*im leaving this same review for island pearl since we technically stayed on both properties*
my husband and i had the pleasure of visiting roatan for the first time for 12 days at the end of may. it was an amazing vacation, and we can't wait to go back! we even survived the 7.1 earthquake the morning of our departure (by far one of the scariest moments of our lives) but would definitely go back in a heart beat given the opportunity! i have traveled pretty extensively and have never had the overwhelming feeling to return vacation in the same place more than once, being that there are so many other places in the world to see, but i could definitely see my husband and i returning to roatan again and again. this is for several reasons:
1. flights are cheap: we flew out of washington DCA and paid less than $350 for our flights, each. granted it was a LONG day of travel but well worth it. we plan to move back to tx where they have direct flight out of houston for reasonable prices. 2 hrs on a plane and you are in paradise? you can't beat that!
2. the beach is just amazing: especially on non-cruise days, you practically have the entire beach to yourself. the water is crystal clear. you can see all the way down at least 40ft. the reef is amazing. you can just swim or kayak right off the beach and see beautiful coral, fish, turtles, ect. the water is really calm and beautiful. the staff works really hard raking up seaweed and making sure that the beach has less sandfleas. free chairs are included in your stay. there is always shade available to put your chairs under when you've had enough of the sun.
3. the lodging is affordable: we originally stayed in one of the beachside rooms in bananarama but it was extremely noisy and luckily we got upgraded to an ocean front villa. they were running a special at the time that was $500/week (for the beachside room)? definitely worth the price for the best location in west end. right in front of the beast beach ever. the beach front cabana was clean. the kitchenette was useful because we stopped at the grocery store and bought some food and snacks to save money. the bathroom we large and spacious. my only complaint is that it is that there is no a/c in the bathroom. the shower is ventilated to the outside by windows all around it. (dont worry, no one can see you). so if you leave the bathroom door open to get a/c in the bathroom, its a good chance that mosquitoes will get in and that is a big problem. the bedroom upstairs, meant to be the master bedroom, never got cold enough even with its own a/c unit upstairs so we slept in the smaller room downstairs. you cant beat the location of bananarama/island pearl. we can't wait to go back! the staff is friendly. the included breakfast every morning we always served with a smile. which brings me to the rest of my long review.
Food: breakfast ranged from good to pretty good - a rotation of croissant sandwich, pancakes, french toast, baleadas, eggs, beans & fruit. coffee was available every morning as well as fresh squeezed fruit juice + lots of sugar. lots of dining choices are within walking distance or you can always take a water taxi into west end for more options. island pearl right on the property is probably the nicest and best restaurant in west bay. great food, fantastic atmosphere but price. $35/each for a 3 course meal. when we went it was pretty empty. i heard the price last year was $25/each and that would probably bring a lot more folks in. the ice cream shop on the property is also good and the thirty turtle offers drink specials daily.
Activities: kayaking is free. snorkling is not. i would recommend bringing your own snorkling gear as you can snorkle 3x a day if you wanted. we also did a discover scuba class and had a really good time. we meant to get our full certification but couldn't stay away from the beach for 3.5 days to get it done. maybe next time.
Bugs: yes, there are bugs. i got SEVERAL bites, mostly at dusk or dawn. sometimes at night in hour house. i constantly sprayed off but this just seemed to deter not prevent bites. after a few days i hardly noticed them. i expected to get bit going into this vacation - its a tropical, warm, humid place - of course there will be mosquitoes! i found that spraying our sheets at night and being really careful about keeping doors and windows shut helped a lot. i never got bit by sandfleas though. just mosquitoes.
weather: the weather was perfect except for the 1.5 days it rained while we were there. i checked to forecast before arriving and it called for rain every single day there so i thought that wasn't too bad. we entertained ourselves with books and monopoly.
entertainment: there is not much going on in west bay after 9pm. on sun nights i think the resort has fire dancers and a crab race. one day there was a pig roast (a friday or saturday). people hang out at the bar but it closes at 9:30pm. so if you are looking for a night life - this isn't it.
cruiseship days: we had several days of cruiseship people. i think they come wed - fri? i cant remember. for the most part its fine. the beach just gets crowded with more people. we staked out our spots early in the morning and just sat back and watched the entertainment. definitely more peddlers around on these days - they are eventually realize you aren't interested in what they are selling after the 4-5th time they ask. just tell them no, gracias and they keep it moving. they are not overly obnoxious like other peddlers i've experienced in parts of mexico and india. if you are in the resort only area of the beach, they don't bother you at all.
overall this was one of the best vacations we have ever taken. you can not beat the location. the beach is amazing. we can't wait to go back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located directly on West Bay Beach, our Roatan Eco Friendly Dive and Beach Front Resort is blessed with the turquoise waters of the Caribbean shaded under an amazing tropical canopy. We offer an island dream vacation for those who want to escape the stress of everyday life and relax Roatan style. We offer clean, comfortable and affordable rooms with a hammock on every porch and offer free breakfast, wifi, beach chairs, kayaks and smiles. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, TripOnline SA, Hotels.com, Priceline, Odigeo, Evoline ltd, Agoda, Cancelon and getaroom.com so you can book your Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Bananarama Beach And Dive Hotel West Bay
- Bananarama Dive Hotel
- Hotel Bananarama Dive
- Bananarama Beach And Dive Resort Roatan, Honduras - West Bay