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Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort
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Reviews (1,348)
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Reviewed 18 April 2012

My wife and I booked a day at this resort as our day excursion while our cruiseship stopped in Roatan. There are a few offerings but we booked the most basic one which was $30 per person and included transportation to/from the cruiseship terminal, a free cocktail and free use of their facilities for the day (I think for an additional $5 they give you snorkeling equipment for a couple of hours but we already had our own).

We got off the ship around 8:30am and the Banararama guy was waiting exactly where they had indicated in their email. We covered the drive in their mini-van in about 20 minutes and were among the first people to get to the resort. Since almost nobody was there yet, we had no problem finding a great spot in a more shady area. The beach is beautiful and the water....what can I say, it's the Caribbean water so it is magnificent. The snorkeling was fabulous especially if you go to the left (while facing the water) side of the beach: good variety of fish and the coral is also very pretty. They also rent lockers for $5 (a bit expensive but worth the piece of mind while both of us were snorkeling in our opinion).

I was assuming that the "free drink" would be a shortlist of the less desirable drinks on their drink menu but no, we were allowed to order whatever drink we wanted: my wife had a Mojito and and I had a Blue Lagoon at their Tiki Bar. They also had a musician playing Jamaican/reggae music, which contributed to the vacation mood.

A couple of things Bananarama could do better: 1) while the overall facilities (bar, resort, restaurant, beach front) are nice, the restrooms are a bit sub-par: not very clean and a bit stinky! Wouldn't hurt them to invest a little bit in this area! 2) the beach chairs are the plastic type and they do not have cushions on them. A little hard for the butts after a while... If they don't want to make this a part of their "beach packages", they should at least offer the options to rent lounge cushions for a dollar or two.

For $30, it is still a great value and we definitely enjoyed our day trip to Bananarama!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Melandre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bananarama03, General Manager at Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2012

Thank you for your review. We are glad you enjoyed the tasty and large list of drinks we have to offer. No skimping on the drinks at bananarama! We are happy you enjoyed your day trip to our hotel and hope that one day you will be able to return as a guest and leave as a friend as so many do.

Thank you
Cori-
General Manager

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Reviewed 18 April 2012

My husband and I just returned from a perfect vacation in Roatan! Not sure why everyone doesn't love this spot. The island itself is so green and clean. We have been to Mexico many times and were pleasantly surprised at how much nicer this island was. Arriving at Bananarama Resort we were greeted by Cori who did an amazing job all week making sure we were enjoying ourselves and had everything we needed. We were shown to our beachfront villa at the neighboring Island Pearl and immediately switched to vacation mode! The villa had a cute little kitchen equipped with microwave,fridge and even a bottled water jug that was replenished throughout the week. Comfy beds and hammocks awaited us. We immediately went over to the Thirsty Turtle,their bar and eating area and had our first of many bananalalas, and watched a beautiful sunset. Not once during the week did we feel the music was too loud at the bar. The food is simple here ,but yummy. The taco salad for lunch and the homemade pizza on Tuesday night, made in their pizza oven was delicious. As far as some complaining about the crowded beach area. Yes, it does get busy around 11am but its a great people watching day and you get your private,quiet beach back by 3pm so you can enjoy the sunset. Also the cruisers don't stop by every day. We were there during spring break and it was actually kind of fun being in the midst of it all (we are in our 50's and this didn't bother us!)Relaxing on the beach til the sun goes down is a must! The restaurant , the Vintage Pearl,has delicious food! We ate there many nights and once for lunch. The manager,Angela, was great! We were also able to walk over there and buy a bottle of wine whenever we needed one. They have an extensive,impressive wine list! A short walk down the road leads one to a grocery market and a killer coffee shop. We stocked up on cheese,crackers,coffee etc for the week. Every night there is something fun going on if you choose to participate,but if not we didn't feel it was too loud or distracting . We did not dive the week we were there, but this was still a great spot without that. We snorkeled the beautiful reef every day and swam in the warm,clear water. It was also wonderful just walking up and down the beach. It is truly a beautiful beach! Both Cori and Ricardo were very helpful and friendly all week. We felt like we were at home. We enjoyed this trip so much we are sending our daughter there for her honeymoon in November. We will also be making a return trip next year! Highly recommend this fantastic resort!! We miss it already. * * *I accidentally clicked on the pool rating...oops....there is no pool and they don't need one with the water right there;)

Room Tip: The villas at the Island Pearl are nice and roomy. Didn't see the other rooms but these are nice because they are right on the beach.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Terri R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bananarama03, General Manager at Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2012

Terri

Thank you for such a wonderful review!! We truly appreciate it. We look forward to having you and your family back again!

Cori-
General Manager

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Reviewed 16 April 2012

Booked with Bananarama before going on cruise and they picked us up at the Mahogany Bay port - Carnival's port (you have to walk out of the gated complex and walk over the hill to get to "other" taxi's and drivers (cheaper here)). Driver was courteous (good thing I knew Spanish though). He brought us to the other side of the island (if you port at the other location you will be closer) to Bananarama resort. It didn't look like much at first. Seemed small but beautiful and lush with lots of shade from trees, etc. The beach was not very big depth wise (it's a long beach but from Bananrama's bar area to the water was only about 35'). Lots of locals selling stuff on the beach but security was definitely in place. If you go, walk (when facing the water - to your left) around the bend and there is a great area right near the "land wall" where you can snorkel right off the beach. Bananarama's pizza was awesome and their drinks were very good too (water and ice are both filtered and safe). We were picked up for $30 per adult and $10 per child - adults got transportation, lounges, frozen cocktail, use of bathrooms, shower, etc. and the kids got transportation and a soda. Spent $110 for 5 of us - not bad!

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Charlotte B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bananarama03, General Manager at Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 April 2012

Thank you for chosing to spend your day with us at Bananarama. We are glad to hear you had a wonderful experience and hope to see you again one day as a guest of the hotel.

Thank you
Cori-
General Manager

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Reviewed 11 April 2012

The person who recommended this place to us neglected to mention that Banarama is the MAIN beach location for visiting cruisers. As in, it could not possibly get any busier, noisier, or more crowded on the beach on the whole island when ships come in, at least five days a weeks. The bar has music blaring all morning and into the evening, and the only place to get quiet is at the room. They do offer a shaded "guests only" area away from but in view of the beach, but it isn't quiet, you hear the bar music constantly. While I respect that Island economies depend on cruising, if you want a quiet resort chose another place like we will next time.

Pluses: the dive shop is most excellent. We have been to a lot of places, and by far these folks are the most professional group we've ever worked with. The house reef is excellent for snorkeling. It is very clean, with very good security. The staff is very friendly. We stayed in a upper level king cabana, which was vey nicely ventilated: no need to run the a/c at night.

Minuses: I mentioned the beach scene. Maybe it's my fault for not understanding that the West Bay is THE beach destination for cruisers. That alone is a deal breaker for a return visit. Breakfast for divers, included in the package, is served much later than we are used to, so there is no leisurely breakfast, enjoying the morning beach view with your coffee, before you are off for your first dive. The house restaurant is average at best, and does not serve ice tea. Our room, while very clean and with a good firm bed, had minimal storage. There was no desk, or shelving to organize personal gear.

All In all, if you are looking for a beachside vacation with a good dive shop and house reef, and you don't care about noise and crowds, you'll be fine.

Room Tip: The upper cabanas have nice ventilation and are more private.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Spokane223
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2012

We cut short our 3 day stay here as it was awful! It is totally overpriced compared to two other places we stayed in roatan and utila. There is a distinct feeling that they make enough money from the hoards of cruseshippers that pile in from 8am and take over the place including the beach, to care about the guests staying. On the positive side they do have an area behind the beach reserved for guests with loungers but your view will be hundreds of American cruisers on the beach. The room was ok, but small with no where to unpack your bags. It also had 2 single beds where other places we stayed had 2 doubles (we were two friends). The food was revolting, burgers, fried chicken etc. - though this didn't stop the cruisers tucking in at 8am (with some beers!). Our free breakfast was awful, the worst food by far we had eaten. The diving is meant to be good but over $10 more than elsewhere on the island. Avoid this place like the plague!

  • Stayed: April 2012
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2  Thank jodaLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bananarama03, Manager at Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2012

We first would like to mention this person came during Semana Santa week which is the busiest week of the whole year and would explain the feeling of there people a lot of people more than normal. We would recommend that she had came during a slower time like May through September. It is much quieter with 50% less crowds and just as sunny and beautiful.
West bay is the most beautiful beach in Roatan. Being so, yes there are many cruise shippers that will also try to make their way out here to see it for themselves. One of the ports closed this week and the cruise ships have slowed down dramatically and most likely will go to only one ship a week sometimes none at all. The hotel itself is private from the ships and we do not let people come to the back of the hotel where the cabanas are nor on the Island pearl side at all. The only place you will find cruise shippers is at the restaurant/bar it is open to public as well as the beach as it is also a PUBLIC beach. This is the same anywhere in West bay and in West End. Most of the days we encourage our divers to go diving and our non divers to take an island tour or go for an activity for that day to help. To help our guests we have all of this information clearly on our website.

The dive prices are the same as all the other shops around us. It could be possible it was cheaper at another place in West End for a reason. We are a 5 star PADI shop and have the most professional instructors you can find. You can't put a price on your safety and quality.

We also feel it was unfair to give the rating for the beds being twins not doubles as that was what you reserved. We have over 29 rooms in the hotel and the room you choose was the only room with two twin beds. All of the other rooms have a queen or Kind bed. If you wanted two queens or two doubles then all you had to do was reserve one of those rooms.

Yes if you want the backpacker style and the beach to be empty we recommend other sides of the island that are not as developed. There is a reason West Bay is busy and it is because it is the best location you can find in Roatan. The waters are crystal clear, amazing snorkeling with the reef only a couple yards away, and magical sunsets.

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