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“Great location but not worth the cost”

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Turtle Bay Eco Resort
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Clarksville, Tennessee
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Great location but not worth the cost”
Reviewed June 21, 2013

Cayos Cachinos is a diamond and has the most beautiful and abundant sealife, sunsets, and island adventure. That being said, after spending 3 nights at Turtle Bay Eco Resort (TB), I feel like they (TB) are completely taking advantage of this environment by dramatically overcharging for the Eco “experience” and offering very little in the way of service or professional experience that would make spending that kind of money worthwhile. From an adventure standpoint, this place is great. Maybe I came in with my expectations too high, but from an economical and safety standpoint, Roatan and Utila are nearby and you can find much better accommodations, access, and at least as much adventure for half the cost or less. The staff is, for the most part, friendly, helpful and sincerely trying hard to make it work... but the level of inexperience and lack of basic business sense goes against charging guests the amounts that they do for the stay.

When making reservations, you must pay for the rooms and dive packages in advance as a non refundable deposit. I had paid the deposit and THEN was informed that we would have to make our own way to the islands since boat transportation is not included, which I found odd and frustrating that the manager had not bothered to make mention of that fact before I paid a four figure non-refundable deposit. Mr. Wall offered his boat for the extra charge of $100 per person after the fact, but was completely non flexible on scheduling, which, based on my situation, would not have worked without having to alter my plans considerably. If you use the TB boat option, they will only pick you up in La Cieba, so if you fly into Roatan you will have to ferry to La Cieba for $50-60 per person, spend the night there and then take the TB boat for $100 per person. Instead I hired a water taxi from Roatan to take us on the 25 mile trip across which cost me nearly $800… Spend $800 more or lose a large chunk of a $3000 deposit… *I do not recommend this option unless you plan your travels in the early morning when the seas are more calm...* Anyway, upon arrival to TB, the staff greeted us at the dock and they were very friendly, making it a point to memorize our names and get us set up in our rooms. We stayed three nights and paid for two premium rooms, expecting that for $400 per night, per room, that we would at least get what was offered on the internet and the brochure. Not the case... Any of the complimentary services in the brochures had to be requested. But it depended on which brochure you looked in with respect to what was charged for each service and which ones were complimentary. Of the three that I referenced (web site, brochure, and in room service sheet, all the prices and services were marked differently and I didn’t know until the end of the trip what I was actually getting billed for. I got the distinct feeling throughout the weekend that much in the way of how they operated revolved around providing whatever service in the most cost effective way, almost like the couple dollars they saved by not going that extra mile would keep them afloat next month…

The rooms were only serviced one time during our 4 day/3 night stay (by serviced, I mean the bed was made with the same sheets and the bathroom garbage was taken out). You are only issued one thin terrycloth towel per person that you use until you leave and there are no washcloths, bath mats, or hand towels. On day three I asked a staff member for fresh towels (in the damp tropical environment, the towels are not ever able to dry and they began to get ripe after repeated use), I was finally given fresh towels only after that staff member “encouraged” me to continue to reuse the towels to reduce my footprint on the environment, or whatever. I am as "green" as the next guy but for $400 per night, I should be able to AT LEAST get fresh towels without the brow beating and guilt trip, at a minimum without the snide comments.

The food was good and is served buffet style. Guests do not have a choice in what is being served but requests can be made if there is some local fare that you want for the next meal. For us, none of our requests made it to the dinner table- though they did make a special plate for another customer who couldn’t eat what was being served due to allergies or whatever. Food is served in a communal setting at the same times every day, and the staff sits down at the table and eats with you. Anyone in the staff will make you a drink from the bar whether it is wine or the daily mixed drink specials, depending on what is available at the time. A large group came in on the second day and cleaned out the bar in one night of all the mixers and most of the alcohol. Several staff members complained openly and almost angrily among themselves of how that group “raped the bar” and they would have to make a special trip to the shore for a resupply. Maybe that would be acceptable conversation for a frat house, but not for professionals running a business with most of their customers within earshot.

The diving is amazing and the dive master who I went with was very patient and knowledgeable about the reef and the sea life. My only issue was that we would always come up based on time and not on air. On my last dive, we surfaced and I still had a third of a tank left... again for the money, I would expect to be able to use the whole tank and explore more of the reef. Additionally, when we were talking about the dive package they offered up several choices to include a plane wreck dive, night dives, the shelf, the pillars, etc. But when it came to actually scheduling the dives, most were out of the question due to rough water (1-3’ swells) which is consistent this time of year. The dives that they took me on were short but very nice.

They offer some side adventures for minimal extra cost like snorkeling trips around the island, a short day hike to a lighthouse that offers a scenic view, and the pink boa constrictor tour. We saw several pink boas (more grey colored), which are only pink when very young, but cool to see in the wild nonetheless since this island is the only place on earth that they occur naturally. My group of four was folded in with the other eleven or so guests, apparently to avoid the staff having to do two or three separate tours, or maybe just keeping up with the communal theme… We all were taken on the hike/tour together which was fine, but with that many people on a thin trail, it’s impossible to hear what the tour guide in the front is saying and my 70 year old parents were having trouble keeping up with the 20-something tour guides who ended up leaving us behind. We eventually caught up to the pack at the lighthouse as one of the staffers was trying to jimmie the lock with a Gerber multi-tool... suggesting that we are really not allowed to be there? But regardless, I hear if you climb up to the top, the view is impressive. Apparently, someone had come through and fixed the lock on the lighthouse which required a sturdier tool than the Gerber to break in, and so one of the staffers ran back to the house to get one that would defeat the lock and get the door open. It was getting late so instead of waiting for staffer to get back and having to hike back in the dark, we walked back to the hotel on our own.

The following day we went to a small village on the next island but instead of taking the Melissa (large diving boat), all 18 of us piled into the 25’ boat and headed out... overcrowded with no life jackets on board. My group of four stayed on the island while the others went out to snorkel somewhere else, promising to be back in an hour. Two hours later with no sight of them, we hired a local boat to take us back to the TB. The other guests showed up later stating that the overcrowded boat almost sank when a wave in rougher water washed over and filled in the back end of the boat. Somehow they were able to save the boat and keep everyone from treading water until someone came along to save them, or they drown... whichever occurred first. After bailing out the water, the captain marooned half the group on a sandbar island and shuttled the smaller groups back and forth to the hotel. Overall, it was an unbelievable lack of responsibility that could have ended disastrously, especially since they have no way to communicate back to base for help. I am familiar with "relaxed" safety standards from living the last year of my life in Honduras, but this business caters to tourists and is run by Americans. There is no excuse for that kind of oversight or disregard to basic safety standards…

Overall, TB would be a great hostel-type destination and wonderful secret paradise… and worth the price if they did nothing but charged about a third as much. If they want to continue to charge the rates that they do, they really need to step up the service, professionalism, and reorganize the packages they are offering with the greater emphasis on customer service and safety. The staff is young and is inexperienced in the many of the basics of business management and safety protocol. It reminded me more of hanging out with friends of friends at their house instead of the resort experience that I would expect after paying several thousand dollars. They are trying hard and working out the kinks as they go, but in the short time I was there, several of the lapses in safety, occasional rudeness of a select few members of the staff, and the sheer cost of the experience were enough to assure that I will never be back and do not recommend it for others unless you have disposable income to burn, are patient and entirely self sufficient, and go there with the appropriate expectation management.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank J M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TurtleBayStaff, General Manager at Turtle Bay Eco Resort, responded to this review, July 1, 2013
Thank you for posting your analysis of your experience here on Trip Advisor. There are some valid points in which we have either already addressed (such as a number of towels in each room-you would now find 2 Beach Towels, 2 Towels per person and 2 Hand Cloths in each room) and some that will be addressed immediately.

There are also a few topics I would like to address from your review so it is more of a balanced discussion.

Transportation has not been included with any packages at the resort since January. We have many clients arriving from different locations, some arriving off their own accord and then some that are already in Cayos Cochinos. It was a logical step and one that is well documented on both our "Rates and Packages" page on our website as well as in every invoice that is sent out to clients (where payment and cancellation policies are also explained). I explicitly told you that the seas between the Bay Islands become rougher in the afternoon (all year round) and that travel should only be attempted in the morning. I offered a number of solutions to you regarding travel from Roatan to CC and even offered phone numbers of experienced captains I personally know and have used previously. You chose to use an inexperienced captain, on a small launch to cross the 25 miles in the afternoon, not arriving until 6:30pm at the resort. As explained previously, this is a potentially very dangerous option. We then offered your captain free accommodation and food as heading to another location at that time of night was impossible.

The Galaxy Wave (ferry system from Roatan to La Ceiba) is a cost efficient and safe way to travel. It costs $23 per person per direction.

Not one of our rooms cost $400/night. Our priciest rooms are our Ocean View Rooms (again, dictated on our website on our "Rooms" page) at $129 per person based on double occupancy. Therefore, at max, the room costs $258 per night.

Since your stay with us, we have worked to a higher standard for our room services, as mentioned there are a lot more towels made available along with a strict set schedule for cleaning and servicing the rooms. Unless requested, the sheets are changed every 4 days and towels are changed daily. We do "encourage" our guests to enjoy a "Green" experience, however as stated, our staff are always happy to offer whatever we can if requested.

Requests are made for food options, so choices can be made. Our staff regularly ask if you are interested in having fish (and what species) or if you prefer vegetarian dishes, more fruit, local juices or can arrange lunches in both Chachuate (the Garifuna cay) or East End (the small village on our island).

Our Stocked Bar has over 30 different types of Alcohol and a range of both mixers and soda. On occasion our bar does get low on one thing (for example, Coca Cola) but is replenished at the earliest convenience. We regularly run trips to Chachuate where small amounts of Beer or Soda can be purchased if no trip to the mainland is scheduled.

Diving is done a schedule, to incorporate meal times. Our dives are capped at 60 minutes, which is a very ample time for a dive as most of our clients surface prior to that time. The guided tours last 45-50 minutes before one of our Dive Guides surfaces to prepare for dekitting. The other guide remains underwater for safety purposes. Some guests may surface with "spare air" after an hour long dive, especially with the shallower and current free diving we have, however this should be seen as a positive rather than our Dive Staff rushing you back to the boat as you are low on air?

Our boats are all kitted with GPS, Radios and a cell phone. We have to use our Launches, that are 30ft with ample space, due to our dive boat, Melissa, having too much of a birth to get to the Cays. As always, we recommend that people do the Sand Cay trip in the morning rather than the afternoon as seas can pick up. This day, the seas seemed calm enough to do the snorkel trip but when the seas did pick up our captain of 20 years decided it were safer to leave a group of clients on one of the cays (with a member of staff) before returning with the first group. He then returned to collect the second group and member of staff before commencing to head to collect your group from Chachuate. We now have two Launches in the water to avoid anything like this in the future.

All in all, you had some valid points and ones that we have now rectified however there is also a lot of false truths in this review that can easily be seen when one visits our website (www.cayoscochinos.co or www.turtlebayecoresort.com) where ALL of our information is easily detailed.

We hope that you will return in the future to experience the true beauty that both Cayos Cochinos and Turtle Bay has to offer.

Kind Regards,

The Staff at Turtle Bay Eco Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Allentown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2013

I traveled to Honduras for a little over a week and spent a full week at Turtle Bay. Staff was excellent, food was delicious, and the diving was awesome. The staff made me feel right at home as soon as I arrived and invited me to join them at the bar and to play cards with them in the evening. The manager, Michael, was extremely helpful with getting me situated at the resort and checking on me daily to make sure I didn't have any issues. Courtney, one of the instructors at the resort did a great job instructing a fellow diver and I on our Advanced Openwater course in a good amount of time (with great choices for dive spots) without skimping on the requirements. Another good thing about Cayos are the Divemasters In-Training. It was great having knowledgeable, well-trained, and well traveled divers to assist with my diving experience. During my stay, one of the DMTs allowed me to borrow her underwater cameras for one of my Advanced Openwater dives, one took me for a hike throughout the island in search of the rare pink boas that live on the island (he even found one while I was out on the dive boat and went searching for me to ensure I saw one before my departure!). Another DMT assisted me on a spearfishing trip in which we each shot a Lionfish (my first experience with spearfishing), while yet another DMT was very social and told me all about her experiences with diving and working abroad.

My dive guide, Jason, did an incredible job during my stay. He was extremely knowledgeable about the sea life on the reefs around Cayos and knows all of the dive sites well so I felt very safe as a relatively new diver. When I encountered a low air situation on one of my dives, Jason was extremely professional and ensured I was able to complete my safety stop before surfacing and making my way to the dive boat.

Then there was the scuba diving. The reefs in Cayos Cochinos are vibrant and colorful; and full of all kinds of fish, coral, and small sea creatures. The House Reef was one of the best dive sites in my opinion; I was able to get some great pictures of a sea turtle and some rays swimming along the reef.

I stayed in an Oceanfront room which was fantastic. Not only could I sit out in front of my room in a chair (or a hammock) watching the sunset on the ocean but the Oceanfront rooms have a private path right onto the secluded beach.

I will definitely be returning to Turtle Bay again within the year.

Room Tip: Oceanfront rooms were excellent; for $30 more per night you get both a room overlooking the ocean AN...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Brian M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
110 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2013

We stayed at Turtle Bay EcoResort for a week of diving. Every diver knows that the weather is an unknown factor that can ruin a trip. What a resort needs to do is consider what experience their guest might have if the weather turns horrible. Turtle Bay hasn't done this yet; they are relying on their location and reefs to carry the business. That might work for them if the weather never turns ugly. But we all know that in the Caribbean, the weather is going to occasionally turn ugly.
We stayed in "Del Mar", a cabin on the hill that will have a nice view when the canopy is suitably pruned. Even at first glance, when the weather was nice, it seemed a bit spartan, but we thought “oh well, we’re here to dive, not to hang out in the room”. Still, no divider between bathroom and living space? Bathroom de-odorizer that smelled like a rodeo port-a-potty? (We were to learn that this was necessary because bathroom garbage was not picked up for days at a time, though we were admonished not to put any paper in the toilet…..) No comfy chairs to read a book in? Only two bath towels, no hand towels, no washcloths in the bathroom? A bath counter made of concrete? A front door that would not stay closed without a rock to hold it shut?
We did dive for two and a half days, then the weather got ugly. High winds, white caps, pounding surf, and intermittent downpours prevented us from diving. This could be borne if one had nice dry room to cocoon in. Even muggy and clammy could be OK, but Del Mar had driving rain coming into it sideways, indeed, directly into the bed. We pulled the bed out as far as reasonable, but that was limited by the rain coming in the front door. After one night of this, b/c we were assuming the staff knew of this foible, we decided to cope silently, but two nights was too much. We mentioned the situation to the assistant manager, and he did take steps (Thanks Clement!); a waterproof tarp was stretched across the window near the bed. It was a good solution. Why, we wondered, was this not thought of ahead of the storm? We’d been told there were storms the week before. We assume there’d been storms even before that. Why, we wondered, did the staff not take the initiative to also change the sheets on the bed? And leave us some more towels since it was clear the room was sodden? The management will say we should have mentioned these. I say that management should know be able to imagine such needs. I mean really, there are educational programs in hotel management. Buy the textbook. Find the chapter about what to do about rooms that have been drenched with tropical rain.
For three days we could not dive. For three days we had to shiver in our damp rooms. The high winds kept blowing out the pilot light on our water heater; yes, only cold showers were possible at “Del Mar”. I guess this is nothing to complain about since other older rooms at the resort NEVER have hot water. I think if there’s a pilot light, shield it from the wind.
The weather remained terrible for the rest of the week. On the day we were to depart, the port at the resort and the port at La Ceiba on the mainland were closed, so there was no simple way to get back home. Eventually the resort arranged for two long rowboats from the mainland to take us across, for another $300 per boat. We were desperate to get away. We booked two of these boats for the 10 of us. Don’t you think that the Turtle Bay management might give us some kind of discount? They hadn’t had to take us diving for four days. Well, no discount, no refund for their boat not having to take us. The crossing and disembarking turned out to be a high point of the week. The boat was “beached” by driving it right up the sand, letting us out, hauling our bags out, then rolling the rest of the way on logs that were continually moved from the back to the front by boatmen.
OK you get the idea. The weather was terrible at the end of the week. For the first three days we were having great dives. The reefs were beautiful--- the coral was healthy and profuse, and we did my favorite kind of dive: you start out deep-ish, about 60-80 ft, but by the end of the dive you’ve been cruising at about 15-20 ft for some time so you don’t have to bother with a boring safety stop. The dive masters are all very young, some of them having just finished their certification. This made it very annoying that the checkout dive began with skills testing under unreasonable conditions. I don’t mind skills testing, usually it’s just a waste of 10 minutes. We are experienced divers, further, we were diving with people who have been commercial divers, dry suit divers, instructors, NOAA employees and disaster rescue divers. I have only about 250 dives so I was one of the least experienced on the boat, but it made me very angry that we had to do skills testing at 6 feet, a depth I have great trouble maintaining on the first day with a dry wetsuit. To do the testing I had to wear 22 pounds of lead, and the stress of trying to stay down was terrible. I usually wear 12 pounds---so the rest of the dive, averaging 30 feet, I couldn’t swim at all because I was weighed down too much. I was not given the opportunity to surface and dump the extra 10 pounds of weight. I don’t think the divemasters were experienced enough to know what to do in such a situation. I also think that an establishment should be able to determine from a diver’s history, certification, and log book, whether they can retrieve their reg and clear their mask.
The boat is just fine. It is a good size and has enough space for everyone and their gear. When not diving, however, your gear stays piled over hanging rods in a locker room on the dock, not drying very much. At least it’s not open to theft. Some mistakes were made during “valet service”, such as BC’s not being clamped onto the tanks, and BC’s not being emptied of seawater after a dive. Actually not very much of the promised gear rinsing was going on at all. Some work was going on at the dock which interrupted the available plumbing. There were no rinse tanks. The hose was not hooked up to water.
The food is good at Turtle Bay. The food is not exactly Honduran, rather, it is typical of the Garifuna subculture. It has bananas and yucca and rice and beans, lots of roast meat. It’s very good. Other reviews have mentioned a lack of desserts, and it’s true they are not available at every meal, but when they are, they are good. And the coffee is good too.
Nobody can predict the weather. People are going to read this review and think “You’re just a sourpuss because it rained on your vacation”. Nope. I have had rained-out vacations before, but had a chair to read in. Had a bed to nap in. I do not require a movie theater, or a casino, or a spa.
Turtle Bay has recently undergone a change in management and the new young staff are trying hard to renovate the resort. They are working very hard. They are very young. The manager, Mike, especially, takes his job very seriously. But he doesn’t know as much as he thinks he does. And he’s not as good a manager as he thinks he is.
This review has been two months in the writing. I thought we might go back some day, and knew I would be identifiable from the review. But we’ve decided we will never go back. And the staff at Turtle Bay EcoResort need this feedback.

Room Tip: there are three renovated rooms---we did not have one. Ask for one of the renovated rooms
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank scdaub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liberty, Missouri
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2013

We had a super week learning to scuba dive with accomplished Padi-instructor Clement. My wife and I are first time scuba divers and completed our open-water certification at TBR. The TBR scuba team was safety oriented -- these guys (including Courtney) should be profiled on the Padi website. They have a nice dive boat with Captain Danny running the wheel--the Melissa accommodated our 4 divers and 10 snorkelers easily. Most boat dives were within 15 minutes from TBR.

Having never stayed at an eco-lodge before, my expectations were not high--we were hopeful the week would be better than camping. The accommodations were clean, but beware, rooms are not of equal value. Not all rooms have hot water--make sure you are clear on whether you are reserving a ocean front or standard room with the general manager. TBR was overbooked during our stay, and two couples were lodged into substandard staff rooms.

The food is good, but not great. Portions were fine. The cooks tried their best to accommodate our group because some preferred not to eat fish, so we had chicken and beef on some of the meals.

There is very good snorkeling from TBR--no boat was needed to see turtles, rays, eels, abundant fish, and health reefs. You can also float on rafts (we brought our own to blow up) in front of TBR if the surf is calm. I expect TBR will spend $$ on lounge chairs & patio seating in the common areas. It would be great if they had more chairs & chaise lounges on the upper deck of the dock.

The sunsets at TBR are awesome. We traveled the 2nd half of April and 6pm was a great time on the patio to watch the sun drop and drink a cold beer.

Finally, I have to compliment the TBR staff. They were very engaging. We spent Earth Day picking trash up together on a deserted island, we hiked to other parts of the island with them, we shared our snorkeling and scuba diving stories together, and we socialized with them in the afternoons and evenings. Big kudos to them!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Bret61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dauin, Philippines
Level Contributor
53 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2013

This was my second stay at Cayos. As this is my also second review, I won't reiterate everything that I previously covered. I love this little resort for two main reasons.

First, the people (and dogs): The staff are so warm and fun, that it feels almost like coming home. Yet at the same time they are very professional and put in some serious hours. I almost never revisit a location, but I'll keep coming back here! The people that are attracted to this resort as guests tend to be very interesting people from all walks of life. This makes for interesting conversations around the dinner table. The small guest capacity and the common meals facilitate interaction among guests and staff alike. If, however, you just want to lay in a quiet hammock and relax, there plenty of secluded spots scattered around the grounds. There are couple of happy dogs that will play with you on the beach if you want, or leave you alone if you don't. Word of warning- once you throw a stick for Kona, game on!

Second, the diving freedom: Not only is the diving exceptionally good for the Caribbean, the dive operation is run perfectly. You may go out on the boat or dive the shore. Boat dives are close to the resort and typically cover some very healthy reefs. The house reef is fun, but the muck dive inside the reef is my favorite. Dive slow and be very attentive to detail, and you will be rewarded. One can get over two hours bottom time on a single cylinder. There are many special critters there to include squid, sea robins, eagle rays, sharp tailed eels, gaudy clown crabs, and lots of juvenile reef fish. Gear is assembled for you, all you need to do is dive and enjoy. The dive staff tailor the dive to your desires and skill level. I shoot still images, and really value the latitude afforded to me to pursue shots. (I resent the "follow my fins" type of diving.) There are superb instructors there for uncertified folks or those looking to develop new skills. There was never a significant current or surge in either of my visits, thus making is great for snorkelers, novice divers, and macro photographers. Turtle Bay is very camera-friendly for those with DSLRs and video rigs.

I almost don't want the world to discover this place. Once people do, I'll never be able to get another reservation! Please understand that this is an eco-resort on small island in a remote place. It's quite cozy, but there are some obvious concessions associated with staying on this mostly-wild island (e.g. electricity use and waste management). If you want to have a specific item, plan ahead and bring it with you. There are no stores, roads, or restaurants on the island, and that's a big part of why it is so fantastic and special.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank DiveXplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2013

I had the pleasure of staying here while on a group dive vacation in mid-March. I am an extremely picky traveler. I do not like "roughing it" much. My poor husband was afraid that I would freak out at the rustic conditions. But I had the most wonderful time at here. The resort is very remote and for me that is part of why I loved it. I read previous reviews so I knew what to expect before I arrived. I read about the bugs, cold showers and food. What I did not read about were the resident pink boas (very pretty), vine snakes, tarantula for a roommate, no roads, no cars, no noise....Did I mention that I absolutely loved my time there? I so wanted to extend my time but reality and job beckoned. I do plan on going back one day.

This was a group trip so I did not make any of the arrangements. My husband and I were placed in one of the rooms which had not yet been renovated. The room looked fine to me. It served the purpose for sleeping. The bed was very comfortable. Not renovated meant that it did not have hot water for showers. That did not bother me.

I think I was the only inexperienced diver on that trip. These people went out of their way to make me feel comfortable in the water. Thank you to Clement, Cortney, Mike and Jason for your patience and assistance. I also want to say thank you to Capt. Danny for his help also.

Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate during the last two days so no diving could be done. Instead we watched movies, read, played cards or just relaxed in a hammock.

Some of the previous reviews noted issues with the amount of food served and taste. To be safe I brought my own food and snacks. I didn't need them. As stated above I'm pretty picky but I found the food to taste very good and there was more than enough for everyone.

I can't say enough about how much I loved my stay at Turtle Bay. This was my first trip to a place this remote. I loved it. If I had the chance to go back right now I would. To me it was paradise.

If I had to change something it would have been the weather. I wish that we had those two days to dive. But no one can do anything about the weather.

Be open minded even if rustic isn't for you. You will fall in love. I know I did.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank SurfaceInterval
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Franconia, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2013

Pros:
* Great value for the money
* Very healthy reefs with good diversity of sea life
* Good food and plenty of it
* clean rooms
* clean grounds
* nice short hikes to light house, village and school
* Good house reef for snorkeling
* Very nice dive boat (Melissa)
* Fun boat trip to Turtle Bay Resort and to nearby islands for picnic, snorkeling, and visit to Garifuna fishing village.

Cons:
*lack of clarity in regards to payment / cancelation policy (full payment expected in advance and no deposit refunds;if you have to cancel you may use your deposit for a future visit)
* Dark restaurant / bar area
* lack of lounge, deck, beach type furniture
* only one kayak (which had a hole in it when we were there.)

Over all, Turtle Bay Eco Resort is a rustic lodge in a beautiful location, facing west (clear view of the sun sets). The five updated rooms are a simple one bedroom square design with a clean, open showered bathroom. View outside these rooms is of the bay. Boat trips to dive sites are easy and for the most part, short; visibility ranged from 30 feet to 70 feet. I have been fortunate enough to have dived many sites in the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Turks and Caicos; Cayos Cochinos has the best diving/snorkeling. For those who do not dive, you will be very happy with how snorkelable most dive sites are. If you are not a water oriented person you may not want to stay a full week. Management and staff work hard and do a good job of helping you have a great vacation. The food was quite good and varied; fresh hog fish, king fish, great beans & rice, chicken, some beef, pork. Pancakes, eggs, fresh fruit, bacon for breakfast. Orange juice tended to be on the instant mix variety. Fresh blended fruit juices for sunset drinks. Kitchen cooks and house keepers do a great job. The village and school (only school in Cayos Cochinos) are an easy (30 minutes) walk to the other side of the island. It is a clean, attractive fishing village with a 2 room school house. Bring something for the students, teachers, and school in general if you can. Chalk, erasers, coloring books, granola bars, etc.The boat trip from La Ceiba to Turtle Bay took us 2 hours (on Melissa). Boat trip back to La Ceiba at end of trip was in a smaller, open cot pit design and took 1.5 hours. Van trip from San Pedro Sula to La Ceiba took 3 hours. No safety issues; Turtle Bay arranged for transport for our group of 14 to and from San Pedro Sula without a hitch. You will need $40.00 per person airport departure tax when you leave for home. We stayed over-night at Villa Helen's in Sambo Creek; I would recommend Villa Helen's as a place to stay the night before going to Turtle Bay.

Room Tip: These rooms are the best choice (and have hot water):Azul, Buena Vista, Coconut, and Del Mar. Rooms...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Alec M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Turtle Bay Eco Resort

Property: Turtle Bay Eco Resort
Address: Cayos Cochinos, Cayos Cochinos, Honduras
Location: Honduras > Bay Islands > Cayos Cochinos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Cayos Cochinos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the untouched, tropical island of Isla Major in the Cayos Cochinos archipelago, Turtle Bay Eco Resort is situated on a 10 acre site hugging the shoreline of the Caribbean Sea. The crystal clear waters off the coast of the island are enhanced by the world's second largest barrier reef providing a stunning backdrop to your relaxing vacation. Turtle Bay Eco Resort was grandfathered into the Cayos Cochinos Marine Park and to this day, remains the exclusive resort or hotel in the area. This exclusivity remains one of the sole reasons that Cayos Cochinos has preserved its pristine waters, lush tropical forests and it's completely unique experience. Staying at the Turtle Bay Eco Resort is more than just a vacation at a Caribbean hotel, it is the feeling you get upon arrival, the complete relaxation of your body throughout your stay and it's the feeling of leaving more as friends than guests. As a resort with only 5 rooms, our small and intimate feel allows you to get to know our staff and let them guide you through the wonders that this incredible location can offer. We offer private diving, dining, hiking, kayaking, island touring and much more. After a long day of exploring the Cayos Cochinos, why not settle down with a delicious cocktail to enjoy watching the sun as it sets right in front of our bay. Even though we are only 24 miles from Roatan or Utila, our island paradise separates the hustle and bustle to give you what you are really searching for. ... more   less 

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