One of the longest–running luxury resorts in Belize is gleaming from an upgraded marina and resort facelift. The condo hotel and its private island bungalows are good choice for romantic getaways, an adventure vacation, family gatherings, or just a vacation hanging out in quiet luxury.
We arrived at Robert's Grove Beach Resort by plane with Tropic Air. My preference would have been to go by boat were my boat large enough to make it from mainland USA to Robert's Grove and stay in the beautiful new full–service marina, but as it was it was still an incredibly enjoyable visit.
Tropic Air was the perfect way to get here. The resort is just a short drive — I could have walked — from the Placencia airport. We were met by the friendly staff and handed the customary tropical welcome drink. Most of the staff we came to find out have been here for many years and are very happy, loyal employees.
We were shown to our spacious second-story condo, with a view of the grounds, the fountain, the swimming pools and the beach. It had a spacious wrap–around deck with hammocks, chairs and table — everything necessary for us to enjoy laid–back, outdoors living. The rooms were beautifully appointed with Belizean hardwood furniture and decorated with fine regional art. Our two–bedroom apartment had a generously sized living room and a full kitchen with everything that we would have needed for an extended stay if we were there for more than a few nights.
Our condo had high ceilings and king–sized beds. All rooms have large private baths, air conditioning, ceiling fans, terracotta tiled floors, and individual terraces, plus amenities such as cable television, room safes, Wi–Fi, and mini–fridges.
There are several upscale resorts along the length of the narrow Placencia Peninsula including Francis Ford Coppala's Turtle Inn a more informal, albeit very luxurious resort. Robert's Grove lies between the Garifuna village of Seine Bight — well worth your while getting to know this unique culture — and the tourist town of Placencia with its small shops and excellent restaurants.
Adjoining the resort is a pier with a bar and lounge seating under a thatched roof. You can have a cold drink and enjoy the view looking back at the beach or out across the Caribbean. In addition to the two–story accommodations, the resort has the main restaurant and lounge, a bar, three swimming pools, a spa, and a popular open–air restaurant with an excellent menu of Belizean and international cuisine. There are a trio of rooftop hot tubs and the resort has the only tennis court in the area. If you are into scuba diving there is a PADI dive center. You can host your meetings at the resort's private conference room, which can accommodate up to 70 people. Also provided are kayaks, pedal boats, windsurfers, Hobie Cats, a gym, and bicycles.
Some of the condos are for sale and yield a very high return according to the realtor.
Robert's Grove's new owner, Jean Marc Tasse, has done a terrific job of expanding this beautiful marina and adding some very luxurious new two–story units. Also, he has done some facelifts of the main resort. It's always wonderful to see the vision of a single person or group of persons become manifest. Jean Marc can usually be found on site directing the new marina project, the hands–on approach is an important factor for its success. Robert's Grove has long been a prime luxury destination and is becoming even more so with the new additions.
The Marina comfortably accommodates over 30 vessels (yachts up to 75 feet) and features newly renovated docks, boardwalks, and full hook–ups including electricity, water and Wi–Fi access. On–site amenities also include newly installed showers and laundry service. Didn't come in your own boat? You can travel the seas onboard the Placencia Princess for their Reggae Sunset Cruise.
The marina is just short walk from the main resort, where you can dine at the resort's casual restaurant, the Habanero Mexican, which is especially nice for sunset cocktails and appetizers overlooking the Placencia Lagoon. The night we dined at the Habanero there was a well–done Mexican buffet, mariachi music, and dancing.
If your bucket list includes being alone on a private tropical island, Robert's Grove has two — Robert's Caye and Ranguana Caye. Just you and your private island cook and caretaker catering to you during your "private island" getaway, with simple but comfortable accommodations, surrounded by nothing but the Caribbean. If you like there are sea kayaks and snorkeling equipment to satisfy your sense of adventure.
Robert's Grove Beach Resort's ideal location allows guests to be surrounded by Belize's best attractions: the barrier reef, tropical rainforests, and Mayan ruins. Guests and especially families can choose from a vast array of Belize's most sought–after activities, including diving tours, fly fishing trips, and many more thrilling adventures. The ambiance of the resort makes it the perfect setting for a memorable wedding, a romantic honeymoon vacation, or just a laid back, hang on the beach stay.
Web Address: www.robertsgrove.com
Total Number of Rooms: 51 rooms, 7 island cottages
Published rates: $170 to $1,997
Review and photos by John Lamkin