Turtle Inn Rating: 4.5 Pearls
Turtle Inn, also owned by the Coppola family, is an intimate luxury resort with a strong boutique-y feel to it. It offers a peaceful setting and Balinese-style private cottages and villas, each with a fabulous indoor/outdoor bathroom, unique decor, screened porch, and wonderful touches, such as jars with cookies and scones, a minibar stocked with Francis Coppola wine, and fine one-of-a-kind wood carvings. The property's myriad amenities -- including three restaurants that use organic produce from the on-site garden, two pools, a serene spa, and water sports -- make it feel bigger than it actually is, but the experience is decidedly boutique-y, laid-back and rustic luxe.
Blancaneaux Lodge Rating: 4.0 Pearls
One of two resorts in Belize owned by movie director Francis Ford Coppola, Blancaneaux Lodge enjoys a splendidly lush location beside a creek in the country's Mountain Pine Ridge. This fabulous hideaway features wonderful wooden cabanas with thatched roofs and unique rustic luxe decor in each one that includes colorful Guatemalan textiles. Amenities include horse stables, an organic garden that provides fresh produce to the restaurants, and a small but beautiful spa with an outdoor hut by the creek. There is also a fresh water infinity pool surrounded by mahogany loungers, a smaller heated one, two excellent restaurants, and a bar serving cocktails, mojitos, wine, and their specialty drink, the Jaguar Juice.
The Lodge at Chaa Creek Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Chaa Creek, one of Belize's first eco-lodges, has evolved from its humble beginnings as a working farm to become a premier luxury retreat. This sophisticated operation includes rustic-luxe, thatched-roof cottages, wonderful service, and modern amenities such as a lovely bi-level infinity pool with jungle views, and a full-service spa that uses sustainable, eco-friendly products and has panoramic views. The restaurant uses ingredients from the on-site organic garden, and the entire property is devoted to providing an environment-friendly, sustainable and culturally responsible experience, with programs such as the Chaa Creek Cares, which donates 10 percent of all accommodation revenue to environmental and social programs.
Chan Chich Lodge Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Nestled in the remote northwestern corner of Belize, the lodge sits on a private nature reserve located within the 130,000-acre Gallon Jug Estate and has its own trail system that guests can explore. Accommodations consist of 12 rustically charming yet comfortable thatched-roof cabanas and one two-bedroom villa set amid the grounds of an ancient Maya ruin. Rooms have a slight island decor with a couple of Maya touches, private porches furnished with hammocks and loungers, and filtered water stations. Modern comforts include outstanding cuisine at a restaurant with both indoor and outdoor seating, cocktails in the tropical-themed bar, and a screened-in swimming pool with Jacuzzi.