We didn’t win one of the eight coveted awards handed out by the Belize Tourism Board this year, but we were nominated in two categories (“Restaurant of the Year” and “Hotel of the Year”). Winning “Restaurant of the Year” twice in the past really made us proud, and now we have something to work toward again. Congratulations to our friends at San Ignacio Resort Hotel, Splash Dive Center and Vanilla Hills Lodge, and all the other winners too. Next year? Who knows? Like they say, it was an honor just to be nominated.
Posts tagged ‘Awards’
Wine Spectator editors announced the 2016 Restaurant Award Winners on July 6, and once again the Maya Beach Hotel Bistro was a winner (and the only restaurant in Belize to date to ever receive this award).
We try to keep approximately 150 different wines on our list. Our emphasis is affordable, good quality wines that work well with our menu of seafood, spice, and tropical flavors. A majority of our wines are imported directly, but we also choose some from local distributors.
Check out restaurants.WineSpectator.com and search. You’ll find us!
There’s also a free Wine Spectator Restaurant Awards app for iPhone and iPad. You’ll find us there too, and also in the August issue.
Maya Beach Hotel has won a 2016 Traveler’s Choice Award from TripAdvisor! We were named #2 in the Best Bargain Hotels – Belize category. Special thanks to all of our guests who have taken the time to review us online.
For the 14th year, TripAdvisor has highlighted the world’s top properties based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected in a single year from travelers around the globe. Winners were identified in the categories of Top Hotels, Bargain, B&Bs and Inns, Luxury, Service and Small Hotels. The hallmarks of Travelers’ Choice winners are remarkable service, quality and value.
“We are thrilled to be one of the handful of resorts in Placencia that have received Traveler’s Choice awards,” says Ellen Lee, a Maya Beach Hotel & Bistro owner.
Maya Beach Hotel also won Traveler’s Choice Awards in 2012 and 2013, including being named on Central America’s Top Small Hotels list.
“We congratulate the properties that have won Travelers’ Choice Hotel awards,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “As travelers consider where to book their next trip, they should be sure to check out these award-winners that have already delighted millions of members of the TripAdvisor community.”
It’s an honor to represent Belize in Wine Spectator’s annual Restaurant Awards issue. We consider it a challenge to find reasonably-priced wines to pour by the glass and offer by the bottle, given the high duties and taxes on wine imports to Belize. Our head chef Mary Kay and original food and beverage team of John and Ellen take the time to seek out wines that compliment our menu, and we train employees by involving them in tastings, service training, and wine research.
This is our second year representing Belize in Wine Spectator Magazine with an Award of Excellence for restaurant wine lists.
We have climate-controlled cellars for 4,000 bottles of wine. We research food-friendly affordable wines from all over the world, and import our own top choices, creating a wine list with plenty of selection between US $30 and US $60 per bottle, with a few moderately priced selections up to US $150 per bottle. Our wine list is also supplemented by some excellent importers/distributors in Belize, including Wine Divine of San Pedro and Premium Wines & Spirits of Belize City.
My goodness, this is something we certainly didn’t expect. The Belize Tourism Board awarded the Bistro Belize’s “Restaurant of the Year” for the 2nd time. We can think of a whole lot of restaurants that deserve an award like this too, but we were lucky enough to be chosen again.
The 2012 awards presentation happened May 18th, 2013, out on a private island about an hour off the coast of Belize. Awards were presented in 9 categories, and Placencia businesses won 7 of them! That’s a big boost to our collective ego down here in the South.
Congratulations to the other winners as well.
- MAYA BEACH HOTEL BISTRO – Restaurant of the Year
PLACENCIA VILLAGE – Destination of the Year
PLACENCIA TOURISM CENTER – Hospitality Award
PLACENCIA LOBSTERFEST – Major Festival of the Year
TOUR OPERATOR OF THE YEAR – Splash Dive Center
SMALL HOTEL OF THE YEAR – Singing Sands Inn
FRONTLINE PERSON OF THE YEAR – Natalie (Chabil Mar)
A non-Placencia winner got the major trophy for Hotel of the Year, but that’s OK. They earned it! Chabil Mar was a close runner up, though! And we’re happy for Jerome who used to live in Placencia and work for Avadon Divers (Also awarded “Tour Operator of the Year” the last time)
- HOTEL OF THE YEAR – San Ignacio Resort Hotel
TOUR GUIDE OF THE YEAR – Jerome Williams
But it’s a good thing we’re better at cooking than we are at speech making…check out the YouTube clip:
The ride out to the caye on the catamaran was a lot of fun. Here’s one quick shot of John & Ellen before they got all nervous.
To our fabulous employees, THANKS VERY MUCH!!! To our amazing, regular customers, THANKS VERY MUCH!!! To our supportive and happy hotel guests, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!! And to the Belize Tourism Board, people on the committee, and those who depend on tourism for a living, we truly appreciate the honor and we promise to do our best to create sustained interest in Belize.
And this was a nice photo from Ambergris Today.
Placencia, Belize – 17 January 2013 – Maya Beach Hotel today announced that it was chosen as a winner in three categories of TripAdvisor’s 2013 Travelers’ Choice® awards.
Now in its eleventh year, the annual TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards honor the world’s best hotels, earning their distinction from those who know them best – real travelers. Unlike any other hotel honors, TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice winners are based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from travelers around the world.
“It sure is nice when our hard working Belizean employees receive kudos for their good work,” said Ellen Larson Lee, who owns and operates the Maya Beach Hotel along with her husband John Lee.
Maya Beach Hotel made the following Top 25 lists on TripAdvisor for 2013:
Top 25 small hotels in Central America
Top 25 small hotels in Belize
Top 25 hotels for service in Belize
“TripAdvisor is once again thrilled to recognize the world’s most outstanding hotels with the help of more than 75 million reviews and opinions from travelers around the globe,” said Christine Petersen, president, TripAdvisor for Business. “From the best bargain hotels to top luxury properties, outstanding service, value and quality are the hallmarks of our Travelers’ Choice winners.”
To see 2013 Travelers’ Choice winners, go to http://www.tripadvisor.com/TravelersChoice-Hotels-cSmall-g291958#25
MAYA BEACH HOTEL BISTRO EARNS FODOR’S CHOICE 2012 DISTINCTION FROM FODOR’S TRAVEL
CITY, STATE – DATE – Fodor’s, the leading name in travel guides for over 75 years, today announced that the Maya Beach Hotel Bistro has been recognized as a 2012 Fodor’s Choice selection. This distinction designates the Bistro as a leader in its field for service, quality, and value in the 2012 year.
The editors and experts of Fodor’s have been selecting only the top fifteen percent of their listed properties and activities as Fodor’s Choice award recipients since 1988. Every year, Fodor’s writers experience, examine and evaluate thousands of hotels, restaurants and attractions in their travels across the globe. While every business included in a Fodor’s guide is deemed worth a traveler’s time, only those offering a truly remarkable experience are given the Fodor’s Choice designation.
For more than 75 years Fodor’s has presented travelers with the very top recommendations from hidden-away restaurants to can’t-miss museums, to make sure they’re making the most of their travels. The 2012 Fodor’s Choice recipients are the best of the best, providing a remarkable experience in their price range or category.
As a 2012 Fodor’s Choice property Maya Beach Hotel will receive special recognition in the next Fodor’s guidebook to this area and on www.Fodors.com.
Maya Beach Hotel, and/or the Bistro, has received this designation each year since 2007.
About Fodor’s Travel
Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House, Inc., is one of the world’s leading providers of travel information. Covering over 7,500 worldwide destinations, Fodor’s guidebooks and website, Fodors.com, have provided the most up-to-date, accurate information for travelers since 1936. Written by a vast team of global correspondents, Fodor’s provides travelers with engagingly written, locally reported, and absolutely indispensable travel guidance. Visit www.Fodors.com.
Belizeans and the service industry go together like rice and beans. You don’t have to tell them to be friendly. So it’s no surprise that Belizean resorts dominated the Travelers’ Choice 2012 awards from TripAdvisor for Central America: Best Service. And guess what? Our little hotel placed #7 on that list. Yeah!
Next, a big thanks to everyone who has taken a moment of their time to rate the Bistro on TripAdvisor. Nothing makes us happier than making you happy!
The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Approximately 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.
To qualify for the Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.
Besides the Bistro, the Maya Beach Hotel received the Certificate of Excellence 2012 for the hotel as well. Once again, THANK YOU!
In June 2011, the Belize Tourism Board hosted its annual national Tourism Awards ceremony. The Maya Beach Hotel Bistro won “Restaurant of the Year!” John (chef/owner) and I (Ellen: shmoozer/owner) attended along with the finalists in the 5 other categories. The tourism industry and BTB had decided winners in the categories of Hotel of the Year, Small Hotel of the Year, Tour Operator of the Year, Tour Guide of the Year, Front-line Person of the Year, and Restaurant of the Year. It was a formal event at the Old Belize facility in Belize City: tables beautifully decorated, red carpet entrance, the works! It felt like we were attending the Oscars.
We could hardly believe it when they announced the winner in our category. It was us! John and I looked at each other, both thinking “Did you hear what I heard?” We stumbled up the short flight of steps to the stage and under the hot lights made a lame acceptance speech, which we were completely unprepared for. That’s one part I wish we could do over!
All in all it was a great night, and since then we are still flattered and humbled that people would have recognized our little contribution in this way. The food in Belize is really terrific, and that award could have gone to so many other restaurants in Placencia or other places around the country.
By the way, Placencia won 3 of the 6 awards. We also won Tour Operator of the Year (Avadon Divers) and Front-line Person of the Year (Althea Schable at Chabil Mar). If you haven’t noticed yet, Placencia is the place to be!