“3 star, all(most) inclusive resort. We had many small problems...”
The staff at this resort were all very friendly and helpful. The room and all the facilities around the hotel were clean and well looked after and the gardens are well kept.
The food at the buffet is tasty and generally of a good standard, although we found some dishes to be extremely salty (such as the re-fried beans at breakfast). Breakfast was probably the best meal of the day, with lots of delicious fresh fruit, french toast, eggs and good coffee. If you don't like the look of the dishes being offered, you can ask for an omelette or toast and they will make it for you. Generally, the buffet selection is not large, but it is acceptable and nobody seemed to go hungry, this is better than seeing food go to waste as happens at some larger resorts. If there are no coffee cups in sight, look in the cupboards underneath to find your own fresh supplies, as the staff have trouble keeping up with demand sometimes.
All-inclusive allows you to have one a la carte meal per week. This means you can choose between a pizza restaurant or the beach bar. The pizzas are good, large and easily enough for two to share. There is an extra charge of $5 if you choose the lobster dinner at the beach bar as your a la carte, which is probably worth it because it looked really good. However, i didn't understand why there was this extra charge, as there are more expensive meals on offer which you can have without the extra fee.
The beach bar can be busy and noisy, but is a great place to spend the evening with friends. It was especially full for hockey night in Canada, when the TV showed the game. It also shows soccer from all over the world. Some drinks are not included in the all-inclusive deal, so be careful when ordering or you'll get a shock. It is not clear on the menu which items have an extra cost, so ask the staff when ordering.
The cruise ships seem to call in at West Bay on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, so the beach can get crowded and the snorkeling areas overrun by people. We arranged to go on excursions those days, so it wasn't a big problems for us.
The diving shop at the resort is truly excellent and very helpful, even if you only want to snorkel. The snorkeling is really excellent. I'd say it is among the best beach snorkeling in the world and I've been to many places. Go early in the morning, Go before breakfast, to see the best things.
However, we had several (small) problems during our stay.
(1) The toilet in our room didn't flush properly, and the handle broke on the second day.
(2) There was such low water pressure that the shower was barely dripping water and actually stopped completely sometimes. We reported these problems to the hotel staff, and they were very responsive. They tried to fix it, but there was a broken pump somewhere and it took 2 days to get everything working. As the hotel was completely full they could not offer us a different room. The staff had trouble understanding why we were complaining, and had to use a waitress to help with translation. The duty manageress spoke no English.
(3) there are only 15 hairdryers in the hotel to share between 50+ rooms, so, grab one when you check in or they will all be gone. This may seem a minor thing to many people, but if it makes you unhappy about the photos of your vacation, it becomes very irritating. Take your own hairdryer if you have one.
(4) The food in the buffet is not always easily identified and the labeling is not clear. It would also be preferable to keep meat, seafood and vegetables separate so that if guests don't like something, they can choose. For example, why put pieces of ham into the vegetable dishes, chicken into the salad leaves and shrimp into the rice? If you are unable to eat these things for dietary, allergic or religious reasons or just don't like them, the choice becomes very limited as the buffet selection is small.
(5) they have special meal nights. Unfortunately, they don't inform you what they all are or when they happen. We were at the resort for valentines day, and booked our a la carte meal for that evening. We were not told that there was a special meal provided for everybody, so we felt like our special meal was wasted because everybody got it anyway. However, when we explained this to the hotel, they agreed to allow us an extra a la carte meal.
(5) the wine selection is limited and poor quality, so don't bother with it because the cocktails and local beers are good anyway.
(6) the check-in process is very slow at the hotel.
(7) the airport in Roatan is also very slow, with long lines for everything and limited facilities while it is being redeveloped.
(8) Some of the (Sunwing) excursions were not well explained to us.
i.e. do not expect a "quiet day out" if you go to French Cay, as you will be blasted by loud 1970's rock music most of the day. Also, the snorkeling at French Cay is not included in the cost, but is available for an extra $10 which includes the equipment and boat out to the reef. The food is good, though.
(9) There are not enough staff at the resort. Those who are there seem to work really hard and do their best to help, but can be swamped when the hotel is busy.
(10) Don't drink the local water! You are provided only 2 bottles of water in the fridge, and you have to fill these up yourself during your stay. There are pure water coolers at each of the bars, so remember to keep your bottles. Don't throw them away. They have no recycling facilities on Roatan.
I repeat some of the tips given by other reviewers:
- Take bug spray with you and use it. We did and were fine. Others had plenty of bites.
- There are no face cloths provided. Take some with you.
- Take a hairdryer with you (North American plug)
- Take flashlights (there was a power cut during our stay).
- Internet access is not included, but costs $5 per hour, $10 for 24 hours, or $50 per week, however, the WiFi service is patchy at times.
- There is no "Duty Free" shopping near the resort, but prices in Eldon's supermarket in Coxen Hole are very low and this is the place to buy rum and coffee beans.
- Other shops are a short walk from the resort if you want souvenirs, but the selection is very limited. Prices seem lower when you are out on excursions, because you can haggle and the items seem to be the same.
Overall, we'd say this is a good resort, but you have to remember it only has 3 stars. If you are here for the beach or the diving and snorkeling, you won't be disappointed. Don't expect luxury, though.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.