Francis Ford Coppola, inspired by his experience filming Apocalypse Now in the Philippines, decided to search for a “jungle paradise” closer to his northern California home. He ended up buying property in Belize and Guatemala, and now run three hotels there.
- Blancaneaux Lodge in the Maya Mountains of Belize
- Turtle Inn on the southern Belize coast
- La Lancha in Gautemala near Tikal
He writes about his experience in an article in the Independent. An excerpt:
When I visit the resorts, I cast a critical eye. What needs to be added, how is the food and so on. We grow all our fruits and vegetables in our own organic garden, so we can guarantee the quality. We raise our own chickens, and local fishermen bring their catch to the chef. I have a great deal of input with the menus. For La Lancha, we wanted to serve Guatemalan fare using staples such as tamales, beans, chillies, plantains and fresh vegetables. At Turtle Inn, the menu is based on the sea; we serve river lobster or a conch cooked on the beach. And, at Blancaneaux Lodge, it’s Belizean dishes on the menu – rice, beans, chicken and fresh fish, including white fish pickled in lime juice. We also have a wood-burning pizza oven plus espresso machine and coffee roaster imported from Italy.
When I originally discovered Blancaneaux Lodge, I’d been looking for some kind of tropical Utopia and I immediately knew that this was the hideaway I had been looking for. Even now, once I’ve been there a couple of days, the laptop comes out and I write – after all, that’s why I bought the first resort in the first place.
Image from the Blancaneaux Lodge website (slightly modified).