With the announcement of a new collection of Villas that blend contemporary design, and impeccable service within a pristine jungle environment, the Lodge at Chaa Creek is setting new standards for luxury accommodations in Belize, according to the Belizean eco-resort’s owners.
Mick and Lucy Fleming, who opened Chaa Creek in 1981, said the new Ix Chel Villas were designed to satisfy the most discerning traveller while demonstrating that sustainable tourism and responsible travel can offer the highest levels of quality and service in an environmentally friendly manner.
And, to cap it off, they said, the Ix Chel Villas, from conception to design, construction, and furnishings that include original artwork adorning the spacious walls, are one hundred per cent Belizean.
“Chaa Creek has always been a celebration of everything that makes visiting Belize such an extraordinary experience; from the stunning natural beauty, warm friendly people, and a seemingly endless number of things to do within one of the most diverse landscapes on earth. We wanted to tie all of that together within an environmentally friendly approach that utilises the latest developments in green technology to deliver the highest degree of comfort and personal service,” Ms Fleming said.
“We’re very happy that we achieved that with the new Ix Chel Villas.”
Ms Fleming said the Ix Chel Villas were designed to blend the built and natural environments so seamlessly that “indoor and outdoors would merge into one singular experience that’s as luxurious as it is natural”.
“It is the ultimate expression of ‘Wildly Civilized’,” she added.
To realise their goal, the Flemings first selected a location within their 400-acre private nature reserve that was close enough to the main lodge to be convenient, yet secluded enough to offer private enjoyment of luxurious lodgings that feature personal butler service.
They then assembled a team of Belizean designers, green technical consultants, landscapers, builders and artists and worked together to design and build a collection of suites that balanced contemporary design and materials like high tensile glass walls with sustainably sourced local hardwoods and stonework to harmonise with the tropical rainforest environment.
“Someone remarked that it has an almost Zen quality of balancing the Yin of the natural with the Yang of the built environment,” Ms Fleming said.
Situated on a verdant bank overlooking the Macal River Valley, the Ix Chel Villas’ suites feature floor-to-ceiling glass walls and doors affording private, sweeping 180° views of the surrounding rainforest, and open onto expansive verandas with a private pool, Jacuzzi, al fresco shower and an exclusive collection of dining and lounging furniture.
The natural balance extends into the rooms, with exotic Belizean timbers carefully selected for the ceilings, floors and furnishings to accentuate the neutral tones of the walls and harmonise with the views, she said.
Mr Fleming said working with local artisans using sustainably sourced mahogany, Spanish cedar, rosewood, ziricote and other Belizean hardwoods to construct the furniture and interior features was essential to the overall concept.
The Ix Chel Villas rest on two separate plazas containing two suites each; a master bedroom suite that includes a sitting room lounge with convertible furniture to accommodate two additional sleepers, and a junior bedroom suite with a king-sized bed.
Ms Fleming said the Villas’ design allows the suites to be offered as combined or stand-alone bookings, ideal for accommodating a range of guests from individuals and couples and on up to larger groups and families. The location allows for quiet enjoyment with room service and the attention a personal butler who organises laundry, catering, tours, in-room massages and treatments from the Hilltop Spa and other services, while Chaa Creek’s many amenities and activities are all a short stroll away.
“With such lovely surrounds, the private pools, Jacuzzis and the unobtrusive attention of a personal butler, guests will be temped to stay in their newfound paradise, but a highly rated restaurant and lounge featuring farm-to-table cuisine sourced from our onsite, traditional Maya organic farm, the full service Hilltop Spa, a Belize Natural History Museum and butterfly breeding area and other attractions are close by,” she said.
A range of activities including horseback and mountain bike riding as well as birding and nature walks along miles of well maintained trails, canoeing and tubing down the Macal river, and an extensive range of excursions and tours of Belize’s famous ancient Maya temples, cities and sacred ceremonial caves are also available, she added.
“With our extensive nationwide network of friends and colleagues, especially along Belize’s Caribbean coast and out on the cayes, and with the Maya Flats airstrip literally at our front door, the Ix Chel Villas make a luxurious home base for exploring the entire country. We like to think that after having so many things to see and do, our guests will still be looking forward to returning home to their own private Garden of Eden,” she said.
Although the new villas are air-conditioned and offer other modern conveniences, Ms Fleming said passive power and other green technologies ensure that Chaa Creek keeps its commitment to sustainable tourism and responsible travel, and, as with all Chaa Creek lodgings, ten per cent of all room revenues goes directly into environmental and social programs.
“We’ve taken everything we’ve learned in thirty-five years of green development and combined it with new technologies to create what we hope will become a model for five-star luxury that supports rather than detracts from the environment,” Ms Fleming said. “We’ve always worked to demonstrate that green operations do not need to come at a cost to comfort, luxury and exquisite service, and the Ix Chel Villas are our definitive statement that this can be achieved,” Ms Fleming said.
The Ix Chel Villas, due to be open for occupancy 15 December 2016, may be booked in various combinations of suites, making them suitable for families, groups, couples and individuals, Ms Fleming said, and advised contacting travel agents or Chaa Creek directly for further information and bookings.
The Lodge at Chaa Creek is a multi award winning eco resort set within a 400-acre private nature reserve along the banks of the Macal River in Belize.