Part One: The Legendary Director's Mayan Mountain Paradise
Francis Ford Coppola’s Belizean resort Blancaneaux Lodge, shot for NOWNESS by photographer Mauricio Alejo, is a rustic jungle utopia that reflects the film legend’s directing instincts, prizing location and authenticity. “I love the creativity involved in making a place comfortable without disturbing it,” he says. A potent mix of Central American wilderness with sprawling thatch-roofed villas, the 70-acre expanse comprises 20 bungalows outfitted with hand-painted tiles, Guatemalan fabrics, and Mexican artifacts curated by the film legend’s wife Eleanor. Two private houses, the Coppola Villa and the Enchanted Cottage, come with their own infinity pools and personal butlers, and gastronomic temptations abound in the form of the filmmaker’s own Rubicon Estate wines and southern Italian pizza recipe; so addictive, the British Army helicopters in regularly for lunch. But chief among this shangri-la’s virtues are its outdoor activities: retired race horses transport guests to the 150-foot Big Rock Falls on the Privassion River, while expert guides tailor canoe tours of the Mayan cave system, visits to a nearby butterfly ranch, and wild orchid hunting treks. Coppola purchased the land in 1981, initially remaking the property's
teak hunting outpost into a private family hideaway, before developing
it into an eco-luxury destination in 1993 with Mexican architect
Manolo Mestre. To read about where the director finds inspiration in Guatemala, click here. Check back tomorrow for part two of our tour of Coppola's Central American resorts, an exclusive look at Turtle Inn's private Beach House.