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Blackbird Caye Resort
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Certificate of Excellence
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“It was everything we wanted, and more!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2014

My husband and I went to Blackbird Caye from May 10-17 and it was perfect. Cabana #9 was lovely and not too far from the bar/restaurant. It was windy, but we didn't mind because it kept the bugs away. It rained on Friday, but it was still quite warm, so we were still out playing in the water! The staff is so friendly and everyone there is just so delightful. Our favorite was the bartender, obviously. (Hi Gilbert!!) Michael was very welcoming and made sure everyone felt right at home. We got to see the crocs at the lagoon and the iguanas and geckos running around the island. And my personal favorite - hammock naps everyday! We are not divers, and we only went on a few snorkel trips during our stay, but we chose Blackbird to 'get away from it all' and that is exactly what we did. We hope to return some day!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Desiree Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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520 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (145)
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English first
Lakewood, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 26, 2014 via mobile

My wife and I just spent 10 days at Blackbird and the time spent there was perfect. The resort is small, remote and low key. Just what we needed!

We went for the snorkeling, which is world class, and got so much more. Everything from the staff, to the accommodations (we stayed in superior cabana #14) to the food was exceptional.

Skiers have a saying, "why leave good snow to find good snow". We are planning to go back next year (as divers)...

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Mark R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loveland, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2014

Honestly, we didn't know what to expect.... This turned out to be a fantastic surprise and a much needed respite off the grid! The staff is amazing, service unmatched, Mike and the team are awesome. Everyone knows each other by the end of the stay and the chef is amazing.

Thank you so much for the laughs and memories! Jim & Debby, Loveland, CO

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Jim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gilbert, Arizona
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2014

Recently spent 4 days at Blackbird Caye. It's one and a half hours by speedboat from the mainland. No shoes needed. The caye is completely sand, with many lovely shells lyng around - possibly brought back by past divers. Palm trees everywhere, and you may spot an occasional iguana (I did). No locks on the doors, very casual. Michael, the manager, (ex USA) loves his job and it shows. All the people who work at Blackbird are friendly and eager to help. Margaret, the dining room manager, is very kind and helpful. I do not eat shellfish or poultry, but she and the chef made sure there was always something cooked for me. I do not dive or snorkel, yet I LOVED being at Blackbird. It's a fabulous getaway, far from the real world.

Room Tip: Bug spray is a 'must' - try Listerine in a small spray bottle. Also have sunscreen and a ha...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sandra S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2014

Wow, where to begin? We just got back from staying a week at Blackbird Caye Resort and we're already planning when to go back.

My husband and I were looking for a low-key destination without computers, tv, or cell phones, and Blackbird Caye fulfilled that for us. We stayed in Cabana #7 which was located by the bar, but it wasn't noisy or bothersome being that close to the bar (truly, hardly any noise after about 8pm). Cabana #7 is a Superior Cabana with two queen-size beds, a modest bathroom, and a hammock - nothing fancy but it's everything you'll need.

We originally went with the intention of snorkeling once per day and relaxing the rest of the time. Don't misunderstand - this is totally doable and you're not pressured to partake in anything you don't want to do. However, once you go snorkeling, you're going to want to go on every available snorkeling trip because the sea life is amazing! We also tried the Discover Scuba class with James, which was awesome - James is a patient, knowledgeable instructor and he's very good at what he does (and he also makes safety a top priority). I didn't continue scuba, but my husband is now PADI-certified to scuba in open water and he hadn't ever done scuba before going to Belize. Many divers staying at Blackbird said of the 300+ dives they had done worldwide, Blackbird/Belize offered some of the best.

The staff was incredibly accommodating. I have to abide by a gluten-free diet for health reasons, and I certainly didn't go hungry. Before I even sat down at breakfast or lunch (these two meals are served buffet-style), one of the staff members would come over to me and let me know my meal would be out in a moment (whether it be a grilled chicken breast instead of the breaded chicken breast, or corn tortillas to go with my eggs because I couldn't eat the chocolate muffins). Also, during the first dinner, the chef came out and informed us that all the soups served during our stay would be gluten-free. Finally, they made some amazing-looking desserts which I couldn't eat, but without fail I would be offered an alternative, including fresh fruit, ice cream, or gluten-free cookies. The 5 o-clock snack would also always have a gluten-free option (usually saran-wrapped on a separate plate for me). And that was just the service related to the food! Housekeeping was tidy and thorough, and the bar service (by Jose and Gilbert) was friendly and prompt.

We swam in the pool a few times, but there is enough water on the snorkeling and diving trips that you really won't feel the need to do extra swimming. There was an older woman on our trip (in her mid-to-late 70's) who snorkeled and the guide, Chris, was very reassuring and protective of her in the water. Chris would also point things out to us that I never would have seen on my own (the spaghetti worm was one of my favorite discoveries). Chris alone makes the snorkeling world-class.

Side note: our flight out of Belize was scheduled for 11:50am (it was moved up from 12:15pm). Blackbird Caye let us know they couldn't guarantee we'd make our flight if we took Big Bird (the biggest boat which transports passengers to and from the island) so we booked a private charter from Blackbird to Belize City, which took about 20 minutes. Neither of us had been in such a small plane before, and, although it was expensive, it was incredible to view the islands from such a high vantage point. When we got to the airport, we understood why Blackbird was unable to guarantee we'd make our flight if we took the boat: there was a very long line of people waiting to go through security (only two windows open and close to 200 people in line in front of us). It was very slow going and we were glad we took the charter flight at Blackbird's recommendation.

The last thing I'd like to mention were the other people at the Resort. I think Blackbird attracts like-minded individuals and we very much enjoyed the people we met. All three meals are arranged by tables of four or six place settings, so you are constantly getting to know people better (and hearing about everyone's daily adventures).

We would go back again to Blackbird Caye in a heartbeat. I can't say enough good things about them.

Katie and Brad

Room Tip: Cabana #7, a Superior Cabana, was very close to the water (only 10 feet), and also one of the closes...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank KatieCollins33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
El Paso, Texas
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 10, 2014

First off, our apologies to Michael, the resort manager extraordinaire for the delay in finally posting this review.

My significant other and I booked this trip through Groupon. The only slight downside to that was that it shoehorned us into a certain date, but that was our fault, not the resort. We were here for a week in mid JAN. From the start we knew it would be great. The resort called to check on our plans for diving, got all the information they needed, and had it all set up. We flew from Dallas to Belize City and were immediately met by the driver. He took us to the staging area for the boat, where we just chilled out for about 20 minutes...right as I decided to order a drink, they said the boat was ready. The boat was a larger diving boat with a very personable crew. Ian (who turned out to be our bartender at the resort for the week) offered beer or water. The weather cooperated - it was a beautiful smooth 1:30 ride to the resort, through some lovely mangroves. You enter the protected reef from the windward side and get a great view of this beautiful spot. Upon arrival we were brought to the palapa and briefed by Michael, the resort manager. He quickly fills you on on meal times, dive schedule, etc., then gives you your cabana assignment. Your luggage is already in your bungalow by the time you get there. We were pleasantly surprised that a small, remote spot like this had A/C!!! Very comfortable room, but if you are looking for 5 Star mainland resort accommodation you may be disappointed. We LOVED it. Oh, another thing - if you are not content just hanging out with who you came with, you might consider another location; but if you just want to relax, hang out with that special someone, get some GREAT diving or snorkeling in, hang out in a hammock, and interact with a wonderful staff, this is the place for you. The wait staff are wonderful. You get 2 choices for dinner each day, orders taken at lunch. I was not disappointed in any of the meals. Breakfast is a very satisfying buffet; lunch the same; happy hour is a light snack; then a great sit down dinner. I had read to bring extra food because the portions were not very big - WRONG!! We carried back or gave to the staff quite a bit of remaining snack food. Bring a bottle of booze for your room, but respect the resort and don't carry your own into the dining area or bar - they have a well stocked bar and our bartender, Ian, was awesome!! They offer 3 scheduled dives each day; you pay for what you do. The Dive Master, Cardinal, is exceptional. Great personality, highly skilled diver, and just a wonderful man. My partner is a very experienced diver and me a little less so. Cardinal did a great job mentoring our diving as a team (she was watching me too much and I was not relying on my own skills, using her as a crutch). For many of our dives, Emmi (sp?) was the assistant dive master. You will be very lucky if you get to dive with him - he pointed out some of the smallest, most beautiful sea life we had ever seen. I have NO idea how he even sees them ... like the Decorated Neck Crab that took me a while to see with him pointing right at it!!! DO NOT MISS THE TRIP TO THE BLUE HOLE!!! Even if you snorkel, it is an amazing wonder. Unfortunately, the day we went, it was overcast and breezy, but still WELL worth the trip. (Any my valid reason to go back to Blackbird) The visit to the National Park was awesome, both on shore with the Boobies to the diving in the surrounding waters with Caribbean Reef shark. Trust me, take the time and spend the money to get certified before you go!!! It is a laid back environment - this must be the place about which Kenny Chesney wrote "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem". We didn't wear shoes (even flip flops) the entire week!! While I held Michael responsible for it, the only thing that didn't completely cooperate with us was the weather - that time of year it can be grey and breezy, so coming up from a few dies, I would have preferred to stay in the water. Departure, as hard as it was to leave, was very well coordinated. Bags were picked up on time and (except for the OOOOOONE couple) everyone was at the boat on time for the 1.5 hour ride back. As our flight was later in the day, Michael had coordinated us to be picked up in Belize City where we went to another resort and just hung out until it was time to fly. Overall, it was an OUTSTANDING vacation - we will be going back.

Room Tip: The entire island is a fitness center. There was no room service - who needs that?
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank 3PintsPub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2014

Gale-force winds for 4+ days didn't dull our enthusiasm for this magical spot on the Meso-American reef system. Been diving & snorkeling the eastern and western Caribbean since the early 70s and I can say I have never seen so many fish and corals in such wonderful shape. No wonder Dr. Sylvia Earle calls this one of Earth's Hope Spots! We'll come back soon. Thank you Belize and the HUMANS behind Blackbird for caring for your guests and the ecosystem!

Room Tip: Any cabana- they're all good. We had #8, Superior, with a mini fridge.
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  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank FlaHomeGrl
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
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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