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Reviewed 2 September 2012

This past August was my first time in Belize, it was our honeymoon/vacation. Let me just say every second was UNBELIZEABLE!
The Colibri House is beautiful, well kept, and comfortable inside and out. We rented out the first floor studio for one week in August. Upon arrival to the small peninsula of Placencia we walked to the Colibri House, its location could not be more charming. The Colibri House is on the beach side of the side walk that runs through Placencia.
You walk off the sidewalk and you are in your own private beach garden! To our surprise it only got better from there, we had our own private deck with a hammock big enough for two and a small table with chairs to pull up. Our deck also had a light for when we hung out in the hammock at night.
Anything you can think of Stefano already has it set up when you get there. This was the most spacious well decorated studio I've ever been in, we fell in love with the place at first sight. The kitchen and bathroom were fully stocked, the fans were amazing + the sea breeze at night, there was no need for AC.
We felt right at home after only a few minutes in the Colibri House. Every day waking up to the sunrise over the water, then riding the bikes(which Stefano kindly supplies) all over town, and best of all cooking a Belizean dinner in our kitchen at night helped us save $$, which we then used for more BELIKINS
To top it all off the gentleman who runs the Colibri house, Stefano is quite wonderful himself. Stefano met with us to give us a small tour of the house and the keys. He pointed out the aloe plants he had around the property and jokingly said to my husband "You are very light skinned so feel free to rip a piece off and rub it on your skin when you burn", thanks again Stefano because he did burn and the aloe really helped! Stefano then grabbed a map and began to point out his favorite places to eat. From seafood joints, to a delicious but cheap meal Stefano made sure we knew the scoop. He then told us about the best grocery stores for fruit versus the best super market for gnocchi, which he then even went an extra mile of giving us a personal recipe for his Italian Gnocchi>.< delicious!
After the great advice/suggestions and laughs Stefano handed off the keys and we didn't see him again until the night before we were leaving. One of my favorite things about the Colibri House is the privacy you have and yet the whole town is only a few minutes away, it truly is the best of both worlds!
I'm so glad I found the Colibri House it was magical and exactly what we needed!

Room Tip: Studio was affordable and amazing but you can't go wrong the loft upstairs is also very nice.
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank KarenMVP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColibriHouseBelize, Owner at Colibri House, responded to this reviewResponded 23 November 2013

Hi All! This is the first time I am answering to every Guest/Friend who have reviewed us in this Magic site called Tripadvisor. A Magic link that connect Rental Business, Travelers and Tourists of the whole Earth... Thank to All of you and to Tripadvisor our little business, the Colibri House has prospered for years being able to survive also in recent difficult times because of the terrible Global Economical meltdown... It has been taught to everybody but maybe all of us have reached to the end of that tunnel that badly hit many nice Families. I have always thought about all of you hoping that the nice people who have picked up our vacation rental to enjoy their holidays could make it as we have been able to make it until now. I am sincerely grateful to all of you... Now possibly all of us will have to fight again against new Economical Challenges plus the Global change of the weather, so weird and unpredictable here in Belize as in the rest of the World. But I am sure that all of us will be blessed and we will make it again!!! I have always thought that the Karma strongly linked to the Colibri House was good for us and for our Guests/Friends and I hope He helped you as He helped us... Just a thought after so many years (14...) I started this business with Nicoletta, when nobody here or at home in Italy could even think we could make it... I wanted to share it with All of you but now it is better if I will post it right the way!!!! If not I won't be so brave to do it!!!!!!!! ;o)

I wish you all the best, grazie infinite.... Ciao! Stefano

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Reviewed 30 August 2012

We have previously been to Placencia and stayed at Toucan Lulu, so feel free to check out that review. This time around, the owners of Toucan Lulu were out of the country, so we decided to check out a "new" site. (I put "new" in quotes since Colibri house is directly next to the cabin we stayed in at Toucan Lulu, haha). So... Colibri House.. In a word -- beautiful. We communicated with one of the owners, Stefano, via e-mail for some time before booking it for sure; he was super helpful and even willing to strike a deal with us to book the upstairs suite (we were originally interested in the downstairs apartment, but it was booked already!). And what a suite it was! Two floors, both with balconies that allow spectacular views of the beach and Caribbean. The house is located directly on the beach, had a fully equipped kitchen, and was most definitely secure. We didn't use the kitchen really, since we were too busy eating out every night at all of Placencia's amazing restaurants, but still, it's nice to have the option.
Stefano was our main point of contact, since his business partner, Nicoletta, was out of the country for most of our stay. He was warm, welcoming, and gracious. His main concern was our comfort, and he wanted to make sure everything was always up to our standards (it was!). He does not live in Placencia proper, but he made sure to tell us that he was just a phone call away if we had questions (Colibri House does have a telephone). This being our 2nd stay in Placencia, we didn't have questions, really, but again, it was nice to know that we had the option.
OH, and did we mention the fact that a rental at Colibri House comes with complementary bikes? For us, there is no greater joy than biking around Central America. Now, keep in mind: these aren't A+, fixed gear, single speed messenger bikes that you may find in a more "developed" country; you ARE in a 3rd world country, you know. But, they ARE nice enough to get you from point "A" to point "B", and that's good enough for us! If you can't see the beauty in riding a rusty bike down a dirt road in Central America, well, you may want to reconsider whether Placencia is the right place for you.
PS: Stefano and Nicoletta take care of several cats at Colibri House: I suggest arriving prepared to buy some cat food. It will really help them out and the cats will love you for it!
PSS: Stefano and Nicoletta do not accept credit cards; they will ask you to wire money for a deposit. DO NOT let this stop you from booking with them. These are honest folks -- they are not out to steal your cash, promise!

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Robin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColibriHouseBelize, Owner at Colibri House, responded to this reviewResponded 23 November 2013

Hi All! This is the first time I am answering to every Guest/Friend who have reviewed us in this Magic site called Tripadvisor. A Magic link that connect Rental Business, Travelers and Tourists of the whole Earth... Thank to All of you and to Tripadvisor our little business, the Colibri House has prospered for years being able to survive also in recent difficult times because of the terrible Global Economical meltdown... It has been taught to everybody but maybe all of us have reached to the end of that tunnel that badly hit many nice Families. I have always thought about all of you hoping that the nice people who have picked up our vacation rental to enjoy their holidays could make it as we have been able to make it until now. I am sincerely grateful to all of you... Now possibly all of us will have to fight again against new Economical Challenges plus the Global change of the weather, so weird and unpredictable here in Belize as in the rest of the World. But I am sure that all of us will be blessed and we will make it again!!! I have always thought that the Karma strongly linked to the Colibri House was good for us and for our Guests/Friends and I hope He helped you as He helped us... Just a thought after so many years (14...) I started this business with Nicoletta, when nobody here or at home in Italy could even think we could make it... I wanted to share it with All of you but now it is better if I will post it right the way!!!! If not I won't be so brave to do it!!!!!!!! ;o)

I wish you all the best, grazie infinite.... Ciao! Stefano

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2012

Colibri House took our breath away as soon as Stefano opened the 2nd Suite doors for us. The kitchen is cozy and quaint but remains open to the rest of the main level though the steep staircase to the loft upstairs separates the kitchen from the living room. After absorbing how homely Colibri felt, we wandered off to inspect both main level and roof level verandahs. The tiniest and fine tuned touches to the entire house are comforting and beautiful - and you'll continue to discover new ones until the minute you leave.

We were able to buy groceries and make ourselves right at home. We had everything we needed to cook and eat quite comfortably - and even the kitchen table has a quirk of it's own that Stefano will be sure to educate you on. "It's the Italian way".

Stefano himself is a wonderful and very funny Italian man. He has an affinity for "B" movies - and will bring you new ones and slide them into the door frame for you to find in the mornings. He comes by about once a day, and usually early, to feed the five or so cats that hang out about the property, also to keep up on regular maintenance. He enjoys a quick laugh with his guests and then continues on with his day. He makes his appearances short and sweet so that he does not disturb his visitors - which is probably impossible anyway. He is a great conversationalist and can indulge in any topic. My boyfriend enjoyed many intelligent conversations with Stefano, speaking generally about things like archaeology, travel, music, politics, crazy Italian mothers - and then I spoke with him about crazy French mothers and the art of being a writer. An overall very wonderful and entertaining man.

That being said about the owner, the house itself is just as extraordinary. The loft upstairs is beyond beautiful and has motivated us to finding a way to make our own home reflect some of Colibri's qualities and comforts. We spent countless hours in the shade of the main floor deck of the upper suite, watching over the glass like water early in the mornings until the tide began to cascade over the beach front just a minute's walk from the Colibri House. Once the sun went down, we'd gather our chairs and make our way to the roof level verandah and watch the storms roll in from the sea and from southern Belize. The storms... were unlike anything we'd witnessed before.

As far as the comforts you are unable to bring with you from your own home, you'll find that, over the years, Stefano and his business partner Nicolette have made Colibri House a home away from home. You have a juice maker, coffee pot, blender, pots and pans, wine opener, bottle opener, spatulas, potato masher, butcher knives, bowls, tupperware, gallons of water under the sink, a plastic basket with spices (some things I imagine that were left over from past guests. We left vinegar and olive oil!), servings bowls, wine glasses, coffee mugs, water glasses (I left beer mugs in the freezer for the lucky guests who stay there next!), a library of books and again, those "B" movies. There are towels, a clothes line and pins to hang them and clothes or bathing suits as you see fit. You will find two hammocks and hooks on the first verandah, two camping style chairs as well as plastic white chairs - which are a bit flimsy but do the job. There's also a wooden handmade table on the main floor patio of the upstairs suite.

There are two fans located in the loft for your comfort at night and if you're staying for a long period of time, there are dressers up there as well. Another neat feature about the house is the sliding storm windows - and there is something very zen about closing down and re-opening the house every evening and morning. All of the shutters to close, each of the many locks per door to fasten, all of the light switches to shut off - we left only the Christmas lights along the bottom of the loft floor on through the night. No matter what time of day, there was always a sense of comfortable peace in the home. All of the furniture is from Italy, including the light fixtures which required electricity converters to plug into the walls - we just really appreciated the care and attention that it takes to make Colibri House such a fantastic getaway.

Not only is the owner great and secondly, not only is the house great....but then incorporate the incredible location and you can't really beat the benefits of staying here at Colibri House. One night, we were drinking a bottle of wine on the upstairs verandah looking over to the $500 a night resort at the far northeast end of Placencia, thinking to ourselves that no matter the money we had - we would undoubtedly be happier exactly where we were. Nothing is more than a five or ten minute walk from Colibri House. Ming's supermarket is 3 minutes away (south on the main road) and directly afterwards begin bars, restaurants, pizza shops, Barefoot Bar (say hi to Elvin), and Omar's Seafood (say hi to Sheldon). 10 minutes from Colibri heading south down the main road is a large soccer field and here is also where diving tour shops also begin. Along this street is where you will also make all of your local friends.

The setting of the Colibri house can be romantic, fun, peaceful - and becomes a comfortable sanctuary the longer you stay. I would and will recommend this beautiful place to anyone I know that is interested in traveling to Belize. In fact, I hope that we can convince people to look into Belize just because of our stories and appreciation for Stefano and his hard work to establish such a brilliant place. We loved Colibri House and will absolutely return.

Room Tip: We stayed in the upstairs suite which separated the loft from the "living area" of the house. The views from both verandah's are amazing and you have the option of upper or lower when you stay upstairs. Gorgeous home and we felt privileged and proud to be staying there.
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank TleB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColibriHouseBelize, Owner at Colibri House, responded to this reviewResponded 23 November 2013

Hi All! This is the first time I am answering to every Guest/Friend who have reviewed us in this Magic site called Tripadvisor. A Magic link that connect Rental Business, Travelers and Tourists of the whole Earth... Thank to All of you and to Tripadvisor our little business, the Colibri House has prospered for years being able to survive also in recent difficult times because of the terrible Global Economical meltdown... It has been taught to everybody but maybe all of us have reached to the end of that tunnel that badly hit many nice Families. I have always thought about all of you hoping that the nice people who have picked up our vacation rental to enjoy their holidays could make it as we have been able to make it until now. I am sincerely grateful to all of you... Now possibly all of us will have to fight again against new Economical Challenges plus the Global change of the weather, so weird and unpredictable here in Belize as in the rest of the World. But I am sure that all of us will be blessed and we will make it again!!! I have always thought that the Karma strongly linked to the Colibri House was good for us and for our Guests/Friends and I hope He helped you as He helped us... Just a thought after so many years (14...) I started this business with Nicoletta, when nobody here or at home in Italy could even think we could make it... I wanted to share it with All of you but now it is better if I will post it right the way!!!! If not I won't be so brave to do it!!!!!!!! ;o)

I wish you all the best, grazie infinite.... Ciao! Stefano

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2012

My husband and I planned this trip to Belize very last minute and after deciding on going to Placencia and reading the great reviews of Colibri House, we contacted Stefano. We were flying into Belize on the 4th and by the 3rd of July we still had made no reservations for accomodations (!). Stefano was great and very easy to deal with. He was prompt at returning phone calls and pretty accessible whether by phone or by email. As luck would have it he just that moment had a cancellation so we were able to book 4 nights at Colibri House. He explained how to get there (either a 5 hour bus ride from Belize City or a 40 min plane ride aboard a 14-seater plane, which can be booked online) and said that he would arrange someone to pick us up at the airport and bring us to the house.

After a short ride from the airport, we arrived. Tucked away from the main road and right on the beach, Colibri House, though surrounded by other guest houses, is far enough from the center of town to afford some privacy and quiet, while being close enough to walk into town and get a bite to eat or drink.

The pathway to the house from the sidewalk is nicely raked and lined with sea shells. There were about 4-5 black cats and one black and white one that acted like guardians and added to the charm. We loved seeing the cats every day as they reminded us of our two cats back home.

We rented the upstairs loft (the bigger of the two units) and were greeted by Stefano when we arrived. He gave us a tour : fully-equipped kitchen with dishes and utensils, some pots and pans a stove, blender, coffee maker, refrigerator, some pantry items (depending on what was left behind from the previous occupants); there is a small dining table with three chairs and a bench next to a book shelf with a few novels and some guidebooks about Belize and Guatemala; a futon couch, coffee table and tv with DVD player make up the living area; bathroom with bidet and shower; a deck outside has two chairs and a table and hooks to hang up two (provided) hammocks; upstairs (steep,ladder-like stairs) is the loft that contains a low platform bed and a door leading to (another!) deck containing two chairs and a great view.

Although it does not have air conditioning, there are plenty of windows and 3 screened doors to let in the nearly constant sea breeze. In addition, there is a ceiling fan, one fan downstairs and two fans in the loft bedroom (because it is upstairs it can get pretty warm and stuffy but the fans and the screened door definitely help).

Stefano very kindly showed us a map of the village and gave us recommendations for places to eat, shop for foodstuffs, and arrange tours. It is apparent that the house has been lovingly furnished with items procured from various travels. There are also two bikes locked up to the tree outside that we were free to use to explore the town.

Positives:
- location on the beach and proximity to the village
- two decks to enjoy the view and the sea breeze
- cable tv with DVD player
- hammocks (so great to relax on the terrace laying in a hammock with a cold beer)
- bikes (which we used the entire time to explore Placencia - seriously our favorite thing, loved to ride the bikes, we did it the entire time we were there; super convenient)
- the cats
- Stefano and Nicoletta (his business partner; they are both so helpful and friendly)

Cons:
Befor I begin with the cons I would like to explain a few things. My husband and I were looking for a place that had a nice beach and a place to swim. When we were researching where to go in Belize I found Placencia listed as one of the world's best beaches on trip advisor. We were expecting a fine white sandy beach with blue water from the carribean. What we saw was a regular sand beach with a lot of debris washed up the shore and sea grass everywhere. To top it off, Stefano, showing us his jellyfish sting on his arm, told us to be careful of jellyfish and sting rays if we were going in the water. In fact a recent occupant got stung by a sting ray and was in pain for 3 days! He said it was one of the rare times he saw a grown man cry. After my husband heard that he did not want to get in the water. We did not see anyone swimming near us, but further down the beach we did see people in the water. Also lying on the beach with a towel is not the best idea. There are a lot of large ants crawling around and other bugs. These ants do bite. Colibri house does not have any beach loungers but we did see some canvas fold-up chairs (the kind you see at sporting events) that I think are provided for that purpose. Further down the beach there are places to stay that offer beach loungers. So our main purpose laying on the beach and swimming were not options that we wanted to partake in because of the previously described conditions.
- the bed was not comfortable (it was on old spring mattress on a low wooden platform) - my husban would wake up with back pain and I found it so difficult to get comfortable that it took me forever to fall asleep
- the pillows (two thin, old pillows were on top of the bed; there were two other pillows that we could also use but these seemed even worse than the ones on the bed - my husband called them airline pillows and they really did seem like they were)
- during our last night we experienced such low water pressure in the shower, barely a trickle was coming out of the shower head (Stefano did warn us that this may happen, esp. after a storm, but it was still inconvenient)
- like a lot of places in Belize you can not flush paper down the toilet because the septic tank is easily clogged, so after wiping it goes into the trash can next to the toilet

Bottom line:
Colibri house would be a great backpackers destination. Although we did not stay at any of the other guest houses in Placencia,my guess is that the other places would be around the same or worse.
Before we made the reservations with Stefano we were trying to decide between the maya beach hotel and Colibri house. I was completely swayed by positive reviews and felt that Colibri house would be a perfect fit. Turns out we wanted a little more luxury. On our last day we rode the bikes 8 miles (!) past the airstrip, past the town of Seine Bight, to maya beach hotel. We wanted to check it out and compare beaches - I just couldn't understand how Placencia beach was listed as one of the top beaches of the world. We arrived muddy (it had been raining), tired and thirsty. Even though we were not guests they allowed us to sit on their beach loungers and and we ordered drinks from the bar. They were super friendly and the drinks were delicious. The beach was immaculate! It is regularly raked and groomed. We had brought our snorkel gear just in case and finally had the chance to swim in the water. It was perfect! The next day we took a taxi back and had breakfast. Food was great.

Though we both enjoyed getting to know Placencia and experience the culture, and we found Colibri house to be charming and perfectly adequate, I am not sure if we would stay there again. However after discovering some great restaurants and bars (must try Omar's and Barefoot Bar) and meeting Stefano and Nicoletta, who genuinely care about your experience and are thoughtful (and have I mentioned friendly?), we may change our mind about that.
If you like to be close to town and close to the beach and don't mind not having a few modern luxuries than this place is for you.

  • Stayed: July 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Karensko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColibriHouseBelize, Owner at Colibri House, responded to this reviewResponded 23 November 2013

Hi All! This is the first time I am answering to every Guest/Friend who have reviewed us in this Magic site called Tripadvisor. A Magic link that connect Rental Business, Travelers and Tourists of the whole Earth... Thank to All of you and to Tripadvisor our little business, the Colibri House has prospered for years being able to survive also in recent difficult times because of the terrible Global Economical meltdown... It has been taught to everybody but maybe all of us have reached to the end of that tunnel that badly hit many nice Families. I have always thought about all of you hoping that the nice people who have picked up our vacation rental to enjoy their holidays could make it as we have been able to make it until now. I am sincerely grateful to all of you... Now possibly all of us will have to fight again against new Economical Challenges plus the Global change of the weather, so weird and unpredictable here in Belize as in the rest of the World. But I am sure that all of us will be blessed and we will make it again!!! I have always thought that the Karma strongly linked to the Colibri House was good for us and for our Guests/Friends and I hope He helped you as He helped us... Just a thought after so many years (14...) I started this business with Nicoletta, when nobody here or at home in Italy could even think we could make it... I wanted to share it with All of you but now it is better if I will post it right the way!!!! If not I won't be so brave to do it!!!!!!!! ;o)

I wish you all the best, grazie infinite.... Ciao! Stefano

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2012

Colibri House is the perfect setting to take in the tropical Belizian ambiance on the Caribbean. Stefano and Nicoletta have put together a very comfortable, fully furnished studio apartment, with a European touch such as Italian linens, a French press for making coffee and well-placed decorations of local origins. Each morning for us was serene .... coffee on the porch with a splendid view of the Caribbean. The layout imparts privacy but you are actually right on the beach and within walking distance of everything you need. From Colibri House, you can stroll down the sidewalk to the village and will soon be meeting and greeting your neighbors. Stefano gave us a map and made some recommendations that turned out to be excellent. If you like easy comfort, rustic yet artsy style and a sense of home, you will love Colibri House.

Room Tip: We had the studio apartment downstairs. I will go for the upstairs loft next time.
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank QueenMumWessels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ColibriHouseBelize, Owner at Colibri House, responded to this reviewResponded 23 November 2013

Hi All! This is the first time I am answering to every Guest/Friend who have reviewed us in this Magic site called Tripadvisor. A Magic link that connect Rental Business, Travelers and Tourists of the whole Earth... Thank to All of you and to Tripadvisor our little business, the Colibri House has prospered for years being able to survive also in recent difficult times because of the terrible Global Economical meltdown... It has been taught to everybody but maybe all of us have reached to the end of that tunnel that badly hit many nice Families. I have always thought about all of you hoping that the nice people who have picked up our vacation rental to enjoy their holidays could make it as we have been able to make it until now. I am sincerely grateful to all of you... Now possibly all of us will have to fight again against new Economical Challenges plus the Global change of the weather, so weird and unpredictable here in Belize as in the rest of the World. But I am sure that all of us will be blessed and we will make it again!!! I have always thought that the Karma strongly linked to the Colibri House was good for us and for our Guests/Friends and I hope He helped you as He helped us... Just a thought after so many years (14...) I started this business with Nicoletta, when nobody here or at home in Italy could even think we could make it... I wanted to share it with All of you but now it is better if I will post it right the way!!!! If not I won't be so brave to do it!!!!!!!! ;o)

I wish you all the best, grazie infinite.... Ciao! Stefano

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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