Marriott Is Opening Its First Hotel in Belize, And It's a Scuba Diver's Dream

Non-divers will love the 1,000 feet of beachfront space, rooftop pool, and spa

Aerial exterior view of Alaia Belize and beach

Courtesy of Alaia Belize

Alaia Belize opens May 6 on Ambergris Caye, the largest island in Belize, as part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection and its first foray into the country. The new hotel is sure to attract scuba divers, due to its proximity to the Belize Barrier Reef—only 2,000 feet from the hotel—second in size to only the Great Barrier Reef .

The resort is also near the bustling town of San Pedro, which has a sizable population of local residents and access to local restaurants and shops.

“We have seen Belize transform from a small fishing village into one of the most sought out destinations in the Caribbean,” said Sandra Grisham-Clothier, Alaia Belize’s general manager. A monthly Market Day invites local weavers, woodworkers, and pottery makers to come on site to sell their wares, which can include custom-made handicrafts to take home. “We want our guests to feel a relaxed sense of excitement in the hotel, and ready to explore the resort and all that the island has to offer,” said Grisham-Clothier.

The hotel also brings another first to Belize: a suspended rooftop pool and lounge with killer 360-degree views, cabanas, and DJs on occasion. Other perks include a dive shop on site (allowing guests to become PADI certified) and an art gallery hosted by local artists. 

“The hotel was designed to embrace the tropical island and lively spirit as nature and adventure were determinant in all the choices, from the décor to programming,” says Grisham-Clothier. “Each space was designed to stimulate the five senses and invite guests to touch, stay, and feel connected to Mother Nature.” To that end, the resort employs an “adventure concierge” to connect guests with off-property experiences.

Beach of Alaia Belize

Courtesy of Alaia Belize

Alaia Belize

Courtesy of Alaia Belize

Alaia Belize

Courtesy of Alaia Belize

Lobby of Alaia Belize

Courtesy of Alaia Belize

Although this isn’t the first resort on Ambergris Caye, many are of a much smaller scale and independently owned. Alaia Belize also boasts 1,000 feet of beachfront access, what Grisham-Clothier calls extremely rare for a resort in Belize.

Guest rooms are in three categories: three-bedroom beachfront villas; one-, two- and three-bedroom suites; and 500-square-foot rooms. All have indoor and outdoor spaces. Neutral hues in the décor (such as linen curtains, stone, and reclaimed wood) are paired with nautical-inspired cobalt-blue-and-white throw pillows on outdoor furnishings and framed beach photography above the bed. Each suite also features a full kitchen. Working with Brazilian designer Debora Aguiar, known for her eco-luxury aesthetics, the hotel was able to source many natural and organic materials locally. Complementing her work is that of local architectural firm International Environments who incorporated vertical green walls and glass windows (keeping views of the Caribbean Sea top of mind).

Guests can dine at five different restaurants, enjoying Belizean-inspired surf and turf at Sea Salt; conch at Vista Rooftop Restaurant; meals in the piano bar (including morning coffee and pastries by day and cocktails and wine at night); the open-air Deck and Beach Bar restaurant (where ceviche and pizza are on the menu); and The Terrace Bar.

Other amenities at Alaia Belize include pampering at K’in Spa & Wellness Center (accented by rattan peacock chairs and swinging chairs, and wicker light pendants), a fitness center, a piano bar as a nightlife component (anchored by a self-playing baby grand piano), kid’s club, and bicycle and golf-cart rentals to further explore the area. 

Rates at Alaia Belize start from $399, plus taxes and fees. Book on the hotel’s website or at Marrott.com.

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