African natives, Gail and Jonathan Squires fell in love with Ambergris Caye in 1999 when they first visited Belize at ages 47 & 48 years, respectively. They stayed at the Villas at Banyan Bay and brought their son (then 11 years old) along for the visit. They recounted that back then, ‘the sleepy island was all dirt roads, unspoiled and pristine, foot traffic mostly, few organized tours, it was a true tropical escape; bar none.’
Fast-forward to twenty years later, the Squires made their return visit to Ambergris Caye, now the tourist mecca of Belize, accompanied by their youngest daughter, Ashley, age 36. But, what inspired their visit from the sunshine state of Florida, where they currently reside? According to the couple, the island’s laidback, welcoming charm and the warm hospitality of the people is what attracted them to Belize. The couple recounted that back then, Pier 366 was The Palapa where they had breakfasts each morning and the island was only developed up to Victoria House. With few tourists, organized tours, all dirt roads and few cars, it was the most perfect slice of paradise, expressed Jon, as we chatted around the dining table in their B1 Suite.
While they were truly surprised at the population and development boom, they found peace and tranquility at Banyan Bay Suites. “We stayed in A1 in our last visit and very much enjoyed our stay. This time, we got a pool view suite and we are pleasantly surprised at how much everything has changed”, recalled Gail. We are happy to be back as we got to see another side of Belize which highlighted why we fell in love with the country in the first place. Our triple tour afforded us to visit the Xunantunich Mayan Ruin, Zipline in the jungle and cave tube through caves systems in the mainland. It was truly un-belize-able and we were happy we could share this trip with our daughter, Ashley!
While the squires spent a lot of their time getting reacquainted with the resort, staff and enjoying the pool; this visit reminded them that real happiness cannot be manufactured, that it’s already inside of us. ‘Sometimes all it takes is a gentle sea breeze or the sounds of the waves gently crashing on shore to remind us that we are extremely lucky to be here and we will be back”, exclaimed Jon.