story and photos by Susanna Starr
This condo style resort hotel has something for everyone. Located on one of the exquisite pristine Caribbean beaches in newly developing Placencia, Robert’s Grove Beach Resort is the perfect vacation getaway for newlyweds, families with children, retired people and virtually anyone looking for a Caribbean island feeling. Although technically not an island, but narrow peninsula, Placencia has been enjoying the atmosphere of “being discovered” as a Caribbean island. A number of hotels, private homes and, more recently, marinas as well as restaurants of various kinds have been making their appearance.
Robert’s Grove has been operating for ten years and the landscaping is now lush and extensive. In addition to the many palm trees that are a necessary part of any Caribbean beach resort, there are many blooming, tropical plants as well as an assortment of old growth trees providing lots of shade between the buildings. The spacious accommodations are housed in a number of attractive two-story tropical style buildings, all with outdoor decks and most with either full or partial beachfront views. They range generally from one to three bedrooms but it would be easy to accommodate larger groups, using both upper and lower levels.
All the accommodations are designed for convenience and especially comfortable for longer stays with a refrigerator and stove as well as dishwasher in each unit as well as all the usual small kitchen appliances, looking sparkling new and very clean. With the two bedroom unit, a large living room/dining area/kitchen separates both bedrooms, each with its separate bath, a nice feature for two couples or families.
All the usual water sports are easily arranged and kayaks are available to their guests. Fishing, snorkeling and diving excursions can be set up with the front desk as well as visits to other places of interest on the mainland, all providing guided day trips. Because of its proximity to town, it’s an easy bicycle ride for shopping, dining or just a pleasant and fun visit.
The seaside dining room is both inside and outside, providing the opportunity to dine under the stars as well as indoors, facing the ocean. We had lunch and dinner, as well as the light breakfast included in the tariff, outdoors or along their verandah when it was looking like rain. I thoroughly enjoyed the food which, of course, features seafood from the area, but also includes various other choices including some nice salads, with or without shrimp or lobster, when in season.
One night we went to the restaurant at Singing Sands, an affiliate of Robert’s Grove, with some new friends we met at the resort, and thoroughly enjoyed dinner in their romantic garden setting.
In addition to the seaside restaurant, there are two more restaurants on the property. Closer to the entry, Sweet Mama’s features Belizean food and across the road, on the laguna side, is the marina restaurant. Each one has its own distinct ambiance. The marina restaurant fronts the yachts parked there, providing a distinctly nautical feeling, and the development that’s taking place there is now transforming the entire area.
With 52 units on the beach, the new development will add to that significantly with large, individual houses facing the lagoon, each with their own boat slip. There’s also a beautiful view of the mountains across the lagoon. Several have already been finished with several more in the final stages of construction. As with the already established hotel, most are already privately owned but not necessarily occupied all of the time, providing the opportunity for short term vacation rentals.
The new owner, Jean Marc Tasse, has been busy refurbishing the resort but now that project has been completed, has turned his attention to the new construction of the houses on the marina. These will increase the number of accommodations significantly as well as establish a high end boating community, complete with restaurant and marina. These houses are also fully furnished, as are the condos on the beach, and tastefully decorated with art and providing all the finishing touches that are aesthetically appealing. All the new owners have to do is turn the key to move in. And those on short term vacations have nothing to do but enjoy the luxury without ownership.
It’s always wonderful to see the vision of a single person or a group of persons become manifest. Jean Marc can often be found on site directing the new marina project, the hands-on approach an important factor for its success. Robert’s Grove is a prime destination right now and will become even more of one as the newly built marina is completed.
Getting to Belize:
Placencia is serviced by Tropic Air. Robert’s Grove Beach Resort is just a few minutes from the airport in Placencia, Robert’s Grove Beach Resort can be reached by Tropic Air directly from Belize City or from any one of the other vacation destinations in the country.
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Susanna Starr is an entrepreneur, photographer, speaker, artist, writer, and traveler and holds a degree in philosophy from Stony Brook State University of New York. Susanna has over twenty years experience in the hospitality business as owner of Rancho Encantado, an eco-resort and spa in Mexico. She has lived in Northern New Mexico for more than thirty five years and has lived in and traveled throughout Latin America. Susanna is the author of the book: Fifty and Beyond: New Beginnings in Health and Well-Being. Her blog is here. Her new book can be seen here.