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“Worry free” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Blackbird Caye Resort

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Blackbird Caye Resort
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Turneffe Atoll, Turneffe Island, Belize   |  
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Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Green Bay WI
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Worry free”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2014

Just spent 4 days here. We so much enjoyed our stay. The manager Mike, bartender Gilbert, cute little Jose, the gentle giant Stewart, and Chris were so accommodating. The snorkeling was excellent, food wonderful, rooms clean and nice. No clocks, no TV, no hassle and no locks on the room doors. This is a place like "Cheers" where everybody knows your name Our little group of 4 would go back here in a minute

Room Tip: Choose the cabana closest to the office. It is also across from the bar which is helpful
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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343 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    276
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (100)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cape Charles, Virginia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2014

If you are looking for a vacation away from the crowds, Blackbird Caye is perfect. Wonderful is the best way to describe our cabana, the food, the snorkeling but especially Mike and the staff at Blackbird Caye, Our flight from U.S. was cancelled and we arrived in Belize a day late but Mike made sure arrangements were made and Mr. Moreno was there to pick us up at the airport.
Don't miss the trip to the Blue Hole on Tuesday, whether you snorkel, dive or want to just take a boat ride you will enjoy the day.
Wasn't sure we would like the set meal times but the food was great and we had a chance to meet the other guests. Breakfast and lunch is buffet, dinner is served and you have a choice of seafood or white meat each day. As far as the quantity of food, if you want more or would like something not offered, just ask. Don't miss Happy Hour, appetizers are served at 5:00 and Gilbert makes great cocktails. The drinking water on the island was good but they do have bottled water and soft drinks to purchase.
Remember: iPod, speaker, binoculars, 50 sunblock, bug spray, hair dryer.
There is a gift shop with some essentials to purchase but remember this is a small island so come prepared.

Room Tip: We had the deluxe cabana which has a separate bedroom, but all the cabanas are great. Comments I saw...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage, Alaska
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2014

We spent a week at Blackbird Caye for our babymoon in January and enjoyed every minute. The staff is amazing and goes out of their way to make sure your every need is met. We spent my birthday at the resort and the staff made sure it was extra special by baking a beautiful cake for me and working with my husband on some extra surprises. We did not sign up for the diving package since I would only be able to snorkel, but enjoyed the flexibility of being able to go out when we chose. We lucked out with a gorgeous day at the Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye which was breathtaking. We stayed in a deluxe cabana which was spacious and clean and enjoyed laying in the hammock on the patio just reading and relaxing. You wont believe the view from the pool and had it to myself many days while the group went out diving. All of the meals were delicious, especially the desserts, and they were able to accommodate special dietary requests. Make sure to take out the kayaks on a calm day as there is so much beautiful scenery to see and my husband was even able to catch and release fish while drifting back. This place may not be for everyone, but if you truly want to unplug and get away from it all it cannot be beat. We hope to make it back someday for another visit.
-Shannon and Alex Blue

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hagerstown, Maryland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2014

Highly recommended for divers, not for casual vacationers looking for a resort with lots of activities or amenities.

Incredible location - remote and undeveloped. Basic, comfortable rooms and facilities. Very friendly, helpful service. Reliable electric and water (tap water is drinkable). Wi-fi with moderate-speed internet connection available in one lounge area, but not in rooms. Food like good American home cooking (with some Belizean variations) at breakfast and lunch; a bit more ambitious and elegant at dinner. Accommodated vegetarians easily with advance notice.

Diving was not as fabulous as we had hoped, but was a 4 at most sites, and a couple of 5s. Dive staff were very good to excellent. Boats were fine. Snorkeling by boat (available every day, no extra cost) was 4s and 5s. Snorkeling from the resort beach requires swimming out 150 yards to the house reef, which was pretty good, but not as good as the snorkeling sites reached by boat. A beautiful beach to sit on but not great for casual swimming - tons of seaweed in the area right off the beach.

(Written by an experienced diver and an experienced snorkeler -- 8 previous dive trips to Caribbean and S. Pacific.)

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Maine
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2014

This resort is basic and remote.... Twenty or so individual cottages on a beach. No golf, no tennis, no disco bar - just palm trees, gin clear water, a comfortable bed and a lovely private screen porch complete with hammock. Primary attraction is the snorkeling, which is as good as any in the Caribbean. Shallow coral reefs protected by a barrier reef with all the sea life you could wish for. The staff are the greatest - thoughtful, friendly and quick to know whether you'd prefer beer or a gin and tonic. Only reason i didn't give it five stars was that the food was fine but not outstanding. They do fine with what they've got but remote islands and gourmet fare are a rare combination. All in all - a great get away ........ Bring a good book, shorts and a bathing suit. Leave everything else at home.

Room Tip: Cottage six is nice - close enough to the office to cop the wifi signal. Mini fridge and coffee mak...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbia, South Carolina
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2014

I don't know if I can describe how much we enjoyed Blackbird. My husband and I wanted to unplug, spend lots of time outdoors and have plenty of time to be lazy. Blackbird definitely gave us all that. In addition, we got outstanding service, fantastic food, fabulous diving/snorkeling, and pleasant company. Even though I'm not a diver, I loved kayaking, lying by the pool drinking margaritas, and lingering over dinner talking to interesting people. When my husband wasn't diving, we went kayaking or snorkeling together (the reef is swimming distance from the dock!), read books in the hammock, or strolled the island looking for iguana. We had very high expectations for this trip, and we were still impressed.

Room Tip: Cabana #6 is behind the bar. We were disappointed we didn't have more privacy at first, but the...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2014

We just got back from a weeklong stay at Blackbird. All in all, we enjoyed the resort tremendously, but the diving just wasn't very good at all. Here's what I have to say about our stay.
Food – I would give them a 4.5 stars out of 5. The food was very good most times, great a few times, and forgettable at other times. Breakfast was usually good, but serving pancakes without syrup is pretty dumb. Lunch was good most days. Dinner was above my expectations. I have a very boring palate and I was very pleased with most dinners. More choices would have been better because if you don’t like conch, you don’t have many other options. My wife loved dinner every night and so did most of the people we sat with.
Staff – I’ve got to say that I thought the people here were exceptional. Everybody was nice, helpful, and hardworking. I think the guys that clean the beach every day deserve a special mention. These guys raked all the junk (i.e. plastics and other trash) that washed up on the beach every morning. They kept the place looking postcard perfect. Gilbert at the bar was a very nice kid. He was keeping the other guests happy with his drink making creativity. I’d give the staff a 5 out of 5.
Divemasters – For the most part they were good. They switched out our tanks after each dive and they cleaned all our gear after our last dive - which was a great help. My biggest problem with them was that they did not hesitate to touch the sea life. We have always taught, and have been taught, that you never touch anything underwater. While we were there, I saw them tug on a resting nurse shark until it came out and swam away. There was another time when there was a turtle sleeping on the reef and the one DM pushed the turtle out so we could see it and get pictures. I would have been happier to watch the turtle sleeping. They also caught a puffer fish and caused it to “puff”. Something else I did not like was that on one dive, one of the divers with us had their regulator malfunction. The DM took my daughter’s regulator (she decided not to make the dive) and gave it to the other diver – without asking permission. That was totally unacceptable. I’d give them a 3.5 stars out of 5.
Rooms -- The rooms were good. Our room was very large and comfortable. I will say that the rooms need some TLC. There were areas that needed some attention. There were tiles missing off the bathroom wall that were covered by linoleum tile. When I unplugged my Kindle from the wall the whole box came out. The box had been "secured" only with caulk, nothing else. The bathroom screen had a large hole in it that was plugged with toilet paper. The room looked "tired" and needed to be spruced up.
Diving – I have been waiting to dive Belize for 10 years and I was very excited to finally get here. I was very surprised at how few fish there were. I would say that there was only 1/20th the number of fish (and this is being generous). It was not uncommon to see only 1 fish in a 16 to 20 square yard area. I could not believe it! Luckily, even though there weren’t many fish to see, we did come across quite a few turtles and spotted eagle rays. Almost every dive we made could have been titled “Lionfish Safari”. The DMs speared a multitude of lionfish on every dive. We watched them hunting because there weren’t many fish to watch. The speared lionfish were fed to grouper, triggerfish, and barracuda. On the other hand the reefs were in very good condition, and there was very little bleaching and/or dead coral. I’d give the diving a 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Resort – Now this is another area where Blackbird shines. I literally went barefoot the whole time I was there. That was fantastic. There were no TVs anywhere. If you needed the internet, you could go to the office. I enjoyed being completely unplugged from the real world. The place is secluded, remote, and laid back. Almost everything is geared for divers and snorkelers. We really enjoyed the relaxed nature of the resort. Definitely 5 out of 5 stars!!
I would not go back to Belize because of the poor diving, but if I had to go back, I would not hesitate to stay at Blackbird.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Blackbird Caye Resort

Address: Turneffe Atoll, Turneffe Island, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Belize Cayes > Turneffe Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Blackbird Caye Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Blackbird Caye is a privately owned Island sitting on The Mesoamerican Reef System - often referred to as the "Jewel of the Caribbean" - it is the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere with a rich tapestry of vivid corals, mangrove forests, coastal wetlands, and diverse marine wildlife. Within the reef you will find Turneffe Atoll the Caye where the resort is located. Turneffe is the largest and most biologically diverse of the 3 atolls found in the Caribbean home to more than 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of mollusk, and more than 500 species of fish, manatees, dolphins and invertebrates. There are over 70 dives sites all within 10-15 minutes from the resort and 45 minutes to Lighthouse Reef where The Great Blue Hole is located. The resort is made of 19 modern cabanas facing the Caribbean Sea and 1 beach house. The cabanas are all equipped with A/C, fans, private bathrooms, either King or Queen Beds with new comfortable bedding, private porches with chairs and swinging hammocks. Included in the price are your cabana, 3 daily meals, dive or snorkel package, complimentary transfers to the island on Wednesdays and Saturdays and use of the resort's kayaks. We are the only resort on Turneffe with an air strip making it convenient to arrive or depart any other day of the week. Our courteous and helpful staff will always make you feel at home as customer service ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blackbird Caye Hotel Turneffe Islands
Blackbird Caye Belize City

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