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“We had the time of our lives!”

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Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort
Ranked #5 of 14 Hotels in West Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Alabama
Level Contributor
229 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
“We had the time of our lives!”
Reviewed March 26, 2008

If you are looking for a beachy atmosphere in an unspoiled environment, you'll love Bananarama. We felt like we were in an enchanted forest the whole time! It's as charming as it gets, and the place just makes you feel like all your cares are gone. From the minute you arrive, everybody there makes you feel like family. The ladies in the office saw me come in to register, and immediately started calling me by name. Talk about personal attention!

Other resorts may have a highly "touristy" feel, but they don't have the comfortable feel and atmosphere of the Bananarama. One day we paid $10 to use the pool at the Mayan Princess, but even though we enjoyed it, we kept saying that we were glad to be at Banarama instead of there---it was nice to go "home" at the end of the day.

The owners of Bananarama treat you like you're the only guests there. Louis even told me, "If you need anything after 10pm, when the office closes, just come knock on my door." I've never had any other hotel owner tell me that, and especially as he was actually pointing out his house. It made us feel safe and well cared for.

Their office staff also functions as a concierge, so any phone calls you need done, such as for island attractions or about your flights or whatever, just ask. Unbelievably helpful and accommodating.

Bananarama is what might be called a "happening" place. They have a Mariarchi band at night---at least they did during "Semana Santa" (a big holiday week, the week before Easter). They seem to have something for everyone. They also have free kayaking for their guests, and they give you a coupon for a free drink at the bar. We rented a DVD player for $5 for the week and paid $5 for the use of the safe for a week too. Extremely reasonable.

Every morning I got up early and sat at the tables by the sea. As if by magic, suddenly about 6 men would appear and start raking the sand. They raked the whole area to ready it for the day, so the area was always perfectly clean.

There is a little restaurant behind the bar where you can order food during the day and eat it at the tables on the beach. That restaurant was one of only two restaurants that we actually liked in West Bay (the other was the Pizzeria one block to the west). Their local food is just US$7.00 a plate, which is a bargain for Roatan, and it's wonderful if you like a Caribbean taste. Their other menu items are also wonderful, but we especially liked the island food.

We took other folks' advice and applied mosquito spray daily with the magic ingredient Deet---it worked. We also used the outdoor foot tubs Banarama provides, to keep sand out of the room.

We're all seasoned travelers, including to beaches all over the world. None of us will ever forget our fantastic and relaxing experience in Roatan, made all the more mesmerizing because of the Bananarama!

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank TwinMomAlabama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (236)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
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  • Any
English first
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2008

I chose Bananarama after reading so many wonderful reviews on Trip Advisor. I had challenges: a place that could reasonably accomodate me and my 2 adult children, requiring 3 separate sleeping spaces; a place that could suit the most avid scuba diver while offering myriad attractions for the non-diver; access to a beautiful beach, and perhaps the most amazing snorkeling setting I've ever seen (if you like vibrant coral reefs, and a setting where black iguanas sun themselves on the nearby rocks). For only $105 (including extra person charge) I got a lovely Garden King Suite which gave me a separate king bedroom, my daughter a cozy and semi-private loft with a queen bed, and my ever-game son, who has a great deal of experience crashing on couches, a comfortable futon in the small "living" room. Outside of renting a 3-bedroom house for some multiple of the price, it was a very comfortable and suitable arrangement. After all, the real action was outdoors, the best parts of which (arguably, in all of Roatan) are a few feet away, without shoes.

In Bananarama all of our wishes were met, but the real bonus was the genuinely friendly and helpful people there. Jaime and Louis make you quickly feel one of the family, and go out of their way to make things perfect for you. The staff are quick with smiles to greet you, and were so kind to us. One person sought out a dentist for my daughter, and personally went to make an emergency appointment for her (essential, since the dentist spoke no English!). Their transportation staff led by Omar, Reuben and others, were good drivers, and often waited for us or would meet us later at our convenience. You don't want to rent a car here, you can get everywhere easily and safely with a little help from these folks. We took an island tour with Reuben, who introduced us to the local life and traditions, including a great boatride through the mangrove forests, it was a memorable day. The dive operation, with Mal, Sofia, Martin, Danny and others, is an efficient, safe and totally organized and equipped outfit. My son took his Open Water Cert course with Sofia and emerged a confident, well-trained diver at a very reasonable price ($325). My daughter did a discover dive day which she enjoyed very much, and I went out every day for 2 tanks to some fabulous spots. The diving was most memorable for the pristine quality of the corals, and the clear water. All the sites were minutes away by boat, and the crew found the best sites under every condition... we would move from day to day to avoid wind and currents. The diving conditions were among the best I've experienced, and I've been in Fiji, Hawaii, Cozumel, Bahamas... this is indeed a beautiful spot.

There are a lot of bigger resorts near by, with pools, indoor sit-down restaurants, etc. If you want to feel like you could be anywhere, you might be happier staying there. At Bananarama, we knew we were in a place where simplicity, framed by the natural elements of the landscape, was the objective. It was truly a place where we could all relax, move at our own pace, and do as little or as much as we each wanted. We did the zip-lines just up the hill at Gumbalima, a really fun and thoroughly safe outing with 2 guides leading us down to the nature park with wonderful white faced monkeys and brilliant macaws. In daylight, take a nice stroll across beaches and rocks or a short water taxi ride to West End, the more populated but charming village that offers good shopping and dining options. Closer to Bananarama, walk up the road away from the beach to a small newer mini-mall development. Cool Beans is a great spot to get your espresso fix, with New Yorker sisters Nancy and Donna serving the java and the local buzz. The little deli nearby made us a wonderful lunch, one of the best meals we had during our week. The food hereabouts in general is okay, not really noteworthy. An exception, in French Harbour, was Romeo's, where we had lunch during our day out with Reuben. Bananarama's food is about as good as any in the area, breakfast is included and was always promptly available. I especially appreciated that they serve an "early" shift to accomodate morning divers. Lunch was good also, and the daily specials definitely worth checking out. The bar is always lively, and maybe it's the setting but I've never had a strawberry margarita quite as delicious or gravity-defying as the one I sampled there (the frozen drink was truly twice the size of the glass holding it... quick before it melts).

I can't say enough good things about Bananarama... the place, the setting, the people... it was truly a perfect family vacation.

  • Liked — The setting among trees and flowers, near a beautiful beach.
  • Disliked — Some power disruptions to the area, not just the hotel, especially at the beginning of trip.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank CeeattleChris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lewes, Delaware
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2008

We recently stayed at Bananarama and had an overall positive experience. The setting is beautiful, we were fortunate in having great weather (except the day we left, it was windy and rainy...not a bad day to leave!) and the staff went out of their way to make sure that our stay was pleasant. The few minor issues that we had were quickly resolved to our satisfaction.

The Thirsty Turtle restaurant/bar on the property served good food. The burgers, the ceviche, and the boneless Buffalo wings, and the Cobb Salad were favorites. The island has an issue with deliveries...they are at the mercy of their suppliers, so some days some items were not available. Oh, well, have another Barena and choose something else! No problem. The electricity was frequently out as well, but the property's generator kept the lights on, though it was loud (can't help that). We hope that Roatan has plans to upgrade its ancient electric plant.

The rooms are charmingly rustic, with a safe, refrigerator, coffee maker, warm water for showers, and a comfortable bed. We spent a lot of time on our deck in the mornings and evenings and it was very convenient to the beach. The TV was out most of the time and the remote did not operate properly, but except for wanting to see who won the March 4 primaries, we didn't care to watch TV anyway. We certainly had value for our money. Where else can you stay in the Caribbean in view of the water for less than $100/night including a tasty breakfast?

The property does cater to cruise shippers and a few days we had to share our paradise with the cruisers. We had a separate part of the beach and a few days we just found other things to do. It was kind of entertaining watching everyone and they don't stay more than a few hours.

Snorkeling is a short walk to the left at the end of the beach. It was pretty good, saw lots of fish and a school of squid and some corals. None of us dove, but it looked like the dive shop was busy.

The owners of the property have obviously put a lot of work into it and have plans for a lot more. They've done a nice job so far and we wish them well.

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank DelDenise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Idaho
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 9, 2008

Everyone needs to meet Edgar. He is a master. If you've never had a massage, you need to try one. Everyone at Bananarama, and on the whole Island are so nice and helpful. Very friendly people. Had a wonderful time. Lots to do and see. Children would have a blast. Very beautiful and relaxing. J.Polito, Idaho

Stayed January 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank idaplaygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
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.
Maryland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
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
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • 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
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.
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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
#3 Family Hotel in West Bay
#3 Top resorts Hotel in West Bay
#4 Romantic Hotel in West Bay
#4 On the Beach 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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