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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
Atlanta, Georgia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2009

Just returned from Bananarama and loved it! My wife and I did not dive, but will probably get certified next time around. This resort does not pretend to be five stars, but has evrything that you need for a great vacation, and then some. The owner and staff are VERY friendly and cater to your needs, the rooms are OK, clean, have A/C and a fridge/coffe/Micro/Water cooler/Wi-Fi (slow). Here are our thoughts summarized:
Location - unbelievable baech/water - not having a pool is OK, trust us!
Staff - Could not be nicer!
Bar - Great bar, drink specials, easy to meet others.
Dive Shop - Did not use, but heard great things while there! Snoreling off reef very good.
Price - Specials are VERY reasonable, incl: Airport transfers, breakfast, drinking water, kayaks, beach chairs and more.
Extras - Sunday fire dancers - AWESOME, crab races for local charity - excursions can be arranged from office. The staff and island locals are so fiendly!
Bugs - Did NOT have a bug problem at Bananarama - the owner installed large deterant devices that gets rid of mosquitos and theyn WORK! Use DEET anyway, as they are on the island! Sand fleas are destroyed by the staff's constant raking of all the grounds and beach. This place is very well kept up!
SAFE / DVD Players / DVD Library all available for your stay (CHEAP)
Hammocks outside of rooms and on beach.

If power goes out, the generator needs to be turned on, but is often not - email ahead and get assurance they will turn it on.
Bit busy on the beach when ships are in port, but does not last long, and its a big beach

Water Bottles - Drink LOTS of water during your visit (free in rooms).
Sunscreen (SPF 30)
Beach Towels
Do NOT brush your teeth in sink water, use provided drinking water.
Use foot spickets/buckets outside of room to prevent sand fleas - do not leave doors open.
Bring lots of smaller bills (nothing larger than a $20, unless paying for room/excursion.
ATM at Mayan Princess (100yds away) gives Limpura OR Dollars!
Do not bringing many clothes - It is very humid.
Bring own snorkeling stuff, if you can - 100 yards to great reef.
Bring underwater camera from home state, cost too much on island.
Ask driver to stop at store on way from airport - $10 charge - arrange with office.
Try the Zip-Line tour, it's awesome!

This is one of those vacations you will have trouble not thinking about when you go back to work - LOVED IT!

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

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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)
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English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 8, 2009

First of all, I will list the positives.
- Great location on beautiful crystal clear water. Shore snorkeling, access to kayaks, beach chairs and a lot of sun!
- The Dive Shop was very helpful and we got certified on our trip. The staff was very patient with us and really made sure that we were comfortable in the water. My wife and I both got certified and continued to dive the entire 9 day trip.
- The breakfast is included in the hotel price. Only one option, but they do a great job of mixing it up throughout the week.
- Good daily drinks specials (same as other hotels in area though).

Next are the Negatives
- We stayed in a beach cabana. We have traveled extensively in South and Central America, and his was by far the worst room we have stayed in. The AC stopped several times throughout the nights, due to the fact that the back-up generator never worked. Also, we were infiltrated with Tropical cockroaches. Not just one or two, but at least 15 in a 5 day span.
- Got busy on cruise days, but we planned our trip around those days. We stayed in West Bay for our first 5 days, and moved to West End for the latter part of our trip. West End is less busy on cruise days.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2009

*im leaving this same review for island pearl since we technically stayed on both properties*

my husband and i had the pleasure of visiting roatan for the first time for 12 days at the end of may. it was an amazing vacation, and we can't wait to go back! we even survived the 7.1 earthquake the morning of our departure (by far one of the scariest moments of our lives) but would definitely go back in a heart beat given the opportunity! i have traveled pretty extensively and have never had the overwhelming feeling to return vacation in the same place more than once, being that there are so many other places in the world to see, but i could definitely see my husband and i returning to roatan again and again. this is for several reasons:

1. flights are cheap: we flew out of washington DCA and paid less than $350 for our flights, each. granted it was a LONG day of travel but well worth it. we plan to move back to tx where they have direct flight out of houston for reasonable prices. 2 hrs on a plane and you are in paradise? you can't beat that!
2. the beach is just amazing: especially on non-cruise days, you practically have the entire beach to yourself. the water is crystal clear. you can see all the way down at least 40ft. the reef is amazing. you can just swim or kayak right off the beach and see beautiful coral, fish, turtles, ect. the water is really calm and beautiful. the staff works really hard raking up seaweed and making sure that the beach has less sandfleas. free chairs are included in your stay. there is always shade available to put your chairs under when you've had enough of the sun.
3. the lodging is affordable: we originally stayed in one of the beachside rooms in bananarama but it was extremely noisy and luckily we got upgraded to an ocean front villa. they were running a special at the time that was $500/week (for the beachside room)? definitely worth the price for the best location in west end. right in front of the beast beach ever. the beach front cabana was clean. the kitchenette was useful because we stopped at the grocery store and bought some food and snacks to save money. the bathroom we large and spacious. my only complaint is that it is that there is no a/c in the bathroom. the shower is ventilated to the outside by windows all around it. (dont worry, no one can see you). so if you leave the bathroom door open to get a/c in the bathroom, its a good chance that mosquitoes will get in and that is a big problem. the bedroom upstairs, meant to be the master bedroom, never got cold enough even with its own a/c unit upstairs so we slept in the smaller room downstairs. you cant beat the location of bananarama/island pearl. we can't wait to go back! the staff is friendly. the included breakfast every morning we always served with a smile. which brings me to the rest of my long review.

Food: breakfast ranged from good to pretty good - a rotation of croissant sandwich, pancakes, french toast, baleadas, eggs, beans & fruit. coffee was available every morning as well as fresh squeezed fruit juice + lots of sugar. lots of dining choices are within walking distance or you can always take a water taxi into west end for more options. island pearl right on the property is probably the nicest and best restaurant in west bay. great food, fantastic atmosphere but price. $35/each for a 3 course meal. when we went it was pretty empty. i heard the price last year was $25/each and that would probably bring a lot more folks in. the ice cream shop on the property is also good and the thirty turtle offers drink specials daily.

Activities: kayaking is free. snorkling is not. i would recommend bringing your own snorkling gear as you can snorkle 3x a day if you wanted. we also did a discover scuba class and had a really good time. we meant to get our full certification but couldn't stay away from the beach for 3.5 days to get it done. maybe next time.

Bugs: yes, there are bugs. i got SEVERAL bites, mostly at dusk or dawn. sometimes at night in hour house. i constantly sprayed off but this just seemed to deter not prevent bites. after a few days i hardly noticed them. i expected to get bit going into this vacation - its a tropical, warm, humid place - of course there will be mosquitoes! i found that spraying our sheets at night and being really careful about keeping doors and windows shut helped a lot. i never got bit by sandfleas though. just mosquitoes.

weather: the weather was perfect except for the 1.5 days it rained while we were there. i checked to forecast before arriving and it called for rain every single day there so i thought that wasn't too bad. we entertained ourselves with books and monopoly.

entertainment: there is not much going on in west bay after 9pm. on sun nights i think the resort has fire dancers and a crab race. one day there was a pig roast (a friday or saturday). people hang out at the bar but it closes at 9:30pm. so if you are looking for a night life - this isn't it.

cruiseship days: we had several days of cruiseship people. i think they come wed - fri? i cant remember. for the most part its fine. the beach just gets crowded with more people. we staked out our spots early in the morning and just sat back and watched the entertainment. definitely more peddlers around on these days - they are eventually realize you aren't interested in what they are selling after the 4-5th time they ask. just tell them no, gracias and they keep it moving. they are not overly obnoxious like other peddlers i've experienced in parts of mexico and india. if you are in the resort only area of the beach, they don't bother you at all.

overall this was one of the best vacations we have ever taken. you can not beat the location. the beach is amazing. we can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed May 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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South Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2009

My husband and I spent May 3-9, 2009 at Bananarama Dive Resort. Neither of us are divers but we absolutley loved the resort! This was our first time staying at a smaller place that was not an all-inclusive and we loved it. We will never go back to an all-inclusive resort again! The atmosphere was very relaxed and we were deffinitley on "island time" our entire vacation. The staff and the owners Jamie and Louis were very nice and made sure we always had everything we needed. I am sad to say that the day we left, was also their last day as they are passing ownership to Louis's father. We stayed in the king garden suite which was nice and roomy. The only drawback was that it was one of a 4 unit building and the walls are thin. Next time we are going to get one of the smaller single cabanas they let us see before we left and they are very nice. We ate a few times and got our daily drinks at the Thirsty Turtle. The food, drinks, and service were excellent. Yo and Tim were great. If you go, make sure you get a "Monkey La La." We arrived right after tourist season ended which is November through April. This was great because it was like we had the entire beach to ourselves. The mosquitos and sand fleas were bad but if you kept bug spray on then you were fine. Just down the beach was the best place for snorkeling at the reef as it was just steps into the ocean. The reef is also amazing! Bananarama is conveniently located to stores, shopping, and dining. It is also just a short ride on the water taxi to West End which has great food, shopping, and nightlife. The power goes out frequently on the island but Bananarama had a generator and we only went one time at night without power for about an hour. They do have wireless internet if you bring your own laptop or you may use the computer in the office if needed for short intervals at a time. We only got one channel on tv but who cares, we weren't there for the tv! We also met a lot of very nice and interesting people who have moved to Roatan because they loved it so much when they visited and I can see why. This is my new home away from home.

  • Stayed May 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2009

Just returned from our second trip to Roatan.We stayed at the Bananarame Dive and Beach resort. It is not the biggest or the fanciest place on the island but if you are looking for the island ambiance this is your place. We stayed there two years ago and loved it, but we were impressed by all the improvements they have made since we left. The first thing on my list was no BUG BITES! I didn't even have to use bug spray, thanks to some great comercial mosquito zapper which cover the entire resort, raking the beach twice a day and spraying some organic solution for sand fleas. Besides the bug free environment are the meticously kept garden areas and the new beach bar upstairs. It's a great place to get out of the beach crownd and have a drink. The dive shop and its instructors can't be beat. A special thanks to Cori ( my instructor) for being so patient with a not so great diver. Your calmness and understanding helped me feel safe and complete my discovery dive feeling good. I walked away knowing I will dive again. As for the food at the Thirsty Turtle it was great. The homemade tortillas, rice and beans were a lunch staple ,but the lobster BLT is to die for! The Vintage Pearl is a beautiful restaurant for a special night out. My only complaint is not having a menu ot look at. They had a young lady playing acoustical guitar and singing. Very relaxing. Sunday night was the fire dancers, live band and crab races. All the crab race money is donated to the young mothers on the island. Air flights seemed reasonable to me. We flew Continental from San Jose, Calif to Houston, Texas and straight to Roatan for $422 roundtrip. Hope to be back next year. I hope I can wait that long!!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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escalon ca.
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2009

Smack dab in the middle of the best beach on earth, who would think you could stay at a great dive resort for such a reasonable price? O.K. , lets be honest , the only pool is the 82 degree calm Carribean with 60-100 ft vis a 100 ft or so from your room.But if that is too far of a walk you can stop by the Thirsty Turtle Bar & Grill, or schedule a dive with the dive shop. The small dive boats are anchored right in front of the resort, and typically go out with 4-8 people, very comfortable.The dive staff again impresed me. Diving there is really easy, just tell the staff when you want to dive , on a day to day basis if you want, then pay when you check out. Marteen replace my computer battery for me(it was not an easy one) Cori took my three teenagers on the discover scuba dive, I don't know how she did it , but they seemed to do it without fighting or whining and had fun! That was a shore dive and my kids carried tanks without complaining? The next day Cori & Ricardo took us all on a dive ! Great time, great memories.
O.K. the dive operation is top notch, but the rooms are basic, the a/c works and we slept like babies! The rooms aren't expensive so don't expect in room spas & gold plated plumbing. (you do get a hammock)But why would anyone want to spend more time than that inside a room when you are there? I planned on getting some groceries to save money on the food budget,but after tasting the food @ the Thirsty Turtle,we just ate there.They have a new smoker & the chicken came out sooo good,our other favorites included the homemade tortillas ,rice & beans ,shrimp,fried fish, and ribs. Oh yeah breakfest is free!
The Bananarama is in the middle of the best beach on the best island, it just couldn't have a better location. When the cruise ship crowd comes in there are areas for guests only, like The After Dive Dive, but when we were there it really didn,t get crowded feeling. The overall island does have a slow pace, but there was live entertainment most evenings @ the Bananarama,Island Pearl, and one other resort a short walk down the beach. I'll be back!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2009

My husband and I traveled to the Bananarama two years ago and had a most magical time. It had been our goal to take our children (teenagers) and this past April we were able to do it. What a wonderful time we all had. The property was just as we remembered with some improvements (if you could improve on perfection). The new bar and restaurant, The Thirsty Turtle was complete. The food was great. We have a hard time satisfying five different tastes here in the US but we were all happy with the selection and taste. They have a smoker on prem and the meat out of that is delicious (ribs are yummy). And I know I'll never find a whole fish that was as delicious as the one they serve there, a local snapper. Just as before the home made tortillas are wonderful and we ordered them every meal. The staff is so gracious. They made us feel so welcome and comfortable. They go out of their way to accommodate and made the children feel so special. We connected daily with so many of them, Carolina, Tim, Emil, Puma, etc.....too many to list.

The kids are not certified divers and even though we have encouraged them to do so they showed no interest until this trip. The dive staff is wonderful. Cori, one of the instructors at Bananarama took them through the short course and out on their first dive. She was so good with them and now they are hooked. We were actually able to dive with them (Cori led the dive) on a non certified dive and could not believe how comfortable she had them. Kudos to Cori! The kids now want to go back and have Cori certify them.

West Bay Beach is probably one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and we had is right at our feet with our stay at Bananarama. I couldn't have asked for anything more on this trip.

Oh, I forgot to mention the accommodations. At this beautiful place we spent little time in our room but we did have a room to sleep all five of us. The air conditioning is great for a good nights sleep. Room is kept clean and they are prompt with any requests. The kids loved the hammock on the porch and now we have our very own Roatan hammock in our back yard.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 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.
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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
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 Family 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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