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Who would have thought 20 years ago – even 15 – that we would go so ga-ga over hotel toiletries that savvy hotel marketers would list what brand they carry on their websites? Now there’s a new player (playuh – you have to say it right) in town and their products are all American-made.
William Roam was created to take on the task of making hotel toiletries that were not just promoted and sold in the US, but were thought of, sourced and made in America. They currently offer three lines from their head office in Indianapolis: Roam, Float and Sense, each made with fresh ingredients sourced across the country.
Their signature line, Roam, is made with blueberries from Maine, wheatgrass from Kansas and red wine grape extract from Napa Valley and products are packaged in classy-like square bottles. The soap even contains bits of grape fiber and root to gently exfoliate your nutrient-needy skin.
Turtle Inn, director Francis Ford Coppola's beachside resort in Belize, has been offering complimentary guitars for guests to use during their stay. As you can see from the photo above, they make a good addition to an impromptu jam session when you're chilling by the beach. (Please pray that someone in the group knows how to play Mr. Big's "To Be With You.") Or you know, in case a guest has a hilarious Jason Mraz impression they want to show off.
Rates at Turtle Inn start at around $450 in May for a garden view cottage. There is a two-night-stay minimum.
Also, we'd like to point out that it's really cool to see that a HotelChatter contest winner back in 2009 has started a bonafide trend for hotels.
[Photo: Turtle Inn]
GAÏA Riverlodge, located in the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve of Belize, has long been a top eco-conscious resort (it was formerly the Five Sisters Lodge) but thanks to a new hydropower energy system and a few other environmentally-friendly upgrades, the resort and its jungle cabanas have pretty much topped all other green resorts out there.
Using the nearby Five Sisters waterfalls as their energy source, the GAÏA Riverlodge is now run entirely by hyrdopower energy, eliminating the need for electricity. But don't worry, the hotel does have a back-up system, an eco-friendly one too that's battery-powered. The GAÏA Riverlodge is also cultivating an on-site vegetable garden which will bring fresh, or "hyper-local" as they call it, produce to the lodge's restaurants. Awesome.
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Matachica in Belize is all about the chill, at a great rate...
The great thing about traveling to the Caribbean now through December is that rates are least 40%, below high season rates. Sometimes even more than that. And face it, this is the time of year when most folks are taking their vacations anyway, so you may as well go somewhere that’s inexpensive, right?
We've got 5 Caribbean hotels that are pretty easy on the budget year-round, but are an even better deal now. So, pack your strongest SPF (those sun rays are HOT) and shades and get island bound with the quickness.
This Starwood brand is new to Cancún, and opened just a week ago, so things are likely in tip-top condition. This is pretty important in hotel-glut filled Cancún, where choices can sometimes be hit or miss. We’re also happy to see the Aloft favorites such as the w xyz bar, the 24/7 pantry fuel by Aloft and re:mix lounge, where we are certain the DJ will make sure to remind you you’re in Mexico with some serious salsa beats (and don't forget to drink tequila too!) It should go without saying—but the free WiFi is a plus. Coming soon will be a rooftop pool, but for now you’ll have to walk about five minutes to the beach and the sparkling blue sea. But at these rates, it’s no problema. Rates from $99 per night.
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Lagoon Bungalow at Turtle Inn
Ever wanted to live vicariously through a Coppola? You know, make a film or two, become a household name, travel affluently?
Well, we can promise you only the latter, friends, as we now have the official 4-1-1 on where Francis, Sofia and Roman stay when they travel to Belize. Obviously, they're going to crash at the Turtle Inn, a 17-acre beachside property FFC bought back in 1999.
But which rooms do they shack up in?
First, let's talk about Turtle Inn. It's the only luxury resort in the fisherman village of Placencia, Belize, reachable by a 30-minute puddle jumper from Belize International Airport. There's 25 rustic villas and cottages, two salt-water pools, three restaurants, a beach bar and a memorable staff to boot (shout out to Rudy!).
Accommodations come equipped with outdoor showers and gardens, homemade cookies (in a bottomless jar), screened porches and thatch roofs reaching up to 30 feet. The spa is fronted by Thai masseuses who can have you knackered in minutes and the new Miss Ellie dive boat that can drop you off at a deserted island within an hour.
Should you want to do the Coppola resort like an actual Coppola, you have three accommodations to choose from...
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According to the Mayan Long-Count Calendar time is no longer measured after December 21, meaning that the world might just end on this day since there is no December 22nd. Just about 13 years ago, have heard this all before with Y2K, but that was before HotelChatter and now we can present some of best packages for spending your last day as a mortal.
Spending your last few days on earth might be better spent in the lap of luxury and some of these hotel packages are doozies. Geographically and historically speaking, it makes sense count down the last hours in Mexico and Central America, but we have also found a few that a bit closer to home. And just think, if December 22nd does happen, you get to brag about your digs on your vacation.
Hotel Openings / Beach Hotels / Belize Hotels / Ambergris Caye Hotels / San Pedro Hotels / → All Tags
We can't seem to keep our mouths shut. Every time we find an under-the-radar hotel, we swear we'll keep the good fortune to ourselves so the place won't get spoiled. But, we end up spilling the beans anyway when it comes to our latest find which is actually fun, because you know...we're givers here at HC. It brings good hotel karma.
Note:When seeking seclusion, a resort that takes at least two flights and a boat ride to reach it is a good place to start. Lots of properties like to market themselves as being private and remote, but many times that's manufactured by man-made barriers that restrict access and boundaries that box you into isolation rather than expose you to it. El Secreto Resort opened this week just off the northeast coast of Belize, and we find it to be a pretty good example of what a true hideaway should be. Guests catch a boat from San Pedro to make the 11-mile trip up the coast, past mangroves, and escaping civilization almost entirely as the resort is not accessible via car.
There’s something especially decadent about getting a pedicure in the jungle. Maruba Resort and Jungle Spa, in northern Belize, is offering some great spa deals this summer. Our favorite? Their signature “Mood Mud” body scrub. Brimming with minerals, Maya mud is the kind of rich goop that you’ll happily smear on your body.
You can pick the mud to match your mood: Red Daji "arouses strength, health, sex, passion, and courage." We’ll take a double dose, muchas gracias.
Spring may be coming soon, but if you need a warm-weather vacay pronto, play "name that bar" and you could be heading to Belize. St. George's Caye Resort will award a three-night stay to the person who comes up with the best name for its bar, which now bears the moniker the Conch Lounge.
The resort's recent renovation included six new cabanas, an island-themed spa and a tropical garden, so officials figured it was time to rename the bar to better reflect its atmosphere. And what better way to choose a new name than hold a contest.
We’ll let you in on a little secret: A hotel review that describes a place as an “exclusive lair where guests live out their recluse fantasies” is pretty much guaranteed to perk our interest.
Well, folks, that’s what ForbesTraveler.com wrote about Cayo Espanto, a private island resort off the coast of Belize that’s officially — albeit apparently belatedly — on our radar. Cayo Espanto made ForbesTraveler.com's 2008 list of the world’s top 400 hotels and resorts (one of two Belize resorts to make the cut, we should mention).