Belize’s The Lodge at Chaa Creek is reporting another rise this year in families enquiring about the latest trend in destination holidays – tropical Thanksgivings. Turning the traditional family feast into a shared adventure is becoming increasingly popular, according to the eco resort’s food and beverage manager.
Bryony Fleming Bradley said that since Chaa Creek began offering all-inclusive Belize Thanksgiving packages, there has been a steady rise in interest; an increase she attributes to positive word of mouth, the proximity of Belize to North America, and the desire to do something different that the entire family can enjoy.
She also attributes the rise in the popularity of Chaa Creek’s Thanksgiving holidays to the increased cost of hosting large family gatherings at home as compared to the price of the all-inclusive Belize vacation packages now on offer.
“If you calculate what it takes to throw a great Thanksgiving for, say, six to twelve people, it can really add up. By the time you purchase all the food and the bits and pieces involved in entertaining, and then get everyone together at one home, the costs can be daunting.
“And that’s just the financial outlays. Add in the time it takes for the hosts to prepare, shop, decorate and then clean up, you’re looking at a big expenditure of time and money,’” Ms Fleming Bradley said.
“If you compare that against an all-inclusive Belize vacation package at Chaa Creek, where everyone just arrives at the Belize international airport at their own pace and we pick them up and handle everything from there, a tropical Thanksgiving starts looking like a great deal.
“And then consider other benefits like being able to swim off those extra calories or having some private quality time during a horseback ride, nature walk or canoe trip,” she added.
Ms Fleming Bradley explained that with Chaa Creek’s all-inclusive Belize Vacation packages everything from accommodation, meals, activities and transfers are included in one set price, with no hidden costs or extra outlays.
The Thanksgiving package differs only in that it has an epicurean emphasis on dining and creating an atmosphere for families, couples or groups to come together to appreciate the things in life they have to be thankful for.
“Personally, Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays because it gets everyone together to take the time out to appreciate each other and the things we have to be thankful for. Chaa Creek is a family owned and run business, started by my father and mother as small farm back in the 1970s, and we always celebrated Thanksgiving together.
“One year we ordered extra turkey, included it on the menu and it just sort of took off from there. Now it’s an annual event we all look forward to,” she said.
Ms Fleming Bradley said that Chaa Creek’s Belize Thanksgiving Vacation Package is a minimum three day mix of fine food, activities and relaxation available throughout November. In addition to exquisite meals, the package includes the eco resort’s signature cottage accommodation, guided bird walks, visits to the Butterfly Farm, Natural History Museum and Rainforest Medicine Trail, canoeing on the Macal River, relaxing at the swimming pool and hiking the vast network of pristine jungle trails while exploring ancient Maya temple sites. A professional Hilltop Spa is also available for healthy pampering.
She added that while traditional Thanksgiving fare such as roast turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, pies and the usual accompaniments are served, guests will also sample award winning Chef Mario Alejandro Mendez’s Maya influenced cuisine. “Turkey with mole sauce is a Maya delicacy stretching back thousands of years here in Belize,” she said.
“Turning traditional holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and personal life events like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and honeymoons into unique, healthy family adventures is a trend that is definitely catching on,” Ms Fleming Bradley said, “As time becomes more precious, people want to get the most out of their holidays, and we’re proud to be able to offer affordable experiences that people will talk about for the rest of their lives.
“We want to give our guests even more reasons to be truly grateful at Thanksgiving,” Ms Fleming Bradley said.