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“December dive trip”
Review of Utila Lodge

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Utila Lodge
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Utila
Certificate of Excellence
Hayward, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“December dive trip”
Reviewed 28 December 2013

I re-visted a dive lodge this month. The service was excellent. Coffee delivered to your room to enjoy before breakfast. The boat captain and dive masters are caring and efficient. The assistance before the 3 daily dives and also as you get into the boat was above and beyond excellent customer service. I would recommend the Lodge for anyone that wants to dive and be treated to excellent customer service.

Room Tip: If you travel with dive buddy that has limitations, the lodge will assist with any issue. Their lev...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DemonSeedTravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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143 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Camrose
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2013

This was the 3rd time I have stayed at Utila Lodge my previous reviews are from Nov 2012 and Feb 2013. When I emailed the Lodge to see if they had room for me they emailed back (Yes we do. is Gayle coming with you this time?). I emailed back that she had used all her holidays so wouldn't make this trip. Alice Hill emailed back tell Gayle not to worry we will look after you and they certainly did. My room was clean and comfortable, all the staff are friendly, polite and helpful feels almost like going home for me. The weather turned rough at the end of the trip and I missed the last 2 dives, Willie chatted with Gayle on Facebook concerned that I had missed them that makes 2 dives missed out of 114 scheduled in the 3 visits. I dove with Willie and Albert this trip and can only agree with the good things that everyone else says about them. Seth the other Captain always stopped to chat when he was around and asked about Gayle.
Gayle and I are going back to the Lodge in Feb 2014 for another 2 weeks this makes more visits there than anywhere else we have been, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia and quite a few other places in the Caribbean. Thanks Kisty, Alice, Rebecca and all the great staff see you soon

Room Tip: I have enjoyed the 3 different rooms and the screened in balconies the top floor offers a little mor...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 1wandererCamrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Massachusetts
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 December 2013

This is my third rewrite of this review. Trying to get the balance right is a tough job because, to be honest, I am not sure that Utila Lodge knows it's own identity. It's managed to capture the google searches and comes up first, has a nice video and to be straightforward it markets itself very well. Unfortunately it does not live up to the hype.

Let's just start out with a clarification. This is not a terrible review. You read the reviews and get zeros or fives in most cases. Loved it or hated it. This is more of a 'was a bit confused by it' two and a half.

OK. Lets start with the good, well, the great. The Dive Master and Boat Captain (Willie and Albert) were fantastic. These guys are, for the divers the face of the hotel. We spent most of out time with them and they need to be great representatives - they are. Albert was very attentive, paid a lot of attention to the details and was always very helpful. Willie was the Dive Master and was knowledgeable about the sites, the fish the conditions - everything he should have known he did. He was also always willing to hang around and help with fish identifications etc. If there are two good things about the lodge they are Willie and Albert.

Other great things was the friendliness of most of the staff. They tried to be helpful whenever there was any question that we had. They were cheerful and, even with my mastery of the Spanish language (two beers please!) they managed to help.

Then we start to go a little downhill unfortunately. I am trying to be constructive but also as honest as possible and I have to say the food was not a selling point for the lodge. For me, a complete omnivore except for peppers (the devils food!) they did a reasonable job and were very helpful in providing dishes without peppers in them. Yes, I ended up with little dishes marked with my name with the menu item without peppers. This was indicative of the helpfulness I mentioned. I just wish the quality had been higher.

Unfortunately when it came to my wife - a vegetarian - things were not so good. It was so hit and miss, one day they'd make here a veggie soup and a veggie choice and then the next day her meal would be the vegetables that happened to be on the menu. Now, to me mashed potatoes and corn is not a proper meal. Nor is a baked potato and some rice. Thanksgiving dinner for my wife was mashed potatoes and corn - needles to say we ate at another restaurant. They lose a lot of points on the food which is quite sad.

The accommodation is er......um......basic. It's not terrible but it is a lot more basic then the video impressions would lead you to believe. At the end of week one my wife was looking at flights home and wanting to cut the vacation off. This was a combination of the food, the accommodation and, to be honest the sand flies. If you read that the sand flies are bad then believe it. Tiny little buggers with big pointy teeth! They can leave your legs looking like a disaster area if you don't take appropriate precautions. The best precaution would be to take a small thermo-nuclear device with you - either that or 100% Deet and some baby oil. his is not the lodges issue of course.

So, here, finally is the source of my confusion and I believe Utila Lodges. I am not sure they know what the audience is. It is too expensive for the casual back packer, in fact for the area it seems pretty pricey but it is not much above camping to be frank and therefore misses the higher end market. The lodge is in desperate need of some tender loving care. It's all brown - monotone and a little depressing. The boats are in need of the same level of attention and that is not an area you can gamble with but they do seem to. We had two out of three boats break down while we were on them and that's a symptom of the problem, not the problem itself.

I'd like to see them invest and bring the place up to scratch. Target a higher end market maybe and provide the service level that caters to that market. Make the rooms inviting, kill the roaches and give some choices at meal times - not just one thing like it or not. Maybe even re-cover the pool table if you really want to go to town.

We probably will not be back. It's had a few too many flaws for us but I see a lot of potential in the place if they want to improve it.

On the 'scores' Room service was the wake up with coffee which was very nice, Service is so high because of the diving and I'll give most everything else a C-

Finally - we had a big storm come in while we were there. For four or five days we had torrential rain and high winds. Everyone was very helpful during this time and we thank them for that. I do not think it would be fair to base a review on exceptional weather conditions so I have ignored that. To be fair and balanced I have also ignored the bread pudding and sticky buns which were exceptional.

Room Tip: We only saw our room so I cannot comment but upstairs may be better if you do get bad weather as the...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank apache1048
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Collinsville, Illinois
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2013

Wonderful facilities. Miss Kistie should be proud of her staff, they really take care of you and make you feel welcome. Food great, diving great. DM was Willie, outstanding. Rooms, I loved the lodge feel. Made use of the hammocks a few times in between dives. Even though we missed the whale sharks, it was fun at night to watch the 10 "ten" white spotted eagle rays trolling back and forth along the dock and the sun deck. We couldn't believe our eyes. Needless to say that after dinner each night we were out there watching them.

Room Tip: All rooms are great.....no room service or pool....but the ocean swimming was fine with me. Easy la...
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JudyAlvarez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michigan-USA
Level Contributor
38 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 October 2013

Here are the "bullet points" you need to know:
- Great Staff (Willie, Seth on the boat are simply the best!, Rotha, Angie and the kitchen crew will make your omelettes and dinner appropriate for a diver's diet, Francis, Shanette, and office staff make every request (big or small) a priority. A special thanks also to Alice and Rebecca for making the week excellent!
- Great Diving (Swim-thru, walls, slopes, flats), (Creatures large and small, from Whale Sharks and Eagle Rays to Sea Horses and Lined Soles) From the strange (Manta Shrimp), to the downright ugly (Frog fish) you'll find things interesting on every dive (I did 20 in the week)
- Comfortable accommodations (Bed was right firmness, pillows were soft, blankets were adequate, A/C was perfect)
- Comforts (Fresh water in room each evening , sans ice as requested, Hot water for my tea delivered each morning promptly at 6AM, fresh local flowers were placed on bed, towels, and bathroom for arrival, complimentary bottle of wine in room. Plenty of ice cold beverages in the bar area served up by "Queenie", maker of a delicious Pina Colada)
- Flights to the island and return to Roatan were on-time and a pleasant 15 minute journey by Team Air Ruiz.

There's not much more you could ask for in a dive vacation.

Thanks to everyone at Utila Lodge for a relaxing dive vacation!

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Larry-n-Lorie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bayside, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 October 2013

Great Dive Lodge...it has a hyperbaric chamber at the resort, and shares the dive facility with the BICD (Bay Islands College of Diving). A nice bunch of guys & gals from all over the world work at or learn at this facility...a good education from beginner to Dive master +.
Rooms were clean and comfortable, the AC worked fine.
Dive Master Willie "Macro Willie" as I like to call him, can find a needle in a haystack! He is conscious and attentive to all divers. Most all the pics posted are of fish/creatures he pointed out.
Captain Albert kept the boat steady and helped prepare us for all 16 dives. He also is an accomplished dive master with 6500+ dives.
Water temp was mostly 84-86 degrees...I didn't wear a wet suit after the first day of diving.
Sea's were calm...only 1 day was current a minor issue.
Manager Alice Hill is always on site supervising and tending to the her guests. She even took the time out of her busy day to give us an educational tour of the area! She saw to it that we sampled the local" Bread Fruit". She made us feel at home!!!
Staff were very friendly, always service with a smile...especially Queen Ann.
My only issue is that the Internet speed could have been faster...but I still had no problems reading emails or SKYPEing home!

The Whale Shakes eluded us on this trip, but on my next trip back, I plan to see a bunch.

Room Tip: Room B & D are best for internet connection! However, still not the best.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rob B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
Reviewed 28 September 2013

We stayed at the lodge during the main part of our diving courses. We received a discount on a wonderful room which was great. All the staff at the BICD are fantastic, professional, fun & helpful. Sadly this can't be said about the staff at the Utila Lodge. The place is nice & clean, but the staff are unhelpful & rude, especially the manager. There seemed to be alot of miss communication between BICD & The Lodge & one specific miss communication cost us $40 & we weren't given any sort of acknowledgment of this mistake on their behalf. However I can't stress enough how great BICD is. The food at the lodge, (we only ate from the bar menu) was absolutely terrible & different from what the menu stated when it came out. When we advised of this it all seemed to much effort to sort.
I would highly recommend the BICD for diving, and the lodge rooms are great as is the lodge area, wifi & a lovely positioned dock for swimming off & sun bathing. My experience was only tainted slightly by the staff there seeming apathy about any custom.

  • Stayed September 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank UKtraveler1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Utila Lodge

Property: Utila Lodge
Address: Main Street, Utila IB3103, Honduras
Region: Honduras > Bay Islands > Utila
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Utila
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Paradise as it was intended! Set out over the turquoise Caribbean waters in the calm Utila Bay, surrounded by spectacular coral reefs, Utila Lodge is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway or adventure vacation. Let us greet you with personalized service and five star hospitality! Come and experience the casual charm of this family owned and operated resort. Purchased in 1993 by Jim and Kisty Engel, Utila Lodge has been transformed into the warm and welcoming haven that it is today. Call 1-855-UGO-DIVE (846-3483) for more details! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Utila Hotel Utila

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