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“Great & quiet alternative of the beaten path”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Marble Hill Farms

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Marble Hill Farms
Guatemala City, Guatemala
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great & quiet alternative of the beaten path”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 March 2014

I did the Advanced Open Diver Course there (1 week).
Had a great time and can strongly recommend it!!!

Pros:
- Restaurant Crow`s nest: delicious and inexpensive, nice view. The fish soup got me!!!!
- Diving: fantastic instructor (Nico, French). Patient, thorough, exacting. Liked it a lot. Precise briefing before and afterwards. Some spectacular landscape underwater (cañon) and no other divers around.
Fish could have been more, but Nico found them all and pointed them out
- Staff: manager Marek really does go the extra mile to make it happen for you.
- Accomodation custom-tailored to your needs: from very moderate (dorm/single) to nice huts
- Breakfast served on a beautiful terrace overlooking the garden and the ocean
Site: a huge area with only very little residents. Nice and quiet
- Nice and almost pristine beaches not too far away
- Fabulous day excursion/dive trip to little island and mangroves

Cons:
- a little remote, so better bring whatever you need. Shopping is a little tricky, albeit Marek will get it for you
- no sandy beach, but a beautiful boat house to start swimming or diving.

Summary:
the perfect retreat to get away from the crowd, the beaten track and relax and dive and swim.
Did a day trip to West Bay where I was before and was just overpowered by the thousands of people there. So glad to come back to Marble Hill Farms.

Can strongly recommend it, had a wonderful time!

Peter

Room Tip: Simply depends on your wallet. Doorms have a nice breath at night. Shared bathroom around the corner...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Peter E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Rochester, NY
Level Contributor
58 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 March 2014

Just landed back in the snow after a week with Marek, Nico, Edward and Cuba. What a pleasure. These folks love what they do and take you in. Marek was incredible. With Jana back home having their daughter, he ran it all - smoothly but not effortlessly. What a worker.
This is not the West End with the restaurants, canopy tours, porpoise swims, cruise ships and bars. This is a destination - and well worth the drive past Oak Ridge where the pavement ends. Your rental Hyundai Eon will get you there just fine in first and second (and sometimes third!). An upgrade to something heftier will give you confidence but not speed.
Shorts, T's and flops. Leave the rest at home. All the snorkel and dive gear is there and on the boat ready for you each morning. Your dives will be just you and your guides and only minutes from the dock. All the other divers are down in the West End.
My wife and I had not dived in 10 years and Nico was professionally caring and instructive and each dive was more challenging. Just like riding a bike - it all came back. A (new) friend took the Advanced Open Water course with Nico and enjoyed it greatly. This is an exceptional place to train if you are not yet certified or wish to advance. Edward is the local with the most dive experience but content to captain or guide as the need demands. Most all our dives were just the two of us with either Nico, Marek or Edward to guide. They limit the boat to 10 but only our all day trip to Pigeon Cay had 8 with 6 divers and two snorkelers. There is a patch of coral near the dock and worth the snorkel with plenty of lobsters, fish, moray eel and supposedly a turtle though not present for us. It looked like one could kayak out to the reef about 300 yards out but we were content to read, nap, eat, drink and hang out during the breaks.
On assurance that I was a windsurfer, Marek offered the house's (limited) equipment. The wind enticed several attempts but not strong enough to lift my aging bulk for a water-start. Edward and Nico were all over me to help rig.
Kayaks are on the dock ready to go. The ski boat was gone for repair but seemed superfluous. I might have skied on the one calm day just to show these young guys how its done.
Marble Hill Farms only accommodates about a dozen guests on 26 acres. We preferred the Casitas to the tree houses. (Casita #3 is the best but all are pretty comparable). The Casitas are huge. It was explained that the place was designed as a kids summer camp that never took off. These are bunkhouses with a bed on one side and a living room on the other. Walking past, another seemed like it had two bedrooms. #3 has the kitchen and dining area down a flight of stairs in a screened porch and a small empty indoor pool! Wha? Couldn't explain that one.
They mention kite surfing on the website but I was disappointed that it was not on-site. Windsurfing and kite surfing apparently can be arranged 15 minutes further down the road at Paya Bay but I lacked the energy to relocate.
The Crow's Nest Restaurant is the best (and, admittedly the only) choice (unless you wish to cook for yourself - see below). Otherwise, it would mean a dark drive down a rough road home. Cuba runs a great operation. Great but not fancy. The fish soup is the best - my friends all raved about it (along with the other fish dishes) but I am not a fish guy. It is on the expat weekly circuit which says a lot about the quality and, I'd guess, impacts the menu. This is a hard-partying group and easy and fun to engage. My favorite - the Philly Cheese Steak. It ain't Pat's but this is the Caribbean and as good in its special way.
Each of the Casitas have a kitchen with table and chairs. The tree houses are essentially one standard size yurt-type room with kitchenettes. To provision, stop at Eldon's on the road to French Harbor but the road sign to the town is behind a tree coming from the airport. Turn around after you leave town and you will see it on the way back. It is nice to have a few beers or the makings of some Gin and Tonic's for sunsets out on the dock above the dive shop.
We took several road trips further east and had a fun trip to La Sirena for lunch at Camp Bay and another for a hike in the National Park. There is no real beach at MHF. Sunbathing is done on the deck. The Camp Bay public beach (about 15 minutes in second gear) is gorgeous and "not crowded". There were two other people on 1km of beach - but you have to know where the entrance down to the beach starts off the road. You get used to the road and the homemade speed humps. Other than the Canadian ex-pats, this is the local end of the island. It was a joy to see the umbrella shaded ladies going to church and the kids in uniforms going to and from school.
Safety. Don't worry. We read the report (on TA) of folks who thought to enjoy the entire island off of their cruise ship and were accosted at gunpoint on the road in their rental car. On our drive from the airport we were accordingly wary at first but got no sense of any such behavior. On all of our trips, everyone was friendly (including the ex-pats). Go slow and wave (and keep the dust down). Marble Hill has a guard on the grounds at all times that Marek said is really unnecessary - but he acknowledged, perhaps because he is known to be there. On the West End, the police are quite evident but likely only to keep the partying in check.
So, if you want to party with the cruise folks, go to the usual Caribbean entertainments and shop for souvenirs, the West End is a better choice. Now that I think of it, we declared nothing on our Customs form. There was not a souvenir available. If you want to dive and relax and feel a part of a lovely island, Marble Hill Farms is exceptional. There are not many places like this left.

Room Tip: See above. Casita #3.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Rochester_NY_Chris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
toronto
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 March 2014

Just back from Roatan, my wife & I dove 5 days with `TID` & thoroughly enjoyed our experience.
Highlight was the day at Morat Wall & Pigeon Cay.
Also did my Rescue Diver open water referral there with instructor Nico Cesaroni who was one of the best we have come across & we have `blown bubbles` in many different places.
Manager Marek & the staff made us most welcome.
Again many thanks, Phil & Patti.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank TorontoPjh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tilghman, Maryland
Level Contributor
457 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2014

We went with friends who have a place on the island to meet up with other retired people who live around the island at the restaurant here at MF. The food was good bar type food, filling, but not fine dining. It hit the spot and the beer was cold, which was fine with us. The farm is beautiful and the casitas look as if they would be peaceful places to retire to.
The day we were there was a Wednesday which is when the locals come and there was live music at 1:30 in the afternoon. Very nice.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Born_to_go61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hershey, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 February 2014

My wife and I stayed at MHF's for our honeymoon and loved every aspect this place had to offer. We stayed at one of the beautiful treehouses over looking the ocean. VERY rustic, and clean that offers an open air shower! If you are ok with maybe a few bugs every now and then we recommend staying at the treehouse. This is perfect for someone that likes to venture off and enjoys the rustic feel of accommodations and being surrounded by nature. We spent the better part of the week kayaking, touring east end, snorkeling, and of course relaxing. The last couple days of our trip we got certified by Marek, the instructor, and went diving. Marek was an excellent instructor, who provided us the best of the best in quality training.
Jana was also an excellent host, she made fantastic Honduras style breakfast every morning and took care of every other need that would arise. We ate dinner every night at the famous Crows Nest located on the property. Let's just say you will not be disappointed on whatever you choose for your meal option. All in all you will have a trip of a life time if choose to stay there. Jana and Marek treated us like family and made the experience that much more enjoyable!

Room Tip: "Bring repellent!" "Ask about Virgin Beach and La Sirena" ;)
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Dean E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 January 2014

Marble Hill Farms was an amazing find in Roatan. Having been to Roatan several times in previous years, we were looking specifically for a place to stay away from the crowds and "tourist" areas for this trip. Months of research led us to choose MHF, and WOW are we so very pleased that we did. It was like being dropped in the midst of a tropical paradise with the greatest staff and natural surroundings anyone could ask for.

First, I must say that we are outdoor/nature people. This is not a place for someone who is looking for the all-inclusive resort experience. The casita we stayed in (#3, one bedroom) was right near the shore with a lovely view and very comfortable - rustic, but had two roomy (hot) showers, a comfy bed and living room area. The kitchenette was sufficient for our needs - but we are used to camp and boat cooking with limited space and appliances. Marek even brought us our own little kettle grill so we could cook outside, which was above and beyond and very sweet!

The Place: We were welcomed at the airport by Marek, our host, who shared a lot of information about the island as we drove the hour to MHF. We asked a lot of questions, and he cheerfully filled us in on the area and what to expect. We stopped at Eldon's in French Harbour for supplies and continued to MHF. We pulled in, and what a gorgeous setting :) You truly feel secluded (in a GOOD way) and the smiles and welcoming of all the staff made us feel immediately at home.

Jana, the second half of the fantastic management team, welcomed us at the main house. All was in order, and they set us up in our casita, which as I said was just perfect and more than we had hoped for. Jana, by the way, was prompt and very helpful in communicating with us before the trip by email. She even handled our reservations while she herself was on vacation!!! Above and beyond, as was the norm for all things we experienced and Marble Hill. :)

Food: The restaurant (The Crow's Nest) was not only a lovely setting, but had excellent food and great staff. Good drinks, very healthy portions and absolutely delicious fresh everything! We even had lionfish and conch seviche the last night that was simply out of this world! Don't forget to taste the homemade jams, jellies, hot sauce and salsa they make on premises. Not to be missed along with fresh squeezed guava juice. YUMMY!

Staff: We had the luxury of being the only guests here for the majority of our stay. The staff, however, was always available and so very pleasant from Marek and Jana, to the maid Lily (who even cleaned the barbecue grill!!! again above and beyond!) to the smiling and courteous security guards. Edward, the boat pilot and dive instructor, was charming and very competent. We always felt safe and well taken care of.

Amenities: As I said, we chose MHF for it's location away from the touristy areas of Roatan. Our trip was to relax and enjoy the reef, snorkel and soak up the island beauty. We couldn't have chosen a more perfect spot for this. We enjoyed taking coffee or a drink down to the double decker dock located just a brief walk from our casita where an unobstructed view of the reef, the moon, sunrise or sunset was always available. Tropical Island Divers is the dive shop run by MHF, and we were fortunate indeed to have Marek as a guide on several dive excursions including our favorite to Pigeon Cay. Marek would take the divers down and advised us where the best snorkel areas were (he said we were the luckiest snorkelers...we saw lionfish, puffers, a sharp-tailed snake eel and tons of beautiful coral and reef fish). Marek was a really knowledgeable and fun guide, and knew right where to go and when so it wasn't crowded with other dive boats. We had use of a sea kayak which we paddled all over the area - there are many things to explore and see if you are interested in nature as we are.

We miss Jana and Marek's little slice of paradise, and encourage you to experience it for yourself. If you are looking for a tranquil, safe, home away from home in Roatan, this is the spot. We can't wait to go back SOON and are still eating delicious tropical jams and hot sauce we brought back wishing we were still sitting on the dock listening to the ocean and spotting little fish in the clear blue water and listening to the mockingbirds sing good morning.

Final note: Joe has been to Roatan several times, and this was my first trip. We visited West Bay one day during the week and that was where he had stayed in previous years. I can't tell you how GLAD I am that we did NOT stay in that tourist mess. Marble Hill Farms is the ONLY place we will stay in years to come.

We went in December right before the Christmas rush. It did rain for a bit almost every day, but nothing that deterred us from any outdoor activities. Weather was perfect - 85 during the day, 70s with a breeze at night.

Room Tip: Casita #3 was closest to the water, very romantic and plenty of space. Perfect for a couple. Very qu...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Mary E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
silver spring
Level Contributor
45 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 January 2014

We didn't stay at Marble Hill (we stayed at Lost Moose Lodge) -- but Martina at Lost Moose recommended that we dive with Marek at Tropical Island Divers, and we're delighted we did. We felt very safe, and he made a big effort to take us to dive sites that were way off the beaten path. Plus -- he's a super nice guy, and really puts you at ease. I'd love to dive with him again.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank silverspringlaurie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Marble Hill Farms

Property: Marble Hill Farms
Address: Diamond Rock | East end, Roatan IB3100, Honduras
Phone Number:
Region: Honduras > Bay Islands > Roatan
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 53 Speciality Lodging in Roatan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Marble Hill Farms 2.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Marble Hill Farms, a rustic eco-lodge, is a 26 acre property situated on the East end of the exotic island of Roatan, Honduras. A peaceful paradise awaits you in the tranquil gardens and startling blue Caribbean waters that encompass the pristine coral reef. Here you will find quiet stillness and natural beauty all around. The sights, sounds and scents of our tropical fruit gardens will be sure to cast their spell as you find yourself captivated by hummingbirds, iguanas and other island creatures that make their home at the farm. Marble Hill Farms is a place for those who are ready to get away from stress and step into a truly relaxing experience. Whether you are dining in the treetops at The Crow’s Nest, diving our playground of coral reef, flying on a kite board, or enjoying a swing in a hammock, you will find yourself leaving behind the frantic pace of your every day life and slowly catching the quiet rhythm of the island. Visit our Facebook page for updates and specials! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marble Hill Farms Hotel Roatan
Marble Hill Farms Roatan, Honduras - Bay Islands

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