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“The Perfect Wedding”
Review of Island Pearl

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Island Pearl
Ranked #13 of 14 Hotels in West Bay
Houston, Texas
1 review
“The Perfect Wedding”
Reviewed 12 February 2011

My wife and I can't speak anymore highly about Island Pearl at Bananarama. We decided on a destination wedding and chose Island Pearl and their staff to host our wedding, and our 30 guests. The staff took great care and did an excellent job in set up of our sunset beach wedding. The Island Pearl restaurant was hands down the best reception dinner anyone has ever attended. The Steak and Lobster tail dinner plate was talked about for days after the reception. The staff at the restaurant never let a wine glass go empty and made sure everyone was satisfied.

Island pearl accommodations were great. Our villa had a huge porch with a view of the ocean and beach. It was cleaned and swept daily. The Bananarama side of the resort took great care of our guests. Again the staff that runs the resort goes above and beyond. There is no hotel in the USA that would even come close to the service and smiles that Bananarama puts on every day. Same goes for the dive staff at Bananarama. The dive shop is run by the most experienced and friendly staff on the island.

We can’t thank Guy, Louise and the entire staff enough. This is a great resort and they made our special day and week one, no one will forget.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Short003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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158 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Austin, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2011

We stayed from 1/22 to 1/29 and had an amazing trip. Everyone was extremely curteous and helpful. We stayed in the beachfront villa and everything was very clean and well kept. The beach was abolutely amazing and the hotel staff made sure the grounds were clean and raked every single morning. Our favorite part of the trip was a waitress named Carolina. She was so great and took the best care of us. No matter how busy from the daily cruise ships, she always made sure we were a priority as a hotel guest. She was an absolute pleasure to see every morning. We miss you Carolina! Love- Amanda, Jean, Ted and "Plantation"

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank amandakdupre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Geyserville
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2011

Location is unbeatable, service is excellant and the Dive Shop in our opinion is the best we have ever been with. We chose to go back again and have all our kids open water certified after my husband and I returned from our anniversary trip there. They put safety first, the most trusted and go out of their way to make our experience first rate. We both have been diving for years in the pacific and carribean but the dive sites around Roatan are spectacular. 'Hole in the Wall' and 'Mary's Place' we reccomend as top sites. The experience all three times has never been the same. The local people are friendly and the seafood is wonderful!

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank ljsdesign
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roatan, Honduras
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 January 2011

Just over all incredible,, bein travelling central america for a couple of week and arriving in a place like this just makes your tryp worth the hole husle,,. After some chiken buses, some bad hostels and so,, a good night sleep and good company makes it worth it,.,

thanks island pearl

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank elpichy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
24 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 2010

We stayed at Bananarama in February and decided to return to the island in December and stay at The Island Pearl. The two resorts are located side by side and are run by the same people. The difference in rooms between the two resorts is not that large. The Island Pearl has some larger options for rooms and is located beach side while most of the rooms at Bananarama are tucked back in what is referred to as a garden, but really they have a lovely jungle feel. What I enjoyed the most was the package deal I got for 10 days that included all our meals with 3 dinners at The Vintage Pearl which I think is the best food on the island. We love the staff there and have full faith in the dive shop and the divemasters. The diving is wonderful, small groups, lots to see and the beach alternates between busy days (when the cruise ships roll in which makes for EXCELLENT people watching) and serenely peaceful and quiet. And you can't beat the sunsets! They are truly AMAZING!

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank shoelu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alaska
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2010

As this is basically the same resort, I am posting this under both Bananarama and the Island Pearl (we actually stayed at the Island Pearl Studio).......

My girlfriend and I spent weeks trying to figure out where to stay and dive in Roatan before finally settling on Banarama/Island Pearl. It's a big leap of faith to plop down that much money sight unseen, but we left feeling like we'd totally lucked out by finding the best place on the island.

First, the location is unbeatable. Roatan simply doesn't have many beaches, and West Bay Beach is by far the best: a wide, mile-long crescent of white sand that is exactly what you'd hope for in the Carribean. West End, by contrast, is but a sliver of gray mud. Seriously, I can't overstate how nice it is to stay right on the nicest beach in town! For necessities, there is a small strip mall about 200 yards up the road from Banarama, offering an Italian deli and small convenience store. There ain't much, so I definitely recommend following others' advice and stopping by the main supermarket on your way into town from the airport for beer, snacks, and the like.

We stayed in the Island Pearl Studio, which doesn't seem to get mentioned much in many reviews. It was awesome. About one-third of the room is taken up by a beautifully tiled shower that could double as a swimming pool (if water ... especially hot water ... weren't such a precious commodity on Roatan). The room also included air conditioning capable of generating arctic conditions (though completely adjustable), a ceiling fan, microwave, medium-sized refrigerator, coffee maker and all the bottled water you care to drink, served from refillable five-gallon bottle (like an office water cooler). The bed was comfortable, and the housekeepers crafted a different sculpture out of a bath towel to leave on the bed each day ... very cute. They also left our room absolutely spotless each and every day, somehow eliminating every speck of sand and making the place look fresh and new.

The Studio is in the same building as the Island Pearl Restaurant, which worried us a bit before we arrived. The kitchen faces toward the Studio, but the two are separated by a breezeway and a privacy wall. The restaurant staff were exceedingly considerate, and as this is a fine dining restaurant noise was virtually nonexistent and they usually closed around 9 p.m., if not earlier. Honestly, it was hard to notice the restaurant existed given the spectacular beach sitting barely 20 paces outside our door.

Bottom line: the accommodations were great. This is not the Westin, but it is clean, quirky and full of character.

Even if the place was a dump (and it's anything but!), the staff would have made us want to come back year after year. Puma the bartender was a rockstar, even bringing us 4 bottles of Don Julio hot sauce from the supermarket when he saw we couldn't get enough of the stuff. All the bar staff were great ... and the Monkey Lala is the first foofoo drink ever to get me drunk. Well played, guys.

One of the main reasons we went to Roatan, of course, was the diving. I already had my certification and my girlfriend wanted to get hers. She signed up for the Open Water Diver course, and I chose 10 dives over five days. First, I honestly cannot imagine a better environment for a beginner diver. While I'm sure not everyone will have this experience, my girlfriend managed to be the only student that week and thus had one-on-one instruction with Martín, a longtime instructor originally from Argentina. While she was nervous about diving, Martín had a wonderfully calm demeanor that put her at ease throughout the week. He also adjusted the pace of her class until she was comfortable with each skill, and I was even able to use some of my dives to tag along with them, making her more comfortable and giving me the chance to refresh my skills with Martín. Halfway through the course, my girlfriend said she couldn't imagine learning to dive from anyone else, which I think says it all.

Along with fun, professional staff who honestly made safety a constant priority, we were very impressed with how Banarama's dive operations are run. We were never in a group larger than six people, and always had an instructor and divemaster along for the ride. The beauty of Roatan (and especially West Bay) is that some of the most outstanding coral reefs in the Caribbean are less than 300 yards offshore. That means the boat ride from beach to reef never took more than 10 minutes, allowing us to spend more time doing what we were there to do.

As for the other staff, the on-site owner (can't recall his name, but he's American) was awesome. You can tell he's glad to be there and share Roatan with guests. He also seems to treat the staff pretty well; they all same happy to be working there. I have to put in a plug for their maintenance man ... I never got his name, but he is a small gentleman who spoke very little English, but over the course of several nights we became friends with him. In an admittedly very touristic town, our conversations in my broken Spanish and his broken English were a nice break.

We're both very independent travelers, but Banarama honestly is where most people seem to congregate in West Bay ... so we ended up eating and drinking a lot right on the premises. While the (included) breakfast was never that great, it was kind of neat to tote it back to our room to enjoy on the porch before starting the day. The bar serves up some seriously great food, and the Island Pearl Restaurant is a nice splurge (though I have to admit the Rotisserie Chicken lady in West End had the best food of our entire trip, for a whopping $4).

A few other things we considered before our trip:

- Sand fleas (no problem here as long as we stayed on the beach in front of Bananarama, which is raked each night to kill the little buggers.

- Power outages (The power went off twice while we were on the island, but the hotel's backup generator kicked in within seconds. The studio, unlike other rooms, is located far from the generator and we never heard it running.)

- Cruise ships (While more boats are visiting Roatan each year, they're usually gone by 4 p.m. When they're in, the crowds on West Bay Beach can rival Miami. The hotel staff can tell you the cruise ship schedule, and those are great days to rent a moped, go for a hike, or borrow a free kayak from Bananarama.)

This is already a huge review, but really, we can't say enough about Bananarama. As we think about where in the world we want to go next, we keep saying how we should have spent two or three weeks there, instead of just one. You can be sure we'll be back!

  • Stayed February 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank ak_jorge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sterling, VA
Level Contributor
55 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 254 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 June 2010

We had a glorious week here in June 2010. I've written a detailed review & posted it under Bananarama, since it is all the same resort now. Posted lots of pictures of our Island Pearl villa #26 and the grounds, too.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank VATravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Island Pearl

Property: Island Pearl
Address: Carretera Pavimentada Principal, West Bay Beach, West Bay, Roatan, Honduras
Region: Honduras > Bay Islands > Roatan > West Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
#6 Family Hotel in West Bay
#7 Romantic Hotel in West Bay
#12 On the Beach Hotel in West Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Uncover a little known wonder in the Caribbean, where you can bask in near perfect weather steps from the silken sand. With intimate villas and a spacious owners villa, Island Pearl provides a serenity undiscovered in Roatan. Canopied by swaying palms, the beauty and intrigue of an Island Pearl visit has always drawn guests who are looking for something more. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Island Pearl West Bay
Island Pearl Hotel West Bay
Island Pearl Roatan, Honduras - West Bay

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