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“Best resort experience ever.” 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
Roatan, Honduras
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Best resort experience ever.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2009

My wife and I went to Roatan for a week in February. It was our first trip to the island and we had no idea where to stay or what to expect. Through fortunate circumstance we ended up at the Bananarama. I have to say, I wasn't expecting much with a goofy name like Bananarama and the low rate quote made me kind of nervous but they did have accomodation with a king size bed which is important to us. I was also interested in doing some scuba diving so having a Dive Shop on the premises with reasonable rates was encouraging.

All of that said, this turned out to be the best resort experience I have ever enjoyed. I would note that if you are looking for hot night life this wouldn't be your first choice but for a wonderfully unpretentious resort this place is for you. The cabanas are great with very competent housekeeping. We were welcomed as if we were part of the family. (I was worried that they might come in the room and kiss us good night. LOL) This is a family operation that is careful not to interfere with your privacy yet always attentive.

There were some families with children at the resort and though we didn't have any of our little ones, I know they will enjoy the resort on subsequent visits.

The staff at the Dive Shop was excellent. My certification class included a 14 year old boy, a young professional and me (in my sixties). Our instructor (Marco) was able to tailor the class to the wide range of our individual ages and physical needs providing competent professional instruction that was fun and exciting. We all passed our certification requirements. Everyone was helpful and attentive to those of us who were just learning while still providing a quality experience for the experienced divers. If you want to dive or learn to dive, the rates are fair while the equipment and instruction are top notch.

If you just want to snorkel all you have to do is walk into the water and start swimming. The reef is only a short swim off shore or you can get a boat with a guide for longer trips to wrecks and other points of interest.

The accomodations include breakfast and they have a lunch special every day that is less than $10. Though my wife and I don't drink they do have a happy hour everyday and usually have live music at the bar on the beach which is just a short walk from your cabana. In addition to the bar and the food available there, they have a very classy restaurant for evening fine dining.

We were very happy with the price, the accomodations and the service. We went for a week and stayed for two because we just couldn't leave! Go have fun.

I can't say enough good things. This was about the best vacation ever.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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818 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
Idaho
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2009

After my husband and I spent a week at Bananarama in January we decided to go back for 2 weeks as soon as we could. On our 2nd trip we also took our 26 yr old daughter and 24 yr old son. Because it was just a month later we agreed to book one week at anIsland Pearl villa for the 4 of us and one week in 2 separate cabins at Bananarama.

It was an incredible vacation. None of us wanted to leave and I am counting the days until our next vacation . . . . only this time it will be just my husband and I.

The Bananarama has the best staff ever. Everyone is so friendly and happy. The owners/operators are available for questions and to make sure you stay is the best it can possibly be. The office staff is also very helpful if you have any questions about anything regarding the island such as which canopy ride they recommend, helping with rental cars, getting you taxi's, etc. The maids were quick and friendly. The service at the Thirsty Turtle was even better than our first stay and the staff was friendly and fun to talk to.

If you get the chance make sure you are there on Sunday evenings. They have a live band that plays some original music as well as older popular songs. They also an amazing show featuring firedancers and the last time we were there they had crab races. It was a blast.

The Thirsty Turtle serves great food and has the friendliest staff around, not to mention the most incredible sunset views I've ever seen.

My husband dives and he was very impressed with both the dive staff and the dives he went on. The snorkeling is also amazing.

The kids shared a cabin with 2 queen beds and my husband and I had a smaller cabin with one queen bed. Both cabins had porches with 2 chairs and a hammock. It was a great place to sit and relax each morning and evening. The showers (water pressure)were better than many hotels I've stayed in stateside.

The four of us agreed that this the best vacation we've ever taken. Two years ago we took our 2 20 something children on an Eastern Caribbean cruise and I didn't think anything would top that for them but Bananarama and Roatan did.

  • Stayed March 2009
    • 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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OLYMPIA, WA
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2009

my husband and i just returned from our vacation at the bananarama. the whole place is great. the customer service was excellent. the owners live on site and stopped by dailey to make sure everything was ok. the bartenders were fast and funny and the food at the bar is so good there was no need to eat anywhere else. the on site creamery has homemade ice cream to die for. the snorkling and diving were great and the resort has everything you need to do both. i have never come home from a vacation feeling this relaxed, yet we stayed busy all the time. this resort has it all. i can't wait to return.

  • Stayed March 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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NYC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
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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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
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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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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
Was this review helpful? Yes
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 On the Beach Hotel in West Bay
#3 Romantic Hotel in West Bay
#3 Family 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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