advertisement

  • Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina (Belize City; tel. 800/333-3333 in the U.S. or 223-3333 in Belize; www.radisson.com): This is the top business-class and luxury hotel in Belize City. This oceanfront hotel is located in the quiet Fort George neighborhood, out by the lighthouse, just a block from the cruise-ship tourist village. The hotel has an excellent swimming pool, a well-equipped gym, several restaurants and bars, and easy access to the best Belize City has to offer.
  • The Great House (Belize City; tel. 223-3400; www.greathousebelize.com): Housed in an old wooden mansion a half-block from the lighthouse, this place offers up plush, well-equipped rooms, with an intimate and elegant vibe. Try for one of the top-floor rooms, with great views over the harbor and city.
  • Victoria House (Ambergris Caye; tel. 800/247-5159 or 713/344-2340 in the U.S., or 226-2067; www.victoria-house.com): Casual elegance and attentive service await you at this Ambergris Caye resort. A varied collection of rooms, suites, and villas is spread around an expansive piece of land planted with lush tropical gardens. The hotel also has one of the best restaurants in the country, as well as a wonderful patch of soft white-sand beach.
  • Cayo Espanto (just off the coast of Ambergris Caye; tel. 888/666-4282 in the U.S. and Canada; www.aprivateisland.com): What could be more decadent and luxurious than staying in a private villa, with a private swimming pool, a private dock, and a personal butler, on an almost private island? (There are six villas here, although you can rent out the whole island if you like.) This place pulls out all the stops, providing all the modern conveniences and pampering possible on a desert-island getaway.
  • Turtle Inn (Placencia; tel. 800/746-3743 in the U.S., or 824-4912; www.turtleinn.com): Building on the experience gained from his Blancaneaux Lodge, and building upon the ruins of a hotel destroyed by Hurricane Iris, director Francis Ford Coppola has upped the ante on high-end hotels in Belize. The individual villas here are the most beautiful and luxurious in Belize. The hotel is set right on an excellent stretch of beach, and the service and dining are top-notch.
  • Machaca Hill Lodge (Punta Gorda; tel. 722-0050; www.machacahill.com): This is by far the most luxurious option around Punta Gorda, and one of the nicer rain forest lodges in the country. This place features a series of large and plush individual cabins set on a thickly forested hillside.
  • Maruba Resort Jungle Spa (off the Old Northern Hwy.; tel. 800/627-8227 in the U.S., or 225-5555; fax 225-5506; www.maruba-belize.com): This small resort and spa is set in a patch of lush forest and flowering gardens. The whole operation is an eclectic orgy designed to please the eyes and all other senses. The individual villas here are spectacular. A wide range of spa treatments is available, and excellently and professionally done. Don't miss out on their signature Mood Mud Massage, perhaps one of the few massage experiences for which you'll want to bring a camera.
  • Chaa Creek (off the road to Benque Viejo, Cayo District; tel. 824-2037; www.chaacreek.com): A pioneer nature lodge in Belize, this collection of individual and duplex cottages was also a pioneer in the whole concept of rustic luxury. Cool terra-cotta tile floors, varnished wood, thatched roofs, and beautiful Guatemalan textiles and handicrafts are elegantly yet simply combined. The property is set on a steep hillside over the lovely Macal River. Service is very friendly and personable, and the lodge provides easy access to a wealth of natural adventures and ancient Mayan wonders.
  • Blancaneaux Lodge (Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve, Cayo District; tel. 800/746-3743 in the U.S., or 824-4912; www.blancaneaux.com): Francis Ford Coppola's first Belizean mountain retreat remains one of the most elegant and luxurious nature lodges in the country. The hotel is set on a steep pine-forested hillside, overlooking the Privassion River and a series of gentle falls. The individual cabanas are all spacious, are beautifully decorated, and feature a private balcony or deck designed to take in the excellent views. The hotel recently added a wonderful riverside spa facility.
  • La Lancha Resort (Lago Petén Itzá, Petén; tel. 800/746-3743 in the U.S., or tel./fax 502/7928-8331 in Guatemala; www.lalanchavillage.com): Set on a steep, high hillside overlooking the lake, this is the plushest option close to the amazing ruins of Tikal. Another of Francis Ford Coppola's regional resorts, the rooms here are once again decorated with style, featuring furniture and artwork from around the world. The food is also excellent.
  • Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.