In spite of an enormous hardship in Belize’s travel industry, the year 2021 saw new hotels and even restaurants open as nothing short of impressive. Representing resilience all on their own, there have been a few noteworthy launches—almost entirely on Ambergris Caye, Belize’s most visited island. Unsurprisingly, one has made its mark as one of the hottest new hotel openings in the region—now nominated in “Mexico & Central America’s Leading New Hotel 2021” for the World Travel Awards. Established in 1993, the World Travel Awards recognize the very best travel organizations in the world through a global vote by travel professionals. Voting ends September 1; vote here.
Banking on 15-years of experience on Ambergris Caye, Grand Caribe Belize opened its sister property: Sunset Caribe, just 2 miles north of San Pedro Town, as an all-condominium, residential-style resort with views of Ambergris Caye’s bayside. Offshore west of Ambergris Caye, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts added its third property in Belize with the debut of the Turtle Island Beach Resort, Trademark Collection by Wyndham. Located on a private island just five minutes by speedboat from San Pedro, Turtle Island Beach Resort, Trademark Collection by Wyndham offers eight beach houses and five pet-friendly villas. Beach houses include one bedroom, a full kitchen and a terrace, while each villa accommodation comprises two bedrooms, a full kitchen and a private pool.
And undoubtedly the most significant opening in San Pedro, if not all of Belize within the past 7 months, is Alaia Belize. Even pre-pandemic, it was a bold move by owner and developer Andrew Ashcroft to spend three years transforming 20+ acres as the first resort in San Pedro Town to sit on more than 1,000 feet of beachfront access. A sleek take on a beachside resort, Alaia offers a 155-unit complex as the first true four-diamond resort on Ambergris Caye and the first-ever Marriott International property in the country.
Pre-pandemic, Belize’s emergence as one of the fastest-growing Caribbean tourism destinations was obvious. In 2019, the bite-sized Caribbean country reported 503,177 overnight, land-based visitors—a 2.8 percent increase over the 489,261 visitors recorded in 2018. Despite 2019 being the first time that Belize has hosted more than one-half-million visitors in any year, Belize as a whole has largely flown under the radar in the Caribbean, save for those who enjoyed Mother Nature’s best-kept secret all for themselves—until now. The statement property of Alaia Belize is expected to hallmark in even more growth.
Given the diversity in its inherent natural beauty and warm people, it’s hardly surprising that Belize draws a really broad range of travelers. For those looking for luxe, you’ll find it at Alaia with Belize’s first-ever suspended rooftop pool and lounge, five different dining concepts including an in-house bakery and piano bar, a spa, a gym, 1,000 feet of beachfront access, and much more. Plus, enjoy easy access thanks to a steady return of flight carriers and even inaugural routes with flights to major U.S. hubs in 2.5 hours or less.
The design-forward hotel ranges from studios to three bedrooms, with a natural color scheme to complement its stand-alone offshore phenomenon and oceanfront views. Seamlessly blending the indoor and outdoor settings, the rooms offer an average of 1,200 square feet indoors and almost 900 square feet in the open air, per unit. And for those looking to take a deeper dive and explore the beauty of Belize’s natural underwater locations, Alaia is 600 meters away from the world’s second-largest barrier reef and a few minutes away from the ultimate world-class and unrivaled destination—the Great Blue Hole.
Learn more at Alaia Belize. Vote for Alaia Belize under the category “Mexico & Central America’s Leading New Hotel 2021” for World Travel Awards here.