Gladden Hotel


A tiny, coral-fringed island at the heart of the Belize Barrier Reef reserve, Gladden is the very definition of refuge.

The only building, a two-bedroom villa surrounded by white sands, is an elegant sanctuary of dark woods, exposed stone, glossy floors and endless views of aquamarine lagoons – with 20 miles to the coast of Placencia, its serenity is uninterrupted. The sea’s soothing symphony accompanies each refreshing dip in the plunge pool, massage on the beach and days hours spent basking in the Caribbean sun. Punctuate these with a snorkel on kaleidoscopic reefs, a scuba dive with whale sharks, or hitch a helicopter ride and pay a visit to the mainland, where Gladden’s sister property, Valley Stream, sits tucked away in the rainforest, surrounded by Mayan ruins and roaring waterfalls. On your return, chef and co-host Toni Pratley will serve up organic Belizean delicacies in the open-air palapa, floating sunbeds on the rooftop terrace beckoning postprandial lounging as the sun dips below the horizon.

From £1,007pp (4-night min). 00 1 416 728 4989,

Words by Jasmina Matulewicz.

This review was taken from the July 2022 issue of Food and Travel. To subscribe today, click here.

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