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“Great Group Vacation” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Utopia Village

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Utopia Village
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Calle De Suenos | Bay Islands, 34201, Honduras   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Buy One Get One $500 Off
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Utila
Certificate of Excellence 2014
albuquerque, nm
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Great Group Vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2007

As seasoned travelers we are all aware that when we go out of the country - especially to developing countries that there can be issues. & challenges. As the owner of a Dive Store and as a seaoned traveler - we took a group of divers to Utopia Village in November 2007. We booked Utopia Village because it was off the beaten path - remote and out of the ordinary.

We started out with mechanical problems with our first lfight out of Albuquerque on Contintal Airlines. We were delayed and ultimately missed out connecting flight in Houston and had to be put on a later flight. We got into Roatan to late to make our interisland flight. (Utila is a visual landing only airport - which means they can only land there during daylight hours and in proper weather conditions.) We landed in Roatan and discovered that our luggage never made it out of Houston .We had 3 hours between flights and it is a TSA rule that luggage has to fly with passangers especially for international flights . With the luggage restrictions on small interisland flights we had to pack a little differently. So now we are stuck in Roatan overnight - we were put up at a small Hotel for the evening. Most of our people did not have a change of cloths or toiletries with them.

We are thinking this is not starting off real well. Once we are able to get to Utila the next day we had a group fo people that did not very good evening -( the hotel we stayed out lost power and electricity at about 4 AM). No one had the opportunity to shower and were still in the same cloths that they traveled in.

We were greeted in Utila by one of the representatives/ owners of the resort. We had a traveler coming from a different city and had made it to Utopia right on schedule. We were informed that he was already diving. We expressed our concerns about our luggage and about not having the basics. So before we took the boat transfer to the resort - Utopia staff made sure that we had to basics - toothbrushes / toothpaste and other essentials. They did not have to do this.

Having missed breakfast that morning - we were pleased to know that the staff was holding breakfast for us. Wow real food that we could identify ( our dinner was a litttle mysterous in Roatan). After breakfast the Hotel staffed made sure that everyone had the basics inlcuding a change of clothing, and bathing suits. They opened thier pesonal closets for us. Wow we knew this type of treatment is very rare or non existant. I cannot think of a place that I have traveled to would have done this for us.

The next issue was what about the diving. We all had our own regulators & masks, but what about the rest of the toys we need to dive with. The dive staff let us reconfigure their equipment and go diving.


So o recap our adventure we flew out of our home town Early Saturday morning and finally got the resort on Sunday late morning with no dive gear or cloths. But we were clothed - fed - and were getting ready to go dive.

Being as remote as we were sometimes communication is not what we are used to. We are spoiled - cell phones - internet - etc. There is internet available and there is phone service via "Skype". But as we all remember before the day of wireless and back to the days of dial up - there is sometimes some down service. We are on vacation .

To make a long story short - the hotel staff did everything they could to track down our luggage. As we all know once a bag is lost it goes into a black hole somewhere to maybe appear at some point. We had 11 bags there. There were lotsof e-mails - phone calls utilizing "skype" and thier own personal cell phones from the "phone booth" ( a Palapa on the beach that got cell phone tower service). We had 4 bags get to us on Tuesday evening, 7 bags make it on Wednesday evening and the last bag(of course it was my and my husbands clothes) was finally tracked down and was waiting on the plane when we left the island .

The staff would do laundry and lend us clothing for the time that the group was without. We would just bring it to them and when we returned from diving it was in our rooms.

The rooms were very nice - it is not your typical 4 painted walls and bed. They all had a/c and ceiling fans. The bathrooms had plenty of towels and hot water. as for being asked for not putting toilet paper in the toilet - but in a covered can right next to toilet not an issue. This happens all over the world - if you have a problem with this and cannot go without putting your make up on - than off the beaten path of travel is not for you. We always had plenty of hot water for showers.

We were there in the rainy season - and of course we all know that rain means run off which means some limited visability. The dive shop had a storage locker for you equipment . It was great if you were diving all you had to do is pack up your gear from your locker and put is outside the diveshop. they hauled it to the boat - yes there was a walk along shore to the dock - and yes it was crushed coral. No one had a problem with that. The dive staff chose the locations based on the weather and conditions and the experiene of our divers. Never did we feel that we were put into a situation that we felt was dangerous. There was plenty of freshwater on the boat as well as a mask tank and a camera tank on the boat. There was no head / toilet on the boat - but many dive operations do not offer that. When we returned our equipment was taken back to the dive shop and half of the time it was rinsed and hung up for us. what service. The rental gear that we dove was good quality brand new entry level equpment you find anywhere in the world. Unforunately we were not able to get all of the divng in that we wanted to do - becuase of lost luggage. the shore diving was good as well. The reefs are healthy and full of life.

The food at the resaurant was very good. It was not fill yourself buffet until you explode food. If you want that than go to Fantasy Island. We always had several choices and of course it was based on what they could get locally. The flavors were always wonderful with the use of herbs and seasonings. If someone wanted more all they had to do was ask. The selection of wine was equally as good. They had plenty of snacks available at the bar and gift shop.

The spa services were taken advantage of - and personal are very well trained.

As for the bugs - yes they do live there. we never had a problem with them in the room. I fyou were going to be outside than insect repellant was in order - Remeber the Bay Islands of Honduras are known for n0-see-ums.

With the issue of being delayed - our luggage being lost and with the amount of rain we had - our week spent at Utopia was great. Everyone would go back without hesistation. I cannot think of any resort that I have been to that would treat their customer the way we were treated. If were were staying else where we would have had to buy cloths at the gift shop and take chances on the rental gear that there was available.

In closing I would rate Utopia Village - as exellant. If you are looking for all of the american Fluff - don't travel out of the United States and to a third world country.

  • Liked — fri
  • Stayed November 2007
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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281 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
North Huntingdon, PA
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2007

Utila ia a small Bay island that due to geography is not well-developed on one side of the island. This is the side of the island that Utopia Village is located. As such, it is difficult to get there. After arriving on a small paved runway, you are greeted by a van and a truck that will take you to a boat, which then transports you to the resort. This takes approx 30 minutes. If you plan to do anything other than scuba dive or fish, you are going to be disappointed. There are limited activities. The resort is willing to take you into Utilatown but a few hours of sight-seeing will about cover it all. If you would like to go into the mainland of Le Ceiba, you will need to do the 30 minutes boat ride then an 1.25 hour ferry ride to the mainland one way. Even the resort’s spa was closed due to staffing issues.

You eat all your meals at the resort. The food was good and the staff was fantastic. The owners do try to do their best to give it a very personal feel. The rooms were clean and tastefully decorated. Despite the rainy weather, I did get some good dives in. Julio and his crew were very helpful and knowledgeable.

Our dive group challenged this resort to its maximum and problems were evident. Below are a few “need to know” things before you consider booking at this resort.

Rooms have no phone, no TV, no bathroom fan and not enough towel racks. There were small bugs in the rooms and red ants. The water heating is an on-demand electricity-based system. When our group all showered around the same time (i.e. after a dive), the electricity went out which ultimately affected the hot water. I had only 3 hot showers all week. One night I used my neighbor’s shower to get the 4th. The owners are aware of the problem and need to run an entire new wiring system to the resort to correct this very inconvenient issue. They have an “environmentally friendly” sewage system that requires you to place used toilet paper in the room’s trashcan and NOT the toilet.

They advertise a “4-star” chef at the resort, however this chef was not yet at the resort. Although the food was good, portions are limited. You were never hungry, but you were also never stuffed. I expected more fish options other than snapper. You received 3 square meals a day, but snacks were limited. The oceanfront bar was also very basic. If you’re looking for a fancy frozen drink, this is not the place.

And finally my comments on the dive set-up. Our dive group had no rinse tanks the first day. Near the last day fiberglass pieces were noted in the tanks, which I had to pick out of my equipment. The dive boat had no anti-slip steps on the entry to the boat from the dock or on the platform entering the boat after the dive. I watched someone in our group fall getting on the boat. There was only one ladder to get back on the boat after a dive, which was crowded when you have a group of 15-20 diving. There is no hang bar at 15’, not that it’s required, but a convenience I appreciate. Lastly, there is no gas gauge on the boat. This became significantly important when the boat ran out of gas and we had to be towed back to a dock. This ruined our morning dives, moved them to the afternoon and wasted 4 hours of our time there.

The beach outside of the resort has minimal sand and is mostly coral rock. It makes swimming a challenge. You must wear foot protection. The shoreline was also dirty. Trash washes right up with the pieces of coral rock. It really takes away from the Caribbean feel seeing pop bottle caps, toothbrushes, etc… wash up on shore. The beach and lounge chairs were made of solid wood that were constructed at the resort during development. They were very uncomfortable. The sand fleas were horrible. My legs looked like I had the chicken pox by the time I was home (and have yet to heal.)

On a final note, if you are traveling with a dive group larger than 15, please ask for 2 planes from San Pedro Sula to Utila. We didn’t know this and as a result our group got separated for 2 days due to bad weather. I don’t blame the resort for the weather, but it was something that could have been avoided had we flew out of SPS together. Once the owners resolve all of these issues and if you like total segregation from any nightlife or entertainment while traveling, then I would recommend this resort. However, I won’t be going back and don’t recommend it to families, honeymooners or those who like the club scene.

The final night of our week there, the owners comped everyone free drinks the evening before we flew out. Not many of us drank and unfortunately, a couple beers doesn’t even come close to making up for all the problems this resort had. I really feel they pushed the opening way too soon at the cost of my week’s vacation.

  • Liked — the dive package
  • Disliked — electrical issues leaving me without hot water most of the week
  • Stayed November 2007
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UtopiaVillage, Owner, President, and General Manager at Utopia Village, responded to this review, December 6, 2007
These poor guests were extremely affected by the weather during their travel week. The group of 29 persons were detained arriving to Utila and being the smallest of the Bay Islands the airstrip has no landing lights and cannot receive planes after dusk. Locals on the island admit, Utila is experiencing the heaviest rainy season since the 1950’s. The constant rain became the depressing theme for the week.

Utopia Village is a new resort and therefore we are appreciative when we receive constructive comments from guests. We provide guest surveys to groups so that we can continue to improve and provide the utmost service and facilities. Our business is based on relationships and repeat customers. All items mentioned regarding electrical, spa, rinse tanks, and the dive boat were resolved immediately after this groups experience. We have also offered an additional discount to the dive shop to distribute to their clients. The next dive group from New Mexico arrived a few weeks later to much better weather and the applied changes at the resort. They had a wonderful experience and we hope many of them will contribute to Trip Advisor.

If you are looking for corporate, sameness, or chain do not come to Utila or Utopia. If you are looking for a five star plaza hotel we are not it. Utila is a tiny simple island off the coast of Honduras. Utopia Village is a small, peaceful, personal and unique retreat set in the jungle away from the only small town on the island. Its naturally designed wood and stone structures house furniture and accessories built on site by local artisans. Three of the owners live here to assure the utmost service is provided to our guests. Utopia Village is meant to be a sanctuary away from city influences. We do not have cable TV or telephones in our rooms. We do have wireless internet, although slow by first world standards and a cell phone that receives a signal in one spot on the beach under a small palapa dubbed “The Phone Booth”. We do not have a two lane highway, loud nightclubs next door or fast food joints. We do have a fun beach bar, a restaurant with table service, a star museum on clear beautiful nights and a healthy coral reef in our front yard for snorkeling and the best shore diving on Utila.

If you want the party nightlife, Utila offers this abundantly and we regularly take guests into town in the afternoons for sunset happy hour, dinner, and dancing. This particular week, due to bad weather, we determined that evening boat rides posed a safety issue to our guests.

Unfortunately, our spa was closed the week this dive group visited due to family emergencies of several staff members. U Spa is open and our massage therapist from Colorado provides excellent treatments and is versed in Reiki, European, and sport massage. We have recently trained another spa technician on our organic products and have a second massage therapist arriving on the island, so that in future, we have options when staff cannot fulfill their duties.

Diving is the big attraction on Utila and this group was able to complete all the dives in their holiday package in spite of the weather. In better weather, they would also have experienced all the other fun activities that Utopia and Utila has to offer such as volleyball, horseshoes, sea kayaks, trips to water cay, a hike to the sea caves and Pumpkin Hill, the Iguana Station and the mainland rafting and zipline tours.

The rains influenced a lot this season, including the rivers swelling on the mainland and washing debris over to our shores. We have diligently cleaned our beaches and have taught our local crew to separate plastic and recycle. We are the only proud recipient of an environmental permit for a resort on Utila and our systems are designed to these specifications.

Utopia Village is the perfect fit for the adventure sport traveler that is looking for a remote, unique, natural hideaway with a casual elegant style and personal service.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2007

Utopia Dive Village exceeded our expectations. Neither of us had ever been to Central America and this was the perfect introduction. Mix seven long time friends with a dream and a splash of one of the most beautiful resorts and you have the recipe for a extraordinary experience. Top off with the best personal service you could ever expect, and you have the makings the perfect holiday. Everything we needed, Utopia accommodated. Anything we thought to ask, they handled with a smile and five-star quality. Every time we asked "what else could they do?" Utopia did something to wow us!

While we are not divers at all, we enjoyed the other activities available on or near the site. Those activities included a canopy tour on the mainland, boat rides, and even an afternoon picnic and snorkeling at Water Cay. Needless to say, after experiencing all that fun, we have many reasons to return again.

One of the things we really found while staying at Utopia is just how peaceful and relaxing the experience can be. We thought perhaps a week might be too long (city folks are like that) but even after eight days, we could have easily stayed longer. The pace and peacefulness became one of the things we enjoyed the most. But the winner of the most enjoyed category was - the food.

All inclusive accommodations can be a turkey shoot, but with Utopia we found our meals to be delicious, enjoyable, and satisfying. We can't say enough on how great the food was. Each meal was a treat, and the variety offered us a chance to try new flavors. I'm not sure how they did it, because the meals are what you could expect at a fine dinning establishment and are certainly worth their value in the package.

It is obvious as we look back and write this review just how good our stay was at Utopia Dive Village. It exceeded our expectations in room quality and accommodation, it's scenic locations, the wonderful staff, and the value for the price. We are already planning a trip back, maybe we'll see you there...

  • Liked — Tranquil Setting
  • Disliked — N/A
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kansas city
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2007

AAAAHHHHH.... a wonderful new spot in Utila that is a cut way above anything else you will find in the area. Utopia Village is a luxury resort located about 3 miles away from the main town of Utila. The resort is first class--clear water right off the beach for diving or snorkeling with brand new equipment--spa on site--great meals and service--fun Champa bar to liven up the evening or watch the sunset.

We enjoy diving, but are not hard core, and there are other good options. We took a fun day trip to both nearby Pigeon Cay and Water Cay (uninhabited). Beautiful spa, yoga/mediation deck--mostly, I enjoyed being pampered and relaxing. It is a new resort, so a couple of minor gltiches with the plumbing while I was there that were quickly resolved. The American owners live on site, so are there and know how to meet first class standards. The resort holds around 32 people, so enough diversity to meet new folks without being Sandals-style overwhelming. We loved it!

  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utila, Honduras
Top Contributor
202 reviews 202 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
272 helpful votes 272 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2007

with just a few weeks under its belt , utopia dive village is the newest and certainly most luxurious hotel on utila . utopia is on the southwest shore of the island about three miles from the only town . access to the hotel is primarily by boat and thus its a quiet and relaxing place . the rooms are beautifully decorated (as are the common areas) and in a different league than any of the other hotels on the island , this is not the typical backpackers place you usually find on utila .
we enjoyed the food very much (even though the chef had not arrived from the u.s. yet and all cooking was being done by one of the owners) and the bar on the beach was always a fun gathering spot .
being new, all the owners (young ladies from texas) were on site working everyday and they gave great service , hopefully they will continue to be with their guests on a daily basis as this made a huge difference in the quality of service compared to typical utilian establishments .
being a new hotel we heard a few grumbles about some heating/cooling , hotwater sytems not working properly , but all in all , utopia is a breath of fresh air on utila . great rooms , great food and a relaxed atmosphere .

  • Stayed July 2007, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Utopia Village

Address: Calle De Suenos | Bay Islands, 34201, Honduras
Phone Number:
Location: Honduras > Bay Islands > Utila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Utila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casually elegant, beachfront dive and spa resort. All rooms are oceanview or oceanfront and have air conditioning, ceiling fans and spacious balconies with views of the ocean and mainland mountains. Full service dive shop, beach bar, lounge and on-site restaurant with table service. All meals are included in weekly package rates. Pool, hot tub and dive pool as well as fitness room and spa treatment room are among the great amenities added during our recent renovations. Rates are per person, double occupancy. We can arrange island connections from Honduras or the neighboring island of Roatan. One bedroom oceanfront bungalows with separate living areas and small refrigerators are also available. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Utopia Dive Village Utila
Utopia Dive Village Hotel Utila

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