Turtle Inn: This Coppola Hideaway Defines Luxury Beachfront Escape

by Larry Waight

If you’re familiar with Oscar-winning director, producer, and writer Francis Ford Coppola but only know the iconic entrepreneur for his amazing films you’ve barely tapped the surface of Coppola’s ability to turn ideas into empires. What does a creative storytelling and cinematography genius do when making movies doesn’t satisfy his curiosity and eclectic interests? If you’re Francis Ford Coppola, you become the owner of Belize’s most fabulous resorts.

Coppola visited Belize (then British Honduras) in the 80s and fell in love with the newly emerging democracy’s pristine jungles, lush shoreline, and friendly people. Belize reminded him of the Philippines, where he shot his blockbuster movie Apocalypse Now.

Given his imagination and interest in the nation, Coppola couldn’t ignore Belize’s appeal. He bought an abandoned jungle lodge and turned it into a family retreat. That was the beginning. He ultimately became the quintessential host and owner of a list of exclusive resorts. Among them, Turtle Inn stands out as an oasis of relaxation that pairs Belize’s beachfront with the kind of luxury that surprises and delights guests from the moment they arrive.

This Coppola Family-Owned Hideaway Never Disappoints

Perched at the edge of the Caribbean Sea, Turtle Inn is awash in the kind of South Seas splendor that pairs luxury with authenticity. There are only 25 accommodations, each of which is as striking on the inside as it is on the outside. This village of individual thatched-roof cottages offers privacy and peace. 

Interiors are filled with handcrafted Balinese furnishings and every cabin has a private deck. Curious to see how lush these lodgings look? Take a peek.

What type of sanctuary do you seek? Each dwelling comes fully appointed with: 

  • Wi-Fi Internet connection
  • Alarm clock and iPod docking station
  • Ceiling fan
  • Espresso machine
  • Organic, locally sourced, handmade toiletries
  • Laundry service
  • Bathrobes
  • In-room dining options
  • Safe deposit box
  • Fridge stocked with water, wine, soft drinks, Belikin beer, and local snacks
  • Living area that includes a writing table, chair, sofa, and coffee table
  • Hair dryer and other bathroom essentials

Individual cottages on the resort’s grounds range in size, location, and style, but they share an abundance of amenities, including the essential comforts every guest craves.

Everything About Your Sojourn Will Be Magical

For a relatively small, intimate resort, the number of gathering places that dot Turtle Inn’s grounds is vast. From a small and casual pizzeria to fine dining eateries, food selections represent a pantheon of cultural cuisines, all overseen by chefs trained in the art of innovative cookery. Wine selections are fabulous (the Coppola family owns a winery) and guests joke that they feel impelled to engage in recreational opportunities to offset the amount of food they eat. Plates are artfully crafted of freshly caught fish, provisioned by the onsite organic garden, and include specialties that harken back to the family’s original Italian roots.

Importantly, Turtle Inn doesn’t offer its guests ordinary packages that bundle all aspects of their stays: You’ll have your choice of “experiences” that are so varied and diverse, choosing just one can be hard to do.


Paradise Found is more than just the title of a classic book. It’s the compliment repeat visitors use when they put themselves into the hands of Turtle Inn – a haven for the tired, weary, and stressed out. You’ll realize why Francis Ford Coppola fell in love with Belize from the moment you arrive, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself falling in love, too.

All photos courtesy of Turtle Inn, A Coppola Family Hideaway

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