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“Good diving and snorkeling”

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Blackbird Caye Resort
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Certificate of Excellence
Abilene
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Good diving and snorkeling”
Reviewed May 22, 2011

If you can catch this place open, it is a fun place with good diving and snorkeling. The staff is outstanding, they all try to make your stay enjoyable. You will find all of the tropical fish along with some turtles, sharks, spotted eagle rays and on one trip dolphins. The boats are large with easy entry. Also, the conch fritters at happy hour are outstanding.

  • Stayed May 2011
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Helpful?
1 Thank Olddiver36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Montreal, Quebec
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2011

We went with our two teenagers diving for one week. The diving was really good, be it the divemaster, the boat or the fish themselves! Got our kids hooked on diving!
That being said, I feel we paid 5 star price for 3 star amenities. The resort is in need of some TLC. I think this might have to do with a manager that the staff does not really respect.
Also, although the food is good, it is definetly lacking in diversity and quantity. You better be on time or else you might not have some food. This is not what you expect when you pay these kind of prices. The bar is also only open from 5h30 to 7pm - not really fun on vacation.
There is no pool and you can't really swim in the sea from your room as there is algue.
So...I would go back for the diving if they lowered the prices.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank njpicot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2011

We just returned from a two week stay in Belize, 4 nights of which were spent at Blackbird. In retrospect, I wish we had spent more time on this secluded caye rather than later venturing to Ambergris Caye. The accommodations at Blackbird varied, as some of the cabanas were newer than others. After the first night in the triplex cabana, our family (3 of us) and my brother and his fiance asked to move to cabanas down the beach for more privacy (the resort didn’t have all of the cabanas full), and they moved us quickly and without questions or problems. They were in cabana 9 and we were in 14, and both were beautifully decorated and had tables, sitting areas, and screened porches overlooking the ocean. Beds were so comfortable and bathrooms nice and clean. The staff were amazing, and we had an exceptionally good time with Cardinal, who led our snorkel and kayaking trips. He was genuinely friendly and so quick to help make our day trips/adventures accessible for our 3 year old.

The bar area sat partially over the ocean and had a great island-vibe. A pre-dinner snack and drinks were served here every night starting at 5:30, and usually everyone who was staying at the resort would go and socialize. Breakfast and lunch were served buffet style, and there were always tons of options for what to eat. Dinner was a plated meal with an soup or salad, entre, and dessert, and everything was always amazing- practically on the gourmet side. Just a note, though- if you’re vegetarian, please let them know ahead of time. There was a vegetarian guest who did not inform them beforehand. They still managed to appease her, but, it couldn’t have been easy for them to do that, as there is obviously no grocery store anywhere near them to quickly get supplies.

There were always a good variety of options for the day trips, depending on which package you purchase. The last day was a bbq trip with all guests and a combined snorkel/scuba trip. It was a blast.

If you’re looking to stay somewhere off the beaten path and have a nearly-private vacation experience, Blackbird is ideal. We would return there in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank GBinPhilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cortez, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2011

We just returned from our week-long stay at the Black Bird Caye resort in Belize.

Our stay there was fabulous - it is the best vacation we've ever had.

We were met at the airport by a van driver who took us to a waiting boat, which took us to Blackbird Caye. The journey from the airport to Blackbird Caye very painless - there was no waiting, no wondering what was going on, no anxious moments at all.

Our stay at the resort included a combination snorkel/sea kayaking package. On days that did not have special activities planned, we were taken out in the morning and in the afternoon in groups varying in size from 3 people up 8 or 9 people.

Each trip was led by at least one and usually two guides. The guides were extremely knowledgeable and friendly. They went to great lengths to find interesting things for us to see that we probably would not have noticed on our own.

Most of the daily snorkeling trips that we did involved the guides taking us in a motorboat to the morning or afternoon's snorkel spot. The guides chose the snorkeling location based upon what we wanted to do/see and the current weather conditions. The motorboats were very well maintained and the guides drove them expertly.

The snorkeling was really, really good. We saw a huge variety of reef and pelagic fishes - far too many to list. There were lots of neat marine invertebrates The coral was in good shape - lots of species and not lots of damage. One of the many nice things about our guides - they knew what most of things we saw were, and they also went to great lengths to make sure we saw rare creatures, or ones that we hadn't noticed.

There were no days on which we were frustrated by water visibility - it ranged from pretty good to very good (sorry, no idea of distance).

On one day of our stay, we were taken out on an all-day trip to the Blue Hole. We snorkeled while other guests went scuba diving. This trip included a barbecue/snorkel at the Lighthouse Reef Atoll's Half Moon Caye. We also visited a Red-footed booby rookery, which was astonishingly cool.

The resort had rental scuba and snorkeling equipment available. The equipment was very good and well maintained. I found that their rental equipment was actually much better than the equipment that my wife and I had brought with us.

On one of our days at the resort, I took a half-day scuba course that included classroom and shallow-water instruction and a (very highly) supervised dive. The dive was absolutely mind blowing. In spite of how much fun I had snorkeling at the Blue Hole, I sorely wish that I had been a 'real' scuba diver, and had gone scuba diving on the resort's Blue Hole dives!

The sea kayaking that we did was not hardcore, touring-style sea kayaking - it was more casual and fun. We would usually combine the sea kayak trips with snorkeling. That was exactly what we wanted - but if we had wanted hard-core, touring style trips, I'm pretty sure we could have done them.

The resort lodgings were really, really nice. Guests stay in stand-alone huts on the beach. Our hut had a thatched roof and a screened-in porch (with hammock). The two room (bedroom and bathroom) hut had electricity, running hot and cold water, a shower, a flush toilet and two beds. The hut also had an air conditioner, but the climate was so pleasant during our stay that we did not use it.

The huts were very, very clean. There was maid service twice a day.

Food was comprised of three meals a day, with snacks etc provided the rest of the time. And the food was *good* - curried conch, pecan encrusted grouper, pork chops, hand made pizza, that sort of thing. Guests had a choice of evening meal - usually the was between a seafood item, a meat item, or both.

Given all the positives above, it would have been a very good vacation. But what made it a great vacation was the resort's staff. To a person, they were charming, friendly, and just plain nice to be around. At the end of the week my wife and I were very sad to leave them. I'm smiling as I think of them now.

Room Tip: All of the guest lodging looked as good as ours.
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank CrocoDale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worcester, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
218 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2011

we went for a week long snorkelling trip. the food, service, accomodations were excellent. The snorkelling trip groups were small. Blue Hole was a great experience. Hopefully we will plan a second trip

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank sangoy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belton, Texas
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2011

We just got back from a week at Blackbird Caye. We met some friends of our that we have dove with in Austrailia (and met some new ones). When we arrived at the airport, our ride was waiting for us. (Hint - buy a bottle of rum etc from the duty free shop and bring it with you.) He took us to the hotel in town were we had a pleasant lunch and enjoyed the view. We then left on 1.5 hour ride to the island. The ride was pleasant but a bit windy. (Make sure to take your sunscreen out and apply for the ride.) Once we arrived at the island, we had a short briefing and then were shown to our rooms. We stayed in cabana #12 which was really nice. The housing is primarily individual huts. Ours had a king bed, separate spacious living area, bathroom with drinkable water and a hot shower. My favorite part is the screened-in front porch ( with seating and a hammock) that faces east and toward the water. The sunrises were beautiful.

If you are looking for a relaxing remote dive vacation, this would be the place. Cardinal, our divemaster was wonderful. He always managed to spot the rays and eels before we would ever see them. We also saw a bunch of very friendly turtles. He is knowledgeable, very safety conscience and would join us in the lounge for happy hour while we looked at pictures from the dive each evening, while we tried to identify all the types of fish that we saw. We think his favorite fish was the juvinelle drum fish! Chris, the boat driver, was fantastic, followed our bubbles every time and made sure we were well taken care of. Leticia was our hostess, waitress and bartender. She made us feel like part of the family. She also makes a mean Pina Colada. And Phil... what can I say about Phil... He is the manager, secondary dive master and great storyteller. (just not sure how many of his stories to believe :) )

Overall, the three dives a day were great. Our favorite day was Tuesday where we dived the Blue Hole and the Aquirium site. Our last day was great on the way back from our last dive we got to get back in the water with some migrating pilot whales.

Overall, it was a great trip with good facilities, good food and great diving.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank DiverPaula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yellowknife, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2011

Stayed at Blackbird Resort for 4 nights at the beginning of a 16 day stay in Belize. Also stayed in Caye Caulker and Coco Plum Resort (check other reviews). Blackbird was wonderful. This is the place to stay for snorkelers. Divers were very happy too. Loved the program. Started early each day with at least two snorkel excursions/d. "Too Sweet" was a great guide. Of course best day out was trip to the blue hole, half moon caye and aquarium.

Phil the manager and the staff were great. Very attentive and always checked on how we were doing. Meals were wonderful with daily dinner choice, good lunch and breakfast. Units were perfect private cabanas, nicely furnished, well maintained. If we wanted to just relax or take a walk the choice was ours. We stayed busy in the water.

Originally arrived in Belize City the afternoon before and stayed at the Radisson on the waterfront and were picked up by Blackbird at 3 pm next day from Radisson dock. This was nice as it gave us a chance to walk about town in the morning, pick up some snacks and drinks for the stay.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank PandPYK
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

Property: 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
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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