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“Fantastic Staff and Diving”

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Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Hopkins
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed December 25, 2006

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!

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled with family
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Thank sfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,880 - 1,886 of 1,941 reviews

Reviewed December 18, 2006

We stayed at Hamanasi for our honeymoon the week of Thanksgiving, and loved every minute of it. We chose Belize for its "off the beaten path" feel and decided on Hamanasi because we wanted the best of inland and reef adventures without major crowds, and we wanted a place with a good reputation. Thank goodness we checked Trip Advisor before booking! Hamanasi had the best reviews of any resort in Belize, and wasn't nearly as expensive as some of the other places we looked at!

The staff at Hamanasi is unbelievably friendly. Stephanie greeted us and made us feel at home right when we walked in the door. King made us great (and strong!) drinks at happy hour every night and entertained us by singing along to cumbia and reggae music. The food is incredible, which explains why it is a little pricey. We appreciated the kitchen staff creating a traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner for everyone. The guests were fun to talk to as well. We met a lot of couples on their honeymoons and enjoyed getting to know them.

Our best advice would be to skip buying the package and just pay as you go. We never ate as much food as the package would have covered, and some of the best adventures are the ones not included in the package price. We had the most fun on the Waterfall & Cave Adventure run through Ian Anderson's Caves Branch adventure resort, it's one of the most unique experiences we've ever had! We also really enjoyed the Mayan Ruin tour and snorkeling. We aren't divers and definitely noticed that non-divers were in the minority there, but it didn't make much difference because there were so many other adventures to choose from.

The snorkeling in Belize is unreal. Try to pick a day when it will be just you and the guide. Our guide pointed out so many things we never would have seen on our own, from lobsters to yellow stingrays to HUGE green moray eels. We also saw a huge spotted eagle ray (see photo), and dolphins! The reef is full of bright, beautiful colors and the "juice and cookies" stop at South Water Caye is a good chance to kick back and look at just how beautiful the water is.

Another bit of advice. We had to book two different rooms because Hamanasi was already almost full (we booked in May!). We ended up liking the two room arrangement even better. We stayed three nights in an oceanfront room and four nights in a treehouse. Our time on the porch of the oceanfront room was spent looking out at the beautiful pool and ocean, and our porch time at the treehouse was great because it was very private. Ginger the cat also made our treehouse time fun. She would follow us around whenever we went back to the room.

We would definitely return to Hamanasi and recommend it to anyone who loves an active vacation. We slept like babies the whole time because we had so much fun during the day. We were worn out and ready for bed at 9pm! If I sleep like a baby on vacation, I know it's a success!

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank thebenns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2006

We have been home for just a week now and we are already planning our next visit to Hamanasi! From the time we arrived (1 day late due to weather) we felt welcomed, as if we were family. The accomodations were fantastic. The service well beyond our expectations and the food...perfect every meal. The guides for the excursions are very knowledgable and friendly, and go out of thier way to ensure you have a GREAT experience. The Dive Staff are absolute experts, and also exceeded our expectations. A short bike ride to the town of Hopkins was beautiful. The people are friendly and "KING CASSAVA"S" has the best fries in town! If you are looking to relax AND have a great time, Hamanasi is the place for you. We never felt rushed or pressured and we did NOT need a vacation from our vacation when we returned home. Thank you Hamanasi for the best vacation we have EVER had!

Jeff and Wendi Irwin
Washington State

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Belizeandancer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2006

After experiencing all-inclusive super resorts and cruises, we chose Hamanasi hoping to experience a different kind of vacation. We chose the right place.
The resort itself is small and intimate. The grounds are exceptionally well kept and clean. Our treehouse room was a unique experience.
The best part is the staff. Every employee was friendly and extremely welcoming. Every request, including special requests for specific liquor and dinner items, were met with a smile and prompt response.
The dive staff was unlike any we have ever experienced. Upon arrival we checked our personal gear into the dive shop and did not have to haul it again until we headed to the airport upon departure. The staff was responsible for transporting the gear to and from the dive boat, helping you into your gear for the dive and cleaning all gear after the dives. It was pampering at the highest level. Divemasters were full of knowledge and were very helpful. We were told that "all you have to do is breathe. We take care of the rest" and they meant it.
In compliment to the resort, the village of Hopkins is safe and friendly. The locals were genuine and enjoyed visiting with us.
The food was average, but they are making an active effort to improve and tried hard to accomodate our individual tastes. Seafood on the dinner menu is usually bought fresh that evening from local fishermen at the resort's dock. The lobster and conch were exceptional.
We were certainly sad to have to leave. Hamanasi is a resort that goes above and beyond to make guests have a fantastic vacation. We would recommend it for adventurous, active travelers. Because of the amount of activity during the day, the evenings tend to be quiet. Not a place to go if you are looking to disco the night away.

Thanks Hamanasi for a vacation we will not soon forget.

Maureen and Mark, Wisconsin, USA

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank DogDrs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2006

My fiance and I spent a week at Hamanasi in June, 2006. The resort was very beautiful and the staff first class. Our room was covered in flowers when we arrived. The pool was such a nice place to unwind with a book while enjoying a fruity libation. The diving was awesome and we had great dive instructors. The reefs were unbelievable with tons of fish. We also partcipated in the cave adventure and Mayan Ruin tour which were both great. The food was so delicious!! I have never had snapper that tasty in my life!! We are contemplating returning for our honeymoon.

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Picket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2006

As we were searching for the perfect romantic honeymoon destination we wanted something different, but relaxin. We decided that in Belize we would get the best of both worlds...great adventures, beaches, and accomodations without paying out the nose! Boy, were were right! We didnt' realize that we were staying at the Hamanasi during their last week before they closed to get ready for the "in" season. There were only 30 people in the whole place! It was fabulous! for a resort that only has 19 rooms we certainly felt pampered but also part of the family. Everyone knew our names and accomodated our every wish. I highly recommend the Treehouse rooms. Room 15 was steps from the pool, beach, and main house for lunch and dinner, but was high up in the trees surrounded by lush jungle. We had a welcome note handwritten on a real leaf along with champagne and flowers all over the room! The shower is big enough for 2 in case you were wondering :) The trips were fabulous- Monkey River is number 1 for wildlife. The afternoon river kayaking tour was great after a morning of diving. the diving itself was awesome-we finished our certification there so i honestly have nothing to compare it to, but we saw turtles, eagle rays, sharks, and every fish you could imagine. Komalley, our instructor, was knowledgable, responsible, and fun! We also highly recommend the Mayan Ruins tour-you can't go to Belize without it!!! it really was magical. The staff was so fun to hang out with. They are all in their 20s-30s. We even hung out at King Cassava's in town one night after they got off from work! Food was phenomenal-traditional Belizean dishes like stewed chicken and rice and the BREADFRUIT! Oh you just have to try it! We got the all inclusive deal, but i think we would have saved money without it. Meals were very reasonably priced and you got aLOT of food. For our first time to Belize we were hooked! This resort is made for couples who enjoy a little bit of adventure mixed with gorgeous surroundings and a friendly and accomodating staff. There were a few kids with their parents, but i think the older ones were getting a bit bored. The beach is wonderful to relax by with a drink before dinner, and we spent most of our afternoons sipping fruit punch by the pool. If you choose not to go on any of the daily adventures, you need to pop into town. The locals love to meet new people and show off their town. Friends of ours even spent a day fishing with one of our waiters grandfathers! Definately a Honeymoon Heaven! Thanks Hamanasi!!!!

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank happymonkey13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2006

We went to Hamanasi based on some advice from a local dive desk. We are new divers so we enjoyed the veiws because we have not seen a lot yet, however the other visitors seemed a little dissapointed in the diving. I do think that the diving instructors vary. We had one that was really great (BOSS), but the others were good. They did not always manage the group well, and although we were new divers we seemed to be more conrolled, disciplined and group oriented than many other "experienced" divers. I did want to get the BlueHole and they never had enough people signed up to go during my stay.

The resort is nice and their does not seem to be a bad room in the place. The food onsite is very good but the boxed lunches for the land tours could be reworked. The staff is very kind. Things are definitely slower in Belize, but I think that goes for a lot of places. The grounds are beautiful as well. I will say we had a wonderful time and I would recommend it to others.

  • Stayed: April 2006, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank happycc2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort

Address: Hopkins/Sittee River Road | Hopkins Village, Hopkins, Belize
Phone Number:
Location: Belize > Stann Creek > Hopkins
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Hopkins
#1 Romantic Hotel in Hopkins
#1 Green Hotel in Hopkins
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Hopkins
#1 Family Hotel in Hopkins
Price Range: $170 - $320 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 23
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

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