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“Mediocre at best” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Blackbird Caye Resort

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Blackbird Caye Resort
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3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Turneffe Atoll, Turneffe Island, Belize   |  
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Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
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“Mediocre at best”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2006

I went to Blackbird with three friends for a great diving experience. While the diving was fair, there was much left to be desired when it came to the food, accomodations, and, most importantly, the professionalism of the staff.

I would recommend Blackbird to someone who is a hard core diver and only expects the minimum in terms of the overall resort experience. However, if you expect to be pampered, look elsewhere. I'd suggest Victoria House in Belize.

  • Stayed February 2006
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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292 reviews from our community

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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 (85)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2005

I did a lot of research for a place combining good diving and open water PADI certification referral for my companion. Blackbird is in a beautiful, remote setting 1 1/2 hours by boat ride from Belize City--which is good if everything goes well. But if management is not on top of things, its remoteness can be a disaster. It almost was for us. My companion had been hesitant about learning to scuba dive and did not consider herself a strong swimmer, but she did great in the pool and classroom at home. However, the first regulator and tank she was given at Blackbird were faulty. So was the second regulator which was not discovered until she was at the dive site and in the water.

She ended up doing her first ever open water dive using her octopus because her second stage wouldn't draw air. She did hang in there and complete her certification, but it was a traumatic experience that no new (or experienced) diver should have to go through. The manager did not seem to care, though, and apparently this kind of inattention was not uncommon at Blackbird.

After I returned home and reported the problem to the exclusive booking agent for Blackbird (who would not give me contact info. for the owner), she said Blackbird had to fire the previous manager because he was so bad. The current one was only filling in.

Most of my dives were with the instructor who was okay, but on the one dive with the dive master for other divers (apparently Blackbird just picks up a temporary dive master as needed from Belize City), he did not do a safety stop and tried to make me come up without one when I did my safety stop. While diving, he just swam ahead without making any attempt to look for interesting creatures--or, worse, looking back to see if we were following.

The manager spent more of his time playing volleyball with staff than paying attention to the guests.

The cottages are cute, food was so-so but not too bad considering the remoteness, and Blackbird's location is close to some good dive sites. But take your own reg and bc, don't get certified there--and find out if the management has improved before you go.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
142 helpful votes 142 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2005

We stayed a week in March 2005 and loved it. The place will appeal to nature lovers who seek a pristine environment and lots of time in, and on, the water. A dive package was $1,695 per person while the snorkel package was $1,495. The diving, snorkeling, and fishing were wonderful and the staff worked hard seeing to it that every guest got many opportunities to have a great time. Considering the resort's remoteness, the level of comfort was impressive. Potable hot & cold running water, reliable air conditioning, and excellent housekeeping and maintenance made staying there an effortless joy.

My chief criticism is that when the resort is full it is definitely understaffed. During our last few days every bed was occupied. The staff made valiant, but not always successful, efforts to accommodate so many people. I noticed the resort is building new cabanas while keeping the central dining facility unchanged. This does not bode well, in my opinion.

Lastly, the food was just OK. Sort of Holiday Inn standard--not much more.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2004

No T.V., no phones, no internet… you dive, you snorkel, you nap, you eat, and you ride the hammock. There is a research center within walking distance that offers lectures on the local biodiversity in the area but be warned, it is a frisky walk… bugs and snakes and crocodiles, oh my! (Mostly just bugs)

The cabanas are private, primitive (thatched roofs and mosquito netting), quiet and clean.

The lodge is rustic, clean and there is quite a bit of entertainment to be found.

The food was very good… excellent variety and creative!

The staff rocks! Chris and Junior have been there a while and both are characters.

Diving and snorkeling is what makes this place one of our faves… we have been there twice and have seen so much in terms of critters (in and out of the water), corals, and plant life.

If your looking for a party, bring your own because you won’t find it here.

Also, bring lots and lots and lots of bug spray!

  • Stayed October 2004
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2004

PARADISE. A true vacation. Fabulous scenery and beautiful diving. You feel taken care of by the attentive staff. Three dives per day.

Prior to going, I explained that I had some dietary restrictions. I was told that I could have cooked oatmeal at breakfast, and a non-fried entree at every meal. Sure enough, Janet made certain that every meal featured at least one entree I could eat, and Kenny served me my special oatmeal (no milk) every day at breakfast. Kenny and Janet made sure that each of us had enough food, and any special dietary restrictions were met. Janet seemed genuinely concerned that we all enjoyed our meals. Kenny was the head chef at a Chinese restaurant, and also had his own restaurant. Kenny makes a great rum punch, too.

The trip to the Blue Hole was terrific, as was the barbeque on Half Moon Caye that followed. The diving was great. We saw lobster, crab, Moray eels, grouper, barracuda, tarpon, stingrays, eagle rays, manta rays, and tons of other colorful fish and coral. We even snorkeled with dolphins when they surrounded the dive boat.

The name chart in the dining room facilitated conversation and the making of new friends. New guests arrive on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Our room was spacious, with a vaulted ceiling, and with a separate bathroom. The walls of the bathroom do not go to the ceiling, and sound can travel, but there is a stereo in every room. Bring your mp3 player and a Y-connector, to connect to the AUX inputs. Like most places in the tropics, you will need some bug spray, though the resort tries to reduce to a minimum the mosquito problem. And yes, the resort has a crocodile, which showed up around 7:00 p.m. several days in a row. She looks to be 7-8 feet long, as of August 2004.

The staff was friendly and helpful, without exception. Joe (Dive Master) and Junior (Boat Captain) were great. Chris led the snorkelers on some great trips. Denis sometimes captained the boat and was second in command of the resort. Hossein stepped up to the plate to run the place on an emergency basis, as the previous manager left suddenly due to a death in the family. Despite the upset, the resort ran like clockwork.

We stayed for 10 days, in August 2004. To quote our famous governor, “I’ll be back!”

  • Stayed August 2004
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
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
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
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 
Also Known As:
Blackbird Caye Hotel Turneffe Islands
Blackbird Caye Belize City

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