Belize is ready to ring in 2021 with an array of new openings, offerings and celebrations that are grounded with visitors’ health and safety at the core, through the Tourism Gold Standard Certification program.
Properties are slated to open in the new year that offer pristine accommodations for visitors’ long-term investments, such as Palm Reef Resort and Grand Baymen Gardens. In 2021, Belize will have much to offer visitors, including an extensive list of Tourism Gold Standard certified industry partners, ample opportunities to purchase property to make Belize a second home, and elevated amenity and tour offerings at existing properties. This destination has put downtime to good use and continues to deliver unspoiled natural splendour paired with comfortable and safe tours and accommodations.
The Tourism Gold Standard Certification is a nine-point program set in place to ensure that hotels, restaurants, tour operators and relevant tourism businesses meet an enhanced level of health and safety standards to put travellers at ease while exploring the curiosities of Belize.
Below is a sampling of new properties, packages, and milestone anniversaries that Canadians can anticipate for next year.
For more information on entry requirements, travel protocols, and what’s new for Belize, visit Travel Belize.
Premier Treehouses at Sweet Songs Jungle Lodge
The property’s brand-new Premier Treehouses are designed to ensure privacy and comfort. Stunning treetop jungle views and amenities, including a suspended outdoor bed, bathtub and shower allow guests to truly reconnect through nature. Guests can also rest comfortably in the treehouse’s interior king bed, air conditioning and private indoor bathroom.
Grand Baymen Gardens
Location: San Pedro
Slated to rebranded in the coming months, the Grand Baymen Gardens is expected to be an exceptional addition to the Best Western Resorts in Belize. Located in the magnificent Ambergris Caye with world class diving, snorkeling and relaxation at their fingertips, travellers can choose to rent or purchase their own slice of heaven. Condo investments are available in one- or two-bedroom residences, situated within walking distance to San Pedro Town. Alternatively, guests can choose from a selection of suites, tours, and packages to curate their ideal vacation.
Location: San Pedro
Autograph Collection Alaia Resort will be the first Marriott-branded property in Belize and will operate as the first true four-diamond beachfront resort on Ambergris Caye. The boutique hotel features 35 hotel units, 56 two-bedroom units and 8 oceanfront villas. A spa and fitness centre, pool, rooftop pool, multiple eateries, wedding venue and beach club will also be included within the site.
Caribbean Beach Cabanas
La Cantina is the brand-new onsite bar and restaurant that was established this year for property guests, to deliver a fulsome experience without having to leave the property. The new restaurant offers touchless delivery and seamless dining.
Margaritaville Beach Resort Belize
Location: San Pedro
On track to open in mid-2021, the unique Margaritaville Beach Resort Belize property offers ownership options as well as vacation stays. Owning a condominium within the resort is turn-key and fully managed to ensure that owners enjoy their time in Belize and earn passive income while away. As an investment, owners can enjoy ownership in a country that is experiencing some of the highest growth in the Caribbean and a lush property that is committed to sustainability by reclaiming water from the ocean, maintaining an herb garden for growing food for guests and owners, and constantly searching for even more ways to minimize its footprint on the planet.
San Ignacio Resort Hotel Celebrates its 45th Anniversary
Location: San IgnacioThe proud, Belizean and family-owned business will be celebrating its 45th Anniversary this August 14, 2021! San Ignacio Resort Hotel recognizes their accomplishment to have served their town for many years through community endeavours and is proud to be part of the buzzing San Ignacio tourism industry. The resort was founded by Mr. Escandar Bedran and now continues to be managed and operated by his four daughters 45 years later.
Blue Marlin Beach Resort Celebrates 34 Years
Location: Southern Belize
The locally owned, off-the-beaten-path resort located on South Water Caye in Southern Belize, is an idyllic coral reef paradise that hosts an average of 14 guests or less at a time, making for a sincerely intimate getaway. The full-service resort is celebrating 34 years in 2021 and will continue to maintain its core values with sustainable tourism development as its guiding principle. Additionally, the growing, loyal customer base has developed over the years as the resort continues to maintain a culture of not only providing a service but building lifelong friendships. And as guests return year after year, the resort delivers expanded product offerings to meet the needs and interests of their loyal guests.
Placencia’s 23rd Annual Lobsterfest
Lobsterfest is held the last full weekend of June every year. With the community’s deep ties to the sea, Lobsterfest originally began as the celebration of St. Peter, the patron saint of fisherman, as Fishermen’s Day. Boats were blessed in hopes of keeping the vessel and crew safe while on the open waters. As the opening of the lobster season also takes place in June, the occasion morphed into Lobsterfest. Food vendors set up booths for the weekend with unique lobster dishes, from grilled whole lobster to kebabs to lobster curry and lobster pizza! The festival also offers musical entertainment, games and contests for young and old, and holding to the tradition of Fishermen’s Day – a fishing tournament.
This year will be the 23rd annual Lobsterfest – much anticipated with the cancellation of the 2020 event due to COVID. In 2013, Placencia Lobsterfest was awarded Festival of the Year by the Belize Tourism Board as this community event brings people from far and wide, standing as a favourite of both international guests and Belizeans.
Placencia Sidewalk Artsfest
This annual festival is held the weekend before Valentine’s Day in February and showcases the work of artists that call Belize home. What started almost eighteen years ago along the 1km-long, four-foot-wide Placencia Sidewalk (widely known in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “Narrowest Street” in the world) has now spilled over onto the Placencia Point. ArtFest holds treasures, like world-class paintings, wood carvings, coconut shell earrings, and of course, Belizean music and the beer of Belize – Belikin.
Coppola Curriculum: Study Abroad at The Family Coppola Hideaways
Location: Cayo District/ Placencia
In effort to continue to bring the enrichment of travel to the classroom, the Coppola Curriculum program invites school-age children up to 18 years-old to study abroad and receive an unparalleled hands-on learning experience in Belize. Arts and cultural learning lessons are provided by local experts in Mayan archeology, tortilla making, guitar playing, scuba diving, Spanish lessons, sustainability practices, and several other educational opportunities. Parents can take the time to unwind in nature and enjoy all that Belize has to offer and either work remotely or enjoy some downtime. For those who choose to make Belize home for a month or longer, the property is offering a residency rate of 20% rooms and food and beverage.
El Gran Mestizo Resort
Location: Orange Walk
Both Hotel de la Fuente and El Gran Mestizo Resort have received the Tourism Gold Standard certification and have recently undergone a pool renovation and now offer all inclusive packages, including arrival and departure transfers, tours, accommodations and meals, to better suit the needs of travellers.
Location: Cayo District
Located along Hummingbird Highway, this property is welcoming 2021 with open arms and several new packages that are valid for booking dates through to December 31, 2021. The Family and Adventure Package brings the family together in nature, including two nights stay in a Family Cabana, all meals, and either a St. Herman Cave Tubing tour, Banana Bank horseback riding, a visit to Xunantunich Archaeological site, or a private Mayan Chocolate tour experience.
Mystic River Resort: Scarlet Macaw Birding at Red Bank Village
Location: Cayo District
During downtime, the majestic property has been hard at work improving their amenities and offerings, including the latest development – Jungle Oasis Pool. Mystic River Resort is perched along the Macal River, offers guests access to Lily Pool, and the private plunge pool in Cloud-9 Suites, but now the property also offers an additional option for guests to unwind poolside. Jungle Oasis Pool is complete with a 10am-5pm service poolside bar, serving up exotic cocktails, tropical juices, beers, tea, and coffee to cater further to guests’ relaxation.
From December to March, Mystic River Resort offers guests birding tours, like the Scarlet Macaw Birding at Red Bank Village, for a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the famed scarlet macaws in all their colourful glory! Guests can incorporate this tour into their stay at Mystic River Resort, enjoy the latest Jungle Oasis pool and delicious meals onsite, making Mystic River Resort an all-inclusive adventure on the river.
About Belize Tourism Board:
Belize, fondly called the “Jewel”, is one of the world’s last remaining unspoiled destinations. Nestled within Central America, with the Caribbean Sea to its east, Belize is packed with unique and diverse experiences for the Curious traveller. From jungle explorations, breath-taking waterfalls, historic Mayan temples, amazing caves and a rich vibrant cuisine and culture – inland wonders abound.
Belize is renowned for its diving adventures and proudly boasts the largest barrier reef in the Northern Hemisphere, the Great Blue Hole, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is home to three of the four atolls in the Western Hemisphere. Teeming with wildlife, Belize is home to over 500 species of birds and is the only country with a Jaguar preserve. With hundreds of islands dotted along its coast, Belize offers fun in the sun, adventures, and lifetime memories.