Turtle Inn, A Coppola Resort in Placencia, Belize: More Beautiful than I Ever Imagined

A few weeks ago I received an invite.  It said only this: would you like to join us for a helicopter ride to Placencia?  Ummmm…YES.  Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES.  I couldn’t believe the amazing offer and…being who I am…I had so many questions!  When?  Where will we stay?  Just for a day?  Why me?

But I didn’t want to jinx it…it was an offer too amazing to sully with lame questions.  I waited.

And a week later…a date was given and…then more details.  The helicopter ride was just the beginning!

We would be staying the night at Turtle Inn Resort – purchased and renovated by Francis Ford Coppola and crew in 1999.  One of his three resorts in this area and the one most frequented by stars visiting Belize.

We would spend 24 hours at Sofia’s Beach House.  Sofia Coppola!  The amazing writer, director and just crazy cool person who really DOES come here to vacation.

No more questions.  An incredible offer by my new friends.  Go with the flow.

Let me show you the resort.

I’ll let my pictures (and the gorgeous ones from the website) do the talking but MAN is this place as close to perfection as I can imagine.  The grounds are lush and beautiful – as if you were wandering a secret garden in Bali.   At every turn a statue or flower that begged to be photographed.  A beautiful private beach with 3 floating docks for sunning, 2 big pools, burnished hardwood carvings, perfect palapas, stone walls and carvings, gorgeous antiques.  Almost a jungle lodge on the beach.  In the most perfect way.  THE FLOWERS!  I had to meet the gardeners…

That will wait for later.  Here are some of my pictures.

We walked over a small bridge to get to the front desk…turtles swam all around.

The view of the beach and the main pool.

By the pools and in the rooms – a shell phone to reach the front desk.

Another pool at the north end of the property – for adults only.

There were quite a few people staying at the resort – but everyone had their own area…the property is smartly walled and winding for privacy.

We were escorted by our BUTLER, Oscar to the villa.  It is all the way at the end of the property just passed Francis’ Family Pavilion…

A peek inside his courtyard.  I’d love to look inside but it was occupied.  The photos are stunning.

To Sofia’s spot.  Different architecture.  Modern but retro, stylish and beachy, open and airy, luxe and comfortable…almost like Malibu in Belize.

A huge lounge and kitchen…and just off it a viewing room with movies that I imagine are picked by Sofia herself.

An upstairs bedroom open over the balcony, the pool and beach.

A sitting area office that I would kill for.

A huge bathroom and deep deep tub and two more villas in the court yard.  Just beyond our outside dining area and lotus pool…

Imagine the small wedding you could have here!

Beautiful open spaces looking out on the gardens.

Love.  Love love love.  The refrigerators filled with everything you could need – including a full selection of Coppola wines.   If it’s not enough, they have thousands of bottles onsite…

I think love for Turtle Inn crossed over to obsession as I fell asleep.  My HUGE doors (over 12 feet high) were opened to my private garden.  The light scent of ylang ylang – the blossom that is distilled to make Chanel 5 and many other perfumes – drifting over me.

Are you freaking kidding me?!?!?  Am I in a movie?

The next day I was not at all ready to get back to real life.  But somehow the helicopter ride over the reef – flying from Placencia to Ambergris Caye – was able to soften the blow.

I will be back!  Somehow…someway…

Sigh.

I was able to locate the main gardener, Marvin with the help of my butler.  He took me on the tour of their GORGEOUS organic gardens and gave me cuttings of moss roses in five different colors and the lush ground covering, arachis pintoi.  He showed me the herbs and peppers and even gave me some seeds for the ylang ylang tree.

Wish me luck!

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Gorgeous lush landscape at the beach - this beach house at Francis Ford Coppola's Resort in Placencia Belize is an absolute dream.  Wedding or honeymoon heaven.




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  • Billizer

    Thanks for the visit, Rebecca…it is as close as I will get in this life.

  • mysteryboy

    Fantastic! Did they share,or were you aware, that shortly after Francis bought the property around the turn of the century, refurbished it to his demanding standards and re-opened – Hurricane Keith claimed it and it had to be completely rebuilt. You’ve been to Blancaneaux too, right? Compare & contrast.

    • I’ve only been to the bar at Blancaneaux…so briefly during a tour of local caves so no! I need to full experience. And that info about the hurricane is crazy – he bought it from a guy named Skip in 1999…

      I hope he was insured but then…if anyone can…he can afford it! Some random website estimates $300,000,000!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s in USD.

  • Jim

    Thanks Rebecca, maybe I should reconsider vacations this year, the Turtle Inn really looks like a great place.

    • If you’ve been to Ambergris Caye and love it – one trip get to Placencia. It’s different but so great in its own way…

      I wouldn’t mind having a summer home there. Or just a couch to crash on. Perhaps now I’m allowed to call Sofia directly?

  • Vince

    Hi Rebecca,

    Once again another great article on yet another wonderful Belizean Gem. I’ll definitely add this one to my to-do list. Many Thanks!