American filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola originally bought the run-down Blancaneaux Lodge as a private writing retreat - before transforming it into a luxury eco-lodge on a secluded hillside overlooking Privassion River. Palm-thatched cabanas tucked into the immaculate gardens (the most secluded, at the far end of the property) come with private plunge pools, alfresco showers and are filled with local woodcarvings and colourful tiles and textiles.
Begin the day with a dawn bird watching tour, before setting out on horseback to explore the lowlands of the neighbouring Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve or walking to Big Rock Falls. Over one thousand streams begin their journey here, and the smooth granite boulders, sandy beaches and waterfalls of Privassion Creek provide fantastic natural swimming holes. Trips can be arranged further afield too; to the Mayan ruins at Xunatunich and Caracol, or across the border at Tikal. The small Waterfall Spa specialises in Thai massage (a favourite of Francis Ford Coppola's), as well as offering a variety of treatments using locally sourced organic ingredients.
Somewhat unusual for the remote Belizean jungle, there is a deeply authentic Italian restaurant on site, inspired by the Coppola's family recipes. Here, the menu offers fresh pasta, fish and grilled meats, plus deliciously crispy pizza from a brick oven. Poolside restaurant Guatemaltecque focuses on cuisine with a more local bent. Special communal dinners are held twice weekly in the organic kitchen garden and include a tour with the resort's head gardener. Francis Ford Coppola is hugely passionate about wine, and his own California label stocked in the restaurants and Jaguar Bar is where film buffs will spot the ceiling fans used on the set of Apocalypse Now.
Couples and romantics
Nature and wildlife lovers
THINGS TO DO AT THE HOTEL:
Enjoy a refreshing dip in the fresh water infinity pool
Treat yourself to a soothing massage in the spa and then soak by the creek in the spa's hot pool
Follow the on-site hiking trails to the Big Rock Falls, take a leisurely stroll through the orchid trails
Grab one of the lodge's river tubes for a relaxing float
Visit the stables and then set out on a ride across the stunning lowlands of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve
Indulge in delicious traditional cuisine that employs fresh ingredients picked from the resort’s own organic garden
Deepen your culinary experience with a farm-to-fork cookery class
THINGS TO DO NEARBY:
Set out on a full day jungle hike in the Elijo Panti National Park and discover medicinal plants used by the Maya
Go kayaking past stalactites and stalagmites at Barton Creek Cave
Marvel at the spectacular Mayan ruins of Caracol, hidden deep in the jungle
Delve into the surrounding forests on a mountain biking adventure
Look out for the vibrant display of birdlife in the forest canopies
Venture into the forest after dark on a wildlife-spotting night hike
The idea for Red Savannah was always based on a clear market need. A small team of the most experienced travel designers, supported by the latest technology and delivered with the lightest touch. In short, a travel company redefined for the 21st century.