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“Excellent, with a few areas for improvement” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hatchet Caye Resort

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Hatchet Caye Resort
Ranked #6 of 19 Hotels in Placencia
Certificate of Excellence
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Excellent, with a few areas for improvement”
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Ben H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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 (96)
Date | Rating
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  • Italian first
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  • Any
English first
Greenville, South Carolina
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2012

Our trip to Hatchet Caye was the vacation of our dreams. I may mention that this was my husbands 50th birthday gift and was something that we anticipated and planed for long before stumbling upon the "perfect trip" on LivingSocial. We are seasoned travelers so I am not always so easy to impress.
The planets aligned, God smiles and Most-Of-All the hard work of your staff made our (and I’m sure everyone else’s) vacation exceed any expectations we might have had for this holiday. Because it was so unbelievable, we are committed to making sure it is not an once-in-a-lifetime trip. We were so encouraged by the casual, intimate approach that your business has embraced-styling a holiday that allows guest to experience flexibility- (critical to bringing our children). They offer Babysitting - especially helpful if you plan to dive. We are anxious for our little ones to have similar experiences-and at Hatchet Caye this seems possible. My impressions have been that this would never have been do-able at a bigger resort where I would be concerned about the safety of the children, and who I was exposing them to, but in our limited time at the island I was so impressed by the general feeling of honesty and camaraderie among guest and employees. I thought it was really great when we went snorkeling on Saturday morning and Roy and Carol and a few others from the staff came along for the experience. I also loved being allowed to collaborate on the dessert special of the night and getting a few cooking tips that Roy generously shared with me, I thought it made my trip even more memorable. I love the idea of coming back and sharing all these experiences with my children.
For the Living Social deal it was FANTASTIC, I tend to agree that if it had been at list price I would have expected more- particularly when it came to the restaurant. It was tasty but not "gourmet" especially for the foodie type. It is listed as gourmet - but the menu's are laminated and very limited and the entree's were on the casual side- things like curry, Creole, and chicken parmesan are not "gourmet". They were often out of items and a few nights did not prepare dessert. I suppose it was because there were so few guest when we vacationed- mid Feb. Also Lobster season had just ended the day before our arrival- huge disappointment! No lobster catching or serving till Mid June from what I was told. Also I agree with snacks, there just aren't any- bring a bag of pretzels, nuts, some chocolate. These would be smart for the resort to have between meals for guest- also a big fruit bowl would be nice, just in case you are out diving and come back to have missed breakfast or lunch. But I am sure that this newly opened resort will only improve with a little time!
The accommodations are beautiful, especially when you are unsure of what to expect. After driving through the "slummy" areas in Placencia on our taxi from the airport, I was worried, however the private bungalows were very comfortable, roomy, exceptionally clean and modern.
Our experience with water sports and staff were excellent. We had a great time diving every day and snorkeling. Our excursion to snorkel with sea turtles, shark, and rays did not seem tourist-y. It was awesome!
We really enjoyed the casual feel of everything and have already recommended it to friends as a must do! It was perfect for us and promises to be even better as a few supply kinks are worked out.

Room Tip: room 1 is a private bungalow- the rest seem to be duplex style.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 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?
8 Thank holleethornton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2012

We ventures to Hatchet Caye as a result of the LivingSocial deal, as the poster before and I bet MANY posters after us did. The island was very nice, but I think calling it 5 star is a little much. While I understand the definition of 5-star changes when you put it on an island out in the middle of the ocean, there's still an assumption of luxury and professionalism that Hatchet doesn't quite reach, not yet at least.

The food was very good with fresh seafood, but the menu was not extensive and there were two nights out of the four that we were there when we were told "no fish tonight" (this did not mean they didn't have lobster or other seafood though, just to be clear). The restaurant is not set up for the all-inclusive crowd, so hopefully they will make that more clear to future all-inclusive diners. We figured all inclusive meant we could order a little bit of this, a little bit of that, this seafood with the sauce from that entree and the side from that one. The menus have prices on them and you are asked to sign a bill at seemingly random intervals. We were a bit afraid of what our "bill" would look like at the end of our "all inclusive" visit but thankfully when the time came, it was zero (except booze). I expect they will change how they introduce visitors to the menu in the coming weeks.

Wifi was iffy, so don't plan on much beyond email usage. We should have realized that - 18 miles out to shore you're limited to a single shared satellite uplink. This means no skype, no streaming pandora, etc. Not a problem at all, but be prepared to only be in touch by email when you're there. There is wifi in the rooms but it generally doesn't work. So again, don't count on being in contact except rare times during the day.

The staff was really friendly and nice, but was not "five star" service - this was a total caribbean beach joint with staff to match. Again, not a problem, but we just found that when we asked for a favor (not a demand for service by any means, but "hey could be possibly get an extra bucket of ice" the response was slightly put-upon. Like we were asking for a favor (which we were). But a 5-star place makes you feel like "Oh no PROBLEM! I'll have it in your room within 10 minutes!". So, again, 4 stars. They make it happen, but I felt like I was asking a favor.

Tipping is a bit tricky. There are many people who come and go and help you during your stay, but it's not clear how the tipping works. We didn't want to carry around a pocket full of 1's and make it rain all day and night, but we worried at the end how our tip was going to be shared. In the end we just said to heck with it and gave a chunk for them to split up. Hope it did!

Oh, BRING SOME SNACKS. The only food you're going to get is at the three meals, which is plenty of food, but if you don't ever make breakfast (which we didn't) you may find yourself hungry or just craving something not on the menu. Specifically I would bring some chocolate if I went again, as desserts were one-option only (though good). Maybe a salty snack or two. Also, all rooms have a WII in them but only one Wii-mote. We snagged one from our neighbor but hopefully they'll get a few extras. Great to have a game system like that but only one player makes it a bit lame. Only game is Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort, so if you like to play, rent a game or two before you come.

We planned on our way home to have a nice long day on the island before I plane departed at 6. We didn't realize that given the long boat ride, there would only be one time to leave the island. Since we were almost alone on the island, we bargained for a somewhat late departure, but when the island is more full (March will be very booked, they say) you may not be able to count on a late departure. I think they said the time the boat generally leaves is like 9 AM. We were not happy to hear that. That said, Placencia is a pretty nice little area to spend an afternoon, run-down though it looks on the surface. Weird combination of slum and tourist destination. You'll know what I mean when you see it, I've never seen anything like it.

The included boat/snorkel trip doesn't include any motorized options - be sure you understand that, as we thought the motorized snorkel trip we joined on day two would count as the free trip from the LS deal, but it did not. Prices were not discussed, but at the end it was $50US per person.

Definitely make time to snorkel off the pier by cabin 1 and 2, day or night, it's the nicest place to do it. Not much fish but it's nice and deep there compared to the other side of the island. Watch out for the HUGE rays - the spotted eagle rays are beautiful and the white Southern rays are truly huge. Nothing scary though, they're just there to eat (not you).

I think that about covers it! I'd definitely recommend it for the LS price, not sure if they'll ever sell any rooms for the "list" price but who knows? Have fun!

Room Tip: Cabin 1 is the only one that is not a side-by-side duplex.
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  • Stayed February 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 Cameronjpu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Louis, MO
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2012

Imagine waking up on your island paradise, what would it look like? For us, it looked incredibly like Hatchet Caye! We arrived at night, so it was difficult to tell what the island looked like. I was awakened in the morning to the sound of ocean waves lapping up on the shore and looked out my cabana window to discover the waters edge just 15 feet from the door. Ahhhh.

Where do I even begin? We initially tried the resort because of a Living Social deal. It was hard to know what to expect since there were very few reviews since they had just opened 7 months prior. We are SO glad we took the “risk”, I would pay full price for this experience again in a heartbeat. Before we even arrived Dasha, who manages the office, helped us with our logistics. The island is about a 1 hr flight south on a smaller airplane from Belize City to a small beach town called Placencia. Then, Hatchet arranges their boat to take you to the island, 18 miles off shore of Placencia. The ride takes anywhere from 45 mins – 1.5 hrs depending on water conditions. So, you need to be a bit adventurous, but when you arrive on the island, its TOTALLY worth it. Plan to stay on the island for your entire stay with excursions being for SCUBA, sailing, or deep sea fishing.

The island is only 7 acres and has only 8 cabanas/rooms (very private and peaceful!). Everything you need for your stay is there (even wifi in the restaurant…unfortunately). There is a full restaurant and bar and you have unlimited use of snorkeling gear, sea kayaks, paddle boats and pool. There is a dock that you can swim and snorkel off of night (it has underwater lights) or day. They offer tours for snorkeling on the reef, SCUBA diving, deep sea fishing, and others (they are working on adding more adventures). We went diving for 3 days and it’s a wonderful place to dive from since you are only a 10 min boat ride from the barrier reef versus the 1 hr from the mainland. One day, we even had our surface interval on Hatchet while we had lunch at the restaurant and then went back out for the 2nd dive! Much more relaxing than sitting on a rocking boat for 45 mins!

The food was SO fresh and amazing. Roy, the chef was talented and creative. If he offers a dinner special, just get it…its going to be delicious! If you go fishing and catch something, Roy will make it for you special! The customer service the staff was 4+ star (at least). If there is something you don’t have, just ask. They are more than happy to get it for you. They even picked up a cigar for one guest per his request on their supply run to the mainland. I just cant say enough good things about the staff. Super friendly and genuine.
When Hatchet could not accommodate us on our 3 day of diving due to other guests needing to be shuttled back to the mainland for their flights, Dasha, the logistical master-mind, set up a mainland shop to rendezvous with us at Hatchet and even negotiated a lower price!

The night sky was unforgettable and so was the experience. Be prepared to deal with some minor logistics hurdles, but if you cant deal with it, then you really need to stay on the island longer until your truly on “island time” and just don’t care about time anymore!

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 5 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?
7 Thank jamie_stlouis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
50 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2012

We arrived at Hatchett after hearing that it could be reached by boat. It has a great dock and were well received. The entrance is difficult because the docking facility is a bit shallow. We were going to dive and fish. The dive master was not upfront with us and not very professional. He never asked for our diving licenses. We had requested a dive on sat and 2 dives on Sunday. When Sunday came around we saw him washing the boat ( which by the way is new and great for diving) but when the time to take us came around he said there was too much wind. The waves were only about 3 ft and with diver's from "Hamanasi" we have dived in much choppier conditions. We accepted his decision and he told us we could go in the afternoon after he returned from an errand in Placencia. Well they never returned until 7 pm. We spent the entire day just hanging. It looks like they have only one boat to take you fishing, take you diving, pick up clients! The restaurant runs out of food on their menu and Belizean rum and beer are not good quality.. It has great potential... There are not many nice hotels near the reefs, the rooms are pretty and comfortable, but the rest needs improvent. Their ladder on the dock is broken and it is difficult to snorkel and go to shore because of sea urchins and coral". I also don' see why you can't fish from the dock if you are stuck there without a chance to go out fishing and diving. I hope the owners read this because we wish them the best and they get a lot of tourists from nearby Guatemala that could keep his hotel busy and successful

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Tiemponomejora
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, 24 January 2012
Thanks so much for your review. Any and all suggestions on ways we can improve the overall experience at Hatchet Caye Resort is considered an opportunity.

We actually have 3 vessels that service the island - one for Diving/Snorkeling and guest transfers, one for Fishing Tours and guest transfers and one for supplies and staff transfers.

Our 'Catch and Release' policy was put into place to maintain the marine life around the island so that our guests can continue to enjoy the snorkeling right off the docks. The ladder has been fixed.

It is unfortunate that you were unable to Dive on your second day with us.. we would love to make it up to you the next time you visit us!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Placencia
Price range (per night): RM1,271 - RM1,990
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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