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“Serenity”

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Hatchet Caye Resort
Ranked #8 of 20 Hotels in Placencia
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 16 August 2013

Best place hands down. I can't believe this place is hidden!!! It is such an amazing piece of serenity. The ambiance is so calm and relaxing, you can't help but breath a sigh of relief. The rooms, the food, the staff and the the island overall is a rare gem. Definitely will go back.

  • Stayed: March 2013
    • Value
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1  Thank Regino82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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180 - 186 of 274 reviews

Reviewed 6 August 2013

Hatchet Caye was everything we could hope for in a vacation. Beautiful resort, friendly staff, lots of options for enjoying the water (many at no additional cost) great rooms, wonderful sevice and excellent food. I have hit a few of the high points and tips for packing below.

Service
- Bartending and restaurant service was excellent and prompt. David, Charlie Brown, and Juan were our main contacts. They provided great service.
- We had a special medical need while on the island to get a blood glucose meter to replace a broken one. While there was a small cost to charter a boat to the mainland, Dasha went out of her way to get a solution for us, and arranged the transport with only fuel and a captain's fee. The issue was resolved quickly and appropriate urgency was given to the situation even given the remote location.
- Activity\Dive shop staff was incredibly helpful. Each staff member has different strengths. Sean spent a great deal of time with my husband on fly fishing. Rasta was very informative on spear fishing and both helped with outfitting with snorkel gear.

Activities
- Snorkeling is outstanding, beautiful coral and tons of marine life.
- Hobie cats were a great deal of fun.
- Pedal boats were great, instructions on where to take them without hitting the coral were a bit difficult to understand.
- Kayaks were great, and available at no extra cost.
- Snorkle trip to the Turtle Spot and Silk Caye was amazing. We did not do other excursions while there, but would do so for future trips, we were new to snorkeling, so we mostly went around the island to get acclimated.
- This was not actually an "activity" but we spent some time with Damiano learning about the water filtration and island gardening and organic produce and vegetables. He was very informative and we found this really interesting.

Accommodations
- Cabanas were clean, comfortable and nicely decorated.
- Shower was great, and I saw several reviews that complained of hot water not being great in the morning, We were up early, showered early and saw no problems.
- Housekeeping was outstanding. They provide water to rinse the sand from your feet before entering the cabana, but floors were cleaned daily as well as the general stocking of linens and tidying up.

Travel and packing tips
- Expect delays getting to the island. Lots of the guests on our trip were a bit frustrated that the boat was late due to late flights. Plan for an early afternoon arrival in Placencia and be prepared to not reach the island until the evening.
- Expect your Maya air flight time to be "fluid" they are a small airline and need to have a full plan to make the flight. Your number of passengers determines whether your flight is direct or whether you make other stops in Belize on the way to Placencia.
- Pack a flashlight. We traveled in late July, and it was dark when walking to dinner.
- Bring bug spray and sunscreen. We only had problems with bugs on the last day there, but packed just in case. It is a tropical island, you will see bugs, if you plan for it, you can still be comfortable.
- Bring some clothes pins. Hanging towels and wet suits outside is a great option. It does get windy, pinning them to the wires on the deck railing would be helpful.
- Get up early at least one day to watch the sunrise, it was spectacular.
- Take time to stargaze. On the island, with so little competing light, you will see stars you didn't even know existed.

The only thing I think that could be improved at this resort is communication. The laid back approach is great, you can plan your own day, but sometimes if you don't ask you don't know what is available. I think this will improve with time, and was a minor impact for us because we had researched and knew to expect some hiccups in communication. A couple of examples for us were that no one told us where the activity sign up sheet was, or that there was one. Also, no one told us until we asked what the boat transfer time was at the end of our stay, and several guests were told different times for the boat transfer.

Room Tip: All are beautiful and have private outdoor spaces (even the main house room). Honestly, you are in p...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Chelsea_and_Joiey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 August 2013

We had high expectations after reseraching everything we could about Hatchet Caye and read every review we could find - but our experience far SURPASSED our expectations. The facility was well kept, operated, and a treat to experience. The staff was always very attentive and the food great. The waters around Hatchet Caye provided some of the best snorkeling anywhere - including off north Belize - that our family have experienced in many years of travel experience. We stayed active from sunrire to late evening and were never bored or lacking for something to do. Everything needed was available at the Adventure Center and you were only charged for SCUBA related diving gear. Had looked forward to trying the highly reviewed Lion Fish Tacos and was not disappointed - nor were any of us disappointed by any of the great food options we had to select from at each meal.The Cabanas were comfortable and modern. Despite the small size of the island - all guests had ample privacy. Our only complaint was that we had to leave before we were ready to return home. Can't wait to return.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Bogdan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 July 2013

We stayed at Hatchet Caye this past June - our third trip to various Caye resorts in Belize. This was the very best yet - excellent location near the barrier reef, quality foods in variety and preparation, immaculate and tastefully decorated bungalows. And service goes well beyond expectation - the staff response to a faulty A/C unit was over-the-top care, concern and problem-solving. One significant positive for us was the proximity to superior snorkeling found just at the end of the island docks - no boat rides necessary; just gorgeous, clear waters and a completely diverse fish and coral population.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank rogerd44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2013 via mobile

We just returned from our stay at Hatchet Caye after purchasing a 4 night stay for 2 in an ocean front cabana through Living Social. Our deal included airfare both ways from Belize City to Placencia through Maya Island Air, boat transfers to and from the island to the Placenia airstrip, breakfast, lunch, and dinner everyday, and our choice of a snorkeling tour or some other excursion. This is my very detailed review of our stay on the island as well as comments and suggestions.

Getting to the island
After arriving to Belize City from our hometown of Anchorage, Alaska we took our flight to the village of Placencia. I was very nervous about this flight as I am afraid of heights and do not like to fly on a boeing jet let alone a 10-12 passenger jumper plane. You fly over water for most of the flight so I used that thought to help calm my nerves. The flight was actually a lot smoother than I expected. Luckily we were only in the air for a total of about 35 minutes although you may have a short stop both ways like we did. Once our plane landed at the Placencia airport, a van/taxi sent by the resort was waiting for us. He took us to the boat transfer area where we had about a 4 hour wait (it was originally supposed to 3 hours but one of the couple's flights was delayed). We walked around the village, had some Tutti Frutti, and grabbed a drink and nachos at the bar next door. We also took this time to get to know one of the staff members, Gordon. He was very helpful and was able to answer a lot of our questions. Once the last couple arrived we took off for Hatchet Caye. The waters were pretty choppy as it is hurricane season so we moved to back area of the boat to avoid getting soaked like some of the other guests. There were about 12 of us guests on the boat so a lot of luggage had to be stored on the floor and a lot of it was getting a little wet (not soaked). The boat ride was an hour and we fell asleep for most of it. Once we arrived to the island it was about 7pm and already dark. We were greated with drinks by some of the staff that inlcuded Rasta, Juan, and I think Andy. We were then taken as a group and escorted to our rooms couple by couple.

Room
We were in cabana 3 which was a great room although they all looked the same from the outside. Each cabana has it's own little area with beach chairs and a hammock that is either directly in front of the deck or very close by. Ours was right in front of our deck. The room was spacious with a queen bed and sitting area with a wicker loveseat and chair, coffee table, and flat screen. There is Nintendo Wii and DVD player, and movies and games in your room as well as the office but we never used either of them. There was also a small desk and chair in front of our bed, and a small hutch where we stored our snacks and alcohol that we acquired at the duty free shop in the airport. There are 2 ceiling fans and A.C. to help cool off. All of the 6 windows in the room opened too. There is a door in the room that connects to the cabana on the opposite side but we personally didn't hear much noise coming from the other side. The bathroom was a decent size, it would be great if it had double sinks as most of the people that seem to visit are couples. The water pressure in the shower was fine but we did notice that water was not hot or even warm in the morning when we woke up to shower (around 8 am). We assumed that most people were getting up much earlier than us and beating us too it. I understand that it's a remote island so I didn't get too upset about the water not being warm but it would be nice if they could find a away to address and fix this problem during their month long closure in October for renovations.

Food/Resturant
The restaurant/bar on the island is called the Lionfish Grill as you may already know. You can get familiar with the food and drink menu by visiting the Hatchet Caye website and downloading the menu. We did not pay for any food as it was included in our voucher. From what I understand the kitchen does close between breakfast, lunch, and dinner but Gordon told us that if you get hungry you can ask Andy or Juan if the chef can make you something like an appetizer. We didn't need to do this as the portions were all very hearty. There is a dinner special every night which is a soup of the day and an entree that is not on the menu. We had the soup and entree special 2 out of the 4 nights. The nice thing about dinner was that we each got our choice of an appetizer, entree, and dessert. There is only 1 dessert each night but they were all appealing (coconut cream pie, chocolate cake, and caramel flan was what was available while we were there to give you an idea). As far as food goes, I definitely reccomend trying the island style breakfast or breakfast burrito for breakfast, the Lionfish tacos for lunch, and the Lionfish cakes for an appetizer at dinner. Also ask Juan if the corn soup will be served at all during your stay. It had corn, rice, and potatoes in a creamy soup base and it was so good I could have eaten a huge bowl of it. The drink menu is extensive and includes soft drinks, juices, "virgin" drinks, and of course plenty of alcoholic choices. Some of our favorite drinks were the Baileys Banana Colada, Dasha's Delight, and Panty Rippa. My favorite drink of all was Aspen's Delight which is what Juan brought to me after I asked him to make me something fruity with rum. I can't remember what was in it but it tasted like a watermelon Jolly Rancher and it was killer. Our drink bill came out to about $175USD and we had some type of drink with almost every meal. Keep in mind the menu is in Belizean dollars so it all looks a lot more expensive than it really is. On our last day we had breakfast in our room, and for our last dinner we had Juan set us up with a private table on the beach. Juan and whoever else helped set it up went out of their way and it was beautiful. Unfortenently it was so windy that we couldn't eat there so before we ordered Juan moved the set up to our cabana deck which was just as nice since we were facing the ocean and got to enjoy the lightening which I personally loved. He went so out of his way to make it happen quickly and we are so grateful.

Activities/snorkeling
As most of everyone says, you can do as little or as much as you want. There is a dock for fishing, which is the same dock where you can see spotted sting rays swimming right under your feet when they turn on the ultraviolet light at night. We played a few games of volleyball with some of the staff on our first day there and had a great time. We didn't see any other guests playing but the staff played every evening we were there so ask to join even of you're not great at it. Everyone was so nice and seemed to be happy to have us play with them. We had Gordon take us out on the hobie cat which was a great time. We even saw a lone turtle swimming on the surface while we were out there which was a nice surprise. We saw a few couples take out the inflatable kayak and paddle boat but did not get around to it. We brought our own intertubes and had a great time relaxing out in the water without worry as the water is very shallow all the way out to the end of the dock so we never felt unsafe. We decided to do the snorkeling tour with 3 other couples and let me just say it was the most amazing experience. You can not go to Hatchet Caye without doing this tour. Our guide took us out on the boat about 25 minutes out from the island. He and Gordon anchored the boat in a shallow part of the ocean and we stepped right of the boat into the ocean. The water is fairly warm so it's a comfortable tour. Most of us wore life jackets around our waists to make it easier to swim. I have always been scared to snorkel but once we finished I was ready to go 10 more times. We saw whale sharks, a barracuda, dozens of tropical fish, HUGE sting rays, and GIANT 150 year old turtles. Nothing will prepare you for the size of these turtles unless you've done this before. Like I said, you must do this tour at least once. It will make you want to get SCUBA certified if you're not already which is something I want to do before going back.

Staff
Everyone that we interacted with was so nice. I don't know their names but the women that were doing the housekeeping were great (we played volleyball with them). Of course Juan, Andy, and Charlie Brown who take care of you at the bar and restaurant were awesome. We didn't have a lot of interaction with Dahsa or Rasta but they were very nice the few times we saw them. Our snorkeling guide was great and made sure we were all comfortable in the water and with our gear before starting. I would say that we made the biggest bond with Gordon. Most of the couple's seemed to be in their mid 30's or older so we were drawn to Gordon since he was younger (We are in our early 20's). He was great for answering all of our questions about the island and country and we learned a lot from him. I think we both consider him a friend now. Hopefully he is still there when we visit again.

Comments/suggestions
- I do understand that they try to conserve as much as possible but it would be nice if they had another boat and made more than 1 trip to and from the island to Placencia because guests arrive at all different times, and it would also be nice to go back to the village for an hour or two if you wanted to.
-A dresser in the room would be great, it hate digging through my suitcase. Also if there was a mirror above the desk that would be nice, there is only 1 which was in the bathroom.
-It would be cool if there was something like happy hour at the bar, I would have enjoyed the bar more if it was a little more lively and I think it would be another way to get guests to interact more if they want to.

All in all we had a great time. The weather was great (the only time it rained was while we were sleeping), the food was really good, the staff was nice, the island was beautiful and well kept. 4 nights was not enough especially since we got there late and left very early. I would go for at least a week next time and recommend that if you haven't already booked your trip.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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2  Thank aspenraney
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 reviewResponded 23 July 2013

Thanks so much for your lengthy review and your kind words. We pass all reviews to staff members to read through and consider so that we may all improve. I wanted to clarify a few things that you mentioned first being the hot water. All of our units are fitted with solar water heaters which means that the water will be the coolest in the early morning before the sun has had time to heat the stored water. Secondly, while you can see Whale Sharks at Gladden Spit Marine Reserve from our Dive boat - what you saw at the Turtle Spot were Nurse Sharks. Your idea about having a second mirror over the desk is a great one and we may just do that!

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Reviewed 18 July 2013

It was a beautiful place but I would not visit in the rainy season. We went in July and there were only 2 days of sunshine out of 7. A couple scary boat trips and storms made for not so fun snorkeling trip. I would highly suggest bring bug spray though. Got bit a lot from laying on the beach.
This is a place where you have to make your own trip. Don't expect anyone to be scheduling anything for you. You get to do pretty much everything you want when you want but also, if you want to do nothing, you can do that too. It's a great place to just relax and refresh. We only did the snorkeling as we couldn't find another group to go to the Monkey River tour which I would have liked. Again, don't go in July or in the rainy season. Bad storms and lots of indoor time. I would go back though. It's a beautiful island.

Room Tip: some rooms had bugs so make sure you are comfortable with the room or have them move you or spray.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TammyEmineth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2013

Truly a gem in the middle of the sea. If you are looking for relaxation, adventure, world-class lobster and cozy accommodations visit Hatchet Caye. AMAZING!!!! This place is spectacular and worth visiting, the tropical fish and snorkeling, lazy afternoons and social nights make it a perfect holiday get-a-way. Only 9 room/huts on the island, talk about exclusive and unique. So much fun to get away and stay at such a gem.

Room Tip: Bring bug spray in July, for sand flies at night.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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2  Thank PlayWithTheWorld
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

Address: 17 Miles Offshore, Placencia, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Stann Creek > Placencia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Placencia
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Placencia
#5 Family Hotel in Placencia
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Placencia
Price Range: £208 - £311 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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