AMBERGRIS CAYE, BELIZE - Alaia Belize, one of the largest waterfront resorts and residential properties on the principal island of Belize, announced seasoned professional, Sandra Grisham-Clothier, as the general manager and veteran sales expert, Edward Donaldson, as the director of sales and marketing. In her new role, Grisham-Clothier will be responsible for the daily operations at the hotel to assure optimum performance, guest satisfaction and that the property upholds the high-quality standards of the Marriott brand. In his new role, Donaldson will develop a strategic plan to drive online bookings and lead marketing and revenue management for the idyllic beachfront development. Debuting as one of the most highly anticipated projects in the region, Alaia Belize will be the first-ever Marriott International property in the country under the Autograph Collection brand opening May 2021.
In October 2020, Belize officially reopened Philip Goldson International Airport (BZE) to international visitors for leisure travel. As of January 2021, Belize moved on to Phase 4 of its reopening plan with the full reopening of the overnight tourism sector and allowing visitors to move around the country freely.
“Living in Belize for over 20 years, I have witnessed the country transform from a fishing village into a Caribbean gem at the top of everyone’s bucket list. Now with the country moving into Phase 4 of its reopening plan, we foresee Alaia Belize playing a significant role in the country’s tourism growth,” said Andrew Ashcroft, developer and managing principal of Alaia Belize. “Sandra and Edward have tremendous knowledge in this lifestyle within the Caribbean market and as a bonus, both have extensive experience in branded residences. In their new roles, Sandra and Ed will take the country’s growth to the next phase and for us, launch daily initiatives to boost traffic, provide superior service and keep our employees’ and guests’ health and safety top of mind.”
With over 30 years of hospitality experience and over 20 working in the Caribbean market, Grisham-Clothier serves as the general manager at Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina in Belize City, as well as held the general manager role at Mahogany Bay Resort and Beach Club in San Pedro, Belize and Grand Isle Resort in Great Exuma, Bahamas. She has vast experience in the luxury market in the British Virgin Islands working as a Chief Operating Officer in Bitter End Yacht Club and a managerial level at Peter Island Resort and Little Dix Bay (a Rosewood Resort). Additionally, Grisham-Clothier has gained a wealth of experience working closely with the Trust Hospitality and the Resorts Board of Directors in the U.S.
“Belize has recorded the fastest growing tourism rates in the Caribbean over the past few years, and now with its open boards, it is expected to continue growing,” said Grisham-Clothier. “Being the first Marriott International property in the country, it is an honor to join the Alaia Belize team and take our beloved country to incredible heights by elevating the hospitality market, employment growth and creating high-quality standards for our hotel guests. It will be a new level of luxury for Belize.”
Bringing over 30 years of experience in global leisure, luxury sales and tapping into the Caribbean market, Donaldson previously served as the director of sales and marketing for Hilton’s first property in Belize – Mahogany Bay Village. He also led marketing and sales efforts for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts’ Tucker's Point in Bermuda and Mandarin Oriental, Canouan in St. Vincent and Grenadines, as well as consulted for Mint Hotels & Residences, a new brand based in Dominican Republic. Additionally, Donaldson held the position as vice president of marketing for the Americas for Small Luxury Hotels of the World, a collection of over 320 luxury hotels in 57 countries across the globe.
“I have seen the Alaia Belize’s residential team break records as the fastest selling project on Ambergris Caye, Belize, and looking forward to bringing that energy to the hospitality side,” said Donaldson. “In my new role, I will be working strategically with the team to highlight its high-quality residences and competitive pricing among their target markets and expand their portfolio internationally.”
Spanning over 20+ acres and the first in San Pedro Town to sit on more than 1,000 feet of beachfront access, Alaia Belize will be a 155-unit complex and operating as the first true four diamond resort on Ambergris Caye. The eco-luxury development will a barefoot luxury hotel, upholding the high-quality standards of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection brand.
Autograph Collection Hotels advocates for the original, championing the individuality of each of its 200+ independent hotels located in the most desirable destinations across more than 30 countries and territories. Each hotel is a product of passion and a personal realization of its individual founder’s vision, making each hotel singular and special: Exactly Like Nothing Else. Hand-selected for their inherent craft and distinct perspectives on design and hospitality, Autograph Collection hotels offer rich immersive moments that leave a lasting imprint.
The complex will also feature 71 studios, two- and three-bedroom condominiums and eight oceanfront villas. With interiors by renowned Brazilian designer Debora Aguiar, the designer-ready hotel rooms will be curated to celebrate Belize’s outdoor living and offering 1,200 square feet indoors and almost 900 square feet in open air, per unit. Featuring world-class amenities, guests and owners will have access to Belize’s first-ever suspended rooftop pool and lounge with 360-degree views, piano bar, live art gallery, dive shop, full-service spa and endless dining and bar options. On the residential end, Alaia Belize is currently 78 percent sold out and receiving interest from buyers in the U.S. and Canada looking to purchase a vacation home on Ambergris Caye, a long-time haven for expats across the globe.
With exterior designs led by International Environments, the branded development is nearly completed and on track to open its doors in May 2021. The tropical oasis is 600 meters away from the world’s second largest barrier reef and near Mayan Temples, lush jungles and the ultimate world-class destination – The Great Blue Hole.