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!