A heavenly girl’s getaway at Victoria House Resort was just what the doctor ordered for my friend Sandie and I. We both really needed the spirit of tranquility and peace that is the heart of this luxury island resort.
As we were driving to our destination (which was down the street from Sandie’s house) she said “Let’s pretend we are really on vacation and are tourists.”
It was not hard to do, as Victoria House instantly gave us a decadent taste of what the Caribbean was made for – island style relaxation, pampering and rejuvenation. Check in included a delicious welcome ginger refresher drink. Soon we had sand between our toes and breeze in our hair along with gorgeous blue skies, swaying palms and the Caribbean sea on the walk to our suite.
It was a very full and relaxing few days. We enjoyed spectacular views, high-end amenities including a full-service spa with great treatments, a private pool and two excellent restaurants. We had social time with family, friends, and people at the next table (a few times.) Although we did not make it to the gym, we both got some exercise and of course I enjoyed a few cat naps in, too. Sandy was inspired to paint – she does lovely tropical water colors.
These next few pictures show the walk to our villa, Casa Azul and private pool – we were in the upstairs two story with the large veranda at the far end of the building. We had plenty of outdoor lounge space and a good sized pool all to ourselves.
Both of us knew we were in for a treat, but had no idea just how much. As soon as we entered the Tower Suite, it was like magic fairy dust had sprinkled over us and instantly the outside world felt far away. We were 2 extremely lucky friends enjoying a full out fabulously romantic moment in time. As we toured the large ground floor bathroom with a roomy jaccuzi and wandered upstairs and around our flower dusted casa, we both felt very grateful to call this home for the next two nights.
I have come to believe in general there is a “romance shortage” so in my world, sharing romance is not just for couples, many of my friends qualify for the experience too. Aside from Sandie, 6 others got a small taste of nuestro mundo romántico (our romantic world) 😀
It was fitting that I chose Sandie for this trip, partly because she really needed a break and partly because their family is about to move to Mexico. The last part is because of our mastermind work – which I was not thinking about at the time of our invitation. I just looked it up and it was May 7th, as part of my homework. She had told me the benefits and asked me write out 5 things I wanted to happen with in 5 months as if they had already happened. I wrote 7 and am very pleased to say it does work . After this trip, number three on my list was the first to get highlighted green for having happened – I took a charmed vacation for two. 6 left to go and I would happily repeat this one any day 🙂
Thanks to Janet Woollam Managing Director and Manager Jennifer Ingvolstad for making it happen as well as all the wonderful staff we encountered during our stay. The entire Victoria House team made us feel welcome and special. Despite being a luxury property, Victoria House Resort maintains a down to earth, laid-back atmosphere. It speaks volumes that all the staff we encountered during our stay had been there for years. They are smiling experts at making sure vacationers have a stress-free getaway.
Everyone we shared the experience with through drinks, meals and a room tour felt the same. They all fell in love with our heavenly girls getaway just as much as we did – even the boys.
We did not want for anything during our stay except a spare key when our door accidentally closed behind Sandie. I joked about Sandie wanting me to exercise after my massage, as we took a walk to find staff who were quick to let us back in.
Of course I brought my portable speaker and favorite new disco light and turned the downstairs bathroom into my own private tub club. I figured why wait to decompress, this was a perfect start before an early morning yoga session and spa time.
Private Pool Side Yoga Class
I had done yoga with Jen before, so I was always willing to revisit the idea because I like her general teaching style. This class turned out to be a blend of Vinyasa flow and restorative Yoga. Jennifer made sure I was adapting poses to the best of my body’s ability and corrected my form when I needed it. I ended up getting a good workout and at no point did I feel uncomfortable with the difference in skill levels – the other girl was definitely more advanced.
If you know me well you know Yoga is not really my thing, however since Jennifer invited me to take a class under a big Palapa by the infinity pool how could I refuse? Especially when I knew that it was about more than the write up. She wanted me to have a good healthy stretch before my spa treatment so that I got the maximum effect. I appreciated her line of thought and I definitely felt the benefits. My mind was restless enough by the time I got on the table, I can only imagine how full of chatter it would have been had I not done a body calming exercise class first.
Spa Treatment Transformations
Although she had her treatment after mine, Sandie’s story gets told first as she was genuinely excited by the relief she felt after being in pain for so long. Plus, it made me laugh because she had made everyone that come over use the “Cadillac magnifying mirror”.
“It smells like Heaven in here!” I exclaimed as I entered the Spa area, and the intoxicating scent of lemongrass greeted me, along with the lovely Spa manager, Jennifer.
It was funny, Laurie had booked a bodywork treatment for me, however, after seeing my face in the awesome lighted magnifying mirror in our villa, I decided it was time for a facial, instead. Imagine my surprise when Jennifer asked me to undress for my treatment! It turned out that Laurie, who had gone first, asked Jen to still do a bodywork treatment and leave it as a last minute surprise. She knew that I’d torn my ACL a few months ago, and my knee was still hurting.
I enjoyed a heavenly 90 minute Oxygenating Lightening Facial utilizing the spa’s Ilike Organic Skincare products. During my masque stage of my relaxing facial, I received 25 minutes focused on my left knee. Jen used a variety of techniques including Massage, Shiatsu and Cranio Sacral Therapy.
Concrete Results were noticeable in both areas:
- My new favorite toy, the magnificent make up mirror confirmed it, my skin was brighter and my dark spots really were lightened!
- The deep pressure point massage to work out the knee muscle, left me feeling like a new person! My knee was visibly less swollen. This helped put me on a path to being able to exercise again, something I have been really missing.
While Sandie got her treatment, I enjoyed feeling blissful in our king size bed that was fit for a Queen. I love quality me time. It was nice to lay there and appreciate my surroundings and how great I was feeling before drifting off.
Aside from the fabulous bed and my sleep mask, my nap was special because I had just come from my own trans-formative time with Jennifer. My treatment started with Cranio Sacral Therapy (CST), followed by the Maya Abdominal Therapy techniques, then a coco body polish. I also had hot stones placed on my abdomen to warm and relax my stomach while she loosened my neck, shoulders and head with massage therapy techniques before transitioning to Cranial Sacral.
If you are not familiar, CST uses very light pressure on specific points with the goal of improving the functioning of the central nervous system. Cranio Sacral Therapy is specifically beneficial for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction. Of the list Jen shared with me, I had a few areas I have recently been feeling challenged by: learning disabilities (dyslexia), fatigue, emotional difficulties (general anxiety disorder) and stress and tension related problems – due to all of the above.
I have also been experiencing digestive issues so Maya Abdominal Therapy was a perfect ingredient to the mix. I have had Maya abdominal therapy with Jen before and really liked it. She uses Arvigo Technique, based in the Maya healing traditions in Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula. I like the idea of adding local and regional culture to my vacation spa time.
Maya Therapy worked my entire abdomen using a combination of deep and light strokes with local coconut oil with castor oil known for its for healing properties. It helps to loosen up tensions in smooth muscle fibers of the organs. After the abdominal massage, she incorporated Cranio Sacral to release any lingering tension in the area.
Wanting me to sparkle and shine on the outside too, Jennifer gave me a very fitting happy ending by finishing off my treatment with a coco body polish using local sugar, coffee and coconut oil. I am very much an iced coffee and chocolate girl so it is fitting they were the last thing on my yummy massage menu. This wonderful treatment was followed by a warm outdoor shower in a private courtyard and a big fluffy robe.
Spa and outdoor rain shower pictures used in the collage below (and top featured image) courtesy of Victoria House. After my treatment I was a bit sticky to be handling my camera and Sandie was back enjoying her share of solo time in our casa, doing art work on our upstairs veranda.
I can say without a doubt my treatment helped me feel relaxed and refreshed. It also gave me a deeper insight on my road to wellness. After asking me some preliminary questions and hearing some of the things I was struggling with, Jennifer, (who is well schooled and extremely knowledgeable) suggested I get a thyroid panel done. Since I was scheduled for celiac testing, I have already taken her advice and am waiting for my results.
Since day one was spa day for both of us and exercise time (for me), Sandie said she wanted to enjoy pool time on day two. Her plan was to sketch some more, sun for a bit and get a low impact aquafitness workout. Being a shade girl, I opted for more inside quiet time instead of under the covered lounge area before joining her.
Finally The Food
I know many of you were waiting for me to get to the good stuff – what we ate and who we ate with 😀
While there, we enjoyed many fabulous meals. For lunch at Admiral Nelson’s Bar, we shared a shrimp quesadilla and both had salads. Sandie ordered the roast beet and goat cheese salad and I had the kale salad with a fried egg on top.
Our first dinner was a family one as Sandie and her husband Bob were celebrating their son Logen’s birthday. His comment on my succulent tenderloin dinner was that it was the best steak that he has ever tasted in Belize and he left wishing he had ordered the same. Sandie’s Tequila Flamed Shrimp Stack looked good too. We all shared a piece of Caye Lime for dessert and agreed a do-over was in order one day soon.
After dinner that night we stopped for a brief chat with our friend and local expat jewelry maker Veronique Raimbault who sells there weekly. Then we took the boys back to revel over our suite.The following night, we enjoyed a fun girl’s evening out starting at dusk with drinks Admiral Nelson’s Bar. Then we gave the girls a tour of our stunning beachfront Villa, and they instantly fell in love with our romance package 😉 Of course we had to snap a picture in the party size Jacuzzi.
Next we headed to La Palmilla for dinner, where we made friends with a lovely visiting couple at the next table. Our dinners were delicious and we got to taste test each others, which included a few of the dishes mentioned above as well as cashew crusted grouper, bacon wrapped shrimp, and guava glazed pork loin.
Daily continental breakfast was included with our stay, but being a girl with two hollow legs, I knew I wanted something heartier. I ordered seafood eggs Benedict one morning and standard breakfast with bacon the other. Their menu was too good to resist and the second breakfast, Sandie opted for veggie omelet. We also enjoyed some great beverage starters and dessert finishers during our stay as you will see below.
Since we were deemed officially “on vacation” I did not leave the grounds – going anywhere else would have meant I was getting pulled back to “the real world” and I was having none of that. Sandie got a hall pass and briefly went the short distance to her house to help care for her 98 year old mother.
I will leave you with a few more pictures that made me very happy to stay put and keep dreaming.