Resorts & Retreats Awards 2023

48 | LUXlife Magazine Best Fishing Lodge Accommodation 2023 - Belize Belize River Lodge was the first sports fishing lodge to open in Belize, and has been in business since 1961. It offers flats fishing tailored for both fly and conventional anglers, alongside marine tours, bird spotting, visits to Maya sites, and eco-adventure tours. On the banks of the Belize Olde River, amidst the lush greenery and bright, tropical flowers, sits the delightful jungle Belize River Lodge, with facilities that can accommodate up to sixteen people. This includes a fabulous 2-storey mahogany guest house with four rooms, the family friendly cottage, and a luxurious bungalow. All rooms come with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and private shower facilities. The main lodge is where the kitchen is housed, the business’s offices, a gift shop, and a fishing closet. There’s also a lounge area, and a self-service bar for guests. Belize River Lodge owners Mike and Marguerite are hands on hosts, always onsite to oversee visiting guests and make sure everything is going well. It is their greatest intention to try and make every guest’s trip memorable by providing excellent and friendly service throughout their visit. The ultimate hope is always to see people arrive as guests, but leave as friends. As well as the flats fishing – which is fishing in the shallows for Bonefish, Permit, Snook and Tarpon – the Belize River Lodge has also expanded its tourist services to include eco-adventure tours. Being located in central Belize, it has easy access to many inland wonders, with its diverse culture and landscape making it a beautiful place for anyone to visit during a trip. It offers water tours, with snorkeling on the Barrier Reef, a boat ride through the mangrove cathedrals, and an opportunity to take in the wildlife (such as snakes, turtles, howler monkeys, and maybe even manatees), along the Belize Olde River itself. Inland adventures include cave tours, mountain hikes, and visits to Maya sites like Xunantunich, Cahal Pech and Altun Ha. There are also dedicated birding walks, horseback riding adventures, and exciting activities along with ziplining through the jungle canopy, and tubing through cave tunnels. There is a plethora of things to do in Belize, aside from the fishing. Waterfalls, botanical gardens, creek canoeing, rappelling, and a visit to the zoo are all things that can be enjoyed by both angler and non-angler visitors alike. Mike and Marguerite hold themselves to very high standards in attending to their guests, whether it be fishing, tours, the food on offer, the comfort of the rooms, or simply the level of hospitality on offer, they always go the extra mile. Their family and management commitments go together like tongue and groove, setting an excellent example to the entire Belize River Lodge crew about exactly how to get things done effectively and efficiently. The company thinks of itself as a boutique style holiday destination, with just 8 rooms catering to a total of 16 guests. When Mike and Marguerite bought it in 1986, they fully embraced the eco capabilities of the lodge, with sustainable fishing (catch and release), touring, and living practices. Belize River Lodge recruits its fantastic local staff from outlying Belizean villages and towns. It concentrates on finding young but mature individuals, and takes personal recommendations to do this. It wants hardworking, honest, and dependable people who are also friendly, and have the desire to learn more whilst working with people from around the world. BRL has built a company culture encompassing respect, trust, communication, integrity, team work, and much more. It knows its guests tend to come from a niche market area; anglers and eco-tourists, those looking to visit and really experience Belize. However, Belize River Lodge is also delighted to welcome a large number of repeat guest visits, which is a positive sign it’s doing something right. Recently, it has noticed a swathe of younger new guests, who tend to be more up to date with technology. To accommodate these guests, BRL has made a few changes, adding facilities to allow them to remain in contact with the wider world. It also regularly adjusts its menu by adding new dishes to its repertoire to appeal to current market tastes and trends, whilst always striving to retain the integrity of its fine Belizean cuisine. Belize River Lodge both understands and celebrates the differences its lodge accommodation offers in comparison to a hotel. The bonus of having owners who stay on-site as hosts helps customers feel immensely happy, contented, and appreciated. Undoubtedly, this is just one of the reasons BRL has been awarded Best Fishing Lodge Accommodation 2023 – Belize, in the Resort and Retreat Awards. A huge well done to all. Many of us are now dreaming about our next visit to this tropical paradise. Company: Belize River Lodge Web Address: Contact Name: Marguerite Miles