“Hamanasi Guest Book ~ August 2014″

“Every single staff member that crossed my path truly made my stay the best that if could be.  I really felt that I was part of a family.”

Bianca Brehen, Astoria, NY

“Great job! Very nice and relaxing.  Very responsive staff.  Thanks so much.”

Anne Robertson and Family, Marion, MA

“Everything was amazing.  I wouldn’t change a thing.  I loved all the eco efforts being made with the local food system.”

Jennifer and Damon Miller, Denver, CO

“Your service was outstanding!”

Emily and Chris Walker, Odessa, TX

“Love, Love, Love your Eco-friendly efforts!  One of the reasons I chose this resort for our first trip to Belize.  Everything was unbelizable!”

Amanda and Walter Evans, Eugene, OR

“Continue to invest in and develop your people – focused culture of excellence.  Well done and thanks!”

Charles and Branda Reed, Warm Springs, VA

“The service is perfect – keep doing exactly what you’re doing!”

Fredrick & Carolyn Stewart, Charlston, SC

“Service was top-notch!  Joy to stay at a resort that understands people are here to see nature and takes efforts to preserve it.”

Kerri Crawford, Saint Louis, MO

“Staying here was a dream! The rooms/grounds are gorgeous and the staff was eager to make our stay the best experience possible.”

Katie and Robert Bursley, Shreveport, LA

“Stay green! Live Sustainable! Their passion for what they do, their love of their country and their love for nature, that fever was contagious.”

Joseph Reeder, Colombia, MI

“Hamanasi Takes Home The Taste of Belize Cake Decorator & Master Chef 2012 Awards”

December 1st was a big night for Hamanasi as 3 of our staff members competed in the Belize Tourism Board’s “Taste of Belize” event held in the Cayo District. This competition determines the best chef, cake decorator and bartender in Belize. Hamanasi’s chefs took home 2 of the coveted prizes and our bartender came in second! The Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hon. Manuel Heredia opened the event, which consisted of 3 different competitions, Cake Decorating, Bartending and Master Chef for 2012. The evening kicked off with Hamanasi’s very own Executive Chef Sheridan Polanco creating an absolute masterpiece. The cake, which had a Mayan theme in honor of Maya 2012, took her just under 3 hours to decorate and won her the title of Belize’s Cake Decorator of the Year. Her inspiration was the Mayan chocolate fruit also known as “Black Sapote” which she tied into the whole story of the Mayan calendar and the history of the Mayan traditions here in Belize. Yum!! (Chef Sheridan image courtesy of San Ignacio Hotel)

The second event featured three bartenders competing for the title of Belize’s Top Bartender. Hamanasi’s “mixologist” Mark Jacobs invented 3 outstanding cocktails. The first was a Belizean Beauty, second was The Energizer and finally he wowed the crowd with his Monkey Business Creation. The final challenge was a mystery box in which he only had a few minutes to create a drink with Craboo Cream and Traveller Bitters. The result was the tangy Belizean Stinger. Mark earned second place in the competition!

The third and final event saw chefs countrywide going head to head for the title of Master Chef. The challenge: cook three meals with four mystery ingredients in one hour. After preparing a full meal made with all the mystery ingredients the panel of four judges chose Hamanasi Chef Marcia Nuñez as Belize’s Master Chef for 2012! The first elimination round was an appetizer, where Chef Marcia made a Zucchini & Sardine fritter sprinkled with a watermelon salsa. The second challenge was the main entrée. This time she created a delicious pan-fried pork chop and hibiscus cilantro potatoes drizzled with a papaya, cashew & white wine sauce. This put her into the top two ending the final challenge with dessert. This time Chef Marcia made a bacon, peanut & cream cheese wrap served with a stout reduction. Chef Marcia exclaimed, “I was so happy to win! I enjoy cooking and love to experiment with food and create new dishes filled with flavour.” And we love to eat your food, Marcia! Well done. (Chef Marcia and Bartender Mark images courtesy of The San Pedro Sun)

Hamanasi congratulates Chef Marcia, Chef Sheridan and Bartender Mark for competing well in Taste of Belize 2012. We hope to share their delicious creations with you!

“2012 TripAdvisor Travelers’s Choice Awards”

Trip Advisor ~ World’s most trusted travel advise announced the winners of  its 2012 Travelers’ Choice® awards.

Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort was awarded 2nd for Top 25 Hotels for “Best Service” in the World and 3rd for Top 25 Hotels in the World.  Julie Cassitini-TripAdvisor says “In total, 3,943 properties globally have been recognized this year with dedicated lists featured for 30 countries and eight regions worldwide. Unlike any other hotel honors, TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice winners are based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from travelers around the world.”

Many other properties in Belize such as The Phoenix Resort, Xanadu Resort and Coco Plum Resort were also awarded by Travelers’ Choice 2012.

Your Hamanasi family sincerely thank you for choosing us as your vacation destination and took time to write and share your Hamanasi experience with the world.

 

 

 

 

Hamanasi Tour Guides Explore Mayan Ruins with Archeologist Dr. Jaime Awe

Hamanasi tour guides joined a training opportunity with the Director of the Belize Institute of Archeology, Dr. Jaime Awe.   An evening of classroom studies and a day of in-the-field training with Dr. Awe was filled with new and exciting information about the Mayan ruins of Cahal Pech and Xunantunich.  Hamanasi tours both sites twice a week as part of their regularly scheduled Reef & Rainforest Pacakge tours!

Friday Happy Hour Drink Special: King’s “Hamanasi Pride”

King's "Hamanasi Pride"

 He’s done it again!  King uses local ingredients to create a fresh, tropical sensation that’s perfect for hot summer days!  If you can’t get star fruit, your favorite citrus will compliment the cucumber juice just fine.

“Hamanasi Pride” combines:  Fresh Cucumber Juice, Fresh Star Fruit Juice, Fresh Mint Leaves (crushed), Light Rum and sweet & sour mix.  Add ice, shake and enjoy!

National Geographic Daily News

National Geographic Daily News

Underwater Mayan World

Why is this diver burrowing into the bottom of this mini-lake? She’s literally disappearing into the sand and gravel of the water’s floor.  Only debris and the occasional bubbles from her breathing tank are visible.

She’s part of a project, largely funded by National Geographic, to dive into the sacred pools of the ancient Maya.

SOUNDBITE: Patricia Beddows, Northwest University, Hydrologist & Geochemist: “Our exploration team discovered this upwelling. It’s an underwater spring upwelling. And it provides this magical experience because it’s located at the bottom of a very large crater. And you can come down, down, down, down into this large crater, and in the bottom is this boiling mass of sediment that’s actually being rolled and boiled. It’s almost like a natural lava lamp. Went in over the lip of the crater, descended down into the bottom, and I didn’t want to have any interference with the water already in the pool. And so it required a little bit of digging, and frankly it was extremely low visibility down there but below the actual base of sediment, there’s about one and a half meters more space. The water coming out of the bottom of this spring, is chemically quite distinct from the water in the pool.”

But this is just the beginning. The dives also revealed clues to past life here, and a first for the country of Belize.

Scientists discovered several fossil beds around 60-to-90 feet below the surface, including femur bones the size of a bowling ball. They also found tusks and pelvic bones. These are the first recorded fossils ever found in Belize.

SOUNDBITE: Lisa Lucero, Archaeologist, Project Leader: “We left those in place. We only removed a few small fossils so we can determine, are they fossilized? Or bone? They are definitely fossilized, so we know they have to be of a certain age. But were they here , were these megafauna present during occupation by humans 20,000, 15,000 years ago? Or are they much older?”

The dives were made in several pools in central Belize earlier this year in an area known as Cara Blanca. The researchers found evidence that the eight pools of the 25 they studied are likely connected through underground passages.

Principal Investigator Lisa Lucero says the major goal is to look for archaeological remains underwater.

SOUNDBITE: Lisa Lucero, Archaeologist, Project Leader: “Because the Maya considered openings in the earth – caves, water bodies – as portals to the underworld of Xibalba. And because the thousands of caves that have been found have offerings, ancient Maya offerings , we just knew there’d be offerings at the bottom of the pool. So we came with the goal of trying to dive to look for these offerings.”

Though they didn’t find offerings on the first dives, they did find ceramic sherds in a pool near remains of Maya buildings, constructed around 1100 to 1300 years ago. Lucero says there is no indication this area had many residences, but rather was likely a pilgrimage site, with Maya traveling here from hundreds of miles away.

Because at least one of the pools was found to be around 200 feet deep, and littered with trees and silt, more sophisticated diving equipment is needed for future dives. And Lucero believes there are more significant Maya offerings at these depths.

The research is being conducted under the auspices of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, and the scientists plan to return for more exploration.

Belize Tourism Industry Awards 2010

Belize Tourism Awards 2010

The Belize Tourism Board held its tourism industry awards ceremony June 10th, 2010, and Hopkins Village received the award for “Destination of the Year”!  Hamanasi Resort, also located in Hopkins Village,  was recognized for its excellent ecologically friendly and sustainability practices and its attaining official Green Globe Certification.  Congratulations to all of the people and businesses that have worked hard to make Hopkins a unique and culturally stimulating destination!

Friday Happy Hour Drink Special: Cornucopia

"Cornucopia"

An unusual ingredient gives this smooth, tropical drink a delicious twist.   Give this one a try at home, and even add your own special twist…

Cornucopia:

One Barrel rum, fresh orange juice, condensed milk, coconut cream, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon and…..sweet corn (yes, corn!).  Blend with and garnish!

TGIF everyone!

Aveda and Adele Wechsler Present Eco Couture Bridal Events

Adele Wechsler Eco Couture Collection

Aveda and Adele Wechsler are partnering to co-host regional bridal events during the months of April, May and June at participating Aveda salons across the country.

Brides may enter to WIN the national grand prizes: an Adele Wechsler Eco Couture wedding gown, a honeymoon vacation at the eco-friendly Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort, or a gift basket courtesy of Aveda!

Watch for places, dates and times on www.Facebook.com/HamanasiResort

Hamanasi Welcomes Eliot Greenspan of Frommer’s Travelguide

Frommer’s Travel Guide Tours Belize – and visits Hamanasi Resort

Frommer's Travel Guide Tours BelizeTravel writer, freelance journalist and poet Eliot Greenspan arrived in Belize at the end of April for a three–week stay working on updating the Frommer’s Belize Travel Guide. Eliot Greenspan is author of Frommer’s Belize, the popular Frommer’s Costa Rica, Frommer’s Guatemala, Frommer’s Cuba, Costa Rica for Dummies and the chapter on Venezuela for Frommer’s South America.

Frommer’s Travel Guides feature reviews and advice from recognized authors such as Greenspan and include complete and in–depth destination guides covering the world through daily e–mail newsletters reporting on the latest travel news and vacation deals. 

His stay in Belize will see him visiting destinations across the country to include Belize City, Corozal, Cayo, Punta Gorda, Hopkins (Hamanasi Resort), Placencia and Ambergris Caye, just to name a few.

Thanks for stopping by, Eliot!  It’s always a pleasure having you stay at Hamanasi.