The 2015 Belize Tourism Board Winners Are Announced at The San Pedro Holiday Hotel

Ok, ok, so I wasn’t actually there.  Not invited to be exact.  But last night, the 2015 Belize Tourism Board Winners were announced at the Holiday Hotel and Miss Celi McCorkle was celebrated for her extensive role in ushering tourism to Belize.

Here she is with her special recognition award.

miss celi

For the list of the 2013 Winners, you can check here on the BTB site.    This was the 13th awards ceremony – last year, 2014, was skipped.

The 2015 awards ceremony even brought out Belize’s Prime Minister, the Honorable Dean Barrow and Kim Simplis Barrow.

Since many of the winners are favorites of mine also, I thought I’d list them on my website.  And here they are.  The 2015 National Tourism Awards go to…

2015 Best Guesthouse:  Hickatee Cottages in Punta Gorda, Belize.  One of my favorite spots on earth.   And my friend Yoli, from Parrot’s Cove in Hopkins, collecting on Kate and Ian’s behalf.  (Yoli was also nominated for Best Front Line.)  Congratulations!


Gorgeous Hickatee Cottage – where I tried to learn to play the Garifuna drums, where I visited the world’s largest butterfly farm, where I stayed when attending Belize’s Chocolate Festival and Garifuna Settlement Day.  Sigh…I love it there.


Read:  Hickatee Cottages:  A MUST Stay In Punta Gorda and A Bargain in Belize.

2015 Hotel/Resort of the Year went to Gaia River Lodge.  I have never been but was just in the area (the Pine Ridge in Cayo, Western Belize) and I hear it is absolutely spectacular.

2015 Restaurant of the Year went to Guava Limb Cafe in San Ignacio, Belize!  I just spent the last week gushing about their gorgeous FRESH food and the lovely setting – my #1 pick in San Ignacio is confirmed.  Lovely LOVELY spot.

IMG_3419IMG_3064Here is Mick Fleming of Chaa Creek Resort and Guava Limb Cafe and his team accepting the award.


Small Hotel of the Year went to Table Rock Lodge, also in Cayo.

table rock

2015 Festival/Major Event went to the San Pedro Lobster Festival!  These ladies put in a ton of work for a really great event this year.

san pedro lobster

And I tasted every single lobster dish to confirm that.


2015 Hospitality Award went to San Ignacio Resort.

si hotel

A lovely lovely spot with an iguana project that you WANT to check out.

Kelly McDermott Kanabar accept the first “Celi McCorkle Award” in honor of her father, the late Mr. Gerald McDermott who is credited with bringing SCUBA diving to the island and growing tourism exponentially in Belize.


Kelly and her husband Mukul are savvy business people; they own and manage popular Blue Water Grill Restaurant, Red Ginger and other businesses.  But they are also wonderful people – they do so much for community it’s almost silly.  You can read more about that here:  Blue Water Grill in San Pedro, Belize is Way More Than Just a Great Restaurant.

Other winners from last night included:

The Minister’s Award to Mariam Roberson.  The managing director of the San Ignacio Resort.

mariam roberson

2015 Tour Operators of the Year went to Ian Anderson’s Cave Branch Jungle Lodge and Adventure Crew.

ian anderson

I met some of the guys…namely Justo and Chico…out in the Chiquibul on the scarlet macaw protection mission and they are just lovely.


2015 Tour Guide of the Year.  Desmond Ramirez from beautiful Belcampo in Punta Gorda, Belize.

tour guide

And Front Line Person of the Year.  From La Beliza Resort on Ambergris Caye,

front lineAnd that sums it up.  Congratulations to all….and to Holiday Hotel for hosting over 300 people last night.  That is no small feat.

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