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With wellness travel being one of that fastest growing sectors in tourism and experiential travel being a key driver for the millennial market, STEM@ Hotels has found new programs and product offerings for their hotels that integrate with the local resources to provide unique experiences for guests.  Belize Ocean Club, offers guests activities that promote fitness and well-being that go beyond traditional spa treatments and excursions.  The hotel is encouraging guests to engage with their surroundings and learn more about local traditions and activities as they also offer wellness offerings—a key consideration that all Caribbean hoteliers need to keep in mind as consumer expectations evolve.

The resort’s state-of-the-art spa has been taken outdoors and offers daily yoga on the beach.  Spa services feature local ingredients like coconut massages and pink clay facials.  The resort’s restaurant, FYAH, serves cuisine rooted in Belizean tradition using sustainably cultivated local ingredients, including native herbs and vegetables.  Showcasing Belize’s natural resources, diving excursions are organized by the hotel. The property will also soon offer on-site diving certifications giving all travelers the opportunity to explore the reefs only available off the Belizean shores.  Education as an experience is an initiative this hotel, and others, should be embracing as a way to offer guests additional experiences they can take home with them.

One of the most unique ways the hotel is bringing in local culture to guests is through the Cacao farm hike, teaching and tasting.  By partnering with a local Cacao farmer, the hotel now offers an indulgent escape led by a traditional chocolate master who guides a hike through the cacao farm where hikers have the opportunity to taste the cacao bean and see a variety of wild birds, flora and fauna. During the second half of the excursion, guests are taught how to taste chocolate and are even allowed to eat chocolate they made themselves!

“We have learned and played to our strengths, and these include engaging with the local culture, to offer our guests experiences that engage, entertain and educate so that by the end of their stay, guests not only enjoyed the hotel facilities but we’ve given them experiences that have positively affected their lives,” says Belize Ocean Club General Manager, Alistair Maclean.

With a variety of offerings that go beyond the initial guest reservation, Belize Ocean Club has a pre-arrival form on the homepage of their website where all guests with reservations can inform the hotel, within 24-hours of arrival, of particular preferences, “bucket list” items and special celebrations.  The experience begins pre-arrival—encouraging guests to begin dreaming of the experiences they will have before even stepping foot in Belize.

As consumer expectations become more focused on personalized experiences, hotels, in the same way Belize Ocean Club is doing, need to think out of the box (and out the hotel room) and create moments that guests will remember and share throughout and after their stay.

Provided by Belize Ocean Club

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