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“Great time at Anthony's Key”

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Anthony's Key Resort
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Sandy Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed February 8, 2009

I am an experienced scuba diver and my non-diving (but snorkeling) wife and I just returned from a wonderful week at Anthony’s Key Resort. Here are a few of our thoughts about our trip:

- The dolphin snorkel was the highlight of our vacation. It was absolutely amazing. I did both the dolphin dive and snorkel, and while the dive was great, the snorkel was better, since you are not encumbered by the scuba gear and could really interact with the dolphins. The dolphins were incredibly friendly and playful. There is nothing like the experience of swimming and playing with 10-15 dolphins at the same time. When snorkeling, pull clumps of grass from the bottom and the dolphins will play “fetch” with you. We have done “dolphin encounters” at other resorts and this is unlike anything we have ever experienced.

- Try to do the dolphin encounter/snorkel when it is not busy. We went on Sunday at 3pm and were lucky enough to be the only two in our group, which was great. Also, earlier in the week is better because starting around Wednesday, the cruise ship groups came and the encounter/snorkel was very busy (although you do not otherwise notice the cruise ship groups at the resort – they are very good at keeping them separated from the guests – separate dive boats, etc.).

- We also did the Dolphin Trainer for the Day program. This was very interesting and something that I would highly recommend, even though you lose a day of diving and it is a bit pricy. You really get to know the dolphin operation and the dolphins, which makes the other dolphin activities much more interesting.

- The shark dive was great.

- AKR is great for diving, but snorkelers, such as my wife, can also have a great time. The snorkel boat goes out twice a day at the same time as the dive boats. My wife particularly enjoyed snorkeling at Tabyana Beach, so you should ask the snorkel guide to take you there. The water is still on the cooler side (for the Caribbean) in January, so even the snorkelers were more comfortable wearing a wetsuit. Both of us did the night snorkel right off Bailey’s Key, which was very nice (we saw crabs, lobsters, eels and an octopus).

- The dive operation is top-notch for experienced divers. However, based on our conversations with other guests who went to AKR to learn to dive, at least one instructor did not seem to have the patience or mindset for teaching beginners.

- Discounts at the hotel are often not advertised and we would not have known about them if other guests had not told us. For instance, when we were there, there was as a 15% discount on the dolphin encounter/snorkel if you did it on Sunday and gift shop items were 10% off on our last full day.

- We were happy with cabin 39, which is a superior cabin on Anthony’s Key. It has a refrigerator and upper and lower decks, which gave us a choice of sitting in either the sun or the shade. The deck looked right out over the ocean, which was beautiful. One morning, we saw a pod of wild dolphins in the water about a ½ mile out from our cabin. Some of the reviewers have mentioned that certain cabins have a view of the dolphins in the Bailey’s Key enclosure, but as far as we could tell, even the cabins facing Bailey’s Key could not see the dolphins in the enclosure. Try to get a private deck if you can (some are shared by two cabins) - it made a big difference. Having air conditioning in the superior cabin was also a plus.

- January is the end of the rainy season, so it rained for a few hours several times when we were there and it was cloudy for about half of the dives (this affects the lighting). Next time, I would go a bit later in the year, which is also whale shark season.

- Many of the other reviewers have written about the bugs, so here is our two cents. We used 98% DEET the entire trip until we ran out the last full day, and then we
switched to OFF. The 98% DEET worked very well, but the OFF was useless and we were both bitten up on the last day. We were also bitten up on hammock, even when spraying it with cactus juice first (as other reviewers have recommended).

- Do not expect the food to be too exciting. It was okay, but not great (breakfast was the best of the three meals). The food is functional and served its purpose, but that is about it.

- The horseback riding was a pleasant surprise and a lot of fun. Marvin, the horse wrangler, was a great guide and was especially patient and accommodating with new riders. The horses are well behaved, but do not simply follow each other in a line like so many other horseback riding tours. You can go as fast or slow as you want. Galloping down the beach at full speed was very cool, as was taking the horse in the ocean.

- Kayaking around the resort was nice. The water gets very shallow (at least for the heavier two-person kayak) on the right side of Anthony’s Key (looking from the mainland), so be careful or you will get stuck (like we did)!

- We went to the botanical garden that is right up the road from the resort, but did not see anything worthwhile (in fact, it looked a bit run down).

  • Stayed: January 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Scuba81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed February 5, 2009

I stayed at AKR with my husband for a dive vacation. Everything about the resort was amazing. The romm on the key, the service, the diving was ok. Had to go to the other side of the island which was very rough for th ebetter diving.Loved going out into the open waters with the dolphins!!!!We are considering taking our 15 year old daughter back this spring but I have a big concern When we were there, they were infested with Noseeems(insects)!!!!! We were eaten alive even with military issues bug spray!!! I am trying to find out if they still have this problem because my daughter will FREAK out!!!!! She would just be hanging out while we dive. I hope I can get some info from some recent visitors!!!

Thanks!!!!!

  • Stayed: August 2006
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Thank KFGM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2009

I work for Caribbean Travel + Life magazine and have stayed at several "dive" hotels, but this one stood out from the rest. You'll enjoy the casualties and the luxuries of the property. This is definitely a place for, divers, dolphin lovers and eco friendly tourists. And you’ll feel safe knowing they have a clinic on property. I can’t say enough about this fabulous dive resort!!! Thumbs up to AKR.

Stayed: November 2008, traveled on business
1  Thank dsmith82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2009

Anthony's Key Resort is a real divers resort offering all in packages including unlimited diving and meals. The resort is located at the west side of the island close to west end which has some nice bars. A taxi would get you there in 6 minutes. The pros: beautiful location with superior cabins located on a little key close to the mainland. A boatservice gets you over. Diving is professional and the package is a good deal offering you a lot of diving for a reasonable price. Boots are big and all equipment is good. They also have dolphins in the resort where you can snorkel or dive with or have an encounter. Although it is one of the nicest dolphin encounters I have seen and far better than the ones offered in Mexico around Playa del Carmen, it does feel a bit like a tourist trap. Every morning busloads of cruisepassangers are dropped of. Also positive: Most people in the resort are divers so it was nice and quite at the pool. My husband is a diver at was very happy with the dives he made.The negs: the food is very basic, don't expect any high cuisine but rice and beans kind of stuff. The cabins: we had a superior cabin (nr 21) overlooking the bay and the mainland with a private deck over the water. Definitaly book a superior cabin unless you like bugs, heat and are the survival type. The basic cabins don't have airco, and some of them are located on the hills between the forest - bugs garanteed. Also the superior cabins are very different in terms of location: some of them very good others are on the cay between the bushes and hardly have a view. Some cabins have a private deck, others have to share the deck with 1 or 2 other cabins. Overall we had a nice vacation and with the offer "second at half price" that we booked, we felt we got value for money.

Stayed: January 2009
1  Thank bZita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 11, 2008

Great diving, food, staff, boats and room. I really liked the fish presentation, and will be back to the resort again in 2009.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank dozerd4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2008

This is a wonderful place to stay, plenty to do and the food is great! We stayed in an overwater hut and you don’t realize from the web site just how big the bungalow is, huge! We had two queen size beds, a large dressing room and an over sized bathroom. It was very romantic and many evenings were spent on our deck watching the dolphins and sunset.
Let’s talk about the diving, well planned out, careful and lots to see. I was glad safety was a number one concern, yet if you wanted to go off on your own you could. Dive your limits!! Wrecks, coral and fish, what more could you ask for.
This is not your plain old dive resort, not only do they feed you, take you diving, give you a 4 star bungalow, but you also get entertainment to keep you on your toes. Dolphins to visit any time you want, shore diving, swimming in a pool and beach swimming, snorkeling, horseback riding, kayaking, and the BBQ on Wednesday, and a trip to a private island to spend half a day eating swimming, snorkeling and hiking.
This vacation is made for any level of diver and non diver. See you at Anthony’s again.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with family
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5  Thank diver01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 9, 2008

In August myself and 10 friends spent a week at AKR. I travel the Carib frequently and have been to the Bay Islands many times although this was my first stay at AKR. The problems with this trip started 9 months prior when we booked for the group. We requested and paid for all over the water units. I paid the premium price as a single for one of the rooms and when I arrived I was put in a unit that was outdated and not over the water. On top of that the view was of a swampy area that had trash floating around in the roots of the mangroves.

There were two beds in the room, I had requested a queen or a king and it had two singles. One of the beds was unusable it was so uncomfortable, so I suppose it was a good thing that there were two beds.

The dining situation was poor at best, the service was non existent and the food was of medicore quality. It got to the point that my friends and I would order two meals apiece to make sure that we had enough food. On the 3rd day the members of our group started getting sick. By the end of the week every one in the group was ill from either the water or the food. We were not sure which.

As for the dive op, it was ok. Efficient and orderly and the staff was pleasant. The down side was our divemaster. A nice enough fellow but his diving style was to get in the water and swim as fast as you can for 10 minutes, then turn around and go back to the boat where we could swim around under the boat for the rest of our dive or get out of the water. Our avg bottom time was 35 to 40 minutes. This is for a group of experienced divers that dive together frequently and our typical bottom time on most dives would be from an hour to an hour and ten minutes.

Towards the end of the trip we were instructed by the dive master to meet back at the boat on the last day so that we could pay him his tip. He wanted the tip in cash given to him directly.

For the money this place is way overpriced. When I stayed here I had just spent a week at another resort down the way and spent a third of the price for a much better experience.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with friends
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7  Thank parrotman
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: $504 - $614 (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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