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Reviewed May 29, 2013

I was at the resort for a wedding on the beach and absolutely loved it. After the wedding, we feasted on low-carb foods, including desserts. The atmosphere is relaxed-- it is Honduras, after all, and our host and hostess made us feel very welcome. I would definitely go back and stay longer than a day!!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank berta41098
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

The conditions at Bananarama are rustic - hot water is inconsistent, and the resort needs work. Overall the resort is just ok. Expect bugs and prepare accordingly. On days when they spray for mosquitoes it just forces them into the rooms (one night we stopped counting when we killed 40!). You'll also want to bring your own beach towels.

We stayed in the small studio room next to the Island Pearl restaurant. The location in the resort is great but the room is really small. Unpacking is not really possible as there isn't anywhere to put your things. The houses were very nice with full kitchens and nice rooms (only 1 bathroom) if you have more people but would be pretty big for just 1 couple.

Drinks and food are pretty expensive - close to what you would pay in the US - all the beach restaurants are about the same price. You can find better values if you look outside the resorts or if you bring/buy ingredients to prepare meals.

We met great people at this resort, and the dive shop is one of the best. The grounds are well maintained. You can get a beach umbrella for shade on the beach which I didn't see at any other resort, the sun is HOT so it was a nice option. However, on cruise ship days the beach gets pretty crowded and this resort actively solicits the "cruise ship day trippers". Look up the days in advance and plan to be away from the beach on cruise ship days.

Room Tip: Rooms near the main restaurant/bar are going to be really loud. The water quality and bugs were worse in the rooms at the back of the resort.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank WA_kometes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bananarama03, Owner at Bananarama Dive & Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 29, 2013

Thank you for staying with us! All of our rooms at Bananarama are wooden structure, with AC and a hammock out front. We agree that our vision of Roatan is not for everyone, but we are pretty laid back here so if anyone has a problem please let us know. We have over 100 staff members to accommodate our guests and our goal is for each guest to enjoy their stay here at Bananarama.

We have had problems since we switched over to the propane insta-hot units earlier this year. If anyone has a problem please notify us immediately as it is easy to fix. We are still working the kinks out of the system, but we are aiming for clean, comfortable and affordable on our accommodations.

The resort grounds are sprayed every week and the rooms are sprayed every week. If any guest has extra mosquitos or sand fleas that flew in through an open door or tagged along with you please let us know and we are happy to respray your room immediately... it only takes 2 minutes to spray and left empty for 30 minutes:)

I would encourage each guest to review the pictures on the website prior to booking. Our pictures are pretty accurate and we prefer that you get exactly what you are expecting when you arrive!

Many of the resorts up and down the beach are importing food from the US to feed guests. It is difficult purchase the food, pay for inspection, shipping, duties (taxes), transport and holding to turn around and sell the products at a cheaper price than the US... Its really hard to just get the price close to the US. I believe you get what you pay for here in Roatan and in life in general. My advice is to try other places, but be careful! Trust your instincts and remember that you are in a third world country where mom and pop shops cut a lot of corners which can lead to some pretty serious issues if your not careful. Here at the resort we do our very best to insure that your food and beverages are what you pay for:)

Thank you again for coming. I would encourage each guest to research and plan prior to booking your vacation. Roatan has a number of different accommodations and we hope you choose us, but more importantly we hope each visitor leaves Roatan happy with plans to visit us again soon.

Sincerely,
Louis

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

Found my way her via a cab off a cruise ship. Knew this was the part of the island we wanted to visit, and he dropped us off here ( him and a dozen other cabbies.. they obvlously have ties to this somehow )

That all being said, paid $10 per person to get in, enjoy the beach and it guaranteed i had a chaise to use while there all day.

Had some burgers and drinks. Food / Drinks were a good value. Server was over the top friendly. Beach was nice and clean. Water was excellent.

Only thing I would say that isn't a pure plus... the beach is buys and these small resorts dot the whole area... lots of choices. But, don't think you can go wrong with this one!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank rickkcir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

We stayed at Bananarama for spring break 2013. The choice was based on previous trips to Roatan when we enjoyed many drinks and good meals at the Thirsty Turtle that is part of Bananarama and the fact that this property is right on the beach in the middle of the best section of Roatan. We stayed in a garden room with a king bed and futon on the main level and a queen bed in the loft. The resort provided round trip transfers for a small charge that is well worth the price. The agent was waiting for us at the airport and we were off to the resort in no time.

The check in was fast and easy. The luggage was taken to our room for us and we found the room in a clean condition. The atmosphere of the resort is similar to a fishing resort in northern Minnesota. This resort is not a 5 star property and quite frankly, Honduras doesn’t have a lot of 5 star resorts. But if you are looking for a good accommodation right on the beach, then this is it. The beach is pristine with the pictures on Bananarama’s web site indicative but what you can’t see is how crystal clear the water is with visibility to 30 feet like looking in a swimming pool.

There is free wi-fi available throughout the resort. The rooms are air conditioned and the bed was very comfortable. There is a mini fridge and microwave oven provided. There is also large bottled water provided so it may be good to bring containers to fill to take water with you to the beach or on excursions. The bathroom was adequate with hot and cold running water. The room has a safe for valuables. There was a coffee maker in the room but you can also get coffee from the Thirsty Turtle during breakfast. There is no television available in the rooms but you can rent a tv with dvd player and dvd’s from the main office. We didn’t spend much time in the room so we didn’t miss tv at all. On the balcony in front of our room was a rocking chair, a love seat, and a hammock.

As we left the room to walk the short distance to the beach, we noticed a prominent presence of security guards throughout the property. This area of Roatan is relatively safe but it is reassuring to see a team of security for Bananarama. And the security staff does a good job of keeping beach peddlers from bothering you. We noticed security was present at all times – night and day – which in our minds is a huge plus for any resort on Roatan.

At the beach, there are an abundant number of beach chairs. This is the first resort that we have stayed at in years that you didn’t need to get up early and put books or clothes on beach chairs to save them. And there is a hard working fellow who will place the chairs exactly where you want them across the significant span of the beach that the property covers. The property isn’t packed with rooms so there is a nice park-like feeling to the grounds. The resort also provides free use of the kayaks and you can check them out at the same place the beach chairs are stored.

The restaurant and bar on the property is called the Thirsty Turtle. It is right on the beach. This is where the complimentary breakfast is served. The breakfast is a different choice each day and for those watching calories, there is also a fruit plate available. The juice of the morning is different each day as well and it is delicious! And there is a large percolator of yummy coffee on before they serve breakfast for the early riser.

During the day, the lunch items are many to choose from. There is an on-site pizza section too, Pizzarama, that has a Monday night 2 for one special. Locals travel to the Thirsty Turtle for the pizza. The fried plantains are very good and they have a hot sauce to put on them that really makes the flavor pop. They have a good menu selection and specials each day. The food is good, prices are very reasonable, and the portions are very generous. We ate most lunches here and 4 out of the 7 dinners at the Thirsty Turtle. You can add food and drink purchases to your room bill so that you don’t have to keep cash and credit cards on you, other than tip money. And if you want a sophisticated dining experience, the Vintage Pearl Restaurant is on site as well. They have a large wine selection.

The Thirsty Turtle has a special entertainment each night ranging from a live band to karaoke to movie night to crab races to fire dancers and more. There is a big screen tv behind the bar for watching sports events and giant size Jenga. Their bartenders make a great variety of drinks and cocktails. There’s a drink special every day and the best one is called a monkey lala. They make the best monkey lala’s on the island. This year they added a big wood burning fire pit and lighted it at night on the beach.

For those who scuba dive, they have a complete dive shop and do three boats in the morning and three in the afternoon with divemasters who know their stuff. If you prefer to snorkel, you can walk in right from the beach to the water and snorkel in very clear water. There is a reef about 50 yards off shore that breaks waves and provides a good habitat for coral and fish. Water taxis are abundant to take you to West Bay if you want to do a short excursion. Many of the water taxis are available just to the side of the Thirsty Turtle and the cost per person is about $5 US to West Bay.

The resort has a massage room that is up a flight of stairs. The room is enclosed but has open windows for a good breeze and you can hear the birds and the waves on the shore. There is also a desk in the same area to book parasailing if you want to try an activity with a great view of the island.

The beach is fine for running especially in the morning before it gets too hot. You can walk the beach day or night to get to a variety of restaurants and bars. If you walk after sunset, be sure to bring flashlights to see the anchor ropes in the dark. We felt reasonably safe walking the beach all the way from Infinity Bay to Los Rocas after dark.

The main walking distance attraction is Gumbalimba Park. Just head toward Los Rocas, continue through to the bridge that crosses the canal and you are there. You can either do a pass for the monkeys and birds or add on zip lining. The capuchin monkeys are adorable and very fun to play with. Gumbalimba also has about 15 stations for zip lining, a nice pool to swim in, and a vendor that rents snuba, clear bottom kayaks, and other water toys. Away from the resort and more than walking distance, others have tried the old mode of transportation and have gone horseback riding.

Favorite businesses within walking distance include Beacher’s Restaurant on the beach for coconut shrimp, and walking away from the beach inland one block is a mini mall with Javavine Café and Wine Bar like Starbucks (wifi available), a cool gift shop called So Tropic, an ATM, The Hungry Munkey for sub sandwiches and ice cream, Penelopes for classy items and Cashew Wine made on the island, and right across the street is the best part – Celeste’s Island Cuisine Restaurant and Serenity Day Spa. We will write separate trip reviews for those because they are destinations in themselves. Also on the walk between Celeste’s and Bananarama are two little local restaurants with great authentic Honduran food for cheap, a good Thai Noodle restaurant, and the land taxis are easy to catch by the mini mall.

All in all, Bananarama and the Thirsty Turtle are great choices and the location is the best on the island. You really don’t need a car. Everything is within easy walking distance except Gumbalimba, that is maybe ¾ mile away. Photo web site for pictures:
http://www.roatan.ws/bananarama/bananarama/
Bananarama is reasonably priced, convenient to great restaurants, and has its own restaurant and bar that is our main source of food and drink while vacationing in Roatan. The water is clear and the beach is clean. The staff at the resort are always doing mainteneance to keep the resort nice. We highly recommend Bananarama.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank ColoLoco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

I must have had too many glasses of wine when I originally decided I wanted to stay at a more rustic, low maintenance place for vacation this year versus the standard 5 star hotel. For someone who regularly travels with a 70lb suitcase, this was absolutely out of character for me.
I must say however that some of my best choices have always been made when drinking wine! So cheers to wine and cheers to the decision to stay at Bananarama! (Stayed March 2 – 10, 2013)

Since I have never stayed at such a rustic place, I had many questions about what our stay would be like and the staff replied to each of my emails very honestly and quickly. Since we had done the research on this resort…I knew what not to expect.
The website information is very accurate and in no way pretends to be a 5 star hotel so I wonder if the people who rated this place with negative reviews did such research.

We were picked up from the airport as scheduled and arrived to a super excited Danery in the front office who treated us as if she had known us forever.

I have a ton to say so I’ll try to make it as easy to read as possible:

ROOMS – not a hotel suite or penthouse so if that’s what you are wanting, you should stay somewhere else. It gives you a place to sleep, shower and change. The private garden cabanas were so stinkin’ cute and felt so secluded. Yes, one morning I didn’t have a ton of cold water for a shower but I survived thanks to the gallon of water in the room. It made for a good memory to laugh about later. It didn’t cause anything to ruin my vacation or complain about. The hammock’s rock! I always made sure to put it to use, even if it involved me falling off of it at the end of a fun night involving too many Tequila Sunrises!

STAFF– oh goodness! Everyone here is so extremely nice and happy all of the time. Special shout outs to Danery, (who was always full of fun energy) Alex (always pleasant, kind and helpful), Joanne (very sweet and when you experience an emergency like having a full bottle of wine with no ice bucket.. she will save your life) , Stephan (well gee, Bananarama should be happy to have him! He is just great) and the bar staff (super fun and friendly)! An extra special shout out to the security guards on the property as well! They were all so kind and pleasant and could be found walking the property all morning and evening. Although they seem intimidating with all those muscles and serious faces, once you started talking with them, they instantly showed you an instant kindness and interest in your stay.

FOOD – food? Was there food there? I was absolutely enjoying my vacation…probably too much so on a liquid diet that by the time it came to food I wouldn’t have know any better. Seriously, yes they could make some improvements on overall food and maybe have more of a selection for breakfast but like my parents always said, “If you are hungry you will eat it”. Don’t get me wrong, I ate and it satisfied me, but nothing wowed me about it. The pizza served as a great end of the night meal at the room after a fun day at the beach.

VINTAGE PEARL – shocking to see such a charming and elegant wine (yes I said WINE) bar and restaurant on the beach. We were told about the Sunday brunch and got to enjoy some yummy mimosas. Easy music playing in the background and it gave you a minute to escape the bar music and have some quiet time. We also got to enjoy dinner the evening before our departure and it was such an amazing way to end the vacation. Stephen was absolutely the best and the food was amazing. 3 course meal. There were tons of wine selections as well. We brought our own Pinot Grigio and paid a $15.00 corking fee which seemed fair and worth it considering the great overall experience.

BEACH – WOW! The beach is amazing! I don’t think I have seen a better beach! The water is crystal clear and simply amazing! Don’t let the talk of the cruise ships arriving discourage you in any way. I was concerned about it originally but they did not take over the beach in way that you were no longer able to enjoy it. The staff always put beach chairs down for us after breakfast for us to leave our towels on and secure them for the day. The snorkeling was the best to the left of Bananarama by the big rocks. You can walk in 10 feet and you already begin to enjoy the reefs. The lush surrounding along the beach made for a very secluded type experience. There is a ton to do along the beach as well. Try the walk along the beach to West End (approx 30 min). It makes for some quiet time and a good little adventure… but be sure to wear your shoes.

I absolutely loved Bananarama and I would certainly come back.
p.s. if possible be sure to see “West End Players”.. best band on the island!!!

Room Tip: Cabana # 5 was perfect for me! I was a bit concerned looking at the map but thankful we got this room! Its far enough from the bar and dive shop so the noise is next to none. It was the perfect location. The A/C in this room was amazing!
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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2  Thank cmarias73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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