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“Eat, Sleep, and Dive -” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Reef House Resort

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Reef House Resort
Oak Ridge Cay, Honduras   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #27 of 42 Hotels in Roatan
Mission Viejo
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Eat, Sleep, and Dive -”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2012

6 of us (3 Couples) and 4 other guests were at the Reef House Oct 13 - 20. Without exception we had a great time. The Diving, the food, the other guests, and the staff were all absolutely great. We knew from others reviews that this is not a 5 star resort, and so our expectations were realistic. Having said that however I would not change a thing. We really enjoyed the "being away from it all" and really never felt like we were doing without anything. Dave, Davey, David, Daveet, Choco, Jennie and Ruth were all friendly and a lot of fun. The rooms were clean and comfy, was able to have a hot shower and the A/C worked, so what else do you need? I really would not call this 'roughing it' at all. Give em a try, if you have the right expectations and right attitude this place is really a blast.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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192 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2012

Diving is absolutely great, dive master and captain are very-very good. Dive boat in a very good shape with enough space for 10-12 people. This is for the sea part. On the on the hand; on the land I found things to be, how should I say lack of personality and in some instances service. We did not feel welcomed. What can be a personality issue on my side, however I want to say just don’t expect much. Grounds over all tiny and there is no place to go. And if you want to relax on the chaise long next to the bar, it is hard if there are people at the bar and especially when somebody is smoking. Entrance to the “pool” is barely safe as the last step is over two feet high, which make exit difficult, same with the step at the end of the pier. Gardener finally cleans the derby thrown be the sea by 9 in the morning so most of it you enjoy nice view of cans and leaves. The food is OK but mostly fried, salad may be once a week, fruit we had to nag for. Room is clean and hot water is ok. In conclusion, I will go back to the east side to dive, will not go back to Reef House.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roscoe, Illinois
Level Contributor
18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

We just returned from home after spending a week at Reef House Resort. The diving is really great. The dive master Da-vid is the best. Each one of our dives was full of things to see. There really is little to do except dive and relax. The staff was efficient and rooms were clean. The food was very good. The rooms are modest with 2 beds, ceiling fan, air conditioner, TV, WiFi and private bathroom. The only downside is the No-See-Ums. This is to be expected anywhere in the Caribbean this time of year. So...If you want a new challenge and plenty of great diving," off the beaten path" you should consider Reef House.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

Short version - Great breakfast at 8. On the dive boat by 9 for 2 morning dives. Back at the Reef House around noon for excellent lunch. Lounge. Back on the dive boat at 2:22 for another afternoon dive. Back at the Reef House by 4:30. (dives are for as long as 60 minutes) Lounge until it's time for an excellent dinner at 7:00. Lounge until bed time. Wake up the next day and repeat. If this sounds like your ideal trip, this is your place. It is in the center of the island, on the south shore. There is less tourism on this side of the island and the reef is in excellent shape. I didn't dive the west end, so can't really compare them though.

7 Things you need to know;
1) There are no shops, restaurants, or anything else to see or do in the village of Oak Ridge where the Reef House is. In fact, the resort is on a small island just off the main island and is accessible only by boat. It's all about diving, relaxing. (or snorkeling if you don't dive) Snorkelers seemed welcome on the dive boat. There is also excellent diving/snorkling right off the dock at the Reef House.
2) Meals at the Reef House are a community affair. Everyone sits at a big table in the dinning room. You don't order, you eat what ever the wonderful cook has decided to make for you.
Even if you are supper picky about food, like my son, this is probably NOT a problem. Even he would tell you that it's all very good. If you tell them before hand of any allergies or dietary needs they are more than happy to accommodate if at all possible.
3) The Reef House is more of a Bed and Breakfast place. Not necessarily what some people think of when you say "Resort".
4) This one goes for the entire Island of Roatan, not just the Reef House. No paper goes in the toilets. none. It all goes in the frequently emptied trash can. I mean even at the airport.
5)This is also for the entire island, double for any stretch of beach, wear bug spray AT ALL TIMES. They have no-see-ums aka; sand flies. Look for something with a 15% solution of Picaridin. It works much better than Deet, and unlike Deet, it doesn't brake down rubber or silicon (your gear)
6) Don't worry about changing your money. (if your from the US anyway) Every place takes dollars or Lampieras. (20lp to a dollar when we where there in early August)
7) The power will go out randomly. Apparently the local power company can't reroute power so if they need to work on something they just shut down power. It was never off for more than an hour when we were there.

Longer version

Diving
Like so many of the reviews say, this place is about 2 things, diving and relaxing. We did 14 dives in 5 days. We missed 1 dive due to a hurricane, but we did the 2 morning dives in the storm. The dive master said "if there is no lighting, we can dive." Each dive has it's own unique flavor. Yeah they were all wall dives, but no 2 spots were quite the same. The dive master, David (Da-Veed), was instrumental in making this an amazing trip. Beyond being extremely nice and funny, as well as very serious and professional about dive safety, He was exceptionally good at finding hard to see life to share with the rest of our dive group. During our stay the dive groups ranged from 3 people to 8 people. But they do have 2 dive boats so can accommodate more people. I saw dive boats on the West End side of the island completely loaded up with people. No idea how THAT works well.

Equipment
We rented BCDs, wet suites, regs, and computers from the Reef House. Other than a small rip in the color of my 3/4 wet suite everything seemed to be in good shape and well taken care of. There were the inevitable mechanical (o-ring) issues while out on the boat, but they would swap you out with a spare rig and Choco, the boat captain, would repair the unit in question while you were diving.

Eating
The food is fantastic. Never had anything (at the Reef House) that wasn't at least "really good". The Conch burger lunch was one of my favorites. Lobster and steak night was certainly a big hit as well. As mentioned earlier, it is "family style" dinning. The bar was a self server honor system. You start an index card with your name and room number and just right down everything you drink. The locally brewed beers aren't bad. Regarding food on the rest of the island; i had a burger in the little town of West End that i'm pretty sure was horse meat. It was far and away the nastiest "beef" I've ever eaten. Stick with seafood and your good to go, as my much wiser son did.

Staff
Peggy, the owner, David (not the dive master) and Davey were super nice. It felt more like they were having you as a guest at there house rather than place of business. You socilaize with them as much as with the other guests. They seem to be willing to do what ever they can to make your trip everything you want it to be. If it's available on the island but they don't have it, they will do everything within reason to get it for you. One day they brought in 2 masseuses.

The accommodations
The rooms are small but not cramped. The beds were wonderfully comfortable. Our room had 2 full/queen pillow top beds. The floors appeared to be made of some high reason hard wood and were quite attractive. There is no central AC, but there is a very effective window unit. Combined with the ceiling fan this made it perfectly comfortable for sleeping, and i like to sleep in cold rooms. The restrooms... well, this is a tropical environment so the salt in the air combined with the constant humidity in a rest room is just a harsh environment. What I'm saying here is that you wont be disappointed that there's no tub to relax in, but they are by no stretch unsanitary. The shower drains onto the ground below the elevated building.

The common areas.
There is no beach at the Reef House. There is no fresh water pool. There is a salt water basin that is in effect a giant tidal pool. Lots of life in it. There are plenty of comfy chairs to kick back and read your book in all along the water front and on the deck. There are some picnic tables in a covered area that opens into the bar. They are a great place to sit at with your laptop and unload and review the hundreds of photos you took on that days dives.

Internet & TV.
They do have WiFi. It is best used in the dining/game area, and the bar/deck area. It did reach our room but was pretty weak. Also, it is a satellite connection, so when it works it works well. But any bad weather will take it off the air. This happened fairly frequently while we were there. Again, I have the impression that the entire island gets it's internet and TV from satellite, so this is not unique to the Reef House. The do have flat panel TV's in each room. We turned ours on once.... for 5 minuets.

Conclusion
If you want to get as much under water time as possible in what is possibly the best diving area in the Caribbean, you enjoy meeting other divers from all over the world, and you get excited at the thought of wonderful home cooked meals, then you wont be disappointed in the Reef House.

If you want a classic American style hotel, don't enjoy meeting new interesting people,don't make friends easily, or aren't interested in a super low key relaxing atmosphere, then you should look elsewhere.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roseland, New Jersey
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

If diving is your objective, then the Reef House Resort (RH) is the place for you.

Getting to the resort can be a bit circuitous. We flew from NY to Atlanta to Roatan - then a taxi ride of about an hour and then a short water taxi ride to the resort. Total travel time for our group, from door-to-door was about 12 hours.

The resort is basic - a room with AC and color TV and internet availability that works (most of the time). The room was comfortable and the cleaning staff did a great job in keeping the room well organized and clean. The food was really unbelievable - meals that were out of this world - fish and meat dishes and everything in between. I can't say enough about the food in RH - just terrific.

The diving was simply spectacular. The divemaster (David) was helpful, personable and expert in leading and interpreting the dives, and pointing out sights of interest as well. The walls in Roatan are spectacular, starting at depths of about 120 feet and rising to within 15 to 20 feet of the surface. Given the dead coral that you find in most dive sites in the Caribbean and Bahamas these days, I thought the reefs in Roatan were in pretty good shape, although we saw very few pelagics. The RH offers three dives per day with unlimited shore diving. The reef is about 200 feet from the shore of the resort, so shore diving is easy and accessible. We also did one night dive which, if you're in to night diving, was an interesting experience. We were diving in a group of 12 people total. At first I thought it might be a bit crowded, but the dives turned out to be manageable, even with 12 people diving.The dive boat, while pretty basic, was more than serviceable and adequate.

All in all, a really nice experience. Nice people, nice place, great diving.

Room Tip: All rooms are pretty much the same - no advantage from one to the other from what I could see.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

Found this trip on sale through Roatan Charters and decided to go on 2 weeks notice.
After 40 min van ride and 10 minute boat to the Cay, a little concerned. You enter Reef House from the canal in the back. Not to worry. A short walk gets you on to the property and all is well.

Older resort and I must tell you that if you are looking for a 5 star resort you need to find a different island. I have stayed at a couple other resorts on Roatan and while some are not as dated, I would prefer RHR over the rest.

Clean, comfortable, cable tv, AC, ceiling fan, purified drinking water all a bonus.

Mike the manager was replaced our 2nd day there...apparently personal issues.

Dave and David are the new managers and from day one had started to make improvements as to quality and attentiveness to individual guest needs.

While the meals are all preset there is lots of it at every meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Some things I don't eat but no need to worry about starving and they will cater to special dietary needs.

David also happens to be a chef and he seems to be giving input as to the menu. On our last night he prepared dinner consisting of Caesar salad, beef tri tip roast (which he asked the group at lunch how they liked their beef to be cooked), local caught grilled lobster tails with drawn butter and backed potato. Easily a $50 meal in the states.

Secured wireless internet is free and worked well wherever you were in the resort.

Night life is what you make of it. Honor bar stocked with beer, wine, sodas. Take what you want and mark it down and then settle at the end of your stay. Prices very reasonable for beverages.

Wonderful ocean views out front with a jetty making shore dives simple.

Dive crew was great. Davit and Choco made sure everyone had a good time. Davit was outstanding at finding things and pointing them out to the group. (He is also deadly with his spea rgun when going after lion fish) Allowed to pretty much follow your own computer profile and not overly concerned with experienced divers needing to stay in a "cluster"

Reefs look very healthy but not an abundance of fish.


Azule is the cat who seems to be in complete control of guest relations. Strolled into my room one evening and decided to spend the night. BE CAREFUL!!! Once she chooses you you belong to her.

I wish Davey and David the best of luck in their new endeavor. They are very enthusiastic about the RHR and are already making long term plans for improvements

I am hoping to return in the not too distant future.

Dave S

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savannah, Georgia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

Our week long dive trip to Reef House Resort began on July 7th. After our (mostly) uneventful trip down to Roatan, we arrived around 11:15am. We made it through Customs and grabbed our bags. We were met by Mike (the owner). The drive to the resort was about 40 minutes. Well, the ride to the boat pickup was about 40 minutes. It was another 5 minutes or so by boat to the house dock. Given the condition of the van and the tiny boat, we were a little apprehensive and began to question our choice of vacation spots.

Let me interject here that we knew going in that Reef House Resort (RHR from here on out) was not by any stretch of the imagination considered a luxury resort. Rustic is a great way of describing it. From the reviews I had read on ScubaBoard and TripAdvisor, the consensus was that it was definitely a bang-for-your-buck diving facility. Our intention was to dive, dive, dive, and have good food, relaxation, and sleep in-between.

Our apprehension disappeared when we arrived and really began our vacation. The room was air conditioned (we asked for one of the two second story rooms that are separate from the main rooming section) and had satellite TV. It was nothing special, but it was cleaned daily and fresh water (via a little jug) was provided. We found it to be quite comfy, just don’t expect luxury. There is an endless supply of hot water for showers which was most welcome.
In an odd turn of events, we turned out to be the only two people on site for the entire week. Another guy showed up our next to last day, but, other than that, we had the place to ourselves. This was good and bad. We had the dive boat to ourselves, with one dive master (Davit) and the boat captain. We HATE crowded dive boats, so this was fantastic! On the other hand, we really missed out on meeting new people and sharing the experience with others. The week before (the July 4th week) there were over 20 people at the resort. We just happened to catch them on an off week. Luck of the draw, I guess. Some of our best memories are of meeting other divers while on trips, so that was a definite negative.

Upon our arrival and after getting settled into our room, Mike gave us a little tour of the place and gave a general layout of the schedule. Breakfast was at 8am, hit the dive boat at 9am. We were usually jumping in around 9:30. Since I’m the air hog, my air usually dictated dive times for the week. However, given we often went to 80, 90, or even a 100 feet during our dives, we usually averaged 45 or more minutes, most often somewhere between 50 minutes and an hour. After the first day or so, Davit got used to my air usage and I rarely had to update him to my status. He would have us back to the boat swimming around the reef above 20 feet for our 3 minute safety stop in enough time to surface with a comfortable cushion of air. A 40 minute to 55 minute surface interval later and we were at another site and jumping in for our second dive of the day. Upon surfacing, we would return to the resort for lunch (usually around 12:30 or 1). We would head out again around 2:30 for our third dive of the day. We always went to different sites except for the day we did our one night dive, which was on a reef we had done earlier in the day (one night dive is provided in place of one afternoon dive, conditions permitting). This was our very first night dive. We had always been somewhat apprehensive about doing a night dive, but we figured circumstances couldn’t possibly ever be better than this. We had a wonderful time! Davit kept us entertained and we saw tons of cool stuff, including an octopus out for his evening hunt.

On that note, I have to say that the diving all week was incredible. The reefs were fantastic. We would usually jump in around 15-20 feet, swim out a short ways, and then the wall would drop off to 100 feet or more. The walls were amazing! We also did several swim thrus during the week that were to die for. Davit, as mentioned on numerous reviews, has amazing eyes and he is constantly pointing out the micro stuff that is easy to miss, like seahorses. He also spotted several toad fish on this trip that were camouflaged almost to be invisible. Given the lion fish problem plaguing the Atlantic and Caribbean, he usually killed 2-3 per dive. We got where we would spot them and then point them out until he could move in take care of them. Unfortunately, like everywhere else, they are taking over at an alarming rate. We saw them on every dive. While beautiful, they are wreaking havoc on the reefs.

Anyway, to bring this story to an end, we had a wonderful time all week. The food was excellent! I am a very picky eater and I sent Mike an email ahead of time to let him know about my issues. While I’m not sure what it would have been like had a bunch of other people been there, he was able to accommodate me. We always had too much food and left the table stuffed. I tried some things I never would have tried and wound up having a great time with the food. They provide breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack (the oatmeal and chocolate cookies were to die for), and dinner. Lemonade and an island sweet tea are provided for lunch and dinner. A Tang type drink and two fruit juices are provided for breakfast. Of course there is always safe water and coffee. Overall, I found the food to be very good and the portions large. I’m not a huge eater, but I almost always left the table stuffed and regretful I had eaten too much.

We both felt that this was one of the most relaxing vacations we had ever taken. The diving was terrific (and easy), the food was good, and the price was outstanding. Mike inquired several times a day to ensure everything was okay and, while we never had any issues, we felt he would jump to take care of anything we were unhappy about. On a side note, while I’ve read numerous reviews of other locations on Roatan that have bad sand flea problems, we didn’t have that where we were. Part of it may have been that the winds were 15-20mph while we were there, and part is due to the fact that RHR has such a small sandy area. I’m not saying there weren’t any, but they weren’t awful. We had plenty of bug spray as backup.

We want to give a special shout out to Azule, the resort cat. She was very friendly and kept us company all week. We loved it. A word of caution, if you befriend her, she can be very demanding of your attention. We didn’t mind this and actually welcomed it. You are warned. LOL

The honor bar is well stocked and cheap. Beth preferred the Barena and I liked the Salva Vida better. Either way, the beers, wines, sodas, and liquor were there and the price was great. Drink up and enjoy and don’t worry about the price. Just be sure to keep track of what you drink so Mike can figure it in at the end. What could be better?

I guess the best praise I can give about our week is that I’m already wondering when we can go back. We both had a great time and the diving was some of the best we have done. If you’re looking for an inexpensive place to dive that includes all your meals, you’ve found your place. If you want a luxurious room or things to do between dives besides relaxing and looking at the water, this may not be your place. The Wifi is free, but I didn’t get a good signal in my room until I hooked up my (borrowed) C. Crane Wifi Antenna 3. YMMV. Once hooked up, my signal was rock solid from my room.

Room Tip: The two second story rooms are separate from the main rooms and provide a bit more privacy. I'm...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Reef House Resort

Address: Oak Ridge Cay, Honduras
Location: Honduras > Bay Islands > Roatan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Roatan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Free Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner at this Secluded Private Dive Lodge with unlimited Shore dives and 3 dives a day in one of the best spots to dive on earth! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Reef House Hotel Roatan
Reef Hotel Roatan
Reef Resort Roatan
Reef House Resort Roatan, Honduras - Bay Islands

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