SI SWIMSUIT 2022 HOTELS: Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge | The Buccaneer Hotel | The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas | Westin Puntacana Resort & Club | O2 Beach Club & Spa | Fairmont Royal Pavilion Barbados | Maestral Resort & Casino | Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana
One of the best parts of an SI Swimsuit shoot is the location, and this year’s spots were simply magical. Case in point: Naïa Resort and Spa in Placencia, Belize.
Several models got to shoot at the resort, which is nestled within a 200-acre reserve, making it feel like a private paradise. However, even getting there feels like an adventure. You can take a three-hour drive after flying into the main airport. Or Tropic Air will fly you directly from the international airport over the Caribbean Sea to the Placencia airstrip in a small 14-seater plane (you may even sit next to the pilot).
Once there, the exotic escape continues. Naïa takes over a mile of palm-lined beach and is home to 35 secluded beach houses (ranging from $550 to $5,000 per night), all boasting unbelievable views of the Caribbean Sea. The houses start in a studio size and go all the way up to a five-bedroom pad with a pool—it’s the kind of house that would turn heads if it were located in Malibu, St. Barts or South Beach.) Each one with luxe sheets, soaking tubs, and a breakfast bar for a morning cup of coffee in the jungle.
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While you could easily stay in the lavish rooms all day, there is plenty to keep busy. Yoga classes at the studio, a fitness center, kayaks, paddleboards and a pool are available onsite. Plus, the property offers adventure tours such as snorkeling at the hemisphere’s longest barrier reef, diving, boat cruises, cultural land tours, zip lining, a Monkey River & Manatee Watch and more.
But after all that activity (or a full-blown day of shooting for SI Swimsuit), relaxation is key. That’s why the heart of the property is the spa, which is tucked away among a series of storybookesque lagoons. There you can indulge in an extensive menu of wellness treatments that include personalized programs and rituals (think one called Mystic Light, which ends with a Maya Spring Water Goddess figurine parting gift) that use native botanicals. And after completely Zening out, you can enjoy a meal at one of the property’s two waterfront restaurants and sip on the signature Naïa Mai Tai drink.
Although it can be an adventure to get there, the hardest part is having to leave.
Where is Naia Resort & Spa?
Naïa Resort and Spa is located at Mile 17.5 Placencia Peninsula, Placencia, nestled within a 200-acre reserve.
How do I get to Naïa Resort & Spa?
There are two methods of transportation to get to Naïa Resort and Spa.
OPTION 1: By Land
For guests flying to Belize from overseas, you will arrive at Belize City’s Philip S.W. Goldson International Airport (BZE). From there, the more adventurous may choose to rent a car and take the scenic three-hour drive that takes you west through the coastal plain and then winds southeast through the scenic hills of the Hummingbird Highway before heading south to Placencia. Best done during daylight hours, the mini road trip will see you pass through the mysterious and magical Maya Mountains, a range that runs through Belize and eastern Guatemala.
OPTION 2: By Air
For those preferring a more streamlined arrival, connections can easily be made directly through us on our local partner airline, Tropic Air. An adventure of its own, Tropic Air will fly you directly from the international airport to the Placencia airstrip in a small 14-seater plane. You’ll fly over the Caribbean Sea and the length of our home peninsula, and, once there, you’ll be met by one of our friendly drivers and transported directly to the resort in our Naïa van.
Which types of accommodations are offered at the property?
Studio beach house with a beach view, studio beach house that’s beachfront, a one-bedroom beach house, a one-bedroom beach house with pool and beach view, a one-bedroom beach house with a pool that’s beachfront, a two-bedroom beach house with a pool, a three-bedroom beach house with a pool, the Madera three-bedroom beach house with a pool, and the five-bedroom Ultimate Beach House with a pool. The Ultimate Beach House is the kind of house that would turn heads if it was located in Malibu, St. Barts or South Beach. But Solvei—with its five well-appointed bedrooms, ample indoor/outdoor common areas and incomparable amenities—sits like a sparkling jewel on nearly a mile of pristine Caribbean beach within the secure confines of Naïa Resort and Spa.
What activities are provided through the property?
It has a full-service spa onsite for guests to book spa services, yoga classes at the studio, access to the fitness center, kayaks and paddleboards, pool access for swimming, two restaurants and bicycles. It also offers adventure tours such as snorkeling, diving, boat cruises, cultural land tours, zip lining and more.
What is the range of rates per night, and what is included in my hotel rate at the property?
The rate is $550 to $5,000 and includes a room and continental breakfast.