Each year in October the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) holds its annual awards gala recognizing the top performers in various aspects of the tourism industry. In 2019, Hamanasi was nominated for the Hospitality Award for the best service of any hotel in Belize. Additionally, Abby, a server in our Singanga Restaurant, was nominated for the award “frontline staff of the year”, an award for best outstanding service by an employee out of all the hotels in Belize. It is a tremendous honor to have been nominated with some of the best hotels and employees in the country, and we were eagerly anticipating our trip to Belize City.
A small team from Hamanasi met at noon to begin our journey. In addition to Abby, Guest Services Manager Melonie, Operations Manager Rose, Food & Beverage Manager Suzet, and Maintenance Manager Adam were there to represent Hamanasi.
We were all excited as we left Hopkins and continued on to Belize City hoping to bring back the award for best service on our return. The three hour journey was full of anticipation, especially as we neared our destination. Once we arrived we all freshened up, changed into our formal wear and put our game faces on. We looked good, we felt good, and we were ready for the gala!
The Hospitality Award category was the fourth award of the night, which meant that we would have to wait until after dinner, which kept us on the edge of our seats, but the good food did help calm the nerves a bit.
When the time came for the announcement we all held hands around the table and it felt like time had slowed down for a moment. Then, we heard our name — we won! The next thing we knew, Rose was on stage giving a great speech! She thanked the many people whose hard work often goes unnoticed. Here is a part of her speech that we will never forget:
“This award is for you, the dishwasher, the Front Desk staff, the Baker who wakes up at 3 am, the manager who goes to bed at 2 am, after a very long shift. To every service staff who works Christmas, Easter, Birthdays and for the ones who missed a report card, because our guests — our extended family — needed us! I raise this to you!”
There are so many people whose work is not always visible, but this the foundation for the great service that Hamanasi provides our guests. Thanks to them we were able to bring this outstanding award for service home.
Once the ceremony was over and the realization of winning had finally kicked in, we all decided to dance the night away!
After the ceremony we all had a good night’s rest and a hearty breakfast. We headed back home with the newest mark of our success, the 2019 Belize Tourism Board Hospitality Award in hand.
It was the hard work and dedication of the whole of the Hamanasi Family that earned this honor. We were eager to get back and show everyone the results of their efforts. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and these last photos say it all: this award is right where it belongs. Congratulations to all Hamanasi staff! We hope we will have a chance to show all our guests our award winning hospitality soon. Afterall, our fabulous guests make giving great service so rewarding!
Watch the video announcement from the Awards Gala: