How You And Your Family Can Spend Thanksgiving Like The Coppolas

by Carolee Chanona

Even if just for a week, you and your family can experience Belize just like the Coppola family, thanks to their ‘Family Mountain & Beach‘ package at two of their hideaways: Turtle Inn and Blancaneaux Lodge. The two resorts are set on opposite corners of the Central American country, though both have stellar hospitality in common. Facing the water whether in the woodlands or going barefoot-casual on the coast, sister properties Turtle Inn and Blancaneaux Lodge combine mountain and beach for the most cynical cookie-cutter-holidaymaker or keenest outdoor adventurer. Post-pandemic, we all picked up new traditions, like celebrating Thanksgiving with immediate family—or even a small handful of friends—abroad. Whether it’s for Thanksgiving, the holiday season, or just because, Belize is always worth celebrating with the Family Coppola Hideaways.

Whisked To A Dramatic Hideaway Within The Woodlands of Belize

blancaneaux aerial coppola kevin

Movielike, the first leg of your Central American escapade is set within the 107,000-acre Mountain Pine Ridge Forest on Belize’s western Guatemala border. The riverside retreat of Blancaneaux Lodge spreads out to 20 luxury thatch-roofed cabanas alongside banks of Privassion Creeks under towering tropical pines and oaks. Screen time plummets for even the most connected teen thanks to a dense jungle, steep ravines, spectacular waterfalls, and fast-flowing rivers—pack your hiking boots because you’ll be putting them to work.

Follow your guide’s call as he tracks fresh jaguar tracks, or go horseback riding through paths less traveled.

Not to mention, Blancaneaux Lodge immerses guests in true Mayan culture with visits to archaeological sites, including the nearby Caracol Maya Site—the largest Maya city ever excavated in Belize about an hour by car.

caracol traveler belize maya ruin cayo

Explore the nearby Caracol Archeological Reserve from the nearby Blancaneaux Lodge. Image via Aaron Colussi

This Thanksgiving (or beyond),  your family can find pure relaxation at the many swimming holes around the property, aside from the freshwater infinity pool and heated horseshoe pool. More than just a tumbling lullaby, the rushing Privasson that cuts through the lodge is also the source of its energy: the self-sustaining hideaway is powered by hydropower. During your first three nights spent at Blancaneaux, you’ll get really familiar with it from your roomy 1,600 square foot two-bedroom villa, which features an airy outdoor living room and small kitchen.

And spoiler alert: Blancaneaux Lodge happens to be Francis Ford Coppola’s personal favorite hideaway in Belize.

Then, Hideaway On The Caribbean Coast of Belize

Hidden away just outside Placencia Village on its namesake peninsula in Belize, Turtle Inn is the beachfront parallel to Blancaneaux Lodge. There’s an ethos of “laid-back luxury”, but that doesn’t stop the team from catering to more adventure-minded guests still. This one is for families seeking out holidays that are more than just lying on the beach with a piña colada in hand. Hop on a bike for a day of exploring and artisan market shopping inside the village with fishing roots, or head offshore to the world’s second-largest barrier reef that sits just a few miles away.

family diving belize turtle inn

Diving the whole family can enjoy. Image via Turtle Inn

Never scuba-dived before? Get certified on-site at Turtle Inn with any of their PADI courses completely doable within your four nights spent here that’ll last you a lifetime of intense adventures ahead. If you’re not big on breathing by an oxygen tank, snorkeling and island hopping (like the gorgeous Silk Caye) are just as incredible. A day of saltwater calls for something sweet—grab it at Kid’s Gelato Bar next to Skip White Bar or inside the village at Tutti Frutti Gelateria. Working up an appetite, this Family Mountain & Beach package includes two dinners at Mare Restaurant and one dinner at the beachfront Gauguin Grill.

Although, if you still didn’t get your fill of mountain exploits, Placencia is a stone’s throw away from forest reserves like the Mayflower Bocawina National Park and Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary for hiking, birdwatching, and waterfall chasing. Close enough for new memories in the morning, pizza from The Pizzeria for lunch, a quick shower inside your two-bedroom Seafront Villa, and beach lounging all afternoon. Remember that piña colada we mentioned earlier? Or upgrade to lodgings that best fit your troop. Francis’ Family Pavilion sleeps six, and it’s complete with a private pool, antique hand-carved wooden doorways, detailed stone sculptures, and artwork handpicked by Francis and Eleanor Coppola themselves.

turtle inn sea front cabana

Photo via Instagram @alagreutaphotography

Then, see the southern coastline from new heights with a one-way puddle-jumper flight from Placencia to the Philip Goldson International Airport before saying “be back soon.”

What Your Family Vacation Like The Coppolas Includes

After all, this is a Belize vacation that the whole family can enjoy. When vacationing like the Coppolas in Belize at these two hideaways, your family will get:

  • Three nights in the Two-Bedroom Villa at Blancaneaux Lodge and four nights in the Seafront Villa at Turtle Inn.
  • All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners at Blancaneaux Lodge.
  • At Turtle Inn, you’ll receive All breakfasts and lunches at Turtle Inn alongside two dinners at the Mare Restaurant and one dinner at the beachfront Gauguin Grill.
  • Transfers from Belize International Airport to Blancaneaux Lodge; from Blancaneaux Lodge to Turtle Inn; and from Turtle Inn to Placencia Airport.
  • One-way domestic air from Placencia to Belize International Airport on departure date.
All images via The Family of Coppola Hideaways Belize.

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