In his spare time away from making some of the greatest films of the last five decades (and Twixt…), Francis Ford Coppola has been seeking out and designing luxurious escapes for him and his family.
Now, the Coppola Hideaways have opened their doors for you to explore, unwind or rub Belizean jungle mud all over your face (we won’t judge). Take your pick from these five movie buff hotspots…
To live like Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now: Blancaneaux Lodge
If the 1979 epic is one of your favourites, but you would rather wake up to the smell of freshly-ground coffee than napalm in the morning, you can spend your days here, taking in the views that reminded Coppola of his time filming in the jungle.
Nestled away in a remote pocket of the Maya Mountains, Blancaneaux Lodge is a 20-room luxury hideaway where waterfalls tumble into turquoise pools above a jungle canopy.
For immersion into the ancient world: La Lancha
Retreat even further than Captain Kurtz into the rainforest to discover La Lancha, an intimate and romantic 10-room resort. The lodge is a far cry from Kurtz’s seclusion into “the horror”, decorated with beautiful Guatemalan fabrics and carvings personally selected by the Coppola family. Also a nice touch: it’s buried amidst ancient Mayan temples and plazas.
For some sand between your toes: Turtle Inn
Looking for sandier terrain? The unspoiled beaches of Belize provide an epic landscape for Turtle Inn, which sits only steps away from the clear Caribbean Sea.
If you’re after some underwater exploration, Belize’s reputation as one of the world’s greatest scuba destinations can be taken full advantage of, with PADI certification courses available onsite. A favourite spot for the Coppola’s, lodgings at Turtle Inn are named after family members.
For some splendid isolation: Coral Caye Island
If you’re longing for an even more remote getaway, make like Robinson Crusoe (a man who spent so long deserted on his island that his family presumed him dead), in the heart of the Caribbean Sea.
Coral Caye Island is a private island and the newest addition to the Coppola hideaway locations. Here, you can escape to a place where your only neighbours will be your selected guests, the exotic birds and attentive caretakers on hand to pour your cocktails, or chop you a fresh coconut.
For a taste of la dolce vita: Palazzo Coppola
And now for something completely different. Coppola has described Palazzo Margherita, situated in Bernalda in Southern Italy, as “a dream come true” — and he didn’t mean the weird kind where all of your teeth fall out.
This boutique hotel houses a cinema room with a vast movie collection, specialising in Italian film, private gardens and Roman pools. The design throughout the hotel nods to Coppola’s heritage, including a suite decorated in the North-African style to honour his Tunisian-born grandmother.
Enjoy the finer things? Check out this vintage Jaguar we took to the streets of London…