When you can't go on your dream vacation just yet, simply go on one in your mind. I do it all the time. I thought I'd share with you one of my top ten dream spots. For some reason Belize has always been on my brain, although I have never been to Central or South America. A few years back I came across a website about Francis Ford Coppola. Yes, the amazing director of the Godfather movies, Apocalypse now and so many other classics. Can't say I know him personally but he sure appears to be a warm and wonderful person. Not only did he turn a run down vineyard into a flourishing business, creating some of the most tasteful wines to ever come out of California, but the man also opened three retreats in Belize.
Two of them are by the ocean, close to what is the second largest barrier reef on the planet. The third, my favorite, is in the jungle not so far away from Mayan ruins and horseback riding trails. It is called Blancaneaux Lodge. The accommodations are built up high on stilts for obvious reasons. This is after all in the middle of the jungle, venomous cuddly pets included. Usually, I am not big on luxury when I travel. All I usually care about is the experience. This is where I would make an exception, as difficult as that would be. The suites and villas are earthy and warm, full of woodcarvings and local treasures. No it's not the Waldorf Astoria, but rather the ultimate in rustic relaxation.
The restaurant prepares it's dishes with organic produce from the resort's own garden and Mr Coppola's wine is a staple. Massage, hot pools and other treatments are offered in the resort spa. Guided hikes, horseback riding as well as bike rides are offered to all the historic and scenic sites in the area. Not hooked yet? Just go to Mr Coppola's resort website where you can read more about this and the other two resorts. Before you know it, you will be stashing money in your mattress for a ticket to paradise.
All photographs are courtesy of the Blancenaux Lodge.