We returned a few days ago from a seven night stay at Hamanasi, a resort we selected based on the stellar Trip Advisor reviews. We opted for the all-inclusive package that included five excursions and all meals. My wife and I stayed in a tree house, our three kids stayed in a beachfront cabin.
We couldn't have been happier with the accommodations: the rooms were large (especially the tree house, which was like an entire condo in the sky with an outdoor deck with a jacuzzi) and well appointed, wonderful beds, and the maids did a fantastic job keeping them clean and well stocked with towels and fresh drinking water.
We enjoyed all the excursions. We snorkeled twice on the beautiful reef (the divers we spoke with raved about their dives), took a fascinating inner tube tour through a massive cave filled with Mayan artifacts, went horseback riding in the jungle, and took a rigorous hike up a steep grade and swam in a picturesque waterfall pool (I always love a prize after a tough hike). All the guides were knowledgeable and charismatic. In fact, the entire staff seemed especially well-trained and professional.
The picturesque dining area, whether on the veranda overlooking the ocean, or at a table set right on the beach, was a highlight of the property. The kitchen staff did an admirable job accommodating us as vegetarians (pescatarians), preparing a large variety of tasty, plentiful dishes. If I had one complaint it would be the funky taste of the smoothies and tropical drinks (I don't know if it was the milk or cream they used).. Even with a high level of physical exertion, the trip to Hamanasi is a net weight gain.
The only negative aspect of our experience were the biting insects. Even though we followed the instructions of the staff, dousing ourselves in Deet and baby oil, all of us (five days after returning) are still covered with itchy, inflamed bites. We're not sure where or when we were bitten because the offending sand flies are invisible ("no-seeums").
I feel terrible reporting this problem. It is certainly no fault of Hamanasi and I believe it is a scourge of Southern Belize. But for us, at least, it was a deal breaker, and we won't return. I do hope our experience with the sand flies was an anomaly and that other visitors report a different experience, because besides the itchy discomfort, this is a wonderful resort.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Experience the best of Belize on and offshore! Hamanasi is a secluded, casually elegant eco-resort. Unwind in spacious tree houses, beach front rooms and suites with AC, private porches and gorgeous hardwood furnishings. On property has a full service restaurant, bar, pool, lush gardens and a Gold Palm 5 star PADI dive facility. Onshore, explore Mayan ruins, Jaguar Preserve, caves, jungle rivers and rain forest waterfalls. All inclusive packages, Honeymoon and romance packages available. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Hamanasi Adventure And Dive Hotel Hopkins
- Hamanasi Adventure And Dive Resort Belize/Hopkins