Going to Belize? Choose Casa Belize on Your Next Visit
My first experience of staying at an AirBnB and Vacasa (similar services) was in Florida in December of 2019.
By JEANNIE SHAW
I Know One AirBnB I’d Highly Recommend
Belize has been super proactive in facing the challenges that Covid-19 has brought to the world at large. Shutting down Tourism was probably one of the hardest decisions to make in the light of these current events. Tourism accounts for 40% of our GDP and direct 40% employment and a big chunk of foreign exchange. The pangs of the stringent lockdown has been resounding… If it literally had a sound, I imagine the semblance of that deafening reverberation similar to glass rubbing against steel. Painful.
The plan is to reopen the Phillip Goldson International Airport on August 15th, 2020. Albeit in stages, at least it can begin. Belize has taken Covid-19 more responsibly than most and with good reason. Expectedly, the measures taken up on August’s arrival are nothing short of serious. We’re talking apps, thermometers, trackers…
Hopefully, we get through phase one and on to phase two by November 2020 where AirBnB’s can start to operate for the outside world. I know one AirBnB that I would highly recommend so when the travel roads are paved for visitation, please be sure to consider Casa Belize on your trip to Belize! For now, AirBnBs are open to locals so if you’re coming to the city… this can still work for you.
Here’s my little story about how I found Casa Belize and why you’ll want to consider it for your trip to Belize.
Contagious Good Feeling Energy
My first experience of staying at an AirBnB and Vacasa (similar services) was in Florida in December of 2019. I got to stay at two places – one in Oakland Park, Florida and another in Davenport, Florida.
The difference between the two places was vast. The first home in Oakland Park was very homey. It sat on a lovely lake that was fit for fishing, relaxing and taking slow, meaningful breaths. The spacious bungalow had a ample separation between rooms, bathrooms, kitchen and living area. So, with 6 people in the home, there was enough space to feel some distance and enough closeness to feel like family. There was a sizeable pool that overlooked the lake and a garage which housed a washer and dryer and some odds and ends for the owners, I suppose. The host, Kevin, was super warm and friendly and there were some conveniences left behind by previous guests that worked well in our favor.
As we were in and out of the home, I quickly got the feeling of it being our home – forgetting it was not. The neighborhood was quiet with nicely manicured lawns and some speed bumps to keep the speed racers in check. Kevin greeted us upon arrival with a big warm smile, contagious good feeling energy and even left chocolates for us along with a guide of his favorite restaurants nearby.
“The host, Kevin, was super warm and friendly and there were some conveniences left behind by previous guests that worked well in our favor.”
A Feel of My Own Home in Belize
As much as we appreciated Kevin’s hospitable nature, we didn’t know just how much it would be appreciated til we got to Davenport where we’d booked a home though Vacasa.
The house was larger, two floors, two master bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. It felt cold. The home… the greeting (oh wait, there was none.)
I can be a bit of an introvert so normally this would be ideal for someone like me. But it wasn’t. Not after having met Kevin.
We stayed in Davenport for two nights and I was more than happy to leave when our time there was up.
All this house hopping, however, made me want to get a feel of my own home in Belize. I grew up in a hotel and it truly felt like a home. In the latter years of living there, I managed to secure a tiny apartment in the back of the property. I basically grew up in a business mom ran and I continued to work and live there after she transitioned.
It was never private and years later, I realized I was working every time I walked through the doors to get to the space I called “home”. Even if I declared a day to be a “day off”, essentially, it wasn’t. As soon as I walked through the doors, there was something to see, figure out, notice, fix… the list went on and on. I had a place to live. Thankful, of course… but it wasn’t “home”.
“I basically grew up in a business mom ran and I continued to work and live there after she transitioned.“
It Was a Joy. I Almost Didn’t Leave
So, after experiencing the home in Oakland Park, Florida, my old stomping ground, I thought it would be nice to have the experience of having a home in Belize, even if just for a little bit. Even if it was pretending, it would be nice.
So I reached out to a friend, Carolyn Williams, who owns an AirBnB property in Belize City. The name of her property is Casa Belize. Soon enough, we sorted out the dates for accommodation. I was ready to feel what it would feel like to have our own home in Belize (for the very first time in all my life).
And lemme tell ya! It was such a joy. I almost didn’t leave.
Back on our Belizean soil, we headed on to our “pretend home” in Belize City – Casa Belize.
I was greeted by a lovely woman named Miss Dorva. Meeting her reminded me of my experience with Kevin – Hospitality101. Miss Dorva has the sweetest energy and I could tell she enjoys taking care of people who stay at Casa Belize.
My son stands at almost 6’ 3” tall so he really appreciates wide open spaces and tall ceilings and boy was there space everywhere. By the way, he makes music and it’s soooooo good. Click here to listen and subscribe.
“Meeting her reminded me of my experience with Kevin – Hospitality101. “
Ai Noh Yoostu Gud Ting
Casa Belize consists of two properties – each one has a full-size home on the 2nd floor and smaller units on the bottom. We mostly stayed in the larger units above with a couple switches here and there. The units on the top floor were perfect. They gave me the feeling I wanted – like I had a home in Belize.
I imagined that if I were a tourist visiting Belize, that it would give me a true feeling for living there. The area is generally quiet and safe.
The amenities are more upscaled than the average household. In fact, I had to google how to use one of the ovens. Or maybe “ai noh yoostu tu gud ting” (I’m not accustomed to the finer tings in life). Let’s keep that on the low. By the way, follow Belize Kriol on Instagram for more Kriol words to add to your vocabulary.
When we entered the first home (151), we were super pleased. The living room is large with a long couch, a couple accent chairs and a lazy boy styled recliner. There is a large dining table, perfect for a family dinner or entertaining. The kitchen has updated appliances including a dishwasher! Growing up in Belize, these were very rare findings… There is one master bedroom with its own bathroom and three other rooms. The main bathroom is large – nice big tiles, wide open shower and a door that just about stretched from the roof to the ground.
“The kitchen has updated appliances including a dishwasher!“
My Absolute Favorite Unit
You basically have everything you need – with your having only to purchase things like washing detergent and the like. There’s free Wi-Fi, a couple smart TVs (depends on which unit you get), air-conditioning and fans of ample choosing.
There was enough space to park each night, the other tenants were hardly noticeable and I was completely at peace.
My absolute favorite unit was the large unit at 150. This unit has two patios – perfect for morning coffees and evening pastries. One day I was back and forth making the most of both scenarios. The front patio faces the neighborhood’s lively sounds, daily living, blue skies and wide-open air. The back patio is a bit smaller but sat above the canal below. I witnessed iguanas and birds in their natural habitat while I let the sun skim my skin with her delicious embrace. This had to be pretty early though. In Belize, it can get pretty warm so that skimming of the skin can turn to a burn really quickly especially for a girl like me. My daddy’s genes did not come to play.
“I witnessed iguanas and birds in their natural habitat while I let the sun skim my skin with her delicious embrace.“
The Best Tablata
As a note, Ms Dorva makes THE BEST tablata in the entire world.
Tablata is a delightfully rich dessert from Belize made from coconut, sugar and ginger. Ms Dorva made two small zip lock bags filled with this satisfying taste for my palette and I pretty much ate the entire two bags all by myself. I devoured both bags within 10 days of receiving them. And I have the extra pounds now to prove it. They were super delicious.
Enough of my meandering… Casa Belize was above and beyond what I expected. I felt safe, immensely comfortable, well rested each night and inspired to own a home in Belize. The experience really gave me a great sense of relaxation and release that was well needed. The generally quiet neighbors, the early morning rain as I sipped my coffee on the patios, all the space in the home and every convenience at my fingertips… it was bliss. I was Sweetly Nourished.
There’s a corner store, Galaxy Store, just a 5-minute walk away with very friendly personnel, decent prices and the basic necessities you might need on a daily basis. Sometimes there are local treats on their counter like banana bread (my son’s favorite).
“Casa Belize was above and beyond what I expected. I felt safe, immensely comfortable, well rested each night and inspired to own a home in Belize.”
Consider Casa Belize
Since we left, there have been some curb side and back yard upgrades with stones and planters that I’m sure have enhanced Casa Belize even more. All the more reason to make another trip home soon so we can enjoy Belize in a space that feels all your own.
Casa Belize has two main homes and I’ll feature both of them on Nourish Me Sweetly YouTube for you to get a good idea of what the space is like. The video is also linked below so take a peek and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more Nourish Me Sweetly people, places, things and events!
When considering a place to stay, good service, great location and great Belizean hospitality, you’ll definitely want to consider Casa Belize. It was a great place to rest my head after sunset chasing and daily adventures with my niece, my friends and family.
When I think of Nourish Me Sweetly and what it means to me… choosing the right place to stay is definitely a part of the many things that we could practice choosing mindfully. Thankful.
Check their website here!