Seagrape Drive, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize
011 (501) 226-3739 (direct) | 1 (866) 352-1163 (toll-free)
info@banyanbay.com
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KK or Secret Santa a Belizean Tradition?

Secret Santa or as commonly known on a local scale in Belize as “KK” (KRIS KRINGLE) is a yearly not to be missed tradition in households and workplaces across the country. It’s the king of all gift exchange games that seeks to keep alive the mystery, suspense, and surprise of holiday gifting. But how much to do you know about this gifting game that turns average Joes into sneaky elves? While we know that gift giving is a classic element of the Christmas season, it is said that the game is primarily a western tradition created by philanthropist Larry Stewart who started handing out anonymous gifts during the holidays. According to an article from USA today, ‘Stewart secretly donated $100 bills to people in Kansas for over 25 years. He also donated $25,000 in the form of $100 dollar notes to New Yorkers after the 9/11 attacks.’ It was reported that in 2006, Stewart came out as the “Secret Santa” everyone wondered about. Other sources have noted that the tradition derived from Scandinavia, where it is called “Julklapp” and involves leaving gifts at people’s houses, knocking on their doors and then running away. Whether each theory holds any truth one […]

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November is Garifuna History Month – Belize celebrates!

Of the many cultures and ethnic groups that make up the identity of Belize, none is more synonymous to November than the Garinagu/Garifuna culture. An annual celebration held in Belize on November 19th and a public and bank holiday, this day signals their prominence and arrival to our southern shores; almost 4 centuries ago. This holiday is known as the Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize. Here are a few facts focusing on this unique culture and people that share part of our identity as a country. History of the Garifuna More than four centuries ago, the British began importing slaves from Africa to work on plantations in the Caribbean. Over time, these people began intermarrying with local Carib and Arawak natives, developing a new culture called the Garifuna. After rebelling against the British, the Garifuna were pursued throughout the Caribbean. First landing on the island of Roatan (part of modern Honduras) where they adopted cassava into their diet, the Garifuna eventually arrived on the shores of Belize on November 19, 1802, establishing themselves in villages such as Barranco, Seine Bight, Dangriga, Hopkins and Punta Gorda. Their cultural contribution to Belize has been so positive that in 1977, under the leadership of […]

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SEArious fun – Up close and personal with Manatees

Our day trip begins with the fitting of snorkel fins and mask at the SEArious Adventures office on the beachfront of San Pedro Town. Onboard the skiff, our Captain Aron introduced his skipper James and went ahead to discuss our day’s agenda and itinerary. Our most anticipated stop was Swallow Caye, a wildlife sanctuary about 30 miles from our location or 5 miles east of Belize City. This sanctuary spans about 9000 acres and the ocean floor is covered with turtle-grass beds, making it the ideal habitat for a healthy population of about 30 West Indian manatees that roam the area. The sea grass is what attracts these clumsy yet graceful mammals to this location, and they can feed till their hearts content. According to our guide Aron, Manatees can eat over a hundred pounds of food a day. On our arrival to the site and deceleration of the engine, the captain signaled his skipper to take over the steering as he climbed atop the bow and started to look for signs of these elusive creatures. With curiosity peaking, anticipation high and our eyes on lookout for any water movements, we finally got some eye-catching glimpse of these gentle giants […]

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Meet our Accountant, Miriam

Miriam who hails from the sweet side of Northern Belize, Orange Walk Town, has been a long standing employee of the resort since 2005 with over 14 years under her belt as accountant. Miriam brings her powerful experience in accounting along with her specialization in “to-the-penny” reconciliation in all aspects of the resorts’ operations. Her calm and amicable disposition inspires a motivated and driven team of young account clerks that periodically fall under her watch. When asked how Banyan Bay Suites/The Villas of Banyan Bay has evolved over the years, Miriam recounts that her tenure at the resort started with a close knitted family of about 30 workers to what has ballooned to 75 members at present date. “For the past couple years, I have seen tremendous growth, we have a much bigger staff with additions to new departments and much more activities at the resort,” she ends. Her biggest achievement to date, is meeting and maintaining long life friendships with many of our guests, industry partners and members of the island community. Outside of work when Miriam is not crunching numbers, she enjoys quality time with her family, girlfriends, watching movies and traveling.

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1st Summer Sailing Camp for island youths

Schools’ out and this year, the Belize Sailing Center, located at the beachfront of Banyan Bay Suites, is launching its first Summer Sailing and Fun Day Camp for island kids ages 8-14 on Ambergris Caye. Participants in this program will learn the basics to sail in a fun and safe environment including how to rig & launch a boat, basic knots, sailing terminology, develop wind awareness, and learn to sail a race course. Organizers believe that the summer camps will be a fun way to experience sailing and for the first time, master new skills, or just hang out on the water with friends. So even if your kids don’t know their port from their starboard, your mini-mariners can get a five-star education where they’ll end up a little less Gilligan, a little more Skipper. Give it a try-take the tiller in your hand and helm the boat in your very first sailing lesson! To sign-up call Cindy at 624-4659 or Christina at 633-2228 The club is offering several different dates to accommodate your family’s summer schedule (weather dependent); June 10th– 15th from 9:30am-12pm Includes; daily lessons til 12pm, Lunch Meal, Kidtopia on the beach til 3pm (Fridays – lessons, lunch and […]

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June is Lobster-mania in Belize!

Three of the most popular gastronomic summer events in Belize kicks off when the official lobster season opens on June 15th – the San Pedro, Caye Caulker and Placencia Lobsterfests. This year’s much anticipated San Pedro festival, scheduled for June 15th through to 22nd, will see the power combination of Pier 366 and Alaia Belize as participants to the islands biggest Town event. What to expect? – Lively entertainment, tons of yummy Lobster and a bevy of tasty libations in several locations around the island! From lobster on the grill, lobster thermidor, lobster ceviche, kebabs, to Lobster ice cream and even lobster chowder, it’s the one week where this tasty crustacean is highly favored. *Pier 366 and Alaia Belize’s Booth – Last year’s festival saw Pier’s debut and offered fan favorites such as lobster fritters, lobster-stuffed jalapenos, grilled curry lobster and lobster spring rolls. This year Pier partnered with Alaia Belize to bring merged international flavors with locally sourced ingredients. Lobster lollipops and lobster lasagne will be the main dish features while a vodka basil limeade, and grapefruit or strawberry vodka cocktail will make Piers drink list. What NOT to miss? Be sure to look out for the Ambergris Caye […]

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Meet Alex – Our Purchasing Agent

  Generally unseen and stationed behind the scenes, Alex plays an integral role in the operations aspect of the resort. In his 12 year tenure with the company as purchasing agent, Alex has mastered finding a balance with supplier price, service and quality to fill the daily demands of the property including our on-site restaurant. With the help of his trusty side-kick and warehouse assistant, Haroldo, their daily roles comprises of purchasing materials/good/supplies, scheduling of deliveries and pick-ups; ensuring the intake, coordination, and safety of goods coming through warehouse. As part of the purchasing process, Alex researches and connects with different vendors and suppliers. Once purchased items arrive, he is responsible for taking stock of the current inventory and researching inventory discrepancies. When asked what inspires his daily motivation, Alex expressed his ability to be the head provider of his household and to inspire those that work along with him at the resort on a daily basis. Since joining the team in August 2007, Alex has formed and maintained many friendships and has seen many phases to the ever-evolving property including construction and remodeling and expansion of the company. Hailing from San Roman in the Corozal District, Alex relocated to […]

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BTIA hosts 13th Belize Tourism Expo (BETEX), roadshow style!

The 13th Edition of the Belize Tourism Expo (BETEX) which kicked off May 8th in Placencia, culminated in grand fashion on Monday, May 13th, in Ambergris Caye. This year’s Roadshow styled business expo saw tourism professionals meet with 30 local and international travel agents and wholesalers to experience Belize firsthand. These travelers had the opportunity to learn more about the country’s top attractions, accommodations, and visitor services currently on offer. Aimed at selling Belize as a top travel destination, it was paramount that Banyan Bay Suites, Grand Colony Island Villas and Alaia Belize were represented. “With Belize’s rapid rise as a desirable travel destination, the need to market this tiny Central American country is paramount in this day and age. Over the years, we’ve seen the interest of many celebrities, travel professionals and trendsetters having a keen interest in Belize and this is one networking opportunity we could not pass up,” stated Banyan Bay’s Reservations Director, Almira Zul. Properties represented in this year’s BETEX hailed from San Pedro, Placencia, Cayo, as well, Caye Caulker and Toledo. Participants enjoyed cultural presentations and food in each destination visited; networked one-on-one with the people, engaged in business conversations during sessions of scheduled meetings, […]

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We’re breaking up with plastic!

A landmark decision by the Government of Belize to ban the use, importation and sale of single-use plastics came in effect on Monday April 22nd coinciding with the world’s largest environmental movement, Earth Day. Belize now joins over thirty Caribbean countries in the region to discontinue the use of plastic cups, cutlery, stirrers, straws; plates, egg trays, and Styrofoam containers used in the culinary retail industry. Like many of these nations, Belize is a highly popular tourist destination, attracting over 1M visitors per year, meaning conservation is a priority both economically and environmentally. In this light, our family of resorts comprising of Banyan Bay Suites, Grand Colony Island Villas, and Alaia Belize have vowed to phase out single-use plastics by exercising the greener approach. Managing Director at Alaia Belize, Andrew Ashcroft commented, “We are thrilled to be a part of this crusade and have transitioned from using plastics to paper based products. Continuing to attract guests is our priority as we seek to enhance our sustainable credentials and continue to be an environmentally friendly vacation destination.” Leading by example and joining in with the local agencies and government is Pier 366 Seafood House, the signature restaurant of Banyan Bay Suites […]

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Alaia Foundation’s inaugural Half Marathon and 10K Run/Walk a huge success!

The first edition of Alaia Foundation’s Half Marathon & 10K Run/Walk held last Saturday, April 6th 2019, was an overwhelming success with a record number of runners taking on both distances. Runners participating in the event hailed from all across the country of Belize and as far as Michigan, Canada, West Virginia and California. At the crack of dawn, spectators lined Banyan Bay Suites’ resort entrance to support this fantastic community event with over 133 runners competing on a picture perfect day. The event consisted of a 10km run/walk and 21km (half Marathon) distance on the principal streets of Ambergris Caye, with the largest number of participants running the 10km distance.  The event also garnered the support from an international official time keeper, Patrick Hamel of Club Spartan from St. Louis, Missouri, USA. Using advanced digital technology, each runner’s bib was equipped with a chip to calculate with accuracy the times of each runner. There were 5 age categories including Under 20, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, Over 50 and an overall winner in both distances. Placing first in the overall Half Marathon was Leon O’Brian with an incredible time of 1:19:17 and Radmon Smith with a time of 00:35:49 as the overall […]

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Belize is the Perfect Honeymoon Destination
A Belize Wedding
Banyan Bay Donates to First Children’s Home on Ambergris Caye
Getting Here