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“Wanna Get Away from It All?”

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Blackbird Caye Resort
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 21 February 2014

This resort is basic and remote.... Twenty or so individual cottages on a beach. No golf, no tennis, no disco bar - just palm trees, gin clear water, a comfortable bed and a lovely private screen porch complete with hammock. Primary attraction is the snorkeling, which is as good as any in the Caribbean. Shallow coral reefs protected by a barrier reef with all the sea life you could wish for. The staff are the greatest - thoughtful, friendly and quick to know whether you'd prefer beer or a gin and tonic. Only reason i didn't give it five stars was that the food was fine but not outstanding. They do fine with what they've got but remote islands and gourmet fare are a rare combination. All in all - a great get away ........ Bring a good book, shorts and a bathing suit. Leave everything else at home.

Room Tip: Cottage six is nice - close enough to the office to cop the wifi signal. Mini fridge and coffee mak...
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Elizabeth S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 February 2014

I don't know if I can describe how much we enjoyed Blackbird. My husband and I wanted to unplug, spend lots of time outdoors and have plenty of time to be lazy. Blackbird definitely gave us all that. In addition, we got outstanding service, fantastic food, fabulous diving/snorkeling, and pleasant company. Even though I'm not a diver, I loved kayaking, lying by the pool drinking margaritas, and lingering over dinner talking to interesting people. When my husband wasn't diving, we went kayaking or snorkeling together (the reef is swimming distance from the dock!), read books in the hammock, or strolled the island looking for iguana. We had very high expectations for this trip, and we were still impressed.

Room Tip: Cabana #6 is behind the bar. We were disappointed we didn't have more privacy at first, but the...
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank shebaspack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2014

We just got back from a weeklong stay at Blackbird. All in all, we enjoyed the resort tremendously, but the diving just wasn't very good at all. Here's what I have to say about our stay.
Food – I would give them a 4.5 stars out of 5. The food was very good most times, great a few times, and forgettable at other times. Breakfast was usually good, but serving pancakes without syrup is pretty dumb. Lunch was good most days. Dinner was above my expectations. I have a very boring palate and I was very pleased with most dinners. More choices would have been better because if you don’t like conch, you don’t have many other options. My wife loved dinner every night and so did most of the people we sat with.
Staff – I’ve got to say that I thought the people here were exceptional. Everybody was nice, helpful, and hardworking. I think the guys that clean the beach every day deserve a special mention. These guys raked all the junk (i.e. plastics and other trash) that washed up on the beach every morning. They kept the place looking postcard perfect. Gilbert at the bar was a very nice kid. He was keeping the other guests happy with his drink making creativity. I’d give the staff a 5 out of 5.
Divemasters – For the most part they were good. They switched out our tanks after each dive and they cleaned all our gear after our last dive - which was a great help. My biggest problem with them was that they did not hesitate to touch the sea life. We have always taught, and have been taught, that you never touch anything underwater. While we were there, I saw them tug on a resting nurse shark until it came out and swam away. There was another time when there was a turtle sleeping on the reef and the one DM pushed the turtle out so we could see it and get pictures. I would have been happier to watch the turtle sleeping. They also caught a puffer fish and caused it to “puff”. Something else I did not like was that on one dive, one of the divers with us had their regulator malfunction. The DM took my daughter’s regulator (she decided not to make the dive) and gave it to the other diver – without asking permission. That was totally unacceptable. I’d give them a 3.5 stars out of 5.
Rooms -- The rooms were good. Our room was very large and comfortable. I will say that the rooms need some TLC. There were areas that needed some attention. There were tiles missing off the bathroom wall that were covered by linoleum tile. When I unplugged my Kindle from the wall the whole box came out. The box had been "secured" only with caulk, nothing else. The bathroom screen had a large hole in it that was plugged with toilet paper. The room looked "tired" and needed to be spruced up.
Diving – I have been waiting to dive Belize for 10 years and I was very excited to finally get here. I was very surprised at how few fish there were. I would say that there was only 1/20th the number of fish (and this is being generous). It was not uncommon to see only 1 fish in a 16 to 20 square yard area. I could not believe it! Luckily, even though there weren’t many fish to see, we did come across quite a few turtles and spotted eagle rays. Almost every dive we made could have been titled “Lionfish Safari”. The DMs speared a multitude of lionfish on every dive. We watched them hunting because there weren’t many fish to watch. The speared lionfish were fed to grouper, triggerfish, and barracuda. On the other hand the reefs were in very good condition, and there was very little bleaching and/or dead coral. I’d give the diving a 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Resort – Now this is another area where Blackbird shines. I literally went barefoot the whole time I was there. That was fantastic. There were no TVs anywhere. If you needed the internet, you could go to the office. I enjoyed being completely unplugged from the real world. The place is secluded, remote, and laid back. Almost everything is geared for divers and snorkelers. We really enjoyed the relaxed nature of the resort. Definitely 5 out of 5 stars!!
I would not go back to Belize because of the poor diving, but if I had to go back, I would not hesitate to stay at Blackbird.

  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Gumby&PokeyDivers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2014

I think this might be the best trip my husband and I have been on. No exaggeration.
I don't even know where to start... It was remote, quiet, and away from the hustle and bustle of normal day-to-day life. The perfect opportunity to kick back and relax, but offering enough activities that we were never bored.

The cabanas were simple and quaint. We had a superior cabana and there was plenty of space. Our cabana and all the cabanas to our left (I think #8-14) faced the ocean and they were spaced well enough away from each other that you had tonnes of privacy and never heard neighbors.

Food was excellent. Home cooked food with enough variety to keep everyone happy. They were very cognizant of everyone's allergies/preferences and were very thoughtful. Jackie was great, always saving someone extra food if they came in late or getting a special plate for someone who couldn't eat the dessert. You become really familiar with everyone around you since there are only 30-40 people there. That can be bad or good.. depending on what you want. If you want to have very private dinners every night, you probably won't be getting that! The tables seat 4-6 people, so you are always talking to others and sharing your experiences.

Diving was the best I've had (in my limited experience - I am not an advanced diver) and Cardinal was a terrific divemaster. He was really chill and he tried so hard to give us the best experience possible. We saw EVERYTHING - sharks, turtles, octopus, eels, barracudas, lobsters, stingrays, eagle rays, groupers .. you name it, we saw it.

Tips if you're going:
-Bring bug spray! We used up a whole can while we were there. The locals used coconut oil which also seemed to work for them, if you want an alternative to DEET.
-Contact them ahead of time if you want to do a diving certification of some sort - I don't know if they always have someone that can do it, so they may need to make arrangements ahead of time to bring someone in.
-I found there to be plenty of food, but if you're a snacker, bring some snacks and treats with you as there isn't a lot of food provided between meals (except for happy hour at 5pm).
-Breakfast is at 7am, lunch at 1pm and dinner at 7pm. I balked at the 7am breakfast time at first since I'm not a morning person, but really, we were getting up pretty early anyways since we were going to bed early as well. It ended up not being an issue at all.
-The tap water there is drinkable/potable. No issues there. They do provide a couple bottles of water to begin with but you would have to pay for any more bottles after that.
-Booze is extra, but the prices are reasonable (we just drank belikins $3/bottle the whole time). You can bring your own booze but they ask that you not drink it in the common areas/public places. Most people we know brought at least a couple bottles of extra stuff to drink on their own time.
-Don't expect super fast wifi - but it's available in the office cabana and enough to send/receive emails and go on facebook.
-It's really casual there, so all you need to pack is some tshirts/tanks, shorts and flipflops. Most people ended up going around barefoot anyways.
-Tips to the "back of the house" can be paid using your credit card, so you don't have to worry about carrying tons of cash with you. However, divemaster and boat captains are tipped with cash.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Islandgirl678
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2014

Went on this trip expecting another cattle boat experience, you know, a hundred divers and snorkelers kicking each other in the face trying to see the same fish or coral. WOW, was I wrong. I am now spoiled and may never go anywhere else! I am already planning to go back next March! First, this is a small resort that can only accommodate about 40 - 44 people and some snorkel while others dive. And there are four boats so they use whatever they need to keep group size manageable. If you think snorkeling is a thing of the past because you are too old, think again! The crew is very tuned in to us old codgers needs and limitations and know where the current is going to take you, it's called drift snorkeling! Who knew! And there is no need to carry gear, they have everything and it's modern and quality. They even de-fog your mask for you!
Food? Locally sourced and fresh with a buffet at breakfast and lunch and choice of two entrees every evening. And you MUST take off your shoes to come into the dining room and bar!!! I mean, this is my kind of place!
Did I mention that you don't have to utilize the twice daily snorkel opportunities or thrice daily diving opportunities, you can just lay around and relax! What a concept. Bring a book as there i no TV or radio.
The Blue Hole trip is an extra and so very worth the money with three dive opportunities for both snorkel and dive guests with a fabulous, and I mean fabulous, picnic on the beach at the Booby sanctuary.
Did I mention the bar is excellent with happy hour at 5? Did I mention that I am already planning on returning next March! see you there!

Room Tip: They make their own electricity and water so the generator runs 24 / 7 so try and get a bungalow awa...
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank kenmac1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2014

We traveled 1/15-22/2014. Overall weather was good but a couple windy, rainy, cool days. Resort just like the pictures! Cabin was clean and comfortable. Could use new pillows. Staff was terrific. Chris and Joe on the snorkel trips were great. Ian and Jackie at the bar were very friendly. Michael the manager very helpful. Great place to relax and enjoy the beach and water, catch up on your reading. Not for those looking for a lot of night life, fast pace, just beautiful water and great snorkeling, best we have ever experienced. Go on the Blue Hole trip, worth the money.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Earl S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2014

We enjoyed an eco-friendly experience on a remote island with about 30 other like-minded folks interested in marine life. If you enjoy diving or snorkeling and seeing marvelous coral and sea life, this is the place. We booked a superior cabana, which is big and roomy and all cabanas now have screened in porches. Yes, be on time for breakfast and lunch, as the diver crowd can go on 3 dives a day and need their carbs. Us snorkelers would like a longer breakfast service, but the staff does accommodate special requests. We are planning to return in 2015 with some of the congenial people we met during our week.

  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank snorkelPat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Blackbird Caye Resort

Address: Turneffe Atoll, Turneffe Island, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Belize Cayes > Turneffe Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Hotel Class:3 star — Blackbird Caye Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Blackbird Caye is a privately owned Island sitting on The Mesoamerican Reef System - often referred to as the "Jewel of the Caribbean" - it is the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere with a rich tapestry of vivid corals, mangrove forests, coastal wetlands, and diverse marine wildlife. Within the reef you will find Turneffe Atoll the Caye where the resort is located. Turneffe is the largest and most biologically diverse of the 3 atolls found in the Caribbean home to more than 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of mollusk, and more than 500 species of fish, manatees, dolphins and invertebrates. There are over 70 dives sites all within 10-15 minutes from the resort and 45 minutes to Lighthouse Reef where The Great Blue Hole is located. The resort is made of 19 modern cabanas facing the Caribbean Sea and 1 beach house. The cabanas are all equipped with A/C, fans, private bathrooms, either King or Queen Beds with new comfortable bedding, private porches with chairs and swinging hammocks. Included in the price are your cabana, 3 daily meals, dive or snorkel package, complimentary transfers to the island on Wednesdays and Saturdays and use of the resort's kayaks. We are the only resort on Turneffe with an air strip making it convenient to arrive or depart any other day of the week. Our courteous and helpful staff will always make you feel at home as customer service ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blackbird Caye Hotel Turneffe Islands
Blackbird Caye Belize City

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