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“Dolphin Encounter”

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Anthony's Key Resort
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Sandy Bay
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed March 19, 2010

We stopped in Roatan as a port-of-call on are Carnival Cruise, we booked the Dolphin Encounter through the ship!
The encounter was absolutely amazing. The dolphin (Anthony) was so playful and loving!! And the trainer was great! Answered all questions, gave us tons of information and ensured everyone got what they paid for!! Would definitely pay to do it again!!
The resort was like a Tropical Paradise, I have never seen anything like it and resort staff were friendly and helpful!!!

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank jlchapple
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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917 - 923 of 1,139 reviews

Reviewed March 1, 2010

The Good:
Room views were spectacular and the resort setting is truly a tropical paradise. Diving and snorkeling trips were fun and well organized. Most of the staff was friendly and helpful. There were so many activities to keep you busy, we were never left looking for something to do. Although there is no tv in the rooms, we were so beat at the end of the day, we ended up going to bed around 8:30 every night. It was nice to unplug and have a break from tv and phones (internet access is available for a small cost). It was also a great convenience and comfort to have an on-site medical clinic at the resort.

The Not so Good:
The food was hit and miss. Some meals were great, others, not so great and the desserts were some variation of a cake with chocolate syrup most every night. The bed linens and towels could have used an upgrade. Bring your own beach towel for the beach and snorkeling/diving as one is not provided for these activities. If you do not like to be hot, spring for the key superior room with air. We were miserable in the non-air-conditioned room and had to switch mid-stay.

The Ugly:
The only thing I can legitimately complain about is this resort is it not infant friendly or handicap accessible. We traveled there with our 1 year old daughter. The deck railings on the restaurant and rooms would not prevent a kid from falling over a 30-40 foot drop off or onto jagged lava rock and severely hurting or killing themselves. The crib in our room was old and rickety-needs to be updated to a Pack and Play. Pathways were not stroller friendly and a person who is handicap (wheelchair or has walking problems) would have a very difficult time getting around this resort.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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3  Thank JennyGettelman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2010

It is my understanding that while Anthony's Key Resort may provide a wonderful getaway for tourists, it is regularly in violation of the marine reserve park regulations that govern the park and reef near its property.  Violations including building piers and property over the protected coral reef, capturing wild dolphins under the guise of education and intentionally sinking a ship in the eel garden so that its clients can experience a wreck dive.

Anthony's Key Resort supports the marine reserve on paper (and with occasional monetary support), but I believe that today's tourist should require that it uphold the letter of the law in regards to the reserve, not just when it suits business, but at all times.

Additionally, while interacting with dolphins is undoubtedly an amazing experience, as the creatures rate next to primates in terms of intelligence, most environmentally-aware individuals frown upon the capture of such  wild animals for show and profit. 
Finally, the numbers of scuba divers and snorkelers that Anthony's Key Resort, as well as several other resorts throughout the island, carry to the reefs is unsustainable.  If you are a water lover, a scuba diver or just interested in the protection of marine habitats it is time to hold tourist resorts accountable for their impact on the resources from which they profit. 

I have no other incentive to post this view, other than to express my concern over maintaining the reefs and marine resources that most of us enjoy.

Stayed: February 2010
27  Thank justsayin10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2010

We didn't stay at the resort...we came there for a Carnival excursion - diving with dolphins - and wished we could have stayed. The dolphin trainers were great. My wife, daughter, and step-daughter had been certified to dive for just a year. It was the kids second ocean dive; the first being two days earlier in Gr Cayman.
We had to got an introduction to the dolphins before going out on the boat. Once we got out to the anchor buoy, we were informed that our boat didn't turn to starboard. It took them a couple of times to tie up. (They should really fix that) We got in the water and down to depth. It was quite some time before the dolphins came out to us. They said that the females had just given birth. Apparently they are ready to mate again soon after giving birth, so it took some coaxing to get the males to leave them.
But it was worth the wait. The two dolphins stayed right with us. They interacted with everyone in the group. The videographer got some great footage - we bought the DVD of course. Our daughters loved it. We'd love to vacation there for a week or two and dive like crazy. The accomodations look very nice; little cabanas on stilts right at the waters edge. I was told they also have some off the water, but didn't see them.
Excellent experience. We were treated great, even though we weren't guests. I can't wait to see how we're treated when we actually stay there.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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5  Thank Greg P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2010

We traveled to Roatan and stayed at Anthony's Key 12/26/09-1/2/10. Our stay at Anthony's Key Resort was wonderful. We left Denver with weather in the teens and showing, the plane needed de-iced beore departure. A word of advice, if you leave in this kind of weather, change clothes in an airport along the way, you will be pleased you did. We went from winter weather to tropical temps, it is warm on the island even in January! Upon arrival you are greeted by staff with a Rum Punch and many smiles! Our group traveled there mainly for the Scuba diving but soon found out there is so much more. As has been said if you are expecting a Ritz Carlton you should look elsewhere. Your baggage is gathered at the airport and tranported to the resort for you and is waiting for you at your room after check-in and orientation. The resort is rustic but quite comfortable. The staff there is always smiling and happy to help in anyway. We had a Key Superior bungaloe that was more than we expected. Right on the water with beautiful views of the carribean, just looking over the edge of the deck we saw starfish, lobsters, urchins and other marine life. There is no TV or Telephone in the bungalow. You can get internet connections on the main island near the front desk if you want, it isn't free but really how much time did you want to spend on the computer when you are in paradise? The food was very good and plentiful. Always freshly prepared with 2 choices of entree's. Unlike most All inclusives, here you are seated and your meal is served you. The diving is great and the dive operation is run very efficiently with safety in mind. The resort is on the north side of the island and weather can cause problems for divers when a norther comes in. If that happens, the boats are moved to the south side of the island in more protected water and people are bussed over so you won't miss the diving! The resort is very well run! I do not recall hearing anybody complain about anything! There are dolphin encounters available, a shark dive if you want, horseback riding, kayaks are also available for use. The horseback riding and kayaks are included in the price and cost nothing. The dolphin encounter is spectacular and informative. You can also snorkel with the dolphins or do a dive with the dolphin if you wish. Anthony's key is a short taxi ride to West End where there are lots of shops and restraunts if you want to go. This was the best vacation I have ever taken and would gladly leave tomorrow for another round if I could.

Leaving Roatan was not much fun, stand in line to pay the $37.00 departure tax, get in a different line for security screening. After you go through the initial screening and before you board the plane they search all carry on bags and then you are hand searched and patted down before you can get on the plane. Other that those very small inconvienences it is a wonderful trip.

  • Stayed: December 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank dmore19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2009

ANTHONYS KEY RESORT, ROATAN DEC 5th - DEC 12th 2009

Just so you know who is writing this report I am going to give you a little background on me. I have 464 dives and have done allot of diving around the Caribbean, Coco's Island and have been diving in the south pacific three times so far. I have stayed in everything from 5 star hotels to 2 star motels. This may give you some perspective on my report.

FLIGHT

We flew Continental from Detroit to Houston, then Houston to Roatan on Saturday Dec 5th. On Friday Dec 4th I went online to confirm my flight only to find out that Continental had changed my 6:00 AM flight to a 9:00 AM flight. I called them and they said that the earlier flight had been cancelled. I still had lots of time to make my transfer. We got up Saturday and I reconfirmed my flight time. Hopped on the airport transfer and arrived at Detroit Wayne Airport. Up to the Continental counter I go to find out that the air traffic controllers in Houston are not letting any planes land so our flight is going to be delayed until 10:27 AM, leaving me only 22 minutes to transfer. The woman behind the counter was really good in trying to get me another flight (if I missed the transfer) but the only other flight available was a Taca flight on Sunday morning. She assigned me seats on that flight just in case we missed our connector. Continental was feeling somewhat responsible as we ended up getting fed.

We arrive in Houston earlier than planned and that allowed us a 1 hour and 12 minute transfer. Piece of cake. We saunter over to our boarding area (that just so happens takes us almost 15 minutes to get to) and start boarding. Then that fatal PA announcement. There is a problem with plane and we have to go back to the same area we were just in. We board. As we are sitting on the tarmac we are told by the pilot that the plane has to be de-fueled in order to land on Roatan because the islands runway is so short. So, instead of not boarding us until the de-fuelling is done, they decide to let us sit in those crappy little seats for 1.5 hours. We finally leave and arrive in Roatan at about 5:00 PM (we were supposed to be there at 1:15 PM (enough time to get in an afternoon dive). We wait for the luggage and lo and behold one of my suitcases doesn't make it, and of course, its my DIVE GEAR !

TRANSFER

When you arrive at Roatan there are representatives in the airport at the baggage area with their respective resorts on there shirts and they grab all the suitcases for your resort and put them in one area. When all the suitcases are retrieved they load you on the bus. We told this gentleman that one of the bags did not make it and he handed us off to another representative who took us to Continental Baggage Claim. He filled out a report and said the bag would be delivered to Anthonys the following day. The ride was uneventful and got to the resort at about 6:15 PM.

THE RESORT

The Room

The resort is built in two different areas. Some of the bungalows are built on the hill on the mainland and the rest are built on a small key that you take a 20 second boat taxi to. We stayed on the little key in a "key standard" bungalow with no air conditioning. The room was amazing. We had a king bed that was a pillow top, ceiling fan, floor fan and desk. In the bathroom there was two small shelf areas for your clothes and a safety deposit box that was no charge. There was also a little cooler in your room for ice, which was nice for a cold drink in the middle of the night (yes, you can drink the water straight from the tap). We never ever felt like we needed an air conditioner as the nights cooled off enough that sleeping was comfortable with just the ceiling fan. In fact, we didn't even put the floor fan on.

The Food

No complaints here. Breakfast was the usual fair. There was a continental fair put out for the early risers of fruit, pastries, coffee, tea and juice. At 6:45 you could order breakfast from the a la carte menu. Omelets, eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, french toast, toast, and even a Honduran breakfast with beans and etc. Lunch was a set menu that changed everyday. One day you would have a burger or some fish with a starter and a choice of a couple of sides and of course dessert. The next day you could have soup and a sandwich with cake for desert. Dinner was similar to lunch as far as a set menu, this too changed everyday. We had roast pork one night, chicken parmesan the next, and the best was on the night before we left we had filet mignon. You could have soup and or salad for starters, and the desserts were good too. You had to pay for drinks. Beer was $3 and mixed drinks/wine was $6. They did have happy hour at one of the bars except for the nights that the night dives were on (Tuesdays and Thursdays). During happy hour the drinks were half price and if you wanted you could order 6 beers near the end of happy hour for the half price and put them in that little cooler from your room.

THE DIVING

The diving is included in your hotel cost. You get three boat dives per day and two night dives with unlimited shore (never got to do any shore diving though). Also included in your package is a day trip to a key down the island a bit, more on that later. Before you dive on the reef for the first time they make you do a check out dive to ensure you have good buoyancy control and are able to retrieve your regulator and to clear your mask, then its up and back onto the dive boat to head to the reef. The dive boats are spacious but never seem to be over packed. Upon arrival the boat you are assigned to is the boat you stay on for your entire stay to ensure you get to go to different dive sites. You are given a dive locker with a number assigned to it. You use this number to sign up for the dives you want to do each day and this ensures the dive masters get the right amount of tanks on the boat. You do come back to the dock between most dives (unless your going to that key) and trade out your tanks. The diving was good. The reefs are the healthiest that I have seen in the Caribbean for many years now (first dive trip there was 1999). We saw allot of hawksbill turtles but only one green. Of course we saw the usual fish such as queen angels, french angels, grey angels, all different kinds of butterfly fish, flamingo tongues, jacks, snapper, grunts etc. The only real surprise that I had was very little eels. Also, on both night dives our group of 4 never once saw an octopus. I only saw 1 octopus garden on all my dives. I did, however, see the biggest nurse shark ever. This sucker must have been at least 7 ft long. It looked fake it was so big. Dive times were asked to be 50 minute maximum but our dive master let us dive till our air denied us time so that was pretty cool.

We did a day trip to a key on the other side of the island which Anthonys owns. This is where they do the research on the seals, stingrays, and sharks. The island is also a refuge for land animals as well as sea critters. We left the resort earlier than normal, did a single tank dive, back to the resort for fresh tanks, drove to the other side of the island and did a single tank dive. We landed on the key for lunch and had a the option to do the Mayan museum and animal habitat tour but we chose to have lunch and go for a walk around the animal preserve ourselves. At about 1:30 we got back on the dive boat and headed back to the resort. We stopped on the way back for our PM single tank dive. I really liked the diving on the other side. The water was clearer and that was unusual.

We also did the DOLPHINE DIVE. What an awesome experience. We decided before we left home that we were going to bite the bullet and pay the $115 each for the dive just to experience it. To our pleasant surprise they were having a two for one deal. They take you over to the dolphin pen and you get an orientation with one of the resident dolphins on what to do and not do ( for example, how to touch them and where to touch them) when in the open ocean. Then onto the dive boat and out to the blue. You descend to the sand at about 70 FT of water and wait. At first they are skittish but then when they realize this is going to be fun for them they start showing up. There are usually only two dolphins and there were 8 divers so every diver got to get up close and personal with a dolphin. The dive lasted 55 minutes and I got some great video.

THE PEOPLE

Lets start at the front desk. When we checked in and told them that my dive bag never made it, they informed me that my husband and I could have rental gear for free. Way to go Anthonys Key. They did everything while we were there to try to get my dive bag to me from Continental, but due to Continentals incompetence it never arrived at the resort. More on that later. The wait staff at the restaurant are sometimes slow but that is because allot of people show up at the same time and the volume is just a bit much for them. They tried their best and always had a smile on their face.

We had Calderone as our dive master and Dean as our boat captain. Calderone let us pretty much let our group dive our own profile. Our group consisted of three dive masters, a master scuba instructor and an advanced diver. He appreciated the fact that we did not need babysitting but was there to show us critters if we so chose to dive with the remaining divers on our boat. Calderone works very hard loading tanks every dive, swapping gear and keeping the divers informed on when and where we will be going and what the reef system looks like at each site.


TRANSFER

The day before you leave they leave a note for you in your room telling you when to have your luggage ready for pick up outside your door of your bungalow (oh ya, they deliver it for you when you come to the resort while you are having your orientation) and when the bus will be leaving to take you to the airport. You get on the bus at the appropriate time on day of departure and they take you to the airport with plenty of time to check in. The really cool thing that Anthonys does for their customers is, if you give them your itinerary and passports upon arrival they will keep them in the big safe in the main office and get your boarding passes for you before you get at the airport. Cool.

CHECKED BAGGAGE

If possible DO NOT FLY CONTINENTAL transferring in Houston. Allot of people we talked to in Roatan and upon returning home have told us that Continental constantly drops the ball in Houston when transferring bags. In Roatan we were told by Continental that our dive bag would be waiting for us in Houston and to go to terminal C. We get there and nobody in Houston has a clue. We almost miss our connector to Detroit waiting for the Claim Baggage personnel to try to figure out where our bag is.
We did get one little bonus from Continental. The lady at the counter for boarding saw my distress and asked to hear my story, and when she heard of all the problems we had been having with her company she bumped us up to first class. It was like being on an entirely different plane. Didn't make up for the fact that my feet had holes in them from the rental gear, but it did pacify me at the time. LOL.

IN CLOSING

I would go back to Anthonys Key Resort in a heartbeat. They could have charged me for the rental gear but chose customer relations instead of money. The staff was polite and eager to please. The reefs are healthy and Anthonys is doing everything in their power to keep it that way. At first I was not to pleased to do the check out dive, but in hindsight I am glad it is enforced.

Keep up the good work Anthonys.

Sharkbait

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
15  Thank sharkbait98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2009

Just got back from spending Christmas week at Anthony's. After having read many reviews, I agree with most. If you love to snorkel/dive, this is an incredible place to do it. If you are looking for Marriot or Four Seasons style accommodations this place is NOT for you. Roatan is a tropical paradise, but is definitely a third world country, full of corruption and petty crime. See the island, but be on guard.

Getting to Roatan is relatively easy. Many airlines fly there directly. We took Continental. If you are staying at Anthony's, you will be met at the airport and bussed to the resort. Your luggage will follow later. At the resort, they facilitate check in as a group which is simple and painless. Following check in, you attend a short orientation on how things are done at Anthony's and then are free to go to your rooms. I recommend the Key Superior bungalows. They have A/C and a mini fridge. It can get hot in Roatan any time of the year. The rooms are simple, but comfortable with adequate space and the over water porches are nice.

Meals are served in the main restaurant, with very good quality seafood, and a non-seafood choice. The food was always hot and plentiful, and the soups were very good. Going hungry will not be an issue here.

The front desk and restaurant are on a steep hill, so there are lots of stairs to climb which got a little old by the middle of the week. This not a good place for those with a handicap or in a wheel chair. I have bad knees, so be forewarned if stairs bother you.
It would be nice to see this information spelled out on their extensive web site.

We arrived late afternoon on Saturday, Dec. 19th. It was cloudy and had been raining. This was to be the scenario for the next 3 days. Not to worry. Anthony's was professional enough to bus those who wished, to the other side of the island where the seas were much calmer. I understand this happens occasionally during rainy season. The only thing the rain affects is the underwater visibility.

You are assigned a boat and a dive master for the week. We were on the Andrea with Captain Richard and Divemaster Alson. Quality guys. We laughed much and had a lot of great dives. None of the boats were crowded. They use 4 large boats to accommodate everyone and have several more on standby in case of mechanical problems. This happened several times during our stay. The owner definitely needs to loosen his purse strings on boat maintenance. The diving around Roatan is very good. There are several wreck dives, many walls, and colorful reefs teeming with fish. Sharks are rarely seen, unless you go on a specific shark dive, but the resort has dolphin encounters on site and you can see them anytime.

They served us a traditional Christmas Dinner on Christmas evening and the night was festive. Entertainment is available most nights in the bar, and the fiesta night on the key is a nice touch. One of the days during a week stay, you will be taken to Maya Key on the other side of the island. This property is owned by Anthony's and is an incredible facility.
They have a great pool there, gift shop, lockers and bathroom facilities. In addition, they rehabilitate sea lions, birds, monkeys, and various kinds of cats. Kids especially like this
place. The beach is great for lounging and snorkeling.

We had a great time at Anthony's Key. The only complaints I had were minor. Small maintenance and housekeeping issues, and of course the stairs.

Shout-outs go to Mandy the operations mgr., Selasie in the restaurant, and divemaster, Alson. Their great attitude and service made an enjoyable stay even better.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank mrbeaverpayson
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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