Placencia, the small scenic village in Southern Belize, has suddenly gone worldwide. Featured in the New York Times as one of the 52 Places to Go in 2017 and in Vogue as “The Must Visit Caribbean Destination that No One’s Heard Of” it’s time for Placencia, Belize to take the spotlight.
Many of us, especially the residents, have been in love for years. Decades even. And while Placencia has long been known for her charm and small town beauty, the wide sandy beaches, the gorgeous offshore coral cayes, the sunrise over the sea and sunset over the mountains, great food and people, the quaint beachy village (and the entire peninsula) is growing.
And a few months ago, a new resort opened called Naia Resort and Spa. I visited for a nice long weekend and I was WOW-ed…seriously. In more ways than one. Naia is pretty awesome. No expense was spared on this amazing spa and the flawless details. But equally impressive is the landscape and the sustainable development of the land.
This is not a property where the native forest and brush was leveled…they took great care in planning this resort and surrounding community. Even moving flowers like orchids.
This huge resort surrounded by 200 acres of beautifully, thoughtfully designed and tended land – filled with old growth trees, mangroves and orchids, with thousands of feet of beach front, sunset lagoon and mountain views is spectacular (yes…I said spectacular). The new modern resort and the beautiful full grown trees, orchids and water features…
It’s just gorgeous. Let me show you. All photos taken at Naia.
My van arrived to pick me up in the village – along with a cooler of cold water and a icy wash cloth. Super nice touch. We headed up peninsula about 15 minutes.
I’m a giant fan of the logo and this cool piece of marble “draped” over the sunlight front desk.
Even the lowly rocks around the resort are gorgeous pieces of coral that was dug up during construction of the property.
View from the breakfast restaurant and patio.
Full moon over the pool.
The upstairs restaurant, 1981, beautiful for the modern Belizean cuisine – dinner and drinks like the Cilantro Martini.
And then over to my suite – a bedroom, a small kitchen (with coffee beans, grinder, French press and lots more), a massive living space, a huge bathroom with outdoor garden shower and inside AMAZING tub…
So simple and beautiful…modern but still totally Belize. The hardwoods and the workmanship and the carefully curated art, all from Belizean artists. In fact, 90% of all materials and finishings at the resort are from Belize. I just loved this bedroom and the turn down service that left me citrus bath salts. AND this bathroom…
I’ve never smelled so good.
My sun porch and pool. My pool!
It made it hard to leave my “home”.
A view from the resort dock.
…the pedicure/manicure room…
…the landscaped pools and bridges that lead you to the spa and all of its massage rooms over the lily-pads…
The spa rooms are large with this amazing view and back porch over the water. Clean and beautiful. The locker room has everything you need – showers, slippers, tons of towels and products…it’s all modern and just stunning.
The lounging area before or after your treatment.
What a great place for a spa day when you are visiting Placencia or a bachelorette afternoon, a birthday lunch and treatment or just about anything. The spa is open to all.
And their restaurant to eat in or for delivery of drinks and snacks.
And so perfectly planned out…
And there is a very good reason for all of that. The large property was purchased years ago – and consultants were hired over 10 years ago to come up with a master plan. To keep the gorgeous old trees and plants, to cut down bush and bring in water to maximize the cooling breezes and circulation and to develop the land in a sustainable beautiful way.
I am no real estate person – buyer or seller…but man…I was impressed. This resort is spectacular – the landscape enhances that SO much. But the resort is also surrounded by a larger development called Cocoplum – the master planned resort community.
To satisfy some of my curiosity, I took a tour with one of the owners. If you love Belize and fancy the idea of a large lot, building a home, having access to an amazing spa and resort as well as the beach and beauty of the mainland, I’d take a look at Cocoplum.
The properties on the lagoon side are beautiful – I’ve never seen such huge mangroves.
But back to what I am writing about – Naia Resort and Spa. I had such a great time on the property – I love the attention to detail and I absolutely adored the spa. I most definitely will be back.
Thank you SO much to the staff and management and my masseuse Erin for my very memorable stay.
If you’d like to remember this crazy beautiful spot, stick a pin in it.