Slightly outdated decor; rooms may show wear and tear
Not walking distance to Placencia
The 52-room Robert's Grove Beach Resort is a laid-back property on Placencia Peninsula. The range of amenities is extensive, including a professional dive shop, marina (slips are available), spa, three restaurants, three outdoor ocean-view pools, and tours galore from an impressive fleet of boats. The pretty beach offers free water sports; guests can also jump off the end of the swimming pier or grab drinks at the palapa bar. The rooms have patios and basic Guatemalan- and Mexican-inspired decor (some also have kitchenettes). Free Wi-Fi and airport transfers are offered.
A laid-back vibe and a concentration on water activities
As guests approach Robert's Grove, the path forks in two separate directions: one fork leads to the marina (lined with bright faux cacti) for access to the dive center and Mexican-themed restaurant, the other leads to the main resort, where the accommodations and the three pools are located. The grounds feature plenty of shady trees (look for iguanas in the branches), as well as a large bird cage housing a parrot. The building housing the small lobby and the open-air Seaside Restaurant, which has direct views of the Caribbean Sea, is the hub of the resort.
Robert's Grove is a mid-range property, so guests shouldn't expect luxury. There's not a party atmosphere, but there is an air of activity and fun. Even during low-season -- a time when other resorts quiet down -- Robert's Grove has a decent crowd.
A beach and lagoon location on Placencia Peninsula, near the airstrip
Robert's Grove is located along the 26-mile long Placencia Peninsula in southeastern Belize. It sits between a true Garinagu settlement and the former Creole fishing village of Placencia, which features restaurants and shops. Those arriving to Belize International Airport will want to arrange a domestic flight into Placencia, where the resort will pick you up, free of charge.
To the east of the property is the Caribbean Sea -- home of the Belize Barrier Reef, a UNESCO World Heritage site (also the second largest barrier reef in the world). On the other side of the resort, to the west, is the Placencia Lagoon. The dive center and Habanero Mexican Café & Bar are located here, as are the resort boats for diving, snorkeling and other tours. Plenty of land activities can be found at the nearby Victoria Peak and Maya Mountains.
Room types range from the Classic Vista Rooms to the multi-bedroom villas with kitchenettes. All are air-conditioned and have Guatemalan and Mexican decor featuring colorful fabrics, rugs, and artwork. Some have direct or partial views of the ocean. All rooms feature ceiling fans, private terraces, flat-screen TVs with cable/satellite, coffeemakers, and small refrigerators.
Soft white sand and calm waves make this a great beach for of all ages
Robert's Grove resort is situated on a long stretch of white sand interspersed with coconut palms, lounge chairs, and hammocks. Free water sports are offered, including kayaks and Hobie Cats. The coast off of Placencia Peninsula enjoys shallow water for hundreds of feet, and waves are calm; the resort's long pier extends out so that guests can jump in past the seaweed that can accumulate near the shore. All beaches in Belize are public, so guests can walk in either direction.
The resort offers a good amount of beach chairs, and there are plenty of places to lay down a towel. There are three outdoor pools overlooking the sea, as well.
Three freshwater pools offer scenic views of the Caribbean Sea.
The resort offers three well-maintained freshwater pools which are rarely crowed, considering there are only 52 rooms. The resort's northernmost pool, located between the lobby and outdoor bar area, has a cool water feature, with water streaming from the beams of the adjacent pergola. This pool offers cushioned wooden loungers, and is a short walk to the water sports area where guests can use the kayaks and Hobie Cat sailboats.
The middle rectangular pool next to the main restaurant seemed the least crowded during my visit, and also has the best view of the pier. The southernmost option -- a small infinity pool with attached bar -- is beautiful when lit up at night. Each pool is an easy walk to the main area of the resort, where guests can find bathrooms and beverages, as well as the accommodations.
A small but professional spa for nail, massage, and body treatments.
Above the lobby and main restaurant -- and overlooking the northernmost pool for outstanding views of the resort -- is a casual spa under a thatched roof. A range of nail, massage, and body treatments can be enjoyed in the low-lit atmosphere (rooms are separated by curtains), or in the privacy of a guestroom.
A family-friendly resort with spacious villas and fun tours
Though the resort does not necessarily advertise itself as such, Robert's Grove is a great option for families of all ages. Accommodations have up to three bedrooms, and there are a number of tours that appeal to kids, including wildlife and Mayan ruin trips. Swimming conditions are considered safe for young ones, since the water is shallow near the beach and waves are calm. Kids may also enjoy snorkeling and kayaking. Seaside Restaurant is open for all meals and offers a separate children's menu.
Robert's Grove has three quality restaurants that use fresh ingredients from the hotel's on-site organic vegetable garden.
Seaside Restaurant is the hub of the resort and has a direct open-air view of the Caribbean Sea. It serves three meals daily with Caribbean, Latin American, and Mediterranean flavors. The mood becomes romantic in the evenings when the casual ambiance is transformed with candles and colorful LED lights. Private dinners with food from Seaside can also be arranged on guest terraces, or at various spots around the resort. On Saturday nights, the restaurant kitchen serves a buffet Poolside Barbecue with live music.
Across the road, on the lagoon side (facing the marina), is Habanero Restaurant, serving casual Mexican cuisine and drinks in a fun atmosphere. The restaurant overlooks the resort's boats, and is a great spot to catch the sunset. A Mexican buffet dinner is served Tuesday nights.
The resort's two main restaurants, Seaside and Habanero, both face the water (sea and lagoon, respectively), so guests can order a range of drinks in the afternoons and evenings while enjoying the views. Specialty cocktails are served daily, and top-shelf liquors can be substituted. Seaside offers an extensive wine list to accompany the gourmet cuisine, and both restaurants feature local rum and beer. There is a breezy palapa bar at the end of the pier that is ideal for special events.
The on-site professional dive center -- a member of PADI -- provides equipment, certifications, and training for scuba diving. The resort's own fleet of boats contain safety equipment, and staff members are trained in CPR and first aid.
A range of active tours and day trips can be arranged through the resort, including snorkeling, canoeing, fly fishing, horseback riding, and hiking in the nearby mountains
Free waters sports are provided on the northern end of the beach, such as kayaks, Hobie Cat sailboats, wind surfers and paddleboats.
This casual resort may attract families, but it's great for couples, too. At night, the resort turns atmospheric when the pools are lit with LED lights. Candles flicker in the restaurants and coconut palms on the beach are strung with rope lighting. Couples can escape the family scene at Seaside and enjoy a pre- or post-dinner drink at the end of the pier, or ask for meal delivery to their private terrace. The on-site spa can arrange couples massages, as well.
A range of wedding packages and scenic spots to exchange vows
Robert's Grove has held its fair share of destination weddings in the past, and the staff is knowledgeable in this area. Flexibility is key -- they can accommodate groups with as few as two people, and as many as 100 for sit-down dinners. Scenic areas for the ceremony include the beach, pools, or marina, while receptions can be held at one of the restaurants, at the end of the pier, or in the private event space.
The resort started as a beach home and evolved into a 52-room resort.
New York natives Bob and Risa Frackman bought a secluded stretch of the Placencia Peninsula in 1994 in order to build their dream beach home. Before they knew it, they were building a guest home for friends visiting from New York, and then more units followed until a resort emerged. Without any prior hotel experience, the Frackman's were operating 52 rooms, three swimming pools, two restaurants, and a marina. Risa was also the founding editor of the local Placencia Breeze.
In 2011, Bob (now in his mid-80s) and Risa decided it was time to sell and retire. After evaluating many potential buyers, they decided to sell to Jean-Marc Tasse and Michael Kramer, well-known hoteliers in Placencia. Jean-Marc and Michael have vowed to keep the resort's fun and friendly vibe in tact, and the previous owners will hold them to it. Bob and Risa retain a beachfront condo at Robert's Grove, so they will continue to be a part of the family.
The resort is located in a safe and scenic area of Placencia Peninsula, within driving distance to the village.
Belize is a peaceful and friendly nation with fewer than 400,000 residents. The resort is located along the eastern side of the Placencia Peninsula (about a 15-minute drive from the village), and is considered safe. No inoculations are required by the Government of Belize, but it's a good idea to check with your local travel doctor for medical advice prior to traveling in the region.
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