Umaya Village is a resort designed exclusively for digital nomads, featuring mentorship sessions, community meals, excursions and DJs from a beachside setting in Belize. Olivia Palamountain reports
Remote working has been growing as a trend for some time but the Covid-19 pandemic has proved to employers of desk-based workers that working from home (or anywhere) can be done. It may even make people more efficient and productive. (Read more about Globetrender’s take on digital nomadism in a post-Covid world here).
As the world begins to open up again, destinations and resorts are rushing to cater to the growing tribe of digital nomads back on the road. A new addition is Umaya Village in Belize, a utopia for remote workers and the first designated community of its kind in the Caribbean.
Editor’s note: In December 2021, Umaya Village was rebranded as Noma Collective.
Set in a former hotel between a salt-water lagoon and a pristine beach, Umaya Village has been kitted out with all the toys and tech digital nomads need to work, rest and play, including an all-important reliable and rapid wifi connection, and a range of on-site workspaces, including a dedicated clubhouse overlooking the sea. Behind the village is a team who transforms under-utilised hotels and resorts into thriving communities of remote workers that redefine the modern-day living/working lifestyle.A private, en suite room in a two-bed shared apartment starts from US$1,500 a month. These offer more than 92 sqm of living space comprising a shared kitchen, lounge and a balcony overlooking the water. Private apartments and group bookings are available. Guests have the option to self-cater or head to the on-site restaurant, which serves up healthy, locally sourced cuisine including two “community meals” per week, where all residents are invited to get together as a group. More than just a comfortable place to live and work, Umaya offers a range of community activities, exercise classes, adventure trips and professional development sessions aimed at removing the isolation of remote work and encouraging professional development opportunities.On the business side of things, guests can expect weekly seminars on topics such as how to optimise sales funnels and initiate start-up fundraising. Also in the pipeline are plans for the Umaya Academy, a residential business school that teaches the skills needed to earn a remote income.
Umaya Village initiates “mentorship matching”, too, for residents keen to be connected to a mentor in a specific industry, drawn from the community’s extensive founder network.
Ready for some downtime? Three morning yoga classes take place each week plus a host of resident-led training sessions and group exercise classes are on offer, either al fresco or from the resort gym.Meanwhile, the dreamy beachside location provides a backdrop to all sorts of activities, from kayaking and paddle boarding (equipment provided) to weekend parties featuring DJs and live music.
Excursions further afield are programmed weekly so guests can explore the best of Belize – think tubing down jungle canyons to chocolate tasting at a cacao farm.Expect to meet people from all walks of life, interests, industries and backgrounds at Umaya Village. The property has even hosted celebrity guests ranging from international DJ Little Boots, to renowned photographer Dan Medhurst, and YouTube educator Mike Dane.Planning an extended workation? Further options include a stay at Madeira’s new Digital Nomad Village or how about a “wellbeing workation” from Balance Holidays, now running a series of curated stays that let digital nomads stay as long as they want at partner properties in Europe and the UK.
Dominica is also on the cards. The island has joined many of its fellow Caribbean nations in launching a long-stay visa aimed at digital nomads, academics, families and those on sabbaticals, seeking a healthier work-life balance in an exotic location.