By now you’re probably aware the revered auteur Francis Ford Coppola took a liking to Belize when he first visited in the 1980s and opened – not one – but three stunning resorts in the small country. And if not, let us enlighten you to the craftsmanship and passion that is instilled within the Family Coppola Hideaways. Two Coppola hideaways of which fit a perfectly laid out itinerary bringing you the best of both worlds in Belize: mountain and beach.
Sprawling mountainous views coupled with the gurgling Privassion River are what you’ll see when waking up at Blancaneaux. Found in the hills of the Mountain Pine Ridge region, the lodge seeps luxury and originality. The Coppola resort is only about an hour away from San Ignacio Town, yet feels like it’s situated on a whole other pine tree-riddled planet. Just the journey to the hotel is an experience itself.
A rustic aesthetic takes over the Hollywood director’s former retreat, fit with plunge pools and views of a waterfall. It houses 20 rooms in total, with the dwellings clad in tasteful locally-made art and spacious decks. Let’s just say there’s a reason the acclaimed Travel + Leisure named Blancaneaux as one of the Top 10 Hotels in Central America this year.
Relaxing to the sounds of the babbling cascades aren’t the only things of note to do at Blancaneaux. With the lodge’s proximity to the culturally-rich town of San Antonio, you can spend your day exploring the surrounding area and immerse yourself in the Maya culture. Attend a pottery-making class with the San Antonio Women’s Group, or try your hand at tortilla making. After a day filled with enriching experiences, it’s time to indulge in farm-fresh food at the Guatemaltecqua Restaurant on-site at the lodge.
Once you’ve had your fair share of sweeping panoramic views in the foothills of Mountain Pine Ridge, you’re ready for the latter half of your trip. For the best of both worlds, you’re headed off to the beach property of Turtle Inn, the coastal enclave of the Coppola Hideaways.
Just before you enter the expat-haven that is Placencia, a luxurious abode is waiting on the seaside of the peninsula. Turtle Inn came a little afterward, opening in 2001 as Francis and Eleanor wanted to create an idyllic refuge while still offering an adventure-filled getaway in Belize. They succeeded, with the beachfront resort touting luxurious amenities the likes that raise the standards of all hotels. Decorated with Balinese furnishings, the 25 rooms are created out of thatch, with the white-sand beach straight beyond your private deck.
If you’d like to venture even further, the world-renowned Belize Barrier Reef is just off-shore from Turtle Inn. You can opt for a day filled with scuba diving or snorkeling, soaking in the eclectic marine life found just under the surface of the Caribbean Sea. Prefer to simply unwind and kick back? Try Turtle Inn’s open-air Balinese Rice House, which is used to offer rejuvenating massages set to rub your worries away using ancient techniques at the Sacred Wat Pho Temple in Bangkok.
Once your body and mind are feeling revitalized, don’t be afraid to hop on a bicycle provided by the resort and explore the nearby artsy town of Placencia.