Hatchet Caye Island Resort
What We Love
- Private island accommodations mean you share the mile-long beach only with fellow hotel guests and visiting sailors
- The resort’s Pirate Reef dive shop offers certification courses and custom excursions, making it easy to explore the Belize Barrier Reef, the world’s second-largest
- Fresh seafood, such as lobster tail grilled with habanero lemon beurre blanc, and lionfish in a crepe filled with veggies and mushrooms in a white wine sauce
- Brave swimmers can try night-snorkeling; the bright lights attract squid, rays and other nocturnal marine creatures
What To Know
- Getting to the island is worth the haul on a puddle jumper from Belize City followed by a boat transfer from mainland Placencia
- You might meet some sailors on the island; the resort allows boatowners to dock their vessels and spend the day snorkeling, diving or dining at Lionfish Grill
- The Guinness Book of World Records named Placencia’s tiny, one-sidewalk Main Street the world’s smallest
- A 10 percent service charge per night will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- Free WiFi
The oceanfront cabanas on Hatchet Caye fulfill all your fantasies about life on a deserted island — hammocks strung between trees, ocean views, palm trees aplenty — without the rusticity (WiFi, hair dryers and Wii consoles are all on offer). Expect bright and cheery decor — naturally colored linens with turquoise throw pillows, freshly cut flowers — in both the cabanas and the main house rooms, which all have at least partial ocean views. Grab some food at the on-site Lionfish Grill, which boasts bread baked on-site, vegetables and herbs picked in the resort’s organic garden, and fish caught in nearby waters. Naturally, the namesake lionfish is on the menu; try it in a crepe filled with veggies and mushrooms in a white wine sauce for dinner. For something more traditional, order the local lobster tail grilled with habanero lemon beurre blanc, or satisfy your inner landlubber with pan-seared beef tenderloin medallions in a coconut red wine sauce. After eating, brave swimmers can try night-snorkeling — the pier’s bright lights attract squid, rays and other nocturnal marine creatures — or settle in at the Lionfish Grill’s bar, which is open from 7 a.m. until “whenever you’d like.”
In the Area
You’d be hard pressed to get bored on this private isle. You’ll find all the usual trappings of paradise — white sand beaches, crystal waters, umbrella cocktails — plus an impressive array of water sports and excursions. Grab a kayak and paddle to a nearby deserted island, try your luck at paddleboarding, or book a custom diving tour to one of 12 sites in the Belize Barrier Reef, the largest in the Western Hemisphere. Not certified? Take a course with Pirate Reef dive shop, or simply spend an afternoon snorkeling at Gladden Spit marine reserve. It’s a prime spot for spying on the loggerhead turtles, roughtail stingrays, and nurse sharks that congregate here. Although fishing is mostly not permitted in this area, spear-fishing the invasive lionfish is encouraged, so grab a trident to hunt down one of the critters Castaway-style, then ask the hotel to grill up your catch for dinner. On the main island, an hour’s boat ride away, don’t miss taking a stroll down Placencia’s tiny, one-sidewalk Main Street. At only four-feet wide, it was named the world’s narrowest Main Street by the Guinness Book of World Records.
How to Get There
My wife, two adult daughters and I just returned from a week on Ray Caye. Just an absolutely fabulous place. The staff was uniformly excellent, the accommodations are first class, the setting is gorgeous and the coral is the best I’ve ever seen.
The snorkeling right off the beach is great. Tons of living coral in great shape with lots of fish. One daughter took a discover scuba course which was also excellent. She’s certainly a convert.
The food was excellent and very plentiful. The staff was very accommodating and easy to deal with. Pretty much like visiting family. The whole place is very well thought out and executed. Buildings are very solid and incredibly well maintained. I couldn’t even find any faded paint - on a resort 20 miles offshore 20 feet from the ocean.
It is not cheap, but the quality, the setting and the caliber of the staff make it well worth the cost. These 3 pictures were from our cabana and it’s immediate grounds. The spotted eagle ray swam right up to me. I was standing on the shore, not 4 feet from it - where else do things like that happen?
Cannot agree more with all the other reviews!
Aside from nobody being at the airport to meet us and some 'crass foul mouthed American day trippers one day, everything else was just soooooper.
Amazing island, efficient staff, fabulous food and lovely cocktails. Make sure you avail the free snorkelling trip to see the nurse sharks - we absolutely loved it.
Highly recommend Ray Caye - BIG thumbs up.....
Often you see pictures or advertisements of island resorts and you think.."there's no way it's like that." Often that has been true as I've traveled..until I came to Ray Caye. Nothing does it justice. The entire island is straight out of a catalogue. It's a stunning island that sits under a canopy of palm tree shade surrounded by white beaches that are kept pristine. And then of course, the blue clear water that surrounds that inhabited by some of the best snorkeling I've ever done. It's truly spectacular. What makes it even better...is the way that it's run. An amazing lady named Dasha runs the island and she succeeds at making personal connections with guests and creating a home-like atmosphere on the island. Even better, her staff will feel like family to you after a few days. The staff are diligent and hard workers, but will also love getting to know you and spending time with you. It is true island hospitality. There are beautiful spots for rest and relaxation, but we find little time for that as that small island offers soooo many things to do. We were constantly going. And when we weren't, we were eating some of the best food I've had which is served at the Lionfish Grill. What's even cooler, is the island is also making efforts towards ocean conservation. It's all so amazing that I almost selfishly want to keep it a secret for if/when we go back, but it's only fair to the island to come on here and pay them proper tribute. This place is truly surreal. - Zak