There’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the tourism landscape around the world. As the dust settles and the tourism industry adjusts to the new norm, one of the trends emerging from the pandemic is the red-hot demand for social-distanced travel and vacationing.
As we approach the cold winter months in North America, travelers aren’t putting the sun at the top of their priorities. It’s wide-open spaces that they’re seeking. This is why the need for social distancing and open space has led to an upsurge in demand for private islands and private island resorts.
The demand for private island vacations is particularly hot in the Caribbean, where built-in isolation, white sands, crystal blue waters, diverse flora and fauna, and various recreational sun and sea activities appeal to a wide swath of tourists, including adventurers, families, and eco-tourists.
Capitalizing on this red-hot private island trend, Six Senses – one of the best hotel brands in the world, according to Travel + Leisure’s 2021 World’s Best Awards – just announced the unveiling of a new property, Secret Beach, in Belize set to open in 2025. The description of the property and its amenities sound amazing.
Here are some of the highlights of Secret Beach:
- It sits on 18-acres.
- It will offer more than 700 feet of private beachfront.
- It is just up the coast from San Pedro on Ambergris Caye.
- There are plans for organic gardens. These will be complemented by a labyrinth, mushroom hut, cooking school, food market, and teens’ club, besides an outdoor pool, ice cream parlor, overwater restaurant, and Cinema Paradiso.
- Will offer watersports with a dive center, Marine Discovery, and a range of activities.
- It will have 33 residences, ranging from two to seven bedrooms, which are available for purchase.
- Includes a 10-acre private island located about two miles across the water from Secret Beach with 45 resort villas and a handful of residences for purchase.
- Between Secret Beach and the private island rests a large sandbar, which will be the setting for private picnics, gatherings, and weddings.
- For the eco-tourist, the island’s inner wetlands and mangrove forests will be sustainably protected as a natural preservation area for the existing flora and fauna. They will be made accessible to connect to the island’s biotope.
- The island’s south will be home to an overwater sunset bar, All-Day Dining Village, BBQ Hut, communal outdoor pool, and children’s club.
- Along its Eastern and Western shores, there will be 44 one- and two-bedroom resort villas and a three-bedroom retreat villa. Most of these properties will be overwater bungalows and can be accessed by jetties.
- For those looking to be pampered, built around the natural lagoons to the north of the preservation area, the Six Senses Spa and Wellness Village will have an Alchemy Bar, Holistic Anti-Aging Center, fitness center, indoor and outdoor treatment areas, Temazcal lodge, and outdoor yoga pavilion.
- Spa treatments and wellness programs will focus on natural healing, “energy medicine,” and traditional Mayan practices. Set within the organic gardens to the north is the plant-forward Leaf restaurant and a raised viewing lounge.
Construction will proceed with the environment in mind and cause minimum impact to the geography and ecology of the surroundings and plants and wildlife.
After the lull in tourism due to the pandemic, Belize is set to come back in a big way. Its location, natural topography, a wide variety of flora and fauna, and friendly and diverse English-speaking locals put Belize in an ideal position to capitalize on the demand for social-distanced tourism and private island vacation.
The new Six Senses Resort only validates industry and investor confidence in all that Belize has to offer and the health of its tourism industry.