Aug 062012
You can order food to anywhere on Chabil Mar's grounds, including this pier!

You can order food to anywhere on Chabil Mar’s grounds, including this pier!

“Witty?” you may be muttering as you eye the title. “Since when is a Belize resort described as witty, huh?”

Listen: the Placencia hotel, Chabil Mar, is gorgeous (just look at these photos and try not to faint) and its staff is fantastic, but what made me roll on the floor laughing was that it has the funniest welcome packet of any hotel I have encountered in my extensive world travels.

Here are some excerpts from Chabil Mar’s info packet. My comments from our fabulous Belize Honeymoon stay at the resort are inserted throughout.

Gift Shop: Our gift shop, located near the the front desk, has a variety of local art and handiwork as well as staples such as bug spray, t-shirts and chocolate. Yes, we called chocolate a staple.

Amen! I did not realize that Belize has some of the best chocolate in the world. Lucky for us, Chabil Mar placed two full-sized bars on our pillows. They immediately went into my belly.

Who knew a resort this pretty could be so witty in its information packet? Good job, Chabil Mar, Belize!

Who knew a resort this pretty could be so witty in its information packet? Good job, Chabil Mar, Belize!

Shoe Shine: If you are wearing shoes that need to be shined, may we suggest that you are wearing improper footwear for Plancencia. Take them off and put your toes in the sand.

We happily complied with this order. In fact, on the morning we were leaving, when I grudgingly went to put on my closed-toe shoes (which I’d strewn on our outside patio to dry from hiking)– BOINK– there was a frog hiding in one! Clearly he was on Chabil Mar’s payroll to enforce the footwear rules. (Ever tried to put on a shoe with a frog in it? It’s a very strange, squishy feeling.)

The incredibly high-end, feature-packed kitchen of our Chabil Mar suite. Quite a contrast from the cooking nook in our Boston apartment!

The high-end kitchen of our Chabil Mar suite. Better than our Boston cooking nook!

Catch it? We cook it: Spending the day fishing? Don’t throw the whole catch back. We are happy to prepare your “catch of the day” for you. Did you catch too much? Nothing goes to waste in Placencia. The staff all love fresh fish. If you happen to catch extra we would be happy to take it off your hands, and please accept our sincerest appreciation. We bow to your fishing prowess. We have a word for folks like you: “Fishonista.”

Colin became obsessive about this. He rented a high-end fishing pole and spent approximately 20 hours prowling the seas with his hook. The Chabil Mar staff kindly lent him a knife for slicing the revolting shrimp bait and a pail to hold the towering pile of three small fish my beloved husband triumphantly caught. Did I marry a “Fishonista”???

My husband the "Fishonista" spent hours on this lovely pier fishing until he caught us a delicious fish dinner!

My husband the “Fishonista” spent hours on this lovely pier fishing until he caught us dinner!

Bellman Services: Please let the front desk know when you will be departing and we will be happy to have your bags picked up. Even though you may be leaving us, you are still on vacation after all. You might as well milk it.

Now, I’m a generally hearty, independent lass, but I really appreciated the willingness of Chabil Mar’s staff to assist, be it by lugging bags or by carrying our meal orders all the way out to the end of the pier. (Did I mention that Chabil Mar does not want its guests to be “constrained by the walls of a restaurant” and thus you can order food and eat it from anywhere on the expansive grounds of the resort? Little did we realize, until we were chomping ceviche under the full moon beside the Caribbean Sea, that we HAD been oppressed by indoor restaurant eating!)

Looking back at the resort from the pier as the sun gloriously set, turning everything rose red.

Looking back at the resort from the pier as the sun gloriously set, turning everything orange red.

Ice: The ice cubes in your freezer are made fresh for your arrival. Should you need more ice, your server would be happy to provide it for you. And just what do you need more ice for… hmmm? Sounds like someone discovered the local rum.

This one made me squeal aloud, “Ooo, they are SASSY!”

The living room of our suite, replete with a flat screen TV on which we watched the Olympics, and WiFi with which we (shh, don't tell) did some work.

The living room of our suite, replete with a flat screen TV on which we watched the Olympics, and WiFi with which we (shh, don’t tell) did some work. Welcome drinks are on the counter.

Wake up calls: Oh don’t speak of such things… you are on vacation. We sincerely hope you do not have the need for a wake up call, but we do understand that it is unavoidable from time to time. We will be happy to arrange a wake up call for you if you find yourself in this precarious position.

Indeed, we did need wake up calls for two of our mornings to go on a snorkeling tour of Laughing Bird Caye with Splash Dive Center (PHENOMENAL!) and to arise for the Monkey River tour with Percy, the eccentric and brilliant King of the Howler Monkeys. Colin can confirm that I was a grumpy bear at the early hour of 8am, but that’s still worlds better than my normal 5:35am alarm during the school year!

My dear other half, still hunting aquatic animals in a highly manly fashion. "The moon will make the fish come out!" he said.

My man, still hunting aquatic animals. “The moon will make the fish come out!” he said.

Special Occasions: Are you celebrating a special occasion? Please let us know if there is anything we can do to make it extra special. Not celebrating something? Hmm… stop by the front desk and we will help you dream something up. In Belize “just because” can count as a special occasion.

This made us very hopeful about return visits using the excuse of Honeymoon 2 or Honeymoon 57.

Chabil Mar's pier is more photogenic than a supermodel. Isn't this view beyond imagination?!

When Colin finally caught three fish, the kitchen cooked them up for us (replete with a scrumptious sauce and a side of veggies) and we ate the last dinner of our Honeymoon here!

Check out time: We’ll be glad to extend your departure time if possible. We wouldn’t want to leave either.

True, witty and beautiful Chabil Mar… very true. Thanks for a great visit!

If you enjoyed this article and are still planning your trip, you can check current rates and availability at Chabil Mar here, click here for an easy link to all Belize hotel deals, or click for cheap flights to Belize, as it will give a small commission to help support this site at no extra cost to you. Have a great trip!

We were guests of Chabil Mar, but all views, corny senses of humor, and obsessive fishing are our own.


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  42 Responses to “Our Witty, Pretty Resort in Placencia, Belize: Chabil Mar”

  1. […] Around the World L’s “Our Witty, Pretty Resort in Placencia, Belize: Chabil Mar” […]

  2. Love that the folks at Chabil Mar have a great sense of humor 🙂 Sounds like a great place to stay and relax.

  3. If you go again you should take class of 2017 with you. Ha-ha! 🙂

  4. Ha ha – that’s great. In some ways it’s such a simple idea. But it makes such a big impression. A really great marketing idea (and probably a genuinely nice gesture too). And so different from all the other boring chain hotels you get stuck in from time to time!

  5. I am plan to spend the end of the year in Belize! Hopefully my hotels will be half as witty as this!

  6. Wow such a dream place, I wouldn’t mind living there at all 😉

    • What I didn’t realize is that each section of the resort is owned by a different person, condo-style, but most of the time the owners are away and the rooms are rented to guests. Such an interesting set-up!

  7. I want to give whoever they hired to write their info packet a high five. This is a great example of how effective creative copy-writing can be.

    • Agreed! That said, it IS a risk. I could see how some hotels would worry about it, but I think at the end of the day everyone likes to laugh. 🙂

  8. Gorgeous and SUPER cute! Left me with a big smile on my face 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed it! As of today, this is the most popular article in the history of the 700 on either of my websites, nearing 9,000 readers already, with more each hour. Thanks for being one of them!

  9. I absolutely LOVE Belize! I saw witty little sayings everywhere I went in that country. Your sunset pics are beautiful.

    • You’re right that there is a witty flair to the whole country. Maybe it’s just that there isn’t a language barrier for English speakers so we get jokes more, but Belize is a country that makes one smile. 🙂 Thanks for your comment and photo compliment!

  10. Ooo sounds amazing! I want to go there… for the chocolate especially

  11. That’s brilliant! All hotels should be as witty as this 😀

  12. Our full Belize travel itinerary is up! It was the perfect plan for our Honeymoon and we think it’d be great for others, too. Article:

  13. As a bit of a hotel geek, it’s great when they have fun with their guests. My kind of place! PS…awesome count on the SU button:)

    • Fellow hotel geeks unite! Yeah, regarding the count, this post has gone crazy viral: 11 days after publication it’s almost at 6,000 readers! I guess pretty photos and a laugh will do that. 🙂

  14. I had no idea it was this beautiful… kinda jealous, not going to lie!

  15. OMG, the beautiful photos!! It gives me great joy to see where my son and daughter-in-law spent part of the honeymoon. Pity the fool who doesn’t want to follow in your footsteps. Could this be a 30th Anniversary celebration destination for two proud parents? Hmmmm.

  16. How awesome! Love the photos – makes me wanna go to Belize! I also love that the owners and the developer commented. Shows that they care about their customers.

  17. Gorgeous and funny…the very best combination! Loved the frog in the shoe story, haha.

  18. So funny! And the fishing photos are spectacular! Colin, if you want, the first one would make a great new FB profile pic 🙂

  19. Boy what a place. shared it with Dave and hope some day he will take me there. What a honeymoon.

  20. Hey Lillie,

    I got here through Expat Edna’s Twitter Travel List, and just wanted to say your photos are gorgeous! How I wish I was on a pier in Belize fishing for aquatic animals!

  21. Hi Lillie,

    My wife and I are also owners and I’m so pleased seeing your blog and the kind (and witty) words you’ve written about our resort. There has been a tremendous amount of work put in by our wonderful staff and our Executive Committee over the years and the end result (as you so accurately describe), is our little piece of paradise. That we were able to share this with you and Colin (your fishonista) is our privilege and we hope you can return again someday.

    Wayne & Ellen

  22. I keep going back and looking at the sunset picture and the night shot.
    Would you let me have those pictures so I can blow them up for my office on the bayside and somehow I would love the sunset one as a screensaver – not that I know how to do that but someone must.
    It is completely for my own private use – I have never seen such a beautiful picture(s)


    • That is so kind. Thanks! I will email you for details. Anything for public use, please do link back to my site. May there be beautiful vistas everywhere!

  23. Hello:
    I am Dianne Bulman – the developer of Chabil Mar and I still live on site and work with the staff all the time.
    I did not meet you – rarely do meet guests – that is why I have staff – but Larry just sent this on to the owners.
    I have to say this is the best both in writing and pictures – I am glad you loved Chabil Mar so much.
    Hope you will come again.

    san KAAL pa

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