The list of hotel reopenings grows week by week as properties eye the coming peak season and ready their accommodations for, hopefully, what will be a steady stream of guests. Belize, like others in the Caribbean, is counting on its relative proximity to the United States (meaning short flights) as outdoor destinations (meaning social distancing) to restart tourism. Across the country from Hopkins Village to the Mountain Pine Ridge, here’s a few of the Belize hotels that reopen this week.
Nestled between the turquoise waters of the Caribbean and the lush Maya Mountains, Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort is a secluded, intimate resort in Central America. The premier resort south of Hopkins, Hamanasi (Garifuna for ‘almond tree’) combines the amenities of a top-class dive resort with an array of inland tours and activities, all on a gorgeous 400ft private beachfront. All of Hamanasi’s rooms and suites face the sea; the exception is their popular wood-floored tree houses, which hides among the coastal foliage behind the beach. This locally-run, exclusively-priced resort also has its own PADI dive facility; besides, divers have prime access to a spectacular underwater world home to whale sharks, eagle rays and manatees. Dining at Singanga Restaurant, whether indoors or on the veranda overlooking the sea, includes a menu rich in fresh seafood and international cuisine with a Caribbean twist.
Coastal distance at Sirenian Bay Resort & Villas in Placencia, which reopened with a newly all-inclusive experience. Take advantage of 12 recently-finished bungalows alongside the always private by nature beachside villas – now indulgent with a personal chef service or all-inclusive meal add-on option. Sirenian’s three villas, each with its own private pool and outdoor living area, remains as pay-as-you-go. However, all bungalow stays will automatically be priced as all-inclusive; that includes unlimited beverages (non-alcoholic, local beer and liquor, plus house wine); breakfast, lunch (3 options), happy hour snacks, and room service. From November 1 – December 15, dinner at Inky’s is also included.
Meanwhile, Sirenian will launch a new wine room for tastings and intimate private dinners for up to four persons, alongside an expansion to Inky’s Restaurant. But don’t be mistaken, Sirenian won’t stop there. Guests can also look forward to finishing touches on a fitness center and yoga studio; conference center; and even a rooftop martini bar. Plus more on the horizon, including a nearby private island off the coast of Placencia to be used for guest experiences.
As one of three Francis Ford Coppola retreats in Belize, Turtle Inn is tucked between the jungle and the beach. That is, with a Bali-meets-Caribbean look, including Balinese doorways, private gardens with outdoor showers and Japanese baths. Enjoy sumptuous spa treatments for two at the Sunset Spa after diving with stingrays. Or, enjoy snorkeling with whale sharks near the world’s second-largest coral reef. Other options include a four-wheel drive excursion to a cave, paddle boarding, zip-lining and visits to an organic farm. Fresh seafood and traditional Italian fare blend together at the Mare Restaurant. After all, the open-air eatery features local fish brought in daily from just offshore. Not to mention, fresh vegetables are delivered directly from its organic garden.
Owned by Francis Ford Coppola, Blancaneaux is a rainforest lodge in the Mountain Pine Ridge Reserve on a hillside overlooking Privassion Creek. This Central America inspired resort offers spa services in a creek-side area, while the honeymoon cabana features a private deck overlooking a waterfall. Meanwhile if you feel like splurging, the luxury cabana includes a private plunge pool. Explore the jungle on horseback and visit ancient Mayan ruins. Or, just hop into a hammock and watch the hummingbirds buzz around the colorful flora. You can also enjoy dining at two outstanding restaurants; the tree-house-like Montagna Ristorante, serving Italian fare, and the poolside Guatemaltecqua where you can savor authentic Mayan dishes.
As a sister property to Placencia’s Turtle Inn just 8 miles offshore, Coral Caye is an exclusive-use private island with show-stopping accommodations; each villa boasting direct waterfront and private pools. Two dwellings and its Great House are the only buildings on the island. Meanwhile, both can accommodate from two to ten guests starting at US$2,000 per night. Choose between its Coral Cottage, their newest dwelling ideal for a couple or young families. Or Seahorse Cottage, which is ideal for extended families or friends. There’s a new menu every day, and the property encourages a mix of pure seclusion and active journeys. That’s whether you’ve ‘gone fishing‘ or simply exploring the second-largest reef system in the world. Enjoy one, or all three hotels, in Belize as they reopen.
Besides being beachside, Sunbreeze Hotel on the south edge of the picturesque San Pedro offers the perfect base for your beachside Belize vacation. The hotel directly faces the Caribbean Sea and the infamous Belize Barrier Reef, found just a half mile offshore. Recently, Sunbreeze Hotel has been awarded the Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice 2020 and it’s easy to see why; rooms are clean, spacious and comfortable with a pool to spend the rest of your day. Besides, there’s also an on-site dive shop, 24-hour concierge and one the best restaurants on the island on-site serving up sushi at Blue Water Grill! Its sister hotel in San Pedro, Belize, the Sunbreeze Suites, will reopen at a later date.
Enter South Water Caye Marine Reserve: a mind-clearing paradise, with South Water Caye sitting directly on top the Belize Barrier Reef. Though not an exclusively private island, Blue Marlin Beach Resort offers a choice of 15 individually designed guest accommodations nestled along colorful, palm-shaded hammocks away from the wired world. Although small, this 5-acre, Belizean-owned retreat offers comfort and relaxation in fuss free paradise; Blue Marlin Beach Resort offers 180-views of the Belize barrier reef. Not to mention, a full service PADI Dive Shop, dining, relaxation, and top notch services. Now that Belize is reopen as of October 1, hotels like Blue Marlin Beach Resort await.
Header photo via Jaron Johns/Hamanasi Resort. All other photos courtesy of individual properties.