Playing multiple roles as hotel, preserve, and farm, this 12-room location is located on Belize's southern coast, near Punta Gorda. Against the backdrop of the Maya Mountains, the former Machaca Hill Lodge provides a center for guests to eat, gather area information, or just sit and watch the days unfold in the dense rainforest. The private suites aim to give the feel of “outdoor” living while sheltering comfortably (modern perks like Wi-Fi, AC, and mini-fridges are included.) The 3,000 acre farm continues to be active, producing goods like coffee and cacao, some of which culinary director Mara Jernigan utilizes to keep the pipeline flowing from “farm to table.”
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.