When you say, “Belize” to people, they usually think of two things; The Great Blue Hole and sipping rum on a beach. Now, the islands do have beaches of a sort but the sad is gritty and it can be too windy to really relax. For sand you can sink your toes into, and a chilled out vibe, head south to the spit of land, capped by Placencia. On our trip, we chose to enjoy a couple of days of relaxed luxury and chose Naia Resort and Spa. Join us for our full Naia Resort and Spa review.
Naia Resort and Spa Location
Naia Resort and Spa is 10.3 kilometres/6.2 miles north of the town of Placencia on a narrow spit of land that runs parallel to the mainland. Guests can hop in the free shuttle bus to go down to Placencia for the day, which is really handy. It was fun to explore Placencia and enjoy a quick change of scene. We took the shuttle to the bus station on our last day, which saved us an expensive taxi ride.
Reception – Checking In
When we got to the desk, we were greeted by smiling staff and somebody proffering a tray. There was the option of a welcome drink with or without rum…well…come on now! As we sipped and the staff checked the computer for our booking, we gazed around the lovely open space. Sea breeze tickled our hair and we strained to see through to the beach.
A Look Around Naia Resort and Spa
Our Room – Number 28
Our room was right on the beach, with a direct view through the swaying palm trees. Similar rooms can also have small plunge pools but I believe they are further back and so I was thrilled to be beachfront.
The front of our villa was a covered porch with a picnic table which we took advantage of on our last day. From here, we could see the shoreline and enjoy the sounds of the waves as they lapped the sand. By the end of day one, our dripping swimwear adorned the thick railings which made it a little picturesque but hopefully nobody noticed.
Through the patio doors, our breath was taken away by a high timber-lined ceiling, stretching above a huge king bed. There was so much space for us to spread out it, a stark contrast to the pokey hostel we had arrived from. Natural light flowed in from the huge windows facing the beach and several more dotted around the room.
Around the room, we found some cool bits of art. I particularly liked the masks and the old British Honduras Stamp print in the toilet. (Belize was a British colony until 1973 and it was very cool to see this little bit of linked history…even if it brought on a moment of colonial guilt). The room has several million lights. Lamps were on every wall or surface and we found ourselves in fits of laughter as we tried to switch them all off to go to bed.
Tucked behind the bed, out of sight, was the kitchenette. This had everything for a relaxed morning (coffee, tea and milk) and an evening in (wine glasses and a fridge). I loved having a coffee machine that I could turn on in the morning, allowing me to enjoy freshly brewed coffee without having to get dressed and head to the restaurant first. We also made good use of the fridge etc when we made our little room dinner to enjoy out on the porch.
Opposite the kitchenette was a HUGE bathroom area. As well as huge his and hers vanity areas, there was a giant bath to one side and separate toilet to the other. The bathroom tiles were a mix of natural browns and creams, integrating them with the wooden accents inside and the trees outside. It made for a rather lovely space to get ready for the day. It was a delight not to be on top of each other, with each of us spreading across a different surface. There was products everywhere…
….and speaking of products. There was an abundance of amenities. Four large bottles of delicious smelling toiletries were on one side of the bathroom and plenty of mini soaps and far more wash cloths than we could get through in two days. Exploring in the drawers, I discovered mouthwash, make up wipes and other thoughtful little touches that you don’t often see in hotels.
Finally, I have to give a big commendation for the pièce de résistance, an outdoor shower with rainfall shower head. Oh what bliss to feel the breeze and hear the birds as you scrub clean. However, the termperature was a little tricky to set nicely so I defaulted to the huge bath inside instead.
During our stay, we ate all over our meals in the same spot. During breakfast, the morning sun streamed in, making glasses of orange juice glow and watermelon slices sparkle. Sadly, when we had lunch here, the screens had to be pulled down as it was very windy and rather rainy. However, when the sun was out, it was lovely to look over the pool and the beach.
Breakfast at Naia Resort and Spa was an a la carte affair. A continental breakfast of tea/coffee/kuice, a fruit plate and toast/cakes was included in the room. To add a main dish from the rest of the menu was a small additional cost. I am never that hungry in the mornings and so couldn’t even make it through my basket of carbs (yes, i saved the cakes for later). Mr Fluskey, on the other hand, loves a big breakfast so he tried a couple of the fancy dishes. The build your coconut French toast went down extremely well. The sugary syrup and sweet coconut left him a very happy and buzzy chap.
I decided to add the famous Belizean Johnny Cakes on to my continental breakfast on our second morning. I was curious to see what they were all about and I am glad I did. They were both sweet and savoury, just perfect with butter.
Dinner is usually served upstairs in the 1981 restaurant but due to covid, it was served downstairs in the same space as lunch and dinner. On the Saturday evening, we were treated to a singer as we ate who moved effortlessly from big band standards to modern ballads and even Shaggy!
After a large lunch, we weren’t super hungry for dinner but just needed a delicious top up. We chose a starter each. Mr Fluskey opted for seafood cakes. The seafood inside was super fresh and they weren’t too heavy. We loved the guava sauce to the side. John Torode can eat his Masterchef hat, seafood and fruit can really work! I tried the grilled octopus, which came with chimichurri, peanuts and a sweet pumpkin puree. It wasn’t the most attractive plate to look at…unless you are a seafood obsessive like me. However, it was seriously tasty. The octopus was grilled beautifully, nice and tender, and the mix of flavours and textures that accompanied it made every bite interesting and delicious. I think I won.
As we listened to the rain patter on our roof at the end of day one, we were worried that the whole beach break would be a wash out, but the next day, the clouds cleared and the sun claimed the sky back with a vengeance. After breakfast, we head straight for the pool (slathered in plenty of factor 50). We needn’t have worried though, as there were plenty of parasols for everyone that joined us. The pool was quite simple but beautifully refreshing, and there was a shallower section to the side that i could sit in as Mr Fluskey pretended to exercise, completing a few slow laps.
At around 12:00 a nice gentleman from the bar came around to take drink orders which was a nice touch. It is far preferable to trying to order at the bar with a soggy bottom. We were preparing to get ready for a short trip into so we grabbed a quick diet coke from him but didn’t go for anything stronger.
Placencia’s most attractive asset has got to be its sandy beaches, and Naia Resort has a real beauty. The resort sits right on the beach, looking east across the sea. We had seen pictures of some seriously gorgeous pink and orange sun rises but the grey clouds rather turned down the saturation for us. However, I still thoroughly enjoyed watching seabirds skimming across the steel grey waves,
Once the sun was out in full force, we enjoyed a stroll down the sand and through the waves. There weren’t that many sun beds out which made it all feel very exclusive. We wandered along to the pier and discovered two at the very end! A couple could relax here, jumping into the sea and climbing back up the stairs to dry out in the warm, sea breeze. I wonder if you could wave an, “I need a drink” flag and attract the bar’s attention?!
The Naia Spa
We were going to book a spa treatment but somehow, ran out of time. Just before we left, i decided to run over and have a look. I instantly regretted that we didn’t sort something out because it was an amazing tropical paradise!
The spa sits on a series of islands, linked by bridges, in the centre of a lake/lagoon. The large cabins are surrounded by glorious verandas complete with comfortable places to relax and even a pretty pool, surrounded by tropical foliage.
The treatment rooms look out over the lake, meaning guests can have a relaxing massage and then chill out bathed in nature. I did try and sneak into a hut to see what it would be like but they were all locked. I am not quite the sleuth I wish I was.
For the latest offers, and special events that are coming up, check out the Naia Resort and Spa website.
Final Thoughts for our Naia Resort and Spa Review
Staying at Naia Resort and Spa, we let our flashpacker flag fly. Day one, we splashed out on dinner and lunch at the hotel. On day two we popped to a supermarket and had a room picnic with a little bottle of local rum. We loved lounging by the pool and bobbing in the sea but the spa was a little out of our price range.
Naia Resort is definitely a beautiful place to relax for a couple days, the perfect spot to rest and recuperate after a crazy few days of caving, diving or travelling by local bus. We loved it, especially the stunning studio room with its very cool bathroom set up.