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“Wish We Were Still There”

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Hatchet Caye Resort
Ranked #7 of 19 Hotels in Placencia
Certificate of Excellence
Holly Springs, North Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Wish We Were Still There”
Reviewed January 13, 2014

We went to Hatchet Caye on our Honeymoon and had an amazing time! Our trip began with a fairly full day of travel which consisted of 3 flights and the 17 mile boat ride out to the island. This journey is totally worth it when you come around the corner to see paradise on the horizon. You are welcomed to the island with a cool glass of punch which is the perfect way to start your trip, and as expected, the resort justified the trip!

Rooms:
We stayed in the honeymoon cabana, which was nice as it is the only private cabana, and the deck directly faces the ocean, instead of being on the side. It is also closest to the restaurant if you're feeling extra lazy. Each cabana has its own set of beach chairs and hammock, as well as chairs on the porch, so there is no shortage of places to kick your feet up! Our room was plenty spacious and well appointed. Once you settle in, the only noises and commotion are the pelicans out front "fishing" and the occasional people walking by.

Snorkeling:
This was my first experience snorkeling and it was an awesome introduction. The snorkeling around the island is great and you have the opportunities to see many cool fish. The guides in the marine center there are excellent at teaching you about the numerous types of aquatic wildlife around the island. We also did the snorkeling trip to the turtle and ray spot and to Gladden Spit. At the turtle and ray spot, you see huge sea turtles, southern sting rays, spotted eagle rays, and nurse sharks. It is truly incredible to swim with these creatures that you think you should be afraid of. On the snorkel trip around gladden spit, the guide stops to point out new types of wildlife and you almost get the feeling that you are on a 1 to 1 trip! If you're feeling more adventurous, be sure to talk to the staff about getting a spear to hunt for lionfish.

Food:
We were concerned that we would get bored with the food since there is only the one restaurant and with my wife not being a seafood fan, but that was not the case at all. Each meal was delicious and the service was amazing. The restaurant staff is very friendly and never misses a beat. If/when we go back, I may just stick to the specials each night for dinner, as we were not disappointed. We arranged a private dinner out on the point, where they beautifully decorated our table and surrounded it with a heart made of conch shells. It was by far the best surroundings and most relaxing/romantic dinner we've had together.

Island Activities:
There are many things to do on the island, however we spent most of our time either relaxing or snorkeling. They have kayaks, sailboats, and paddle boats that are free for guests. We took the kayak out once and enjoyed it, but had more fun snorkeling :). There is not a whole lot to do, so if you are the type of person who has to constantly be doing something, you may find yourself bored. We were there for 6 days, which was plenty for us to feel like we participated in all the activities we wanted to. Another good suggestion would be to get a massage on the crows nest. We did this in the afternoon and the combination of the surroundings and the warm sun shining on you while getting a massage made it awesome! At night, they turn on UV lights at the end of the south pier which attracts beautiful spotted eagle rays. We frequently found ourselves down on the dock watching them swim around gracefully.

Staff:
I've already touched on this, but the staff is truly one of a kind. They are all laid back and help to get you into the island mindset with their "no worries" attitude. They are very knowledgeable and always willing to help, or just joke around with you. We were as sad to be leaving the staff as we were to be leaving the island.

Our only complaint would be that there is too much traffic that goes by the honeymoon cabana, so you never truly feel like you are isolated. We had traffic going by from visiting boats who would arrive to the south pier as well as other island guests walking by and cutting across close to the cabana or heading to the pier. If we go back, cabana 7 or 8 may be more preferential as they are all the way at the far end and you shouldn't see very much "through traffic".

Overall we would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a nice unique relaxing vacation, and would definitely return! This place is truly special and I hope that they keep up the awesome work!

Room Tip: Honeymoon Cabana offers the best deck and views with the south side pier, but cabanas 7 and 8 will b...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Eric P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviewed January 5, 2014

We saw a photo of Hatchet Caye on a Bloomspot discount offering (no longer available) and said we have to go!! It was well worth it and would have been even without the Bloomspot discount!

Hatchet Caye is a private 7 acre island off the coast of Belize. It's essentially a coral caye with only 9 guest cabanas near the Belize barrier reef, which is the second largest reef in the world.

Since the number of guests are limited, we really felt we like were were on our almost private island. Our cabana (#2) was very quiet and felt secluded even though we were near their long dock, which led to awesome snorkeling and manta rays at night. The cabana itself was very nice and luxurious with a beautiful bath. Our only want was some closet space or a bureau to put our clothes in.

All of the staff were great - from David and Juan, our favorite waiters in the restaurant, to Captain James, who helped us hook into an 80 pound wahoo and a 30 pound jack, to Cora lee(?) who was housekeeper and also massage therapist!! Dasha and Ramona who ran the offices also were most helpful and accommodating.

We loved being able to walk into the water and see all sorts of sea life as well as the best coral variety that we've ever seen (we've snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef, many other Caribbean spots and many places in Hawaii). We took a trip to Silk Caye where we were amazed by huge loggerhead turtles, gigantic rays and very large nurse sharks among other fish.

In addition to snorkeling and fishing, we also used their complimentary kayak to paddle around the island. They also had other toys - paddle boats, sunfishes, etc. - available.

It was an incredible trip!! Great service, very nice accommodations, incredible location!! I highly recommend it and plan to return - especially to see the whale sharks!!

jackie (and donna)

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jfung77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lucerne, Switzerland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2014

Our trip to Hatchet Caye was the vacation of our dreams. I may mention that this was my husbands 50th birthday gift and was something that we anticipated and planed for long before stumbling upon the "perfect trip" on LivingSocial. We are seasoned travelers so I am not always so easy to impress.
The planets aligned, God smiles and Most-Of-All the hard work of your staff made our (and I’m sure everyone else’s) vacation exceed any expectations we might have had for this holiday. Because it was so unbelievable, we are committed to making sure it is not an once-in-a-lifetime trip. We were so encouraged by the casual, intimate approach that your business has embraced-styling a holiday that allows guest to experience flexibility- (critical to bringing our children). They offer Babysitting - especially helpful if you plan to dive. We are anxious for our little ones to have similar experiences-and at Hatchet Caye this seems possible. My impressions have been that this would never have been do-able at a bigger resort where I would be concerned about the safety of the children, and who I was exposing them to, but in our limited time at the island I was so impressed by the general feeling of honesty and camaraderie among guest and employees. I thought it was really great when we went snorkeling on Saturday morning and Roy and Carol and a few others from the staff came along for the experience. I also loved being allowed to collaborate on the dessert special of the night and getting a few cooking tips that Roy generously shared with me, I thought it made my trip even more memorable. I love the idea of coming back and sharing all these experiences with my children.
For the Living Social deal it was FANTASTIC, I tend to agree that if it had been at list price I would have expected more- particularly when it came to the restaurant. It was tasty but not "gourmet" especially for the foodie type. It is listed as gourmet - but the menu's are laminated and very limited and the entree's were on the casual side- things like curry, Creole, and chicken parmesan are not "gourmet". They were often out of items and a few nights did not prepare dessert. I suppose it was because there were so few guest when we vacationed- mid Feb. Also Lobster season had just ended the day before our arrival- huge disappointment! No lobster catching or serving till Mid June from what I was told. Also I agree with snacks, there just aren't any- bring a bag of pretzels, nuts, some chocolate. These would be smart for the resort to have between meals for guest- also a big fruit bowl would be nice, just in case you are out diving and come back to have missed breakfast or lunch. But I am sure that this newly opened resort will only improve with a little time!
The accommodations are beautiful, especially when you are unsure of what to expect. After driving through the "slummy" areas in Placencia on our taxi from the airport, I was worried, however the private bungalows were very comfortable, roomy, exceptionally clean and modern.
Our experience with water sports and staff were excellent. We had a great time diving every day and snorkeling. Our excursion to snorkel with sea turtles, shark, and rays did not seem tourist-y. It was awesome!
We really enjoyed the casual feel of everything and have already recommended it to friends as a must do! It was perfect for us and promises to be even better as a few supply kinks are worked out.

Room Tip: There are no bad rooms- the private island is small and every cabana faces the ocean!
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Hollee T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 26, 2013

I have never written a review for any other place I have stayed, but this one I felt deserved my time. We have traveled to Grand Cayman, Mexico, St. Lucia, etc., but this paradise topped them all. We actually traveled in June of 2012, for our one year wedding anniversary. I just had to express my extreme happiness throughout the entire trip. From arrival to departure, the island seemed too good to be true. If anyone is considering coming here, please do it! You will not regret it.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Honeymoon cabana. This was so private and made it feel like the whole island was o...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Christina L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bossier City, Louisiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 16, 2013

It's a tropical vacation with the amenities of a 5 star hotel. The staff makes you feel like family and the food makes you feel like a king. It is a choose your own adventure type of escape, whether you want to snorkel, dive, kayak, sail, fish, relax on the beach or have a drink at the bar you will not be disappointed. Words do not justify the experience. It is not a question of if we would go back, but when. My advise, take a trip and experience it for yourself.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Joey M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saskatoon, Canada
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2013 via mobile

Stopped in here for a day of snorkelling and scuba diving. Had very knowledgeable dive masters who really added to the overall experience. Stopped for lunch at the restaurant which was one of the best meals of our entire trip. A great place to just relax and enjoy the climate.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank BachSpeed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2013

I've been trying to find the appropriate way to describe Hatchet Caye's approach to guests. The best I can come up with is "Five Star Resort for People Who Don't Need Someone Else to Wipe Their Bums for Them." That's my curmudgeonly personal opinion. Or more politely, they manage to balance highly attentive with pretty laid back.

The only other island resort we've been to is Outrigger Fiji, which we liked a lot and had the usual variety of things such a hotel has--and a staff that was constantly on top of you. We liked Outrigger, but we loved Hatchet Caye and are already thinking of when we're going to get back. As a previous reviewer said, it's the perfect place for the right kind of people.

The sort of people who insist on "five star resorts" might not like it. Getting there is a bit of a hassle with the puddle jumper from Belize City to Placencia and the 15-mile boat ride from Placencia to the island in a 14-foot open boat. They also typically wait for all that days flights to get in before boating over, which may lead to kicking around Placencia for hours -- which we didn't mind one bit. But if the weather's bad or if, as often happens with boats, something goes wrong, the boat ride might not be so much fun. Sitting around Placencia might not be so much fun in the rain either.

It's pretty clear from the website that the place has only one restaurant/bar, there is no infinity pool, the staff doesn't hover over you every five seconds asking you what you need.

That said, the staff is extremely attentive. They know your names by the time you arrive and remember them throughout. This is a nice touch and fairly easy since the maximum number of hotel guests at any one time is somewhere between 18 and 26. Anytime we needed something, it took all of two minutes to get it. Because the island is small and because the staff is keeping an eye out, they tend to anticipate needs. For example, while we were doing some scuba work off the South Dock, Rasta--sort of the main guy in terms of taking care of guests--noticed that Cara was standing out there by herself (the dive instructor and I were underwater), so he went to check on her to make sure everything was okay. And don't even get me started on Sean, the dive instructor. At one point, he referred to himself as militant. I guess in comparison to other Belizeans, maybe. But the man had the patience of a saint in dealing with us.

The rooms. Huge. Clean. Nicely appointed. Air-conditioned. Each has a huge deck with great views. We were in No. 2 and, maybe I'm biased, but I think it might be the best one. It's got a clear view of the South Dock and it's so close to the water that when the tide is up you can pretend it's one of those over-water bungalows. (There are also TV, DVD player and Wii if you're the sort of person who likes to go to another country and then pretend you're at home.) There is one stand-alone unit which looked nice, but it's deck view seemed to be blocked by a stand of mangroves. I'm sure certain people would chop that down in a heartbeat, but one thing I loved about Hatchet Caye and the environs is they seem to be extremely careful stewards of the environment. Whereas 90% of the coral in front of the Outrigger in Fiji was dead (and they offered walking tours right on top of some of it), I'd say 99% of that surrounding Hatchet was alive and some of the best snorkeling I've done could be had right there off the island.

The pool? There is a pool. It's small. It's literally an above-ground pool with a deck built around it. But who needs a pool when you've got some of the most beautiful waters in the world on your doorstep.

The restaurant? The Lionfish Grill is an outdoor restaurant and bar sitting on the west end of the island, commanding some of the best views and offering some of the freshest seafood you'll ever put in your face. In fact, you can watch them clean the fish right on the north dock (or if the wind's blowing too hard because of a stupid cold front, you can watch them do it just outside the restaurant).

The menu isn't huge and consists mostly of seafood. We didn't have a bad meal. We didn't have a small meal. We brought snacks for our room and never opened them because we ate so well at the restaurant. It wasn't high-end dining, but it wasn't low-end either. And it was delicious.

There is a type of person who will see one restaurant and one menu and worry he'll get bored by the week's end. I honestly worried about that myself, but it was never an issue. In fact there were a few things I never got around to trying because I kept going back to a few favorites.

Also, it should be pointed out that the beer is only $3 or so U.S.--comparable to most places in the U.S. and a bargain for New Yorkers. The lethal fruity cocktails come in around $10 but are totally worth it. They do offer bourbon and scotch and other things certain Americans might demand. I'm a big bourbon guy myself, but hardly drank any while there.

Other things.

Activities. Sea kayaks, pedal boats, hobie cats, all of which were in excellent condition. (Apparently they closed the place down for month of October for top-to-bottom scrubbing and painting). Apparently there's also ulta-light flying during the less windy seasons.

Snorkeling excursions were great. And off the South Dock at night, they turn on a set of lights that attract seven or eight spotted eagle rays that guests are welcome to swim with.

The diving instructors were professional and thorough and, unlike some of the outfits I've seen in some places, you NEVER felt like just maybe they were cutting corners to get at your cash.

There is a pair of ospreys that live on the island, which was sort of cool.

Plenty of hammocks, which is nice.

I could probably go on and on and on, but just do yourself a favor and go to Hatchet Caye.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Cajun_Ken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hatchet Caye Resort

Property: Hatchet Caye Resort
Address: 17 Miles Offshore, Placencia, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Stann Creek > Placencia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Placencia
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Placencia
#5 Family Hotel in Placencia
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Placencia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hatchet Caye Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A private island on the edge of the Silk Marine Reserve, seventeen miles east of Placencia, Hatchet is on the longest reef in North America. Laugh, love, play, explore, relax, rejuvenate, and dine in the island lifestyle you want. with a mile of private shoreline and word class diving and fishing only minutes away. With a pirates past, a hideaway present, and an environmental future, Hatchet offers unspoiled environment for your unforgettable tropical island experience. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hatchet Caye Hotel Placencia
Hatchet Caye Resort Belize/Placencia

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