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The Best of All Worlds at Belize’s Chaa Creek

5 May 2009 No Comment

Prepare for Paradise, people.
I was looking forward to my stay at Chaa Creek. And I am a pretty tough customer. I would have to say that Chaa Creek – and all that it offers (and doesn’t) is as close to the perfect destination for a relaxing vacation as I’ve been.

The accommodations are enveloping and classy and down to earth all at once. I think I could live in #23 for a month and never miss the TV, phone or alarm clock. The beds are comfortable, the furniture is lovely, the bathrooms are awesome, and the open (but netted) thatched roof and screen-only windows and doors make for a perfect oasis.

The rest of the property is spectacular – again, classy and luxe without feeling pretentious in any way. The staff is, to a one, spectacular. With special shout-outs to Miguel, Maria and Denise…who are long time employees and know what it means to take care of guests. Everything is spotless, the activities are varied and well-timed for families, and you can do as much or as little exploring on the property (or off) as you like. The food was spectacular, with a perfect mix of local and not. And of course there is the spa – what’s not to like about a semi-outdoor massage while listening to the birds and the breeze? Heaven.

There are very few suggestions, but here are some ideas:
– give people an option for food service in their cottage – maybe not all day, but definitely evening.
– utilize the pool more – maybe for a friday or sunday evening “cocktail hour” or something so guests can mingle. as a single traveler it was a little harder to connect with folks – especially families
– share more about the staff somehow. each of the staff members has an interesting story…
– offer travelers a carbon offset /philanthropic option on site, so that they can support the environmental work you are doing.

The two most powerful parts of Chaa Creek are:
1. the unsurpassed ability to feel like you are “out there” in nature while still safe and comfortable. The environmental programs they run are fabulous, and the attention to the eco-footprint of the property is special.
2. The community the Flemings have built. From the two of them in a shack 30 years ago – to the entire staff of ~120, it’s a powerful statement about diversity, harmony and community. Besides the owners and one manager, the entire staff is Belizean. It’s awesome to walk down the path and hear spanish, creole, english, and sometimes mayan dialects being spoken by the staff…
The Flemings have invested in their extended family, and the kids and teachers of San Ignacio/Cayo in a transformative way. Bravo.


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