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“I LOVED Saint Anthony's Key Resort!”

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Anthony's Key Resort
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Sandy Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed October 20, 2011

My family went there when I was just a boy. I have written papers about my diving experience there; the reef is astounding! I also remember horse back riding, fishing, scuba, and the list goes on and on. I just cannot say enough good things about this place.
David H. Ong

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled with family
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank David O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 11, 2011

As our first diving destination, it'll be hard to match Anthony's Key. We stayed 6 nights and enjoyed 18 dives in the most pristine environment imaginable! Crystal clear and warm water temps; my wife wore a wetsuit but I swam in trunks the entire trip. Our divemaster (Frank) was a tremendous guide, as we ventured through different dive sites every day. Dolphins, drumfish, nurse sharks, squid, moray eels, you name it! The restaurant served great meals (very good choices for vegetarians) and we were able to catch MLB games at the bar almost daily, (lots of baseball fans on the staff!) Make sure you pack plenty of insect repellent. We were lucky to visit with a "buy one get one half price", which made the trip doable for us. Highest recommendation and we certainly intend to return. Absolutely amazing experience!

Room Tip: Ask to stay on the Key, spring for the A/C
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  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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4  Thank klong1212
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2011

If you've read the other reviews, you know the resort is beautiful and very well maintained. Their dive boat operations run very smoothly. They have a large fleet of boats. About 5 dive boats go out daily, they have a daily snorkel boat and a couple larger boats that cater to one of the cruise ship lines, too. Most of the dive sites are within 5 - 10 minutes but they take you onto the other side of the island to dive a couple times. Our Dive Master was Alson and our Captain was Dean. Both were super nice and a lot of fun. Alson was great at finding stuff for us to see.

We went zip-lining one afternoon and it was fun. There are other activities like horseback riding, dolphin encounters, etc. but Anthony's is really for the diver. If I didn't dive, I probably would have been a little bored.

The food and service were excellent with several choices at every meal. They have Happy Hour almost every night in one of the bars. My Happy Hour tip is to buy several canned beers at happy hour and store them in your room refrigerator for later or for the next afternoon. They even provide a small cooler in each room which you can take to the bar and have them fill it up!!

We stayed in Room #30. This is a Key Superior room and is the farthest walk from the boat taxi, but it is the largest and the best. It has a large private porch with a circular view, you can see the sunrise, as well as, the sunset. You can't see anyone else from your porch and no one can see you. The sunsets were not great while we were there because there were clouds on the horizon every evening. The sunrises were beautiful.

My tips are take your bug spray with you always - during meals and on the dive boat. If you keep the spray on yourself, the bugs are not bad. Bring several plastic clothes hangers. You'll need one or two for your dive locker and a few for your deck to dry your towels and bathing suits. They provide lots of shampoo bottles and I used a couple to wash out our suits every afternoon so they wouldn't smell damp. When you are at the resort, everything can be charged to your room, but if you leave the resort to go zip-lining or horseback riding, bring money for tips, etc.

We went with a group of 15 divers which was organized by Diver's Direct in Florida; they organize a trip almost every year. I can't believe all the diving, rooms, food and amenities are included for such a low price. Most of us didn't know each other at the beginning of the week, but everyone was great friends by the end. We had a couple people in our group who took lots of photos and shared them afterwards. I would love to visit Anthony's again!!

Room Tip: Room #30. The largest porch with the best views, but the farthest walk from the water taxi. Lots o...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Patricia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2011

As I began trying to decide where my son and I were going to dive this summer, I knew I was going to have to pinch pennies. So I started looking for deals in the Florida keys and was about to book a trip when I got an email from Anthony’s Key offering a “buy one – get the second for half price” deal. As it turns out, there are direct flights to Roatan from Atlanta on Delta, and I had miles I could use for free award tickets. Since AKR is all-inclusive, meals and transportation, plus all the diving I could stand would be included. Some easy calculations showed that this would be less expensive than a week in the keys, so the choice was EASY!

Since this was my second time at AKR, I took notes and paid attention to details with the intention of reporting back the things that worked well, as well as some of the things that I thought might be improved upon. I am very happy to report that Anthony's continues to deliver an outstanding value and is very successful at delivering a wonderful customer-centered experience that, for a certain type of traveler, is right on-the-mark.

First off, you have to know that this is first and foremost a "dive resort." They spend a lot of time making sure that scuba divers get to indulge their passion - diving a variety of different and unique dive sites with healthy corals and fish populations. There are wreck dives, wall dives, spur and groove coral reefs, some amazing swim-throughs, drift dives, and they can accommodate all skill levels. The dive operations are professional and well-organized, and you dive from a fleet of modern, spacious custom dive boats that are comfortable and safe.

One of the things that make this place different is the fact that they recognized a long time ago that a lot of divers travel with non-divers, and many (if not most) dive resorts are not particularly fun places for non-divers. That is not a problem at AKR, because they have so many wonderful features and activities for people who don't want to blow bubbles all day long. There are stables for horseback riding, kayaks, a wonderful pool facility, off-premise tours and zip-lining. They have boats devoted to snorkeling, and AKR is also home to the Roatan Institute for Marine Science (RIMS), devoted to studying and working with Atlantic bottle-nose dolphins. They offer a variety of guest programs that allow you to closely interact with these wonderful marine mammals. A “Kids Camp” program representative will meet you and your kids on the dock before your first dive in the morning, and while you enjoy your day of diving – your kids are learning about and getting in the water with the dolphins!

First a little about the layout and makeup of the resort; it is a short 20 minute ride from the airport. The staff from AKR meets you at the airport, loads your bags for you and delivers you via air-conditioned shuttle bus to the resort for your orientation and welcoming refreshments. The accommodations are NOT what you find in a luxury hotel. I personally found my room to be clean, comfortable and more than adequate, but it’s not the Ritz. They make no bones about the fact that they try to provide an experience that has a "rustic" feel to it, so your room is going to be a "bungalow" either out on the Key - a small islet about 50 yards from the main resort property accessible only by water taxi, or on the hillside overlooking the key.

A "superior" room means that it has air-conditioning - and I prefer the cooler room temps for sleeping at night and for the occasional afternoon siesta during my surface interval. The water supply in your room is potable (AKR has it's own water system), so you don’t need to be concerned about drinking or brushing your teeth with the water from the tap. The bungalows have either a private or shared palapa adjacent for relaxing in the fresh air on a hammock. There are no phones, and no TV's (except in the bar area). They do offer WiFi, for a fee, if you absolutely can't be completely off-the-grid. You can also buy time on an internet-connected computer at the lobby if you just want to send an email home to gloat about your vacation.

There is a very large, comfortable and picturesque pool facility out on the key with a snack bar and bartender. The grounds are meticulously maintained and are very beautiful. All the wildlife on the property is protected and so the area is a magnet for large iguanas that are becoming rare elsewhere on the island (look up in the treetops), the shy little brown long-legged creatures the locals call Roatan rabbits, and a host of birds, lizards, and other critters. You might even find a gecko in or around your bungalow stalking insects.

Meals are part of the deal at AKR, and they are freshly prepared and delicious. While not extravagantly spectacular, they are consistently good and plentiful. Meal times are set – 6-9 for breakfast, 12-2 for lunch, and 6-9 for dinner. There are always a couple of menu choices, and usually a delicious home-made soup on the menu. The restaurant is on the hillside, at treetop level, open-air and has a terrific view of the key and the ocean. You are nestled in the tropical foliage and will likely see hummingbirds zipping around to some of the feeders located around the periphery.

I met and was impressed with Kevin, the dive shop manager, Pete and Tati the resident dive instructors, and our captain for the week was Corvin. Our divemaster was Francisco - "Frank" for us gringos. If you are diver, they assign you to a dive boat for the week, and you are also assigned a dive locker. The dive ops are well-run and efficient. Everything you need is "right there" - the dive boat is just a few steps away from the rinse tanks and fresh-water shower, the lockers are a few steps from the rinse tanks. You will spend very little time lugging gear. Your boat for the week has a daily schedule and there is a chalkboard with your boat's name and a list of the dives scheduled for the current and next day. You simply put your locker number on the board to indicate the dives you plan to do and your tanks will be waiting for you on the boat when you get there.

The rental shop has top-quality Scubapro gear and can assist with repairs and maintenance. They offer Nitrox to qualified divers for an upcharge, and there is also a photo shop and snack shop right on the dock. They maintain a teaching/lecturing facility and fully-staffed medical facility with a recompression chamber for treatment of emergency dive-related injuries! They provide classes in identification of marine life and workshops to help you refine your dive skills. Some of these classes are free to attend.

Our divemaster, Frank, was professional and helpful and did an excellent job of making sure that everyone was having a safe and enjoyable time. He went above-and-beyond the call of duty several times. When a diver on our boat exceeded his NDL limits and had insufficient reserve gas to complete a decompression obligation - Frank was right there to help him interpret the computer warnings and to provide reserve breathing gas to make sure he completed his deco safely before surfacing. Frank was not the man's dive buddy, but he saw a problem, and quickly provided assistance. He and Corvin also assisted me to try to locate a lost camera in a deep wreck when he clearly had no particular responsibility to do so. All this was in addition to providing clear and complete pre-dive briefings and allowing highly skilled divers in our party to have the freedom to dive their own profile.

There really is a wide range of available diving – from the deep wrecks with huge groupers and large moray eels, to the submerged DC-3 in the channel just off the docks, a terrific shark dive for the adventurous (which I did and recommend), and the dolphin dive where you can scuba dive and interact closely with several dolphins in the open ocean. I don’t think you will find a more diverse array of spectacular scuba diving options anywhere.

One thing I appreciated immensely was that the general manger, a wonderful and caring woman named Mandy Wagner, with her sidekick Scottish Terrier named Gringo, was always present and moving around interacting with guests and staff. This is a “hand’s on” operation run by people who care about the guest experience and she was always available and accessible, usually right in the middle of whatever was going on.

Overall, I was very impressed. We had a relaxed week that ended way too soon. I have now stayed out on the key and on the hillside – both are wonderful. Having a bungalow on stilts out over the water has a romantic appeal, but the hillside bungalows are equally comfortable and enjoyable, for a few dollars less. The only thing I didn’t like was the high-pressure room down on the dock (which only ran during daytime hours) which was very loud. If you are out on the key, or up high on the hillside, you won’t notice it, but it can be quite obnoxious if you are nearby for any length of time while the compressors are running.

Another thing to prepare for if you are planning to visit Roatan – be prepared for biting insects. After two trips I still don’t know what insect is the cause of the red, itchy welts – I have been told different stories – no-see-ums, sand fleas or sand flies – I just know that I never saw the bugs and didn’t FEEL the bite and it apparently takes a day or two for the welt to appear. I had problems with bug bites the last time I was here – I used the locally produced and highly recommended “cactus juice.” I can’t tell you if the reason it didn’t work was due to not being diligent about putting it on until I already had welts all over my calves and lower legs, or if the stuff simply wasn’t effective. This time I brought DEET and used it every single time before leaving my room. And I had no problems this time around. I think there is also a possibility that since I was on the hillside rather than the key, there is a possibility that I didn’t come in contact with the little buggers as much. In any case, the DEET worked better, just don’t wait until after you have the bites – they take 4-5 days or more before subsiding. Proof of the adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Oh and lastly – I can positively attest that the $1.25 Salva Vidas (local beers) sold at happy hour are cheaper than buying beer at the local markets!

Working from my notes I see I have left off a lot more about the picnic on Maya Key with the local wildlife rescue (Ocelots, Jaguars, Toucans, Parrots, and Javelinas), and the local entertainment provided by the Garifuna dancers and musicians, the fire dancers and the evening bar-b-que on the Key. Not a word about the great beach at Sandy Bay, or the night life at West End, either. There is a lot to see and do, and this review is already far too long. But if you are a diver looking to find a great place for a family vacation – I think your whole crew will find something to love - if they have an adventurous spirit.

Summation: Anthony’s Key continues to deliver great value for the money, and an excellent experience for adventurous travelers – with a lot to offer for both divers and non-diving family members. I would not recommend this place for very small children (under 6 years old) or for people who rely on a wheelchair - it just isn't set up to accommodate their needs. If you think that rustic camping is staying in a Hampton Inn, or if you would freak out about finding a gecko (small lizard) scampering up the wall of your room - this might not be the right place for you. But the photos posted by other reviewers accurately reflect what you will find here - and I personally think it is a little slice of paradise!

Room Tip: "Superior" rooms have air conditioning. "Hillside" rooms are overlooking the Ke...
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
13  Thank Mark R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 3, 2011

I booked a two tank boat dive at Anthony's Key and was completely smitten. While I didn't stay at the resort itself, I can attest that the grounds and location are immaculate and beautiful. The dive itself was delightful, one of the best I have ever had. The underwater topography was amazing, and the sea life was teeming. Overall, my experience underwater was simply breathtaking. In addition, I also dived with not only a guide, but also a videographer who taped our dive for purchase later. I did not plan on buying the DVD, but after seeing the quality of the the video and how beautifully it rendered the experience, I bought it immediately. The guides were friendly and competent and very accomodating, though the equipment was standard fare and my diving buddy had a some issues with his regulator. I had no complaints whatsoever about my dive, and after exploring the grounds after the dive, I was sold. This resort is absolutely beautiful and has so much to offer that I vowed that I would come back soon, not only to dive, but to enjoy a full stay at the resort and all it has to offer.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Thank amballensky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2011

Amazing week in AKR. We dove 2-3 times a day and all of the spots were beautiful. Flexible dive schedule with dives at 8h30, 10h30 and 14h30, you can miss a dive and still make it for the next one since the boat comes back after each dive. Staff friendly and competent. Would recommend bringing your own diving gear, renting can get pretty expensive.

No worries during the week since it's an all inclusive concept. Food is really good and rooms are on a little island separated from the rest of the resort...We stayed in a superior key room and really enjoyed beying on the water. Would recommend staying in an AC room since it's pretty hot here even in the rainy season.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Thank Guy-Anne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2011

Anthony's Key Resort is like paradise on earth! It is such a wonderful location that it almost seems that nothing can go wrong anymore! I enjoyed watching the sunset on my hammock from room 56, which is one of the best Superior Key Rooms of the Anthony's Key! It has a nice blue-yellow-green interior and has a beautiful view on the Baileys Key. But one of the things I really enjoyed about AKR is that it feels like you are on an adult scouting camp in luxury of course! Everybody is having fun and pretending like youngsters again, everybody talks with everybody, clothes and make-up weren't important for a while.. Those things I really liked about the atmosphere! And the staff exist out of local people who try hard every day again to make their guests happy, and it seems to make them happy to see the guests happy! I could always have a nice chat with the taxiboatdrivers, the divemasters and the bartenders, so never felt alone! And all the included activities like snorkeling, diving, horsebackriding, fiesta nights, maya key excursions etc. kept me busy all the time! I brought a few books with me but didn't read one of them! That's so amazing! And the food was excellent! Breakfast was a buffet with fresh fruit, cornflakes, juices, coffee and breadproducts. There was also a list of hot breakfast items such as omelets, hashprawn patatoes, a delicious Honduran Breakfast etc. And at noon there was a 3-course lunch, hot served again. On Thursday there was a lunch on the Key with typical Mexican food, which I enjoyed the most I think. Dinner was sublime! Again a 3-course meal with nice fresh fish, rice and fresh vegetables. And after reading this, you would think: wauw, that's a lot of food, but it was healthy food I think, or at least I had the chance to choose something healthy everyday. Oh yes, there was always a choice between fish or meat and if you want to eat healthy you can choose fish, like I did. During the day you have the possibility to buy snacks in the AKR snackshop or to get something at the poolbar like quesidillas. But you won't need it! :-)
I really enjoyed the Island Fiesta Night with exclusive Garifuna dancers and firedancers which always promises to become an amazing night. You can participate at Limo contests and Crab Races etc. Very cool! :-) And there are 2 computers available to send emails to home if you's like, they charge it to your room (it's 25$ a week). Wauw, I don't have words enough to describe how amazing a holiday at AKR is! But I will just add one more thing: GO FOR IT! YOU WON'T REGRET IT! :-)

Room Tip: Room 56 has a shared deck with hammocks, nice views of the sunset and the Baileys Key. It is the fir...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Service
1  Thank Julie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Anthony's Key Resort

Address: Anthony's Key, Sandy Bay, Roatan IB3107, Honduras
Phone Number:
Location: Honduras > Bay Islands > Roatan > Sandy Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Sandy Bay
Price Range: $512 - $616 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Anthony's Key Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 56
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tucked away on the island of Roatan, Anthony's Key Resort is a legendary tropical wonderland where lush greenery rustles in breezy sea air. Pristine beaches rim turquoise waters. And wooden bungalows perched above a tranquil lagoon offer guests incredibly scenic views and a sense of perfect disconnection from everyday life back at home. For over 40 years, this family-run paradise has been home to divers in search of unspoiled waters, and lovers of natural adventure in all its forms.. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Anthony`s Key Hotel Sandy Bay
Anthonys Key Sandy Bay
Anthonys Key Hotel Roatan
Anthonys Key Resort
Anthony's Key Resort Roatan, Honduras - Bay Islands

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