For the country the size of New Hampshire, with a population of only 380,000, Belize is an incredible place to host a wellness retreat. An English-speaking country, only 2.5 hours from the United States, Belize is home to the longest barrier reef in the world, with dense undisturbed jungles that offer both adventure and deep space for reflection.
Highlights of hosting a retreat in Belize include swimming in jungle waterfalls, snorkeling off of remote islands in the Caribbean, waking up to howler monkeys as your alarm clock, making chocolate from bean to bar and connecting with your new Belizean friends.
While there are many places to host a retreat in Belize, here are our picks for the Top 4 Luxury Resorts in Belize that are perfect for hosting your wellness retreat.
Located in the jungles of Southern Belize, about 20 minutes from the town of Punta Gorda, Copal Tree Lodge is elegant without being pretentious. Surrounded by jungle with greenery as far as the eye can see, one feels like they are in nature throughout their entire stay there. Whether you are in your shower looking out the giant glass window at iguanas in the trees, or in a bath overlooking the jungle, or swimming in the infinity pool and watching the howler monkeys in the trees above you – you are always in nature and its beauty. This allows for deep disconnection from the distractions back home, allowing group members to connect with themselves and those around them.
Copal Tree Lodge also has incredible meeting spaces for groups, including a giant Palapa that overlooks the jungle that provides space for both small and large group gatherings.
Finally, as any group leader knows, the meals that a group has together are so important. Personally, we find that groups bond so much during the meals that they have together, and a good dining experience can either make or break a group program at times. When the food and dining experience is done well, it enhances the trip – participants are happy, well fed and look forward to their meals. However, when the dining experience is poor, it can bring down the group vibe and lower the overall experience of the retreat.
With that, Copal Tree has a gorgeous table that is made to feed large groups. It is located in a private section of the outdoor dining area and is in the perfect location to watch hummingbirds and Scarlet Macaws in the trees surrounding it. Not only are the surroundings beautiful, but the food is delicious and healthy. 70% of the food that is served at Copal Tree comes from their organic farms located on-site. Fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cabbage, eggs, meat and more provide for an amazing culinary experience that will leave participants happy and feeling energized after each meal.
Copal Tree Lodge is the perfect place for a luxury yoga retreat, executive leadership retreat, life coaching retreat, couples retreat or intimate wedding. Not only will your group fall in love with everything it has to offer, they will naturally move into a sense of wellness and relaxation throughout their stay there.
Situated right on the beach on the Caribbean Sea, Hopkins Bay Resort is an incredible place to bring a small or large group of people. The Resort is set up well for groups to experience togetherness as well as privacy – with 3-bedroom houses that not only each have their own private bedrooms, bathrooms and porches, but also a warm gathering area consisting of a living room and kitchen, which allows participants to have their own space and be together as a group as well.
The resort allows many options for fun and play to organically enter your retreat while you are there as it has a great setup for that with volleyball courts, free paddle boards and kayaks, two swimming pools, and free bikes to ride into town with.
There is a delicious and fun on-site restaurant called the Rhum Shack which is a great spot for casual group meals. The staff is friendly, the food is fast and delicious, and the evenings include fun activities for groups to partake in, such as karaoke and Garifuna drumming.
With gorgeous morning sunrises over the ocean, beautiful private balconies to write and reflect on, fabulous pools for swimming, amazing staff, and lots of fun activities to do, Hopkins Bay Resort is a great option to host your wellness retreat while in Belize.
Located on the Southern end of Hopkins Village, Hamanasi Resort is a gem within Belize. Nestled between the Caribbean Sea and the Maya Mountains the property is filled with gorgeous beaches, beautiful trees, tropical birds and luxury accommodations. Guests can stay in private treehouse villas that are just a moment’s walk from the beach, but far enough away that they can remove themselves and be in nature within minutes (it’s like living the Swiss Family Robinson life…but luxury style!).
With no WiFi in the rooms, and beautiful paintings and weavings hanging on the walls (instead of TV’s) it allows for optimal wellness and reflection to take place. Additionally, with this gorgeous palapa overlooking the beach there is ample opportunity to gather as a group to do yoga, reflection or processing while still being outdoors and in nature.
Hamanasi has organic gardens onsite, and every effort is made to source their gourmet meals from local ingredients and have them delivered from farm to table, pure and fresh. With a beautiful dining area overlooking the sea, it is a gorgeous spot for your group to meet and come together after a day of fun and adventure.
One of the highlights of Hamanasi is that they have an Adventure Center located right on the resorts grounds. They are experts at helping to plan any excursion that you group wants to go on: from touring Mayan ruins, to swimming in jungle waterfalls, or snorkeling/diving out on the barrier reef. Their staff are trained to help any group leader plan for a schedule that balances adventure with group processing/reflection time.
Whether your group is swimming in the pool, going for paddle board rides, snorkeling, bird watching, hiking, swimming in waterfalls, or just chilling in their gorgeous rooms – they are sure to have an incredible time at Hamanasi.
Nestled within a private 200-acre reserve on the Placencia Peninsula, Naia is a natural playground that sets the stage for awesome adventures and personal growth. With beachside houses that range from studio – 3 bedrooms, it is the perfect place to relax and reconnect. The windows stretch the width of the front of the house, so you have an unobstructed view of the beach, which allows for one to lie in bed and watch the sun rise over the Caribbean Sea. It is magical and the most amazing way to start your day.
Naia is designed so that you are experiencing the beautiful nature of Belize at all times. From the private outdoor shower, to the incredible spa that is built over the wetlands, one always feels like they are connected to their surroundings.
One of the ways that groups can feel super connected to the nature around them is by taking a yoga class in their incredible yoga studio. The studio is built for all types of yoga (including aerial yoga) and the best part is that instead of looking in a mirror on the wall you are looking out at the trees and wetland in front of you.
Naia also has the largest spa in Belize that allows for relaxation and deep wellness. Built over the wetlands with pathways winding you from one spa service to the next, it feels exotic and luxurious all at the same time. With a private spa pool to multiple different services offered, it is a place that one could spend the entire day relaxing and nourishing their body if they wanted to.
Naia is very experienced with hosting groups and even offers a gourmet BBQ dinner for them out on the beach. They bring in Garifuna drummers and start a bonfire and have the group participants sing and dance with the local drummers around the fire. It is a great way to introduce Belizean culture to a group in a fun and entertaining way.
From the friendly staff, beautiful rooms, delicious food and small touches that make a group’s stay incredible, Naia will seduce you and make you want more. It is the perfect place for a luxury yoga retreat, couples retreat or executive leadership retreat – you and your group will fall in love with it and be counting down the days until you get to go back.
With so many incredible places to bring your group in Belize – you can’t go wrong! It’s an incredible country, and one that you and your group are sure to fall in love with.
Article written by:
Elsie Storm – International Retreat Leader/Transformational Life Coach