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“Paradise!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hatchet Caye Resort

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Hatchet Caye Resort
Ranked #7 of 19 Hotels in Placencia
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Paradise!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 July 2012

Got the Living Social deal for 4 nights and the worst thing I can say about the trip is that 4 nights was not long enough!! The entire staff was exceptionally friendly and helpful--really made us feel special like the whole island was ours. The food was good (more veggies would've been nice) and drinks were GREAT! This island is pretty remote and was unbelievably beautiful and I could've spent at least a week just relaxing and watching the colors of the water change. However, there are plenty of activities as well if you get restless (well, not if you're looking for nightlife and meeting singles or anything like that), like sailing and snorkeling. We also had a trip to the mainland for cave swimming and viewing Mayan ruins organized by the staff. They make anything possible! The cave swim and ruins were great, but I would suggest getting all mainland stuff out of the way before or after your stay on Hatchet Caye, as the journey took over 12 hours and we really would have loved to have that day enjoying the beauty of the island. Also, don't forget tons of SD cards and batteries for your camera--it's difficult to stop taking pictures as everything is so amazingly beautiful!

Room Tip: All rooms are equally great as they all are positioned along the outside of the island with amazing...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelinDSR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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245 reviews from our community

Traveller 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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (94)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 July 2012

Like most other people, we purchased the Living Social deal. It is a nice package, but its not really any kind of discount off the normal price. In fact you could probably do it cheaper if you arranged your own inter-city flight and cab ride. That being said, I still think it is a good value for the kind of service that you receive. And there is certainly something to be said about having those things guaranteed and pre-arranged, especially in a country you've never been to.

Once you get on the Island the service is excellent, and there is always staff available to help you with anything you need or want. All of the buildings and facilities are obviously new and modern. If you're looking for old-world charm, you won't find it here. But if you want to stay in a room where the A/C works (with a wireless remote at that!), the bathroom is clean and modern, and nothing feels dated or out-of-place, then this will be perfect for you.
During the week we stayed there temperatures stayed above 90 degrees, so we ended up spending more time indoors than out. Having a comfortable space to cool off between activities made the whole experience much better.

If we had done a little more research about the weather we would've known to pack about twice as much clothing as we did. After 15 mins in the sun you sweat through whatever you're wearing. Its not as uncomfortable as it sounds though, there is almost always a breeze to cool you down, and plenty of shade around the island. You should plan on two or three wardrobe changes per day, even if you're not going in the water that often. The dress code is super-casual though, so shorts, t-shirts, and tank tops (by the dozens) are the only thing you need.

There are enough activities on the island to keep active people busy for 3-4 days, but if you're not the kind of person who likes snorkeling, kayaking, or sailing, or you're staying for more than 4-5 days, you may run out of things to do after a while. They do have Nintendo Wii's, and a small selection of DVDs in all the rooms, but I would recommend bringing at least one rainy-day activity that can keep you occupied in case that weather isn't cooperating.
The staff is very eager to offer other interesting activities as well, including off-island snorkeling and dive trips. While these do seem very nice, and I cannot imagine a more beautiful place to enjoy them, they are not included in the "all-inclusive" deal. I understand the logistics of running boats and scuba gear from an island 18 miles offshore can get very expensive, but the prices for these excursions seemed pretty steep. Especially when you consider there are beautiful views, good fishing, and amazing snorkeling (all for free) just off the pier. It wasn't worth it for our budget, although your tastes and wallet may differ.
The part that was a little off-putting was how frequently these trips were offered to us. Pretty much every time we walked by the diving shack, we were reminded that there is a snorkeling trip leaving later in the afternoon, or scuba trips available, etc. Even one time they knocked on our bedroom door to inform us that a tour was leaving soon in case we were interested. I can certainly see how this could be chalked up to eager guides trying to make our experience as enjoyable as possible, but I don't think it was a coincidence that nobody ever knocked on our door offering any of the complimentary activities.

Many of the staff members helped us, and together they all made our experience very enjoyable, but one staff member who stood out was Frank. He could frequently be found around the boathouse and dock, and was very helpful launching and retrieving the small boats for us to use, as well as offering to sail with us in the Hobie Cat to a nearby island to snorkel and scavenge for conch shells. Unfortunately we could not take him up on that offer because of the weather, but he did a great job of making us feel right at home around the island.

The food was another high point of the experience. You would think there may be a lower standard for food on such a remote island, but it was consistently outstanding quality. Obviously the chef is very experienced, and pays close attention to the quality of the ingredients. The shrimp and lobster were enormous and plentiful, and the Lionfish was well-prepared and delicious. Unfortunately for my palette, the further the food got from the ocean, the smaller the portions became. While a nice big Cheeseburger in Paradise would have been perfect for lunch, their take was a pair of (very)mini-burgers and some plantain chips. Once again, these were very high quality, perfectly cooked, and expertly presented, but left some room in my stomach. And even though all the dishes we ate were great, there were only so many on the menu. They do a good job of mixing styles and sauces in order to make a limited pantry go a long way, but after 5 days we were ready for something different.

The only true complaint we have was about what happened on our way out of the Island:
Our itinerary required us to be back on the mainland at 1:00pm, so we figured with a 30-min boat ride, we would be leaving the island between 12:00-12:30, giving us plenty of time to eat breakfast and lunch there, and do a few last activities. Nobody had told us anything about our departure time from the island before this, so we assumed worst case we could ask during breakfast, and then plan our day around that.
However, at 8:28am, just as we were getting ready to walk to breakfast, and before we had done any packing, someone knocked on our door to inform us (for the first time) that we were scheduled to leave the island... at 8:30am. We didn't have any time to complain or try and figure out an alternative, so we threw all of our stuff in the bag, paid our tab, and got in the boat.The last thing we expected was to be dumped on the mainland, more than 4 hours before our flight left, having nothing to eat, no local currency, and no plans or desire to spend our morning there.
We were very lucky that there was an earlier flight to Belize City that we could catch, and even luckier than the early-bird flight back to the US was delayed, allowing us to hop on at the last minute.Thanks to a lot of luck we made it home without too much trouble.

I'm sure it was an honest mistake that they forgot to inform us. After all, there were two other couples on our ride back, and they obviously knew about the 8:30 departure.
And I can see how with only one boat shuttling people to the island, it makes sense to combine trips and take multiple guests at a time which can accommodate everyone, so 8:30 in itself is not any kind of injustice.
But even so, its a pretty big thing to miss, and one that nearly made our last day of vacation very unpleasant.

All-in-all, it turned out to be a slightly sour ending to a very enjoyable vacation.

With a little improvement in organization and communication, our problems could have been avoided. Although I can see how the informal and laid-back atmosphere that contributes to the relaxing experience may have contributed to our problems, and may allow other things like that to happen again. So while the location, activities, and food were outstanding, I cannot give Hatchet Caye my un-tarnished full recommendation.

Room Tip: All rooms are basically identical with great views. Cabana #1 is private, while the others are duple...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Nickh2500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, General Manager at Hatchet Caye Resort, responded to this review, 9 July 2012
Hello Nick,

First let me thank you for your kind words about Hatchet Caye and our lovely staff. The place really is magical and our crew can't be beat. Thank you also for your candid comments regarding your end of stay complaint.

Secondly, there must have been communication issues on more than just the transfer as the Living Social package that you purchased (our 2nd special) INCLUDED a snorkel to visit the Turtle Spot and that is why our staff was insistent that you go - they wanted you to enjoy this activity as it was part of your stay with us!

Lastly, we do sincerely apologize if you were not informed of departure transfer time. We understand how frustrating it must have been to get ready so quickly. Most times our bartender informs our guests at dinner time the night before their departure of the transfer time and our they do not usually miss this important detail (as you said, the other 2 couples were obviously informed).

Your comments have been shared with all staff and we will work hard not to have this happen again. Please know that your experience is not in vain and will be treated as motivation for us to work on our guest communication.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
montreal
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 June 2012

We purchased the living social deal and had a lovely time. This remote island is a paradise and is very well staffed.

Getting to the island was a but of a headache- we had to wait 6 hours (no Pre notification) for our boat as there was a wedding out there as well as other guests arriving in placencia later than us. It was quite frustrating after a long 24 hours of travelling. This was better though once we finally got there and started to relax.

Highlights:
- stunning snorkeling off the dock
- the snorkeling trip
- fried jacks and jam in the morning
- the fish on the menu
- cleanliness of resort
- flexibility of Dasha when we were leaving to make up for arrival!!!
- sunsets and sunrises

Lowerlights:
- menu if you don't eat fish. Not really much veggies- too much fried food
- cabanas are not individual- they are attached to another and you can hear through the walls
- only water & coffee are included- no beverages like juice/soda/etc. bring your own with if ever

  • Stayed May 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank cdholly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 May 2012

First off, let me start by saying that Hatchet Caye is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. The open water, the beautiful weather, the reefs, the nearby islands... I really felt like I was on some luxurious private island. It clearly is a bit of a "work in progress" (one part of the island is basically a construction site) but that to me is only a sign of investment and good things to come.

As many other reviews have mentioned, it really is a place where you are on your own. Only 8 cabanas (very new, very nice, and all right on the water), one restaurant (good, but any restaurant you eat at 4 days in a row can get old), and just a few staff (all super friendly) so if you're claustrophobic, be warned. The "fun" gear (Hobie Cats, kayaks, snorkel gear) are in good shape and the area around the island is great for exploration. Note that if you do anything motorized or with a guide, it will cost extra, but the snorkeling trip we took to the Silk Cayes to see giant sea turtles, rays, sharks, tropical fish, etc. was well worth it. Another fun thing was to take the Hobie Cat over to "Fisherman's Island", an island local fisherman use that just happens to be COVERED in conch shells. We grabbed a few big ones to take home... just remember to put them in your checked bags!

We had an excellent time just taking in the sites, lounging at the beach with a book, taking naps, going out in the water, and not being bound by time hardly at all (except when we had a boat to catch for the snorkeling trip). A real highlight was going out on one of the docks at night and seeing all of the sealife attracted to the blue light they have lit up, then going back to our room to fall asleep to the sounds of the waves and the wind. Or, if it's rainy, they even have Wiis in each room with a few games (although we never played it ourselves).

The only downsides to me (besides one big one, which I'll get to):
-The food, while very tasty, does get a bit redundant after a while. It's understandable that they don't have a big menu on an island that caters to about 30 guests at the most, but I did get a bit tired of the food. Be sure to bring supplies (or, if you have time, stop at one of the supermarkets in Placencia between your flight and the boat ride)
-The wifi, when it worked, was great, but it was only off and on. Not really a very big "downside" since you're in the middle of nowhere on vacation, but if you want to stay connected, be warned that it can be spotty
-A few people have already mentioned this, but not quite sure what to tip and if what we tipped was appropriate
-I got a bit chewed up by a lone mosquito in our room. Bum luck for me!

Now the big huge downside: We had a nearly flawless trip to Placencia... our international flight arrived in Belize City early, we got standby on a Maya Air flight to Placencia (although our bags didn't make it, meaning we had to wait for the flight we were originally booked on), and we had time to walk around Placencia and buy supplies. The trouble started when we went to get on the boat, which was a small speedboat with very little room to stay covered. We were warned that the trip, which normally takes 45-50 minutes, would be more like an hour since the seas were choppy. In fact, it turned out to be a 2.5 hour trip in a boat much too small to be transporting people comfortably and at any speed. When we finally arrived we were sore, miserable, and soaked (in clothes that we didn't expect to get wet), and one of our bags had been filled with water. Needless to say we were not in a great mood, and while I believe the staff that they did not expect the waters to be like that and would have sent a different, much bigger boat had they known,, it was still a bad call to send that small boat. I would definitely recommend dressing in clothes that can get wet just in case.

That said, the staff was very accommodating in helping us get settled and helping us replace the 2 items that were destroyed, and we ended up having a wonderful vacation (and made it back to the mainland in choppy waters but in the big boat with no issues).

Overall I would definitely recommend Hatchet Caye to anyone looking for a quiet, peaceful, fun beach vacation. Just don't overstay your stay, it's a VERY small island... 4 days was perfect for us!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank Chris D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lake Forest, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2012

This is my idea of the perfect vacation. Peaceful location, friendly people, not crowded, no "clock" to manage your time--just pure bliss. The rooms are artfully decorated and each have a view of the sea. You wake up to the sounds of seagulls and the lapping of the waves on the shore. I could have just stayed on the porch of my cabana and been at total peace. Hammocks are all over the island and they have the perfect combination of lounge chairs scattered across the mini private beaches. The food was delicious. Try the lionfish cakes...awesome. Service is at the pace of the island...laid back, friendly, and relaxing. The staff was welcoming and it was easy to see that each member did their utmost to ensure a wonderful vacation. The manager, Dasha, made herself available for any inquiry there was to be made about lodging, accomodations, sports, meals etc. I also want to commend one of her staff members--Rasta. If you are looking to be around upbeat, happy, and genuine people than you have to meet Rasta. I will be going back ... regularly. I finally found a place to "get off the grid".

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Ingrid E
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:
Region: 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
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Placencia
Price range (per night): ₹ 24,365 - ₹ 62,673
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

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