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“Dream vacation” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort

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Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort
West Bay Beach, West Bay, Honduras   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 12 Hotels in West Bay
NYC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Dream vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2009

We had an amazing week at Bananarama a few months ago and we having been talking constantly about when can go back! The beach is spectacular, as is the diving and snorkeling. The guys at the dive shop were very patient in teaching us to dive. Snorkeling was honestly just as cool as diving there - you can see so much in just a few feet of water! Our room was lovely - comfortable, good air conditioner, nice sitting room and the best: a porch with our own hammock. Food was good at the Thirsty Turtle, and the drinks are delicious! We had a great time hanging out there in the evenings (plus we were pleasantly surprised by the relatively small bill at the end). There's cool stuff to do in the area - we rented a moped to explore the rest of the island, including some beautiful parks and gardens. Probably our only complaint was the crowded beach on cruise ship days, but it's not enough to deter us from coming back. People are friendly, location is gorgeous. Wonderful place for a vacation - lots of fun and relaxing at the same time.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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819 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 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 (164)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2009

Likes:
I liked staying in Cabin #3. I had the windows open and a cool breeze flowed through the place each evening and morning. There was lots of jungle vegetation around so it felt fairly private. Most morning I could hear the groundskeeper raking or pruning... kind of let me know it was time to head to the breakfast at the Thirsty Turtle on the beach.
I liked the fact that even though there was noise from the clanking of dive tanks in the morning, they didn't start early and it wasn't all that loud. They never started filling the tanks until after the morning divers returned so that noise was never an issue.
I really liked Jamie and Louis St Louis, the owners. They went out of their way to be extra friendly and accommodating.
I dove 4 days with Bananarama the week I was there. Mal runs a very professional program and when you have dive masters like Martin from Argentina and Marco from the USA you'll also have a fun, safe, enjoyable experience. My refresher dive from Mal was superb!
The Thursty Turtle has the most energy on the entire West Bay Beach. Folks always meet there for Happy Hour before sunset. You'll enjoy the atmosphere because of the bartenders, Sabino and Tim.
Also, you have to go into the Vintage Pearl and check out their menu and wine list. It's a lovely place for dinner. Traveling alone I just sat at the bar, tried some great red wines and ordered a couple of appetizers. The service there is excellent with Angela, Nicole and Warren behind the bar. You got to love a restaurant where no shoes are allowed.
I also like how easy it was to pay for my room ahead of time with a personal check.
One of the best beaches I've ever experienced awaits you right in front of the place.
Dislikes: The beach personality totally changed when the cruise ship people rolled in from the other side of the island by taxi and private drivers. But Bananarama designated an area on the beach off limits to non-hotel guests which was much appreciated.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryville, TN
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2009

March 21-28, 2009. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Banarama Dive Resort. Our trip was a girl's getaway. The resort is a diver's dream. Although we aren't divers, and I wasn't a snorkeler, this vacation changed me into one. The beach is the best, with snorkeling a very short swim from the shore. It was like swimming in a giant, well stocked aquarium. The staff at the resort was wonderful. A special thanks goes out to Sara in the office, who is a gem, and Juan Antonio (I think), who set out and cleaned our beach chairs every day, always with a smile. What a hardworking man. Thanks so much to Jane (Caribbean Creamery) for her wonderful treats, use of her fins, and great conversation. One suggestion: Put a small table and chairs in the rooms(ours didn't have one, and that was really missed). All in all, a great time.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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troy, new york
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2009

I had never used my passport before but I have stayed in many hotels from 5 stars to OMG. So I went to the travel clinic and was told that I needed all these medicines and vacinations for travel to Roatan. I had no idea what to expect at the hotel. The price was so low and right on the beach! Off we went with iodine tablets(for water purification), flashlights, re-hydration salts, and all manner of stomach remedies. It's so funny now but expensive then!!! Well, none of that was necessary! Bananarama even provides each room with a water despenser a huge saving!! Another couple we met from Alberta, had to spend a great deal of money everyday paying for and carting bottled water. They were staying down the beach at another hotel.

Danny picked us up at the airport. What a great guy! He and I were to spend a great deal of time together, as it turned out. He took me on a one day tour of the island. He answered all of my thousands of questions and let me practice my 'toddler' Spanish on him. He was so patient. When we (my husband and I)decided we couldn't possibly leave after one week, he helped me get to the bank and when my brain froze and I couldn't remember my PIN number....he translated for me with the bank manager and I was able to get some much needed cash. Then I needed a notary while in Roatan for some legal stuff back home, again, Danny to the rescue. Off we went in search of a notary and again, Danny translated for me. Then we were able to relax for the additional week.

We stayed our first night in the room above the owners apartment. The best part of this space was the balcony. We were up in the trees and it was very private. I woke every morning the the rustling of palm trees. When I mentioned to Guy that I had some back problems and needed somewhere to sit in the room, he put a very nice chair in our room. We also stayed in one of the Quad/cabanas in the garden area. It had a porch, sitting room, and bedroom. It was very comforable. When we decided we couldn't leave after one week, Jamie and Guy found room for us and gave us a discount because,"Now you're returning guests." The friendliest people I've ever met! The staff even did our laundry because we only came with enough clothes for one week. I couldn't have gone to the laundrymat for the small fee they charged.

The hotel was run very well. There was always painting, planting and mprovements going on.The grounds were so well maintained. Someone was raking the beach at least three times a day. The housekeeping staff were great, but bring a Spanish/English dictionary for special requests. I highly recommend the lunch-time 'local dish'. The prices were very inexpensive and delicious. Carolina took care of us at lunch time. She was so friendly and also helped me with my 'toddler Spanish'. The two for one dinner specials are tasty and will save you a bunch of money. I can't wait to go back.

We also ate at the Pearl. It was pricey but my husband ( a lover of duck) said his duck was the best he had ever eaten! I had Land and Sea and the lobster was the most tender I'd ever had. It was worth every cent. I wish the desert didn't have so much rum in it, as we don't use alcohol.

My husband completed the PADI dive course. He was in school for 4 days, in and out of the water. He is 61 and in class with a 14 year old and a 36 year old. He had purchased a mask at a Denver dive shop. As it turned out, the dive mask did not accommodate his rather substantial nose and the first day of diving he felt like he was drowning!!! The dive instructor at Bananarama (Marko) was able to delicately explain the problem with his Denver mask and find him one that fit properly. My husband gave the dive program an A PLUS. There are many dive schools in Roatan so choose carefully and read the reviews. Banarama's instructors were professional and patient.

If you are looking for a glitsy all inclusive, Bananarama is not the place for you. If you are looking for an experience that includes some interaction with the people who love and live in Roatan; have clean, comfortable rooms; good food and friendly/accommodating staff; and a great dive school. There is only one choice....Bananarama!

  • Stayed February 2009, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Costa Rica / Alaska
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2009

We arrived from the mainland and happened upon this hotel. The staff is friendly, they have a great upscale restaurant and it sits on the beach. Our room was funky but nice. Only problem was water conditioner was broken and the shower is in the room The smell of eggs was horrible so we rinsed off outside for 2 days. The owner gave us a meal at the restaurant free and we ended up going again. Not cheap but the service and food was excellent. ONLY drawback is the sand flies. You cannot go out without major bug dope and you cannot lay on the beach. Roatan is for divers so if you are below water it is great...above water you deal with lots of insects. I live half the year in Costa Rica so I know bugs and this was above my tolerence level most of the time. The other consideration is they cater to the cruise ships so 2 days a week hundreds of tourists come in to spend the day and the small beach is packed as well as the bar. We made the most of it and drank a lot which helped numb the bug bite itch! I would not go again as i am not a diver. The snorkeling right off the beach was great.

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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washighton dc
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2009

We just got back from a week stay at bananarama , you are right on beach,the snorkeling is good, the staff makes you feek right at home, and the food is real good, we had so much fun, at the tourist information center they offered us a day trip with xtreme charters , we went to cayos cochinos , there staff is the best , the snorkeling was exceptional, Captain Ray really showed us a good time,if ur ever in Roatan, bananarama would be an incredible place to stay n be sure to look xtreme charters.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2009

I was traveling solo and spent a week at Banamarama/Island Pearl (the review of the room at Island Pearl will be posted under that header).

Room: I spent 2 nights in the garden king cabana (#5). I was extremely pleased with the cabana. It was a large room with a comfortable king sized bed. The air conditioner was quiet and worked well. A fridge, microwave, coffee pot and bottled water were all provided. There was a TV, but I never turned it on. Only complaint was that the bathroom was tight. Otherwise, it was extremely clean and comfortable.

Dive shop: Very satisfied with the shop. Very good DMs and support staff. The equipment was in first rate shape and was very clean. Dive sites were well chosen for the conditions. We had a maximum of 6 divers on any of our dives.

The bar/restaurant: the included breakfast was nothing special but at least tasted good. The bar staff was friendly. Even on cruise ship days, the staff made an effort to service guests quickly. Prices were reasonable (I think it was $2 for a local beer).

There is a chiropractic massage on site - I recommend you try it - it is $50 for about 90 minutes and was quite good.

There is free internet access (a computer in the office or you can connect via wifi if you brought your own device). The connection is fair but I am convinced that you would be hard pressed to find true broadband on the island.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort

Address: West Bay Beach, West Bay, Honduras
Location: Honduras > Bay Islands > Roatan > West Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in West Bay
#2 Top resorts Hotel in West Bay
#3 Family Hotel in West Bay
#3 On the Beach Hotel in West Bay
#3 Romantic Hotel in West Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located directly on West Bay Beach, our Roatan Eco Friendly Dive and Beach Front Resort is blessed with the turquoise waters of the Caribbean shaded under an amazing tropical canopy. We offer an island dream vacation for those who want to escape the stress of everyday life and relax Roatan Island style. We offer clean, comfortable and affordable rooms with a hammock on every porch and offer free breakfast, wifi, beach chairs, kayaks and smiles. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bananarama Beach And Dive Hotel West Bay
Bananarama Dive Hotel
Hotel Bananarama Dive
Bananarama Beach And Dive Resort Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

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