Xanadu Offering "ArtVenture"

For two weeks each fall, Art Adventure Workshops and Xanadu Island Resort on Ambergris Caye are offering the unique combination of art immersion and adventure activities interlaced with a relaxing vacation.

Genie Kell, who holds a Master of Arts from New York University, is leading the painting workshops. Years as an artist and teacher have made Genie fearless when it comes to helping others access the sources of their creativity. She leads participants on a journey of art exploration and discovery, taken to a whole new level at Xanadu’s beachfront setting, amidst lush tropical surroundings and the Caribbean waters.

Xanadu (a word which means “idyllic, beautiful place”) features some of the most unique resort structures on the island. The resort’s buildings literally are monolithic (“one-piece”) domes: fireproof, soundproof steel reinforced concrete structures built to withstand almost anything Mother Nature can throw at it.

Hurricane Keith in the fall of 2000 proved the dome’s hardiness. “Our son was taking pictures of roofs blowing by. We’re sitting drinking coffee, hardly even hearing the wind,” says Ivan Sheinbaum, who owns and operates Xanadu along with his wife Judy. The Sheinbaums, natives of South Africa, arrived in Belize seven years ago.

Sheinbaum researched the dome structures extensively before deciding to build them on his beachfront resort. The first dome was built five years ago. There are now five, each with three spacious luxurious suites. Inside, the dome’s curves give each suite an architectural uniqueness that can’t be found anywhere else. Outside, a thatched roof and porch gives each structure such an authentic, natural Belizean appearance, that one can hardly believe that they are domes.

Luxuriously furnished domes at that. All of Xanadu’s condominium suites offer fully equipped kitchens complete with full-size refrigerator, stove, microwave, coffee maker, blender, cookware, spacious living/dining areas, and a choice of 1, 2, or 3 bedrooms. All suites are equipped with central air, ceiling fans, cable TV, private phone, Internet access, beach towels and large shaded decks overlooking the pool and ocean.

There is a long pier with a cool palapa and swim platform. Scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, fishing or guided eco-tours to the jungle or Mayan ruins can be arranged. The dive and tour boats pick up and return guests to Xanadu’s private pier. The resort also offers complimentary bicycles, canoes and kayaks for guests to explore the island.

Art was integral to ancient Mayan civilization – one need only see the fascinating carvings and artwork displayed in Mayan architecture. Just last year, the Government of Belize created the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) to bring together four branches of government that oversee different areas of the country’s history and culture (Institute of Creative Arts; Museums and Houses of Culture; Institute of Archaeology; Institute of Social and Cultural Research). See artwork from the national collection online at www.nichbelize.org.

<from the Magnum Belize Newsletter, http://www.magnumbelize.com/news/newsletter.html