Tag Archives: Royal Belize

On Owning an Island

27 Jan

1599244_765606880160596_3227542613482179672_oI blame Jimmy Buffett for many of the questionable things I have done in my life: running away to Mexico at seventeen, moving to Hawaii at twenty-one, buying several boats, surfing in hurricanes, and, most recently, buying an island in Belize. Finding Margaritaville has been a life-long obsession.

As an avid SCUBA diver, I had been to Belize many times. My kids learned to dive there. We explored caves, hiked to waterfalls, climbed Mayan ruins, sailed the atolls, and fished the reef. We made friends in the country and fell in love with the diversity of the culture…and, especially, with the ocean.

There are over 400 cayes (pronounced “keys”) in Belize. A beautiful barrier reef runs the entire 190 mile length of the country and it is home to the only coral atolls in the western hemisphere. The turquoise colored seas, abundant ocean life, and white sand beaches make it a water sports paradise. We love it.

Just over a year ago I started surfing Belize real estate sites on the Internet looking for a little place that would serve as a home base for a thorough exploration of the country. We were looking for something simple, easy and inexpensive that would not be a burden and, most importantly, would not interfere or prevent us from enjoying travels to other destinations. That is when I first saw a listing for Portofino Caye. “Own an Island,” the ad said.

Book a flight, build a spreadsheet, talk to banker, negotiate with wife, listen to Marley, dream rum-fueled dreams, make an offer, and get handed the keys (actually there are no keys because there are no locks.) Margaritaville is mine. Seven and a half acres of sand and palms with luxury accommodations, a few well-placed hammocks, a fleet of boats, a competent local staff, and year-round warmth and sunshine. The backyard has a coral reef and lobster can be picked out of the water for dinner.

Now dubbed Royal Belize, it is the only luxury private island in the country rented exclusively to one guest party at a time. There are five bedrooms across three separate villas, a large open-air palapa for lounging and dining, plenty of lounge chairs, and acres of sand and water for all to enjoy. The island combines the benefits of an adventure destination with luxury accommodations in an exclusive setting. When we are not SCUBA diving the barrier reef, we are fishing or enjoying the jet skis, kayaks, standup paddle boards, beach games, kite board, and catamaran. Or maybe just laying around in the sun or shade with a cold beverage. We have found it is the perfect place for adventure travelers and lay-around loungers alike.

Most people come for the amenities of an all-inclusive, private island vacation, but wind up falling in love with the caring staff that anticipates their every desire. The team does whatever it takes to create “WOW” and seeks to make every visitor’s dreams come true. Their mission is to create unforgettable experiences while making new best friends for life.

The past year has involved a tremendous amount of work. In addition to revamping the marketing and management of the resort, the team has converted the island to solar and wind power, renovated the villas, upgraded the infrastructure and the boats, expanded the kitchen, and replaced most of the furniture and equipment. Herman Wouk’s novel Don’t Stop the Carnival has been our how-not-to guide. It is the story of a guy from the states that sells his business, moves to the Caribbean, buys a resort, and learns many lessons the hard way. It is an eerily prescient book that everyone with this dream should read. We are still alive and have quickly developed an ability to remain calm in the face of each new catastrophe.

The Royal Belize brand stands for luxury, privacy, adventure, sustainability, and philanthropy. In 2014, we helped seven non-profit organizations raise over $150,000 at charity auctions by consigning trips at large discounts and allowing the organization to keep the profits from the sale. We also support a number of youth libraries in different villages throughout Belize. As a member of the Getaway2Give Collection the resort generates additional charitable contributions when G2G members vacation on the island. The entire Royal Belize team is committed to fulfilling the philanthropic mission.

For our family, owning an island in a tropical paradise feels like living in a fantasy world. We have enjoyed taking friends, colleagues, and family members down several times over the past year. We love it so much and want all of our friends to share the experience. Please come for a visit. Let us know when you plan to arrive. We may be out fishing or diving. There are margaritas in the blender. Help yourself.

The Poston Family 2014 “You Gotta Belize Me”

31 Dec

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Once upon a time a long time ago there was a young man that escaped his boyhood home and made a place for himself in the idyllic islands of Hawaii. He fell in love with the green mountains, white sands, blue waters, and one particular local gal. The two of them got married, had a houseful of kids, and made a rich life in a colder environment. But the tropics remained in their hearts and occupied a good portion of their minds. As they began the transition from parenthood to grandparenthood, they knew it was time to reclaim their place in the sun. And so it came to pass that they bought a tropical island where they lived happily ever after.

This fairy tale is the overarching theme of this year’s update. As official “resident retirees,” Billy & Richele spent a good portion of each month at Royal Belize entertaining friends and family, overseeing renovations, catching rays (both kinds), and getting to know our wonderful new family members that live on island. It is a special place that we want to share with all of you. Come for a visit.

Real life happens back home where the world turns faster than ever. “Bully” gained another grandson and lost his Suburban in the transaction. Marshall Jack Kory was born in July and he and big brother Walker like riding in style. Both babies came for a five-day visit right before Christmas that required both their aunties and their uncle to pitch in. “Gigi” fell right back into parent mode, throwing a party for 60+ people with a twenty-one month old on her hip after four sleepless nights. Gigi’s got it going on. That doesn’t mean that everyone wasn’t ecstatic when Jensen and Sarah showed up late in the day on Christmas Eve to reclaim their little angels.

Charisse had a bucket list year at Tulane and is one semester away from graduation. As the short one with blue-green-purple hair, she was the ~*hot popular n cool*~ one on the Homecoming Court. (Her hair is now its natural color but, of course, her head is shaved.) She was named Senator of the Year in student government where she considers “agitator” to be an honorific. After teaching middle school in NOLA last summer she has decided that is her future. If her Fulbright Fellowship comes through she will spend a year in Turkey teaching English. If not, we’ll resume the conversation on the differences between a “job” and a “real job”.

Cheyenne was the surprise salutatorian of her high school class. The subtle message of her graduation speech was “I Am Never Coming Back.” After a celebratory trip to London and a brief flirtation with the idea of becoming a full-time SCUBA guide in Belize, she began her freshman year at Stanford. The Big Bang Theory is a lot more fun now that she explains the formulas on the whiteboard in Sheldon’s apartment. A committed Cardinal football fan, she has taken to assigning statistical probabilities of success to each play. She is thankful for the concept of the Gaussian distribution, her bicycle, and the phở in the Stanford dining halls.

Little brother Jacob is in his junior year and no longer requires much parenting. As long as there is food in the pantry and gas in the tank, he can handle the rest. He splits his time between school, swimming, League of Legends, and his friend-who-is-a-girl. He made it to the state swim meet as a sophomore, spent some time this summer training with Olympians at USC, and is on track to dominate this year. As the only remaining object of his mother’s parental attention, he is beginning to dream of college and may someday soon be able to articulate which one may be of interest to him. Good Wi-Fi seems to be his number one selection criteria.

Richele added “island hostess” to her job description this year. This role involves a lounge chair, a book, and a beverage. She still serves on the board of the local education foundation where she played a role in something called “Purse Mania.” As far as we can tell this involves drinking wine and buying purses all in the name of philanthropy. Billy thinks there is a profitable business model in there somewhere. The family’s slobbering lab experiment came to a sad end this summer as Tyson left us after a quick downhill slide. Richele is now the devoted caregiver to Cheyenne’s left-behind beta fish, Minerva, but it is really not the same.

Billy continues to plot and scheme. His consulting firm Kalypso is going strong and growing fast. He is developing the ability to be in more than one place at a time. He taught five courses of Housley at three universities this year while starting two new businesses, expanding Stelos, speaking, and writing daily. After spending 55+ days in Belize this year, he has the island bug and talks non-stop about building an empire in the Caribbean. After a failed attempt at delivering his new boat from Florida to Belize, he went to Cuba (before it was cool) to scout resort locations – and to drink lots of mojitos and daiquiris. He got a real good tan for Christmas.

In addition to Belize, Cuba and London, we got in family ski trips to Telluride and Snowmass, enjoyed a couple of weeks on Anguilla, and spent Thanksgiving in New York. Billy and Richele got away for a birthday week in Las Vegas and hosted the annual “Aloha Summer” luau for the tenth year in a row. Belize, however, was the destination of the year. We took a total of ten groups of family and friends down to enjoy the island on different trips. Diving, snorkeling, fishing and laying around are the favorite activities.

Home base continues to be the Texas Hill Country where we go to check the mail and pretend to be normal. Paradise is wherever we happen to be at the moment. The year ahead will bring new adventures and milestones. The calendar is already filling up with exploration and excitement. Stay tuned for news ahead and come join us for some craziness. It will be fun. You better belize it.

Gratitude

27 Nov

iStock_000028332104LargeThe list of things for which I am thankful is way too long to fit into a post that anyone would actually read. The past year has brought a shower of blessings that in sum represent what many would consider to be their wildest fantasies; close friends, good business, smart students, dedicated colleagues, great clients, amazing children and beautiful grandchildren, an understanding spouse, exotic travels, and a small tropical island that we get to call our own.

Yes, there are many, many things to be thankful for this year. There are specific innovations in healthcare, transportation, food, fitness and shopping that have made my life immeasurably better. However, when I dig really deep and reflect on the past year, there are two things which top the gratitude list: work that makes me feel alive and the opportunity to work with my closest friends.

Not many people get to make their living doing work that makes them come alive. I can honestly say that I love what I do and am thankful that it gives me energy. I still have the drive twenty-five years into an extremely blessed career to continue putting in regular eighty-hour weeks. Each week, I work with clients on their product development challenges, mentor staff, write about innovation, run a business, teach two college classes, advise entrepreneurs, and help market a beautiful resort. I always exercise and, occasionally, I sleep. I don’t love every minute of every day. Some of it is drudgery, but the large proportion of my work that makes me feel strong is an extraordinary blessing that I cannot ignore.

The opportunity to work with my closest friends is another gift that I count as a treasure. One of the reasons I am so excited about what I do is because of who I get to do it with. The talented professionals that populate my life bring me joy, vitality, and a sense of purpose. There is nothing more gratifying than watching a young leader grow into a fully formed professional adult that possesses presence and confidence. My colleagues at Kalypso, Housley students, Stelos Alliance stakeholders, advisory board members, and my team at Royal Belize are all part of a family that I hold very near and dear. They make me look smart and I cannot imagine life without them.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. I am so grateful for all of life’s blessings and hope that you will find fulfillment and happiness in the year ahead. Gratitude is a powerful thing. Spread it around and see.

My Log Book

8 Aug

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I have been SCUBA diving for over 25 years. Destinations have included The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Greek Isles, Hawaii, California, Florida, a mine in Missouri, and every divable spot in Mexico and the Caribbean. There were times over that period when I was very active and times when life got in the way and I was only able to get in one trip a year. Regardless, I have been religious about keeping a log of every one of my several hundred dives. It is my personal SCUBA history book.

In the early years I wrote about the things I saw. The book is littered with the words ray, shark, turtle, eel, and every manner of reef fish large and small. The sharks were identified by species; nurse, bull, lemon, whitetip, blacktip, hammerhead, and tiger (no great whites yet). I once saw a turtle as big as a VW bug.

When my son and daughter took up the sport about eight years ago, I continued to log our dives together and the frequency of them increased dramatically. Diving became a family affair. I loved getting them alone on a surface interval to chat about the things we saw on our first dive and talk excitedly about what we might encounter next.

Soon after we began diving together the entries in my log book began to change. I still noted the special things we had seen, but there was much more written about the people we were with. The entries were now about new friends made on trips; kind souls that emailed photos from their fancy underwater cameras; interesting folks with good stories; and friends that I have introduced to life under the sea. The memories made on these trips are less about morays and mantas, and more about friends and family.

As I peruse the log book entries from our new second home at Royal Belize I find precious reminders of the people I love the most.

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