A Private Island Fit for The Godfather: Coral Caye by Francis Ford Coppola

by Vivian Roe

Well, not The Godfather himself, but the director of the Oscar-winning film: Francis Ford Coppola. Though he will forever be associated with film, the director and screenwriter has grown in stature as an hotelier. When he landed in Belize in 1981, he was really looking for a getaway where he could write. But, he ended up becoming an innkeeper when he stumbled upon a lodge inside Belize’s Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. Today, this lodge is the famed Blancaneaux Lodge. In addition to this eco-lodge, Coppola operates Turtle Inn and Coral Caye in Belize.  For those dreaming of living like Coppola for day on a private island, then keep reading on.

Offering the ultimate private island experience, Coral Caye is a rustic yet luxurious barefoot property.


Coral Caye

Coral Caye, a Coppola Hideaway

Sheltered behind the world famous Belize Barrier Reef, Coral Caye is a two acre private island. It is just a 25 minute (8 mile) boat ride from Placencia. The island features a small coral sand beach and fascinating mangrove ecology.  Once used as a commercial fishing camp, it has now a luxe castaway island.

Island life

All photo courtesy of Coral Caye

Attentive caretakers, a chef and a butler are the only other company you will have at Coral Caye. They  will look after everything from meal preparation to pouring drinks and even chopping up fresh coconuts to tuck into or sip a cocktail from. Canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, snorkelling equipment, fishing rods, hammocks, board games, children’s toys, drums and guitars dot the island. However guests, can choose to do as much or as little as possible. Although rustic, any luxuries can be arranged. Think al-fresco massages, private chefs or guided fishing tours. Wi-fi is patchy and there are no TVs on the island meaning you really feel castaway


There are two separate cottages on the island which can accommodate up to 10 guests. Each is rustic in design yet luxurious, with beach decor, wooden detailing and fresh bright colours to accent these cosy dwellings.  Coral Cottage is ideal for a couple or family with young children. It has a king bed and a sleeper sofa in the cozy living area, front porch, hammocks and full bathroom with an indoor and outdoor shower.

Sandy floors in Coral Caye’s tropical-hued cottages are barefoot perfect.

The second cottage, Seahorse, is located near Mangrove Cove, home to many seahorses. With the same barefoot, beachy feel, it has driftwood lights, seagrass rugs and open, airy windows that channel the sea breezes. Two queen beds and additional twins make it ideal for family groups or friends. The bathroom is in an adjacent building.

The Great House is the only other building on the island. It provides an indoor/outdoor living area with a sandy floor to emphasize the relaxed barefoot vibe. Camping on the island can be arranged for more adventurous travellers or to help accommodate larger groups.

Coral Caye Accommodation

Food & Drink

Whilst the formalities are done away with, dining here is still exquisite. All meals are included and made on the island. Chose to eat beachside under the palapa or in the Great House. Either way sandy toes and happy bellies are guaranteed. Expect breakfasts of beans, tortillas and fresh fruit; lunches of salads, sandwiches, rice and chicken; and seafood suppers, including lobster in the right season, or barbecued Creole chicken.  Of course, there is also your own bar, completely with local beer and wines from the Coppola vineyard.

Dine beachside at Coral Caye.

Sound like your dream escape? To find out more or book your stay at Coral Caye, visit their website.

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