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“Island Paradise”

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Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort
Ranked #4 of 14 Hotels in West Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Island Paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2008

We absolutely loved this place. First of all it is situated on one of the best beaches we have ever been to. We are seasoned travelers, as my husband is a retired airline captain. The whole beach is swept several times a day and spotlessly clean. Big trees set back from the water so you can choose to be in the sun or retreat to the shade. The water is like a huge swimming pool, and on most days about as calm. You can swim out to the reef from the beach and see tons of varieties of fish and coral. The resort itself is rustic and we thought very charming. The owners, Louis and Jamie are so accommodating. They live on site and are there most of the time. Everyone who works there is very laid back and friendly. They have an excellent dive operation. It is very professionally run emphasizing safety. They have different size cabanas available starting with very basic to bigger and more expensive. You can even rent a whole house at Island Pearl which adjoins Bananarama. It depends on individual preference. As far as the cruise ship passengers go, we didn't see any big problem. If we wanted more quiet all we had to do was stay over on the Island Pearl side since they are not allowed to set up chairs over there. They were there only a short time every day any way. We thought the food in the restaurant was good. It is simple fair but everything we tried was good with large portions for the price. We especially loved the coconut shrimp. To me they were the best I have ever eaten. Our friends thought so too. There are a number of restaurants within walking distance as well. We loved Bite On The Beach. The sun sets right in front of the resort and it is gorgeous every night. We can't wait to go back. I cried when I had to leave.

  • Liked — The location
  • Disliked — The bed
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank suziqaustin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,204 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (232)
Date | Rating
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English first
Maryland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2008

We had a great week at the Bananarama. The room was clean and cute. It reminded me of a summer camp cabin. The maids cleaned it as soon as we left every morning. They folded the towels into cute animals. My husband makes origami with money, so he folded their tips into clothes and hammocks. The fridge in the room was larger than a minifridge, and it kept our drinks nice and cold. West Bay beach is beautiful, and the Bananarama sits right on the middle of it. We enjoyed walking up and down the beach. The snorkeling all the way at the western tip of the beach (around the other side of the big rock in the water) is amazing. I saw a bunch of squid, beautiful coral, and huge schools of fish. Also saw a pair of squid and a big spotted eagle ray directly in front of the Bananarama near the buoys. Little baracuda swim all around the shore (very small and not dangerous). My daughter liked following them around. The beach and water are great for little kids. Try eating at Bite on the Beach at the eastern end of West Bay in the evening. The food is great (my husband loved the spicey lobster), and there is a bright green moray eel who swims up under the bar every night. We saw him on several occasions. Bite on the Beach was our favorite restaurant. Le Bistro (vietnamese/thai) in West End was also very good, and has lots of vegetarian options. The Bananarama restaurant is good for snacks like french fries (which are really good). The Monkey Lala's (frozen drinks) are also really good (though they probably have about 3000 calories). The breakfast was slow to come out, but it was very good. I don't eat pork or eggs (which they serve in some form every day), but my husband really liked them. On a couple days there were freshly made tortillas, and service was the slowest on these days. It makes sense because fresh tortillas take a while to make, but the wait is well worth it. A previous reviewer mentioned all the cruise ship people. It's true that on a few days during our stay there were lots of cruise shippers on the beach, but the hotel did set aside a special area for people staying at the hotel, and they would not let the people from the cruise ship put their chairs on this section of the beach. The cruise ship people got there at around 10am, got drunk and sunburned, and were all gone by 3pm. The time after 3pm was really our favorite. The sunsets are absolutely spectacular. The best we have ever seen anywhere. The bugs were also not as bad as we thought they would be. We used deet in the morning and evening, and only got a couple mosquito bites each during the entire week. Overall, it was a great week, and we would definitely go back. We'd like to take friends/family, and possibly learn to dive.

(One note of caution. I strongly advise you not to take a certain four letter airline that rhymes with Caca. We spoke to numerous people with terrible experiences. Lost luggage, including expensive diving gear, cancelled flights, etc. On the way there, they added extra stops to our flight, and made us change planes extra times. Our daughter was throwing up repeatedly from all the up and down, and the flight attendant would not get her an extra barf bag. Then they lost our luggage, or just didn't put it on the plane, on our way home. Noone would answer the phone at the lost luggage call center. We finally received our bags several days after getting home. Next time I would pay more and fly with a different airline.)

  • Liked — The Beach and Snorkeling
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank JesMaryland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 11, 2008

Bananarama is on a beautiful beach and has a great dive operation. The instructors were very good and we had excellent scuba experiences. We were also able to rent snorkeling equipment and see a lot of marine life by walking up the beach a short distance and swimming out to the reef. The drawback was that the beach is quite small and there were van loads of cruise boat tourists in addition to people from neighboring resorts crowding it during the day. In contrast, the bars and restaurants along the beach were pretty much deserted at night. The food choices available were pretty uninspiring and 2 out of 6 people in our group got violently ill after eating at Foster's, a highend-ish restaurant a short way up the beach. The management of Bananarama was pretty good and the garden suite we stayed in at Bananarama was quite nice and comfortable, with a porch that was great for relaxing on, however noise was a problem. We were near the dive equipment storage and people began banging air tanks together at 7am every morning and there were loud, sustained (~20 minutes) releases of air twice in the three nights we stayed. Additional annoyances - the free breakfast took a very long time to be served and for some reason, this beach resort does not have beach towels for guests.

  • Liked — The reef and the dive shop
  • Disliked — The noise and the crowds
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank marinrich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BananaramaWestBay, Owner at Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort, responded to this review, January 11, 2008
First off, let me say that I am extemely sorry for this guest who recieved food poisioning from eating at a different resort. During the end of December, especialy during the holiday season we do have a huge influx of cruiseship guests who choose to come to the beach. We offer a private section of beach at Island Pearl for all of our guests during cruiseship days. This has been a huge advantage for the guests staying here. I am happy to hear that they felt their room was "nice and comfortable" and that they felt the resort was run properly with the exception of the noise in the early morning. We are building a tank rack that will help reduce the noise throughout the day. On occasion, breakfast will take longer to serve, especially during the holiday season with a full resort. We appreciate the feedback of our guests, which provides an opportunity for us to continually improve and to become a better resort.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
roatan
Level Contributor
45 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 10, 2008

the place itself is really outstanding,the cabanas have a good design and you can find what you desire.the service could be improved even though they all are very kind.the breakfast is not at the level(food,service) of what you pay(not even a napkin)

  • Liked — the place
  • Disliked — the service
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank gianninumana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 1, 2008

If you don't mind the occassional gekkos, the garden cabanas are pretty good and dirt cheap. The restaurant has mediocre food with really slow service, which seems to be typical of restaurants on Roatan. Mal really does a great job in running the dive shop/ school. I only have positive things to say about the instructors, though for beginners, we felt that Martin was the most patient and allowed the students to really learn at their own pace. We did the open water dives and decided to go straight through the advanced courses. The reef surrounding Roatan is absolutely stunning and I could not imagine a better place to learn how to dive.

  • Liked — The dive shop/ school
  • Disliked — Bad misquito screens on windows
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank illumita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IDAHO
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 27, 2007

My husband and I just returned from two weeks in Roatan. We had the first week booked at the Bananarama and the second week at a resort in West End. My first reason for booking the Bananarama was because Jamie was always right on with responding to my email inquiries when other resorts took their time, if they responded at all. We had room #22 which is a beachfront room right next to the bar and breakfast area. The rooms are simple but comfortable and spacious with room to spread out. It had a nice covered patio with a hammock and view of the water. It had two queen beds, a fridge, microwave, kitchenware, tv and wireless internet, which was really nice for keeping in touch back home. And the maids kept everything spotless. The Bananarama has a great dive shop and staff. My husband said the dive instructors were great. They were very professional and helpful. He did the intro to scuba dive with them and loved it, so he did a second dive with them the next day. They have a movie and book library you can borrow from, kayaks and water floats, and the best massage therapist on the island! If you go you have to book an appointment with Edgar. He even gives a discount if you book more than one appointment. The resort is in the perfect location on a gorgeous beach. You can just swim right out to the reef for awesome snorkeling! Or flag down a water taxi to take you to West End to do some shopping. All of the employees are very friendly and the owners Jamie and Louis are great too. It's obvious they care about their guests and are continuously working on new improvements to the resort. They just recently had a generator installed so you never have to worry about those pesky power outages that you read about on the island. They have plenty of power for the whole resort. And of course the bartenders Corey and Sambino are fun to hang with after a day at the beach. Be sure to ask Corey about shot glass checkers. By the end of our week we were sad to leave. It's just so easy to get comfortable there and feel like you're with friends. Plus we met several other couples there that we really enjoyed spending time with. So when we checked out at the end of our first week and checked into our hotel in West End, we were a little bummed about leaving the Banana. The hotel in West End had really pretty spanish style rooms, but it didnt have much else. And we were already missing all our new friends at the Banana. Plus, if you are there for the beach like we were, it just doesnt get any better than West Bay Beach. So after a few hours we checked back out and went back to the Bananarama to stay our second week! Jamie and Louis have just recently acquired the neighboring resort, Island Pearl, and added it to the Banana family so we spent our second week there since our room #22 was already reserved. If you can afford the splurge these rooms are great for families or two couples. They are two bedroom, two story beach houses with huge covered decks, a full kitchen, and very unique tile bathrooms. They are a little more expensive but well worth it. And while we were there we got to sample the culinary delights of the new chef they are hiring for the new restaurant at the Pearl. And that is going to be a good place to eat. So now with the new addition of the Island Pearl they have a room for every budget, the best beach on the island and a hot new chef to go with the already great island vibe this resort has. We will definitely be going back to Roatan and I won't stay anywhere else but the Bananarama. I know I will just email Jamie and tell her to get room #22 ready and have my Monkey LaLa's in the blender. I cant wait to go back.

  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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Helpful?
7 Thank JLMOORE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Casper, Wyoming
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 12, 2007

We really liked the diver operation, really convenient right off of the beach. We had the big house right in the front of the property with a nice view of the ocean. We would order some meals and eat right on our own deck. in barefeet! The one thing we didn't like was the cruise crowds, it was Thaanksgiving week, so I guess there were more cruises than usual. I would recommend that you be careful drinking the water, 3 of our party got sick, not sure what caused things, luckily it was late in the week. The owners were very nice and accomodating, they cooked a great Thanksgiving dinner. Overall we really enjoyed our stay.

  • Liked — We liked the layed back way of the resort
  • Disliked — We really liked our big apartment
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank moldt2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort

Property: Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort
Address: West Bay Beach, West Bay, Roatan, Honduras
Location: Honduras > Bay Islands > Roatan > West Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in West Bay
#2 Top resorts Hotel in West Bay
#3 Family Hotel in West Bay
#3 On the Beach Hotel in West Bay
#4 Romantic Hotel in West Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located directly on West Bay Beach, our Roatan Eco Friendly Dive and Beach Front Resort is blessed with the turquoise waters of the Caribbean shaded under an amazing tropical canopy. We offer an island dream vacation for those who want to escape the stress of everyday life and relax Roatan style. We offer clean, comfortable and affordable rooms with a hammock on every porch and offer free breakfast, wifi, beach chairs, kayaks and smiles. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bananarama Beach And Dive Hotel West Bay
Bananarama Dive Hotel
Hotel Bananarama Dive
Bananarama Beach And Dive Resort Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras

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