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“Absolutely wonderful experience, All of it!”

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Blackbird Caye Resort
Ranked #3 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 July 2017

We selected Blackbird Caye 15 years ago for our 25th anniversary. It set the bar so high I really doubted it could possibly be as good as the last time. Blackbird Cave was the top of our list for snorkeling, service, and overall experience from 2002 so for our 40th we decided we'd waited long enough. We booked the southern most cabana, used to be #10, now #14. The cabana is spacious, with a living room, bath, bedroom and a screened porch. Blackbird is blessed to be located about 5-30 minutes from so many excellent snorkeling spots that in our 2 weeks total time we haven't seen all of them. The reefs are healthy and the aquatic life is varied and plentiful. The snorkel package includes 2 trips per day. The usual schedule: eat breakfast at 7:00, boat leaves at 9:00, return for lunch at 1:00, boat leaves for second trip at 3:00, return for snacks around 5:30, dinner at 7:00, bar and bed afterward. The food was always excellent with either a choice of 2 items for breakfast and lunch or a buffet. It's usually a buffet but part of the time there were too few guests and it was easier to offer the choice. They always had fresh fruit in addition which doesn't taste the same as home. Fresh picked and sweet. The dinners were always a seafood or non-seafood choice. (Pork, beef or chicken). We usually got one of each so we could try both. Louis, the chef really outdid himself. Fabulous entrees and delicious deserts (even a cake for our anniversary!). Oh and they have a pool bar and snacks to order if you're still hungry. The pool is new since our first visit and was a nice addition. The resort also have a private airstrip if you're not interested in the 1 1/2 hr. boat ride from Belize City. We missed one snorkel trip because of weather. Chris, the snorkel captain who was the only staff member who was still there from 15 years ago seems to know the area like the back of his hand. As an added bonus for us, the Thursday we were there was the opening day of lobster season. I got to spear lobsters! We ate them that evening. I could go on and on! We did an earth hour on a particularly clear evening where all the electricity was shut off to star-gaze. A big hats off to co-managers Brandon and Bernie and the entire staff, Louis the chef, Oscar the bartender, Kirk, the restaurant manager, Chris the snorkel captain, Aldo the dive captain, Maria in housekeeping and everyone else. You all make the magic happed and have it appear effortless. (We know it isn't!) Once again we arrived and met total strangers and left as friends. This is not Sandals or Club Med! It's a dive resort in a perfect location. All cabana's come with complimentary barking geckos!

Room Tip: Original cabanas are smaller and less expensive. We stayed in a deluxe cabana last time and a super...
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  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Dan-Carol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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11 - 17 of 553 reviews

Reviewed 25 June 2017

Not a 5-star luxury French Riviera resort, but a truly 5-star diver's resort! It is a remote tropical paradise away from crowds, tourists and congestion where amenities are not plentiful but more than sufficient and accommodations are picturesque with cottages with thatched roofs, screen porches, and hammocks right on the beach and steps from the water's edge. It does, however, come with the trials and tribulations of being a sustainable remote island 1½+ hours from the mainland.

Diving is incredible and I am told the snorkeling is as well. It's situated on the edge of the 2nd largest barrier reef system in the world, but #1 in terms of it being the largest living barrier reef with colorful, abundant and varied sea life and coral. We saw three types of turtles, manatees, stingrays, spotted eagle rays, and manta rays (with a viewing of five swimming in formation!), spotted moray eels, green Morays swimming in the open, dolphins, a variety of sharks, remora, scorpion fish, drumfish, trunkfish, trumpet fish, parrotfish, angelfish, butterflyfish, crab, lobster, octopus, squid, flounder, tarpin, grouper, barracuda, filefish, jawfish, garden eels and of course lionfish.

The food was incredible as well with special and extraordinary efforts devoted to meeting the varied dietary needs of group members by having provided a special additional chef just to attend to that issue.

it wasn't just incredible diving that make this place a go to destination, but managers Bernie and Brandon that are so incredibly dedicated and genuinely warm, friendly and expert in knowing what it takes and what to do to meet the demands and challenges of running a remote all-inclusive dive resort with attention to safety, satisfaction, satiation, and fun.

And let's not forget the exceptional staff from dive masters and boat captains Ed, Jody, Aldo, Cardinal, and Ralph; wait staff Curt, Oscar, José, Ian, and Samara; to bartenders and grounds crew (who'll be happy to show you where to find the crocodiles in the lake on the other side of the island/resort with the best viewing being at sunset or sunrise). They all have your back in terms of hospitality, education, information and safety. From the moment we landed at the airstrip on the island to send off at the boat dock for the ride back to the mainland we were taken care of and treated like extended family. My only regret was not going home with one of the gorgeous mahogany wood carvings which added further native ambience to the dining room and Palapa bar.

Main drawback … getting bitten alive by bugs … so bring powerful repellent. I was with a large group that booked the entire resort so it made for a bit of coziness on the dive boats, rinse basin (of which there was just 1), competition for hot showers and water pressure, and high demands on AC.

Being a remote island, be aware that the internet is very limited - OK for checking email, but not much else.

If I were to recommend anything, I would say to have 1- 2 more rinse basins at the dock, keep juice and water dispensers filled throughout the day, and have bug spray in each room as well as commercial sized bottles centrally relocated around the resort for guests' use.

Stayed: May 2017, travelled with friends
Thank Michelle W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlackbirdCayeResort, Guest Relations Manager at Blackbird Caye Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2017

Thank you for your very thorough review of Blackbird Caye on TripAdvisor – we appreciate it! You’ve done a great job of outlining the many attributes and amenities that guests enjoy and we’re glad you enjoyed them. We have an exceptional team at Blackbird and they are indeed able to ensure everything on shore runs smoothly, and things are safe and appropriate on the water. We will take note of your feedback and hope that we will have a chance to show you even more magnificent areas here on a return stay.

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Reviewed 22 June 2017

We used a groupon, and for the money, it can't be beat. your own house on a fairly private island. It is a little different then an all inclusive resort, but that can be a good thing. definitely get in the water. even if its just off the beach snorkeling, so much to see in your own front yard.

Room Tip: cabana 7, you can get wifi and the closest to the beach!
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  • Stayed: July 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Thank RJ L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlackbirdCayeResort, Guest Relations Manager at Blackbird Caye Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 28 June 2017

We’re happy to hear you enjoyed the extra value you received in booking in at Blackbird Caye. We are primarily a dive resort, but there’s a lot to be said for kicking back and enjoying the beach too. We hope to see you again.

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Reviewed 12 June 2017

We have been to Turneffe Atoll before and chose Blackbird this time because of a special they were offering. It was a good deal since it included 3 dives a day and all meals. They provide transfers from the airport to the resort on Wednesday and Saturday. But we were given incorrect information about when the boat leaves and having scheduled our flights to arrive in time for the transfer, we found ourselves waiting all afternoon until the last flight finally arrived before the took us from the holding area at the Raddison to the boatyard from which the boat left.

We had an upgraded cabana which we absolutely needed because the beach in front of them was raked daily. The cabanas on the other side of the office were not raked and the decomposing seaweed smelled so bad we could not even walk around that part of the resort. Breakfast and Lunch were buffet and for dinner you would choose between a couple of entrees at breakfast.

I was somewhat disappointed in the diving. They generally do 3 one tank dives, 2 in the AM and 1 PM. And since they needed to be back to turn the boat around, the dive sites were all very close to the resort. In fact we did Coral Gardens for 4 of our 17 dives. Since there was a lot of wind, we went to the other side of the Atoll for 2 tank dives which we prefer. They do a trip to the Blue Hole once a week but charge $200 PP for this (plus marine park fees). Another resort we stayed at on Turneffe Atoll, the Blue Hole trip was included (except for the marine park fees). On Friday, the dive the Elbow on the South side of the Atoll but then the come back and do the second dive back at the resort. (The Elbow is a great dive with much more marine life)

Room Tip: Get an upgraded cabana away from the seaweed
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Stayed: April 2017, travelled as a couple
2  Thank 2skidivers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlackbirdCayeResort, Guest Relations Manager at Blackbird Caye Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 21 June 2017

Thank you for your TripAdvisor review. We’re unsure how you would have been given any incorrect information about your boat departure. In booking we would have gone over all information with you including what to expect at the resort and on the water. Yes, we do 3 dives, 2 in the AM and 1 in the PM. We also have over 70 dive sites near the resort. The trade winds sometimes are very strong and it’s the call of the boat captain and dive masters, with safety as a priority, to decide where to dive.
Back at the resort our maintenance crew works hard at clearing the beaches of organic and non-organic items that roll in all day, and those tasks can take place at different times throughout the day. We hope on balance you enjoyed your time with us and we would look forward to your returning someday.

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Reviewed 7 June 2017

This place is scuba paradise!!! The staff was amazing, the location was unbelievable! The diving from the island was wonderful. The scuba staff was super helpful and knowledgeable. I would have stayed forever if I could have.

Stayed: April 2017, travelled with family
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guest_Relations_Mgr1, Guest Relations Manager at Blackbird Caye Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 8 June 2017

“Scuba Paradise” - now that is music to our ears! Certainly we wake up every day and can’t believe the amazing piece of paradise we get to work in. It’s that authentic sense of wonder, appreciation and enthusiasm we hope to share with each and every guest of Blackbird Caye. Your safety and security is our paramount concern, but we want you to have a great time shore as well. We hope we’ll see you again.

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Reviewed 5 June 2017

Our second time-two years in a row!!! Brandon and Bernie are excellent hosts as well as the entire staff. Everyone is outgoing and helpful. The diving is nice and the dive sites after the Blue Hole are well worth the excursion!!

Stayed: April 2017, travelled with friends
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank G3013SZmary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlackbirdCayeResort, Guest Relations Manager at Blackbird Caye Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2017

Thank you so much for your repeat visit – it’s appreciated! Yes we have hospitable and professional hosts in Brandon and Bernie, and our entire team at Blackbird Caye, and they’ll be pleased that their hard work is appreciated. There’s so much to see in this area we look forward to your third visit!

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Reviewed 4 June 2017

If diversity of snorkeling experiences interest you, go to Blackbird Caye Resort. If good food, great guides and great service interest you, go to Blackbird Caye Resort. If being away from the hordes of tourists on other cayes, go to Blackbird Caye Resort!

Stayed: April 2017, travelled with friends
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank belizebirding
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BlackbirdCayeResort, Guest Relations Manager at Blackbird Caye Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 7 June 2017

Thank you for your TripAdvisor review – you really “got” us! Nature has provided an amazing place for us to share in a safe and rewarding way. Then when it’s time to gear down, we come back to our island, have some great food, socialize and enjoy a little rest. Then the next morning we’re ready to hit the water again. Please do come back.

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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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