Have you had the dream about owning and running your own
little hotel on a secluded beach, someday, somewhere? We
always had that dream and we knew that the hotel had to
be near reefs. It took a moment of inspiration (insanity?)
for us to decide to actually do it! Now, our dream has come
true with Hamanasi.
We suffer from true wanderlust, most likely an affliction
given to us by our parents. After we learned how to SCUBA
dive we continued to travel and dive whenever we could.
We dived in Bonaire, Mexico, the Red Sea, Bali, Zanzibar,
Australia's Great Barrier Reef and a murky lake in Michigan!
Our interests took us beyond diving to cultural, natural
and architectural wonders throughout Western and Eastern
Europe, Turkey, Israel, Tanzania and Thailand. Our urge
to experience more made us leave "safe" computer
and advertising jobs in Chicago to move to the newly opened
Eastern Europe in 1992. After a short foray in Germany Dana
moved to Prague (then Czechoslovakia) and Dave followed.
Our professional careers called us back to computers and
marketing. Soon, Apple Computer transferred Dave further
east to Moscow, Russia. It took Dana nearly a year to leave
charming Prague for the buzzing, big city life of Moscow.
Soon, Dana started working with United Nations Educational
Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on a project
with Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre.
Traveling was phenomenal, but winters in Moscow were cold
and long. So, in 1995, when David's mother, Joan, suggested
that we consider Belize as a locale for our dream hotel
Dana jumped on a plane to visit. Joan and Dana scouted up
and down Belize and found a perfect piece of land in Hopkins,
a charming fishing village sandwiched between the reef and
the Maya Mountains. The people were friendly and the area
gorgeous. Dana flew back to Russia and told David that Belize
and Hopkins were exactly what they were looking for and
that they should buy the land. David had never even been
It took us four more years of hard work in Russia to be
able to actually build Hamanasi. Dana started working in
a large, Moscow travel agency to gain valuable industry
experience. We both critiqued every hotel, restaurant and
dive shop we visited. Certainly, our "eyes" had
changed! We made countless trips from Moscow to Belize via
the USA. Talk about crazy itineraries! We laughed after
returning from one such trip where it had been 30 degrees
Celsius in Belize and minus30 degrees Celsius in Moscow!
What does Hamanasi mean? It is a Garifuna word meaning 'almond'
from the Belizean hamans tree, a gorgeous tree that grows
right on the seaside. We wanted a name connected to the
Garifuna culture and the physical beauty of the location.
We wanted to create a beautiful, comfortable refuge where
guests could relax and enjoy delicious cuisine after an
adventuresome day. We like to meet new and interesting people.
At Hamanasi we want you to feel welcome and to get to know
other guests and locals. We want to help you explore all
the wonderful sites of Belize - from Mayan ruins, rainforests
and caves to atolls, pristine reefs and palm-studded beaches.
So after countless hours of planning, learning about a new
culture, navigating through bureaucratic hurdles, encountering
wildlife in places we would rather not have and explaining
where, exactly is Belize, Hamanasi's doors are open! We
are achieving our dream. Now, we want you to have the vacation
of your dreams at Hamanasi!
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