Belize is quickly becoming one of the most sought after travel destinations in Central America. Directly to the south of the Mexican Yucatan, Belize offers a unique variety of resorts featuring everything from luxurious beaches, Maya Mountain vistas, bountiful jungles and dense rainforests. We had the immense pleasure of spending two starry nights nestled away in a pocket of the Maya Mountains at Blancaneaux Lodge, an award-winning Coppola Resort in San Ignacio, Belize.
We landed at the airport in Belize City where a friendly, professional and knowledgeable driver was waiting for us. For the 2-hour ride, he offered us water bottles, fresh fruit and homemade chocolate chip cookies. He shared the history of Belize and its people and stopped along the way at the finest gift shop so we could stretch our legs and share our first Belikin beer.
Upon arriving at the resort, we were met by the concierge who brought us our first taste of Jaguar Juice, a potent concoction of local craboo liqueur, aged rum and fresh pineapple juice, while we stepped outside on the veranda to take in the beautiful views and the fresh air. Next we were given a tour of the property via golf cart. We saw the picturesque horse stables and the organic garden, featuring over three acres of vegetables, herbs, fruit and nut orchards, providing for almost 80% of the produce used at Blancaneaux.
We ventured down a long, private path with lush landscaping in every direction and pulled up in front of the Enchanted Cottage, Blancaneaux Lodge’s ultimate dwelling of luxury, romance and seclusion. We were instantly impressed with our accommodations including a full-sized, stocked kitchen, screened porch, plush king-sized bed, two washrooms and a private infinity-edge pool overlooking a grand valley. In addition, a chest full of books and games were available for our entertainment.
We dined exclusively at the resort’s restaurants and the servers warmly welcomed us, quickly becoming our friends while remaining professional, suggesting wine pairings and answering any questions we had about the menu. The poolside restaurant specializes in Guatemalan cuisine, pulling influence from Mexican, Caribbean and Mayan recipes such as slow-cooked meats, plantains and black beans. The more formal dining experience was at Montagna Ristorante, featuring classic Italian cuisine of pastas, fresh fish, local meats and wood-fired pizzas.
On our second day, we decided to hike one of the trails to Big Rock, a nearby waterfall and natural spring. We fueled for the journey with breakfast; a satisfying spread of fresh juices, breads, homemade yogurt and fresh fruit. Our server was thoughtful enough to put in an order for a picnic lunch to send with us on the hike, complete with sandwiches, fruit, cookies and water to energize and to keep us hydrated.
The concierge always had our best interest and safety as priority and knew our whereabouts in a non-intrusive manner. With a vast property and limited number of guests, the service was superior, including a personal golf cart for the duration of our stay. When we look back on our time at Blancaneaux, we still manage to have the same sense of relaxation and serenity as when we were there.