Sirenian Bay Resort & Villas had just announced the opening of twelve new bungalows at the luxury, family-owned boutique resort in Placencia, Belize when the Covid 19 Pandemic took everyone unprepared. The one- and two-bedroom beachfront bungalows offering ocean or pool views, sleeping from two to six guests, and featuring private porches or balconies and outdoor showers were ready for tourists but then there was a complete stop in travel. After a couple of weeks in reactive mode, the team picked themselves up and switched to proactive mode.
Like every other resort in Belize, Brian Montgomery had to make some tough decisions. They had to secure the future of the resort financially, but we were also committed to their employees. They worked hard to keep as many of the staff employed as possible and focused on keeping them healthy and safe.
When the pandemic hit they had a full time staff of 60. During the pandemic, 41 were still employed – but not necessarily in the same role or status. All essential employees were moved on-site or within 2 miles of the Resort. This helped avoid the need for public transportation and limited their opportunity for exposure. A few employees whose job allowed it were working from home. Some were put on a “no-schedule” but were given advances to cover basic expenses. Those remaining were reassigned duties from maintenance, woodshop, working on policy and procedures, SOPs, and training.
Pandemic – Plan B
In order to make this happen financially, all the employees offered to take temporary pay cuts to help spread the available funds to payroll for a larger group of people instead of only having a few remain at their current pay. When further changes were required, they went a step further by leveling everyone to an equal fixed salary and allowed them to work a flexible schedule. This helped avoid the boredom of being quarantined in their assigned housing all day.
Brian Montgomery locked down the resort property and allowed no outside traffic. By quarantining within their own property, they were also doing their part to prevent further spread. These decisions and the willingness to sacrifice by the employees have prevented many people from losing their jobs, while also ensuring the Resort will be in top shape when tourism returns.
Placencia, Belize Begins to (Slowly) Welcome Back Tourists
As tourism in Belize is slowly starting to begin again with locals allowed to travel freely, Sirenian Bay is opened and ready for visitors to enjoy not only the newly opened bungalows but also the resort’s three villas ideal for multigenerational families of all ages, large groups, and wedding parties. The villas can host from 2-14 guests and offer personal chef service and private butlers, private pools, and outdoor living areas. Each villa has a full kitchen, spacious living areas, and comfortable bedrooms with over-sized bathrooms. Complimentary local ground transportation and other amenities ensure that from beginning to end, your vacation will be relaxing and hassle-free.
Belize is an English-speaking country filled with adventure, culture and history. Traveling to this Central American location has never been easier as direct flights to Belize City are offered on many major airlines from cities including New York, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Houston, Minneapolis and more. Belize is known for its world-class watersports such as diving, snorkeling and fly fishing at its Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world. Off-property excursions include snorkeling in the Gladden Spit and Silk Caye Marine Reserve where Loggerhead turtles, stingrays, spotted eagle rays and nurse sharks congregate or nearby Laughing Bird Caye National Park which is surrounded by crystal blue waters and stunning natural coral reefs The resort can arrange diving trips as well as certification courses.
Where is Placencia, Belize
Placencia, Belize is located at the southern tip of a gorgeous, emerald peninsula in southern Belize and offers guests a prime location to experience everything from ziplines through the jungle to ancient Maya Temples and cacao farms. With 16 miles of sandy beaches, the peninsula is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea to the east and the charming Placencia Lagoon to the west overlooking the Maya Mountains. Guests can fill their days with adventure or simply relax in the resort pool, unwind in The Siren’s Spa and have dinner and a tropical drink at Inky’s 19th Hole Restaurant. The Village of Placencia is a quaint village, where you’ll find coffee shops, bistros, local restaurants, and the main boardwalk lined with local artisans. Sirenian Bay is situated near the middle of the Peninsula, with convenient access to everything Placencia has to offer.
Owners Brian and Brenda Montgomery went from Texas expats looking to build a family vacation home in Belize to resort owners hosting up to 80 guests daily at their luxury property. In addition to Sirenian Bay Resort & Villas, Brian and Brenda own the highly rated tour company Captain Jak’s, which offers accommodations in the heart of Placencia Village as well as golf cart rentals and ocean and jungle tours, Inky’s 19th Hole Bar & Grill, and the only trolley bus and world class miniature golf course in Belize. The husband and wife owners have also purchased a five-acre private island off the coast of Placencia that will be developed and used for guest experiences in 2021.
Room rates start at $325/night for a one-bedroom bungalow. Sirenian Bay Resort & Villas is a family-owned, luxury boutique resort nestled on the golden sands of the Placencia Peninsula in Belize. Personal chefs, tour guides, and private butlers guarantee guests are treated to the ultimate in relaxation and comfort. Catering to couples, families, groups, multigenerational travel, and wedding parties, the premier beachfront location provides travelers with world-class diving and snorkeling at the Belize Barrier Reef and access to wildlife experiences and ancient Maya Temple exploration.
Rick Orford is the co-founder and Executive Producer of Travel Addicts Life. He has a passion for traveling, making money, healthy living, and making friends all over the world. Aside from travel, some of his other interests include investing, mentoring, and writing about finance.