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.
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.
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.