The Funniest Hotel Welcome Packet!
“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.
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.)
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”???
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!)
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!”
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!
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.
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!
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We were guests of Chabil Mar, but all views, corny senses of humor, and obsessive fishing are our own.
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!