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“Private Paradise”

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Hatchet Caye Resort
Ranked #7 of 19 Hotels in Placencia
Certificate of Excellence
Jersey City, New Jersey
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Private Paradise”
Reviewed 2 May 2012

What an amazing getaway my husband and I had for our 2 year wedding anniversary. It was a bit of a haul getting there (3 planes, and a 45 minute boat ride) but well worth the trip. Wish we had known about this place for our honeymoon.

Pros:
Privacy - it really felt like we had our own mini island. We had our own deck literally right on the water, our own hammock, and our own mini section of the beach.
Activities - We had access to snorkeling gear, diving gear, kayaks, paddle boats, and sail boats that we could use at our leisure on our own time without needing to schedule a trip.
Service - Everyone on the island knew us by name. We dealt mostly with Andy, Carl, and Rasta who were all great and very accommodating. We were able to get a private romantic dinner right on the beach that was beautifully set-up for us
Cost - we had the 4 night living social deal which made the cost well worth it. It included the charter flights within Belize, the boat ride to the island, the cabana, 3 meals daily, all the island activities, as well as a sail boat trip to the silk cayes for some snorkeling.
Room - Was surprisingly very nice and modern. Had little sitting area and bed.

Cons:
Food: Food was decent, but there was one restaurant with one menu, so I felt very limited in my selections. Wish there was a bit more variety. Also food was only from certain hours - so if you miss lunch that ends around 2, there is no food until dinner at 6. Wish there was a snack bar menu or something for in between. We actually bought some snacks which us which was great. Drinks are always available.
Nightlife: There is none here, so if that's what you're looking for, look elsewhere. For us it was great as we were only looking for day activities and relaxation, we were so exhausted by the end of the day that we relaxed a bit on our deck with the cool breeze and went to bed.
Tipping: Difficult to determine where your tip goes or how to tip properly. Asked a few times, and did not really get a clear answer.
Charter Flight: only have certain times available, so you may be waiting at the airport for your connecting flight for quite a while.
Cost: We had the living social deal, and were never really told what wasn't included. There are trips scheduled during the day to see turtles, or go diving and these are all at an additional cost.
Beach: Beautiful, but a but rocky and difficult to actually swim in

Overall an amazing place, wish the living social deal offered a 6 or 7 night stay as 4 night just wasnt enough. Would highly recommend it and I'm very picky!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank lalah o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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258 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (101)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
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English first
Little Rock, AR
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2012

First things first, we loved it so much we have already scheduled to go back! If we could have stayed here all 7 nights of our honeymoon we would have, but wanted to see a few other things. However, once we left we longed to be back. =) I don't think there is to much that I can add that others have not commented on. I will just hit some highlights that I noticed had not been mentioned....

The menu, 3 meals, and they are from 7-9am, 11-2pm, and 6-9pm. If you like to snack bring stuff with you. At first, we were not sure we were going to like the location as we arrived at 3pm and had missed lunch, so we had to wait until 6pm for dinner. Also, not everything is always available that is on the menu. The island relies on shipments from the mainland, so if they can't get somthing, like tomatos, they won't make the ceviche. They also don't have dessert every night. Dessert is available based on the chef's ability to get it prepared between lunch and dinner. However, of the 4 nights we were there, we had dessert 2 nights. The dessert both nights was the same thing as they only offered one option.

Bring an underwater camera if you can! The snorkeling around the island is wonderful.

Take the snorkeling trip to Turtle handout...wonderful encounter with the sea turtles, rays and we even saw a shark. Fegan and Walter at the activity center are great.

We loved the staff and would highly recommend it!

Room Tip: as everyone else has said, Cabana #1 is the most convenient to everything; however, it is right next...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kelleydawn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gainesville, Florida
Level Contributor
62 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2012

What a special place!!! If you are looking for a place to escape pressures on your life Hatchet Caye may be exactly what you are looking for. We were there in April and the resort was just plain wonderful and as good or better than expectations.

This is a small private island with just a few cabanas that leaves you with the feeling it is all yours. The folks who work here are friendly and accommodating. They don’t hover over your needs but when you do need something a smiling face will appear. The staff knows you are here; your names and they try to anticipate you wishes.

The cabanas are first class and roomy. All the touches are very classy. Even in this marine environment you will not find furniture from Wal-Mart. The wicker chairs on our generous porch had cloth upholstery in vibrant Caribbean colors.

The restaurant serves over a wide schedule for all meals, not set times, sittings or reservations necessary. We had a large and late breakfast one day and the restaurant staff wondered about us when we skipped lunch.

There are a few yachts coming and going which adds to the ambience plus you may have some interesting conversations with someone over a cold Bilekin.

Hatchet Caye has toys as well. There are paddle boats, kayaks and our favorite, Hobie Wave catamarans. Don’t know how to sail, no problem Walter will teach you. Several tours operate from here for SCUBA, snorkeling and sightseeing. Other than sailing the Hobies we just chilled out for 4 days as it seemed a waste to go off the island.

To qualify our opinions as our point of reference for the ambience here, we have stayed at Meadwood in Napa and the Ventana in Big Sur.

Room Tip: If you can get the honeymoon cabana take it. The location and view are just wonderful.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ken D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
des moines
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 April 2012

Pros - amazing location, excellent new facilities, great staff, incredible snorkeling, as much activity or peace & quiet as you like

Cons - no one presented themselves as manager or "in charge" during our entire stay. on arrival day, we were anticipating 9am pickup based on previous email, but pickup didn't occur till 5pm later that day. no one said sorry for making you wait 8 hours. also, the food is mediocre at best. limited menu of boring, mostly fried items.

overall, a good value through the living social special but not worth it at full published rates

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank romanm358
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
hatchetcaye, General Manager at Hatchet Caye Resort, responded to this review, 22 April 2012
Thank you for your candid review of Hatchet Caye Resort. We take all criticism as opportunity for improvement. Firstly, let me apologize for not meeting you while you were here - I do try to meet all guests... sometimes I find myself looking at the time and realizing I have been at the computer all day long.

In reference to the island arrival time, I did speak with your travel agent about the boat transfer time change a few days prior to your arrival, but they were unable to reach you and we also did call the hotel where you were staying in Placencia your first night to inform them as well so that you could better plan your day. It is unfortunate when we have guests ready to head to the island very early in the day and guests that do not arrive in Placencia until the last flight. This is a logistical issue we are trying our best to sort out and find a solution for.

Regarding our menu - of the 29 items offered only 5 are fried dishes and none of our dinner items are fried. We try to do our best offering fresh seafood and daily dinner specials not on the menu to give more variety and we will try our best to keep a close eye on the quality as well.

Thanks again for your feedback - all reviews are taken very seriously and steps are taken to change what we can to make our island experience even better.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbus, OH
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2012

Like many others, we found Hatchet Caye through a living social deal. The island is beautiful and is probably the most peaceful tropical vacation spot I have ever experienced. You will seriously feel like you are on a Corona commercial.

The island is full of strategically located hammocks and lounge chairs that overlook the incredible crystal clear water. Each cabana is within a few feet of the water, so I would recommend turning off the air conditioning (yes... 18 miles off the coast and there is Air.) and let the ocean breeze flow through your room.

We took advantage of the many complimentary water sports that are available free of charge. The best is the hobie cat sailboats. Otherwise, there are kayaks and paddle boats for you to use as you wish. We also purchased a couple of snorkel trips to see the turtles and rays near the silk cays, which was about 10 minutes away by boat. The diving is also very close and quite scenic. I brought my own regulator and computer, but they do have everything you would need to dive and snorkel. I did not use a wet suit since the water was warm enough without one, but they are also available.

I have to give this place a 5 simply because of its location and quality of the accommodations and food. There are areas for improvement, but this is by far the best foreign resort I have ever visited.

I do have some suggestions / warnings / comments:

1. The diving is great, but there are limited boats and dive masters. Therefore, you may not get to dive every day if that is your plan. If you are a serious diver and plan to make this a dive trip, I would make prior arrangements with the resort so they can (and they will) make sure you are satisfied. I am sure they can arrange to have one of the dive operators out of Placencia pick you up if they can't take you diving on the day you want. I would just recommend you contact them before hand to let them know your plans.

2. Snacks. Don't get me wrong... the food is excellent, especially for being in the middle of nowhere. There are 3 meals a day and we never went hungry. However, I have never missed a snickers or an oreo as much as I did by day 5. They are so efficient at getting you from the airport to the boat and to the island that you may not have time to stock up. We planned to stop off and get some snacks on the way to the boat dock, but the timing did not permit. I would suggest you bring your favorite items with you and hope they don't melt.

3. The Staff. They are all great and friendly. I would suggest that if you need something, just ask for it. It's a different culture there and they are not a group of sales people like you find at other resorts. They will probably leave you alone unless you specifically make a request of them. Afterwards, you can expect their service to exceed your expectations.

4. Gratuity. My only complaint is that it is unclear how the staff is compensated by the resort. The people there are very modest and would never suggest that you tip them, but it would be nice if the resort would offer some kind of guide or process to leave gratuity for those who helped you during your stay. As far as I could tell, the only place to offer tips is in the restaurant and bar and those likely go to the server. I would suggest that the resort change their process to have guests sign for everything at the end of the stay and have lines for each employee if you wish to tip them. I think they deserve it for the service they provide.

Bottom line, this place is fantastic. You will not be disappointed.

Room Tip: I liked #3
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
22 Thank FPC310
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2012

This resort is one of the most amazing places on earth.... and we are very picky guests. We are from Washington, DC and utilized the Living Social deal to stay for 4 nights and 5 days. I am in finance in my early 30's and my significant other is in corporate relations. We were looking for a respite providing full-service and amenities, but also in the middle of nowhere to decompress.

Hatchet Caye exceeded all expectations. We arrived at noon on a Monday (2/20) and spent a few hours in Placencia where we flew in (we landed at Belize International and then took a smaller Maya Island Air shuttle plane to a small private airport in Placencia where the Hatchet staff greets you). Walter (the boat captain and expert dive instructor) takes you by boat 19 miles to the island.

We arrived at sunset and were greeted by 5 Hatchet staff members to take our bags and escort us to our private cabin. The view and sunset as we arrived were off-the-charts. Just 4 hours earlier we had been in a major city, and now we were looking at nothing but ocean with majestic pinks, blues and greens in the sky.

Our cabin (cabin # 2) was directly at the ocean's edge and had 6 windows (all over-looking the ocean. The sound of the ocean beats any 5 star resort out there. The ocean was literally right next to you. When we walked to the restaurant for dinner 20 minutes later, the stars were the most clear you have ever seen. Every constellation looked like it was within your hand's grasp, and you felt as if you were the only person on the island (there were 3 or 4 other couples on the island, but you felt as if you had it to yourselves). Upon arriving at dinner, the staff greets you (Carlos, Andy and Carol) who will be your servers for the week. The food was phenomenal and service impeccable (you get your selection of a great entree at each meal, with a 3 course dinner for two each day). The cocktails (ranging from the "White Cap" which was an amazing tropical infusion to the strawberry / pina colada daiquiri to the "Funky Munkey...." which had chocolate and banana) were done to perfection.

Carlos recommended Roy's (your chef) special for the evening, which was a blackened snapper caught that day. The shrimp and lionfish cakes are so fresh that your senses will be truly awakened. It is somewhat mind boggling that they prepare all of this 19 miles from land.

For breakfast, the banana or chocolate chip pancakes, omelets and sausage are fantastic.

Walter and Connie are your resident snorkel and scuba diving instructors, and will take you out to the most amazing places on earth. Depending on your level of adventure, they can have you swimming with whale sharks and sea turtles or enjoying the tropical colors of the barrier reefs (as opposed to taking a boat to go scuba diving or snorkeling from land for an hour, it is a 10 minute boat ride to the unbelievable barrier reefs). I can't say enough for the level of service, advice and hospitality of Walter and Connie. Take advantage of these guys. They know their stuff and will show you the world underwater.

You also have at your disposal myriad of toys, such as catamarans, sea kayaks and paddle boats... great to grab and snorkel. Frank will ensure that you have what you need.

In summary, this place is simply a paradise. It is your own oasis in the middle of nowhere and we highly recommend it. We are probably two of the most picky guests out there and every one of our expectations was far-exceeded. Dasha, who runs the operation, is meticulous and makes sure your stay is blissful. Ask her to schedule you a couple's massage in your cabin to cap off your last evening! Simply perfection.

Room Tip: We liked Cabin 2 the best given proximity to snorkeling dock and directly on the water
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
17 Thank WSDC1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 February 2012

My wife and I went to Hatchet Caye (pronounced "Key") from 2/19-2/23 through the Living Social deal. We were glad we did. The setting is really amazing. I've been to Hawaii, Mexico, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and other tropical destinations, and Hatchet was the most uniquely beautiful. You are on a little island surrounded by water and other little islands dotting the horizon all around you. The water is greenish, then blue, then kind of dark in some spots (where the coral is)... it has a classic Carribean feel. Because the island is so small the beach is not really big, maybe 10 feet, but it's hard to beat the views. Most of the activities are water-related -- snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, swimming, sailing, etc. If you are into being active on vacation then this is the spot, but even if you are more interested in lounging around you will find a relaxed and pretty environment. Still, you've really got to get into the water even if you don't typically go into the ocean. The water is just so warm, it's unbelievable.

The staff are very friendly and seem to enjoy their jobs. The bartender entertained us one night with his classical drumming skills, the housekeeper is also the masseuse, the sailing instructor also works at the water filtration center, etc. The ratio of guests to staff on the island is only like 2 to 1 -- very impressive. I agree with a previous reviewer that tipping can be a little tricky. We just gathered up some cash at the end of our trip and left it in the manager's office with directions on how to distribute it. Dasha is the manager and was easy to worth with. She arranged for us to take the bigger (less rocky) boat on our way back to Placencia because my wife is four months pregnant and the ride in on the small boat was a little rough. Dasha also left her office open for us so we could use its good (but not great) internet connection to video chat with our son to see how he was doing and to assure him that Mommy and Daddy were indeed coming home.

The restaurant, like the rest of the island, is beautiful. The food is somewhere between casual and upscale and is always fresh. The menu is not extensive, but what they do they do well. There are maybe 10 choices for every meal. I am a kind of picky eater but the chef came up with a great chicken dish for me. My wife and I also had a torch-lit table set up on the edge of the island for dinner on our last night and the chef made her a seafood stir-fry dish she requested that was not on the menu. Desserts are incredible, but are not always in stock. The coconut cream pie was great, and the chef also made some type of ice cream that was very good, maybe something with vanilla bean, cinnamon, nutmeg... not sure. You can stop by for a drink pretty much any time between meals, but food was only at meal times. I agree they should have a snack menu, even if it's just Snickers bars and the like for sale or something like that.

One downside of the vacation is simply getting there. It's a hassle. That's not their fault, but it's something to consider. Very few US cities fly direct to Belize City (Charlotte, Atlanta, Houston, maybe New Orleans?). Then you have to get on one of those little planes to get out to the coast. Then you get cabbed to the dock and brought on a small boat to the island. Even if you time everything perfectly you are looking at maybe 11-12 hours total if you're coming from most points in the US. That means if you are going for four nights then you don't get a whole lot more than three days.

There is a lookout on top of the manager's office that is a great place to watch the sunset. The WiFi is good enough for checking email, etc., but not for downloading movies. We downloaded a few movies on itunes before going and watched them in bed on the laptop. We didn't touch the Wii. The rooms are nice, although the beds are a little on the harder and smaller side. All in all, it was a dream vacation, particularly for the rate. I don't know if we would come back at the market rate, but time will tell.

Room Tip: Try to get cabana 1 if you can.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
11 Thank Ben H
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
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Placencia
#5 Family Hotel in Placencia
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Placencia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
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
Hatchet Caye Resort Belize/Placencia

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