AMBERGRIS CAY, Belize -- Agents who court dive clients will have a
new full-service option in their inventory of products when the
265-room Avalon Reef Club, on a barrier reef island off the north
coast of Belize, is fully operational in mid-2003.
What agents can sell this winter are the resort's first 28
rooms, which opened in December as phase one of the $40
million-plus project that will be the country's largest hotel.
The 181-room Princess Hotel in Belize City is the largest.
Agents "figure heavily" in Avalon Reef's plans, according to
Steve Payne, general manager, who said "commissions will range from
10% to 20%, depending on volume."
The property, located on the former site of the 32-unit Casa
Caribe, is 100 yards from a popular dive site known as Mexico
Payne said the complex will eventually include a yacht club and
marina, a spa, three restaurants, two bars, a dive academy with its
own fleet of boats and fishing charters.
Accommodations will be in three-story buildings with one- and
two-bedroom units plus 10 villas -- of which three will be in the
Once Avalon Reef is up and running, Payne said, the resort will
offer inclusive rates that include air transfers from Belize City
to San Pedro on Ambergris Cay, six miles from the resort.
The on-site dive academy "will be geared to instruction,
education, certification courses up to the level of dive instructor
level and packages for guests and corporate clients," Payne
The resort's second phase, slated for the fall, will include two
restaurants; a themed entertainment center; eco-trails, and the
debut of the Reef Yacht Club & Marina, which will feature
rental slips for yachts up to 55 feet, a restaurant and other
Avalon Reef Club is owned by Avalon Resorts, which also has
resorts in Mexico and Panama.
A Web site for the resort will debut next April, although agents
can access limited information at www.casacaribe.com.
The official reaction from the Belize Tourism Board regarding
the new property is "very positive," according to Nicole Usher,
marketing representative for the board.
"The opening of a resort this large, with the dive facilities it
will offer, will result in a great deal of promotion and publicity
for Belize as a whole," Usher said. "The entire destination will
benefit, and our visibility, especially in the dive market, will
substantially increase," she added. The resort will employ more
than 300 people when fully operational.
WINTER RATES: From $240 to $285, per person, double
PHONE: (800) 770-6844
COMMISSION: From 10% to 20%, depending on volume