We went to Hamanasi with our two young children (ages 6 and 3) and my in-laws for a week of diving at Hamanasi in the first week of December. The weather was not great while we were there (overcast, cool and windy most of the time), but the resort, staff and diving made up for it.
We were picked up promptly at the airport in Dangriga when we arrived and our luggage was all handled for us from that point on. Everything is very well run (American style management) and management touches base with you daily to ensure you are having a good stay.
The diving is world-class. The reefs are all about 40 minutes from the shore and it was pretty rough getting there on some days, but the diving made it all worth while. We did the Glover's Reef dive and it was a long boat ride, but it was worth the extra money. I would highly recommend that you take some medication for sea sickness, as several people had a miserable time due to feeling very green. I recommend Bonine over Dramamine, as it gives me no drowsiness, where Dramamine knocks me out.
The visability wasn't great because of heavy rains the week before we came and the choppy seas, but it was at least 40 feet. We saw several nurse sharks, sea turtles, green and spotted morays, eagle rays and lot of healthy reef.
The dive staff takes care of you very well. We had Shawn as our dive master most days and he did a great job of pointing things out and helping my in-laws getting their equipment off and on. You just leave your equipment on the boat and they rinse it and return it to the boat for the next day of diving. You just have to show up and dive.
The food at the resort was excellent. No one that I know of got sick and we even ate the vegatables and salad, which we are usually afraid to do in Central America or Mexico. Breakfast is buffet style and lunch and dinner are off a menu. Service was slow, but they tried to bring the children's food first.
We were the only people with children at the resort. Most people were young couples. They arranged a babysitter for us through the front desk for $10 per hour for the two kids. We got back from diving around 12:30 each day, so they were with the sitter for about 5 hours. The fresh water pool was great for the kids. It has a shallow end and a deep end where they do dive instruction. The water was really cold with no sun out, but the kids loved it each afternoon.
The sand flies were really bad while we were there. My one daughter and I got bitten up badly, but my husband and other daughter got very few bites, even though we all used the same spray. I guess they just like some people better than others. The resort does spray for them, but they were really bad at times.
We had an incident where money was taken from our safe and my husband's cell phone was stolen from his bag. We didn't know the phone was taken until we returned and my husband couldn't find it to take to work (we just use it for emergencies). We sent the numbers that were called to the resort and they went above and beyond to track down who the likely culpret was, based on the numbers called, and have reimbursed us for the money gone from the safe, the cost of a replacement phone and the cost of the calls made (international, roaming- the charges will be awful!). It appears that it was the babysitter who took both the phone and the money and she was not a regular employee of the resort, but a women who lived in the village. We were extremely impressed with the way the resort handled this situation, as we figured we were just out of luck.
The resort is a bit pricey, but this is a situation where you really get what you pay for.
We highly recommend Hamanasi!
- 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