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“Beautiful spot, wonderful staff”

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Hatchet Caye Resort
Ranked #6 of 19 Hotels in Placencia
Certificate of Excellence
Westport, Connecticut
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Beautiful spot, wonderful staff”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2014

We stayed at Hatchet Caye for 4 nights of a two week Belize vacation. We loved it. The location is spectacular, with beautiful water in every direction, excellent snorkeling and fishing right on the island (caught a bonefish and cast to tailing permit within 100 yards of our room), and world class diving just a short boat ride away. The staff is wonderful and friendly, and went out of their way to make our stay special for the whole family. The rooms are very nice and clean, the drinks were great and we found the food to be quite good, exceeding expectations for a tiny island with 8 guest rooms.

Sean runs an excellent dive operation, and two of us finished our open water scuba certification at Hatchet Caye. We saw nurse and lemon shares, sting rays and eagle rays and even a manta ray! We also went lionfish hunting on the reef, which our 12-year-old son absolutely loved.

Room Tip: The bungalows seem much nicer than the rooms over the office.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank James R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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256 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (100)
Date | Rating
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English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 1, 2014

My girlfriend found an amazing deal on Groupon and I packed my bags and was ready to go! The Placencia airport is smallish, upon arrival there...you take a smaller (crop duster plane) to the docks of Placencia. We had a little time to kill and walked around to visit a local eatery and a gift shop which your driver will gladly direct you to. After an hour or 2...the boat was ready to leave for the island paradise known as Hatchet Caye.

Some reviews complained about spray from the boat, and wet luggage so I wrapped my contents, but did not have any issues with wetness at all. The boat ride was about 45 minutes and boasted spectacular views.

Upon arrival at Hatchet, we were greeted with fruity umbrella drinks as if we were guests on Fantasy Island (which we kind of were). This is a private island that holds roughly 16 guests and an equal number of staff. The cabana was beautiful! Each has a deck and a view of the ocean (with the exception of one). Our bags were delivered to our room and we quickly changed to walk around the island. At 7 acres, you can easily walk it and see all of the sights and attractions.

If you are a party person, this isn’t the right island for you. It's secluded (18 miles offshore) and very laid back (flip flops, sundresses, tanks and swimwear). Leave the fancy duds at home. The staff was awesome! But even more than that, the young chef prepared some of the most delicious food I have ever had in my life! The island is the resort and the resort is the island so there are no quickie marts or trinket shops, although they have a small sundries section in the restaurant. We snorkeled, wind surfed, paddle boated and relaxed! It's a very chill atmosphere. Dasha was very hospitable to us during our stay as well, in addition to Jefe, the 4 legged welcome committee. He's a barker, but just until you give him a little tummy time, then he's putty in your hands!

I had 0 phone/internet reception with Sprint, but after the first day of "well how do I tell everyone how good a time I'm having". I got over it and appreciated the simplicity of bring disconnected. My favorite nightime activity was watching the stingrays by the dock with the blu light. Lastly...I found myself there. I didn't realize that I was lost, but this trip centered me and allowed me to return a new woman.

Kids can come, although this is more of a romantic, or group of friends type of place in my opinion.

Room Tip: Every room is a good one!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Alex L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 13, 2014

5 stars for the setting and 3.5 stars for service. We stayed for 4 nights at Hatchet Caye in the honeymoon cabana. Our primary reason for selecting Hatchet Caye was it's proximity to the Gladden Spit so we could attempt to snorkel with the whale sharks. We timed our arrival so we were there 2 days after the full moon. I'll start with the pros;

Pros;
Setting-The island is beautiful and well situated to several popular snorkel spots (Laughing Bird Caye, Silk Cayes) If you want to relax on the beach, fish from a pier or snorkel off a dock, maybe take a couple snorkel trips this is a great place to do it.

Restaurant/Bar-We thought the restaurant staff (Luis/Jose) were friendly and very attentive...they were professional and the highlight of our experience with the staff at Hatchet Caye. Dinners were great and the food for breakfast/lunch was good.

Snorkeling/Fishing; There is some great snorkeling from the south dock and my boyfriend enjoyed fishing from the dock. The spotted eagle rays come around the dock at night and sitting on a hammock watching the moon over the water is fantastic.

Cabana-We liked the honeymoon cabana because it was stand alone and had a private deck. Also it's right next to the south dock so you can walk right out and enjoy the fishing/snorkeling/etc. We didn't find the foot traffic (as other reviewers mention) to be an issue.

Cons;
Booking Excursions-They say that you can do whatever you'd like but that's not really the case. If the boats are booked for another party on the island or for a private charter (there are yachts that dock off Hatchet that then use their activities) then you are out of luck. For example; I had emailed prior to our arrival that we'd really like to do the whale shark tour on our first full day if a tour is organizing (they require at least 6 ppl for the trip). Upon our arrival we learned that a private yacht docked off Hatchet had booked for the next day so we'd have to wait to see what time they were wanting to going to see if it would be feasible for us to go. Long story short the weather didn't cooperate that day and luckily the yacht left so we were able to go out on our 2nd full day but I think that was primarily because we talked to them multiple times and had stressed how important it was to us to try and see the whale sharks. If your visiting Hatchet Caye with specific things you'd like to do then I'd highly encourage you to try and set them up in advance to avoid being disappointed. I've travelled a fair amount (22 countries) and wasn't impressed by the "enthusiasm" of some of the staff to assist with questions.

Arrival-When we arrived at the airport no one was there to pick us up. A local cab that was there called their office and they sent someone about 10 minutes later. All in all after waiting for about 10 minutes for them show and then another 10 for them to arrive it was about a 20 minute delay. Obviously not a deal breaker but not a great start and not ideal considering the nightly rate.

Departure-As others had mentioned they typically shuttle guests to and from Placencia only once per day. In our case we had to depart on our last morning at 7am (along with 4 other parties) as one of those parties had a 8am flight. That means 6 am wake up and 6:30 breakfast..not ideal when your on vacation. I would recommend waiting to hear what your departure time will be before booking your flight as if you end up having to leave early then you can plan accordingly.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay at Hatchet Caye. It's a unique destination and a truly beautiful setting. If your looking to relax then this is a great choice.

Room Tip: Honeymoon cabana is freestanding and has a private deck area with chairs overlooking the south pier...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank k3421
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hatchetcaye, General Manager at Hatchet Caye Resort, responded to this review, June 14, 2014
Thanks for your review and candid info on your snorkel sign up experience. The large vessel that was anchored off our island had actually booked their private trip with us nearly 6 months prior and the weather was not cooperating for them either so they had to go back to the mainland to stay a few nights before returning at a good time for us to service the trip. This did throw us off schedule a bit and for that we do apologize. All department heads and core staff were aware that you were wanting to go whale shark snorkeling long before you arrived and we all knew we had to make that happen. Had the private tour been omitted from the equation the sea conditions on your first full day were not condusive to a trip outside the reef, but we were happy to see fair conditions the following day and from the feedback when you arrived back to the island the tour was amazing, which is music to our ears! Sea conditions are out of our control which is why we sometimes avoid pre-booked/pre-paid tours. Belize Port Authority can issue a craft warning at any time and we must abide by the law. There are many variables in play when sending out a safe tour. Your experience will be shared with all staff including the guides and Rasta - who books tours - so that we make sure to keep our enthusiasm up as this is very important! Thanks again for your review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Monterey, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2014

The island and accommodations were really spectacular. The rooms overlook the teal blue ocean. Very beautiful. The also have scuba gear that you can use to check out the marine life right off the island. We saw fish, spotted sting ray, eels, nurse sharks...etc. my only complaint is that the food was terrible. It was very expensive and not good tasting. I was very disappointed with that aspect. If the food wouldn't have been so bad I would have rated it at a 5!!

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Brooke P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hatchetcaye, General Manager at Hatchet Caye Resort, responded to this review, June 12, 2014
Many thanks for your review and feedback. It is shocking to hear complaints about the food as this is one area that we always seem to have consistant rave reviews. If you read this response please do contact us and let us know the menu items that you had that were so offputting and a few more details so that we can address this right away. We do wish this had been brought to our attention while you were here with us so that we could have found a way to remedy and/or compensate for your experience. Our kitchen staff work really hard to prepare fresh food and we will use your review as incentive to try even harder.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 10, 2014

Hatchet Caye was amazing. We caught all sorts of fish right on the island. The food was amazing, and the service was first class. We took a charter with Captain Charlie Leslie Sr. and caught permit on the fly rod, and tarpon later that afternoon. Definitely going back again.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Pete W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 9, 2014

Getting there:
We had started this trip just as Philadelphia was about to get slammed with some of worst weather ever. It was the first week in February.
For us, from Philadelphia, it took two big planes, one small plane and a smaller boat. Travel went without any problems except maybe the really bumpy boat ride out. It was later in the day and we were going into a stiff head wind. Having a bad back, I was nervous about injuring it before we even got there.
When we got there we immediately realized that we had arrived in paradise!

From square one we had the best vacation ever.

After looking at the resort’s aerial photo for 2 months on our computer screen we were both itching to get there and just a wee bit nervous that we (I) might get claustrophobic or bored given the size of the island. That never happened.

The food:
Get the meal plan if possible; it just makes everything even easier. Tried everything, it was all wonderful. With so few guests there was never a seating problem and many times we had the restaurant to ourselves. The staff (Jose, David and Juan) at the restaurant was outstanding.

The room:
It was clean and spacious. Furniture for clothes was a bit sparse. When we wanted it, the A/C worked great. Our cabana was feet from the water and just far enough away from the snorkeling/diving dock so that the privacy was perfect. With our own set of beach chairs, we had only to step off the porch to relax with a drink and enjoy the view. We actually used the chairs on the porch more in that they were in the shade later in the day. Sunrises were viewed out the wide front windows. The small islands where we went snorkeling one day were also clearly present.

Snorkeling:
Just do it!
Whether from the dock or any of the short trips they can take you on. Just do it. There was no shortage of gear and we were able to keep ours for the week. We snorkeled up and down the east side of the cay. Many folks snorkeled all the way around. Fish and life were everywhere.

If you want to fish from the surf be aware that the rods and reels that they have for you to use are, in fact, unusable (missing guides, broken tips, etc.). This was a bit annoying because though I had brought my own reel, I did not bring a rod expecting to use one at the resort. I was told that the unusable gear was what was available without charge. If I wanted a usable rod there would be a charge. We did finally get it worked out.

One surprise us was that which looked like sand was actually crushed coral. You cannot really walk on it with bare feet so be prepared. There a bit of sand that they call the beach over in front of the restaurant.

My better half got a message up in the tower. Her opinion is: absolutely get one

Our daily routine was to sleep in a bit, go to a wonderful breakfast, go back and hang out at “our” beach and read or whatever, go back for another delicious meal, do some snorkeling or whatever, then back again for a delightful dinner. It just could not have been more relaxing. Thank you to all the staff

Tip: Should you care to make your own cocktails in your cabana, there are a couple of liquor stores in Placencia where you can get supplies for the week while you’re waiting for your boat.

The biggest downside of the trip for us was having to leave after just eight days then shovel/chop ice and snow for the next three days.

We will be back. This report is a double edged sword. We just hope there will be room for us.

Room Tip: Cabana 5 was great for us. Cabana 6 also looked wonderful
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
6 Thank burrcor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2014

We visited Hatchet Caye over Eastern and rented the whole place for 4 days. We drove up in our boats from Guatemala and I must say we had an extraordinary time. In 2012 we did the same trip and improvement on service, organization, restaurant quality and snorkeling and diving was great. Seldom have we had such a beautiful time for such a large group. It is obvious that previous organization with such a group is a must like ordering buffet for the meals or making the billing process simple, a day before organizing the snorkeling and diving tours, etc. Once that is taking care of, everything worked out perfect. Everybody at the island has a great attitude, very nice and service oriented. We did not have to worry about our younger children, they all were taken care of and everybody (staff or not) looked after them, helped them out with the water amenities. The teenagers, island staff and boat crew organized Volleyball games in the afternoon. Everybody had a great time. For Guatemalan boaters Hatchet Caye is a beautiful destination and I hope we can enjoy many more trips in the future. Thanks to Dasha and all of her staff, we feel at home!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Martin L
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
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Placencia
#5 Family Hotel in Placencia
#6 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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