Dream wedding and more at Robert's Grove
Our love affair with Belize started with planning a "Big Box" wedding in Scottsdale, Az. The guest list was piling up, but not as fast the dollar signs. The writing was on the wall that, with still a year to go, the stress for a one day celebration just wasn't going to be worth it. Everywhere you turned another family member or friend had an idea for the wedding, or another person you just "had" to invite. So, one day, before we were in too deep I turned to my then fiance and said, " That's it! I am ready to entertain your idea for a destination wedding."
Immediately we were both on board and scouring the internet for our perfect destination. Google found us every tourist trap, cruise ship, and travel agent that you could ever imagine. The first thoughts were "I thought we would save a little money...", "How do we decide?", "Too far", "Too touristy, and the biggie was "Been there, done that, and not impressed!". This went on for about a week until a friend shot us an email about Belize after hearing about our search. The email gave a simple, but intriguing description: "The country is English speaking, beautiful, has the second largest reef in the world, great fishing, and easy exchange rate with the dollar."
Here is where I need to admit that I had no idea that Belize was even on the map. So, back to google to learn as much as I could about this hidden paradise. We were sold pretty quick on Belize and decided to hop on a plane and take a long weekend tour of the country to see if it was the right place to ask our family and friends to travel to for our wedding. The short version of the journey ends with us finding Placencia and the beautiful and well run resort called Robert's Grove. The decision was a no brainer and we reserved the dates on the spot!
Everything came together quick once I started working with the Robert's Grove (RG) staff and wedding coordinator. They handled everything from lining up a DJ, to organizing decorations to fit our vision, to making sure our friends and family would have the best vacation they had ever been on. It is rare to be able to interact with such a genuine, engaged, interested and concerned resort staff, and I can't tell you how valuable and settling it was to have that level of service. RG was able to easily accommodate our 34 guests while being very attentive to their individual needs and requirements. Even my bride and soon to be mother-in-law were stress free from their interactions with RG's wedding coordinator (as some grooms may know, that can be no small feat when it comes to a brides big day).
Our group of 34 staggered in over different travel plans from different parts of the states, but all made it to RG with easy travels. Some of our group took the local airline from Belize City to Placencia, while some chartered the RG van service to get the experience of seeing the country side up close. Once, at the resort we were welcomed with big smiles and warm introductions from the staff. Immediately any remaining apprehension fell to the way side and the tranquility of the beautiful Placencia charmed every member of our group. Between the lazy days drinking colorful umbrella drinks and Belekin beer on the open air patio to the adventures of snorkeling, diving, hiking, and playing on the beach the group of 34 who came down, some as strangers, were quickly melding into a family. Our days were topped off with fine dining in all three of RG's unique gourmet restaurants.
Our wedding day fell in the middle of our week long stay. RG had taken care of everything, so the only thing left for us to do was get dressed and get married. We had sent our wedding colors via email and the RG wedding coordinator made sure to have perfect tropical flowers and decorations that would tie everything together. The ceremony was on the beach and the pictures were gorgeous, but even the pictures could not capture the entirety of the beauty. The other senses other than just sight were what made the experience perfect whether it was the feel of the light trade winds bringing in the in-mistakable smell of the pristine waters or the embrace of the joy and love that surrounded us that was ushered in by the entirety of the experience. From the wedding ceremony on the beach we proceeded to the reception dinner overlooking the marina as the sun set on the serene patio of RG's Habanero's restaurant. We dined on gourmet food that was cooked to perfection. The DJ and staff led the way from there and got the party started. We danced, laughed, and made memories that will not be forgotten.
The week had come and gone as my "best man" and long time business partner and I were sitting on the patio on the morning of our last full day. As we sat there we started to use RG's wi-fi service to view the real estate opportunities in Belize. We found a local real estate company and drove the entire peninsula that Placencia sits on with a local agent. There are many nice homes and resorts up and down the peninsula, but the best opportunity we found was right under our noses. RG was in full swing on the development of it's marina. The lots were sub-divided and homes with a quaint tropical yet modern design were starting to go up. We walked the lots to find that there were still those great ocean breezes, a tranquil view of the mountains, and of course the homes sat right on the water. My partner and I immediately started to research real estate in Belize further and started planning another trip to RG within the next few weeks.
Upon our return we met with RG's owners and we were again shown the level of hospitality and care that we had on our previous trips. We met with everyone involved in the development and quickly gained more and more confidence in the future of the marina development. Our company in Colorado specializes in spec home building and remodeling, so the project was very familiar to us as builders. The quality of craftsmanship and the level of scutiny placed on all aspects of the project were in-line with what we would expect from our building in the states. We committed to three of the few remaining lots shortly after our visit and we are looking forward to being a part of the building process.
Now that we have entered into this venture with RG and made our intentions public there has been a swell of interest from friends and family to be a part of this experience and the investment. The most encouraging by-product of this venture has been the people we have since met that have also found Belize and plan on making the country home or the destination of their next vacation. The horizon in Belize is bright and the opportunities seem as endless as the crystal clear blue waters that make up the panoramic view from the deck of Robert Grove's pier.