This is what I wrote about Hamanasi after staying there a few weeks ago.
This trip, my family and I stayed at Hamanasi (Hopkins Village, P.O. Box 265, Dangriga, Stann Creek District, tel. 501-5-12073, fax 5-12090, e-mail [email protected]
Driving up from the back, this resort looks unprepossessing, but once on the grounds, the wow factor is high. The restaurant and lobby are attractive, the grounds well kept, and the pool, with a “zero effect” is one of the nicest I’ve seen in Belize. There are three types of accommodations -- regular rooms in the main building (US$100 to $170 depending on the time of year), suites in a separate set of buildings (US$150 to $225) and “tree houses” on the back side (US$100 to $170). Rates include continental breakfast. All the rooms are gorgeous, though personally I like the suites best. They remind me a good deal of the units at Inn at Robert’s Grove, and indeed the same Mennonite builder constructed Hamanasi as built Robert’s Grove (and a number of other top resorts in Belize.) The accommodations at Hamanasi -- Garifuna for almond tree -- are much nicer than I expected they would be, and it’s always a plus to have a hotel exceed your expectations. The owners, Dana and David Krauskopf, who look like they just stepped out of a Travel & Leisure magazine spread, seem to know what they are doing. While they haven’t run a hotel before, they have experience in the travel agency biz and in marketing. Certainly their cats, furry grey émigrés from Russia, know exactly what they’re up to. The operation is still getting its sea legs, and not everything works perfectly -- for example the air conditioning in our suite didn’t -- but I have a feeling that before long things will get smoothed out. As many as 75% of the guests here presently are divers, albeit in many cases recreational divers. Barrier reef dives (two tanks) are US$65, and Turneffe Atoll dives (three tanks) are US$120. I suspect it is smart marketing to focus on diving now, but as the resort matures I would think a larger percentage of guests will come just for the seaside ambiance and nature tours.