Along with the stunning Casita’s, the sparkling infinity pool, the lush landscaping, romantic spa setting, there is the restaurant, the lounge, and the 2000 bottle wine cellar of Ka’ana that truly make this boutique luxury hotel my top pick.
Frieze Lounge offers a spacious room, laid with slate floors, a high gloss mahogany bar, stocked with the finest of liquors, cigars, and of course wine. This is a great spot to get out of the heat while you chill out on the oversized chairs, and sofas, the fans in the room cool you down immediately, and with the signature blended drinks, and cocktails offered, you can easily, along with the great lunch menu spend hours enjoying the food and libations offered. They also offer a large sunny patio off the front, and a quaint garden patio off the rear of the bar.
We stayed at Ka’ana for a total of 4 nights, so had the opportunity to sample both the lunch and dinner menu quite extensively. On our first day we sat in the lounge, enjoyed a nice glass of red wine along with some seafood ceviche and the traditional corn salbutes. They were both outstanding. The ceviche ($9 USD) was a generous portion, and was packed with flavour, crispness, and well presented. The salbutes ($8 USD) were topped with shredded chicken, pickled onion, tomato concasse, lime chifonade and crumbled queso blanco. An excellent option to hold you over until dinner. On another occasion we sat down outside on the patio, with 2 icy cold Belikins and enjoyed a caesar salad, and nachos. Of course neither were the typical caesar or nachos, at Ka’ana even those simple menu items were extraordinary. The classic caesar ( $10 usd) came with a creamy anchovy dressing, tender grilled chicken, and freshly baked croutons. The Nachos ($ 9 usd) were topped with freshly pickled jalapenos, onions, tomatoes and cilantro, and their own béchamel cheese sauce and freshly ground free range beef tenderloin made these the best nachos I had ever had. After a few more beers we headed back to the pool, to relax once more amongst the stunning scenery and peacefulness of Ka’ana.
La Ceiba, was without a doubt one of the best dining experiences I have ever had. Executive Chef Sean Kuylen originally from Dangriga in Belize, and trained in San Francisco has created a very stunning menu, offering all local ingredients fresh from Ka’ana’s own garden, free range meats from the neighbouring Spanish Lookout area offers simply the freshest in ingredients, and he has truly created a menu that reflects on local cuisine as well as infusing an international flare.
On our first visit to La Ceiba we started out with freshly made gnocchi ( $8 USD) and the Spanish Lookout cured free range beef carpaccio ($12 USD) which was simply perfection. As one who is from land of beef in Alberta Canada, I was simply amazed at the quality of beef that was being used, along with the great presentation, we were already drooling over what would be our main course. I went with the lamb shank for ($20 USD), and my partner decided to try the 10 ounce pork chop ( $20 USD) both were cooked perfectly and accompanied with fresh vegetables, excellent.
The next night we were spoiled. Executive Chef Sean Kuylen asked us what we wanted to have that night. I usually like to leave it up the chefs imagination, and after establishing what meat we preferred, he was off to the kitchen. We were presented to start a soup. Now personally I am not a big soup fan, for some reason when I dine out it is rarely something I order. In this case, I was blown away. Chef had whipped up a creation of gnocchi, italian sausage, bacon, in a coconut base and topped it off with a delicate pile of the beef carpaccio. It was amazing. Our entrees were the same, we wanted beef. When our main dish arrived to our candle lit table we were presented with an 6 0z, perhaps slightly larger, beef tenderloin on top of freshly made risotto, with arugula. The beef was tender, cooked medium rare, and simply a delicious meal. After the big meal we decided to go light on dessert. We went for the house made gelato, which satisfied out our palettes perfectly. The service we received while dining was impeccable. The wine was always at the right temp, the pours were perfect, and everything we ordered came out exemplary.
The great thing about dining there was that the Chef was creative, and more than willing, and actually really excited to prepare anything you wanted. There was a guest there at the same time who was a vegan, and he created a lasagne out of tortillas, and fire roasted tomatoes, and other delicacies, she was so impressed, they stayed an additional night. We had other meals as well during our stay, these for sure were the highlights. Not to say that the lunch we had on our last day was anything less than awesome. I had shredded cured duck leg simmered in plum sauce with their home made tortilla with arugula and cucumber, and my partner had the burger, which was topped with delicately breaded onion rings, jalapenos and cheddar, it was big, and would have my vote for the best burger in Belize.
Ka’ana has the whole boutique luxury hotel perfected. Again after only 3 years, they most certainly deserve to be among the elite in the exclusive Small Luxury Hotels Of The World association. This is a for sure must see when you are in Belize. Even if you are not staying at the resort, both Frieze Lounge, and La Ceiba Restaurant are most certainly worth a visit to. The Cayo district is full of activities, lush landscaping, and majestic ruins. So, either after your trip to the Cayes, or before, this should be on your list of places to see here in beautiful Belize.