The Opening of Holiday Hotel, June 16, 1965
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Monday November 26, 2018

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When you stroll through San Pedro, you come to know the Holiday Hotel, its wonderful barbecues, and Celi's Restaurant. The hotel is a gorgeous colonial structure, best seen from the beach, but also has a street entrance.  A three story hotel, it commands center stage in San Pedro. The seafront rooms are comfortably cooled with air conditioning and ceiling fans, or let the cooling trade winds add their romance to your stay.
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The Opening of Holiday Hotel, June 16, 1965

The Island of San Pedro did NOT have a formal Hotel, up to 1964. - There was only a Guest house owned by Mr Jim Blake, and visitors would stay at friends' homes.

BUT there arose, a brilliant young San Pedrana, by name Celi Nunez Grief, who decided to open a small Hotel and named it Holiday.

She invited Premier Price to inaugurate it. I was also invited to attend the ceremony.

In the discussions that ensued, the possibilty of providing electricity and a proper airstrip for San Pedro were presented and noted by Premier Price. San Pedro also needed a Town Pier to replace the one which Hurricane Hattie had destroyed. and a Ball Field.

In the picture from top to bottom were, from left to right. Young Celi Nunez, Teacher Palacio and Minister Hector Silva. Bottom row: Premier George Price. - Vilage Chairman Fido Nunez - and a Councillor. )

Celi opened Holiday Hotel, a five room establishment, on June 16, 1965: With a sing-song voice that characteristically mixes purpose with humor, Celi described those early days: “We had nada-nothing! No electricity, no water, no phones, not even an airstrip. Guests arrived by sailboat and they were picked up in a Land Rover, the island’s only vehicle. We brought luggage to the hotel with a wheel barrow! ” Dive tourism began on Ambergris Caye when Celi brought in the island’s first compressor in 1970, a 4.5 cubic foot Mako transported in a trailer through Mexico.

Photograph courtesy Hector Silva

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