drive from anything else which adds charm to its seclusion. Situated along a steeply cascading stream/river, we stayed in a private cabana perched on stilts. The neighbors are all well separated by foliage and distance. You can play in the cascades, walk through the gardens or just read and enjoy a glass of wine. The food is very good, but there is still room for improvement. Don't get me wrong, the setting is perfect, but I often dine at 4 and 5 star restaurants, and the food just wasn't as good as the rest of the resort. Still, that was in 2003.
The lodge has a tiny little bar which is a great hangout. You MUST try the local moonshine made from herbs-- very good and it's supposed to be an aphrodisiac.
One word of advice: make your horseback riding reservations in advance. The lodge itself doesn't have riding, and the stables in the area were all booked when we arrived.
Also, while you're in Belize stay at Kinantik Resort for the coastal experience, and Jaguar Paw for the jungle experience. Combined with Blancaneaux Lodge, you'll have the very best of a Belize vacation.
Paradise in the middle of the jungle!
I have a highly stessful job and have found that the only thing which truly relaxes me is to travel to very different and exotic places. Belize is that place. My somewhat anxious teenage daughter was definitely out of her comfort zone but Blancaeaux won her over. The place is gorgeous - beautiful cabanas overlooking a swimmable river - even my "Garden" cabana had a great view of the water. Saw other reader had problem with roaches - we had none of that - never saw more than a garden variety bug anywhere. The Belizean staff who work at the lodge are the nicest, sweetest staff I have met anywhere. They bent over backwards to help us. The restaurant is fantastic but limited in selection. The food is mostly Italian which my picky daughter appreciated but anyone looking for Belizean food will be disappointed. The pizza is fantastic. Beware that there is almost nothing to do at the lodge. Great if you need forced relaxation like I do. Not so great if you have children to entertain. I did teach my daughter how to play backgammon and she became obsessed. I would suggest that the Lodge get a better selection of boardgames as there is little else to do. There was only one backgammon board and we had to spend sometime waiting for it to be free. They do have excellent excursions. Each night at dinner they have the activities director come around and help you plan the next day. Each of our excursions were private with our own guide. Our day at the Mayan Ruins was incredible - noone there but us, our guide and the team of archeologists who are still excavating the site. Guide was incredibly knowledgeable, helpful and willing to spend as much time as we wanted. Only downside - these excursions do cost you. There are two ways to get to the lodge from the international airport: drive or fly. We drove (3 1/2 hours through nothing), I would fly next time. All in all Blancaneux was paradise as long as you know what you are getting into.
Top Local Tips for San Ignacio
Location issues at Blancaneaux and other resorts out by Caracol
If you plan on staying in the area for more than a few days, you may want to move to a place closer to paved roads after a few days. Much time is spent at 15mph getting places on rutted roads, and the extra hour to get to Blancaneaux from the pavement gets old after a few days. Maybe Chaa Creek? It is well located nearer the pavement and supposed to be very nice, though I didn't go into the property.
take bikes and find the waterfalls at Big Rock for a stunning and private getaway.
Blancaneaux is adding new restaurant
While we were there, the Lodge was buliding both a new Guatemalan restaurant and an infinity pool, due to be finished soon. These will be a great addition to the amenities offered.