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Villa On Dunbar Rock
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Guanaja
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 July 2013

EASY, BREEZY, UNFORGETTABLE!!!
The owners & staff of Dunbar Rock really know how to make people arrive as guests and leave as family! Everything we wanted to do, we did and with such smoothness! The diving and snorkeling was spectacular and worry-free! The nature/waterfall hikes were adventurous and breath-taking! I am anxious to return to the island and to bring my friends and family with me to share the amazing experiences I had!!

Room Tip: there is NO bad room in this place!!!!
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank April H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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89 - 95 of 100 reviews

Reviewed 13 July 2013

We sailed into Guanaja a few weeks ago...what a tropical paradise: rolling green hills, fresh water springs, and no roads. We anchored in the bay across from Dunbar Rock. As some friends were flying in to meet us, we reserved ourselves a couple of rooms on 'the rock'. We have sailed all over the world, and this is one of the most beautiful spots we have seen! Now understand, if you are looking for loud night life, go to Cancun. Being on the Rock is a lot like being on a boat, you're just not moving in the middle of the water. If you have teenagers who cannot do without their video games for more than a day, or you have a fast food habit, stay in middle America....There are some wonderful, quaint bars scattered around but you will want to spend your time on Dunbar's rooftop bar. Sit in a swing and watch the sunset while sipping a pina colada. Better, lay out under the stars at night on the roof. Amazing!! The food is basic and typical of Honduran fare. Were told that a new chef from the mainland is coming in the fall. There is construction going on down below the living and guest suites. An infinity pool with bar is going in but should be finished within a couple of months, we were told. All this will raise the price, so I am glad we got in with 'construction rates'. Denis took us out for fabulous dives--we were the only people I saw on all of the dives. We felt like family by the time we left. Here are the highlights:
Daniel taking us hiking to the waterfalls
Air conditioning
Gorgeous reef and marine life/great dive crew
Stargazing on the roof
Walk in showers
Balconies for each suite
Free wifi
AND--since we were on 'the rock', NO sand flies!
We have already planned a trip for next year.

Room Tip: We were told that many guest spend most of their time indoors. (??) Stay on the swings and sit out t...
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank sailingthew0rld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2013

Well, this was an interesting experience. There were some real highs and very disappointing lows to this trip and this location but I can’t say enough good things about Denis and the dive staff at Dunbar Rock. That makes ratings a little hard as their service (the dive staff) was superb and one of the housekeeping/kitchen staff was great. I almost just gave this a two but the dive staff and Evelyn rose well above the general attitudes and overall quality of the place, hence the three.

However, there are/were some issues. First of all, I was told by the broker, US Dive Travel, multiple times that the villa had just undergone a multi-million dollar renovation and was just incredible. It seems that “just undergone” means “just started,” in this case. The only concern USDT had was that the new pool might not quite be done but they were working hard to get it completed before we arrived. Let me put it this way, right now, Dunbar Rock is a construction site, plain and simple. If they ever complete what they’ve undertaken, it will truly be a fantastic place. But completion isn’t, from what we could see, in the near future. It’s definitely construction at Caribbean speed.

USDT did leave a message with my office that there was some unanticipated construction under way (they were there for a week before we arrived) literally 12 hours before our flights departed. They’d called my cell phone during their entire, paperwork-heavy process but, for some reason, opted not to do that with their cautionary call. I only note that as it seemed odd to me. Once there, their phones (and mine) were pretty much useless, so I had no real way to communicate with them other than email, which they couldn’t access.

The walkway from the dock is dangerously lined with rebar and there is construction debris everywhere. The place really does need work and it seems they’ve acknowledged that, but it was far from what was represented to me. The saving grace was that this was a guy’s trip that, annually, brings a group of us together in new and interesting dive locations. This truly fit the bill.

I’m not sure what the difference was in our food experience and what others have said here, but the food was, ummmmmm…not good. We even had two teenage boys with us who’ll eat virtually anything and they both stopped eating most of what was served. Soups from packets, overcooked seafood (when we got it), spaghetti with a hot dog cut up in it, frozen chicken fingers, what appeared to be catsup on white bread as sandwiches for an afternoon snack…you get the picture. Oh, and Tang. I haven’t had Tang since I was a kid but that’s what the breakfast drink was, every day. No fresh (or even frozen) juices—a first for me in the Caribbean. Brenda, the “cook,” didn’t crack a smile the entire week and we felt as if she found it a burden to have to cook for us. Emely, on the other hand, was a jewel and was always happy, smiling and willing to help in any way. Five stars for her. Oh, we did have fresh ceviche one day that was wonderful. It wasn't so good when it was made from frozen fish later on.

The rooms were fine but, like most everything there, can use a little work. Our door dragged so badly that, every time we opened it, people knew we were going in or out. There are a lot of little things like that that need to be addressed. An on-site manager of some kind would go a long way here. Denis is in charge of things but we kept him busy with diving-related duties all week and it’s hard to imagine he has time to supervise everything going on there.

Their boat fleet (two boats, it seems) is a challenge to keep running. Either the dive boat or the “speedboat” they use to deliver scuba cylinders to the dive boat as well as assorted other errands broke down every day…except for the last one. Denis did take a couple of us over to see the dive boat they’re having refitted and, if it ever gets done (sound familiar?), it’ll be an excellent boat. Right now, the motor is hanging from a pulley and there is no engine or steering controls…or anything else, for that matter. The hull looks just fine. Denis says that they’re getting another one just like it and don’t plan to take more than 10 divers per boat. If that’s the case, you’ll have more room to gear up and move around than I’ve ever seen on a dive boat.

Again, the dive staff did an excellent job. Denis and Chele were on virtually every dive with us and we were only nine divers, all pretty experienced. Denis took a couple of dives off but, when he did, Chele and Daniel accompanied us. That worked well because half of us are very slow movers, looking for little stuff, while the others preferred to move along and see more of the reef.

The reef is gorgeous. Enough said. That alone will make us want to return but, before we do, we’ll want assurances that all construction is complete, the new boat(s) is ready and the food has seen massive improvement.

Just to emphasize, one of the best dive staffs I've ever enjoyed. Give these guys good equipment and they'll be among the top in the industry.

  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled with friends
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6  Thank DVenturesMark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2013

I was a little worried I might get bored, but that wasnt the case! It was actuall quite nice not having the crowds and schedules to keep. Denis is a great divemaster and with Daniel the assistant divemaster and Chile the boatboy the dive trips were fantastic. The staff at the Villa were great as were the rooms. Brenda is a fantastic cook and they are very flexible about eating times, etc.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Barry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2012

Great diving
Fantastic Hospitality
Extremely impressive location
Simple but very tasty food
NOT for seekers of nightlife

4  Thank BSG100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2012

The Villa at Dunbar Rock is located on a Rock just off the South side of Guanaja Island, one of the Bay Islands off the coast of Hunduras. The villa is spectacular to see when one approaches the island. The manager Denis and his family are extremely hospitable and it is really true as stated in the website, that ``you come as a guest, but leave as a friend``. Denis and his very able and experienced dive crew take you out at your own schedule to some very beautiful dive places. The fish are not as abundant as in Micronesia, but certainly comparable to other Caribean destinations. The variety in underwater reefs is good and Denis knows exactly the right places to go for swim-throughs and tunnels and caves. The food is simple but very tasty, fresh fish every day. It does not have buffets and the choice one may find in big all-inclusive resorts. Blanca, denis`wife does her best to cook to the taste of the guests, so one could express preferences for food.

Since the Villa is located on the small Rock, there is no nightlife for easy access and people who are looking for exciting disco`s etc should not go here. This is really a place where one can relax, read a book and do two or three dives a day. Denis organizes a fantastic weekly program with some days two tanks in the morning and then return to the Villa and other days a picknick at the beach over lunch before a third tank in the afternoon. We went with three teenage kids and they all loved the place. Probably the bext way to fly in is through Roatan and then take a small island hopper. We flew into San Pedro Sula and then it requires two small hoppers through La Ceiba onto Guanaja. This was a bit cumbersome and I would probably do it different next time. We will certainly keep it on the list for a repeat holidays. It is really a spectacular place.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank BSG100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 June 2011

I stayed on Dunbar Rock with family. My niece, her husband, their two adult children, and my nephews sister and husband. We stayed for 7 glorious days. It is a Scuba and Snorkeling paradise. A Scuba Diving Certification course is offered at an extra charge. The Hotel can accommodate 5 couples very comfortably. Denis Midence, the manager, goes out of his way to do everything he can to make your vacation, business meeting or just an escape, the flight of imagination adventure you always dreamed of. How about swimming on your own private beach with your honey or family? The moon and stars are extra bright and would awake a writers imagination. Great place to unblock your mind! Wish my boss would of took me here for a business meeting! Being picked up at the airport by boat and meals are included in package. Can't wait to go back!

Room Tip: 2nd Level!
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Joyce-DiV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa On Dunbar Rock

Address: Sandy Bay | Sandy Bay, Bay Islands, Guanaja IB2101, Honduras
Region: Honduras > Bay Islands > Guanaja
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Guanaja
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Looking for something new and different in the Caribbean? Then it’s time to consider the Villa on Dunbar Rock, Winner of a 2016 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. Practically everything about this trip will deliver a unique experience to a destination that is closer than you think, yet still off the beaten path. Take the island of Guanaja. Of the three well-known Bay Islands, locals describe Guanaja as being what neighboring Roatan and Utila looked like some 35 years ago. The difference is obvious the minute your plane lands on the tarmac and you realize all of the passengers are being picked up by boat not by car. Good thing since there aren’t any roads leading to or from the airport! Then there’s the resort - a one-time private villa perched on a private cay with 360 view including Sandy Bay, mainland Guanaja and the island of Bonacca Town, the third world Venice that is home to the majority of the inhabitants of Guanaja. This unique resort blends beauty, serenity and something unidentifiably special in a laid-back, inviting atmosphere. The 15,000 square foot property is spread across 4 floors, complete with ten air-conditioned rooms, all with private bath and ocean front balconies. The common areas include a cozy living/dining area, 2 bars, private helicopter pad, infinity pool & indoor cardio room and a small beach area. What it doesn’t have, we are happy to say – are the sand fleas that plague many mainland and Bay Island locations. And of course, there’s the diving, the real reason you’ll want to go. Guanaja’s fringing reef is a protected marine reserve making it an ideal spot for diving and snorkeling nearly anywhere offshore the mainland. It offers a mixture of pinnacles, vertical walls, lava tunnels and wrecks including the nearby Jado Trader, one of the most sought-after wrecks in the Caribbean. Similar to the diving that made Roatan famous, except you’ll most likely have it all to yourself. Nearly all of the sites offer lively shallow terraces that are perfect for snorkelers joining the group. The resort has its own PADI/SSI dive center stocked with brand new rental equipment and three custom-designed dive boats. Diving the circumference of Dunbar Rock offers up some of the best shallow water shore diving imaginable. You'll find a mix of sand, turtle grass, concrete and natural boulders, coral heads, sea fans, squid, eels and a surprising large number of fish. Those of you who would otherwise disregard the idea of diving in 10' - 15' of water should think again when it comes to diving the parameter of our Rock. Experienced divers, adventure seekers and macro photographers all know that this is where you go to discover the weird and the wonderful! It's the kind of place a trained eye can find a 1/4 inch Heart Urchin Pea Crab, a gigantic Barracuda or the colorful Scarlet Striped Cleaner Shrimp. Unlimited tanks for diving this area are include in the dive packages, so be sure to give it a go on your next stay with us both during the day and as a dawn or night dive. Packages are available for seven night Saturday - Saturday stays including accommodations, all meals, and diving. If you define the perfect dive vacation as one including no crowds - except perhaps the one you bring with you….not having to dress for dinner, concierge dive service and a reef system you can practically call your own, it’s time to pack your bags and head to the Villa on Dunbar Rock. ... more   less 

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