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Dec 6, 2016

A Visit to the Naia Resort and Spa

Naia Resort and Spa – that’s the newest and certainly very plush resort in the peninsula where mass tourism is getting a significant boast with the opening up of NCL’s Harvest Caye.  Naia opened to the public in November; it boasts a luxurious spa, a top-notch yoga room, restaurant and other amenities through which Managing Director Stewart Krohn plans to lure visitors.  The setting is idyllic, the units expansive, all in all a perfect setting to indulge. Over the weekend I headed south to Naia. Here’s my report.

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

Nestled between the villages of Seine Bight and Maya Beach, within the residential development, Coco Plum is the newest luxury destination in Placencia – Naïa Resort and Spa. Making your way into the resort, you can feel the hustle and bustle of everyday life being left behind as you’re ushered into a nineteen acre sanctuary of secluded beach. The property alone is stunning but what makes Naïa stand out is authentic luxurious experience that welcomes you as you arrive on the grounds.

The resort offers thirty-five beach side bungalows and vacation rentals for larger families. Six of the individual bungalows offer their own private plunge pool with an ocean view. It’s ideal for a romantic getaway or in my case for some well deserved down time. Managing Director of Naïa is Stewart Krohn he says the completion of the facility has exceeded his expectations.

Stewart Krohn

Stewart Krohn, Managing Director, Naïa Resort and Spa

“There were two things that we had in our thinking: one we looked at the wellness sector and we decided that it was really not being well-served. A lot of people in the industry and outside the industry talk about wellness tourism and no one was really putting money where their mouth was. So we thought that was a good niche market so we really designed the place around the wellness theme. So by going more towards the luxury market you get a lot more bang for your buck in terms of what you put in and what you get out. it does mean however that when you’re trying to supply a high level of service; you have to put more into training, into staff selection and training and salaries. But we’ve got a terrific staff here and we think we’ll do well with it.”

 

Developing the resort and spa was a twenty million Belize dollar investment. From first impression, Naïa clearly offers an authentically Belizean experience, from the Jippy Jappa like lampshades, to the artwork, even the furniture was all made locally.

 

Stewart Krohn

“Belize is in our DNA, so we didn’t have to…I think lots of foreign investors come to this country and try to recreate; everyone tries to say we are an authentically Belizean hotel and this and that and more power to them, I think that’s what investors need to do. But if it’s not in you, you will make a lot of mistakes trying to interpret what you think an authentic experience is. So we just kind of stay true to who we are.”

 

The hallmark of Naïa is most definitely its spa…A short drive and walk through the palmetto lined trails and wooden footbridges and you are transported into a tranquil retreat. At the spa, you trade ocean breeze for a calm quite meditative lagoon view.  Spa aficionados will appreciate the detailed and personalized service available at Naïa Spa from check in with the Spa receptionist to the therapists providing the treatments.

 

Shantel Torres

Shantel Torres, Massage Therapist/Esthetician, Naïa Resort and Spa

“I’m excited to come to work every day. Just walking, you hear the nature…the lilies, the pond, the sound of the water when it rains. When the breeze blows the palmetto leaves, it is so beautiful.”

 

Shelby Jackson

Shelby Jackson, Spa Receptionist, Naïa Resort and Spa

“We have five treatment rooms, five single treatment rooms and one double room for couples or friends that want to go together. We also have our spa café that will be opening on December nineteenth. And we also have a pool that they can enjoy throughout the whole day. They can relax here, eat here; have fun.”

 

Back at the resort area, there’s no shortage of Belizean flavor in the kitchen and bar. At the Beach Side Grill and the restaurant “1981” the dining room staff which includes sous chef, Trinelle Smith Martinez & Bar Manager Fermin Choc, say they aim to offer unique flavors of Belize.

 

Trinelle Smith Martinez

Trinelle Smith Martinez, Sous-Chef, Naïa Resort and Spa

“They could expect a higher level of culinary cuisine and experience; mouth-watering, mouth-tasting. As they see it, it is going to be a wow and as they taste it, it is going to be a whoo.”

 

Fermin Choc

Fermin Choc, Bar Manager, Naïa Resort and Spa

“The cilantro martini is basically infused cilantro with vodka. So we let it sit there for seven days so we get the flavor out and we have our homemade cilantro syrup. So we blend it with some fresh lime juice, shaken, served in a martini glass…very refreshing.”

 

Naïa resort and spa officially opened for business mid-November. Managing Director Krohn acknowledges that they aim to be world class destination and sincerely hope that Belizeans will share the Naïa experience as well.

 

Stewart Krohn

“I lived in Belize City thirty-five years and I always wanted nice places to go and I realized that a lot of the resorts in the country, they are not exactly Belizean friendly. The public gets to know which resorts they feel comfortable in and which ones they don’t feel comfortable in. We definitely fall on the side that we want Belizeans to be very comfortable at Naïa. We offer very special rates all year round; not just in the off season. We welcome everybody and everybody gets first class treatment.” 

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