Autograph Collection Hotels, in partnership with owner and developer Andrew Ashcroft, today announced the brand will debut in Belize with the 2020 opening of Alaia – a boutique resort, set amidst the beautiful and culturally rich southern part of Ambergris Caye island. Perfectly suited for Autograph Collection Hotels, Alaia will join the 135 independent hotels in the brand's diverse and dynamic collection - each celebrating the founder's passion, thoughtfulness of design, inherent craft and connection with the locale.
"With the forthcoming opening on Alaia, I am thrilled to begin this real estate and hospitality lifestyle brand in the inspiring place I have called home for nearly 20 years," said Andrew Ashcroft, Managing Director. "Joining Marriott will provide future owners and guests of Alaia a unique opportunity to intimately connect to their surroundings, while embodying the high-quality standards of the Autograph Collection brand: heartfelt design, mark of craft and sense of place."
Situated in the idyllic and historic town of San Pedro, Alaia broke ground at the end of 2017 with a launch plan of five phases. The idyllic beachfront resort will feature a conversion of 35 units, 56 two-bedroom condominiums with lock off option and eight oceanfront villas, totaling 155 keys when completed in 2020. When completed, Alaia will boast world-class amenities, including a beach club exclusive to guests and residents, a rooftop suspended pool and lounge with spectacular ocean views, full service spa, fitness center, kids club, dive shop and live art gallery.
"Celebrating individuality by curating one-of-a-kind travel experiences, the Autograph Collection brand continues to experience strong growth globally and in Central America," said Laurent De Kousemaeker, Chief Development Officer, Marriott International Caribbean and Latin America. "The unique Alaia boutique resort is defined by unique design in one of the most desirable locations in the world. We are excited to partner with Andrew Ashcroft on this Autograph Collection project, which marks an important milestone for the company in Belize."
Alaia will be crafted by an experienced design team with worldly, eclectic sensibility, including i.E. Architecture and interiors by renowned Brazilian designer Debora Aguiar, who is known for her eco-luxury aesthetics. Designed to highlight the splendor of its natural surroundings, the residences will feature approximately 70 percent of fabrics and raw materials from Belize, including rustic marbles and stones, reclaimed wood, linen curtains, textured beige walls and earth-toned hues to complement the awe-inspiring views of the Caribbean Sea.
"Belize's natural landscape is incomparable, and the real estate market is thriving. Alaia will bring a new opportunity with competitive prices for those to purchase or visit in a setting that speaks to the island's modern twist on resort living, it's lively laidback spirit, and individuality," said David Hurst, Vice President of Sales for Alaia.
Designed with the adventurous and independent traveler and owner in mind, residences will be curated to celebrate Belize's outdoor living, blending indoor and outdoor space seamlessly and offering 1,200 square feet indoors and almost 900 square feet in open air, per unit. With prices ranging from $349,000 to $1.3 million, owners are given the option to include their residence in the rental management program – extending the opportunity to experience the property to others.
"Belize's tourism is booming, with 2017 being a record year and vastly surpassing the 400,000-annual visitor threshold," said Hon. Manuel Heredia, Belize's Minister of Tourism. "With the industry playing an integral role on the country's economy, Alaia has the government's full support as it will take our country to new heights by boosting the employment growth, generating awareness around the destination, and allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Belize's vibrant culture."
As one of the world's most photogenic yet untapped destinations, Belize's clear blue waters and Caribbean culture is home to endless historic offerings and variety of adventures. Just moments away from Alaia, owners and visitors can experience more than 200 cayes filled with several preserved Mayan Temples, including Xunantunich (the second tallest ruin in the country), lush jungles, rainforest canopies, and archaeological sites including the Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave (consists of a series of chambers where sacrificial ceremonies once took place and ceramics, stoneware and skeletal remains can be viewed in their original context from over 1,000 years). For those looking to take a deeper dive and explore the beauty of Belize's natural underwater locations, the country is home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, several wrecked ships full of history, and the ultimate world-class and unrivaled destination for recreational scuba divers and dive boat enthusiasts – The Great Blue Hole.
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