Martin Krediet - Tintin in Belize

When I think of Martin Krediet, I immediately think of Tintin. He does not have a hair tuft, maybe he used to, but instead you always see him with his typical hat. Where Tintin is always accompanied by his dog Bobby, it is Martin's faithful four-legged friends waiting for him the moment he returns home after one of his many trips to the far corners of this planet. Home is for him his nice spot on the coast, just outside the town of Placencia in Belize. Martin lives here while working as general manager of Turtle Inn, a breathtakingly beautiful luxury resort on the idyllic coast of Belize.

The Family Coppola Hideaway

Turtle Inn is one of 6 small-scale luxury hotels from the collection of The Family Coppola Hideaways, two of which are located in Belize and two in Guatemala. The hotels are the brainchildren of the famous filmmaker and multiple Oscar winner Francis Ford Coppola.

A small history

Coppola accidentally ended up in Belize in 1981. Because of the recordings for the film Apocalypse Now, he had stayed in the Philippines for a longer period of time. He had fallen for the idyllic surroundings and wanted a pied-à-terre there. However, his wife Eleanor thought this was too far away and Coppola went looking for a similar place closer to home. In 1981 he read an article about the country of Belize that had just become independent. He decided to go on a voyage of discovery there with his eldest son.

They were sitting in a dark bar in Belize town on an ice-cold Belekin, the local beer of Belize, when they stumbled upon an interesting story. Somewhere in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, not far from the border with Guatemala, would be a place called the Hidden Valley. The place that Coppola in the Philippines initially had in mind was also called Hidden Valley. This could not be a coincidence and father and son took the test. In a small aeroplane they went to investigate and discovered an old dilapidated lodge in the dense forest on the banks of the Macal River, which Coppola decided to buy. After buying and refurbishing the estate, the filmmaker first used it as a home-away-from-home before opening it to hotel guests in 1993 as the Blancaneaux lodge.

Turtle Inn

In 1999 Coppola bought a small diving resort just outside the coastal town of Placencia, called Turtle Inn. When Hurricane Iris razed the resort to the ground in 2001, Coppola and his team were forced to rebuild the site from the ground up. The advantage, however, was that this gave them the opportunity to design the resort entirely as they saw fit. The result is a luxury small-scale resort. The resort's own characteristic style is dominated by influences from the Far East. These remind the director of his time in the Philippines.

The wanderings of Martin Krediet

About ten years ago, the Dutch hotel winch Martin Krediet took the helm of Turtle Inn. Martin saw the light of day in the Netherlands but spent a large part of his youth on Curaçao. He studied at the De Kogge hotel school in Amsterdam and then returned to Curaçao where he did his military service, before his adventurous spirit took him to Miami.

After a few months of backpacking through Puerto Rico and Costa Rica, he returned via New York to Miami Beach, where he started working in the hotel business. Among other things, he worked for seven years for the legendary and world-famous The Raleigh hotel, where he could count the 'rich and famous' among his clientele, and he eventually retired as Director of Sales and Marketing.

By adding Martin Krediet to his dream team, Francis Ford Coppola had done a golden pick. Both Turtle Inn and the Blancaneaux lodge were definitively put on the map. It is no coincidence that the renowned travel magazine Travel + Leisure placed both hotels on the list of the 10 best hotels in Central America this year and Turtle Inn appeared on the 2020 Gold List of the world-famous magazine Condé Nast Traveler.

On an uninhabited island

With the opening of the private island of Coral Caye in 2018, Martin's long cherished dream came true. Off the coast of Belize lies the second largest coral reef in the world containing many idyllic islands. The island of Coral Caye is one of those islands and is a 25-minute boat ride from Turtle Inn. After it was purchased by Coppola, Martin was given free rein to arrange it to his taste and the result is amazing. Not a word has been said too much when you call this a paradise on earth. A place where you can stay with up to 10 people, while being pampered by your private butler and cook.

A nice place in Belize

Globetrotter as he is, Martin Krediet has found his place in Belize after all. He enjoys life and has a passion for his work. His eye for detail, sense of style and the fact that hospitality and dealing with people is an important part of his personality make him a successful hotel winch.

In his spare time Martin enjoys going out for long walks with his dogs, diving at the nearby coral reef, or practising other water sports. And he never misses an opportunity to discover the rest of Belize and the other countries of Latin America.

Contact us for more information

For more information about this interview or a visit to one of the Coppola resorts, please feel free to contact us. We will be happy to help you. Send an email to info@sapapanatravel.nl or call us on +31 73 610 62 04. We are happy to help.