Alaia Belize: Beachfront Luxury by the Barrier Reef

Heidi Gollub Avatar

Views of the beach from Alaia Belize
The beach at Alaia Belize. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

The writer was hosted.

Alaia Belize, Autograph Collection opened in 2021 as the first Marriott International resort in the country. This boutique beachfront property on Ambergris Caye is 10 minutes by golf cart from the tiny San Pedro airport and 10 minutes by boat to the Belize Barrier Reef.

We’ve Been There: Alaia Belize, Autograph Collection

Belize is an emerging destination for luxury travel and Alaia stands out as one of the country’s top high-end resorts. It offers the best of both worlds: elegant accommodations and gastronomy by the Caribbean Sea, with easy access to explore beyond the resort. You can rent a golf cart to see the town of San Pedro or hop on a jet ski to visit the remote Secret Beach. Then be back at Alaia in time to wine and dine at sunset.

SheBuysTravel Verdict: Alaia Belize is a treat for the tastebuds, from elaborate mimosas in the morning to molecular mixology at night. The spacious suites with modern beach tones are a breath of fresh air, but it’s unlikely you’ll be in your room for long. There are too many adventures waiting, from scuba diving to fishing excursions.

Access the Caribbean Sea from Alaia Beliza.
Boat excursion in the Caribbean Sea. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

About Alaia Belize

Alaia Belize offers an elevated experience for American travelers: stunning suites with sweeping views, three pools, beachside dining, a full-service spa, and an onsite dive shop.

You can watch waves break along the world’s second-largest coral reef from the hotel’s suspended rooftop pool or head down to the beach to see it up close.

Swim in the adults only suspended pool in Alaia Belize.
View from underneath the suspended adults-only pool. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

SheBuysTravel Tip: Alaia is pronounced “uh-LIE-uh.” It’s located on the largest island in Belize, Ambergris Caye, which locals pronounce “am-BER-griss key.”

One of the staff members that leads the Alaia Adventure Concierge team in Belize
Tricia McDonald leads the Alaia Adventure Concierge team. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Alaia Belize Adventure Concierge

The secret sauce of Alaia is its staff, and this includes the adventure concierge team who have one goal for guests: Get to know the island. Tricia McDonald, the guest services manager, leads a team of four native Belizeans who want to help you discover their country.

The concierge team is on hand to assist in planning your visit, from booking a pool cabana or golf cart to getting off the resort to experience the reef and beyond. Almost all excursions leave directly from Alaia, by land or sea. They do sell out, so it’s best to book your tours early.

Read More: The Alaia Belize Adventure Concierge Team Wants You To Fall in Love With Their Country

Chef Alex who makes meals a magical experience in Alaia Belize.
Chef Alex makes meals a magical experience. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Where To Eat at Alaia Belize

Executive Chef Alex Alcantara is onsite to make your palate dance at every meal. Trained in France at Institut Paul Bocuse, Alcantara is part culinary mastermind, part entertainer. Don’t miss booking an unforgettable dining experience with him at The Chef’s Table in The Cellar, a private dining space for up to 10 people. You will enjoy an interactive and educational tasting experience like none other, with sensory tricks, smoke, smells, meditation, and story sharing.

In addition to The Cellar, you have several options for drinking and dining at Alaia.

  • Vista Rooftop Bar and Lounge: Enjoy an al fresco rooftop meal by the adults-only pool. Plan to dine late, when it’s cooler and quieter, and enjoy sushi and a Thai coconut margarita or Asian dragon mule.
  • Sea Salt: Here, you’ll find a wonderful breakfast buffet in the morning and fresh seafood for cozy indoor dining at night.
  • The Deck: Enjoy dinner and the sunset at this oceanfront seafood restaurant.
  • The Terrace: Open for three meals a day, The Terrace is a don’t-miss breakfast stop thanks to its deluxe mimosa cart, complete with watermelon caviar, and unique wellness shots made by staff member Nickieon.
  • Terrace Bar: This swim-up pool bar is hopping all day.
  • Blue Hole Poolside: Eat casual fare by the quieter pool, with a tropical drink in hand.
  • Ocean Side Pizzeria: Brick oven pizza tastes better by the sea. Try this kid-friendly fare when you’re looking for easy eats.
  • Beach Bar: Hit the beach for a drink and you may get a side of live music.
  • Piano Bar: Stop by for a drink in the evening, or upscale your experience with a molecular mixology master class.

You can also try Alaia’s in-room dining or arrange for a personal chef to cook in your suite. Check the resort website for other special experiences, such as cooking lessons, a beachside buffet, and dining under the stars. If you want to try restaurants at other resorts on the island or dine in Historic San Pedro, the concierge team can make reservations for you.  

All-inclusive Food & Drink Option

When booking your stay at Alaia Belize, you can choose an all-inclusive package. This rate includes:

  • Breakfast, lunch, snacks, room service, and dinner.
  • Unlimited beverages including frozen drinks.
  • 10% off pool cabana rentals and the spa.

Read More: Best All-Inclusive Resorts for Families

An awesome view of the View of the Caribbean Sea from a one-bedroom suite patio in Alaia in Belize
View of the Caribbean Sea from a one-bedroom suite patio. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Rooms, Suites, and Villas

Alaia Belize has 156 studios, suites, and beachfront villas. The suites and villas come with a fully equipped kitchen and outdoor living space. Adjoining suites are an option for larger groups.

  • Vista Studio: This 385-square-foot option sleeps one to two.  
  • One-Bedroom Suite: This gorgeous 1,300-square-foot suite sleeps one to two.
  • Two-Bedroom Suite: This option ranges from 1,100 to 1,800 square feet and sleeps five.
  • Three-Bedroom Suite: At 1,600 to 2,800 square feet, this suite sleeps up to seven.
  • Reef House Suites: These two- and three-bedroom suites used to be part of another resort and have a more traditional Caribbean vibe. They were fully renovated in 2021 and are a great option if you’re traveling with kids. You’ll be by gardens, a playground, and a less-crowded pool.
  • The Villas: If you want to be steps from the sand, this option is for you.
  • Three-Bedroom Villa: This 2,500-square-foot villa comes with a private plunge pool and sleeps six.

All rooms have air-conditioning and free wifi.

Swim in the main pool which is at the center of the resort in Belize.
The main pool is at the center of the resort. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Alaia Belize Swimming Pools

Most of the action at Alaia centers around the main resort pool. Here you’ll find loungers with umbrellas, cabanas for rent, and a swim-up bar.

For a more peaceful pool experience, walk over to the outdoor pool by The Reef. This area is more secluded and is great for families.

You can also swim in the family-friendly pool near the Reef House suites in Alaia Belize.
Family-friendly pool near the Reef House suites. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Adults can head up to the rooftop suspended pool for 360-degree views. You can order drinks at the bar and relax. Some guests bring their own music to this adults-only pool, so this area can get lively, but it’s a great spot to enjoy the sunset.

Swim in the Adult-on pool, suspended between towers above an open walkway in Alaia Belize.
Adult-on pool, suspended between towers above an open walkway. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

K’in Spa and Wellness Centre

Tucked off to the side of the property, K’in Spa and Wellness Centre offers free yoga two days a week. There’s also a fitness center, sauna, and six treatment rooms. Stop here to make an appointment for Belizean-inspired treatments, from massages and body wraps to manicures and pedicures.

San Pedro beach in Belize.
San Pedro, Belize. Photo credit: Heid Gollub

Things To Do on Ambergris Caye

You can rent a golf cart from Alaia Belize to explore San Pedro Town or join an excursion from the resort’s Five Star PADI Dive Center.

Get service on tables in the ocean at Blue Bayou on Secret Beach in Alaia Belize.
Serving drinks to tables in the ocean at Blue Bayou on Secret Beach. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Here are a few popular options.

  • Secret Beach: It’s a long, bumpy trip to get here from San Pedro, but you can reward yourself upon arrival with conch fritters and a Tipsy Pineapple at the Happy Island bar. Or, walk straight into the ocean for table service at Blue Bayou. If you’d rather skip the slow journey by land, take a jet ski tour from the resort.
  • Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley: Join Captain Fito on Alaia’s “Reel Escape” vessel for snorkeling in Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Hol Chan is Mayan for “little channel” and is only 10-minutes from Alaia by boat. It’s a perfect snorkeling destination in protected waters. Following a snorkel guide through yellow and purple coral, you may see turtles, manatees, and even dolphins. Next, at Shark Ray Alley, you can swim with nurse sharks and eagle rays. After a brief stop to catch some fresh conch for a ceviche picnic on the boat, you’ll go to the smaller island of Caye Caulker. Also, also known as the “go slow island,” there are no cars here. Feed the tarpons and pelicans, then catch a golf cart taxi to the Iguana Reef Inn. There’s a nice, shallow beach here where you can see long snout seahorses, pet stingrays, and lounge in an over-water hammock.
Try petting a stingray on Caye Caulker in Alaia Belize.
Petting a stingray on Caye Caulker. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

There are also opportunities to give back to the community during your stay.

Take a small plane from the mainland and enjoy the views of Alaia Belize.
Take a small plane from the mainland and enjoy the views. Photo credit: Heidi Gollub

Getting to Alaia Belize Resort

After going through customs in the Belize City airport, you’ll take a 15-minute puddle jumper flight with Tropic Air. This is an adventure in and of itself — be sure to have your camera ready.

When you land in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, someone from Alaia Belize will be there to pick you up. Your stay includes free transportation to and from the resort. After five minutes in the airport shuttle, you’ll arrive at the front desk for check-in and a welcome drink.

Heidi Gollub Avatar
When not running around on adventures with her five children, Heidi Gollub volunteers for the Austin Convention and Visitors Bureau and creates content for the local news. She frequently appears on television and was recently a speaker at Mom 2.0 and the Texas Conference for Women.
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