“Hamanasi Guest Book ~ December 2012″

Wishing everyone a Happy and Prosperous 2013.  A big “Thank you” to all our December 2012 guest! Thanks for coming and we hope you had a great time with us and we can’t wait to have you back soon!  From the Hamanasi Team.

“The service was impeccable. Every staff person we encountered went out of their way to make this the best vacation.”

Deborah and Mark Buel, Gainesville, FL

“Love the attention to detail. Top notch – Perfect. This resort could teach service and hospitality to other!”

Zocher Family, Clyde Hill, WA

“Don’t expand too much. The small, community-like feeling of the resort is part of why it’s so great.”

John and Brenda Schulz, Hamburg, NY

“Everyone was special and gracious. Keep doing what you are – place is fantastic.”

Florence Sofer, Mount Kisco, NY

“Service was very, very good! Appreciated all of the personal attention.”

Tracy and Mike Killion, Humble, TX

“Amazing and very personalize service. Everyone made my stay very enjoyable.”

Mary Grabowsky, Albuquerque, NM

“It’s beautiful here! Don’t change a thing.”

Mike and Arletta Hitch, Rose Hill, AL

“Exceptional service, thank you all so much. We will be back many times, our wedding here was perfect.”

Omar and Shalane Rodriguez, Wichita, KS

“I always wondered what it would be like to be treated like royalty – now I know. Thank you for a wonderful vacation.”

Helen and Christine Hill, San Francisco, CA

“Everyone did what they could to help me solve problems and enjoy my stay – more than expected!”

Jim Mahoney, Greensboro, NC

“Service was exceptional. Value with the package was exceptional. We stayed inland for the first half of our vacation, it was nice but Hamanasi had them beat in every category! Great job!”

Theodore Rinehart and Sandra Callez, Los Angeles, CA

 

 

“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!

Guest Favorite Recipe – Hamanasi’s Peanut Butter Cookies”

Hamanasi Peanut Butter Cookies 

2 tsp.                              Vanilla Extract

1 c                                    Peanut Butter; creamy

3                                      Eggs

1 c                                   Butter; softened

1 1/4 c                           Granulated Sugar

1 1/4 c                          Dark brown sugar

1/4 tsp.                        Salt

1/2 tsp.                        Baking Soda

2 c                                Purity Flour

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, soda, and salt.  Mix well with a wire whisk
  • In a large bowl, blend sugars using a mixer at medium speed
  • Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste
  • Add eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla, mix at medium speed until light and fluffy
  • Add the flour mixture and mix at low speed until just mixed. (Do not over-mix)
  • Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an un-greased cookie sheet, 1 ½ inches apart
  • With a wet fork, gently press a crisscross pattern on top of the cookies
  • Bake for 8-22 minutes until cookies are slightly brown along the edges
  • Transfer cookies immediately to cool surface with a spatula

Happy Cooking & Eating from Hamanasi’s Kitchen Staff!

“Deirdre Drama Classes”

 

Deirdre Kelly Lavrakas, one of our repeat guests visited us for the second time in October 2012.  Deirdre volunteered time from her Hamanasi vacation to mentor the Grade V school children of The Holy Family Hopkins School with Drama classes. Deirdre is presently Production Operations Manager and a Teaching Artist with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Deirdre has directed over 75 plays, musicals and operas for both adults and young people.

The children were exited throughout the sessions along with their Language Arts teacher Mr. Troy Coleman.   The participation of the class was incredible, filled with lots questions and laughter.   At the end of the 3 days session, the children were given a certificate of participation and some yummy snacks for the Hamanasi kitchen.

 

 

“Back To School Project Sucess”

A BIG thank you to all our Hamanasi guests that somehow contributed towards the Back to School Project 2012, we could not have done this without you all.

From a pack of pencils, story books, crayons up to school bags, all these donations were given to the needed school children from Hopkins, Maya Center and Silk Grass which brought big smiles to their faces. 

“Giant Stride For C-Dog”

While we were closed in September for yearly renovations, Dive Master Shawn Lozano better known as “C-Dog” took time out of his vacation to go to Honduras and attend the PADI Instructor Development Course with Utila Divers. The course is run by Andy Phillips and it took two weeks to complete. It  entailed long days of class and water works culminating  in a two day exam which he sailed thru. C-Dog has now join the ranks of PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor and he is very enthusiastic for this coming season as a Hamanasi Instructor. He is looking forward to creating fantastic new divers and impart his knowledge of the marine environment with his new students.  Hamanasi is very proud of his efforts and wishes him the best of luck!

“Hamanasi Guest Book ~ August 2012″

“Hamanasi has 3 things that set it apart. Best staff/great atmosphere/best variety of trips.”

Jon and Renee Gregory, Oxon Hill, MD

“Love the natural atmosphere and that you keep as much nature as possible.”

Tricia Wynne, Bronx, NY

“I have fallen in love with Hamanasi with all the wonderful staff. I want to be more eco-friendly because of Hamanasi!”

Samuel and Praisy Matthew, New York, NY

“You and your staff are superb ambassadors for Hamanasi and Belize. The staff is so proud of Hamanasi, of Hopkins and of Belize. We will miss you all.”

Scott Valentine and Family, Des Moris, Iowa

“The eco-friendly efforts were very noticeable and added a nice touch to the experience.”

Jessica Patton and Andrew Overton, Long Island City, NY

“Thanks for making our honeymoon an unforgettable experience!

Jessica and Kai Nielson, Vancouver, Canada

“Stay simple and relaxing! You have a very good operation going.”

Jamie Trout, Herndon, VA

“Everyone was amazing – nice – again above and beyond. Keep it the same, very personal. Keep the resort small and intimate. It’s excellent and we can fell everyone is passionate about great service. “

Charles Ablores and Family, Spring, TX

“Keep doing what you do – getting to know your guests even though your stay is short is a wonderful personal touch.”

Mike and Colleen Way, Calgary, Canada

“How to improve perfection? No suggestions, it was perfect!”

James and Becky Carter, Odessa, TX

“Keep doing what you are doing. Your people are your greatest assets.”

Caitlin Burns and Family, Angola, IN

“This place is A+++. I loved feeling part of the Hamanasi family. Every detail was thought of. Thank you for an amazing vacation.”

Stacey and Rob Bladen, Herriman , UT

“Hamanasi has 3 things that set it apart. Best staff/great atmosphere/best variety of trips.”

Jon and Renee Gregory, Oxon Hill, MD

 

“September Green Newsletter”

                                                     Hamanasi Organic Garden and Current Production

With the addition of Mr. Juan Tun, organic gardener and environmental conservation activist from the Cayo district, as a part of our Gardening and Green team, our organic garden will further develop and become officially certified by Belize Organic Alliance, organic control and certifier in Belize, as being a sustainable garden. Moreover, we are now partnering with BOA to encourage and promote sustainable crop and livestock production in Belize.

 

 

 

 

Outside the cover structure, the organic garden is landscaped with fruit trees that attract birds and other wildlife around the property; and inside the structure, basil, mint, green onion, oregano, and cilantros have been intercropped as repellant crops amongst cash crops such as tomato, habanero and sweet pepper, cabbage, lettuce and cucumber to control pests and diseases.  (Report done by Francis Flores)

 

“Donation to Summer Bible School”

The Sittee River Seventh Day Adventist Church hosted a summer vacation Bible School program for a week where over 32 children from Sittee River Village attended. Mrs. Shelmadine Robinson, born and raised in Sittee River was the organizer of this event and was very happy with the attendance. She is a children lover and is very passionate of giving back to the kids and community. Art and Crafts, singing, acting classes and many more fun activities were all included in the program.

 

Thanks to all our guest who have contributed and continue to supporting our Back to School program, with your assistance we were able provide suitable supplies along with school bags to the children  who attended this year  Summer Bible School Program.

 

 

“Hamanasi Guest Book ~ July 2012″

“Keep providing great service and excellent excursions.”

Jaime Clausen, Boerne, TX

“Don’t change a thing. We will be back! I really appreciated how personal and intimate the resort felt. Many of the staff greeted us by first names when they saw us and it felt like we were really welcomed!

Jennifer Benrostro and Family, Palo Alto, CA

“Continue giving the excellent service you provide. Your entire staff is second to none anywhere in the world.”

Valerie Kringer and Sean Kelly, Oakland, CA

“Hard to imagine better service!”

Barbara Amen and Family, Lincoln, NE

“Everything was outstanding. Our honeymoon was an unforgettable experience thanks to everyone at the Hamanasi.”

Jaime and Matt Cady, Oxford, OH

“It was a great expereince.”

Leah Jewell and Family, Ridgewood, NJ

“Love the garden on site. Love eating local food, loved not having TV’s and phones. Keep it to what it is.”

Ken and Diane Goss, Omaha, NE

“It was perfection! It was the perfect honeymoon.”

Scott Burris and Suzanna Ritz, New Orleans, LA

“It’s excellent. Best I have experience.”

Kim Nichols and Family, Boulder, CO

“Keep up the great service.”

Arash Boostani and Family, Half Moon Bay, CA