Unforgettably Precious Slice of Paradise!
This is an overall impressive resort on a picturesque private Caribbean caye! Vanda and Nick Hall, Caye managers, as well as their entire staff were gracious and thoughtful, catering to every guest’s needs.
Vanessa and Fireball (as he’s known), greeted us at the airport immediately and transported us to our hotel. Instead of the hotel transporting us to the Princess Marina the following day, we made special arrangements to have Vanessa personally transport us, which she did appropriately.
At the Marina we easily found the Turneffe Island Resort’s (TIR’s) beautiful 49’ Miss Bella. We arrived early to eat a delicious grilled whole red snapper at the Calypso for lunch and then board Miss Bella to nap on the bridge, surrounded in clean, comfortable, white leather.
As our yacht departed the Marina we found Captain Eddie to be a delightful man. He explained the Belize Barrier Reef environment, amongst other interesting facts as we made our way to TIR where we were greeted by a very large group of friendly staff members on their beautiful dock.
We were escorted to our luxurious, spacious villa, saturated in rich Belize mahogany with sky lights, ceiling fan, air conditioning, plenty of windows, screened-in front porch, double sinks, huge closet, indoor shower as well as screened-in outdoor shower and offered “drinkable tap water” due to a highly sophisticated water filtration system (wish we had this at home)!
TIR offered exceptional service and the snorkeling was phenomenal. Our snorkeling guide, Carlos, provided us with a wealth of detailed sea-life information, fresh towels, and fresh orange slices each and every trip. No sign up sheets, no waiting in long lines, no wondering if the sea is too rough to go out and no fish food needed here to attract the exciting underwater inhabitants in this elaborate ecosystem. The colorfully attractive reef surrounding Turneffe Atoll is full of activity, providing us delightful and exciting scenery twice a day within a short 5 – 10 minute boat ride to various unique locations. We’re grateful to have purchased a new underwater/above ground camera to capture reef fish, sport fish, marine mammals, and sea turtles (1,006 photos)!
The full-day Lighthouse Reef Atoll adventure on Tuesday was superb. Captain Brad transported us, along with a few other staff members, snorkelers and divers from TIR to the Blue Hole, Half Moon Caye and Long Caye. On Half Moon Caye, after our snorkel and delicious picnic lunch buffet provided by the talented TIR kitchen staff, Nick and Carlos guided us on a short walking tour to visit the Red-Footed Booby Bird Sanctuary where we climbed a ladder up to a platform to view the birds in their natural habitat. Along the wide trail they pointed out several large iguanas, huge hermit crabs, and other points of interest.
We enjoyed using TIR’s 1-person and 2-person kayaks where we saw many friendly local rays and sea stars beneath the crystal clear waters inside the atoll. Being inexperienced sailors, we asked for assistance in sailing their beautiful Hobie Cat within the atoll. Nick personally arranged to provide us with 2 remarkable excursions.
I obtained a pedicure at the spa and was thrilled with not only the service from Miss Mary but her attention to detail in creating a complex design on my nails. One guest surprised her husband, a fisherman, by booking a massage for him at the spa. He was elated with the professional service he received.
There were a mix of guests while we were there; fishermen, divers, snorkelers, and honeymooners. TIR requires a distinctive guest questionnaire prior to arrival to provide each individual every opportunity to have the perfect TIR caye experience. Miss Beverly and her kitchen staff served plenty of delicious foods (family style), provided one vegetarian couple with a wonderful array of dishes and delivered pitchers of our favorite beverages (coffee and hot chocolate) to our front door every morning, along with the daily caye weather, tide chart, and lunch menu. They always provided snacks for us and the hors d’oeuvres served before dinner were divine. The bartender, Miss Sheryl, was absolutely bubbly and attentive. Housekeeping added a special touch of hospitality by providing each of us a treasured poem printed on beautiful paper that was sealed in wax and stamped with the intricate TIR logo which was placed on our beds every night.
On our last day at TIR, since our flight was scheduled to depart in late afternoon, we decided at the very last minute, just before boarding the yacht, to book the “Altun Ha Mayan Ruins” tour. Vanda, David, and Eddie quickly made the arrangements and as promised, Daniel (our Altun Ha Mayan Ruins tour guide) met us at the Princess Marina and appropriately transferred our luggage to his non-smoking, air-conditioned vehicle. Daniel, a retire Belize police officer, provided us with an extraordinary educational private tour and transported us directly to the airport afterward.
We highly recommend Turneffe Island Resort no matter what type of experience you’re looking for (i.e. girls trip, fishing adventure, family reunion, retreat, corporate team building, r&r, etc.). This exceptional staff will make certain you’ll get what you want on this unforgettably precious slice of paradise. This was our second visit to TIR in 4 years and we undoubtedly wish to return.
05/14/11 – 05/21/11