My husband and I just returned from a great week at the Henry Morgan. As seasoned travellers, with more interest in local foods, sailing and diving than high end hotels and gourmet food we were pleased with the quality of the meals, activities, accommodations and service. As our Nolitour representative Diane put it best, Roatan is NOT Mexico or Dominican Republic. It's definitely more developed than it was 10 years ago when I was last on the island but the infrastructure and economic investment are still a work in progress. Arrive with an open mind and you'll have a great time.
We arrived with plans to dive and sail. Unfortunately we couldn't locate any sunfish to rent in West End or West Bay. We found lasers however in West End (beside Sundowners) for $20/day. There are also several catamarans that you can book for day sail but all of them are with a captain and crew and usually lots of people.
TGI, the onsite dive operation at Henry Morgan is well run, very professional with newish equipment and inexpensive packages. Divers are mostly hotel guests. Great for independent travellers or groups. I'd recommend doing some research before going as there are at least 10 other dive shops within walking distance but TGI has a great reputation and really amazing staff. Google TGI and Roatan Tourist info for details about the prices and dive sites but here are a couple of things that I didn't find while doing my research: TGI organizes 3 dives per day plus arranges night, shark and other speciality dives throughout the week. The dive shop is well organized with a locked area at night for guests to store/dry personal and/or rented equipment. There's a tank for cleaning equipment that is emptied daily and a large shaded area with tables and chairs. The boats hold about 20 people, are comfortable and easy to get onto from the beach. With Nolitours./Canjet you can also take a 20 KG gear bag so no need to leave your equipment at home. I was impressed with the entire team. A big thanks to Lindy, Denis, Arthur and Rudy.
I also spent a lot of time snorkeling. A quick 5 minute walk down the beach in front of Infinity Resort and I could enter the water to the left of the pier and snorkel out to the 1st or 2nd white ball and then head south (left) along the reef towards the wall at the end of the cove. Lots of marine life and a good healthy reef. I saw turtles, barracudas, eels, porcupine fist etc..No problems with the current. Bring your own gear as the resort doesn't provide "free" rentals.
Finding original, local art is challenging but not impossible. Most of the gift shops and beach kiosks sell the same south American paintings and masks found on other Caribbean islands. We were most impressed with Penelope's Island Emporium (www.penelopesislandemporium.com). Located at the West Bay Beach Mall, you can get to it by either the road that goes past Henry Morgan toward Bananaram Dive Shop (watch for the pink mall on your right) or from the beach take the sand path at Bananarama 100 yards and turn left onto the paved road and you'll find the pink mall on your left. Penny Leigh represents about 6 local artists, selling items such as hand painted tin fish, jewellery, wind chimes and women's hand woven purses. Ask for details about the artists. Each piece is very unique!
- Walk along the beach to La Rocco or Bite on the Beach for a drink and meal.
- The food in the restaurant isn't labeled so if you have food allergies bring your epi pen and be careful.
- Take the water taxi or book the Henry Morgan shuttle ($5/person return) to the West End for a drink at Sundowners.
- Pack music and an alarm clock for your room
- If you don't mind stairs request a second floor room for higher ceilings, less noise and more privacy.
- Purchase wifi for $20/week when you arrive. It's only available in the lobby but the cappuccino bar is close by.
- Try the chicken, beef and bean burritos and hand cut fries at the beach bar
- At night the beach bar is transformed into the a la carte restaurant. Book 24 in advance at the front desk.
- When you arrive, ask for a registration form, complete and submit it and you'll immediately get your room key, safe lock, tv remote and towel cards.
- The airport is tiny, with almost no air conditioning, few shops and is very very slow in processing travelers. Arrive early, take a book and just be happy that it accepts international flights.
- Dining is fairly casual so save the dresses and high heels for another trip.
- Also Known As:
- Henry Morgan Hotel West Bay
- Henry Morgan Hotel
- Hotel Henry Morgan
- Henry Morgan Resort Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras
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