SAN IGNACIO, BELIZE—The Lodge at Chaa Creek has once again been named Belize’s Hotel of the Year by the Belize Tourism Board at the country’s recent National Tourism Awards. This was the third time since 2010 the western Belize eco-resort was recognized as the Hotel of the Year by the BTB, according to Chaa Creek’s Public Relations Officer Denise Duran.
Belize’s National Tourism Awards is an annual event that recognizes outstanding contributions by the country’s tourism professionals, with honors that include Tour Guide of The Year, Tour Operator of The Year, Restaurant of The Year, Tourism Site of the Year, Hotel of the Year, and an annual Lifetime Achievement Award.
Last year, the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award went to Chaa Creek owners Mick and Lucy Fleming, who, the BTB said, “have positively impacted Belize and the lives of countless Belizeans.”
At the 2018 event, held October 20 in Belize City with the theme “Celebrating Excellence,” Chaa Creek was again recognized as Belize Hotel of The Year. Judging criteria included customer satisfaction, environmentally friendly operations, outstanding facilities and amenities, high degree of customer satisfaction, staff training and other benchmarks.
Dedicated Staff Striving for Excellence
Chaa Creek’s Managing Director, Bryony Fleming Bradley, said repeat recognition as Hotel of the Year is the result of a dedicated staff continually striving for excellence.
“‘Celebrating Excellence’ is an appropriate theme for this year’s National Tourism Awards, because it recognizes and highlights why Belize has become such a popular tourism destination,” Fleming Bradley said. “I think all of us working in Belizean tourism understand that you need to be constantly striving for excellence to succeed in today’s highly competitive global travel industry, and these awards recognize a commitment to give our visitors the very best in accommodations and service. Everything we do at Chaa Creek is a team effort, so I’m proud to accept this award on behalf of all our 160 staff members.”
Chaa Creek owners Mick and Lucy Fleming, who were travelling overseas when the awards were announced, also highlighted teamwork as being fundamental to Chaa Creek’s ongoing success and thanked their staff members.
“For us, ‘Hotel of the Year’ translates to ‘People of the Year’, for it is the entire Chaa Creek team who, year after year, works towards continual improvement and ensuring our guests’ satisfaction,” Lucy Fleming said.
“It’s one thing to have great lodgings and amenities in a beautiful natural setting, but at the end of the day it’s the people who make each visit memorable, and keep guests coming back. And during our recent travels, Mick and I once again realized how blessed we are to have the team we do,” Lucy Fleming said.
Belize’s First Eco-Resort
Chaa Creek became Belize’s first eco-resort when Mick and Lucy Fleming began accepting paying guests at their small farm in 1981, just as the former Crown Colony achieved independence from Great Britain.
Since then, both Belize and Chaa Creek have grown from relative obscurity to become popular tourism destinations. Belize has enjoyed a steady annual increase in tourism arrivals, and Chaa Creek has evolved from a few one-room thatched-roof cabins to offering the country’s widest selection of accommodations, tours and amenities.
With 23 cottage-style rooms and a selection of suites and villas, including the luxurious, personal butler-serviced Ix Chel Rainforest Villas, The Lodge at Chaa Creek hosts a wide range of visitors—from budget minded families to a member of the British Royal Family.
The popular western Belize jungle lodge has also gained recognition for promoting sustainable tourism, environmental protection, and support for local communities. As Belize’s most highly awarded eco-resort, Chaa Creek has been the recipient of awards from Green Globe and other organizations, and in 2017 took first place honors at National Geographic’s World Legacy Awards in Berlin.