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Portofino Reservations
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From the moment you arrive at Portofino Beach Resort, you notice something special. Your senses are aroused with the aroma of beautiful wild flowers blooming on the trees. You are greeted by a Belizean girl with eucalyptus scented towels served on a palm frond and soon after, greeted with a tropical drink while you wait for the room presentation.

My fiancé and I took a trip to Ambergris Caye (pronounced “key”), San Pedro, Belize to find a resort to get married at in February of 2015. Online, Portofino ranked in our top five list of resorts to consider. It didn’t take long for Portofino to stand out head and shoulders above the rest of the resorts we visited. We travel quite often; so it is hard to impress us with scenery, accommodations and service, but Portofino Beach Resort delivered! Located just five miles north of the town of San Pedro, Portofino is only accessible via boat. Portofino also shares the same dock as Fido’s (pronounced “fee-dos”) restaurant and bar. Portofino can arrange for transportation to and from the airport in San Pedro or you can catch a cab to Fido’s for five dollars.

We stayed in one of the colonial suites a few steps away from the pool. The room was very large and spacious. The room was so spacious that it could have doubled as a ballroom dance floor. The bedding was luxurious and extremely comfortable. After a massage on the beach a few steps away from the ocean, the bed will certainly become your best friend. Everything from the sheets and luxury duvet covers screams comfort and relaxation. Part of the room presentation is choosing two pieces of homemade soap. The aroma of the soap filled the room day and night which added to the sense of relaxation and ambiance of the room. Another wonderful perk was the turning down of your bed. After dinner we came back to our room and the bed was turned down, our robes laid out on the bed and a personal message from housekeeping written on a palapa leaf along with homemade cookies.

We decided to eat dinner at the resort restaurant. The food was amazing! We were treated to a palate cleansing warm cauliflower drink before our meal. I don’t particularly care for cauliflower but I enjoyed the drink. I ordered a mix of lobster, fish and shrimp which was easily five star quality. Diane ordered a seafood pasta dish which I tasted and loved. The meal was so large that neither of us could finish our meal let alone dessert. If you choose to dine in town or at another resort, Portofino is wonderful at providing transportation via boat to the resort of your choosing. Just give them a time to pick you up and they will be there!

Everything at Portofino is always in place and very well appointed. The grounds are well maintained, manicured and the beach is raked every morning. We noticed that at any given point in the day or evening, someone was raking the sand to and from the cabanas. You would be hard pressed to find footsteps in the sand anywhere on the property.

Even though they were fully booked during our stay, the property at Portofino was very quiet and serene. Peace and quiet is certainly the theme here along with a backdrop of soft soothing sounds and scents inside and out. The resort offers free sea kayaks, bicycles and snorkeling equipment. Just check out what you like at the front desk and be on your way. A few of the guests mentioned that they saw more wildlife on the reef in front of Portofino than they saw on guided snorkeling tours. Along with the hammock on our cabana porch, you can also relax in a hammock over the ocean in front of the resort. If diving or excursions are what you are looking for, you can arrange day trips from the dive shop on the Portofino pier in front of the resort. One of the things we loved about Portofino is they didn’t allow pandering or vendors selling local wares to the guests. There was one person in front of the resort, but they were not allowed to approach the guests. If you want something, you can approach them, but they will never attempt to flag you down or call you over. This wasn’t the case at other resorts we visited.

The employees at Portofino are really the cornerstone of Portofino Beach Resort. Most of the employees have been with the resort for ten plus years. They love the guests and go out of their way to memorize your name and where you are from on day one. We truly felt like family with all of the employees and owners. Most nights the owners will come to the bar around six pm to chat with the guests. They are a lot of fun and very outgoing. The resort was established in January of 2001 after hurricane Keith nearly wiped out the resort. The owners took a leap of faith moving from Belgium/Netherlands to purchase the property. The name Portofino translates to last port or as they put it, final destination. It took a lot of hard work and years to get the resort to the paradise it is today.

Whether traveling from Europe or the United States, your expectations will be surpassed with the personal service and how the quests are made to feel special and well taken care of. You will be remembered. Your name will be remembered.
Make Portofino your destination!

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Treetop Suite Belize

Did you spend all your time in your tree house as a kid? Or were you brokenhearted because you never had one? Well, these nine gorgeous hotels can turn your childish tree house fantasies into grown-up realities. These rustic-luxe (or just luxe) tree-house-style bungalows will let you live among the birds (and, in some cases, monkeys). Who says you have to give up on your childhood dreams?

Portofino Beach Resort, Belize owners Jan and Sandra van Noord opened this romantic hideaway in 2001, and today it has 16 rooms (many cabana-style units with thatched roofs, including the aptly named Treetop Suite) and one mansion for families and groups. The room decor is a mix of Belizean and Guatemalan textiles and furnishings, and the ambiance is unpretentious (the owners call the vibe “barefoot elegance”).

This Article was made by Kelsey Blodget for The Huffington Post

1 Response to "High Living: 9 Beautiful Tree House Hotels!"


1 | Melinda Sper said on September 9th, 2013 at 7:56 pm

We are returning from two years ago. We are bringing friends this time and need to look at availability in June 2014 for at least 7 individual cabins.

Portofino Beach Resort’s Reply:
Hi Melinda and Mark, how great to hear from you! Hope all is well? Definitely we look forward to see you again.
As you know, you can always email our Reservation Department, at info@portofinobelize.com
Many Warm Regards from your Portofino Friends!


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By James Abroad, August 19th 2013

portofino-resort-belize_lrg

I came to Belize in search of adventure and fun, allured by its amazing outdoor and ocean activities. Staying on a tropical island or in the jungle doesn’t mean having to rough it; as my recent stay at the Portofino Resort has proven. Located  6 miles North of San Pedro Town the main mode of transportation is by boat, and being whisked out to the resort made it sink in that I had left civilization behind for a secluded paradise.

Treetop Suite Portofino Belize

Portofino Belize Bathroom

Portofino Belize Swimming-pool

The resort is made up of cabanas and suites and I stayed in a spacious room on the 2nd floor with thatched roofing, hardwood floors and a very comfortable bed. The room had met all the expectations of comfort and relaxation, but I hadn’t traveled around the world to sit inside all day. The resort offers a wide array of free activities and paid tours. Most of my days were spent relaxing on the private beach, poolside and out in the water.

The Food
While being secluded on your own little tropical beach resort sounds idyllic, it comes with the cost of not having a lot of choices for food nearby – leaving you at the mercy of the often-times not so great resort food. Thankfully Portofino’s on location restaurant had a variety of tasty options on the menu for all meal times. Jessica and I also had a romantic beach dinner under the palapa that was one of the best meals we’ve ever shared together.

Portofino Belize Restaurant

Portofino Restaurant Belize Palapa Dinner

The Adventure
I’ve always had a hard time sitting still, especially while on vacation. When arriving in a new foreign land countless miles from home exploring and adventures are my top priority. Portofino has a dive operation right on site ready to teach scuba diving certifications and take experienced divers out for amazing diving. In addition to making use of the complimentary kayaks I went out on several excursions with them.

A Beach BBQ – A small group from the hotel went out to snorkel, and we had the opportunity to hunt for our lunch – fish & lobsters. The reef near the hotel was bustling with sea life and we had a great time trying to catch some of it to fill our bellies with. After a couple hours we took our catch to a secluded little beach and picnic area for a relaxing lunch.

Portofino Belize Lobster Lunch

Snorkeling at Mexico Rocks – A perfect example of why I love Belize so much. With a kayak and 15 minutes of paddling I was out at a spot named Mexico Rocks for snorkeling. Within just a few minutes I had seen nurse sharks, rays and fish all busy going about their day and I was thrilled to witness it.

Portofino Belize Mexico Rocks

Portofino did an excellent job of combining luxury, seclusion and activities together to make a resort that really stands out.

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