Pour the honey, boiling water, and whiskey into a mug. Spice it with the cloves and cinnamon, and put in the slice of lemon. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes so the flavors can mingle, then sprinkle with a pinch of nutmeg before serving.
The Owner’s recount of their first time at ATM Cave (actun tunichil muknal)!
What was your first impression when you saw the cave opening?
It was a little intimidating because there’s a big pool that goes into the entrance and our guide, Wilbert, looks to us and says we are suppose to swim into the mouth. You just hold your breath and jump in.
What was your favorite part of ATM?
Climbing (and swimming) into different cathedrals of the cave, they are massive!
What did you see while exploring?
It’s amazing because you walk along history following what the Maya did to reach out to their gods. Lots of ceramic pots, cave drawings and even human remains!
Nestled on the white-sanded beaches of Belize, on the shore of the Caribbean Sea, the small fishing village of Placencia attracts visitors far and wide, from Italy to New York City. Our Weekend with the Owners takes us to the Belizean town for a getaway packed with delicious food, drinks and great escapes! Colin and Ronan Hannan spoke to us about their experience in Placencia and shared their itinerary of must-see and must-do happenings while on the coast. Read on for their full weekend itinerary.
With the villas, we challenged ourselves to create a truly world-class product that could sit alongside these great destinations and really put Ka’ana on par with the best of the best, and our own favorite resorts around the world. – Colin and Ronan Hannan, Hospitality Design.
1 Scoop Ice
7 Lemon-Basil Leaves
1 Oz. Fresh Lime Juice
3 Oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice
1 1/2 Oz. Infused Jalapeno Tequila
Add a generous sprinkle of Granulated Sugar to Lemon-Basil Leaves and muddle well. Pour ice, juices and muddled leaves into Cocktail Shaker; shake well. Slice Jalapeno Pepper Wedge, garnish glass and serve.
So there are an unenvious and inescapable number of challenges to being a solo independent hotel owner/operator in any market. Being that operator in a very young, emerging market? Ouch!
Yes there are upsides. The resort begins as a blank canvas, and there’s no-one there to restrict the artistic expression! We could have built 150 suites if we’d wanted, but we only wanted 15. And I definitely think the fact that we’re doing something that hasn’t been done before is a key part of the experience. Our guests have been on vacation to high-volume, mass-market destinations, they seek something different. All of which is fine and dandy…..until you ask yourself how you’re to get in contact with said guest! And then once you’re in contact, how you’re to reassure said guest that your resort is not only different and utterly worthy, but that every aspect of the experience (service, tours, culinary, wellness…..) will be up to the standard of their other options; hotels and resorts which range from urban centres to countryside getaways. The competition is fierce, and maybe that’s what makes it fun! And what drives us to be different. We’ll come back some other time to our upcoming package, which I think is going to be one of the most original anyone has ever seen. But what I wanted to write about was how happy I am to be able to announce that Ka’ana Boutique Resort, our darling baby, is now officially a member of Signature Travel Network! (And if there are too many “!”s in this piece, it’s only because I’m happy…)
It all happened by chance. Signature is the cream of the crop, a global powerhouse of elite travel agents with one of the most exclusive client databases out there. They work with only the best in the field, we’re talking One and Only, Four Seasons, Six Senses, Banyan Tree (insert ridiculously high-end awesome resort here). And we so nearly didn’t make it to New York for that roadshow with our other favorite global association, Small Luxury Hotels of the World. We so nearly bailed due to our workload. And if we hadn’t been there that faithful Monday evening (granted, it was a drinks soiree at the Plaza, there have been worse jobs!), we wouldn’t have bumped into the wonderful Ignacio Maza, EVP of Signature. As it turns out, we got chatting and he totally “got” us. Why we love Western Belize; the opportunity it affords high-end clientele; why we chose to create an exclusive, luxury resort; the passion, the vision, he got it. Whoop! And two weeks later we’re invited, the chosen ones!
It’s nice when things go our way, and we really want to thank everyone who’s helped us get this far. And also the people that will help us get from here to the next level. It’s only the beginning.
So it’s been one of those days where no amount of espresso will keep my mind focused! The hours keep ticking by and my to-do list keeps growing. Which leads me to a task I always consider one of the easier on my schedule, expanding and updating the playlists for the restaurant and bar. Seems like a fun job, something fairly straightforward and achievable irrespective of how my mushed my head is, right? Maybe not…
When we created La Ceiba Restaurant, the ethos was very much to represent the best of local and regional styles with an international flair. Chef Kuylen reaches the gastro heights with his understanding of local favorites, doubled with his San Fran experience. Polo brings the noise with his cocktails, and I’m reasonably happy with our wine offering (which I can’t blame on anyone else!). We’ll come back another time to discuss design, service etc, but the part of the experience that’s often under-appreciated and overlooked is that of the music. I chose to go with regional music of all kinds, as well as a few from further afield that we all personally enjoy. I wanted the music to be chilled-out and loungy, have a latin edge, and wanted stayed away from lyrics (especially English) so as not to take away from the aesthetic of the culinary experience. In general I opted for more light-hearted, upbeat music to make the experience more enjoyable and carefree. Think vacations, chilling, summertime, food, cockails, friends and fun!
Achieving this however is a whole ‘nother thing entirely! Where to start? It’s been a long road, a lot of trying and testing and listening and changing. And it’s ever-evolving. I cannot wait for our upcoming partnership with the ever-so-cool Stonetree Records, but in the meantime will have to settle for foraging through the internet wilderness, searching for the sweet taste of latin lounge music. Wish me luck!
Ka'ana was created for those who appreciate the elegant luxuries of a world class resort, yet yearn to experience new frontiers. Perfectly located in the midst of everything a Central American vacation could possibly offer, Ka'ana is a haven of understated luxury with a considered design style, distinguished culinary experiences and an extensive wine cellar, adjacent to pristine jungle. Experience a true luxury vacation, just steps from the many ancient Mayan ruins of Belize's jungle.