Being the daughter of famed filmmaker and makeshift hotelier Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola brings her elegant nature to more than just the film world, but also to hospitality too. With a slew of hideaways in Belize under the Family Coppola brand, Sofia tells Hugh Garvey for Conde Nast Traveler in a 2014 interview all about her favorite destination while here; after all, Coppola herself is said to have spent some time during the pandemic social distancing at her beach house in Belize. Where else than none other than Sofia’s personally curated hideaway in Belize at Sofia’s Beach House in Turtle Inn?
Sofia’s Beach House
To get familiarized with Belize, know that it’s on the Caribbean coast of northern Central America, and this English-speaking nation shares a border with both Guatemala and Mexico. With the lowest population density in the region, Belize is also known for its extreme biodiversity and distinctive ecosystems. Offshore, you’ll find over 400 islands—locally known as cayes—that stud the 185-mile-long Belize Barrier Reef.
While Turtle Inn’s signature style is thatched beachside cabanas, Coppola’s own contribution is a contrasting modern yet minimal beach house that sleeps up large groups. It’s an open-plan main house that feels airy while being indoors and outdoors. Wooden finishings contrast sliding glass doors that open onto the pool area, which makes it especially fun for families or large friend groups to congregate and play in plain sight of the Caribbean Sea. “It’s to this retreat that Coppola and her family come to recharge each winter and spring,” says Garvey for CN Traveler.
Sofia’s Beach House actually consists of an entire compound: hers is the main structure, while two more self-enclosed guest bungalows lie steps away. Coppola’s house features a full kitchen and dining room, a seafront media room, and a full bathroom on the main floor. The media room can be converted into a sea-view open-air bedroom with a queen-size bed. Upstairs, the master bedroom boasts an en-suite bathroom and an adjacent children’s bedroom (bunk beds suitable for children up to age 12). The two, separate guest houses are each furnished with a king-size bed, an en-suite bathroom, and a deck.
“My mom’s into textiles, so she picked out the fabrics in Guatemala,” Sofia says to Conde Nast Traveler. “The whole Bali vibe is my dad.”
Why Privacy in Placencia, Belize Is Priceless
There’s a population of maybe 1,500 residents, if that, in Placencia, Belize. An offshoot of the southerly Stann Creek District, the Placencia Peninsula on the southeast coast culminates towards the tip with a traditional fishing village peppered with resorts and restaurants but ultimately boasts more than 16 miles of beaches perfect for peace and quiet.
“You get real privacy in Placencia,” Coppola continues to Garvey for Conde Nast in this 2014 interview.
Not far from the village, guests are encouraged to use Turtle Inn’s complimentary bicycles to take the 3-minute ride for shopping, eating, and even gelato. Tutti Frutti Gelateria is hailed as one of the best in the whole country that’s run by a naturalized Belizean and Milanese couple, where Sofia names banana as her favorite from Tutti Frutti, too.
Guests at Sofia Coppola’s Beach House can enjoy all of Turtle Inn’s amenities: two swimming pools, a private dock, a dive shop, three restaurants, a bar, a gelato stand, a spa that specializes in Thai massage, and a boutique. At the doorstep of her father Francis Coppola’s villa, Sofia’s Beach House is a modernist tropical hideaway just a few steps from Belize’s Caribbean shore and the beach town of Placencia.