Vacation habits vary. Some travelers swear by an all-inclusive experience, while others rather set out (usually on foot or a golf cart) to soak up every moment outside resort grounds. Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, privacy still remains a premium as we navigate past the onset of the pandemic and transition into a new normal. A newly released study by Wyndham Hotels & Resorts through OnePoll shows 62% of respondents said that the beach is their top anticipated destination this year, and guest experience continues to rank supreme. After all, the guest experience doesn’t just start when a guest walks through the front door of a resort; instead, it starts the moment travel begins – as soon as the flight touches the tarmac at the Philip Goldson International Airport. And to keep that level of commitment throughout your stay in Belize, we’re dishing on one of the first guest-exclusive experiences on the Placencia Peninsula: Chabil Mar Villas.
Yes, 400 feet of private beach all to guests is incredibly impressive. So is having a beachfront villa. However, it’s the fifty staff that really sets this resort apart, with an experience to match. Plus, two infinity pools. Each villa covers 925 sq. ft. to 2000 sq. ft of Living Space plus a personal veranda, an outdoor personal dining area, and a hammock. Lofts are optional, but travelers can choose from one- and two-bedroom options for that perfect Placencia sunrise; each villa at Chabil Mar faces the sea, regardless of which is chosen.
On arrival, the team familiarizes you with the resort: made up entirely of villas, all amenities are accessible to guests staying at Chabil Mar only. Inside your villa, the aroma of fresh flowers greets you first: you’re in the tropics now. Wash off the travel day before slipping into your embroidered waffle bathrobe, laid out on your bed beside your daily “News and Views” destination update. You float into the kitchen, and smile; you’re on a Caribbean vacation, which means it’s 5 o’clock somewhere and rum is the spirit of choice. Here at Chabil Mar Villas, that’s Travellers Liquors.
You change into your swimsuit (or swim trunks) and take the few steps out onto the beach, admiring the two beachside infinity pools along the way. “Can I get you a margarita? Pina colada?”, the roaming butler service interrupts you before you even have a chance to dip into the Caribbean Sea. Here, there’s al fresco dining available throughout the entire guest-exclusive resort, including its lounging nooks or a customized dinner space on one of the few piers in Placencia.
You’re not quite ready to eat just yet, so you grab a complimentary kayak instead. With each swipe of your paddle, that 5:00 am wake-up call for the airport easily becomes the hardest task on your vacation ahead. Tomorrow, you promise to venture out into Placencia Village to explore; the complimentary evening shuttle is tempting at 3 minutes, but grab a bike to do it like the locals. After all, when in Rome…
Scuba diving and snorkeling at the Laughing Bird Caye National Park to experience offshore marine life, trekking to the summit of Tiger Fern in the world’s first jaguar preserve, and visits to local markets and art locales just a ¾ mile stroll to the center of Placencia Village are only a few things during your stay at Chabil Mar. Not to mention: tropical gardens that come with a view of the Caribbean Sea from the entire self-contained unit also make this one of the most romantic destinations on the Placencia peninsula.
Placencia Village itself is found at the very end of the 16-mile peninsula, which was hailed as one of the best beaches in Central America by Lonely Planet; specified for its peace and quiet. It’s quiet in comparison to Ambergris Caye, which is Belize’s largest island, and it’s more accessible given travelers can boat, drive, and fly here. On its beachfront, you’ll find the likes of lively hotspots like Tipsy Tuna Seaside & Sports Bar and traditional Garifuna fishing shacks as remnants of its once-sleepy fishing past. It’s a view that’s only found in Placencia, and you can enjoy it with a cup of bottomless coffee from any of Chabil Mar’s guest-exclusive, sea-facing villas.