My wife and I, along with 18 others, just got back from a week stay at Fantasy Island.
Our first impression when driving up to the resort is that it needs a lot of TLC. The Fantasy Island Resort signs were worn, peeling and faded. The building where the gift shop is located has rotting soffiting, and the abandoned guard house is an eyesore.
Check-in was a breeze for us and we hiked over to our room. It was located past the dive operations and far from all the activities. This for us was a plus. We didn't have far to go to dive, and it was quiet around our rooms.
Our room -- Our room reeked of mold. The air conditioner didn't work consistently. Everything felt damp all the time. The shower water was rarely more then warm, sometimes cold, but on two days it was hot. On two separate days we had black water (literally) coming out of the shower head. It was a very fine dirt that came out for about 3 minutes each time. It was the first time I took a shower and came out dirtier then when I went in. The bed was comfortable, the lights worked (the ceiling fan did not), we had a room fridge stocked with a pitcher of cold water, and the maid was good. (As an aside, half of the other members in our group had to be moved from their rooms, some multiple times, because of problems with the rooms -- no water, leaking ceilings, bed problems, etc. )
Food -- In a word it was "sufficient". Neither stellar nor boring. It was mediocre. Some days were better then others, but most of the time the food was not great. To me it was not a big deal. I go on vacation to dive, and the food is usually a bonus
Drinks -- the bar was also o.k. I like to drink beer but their selection was not great. My wife likes mixed drinks as she was happy. They always had water and soda (diet soda was $1 extra) available.
Grounds -- the beach area and most of the guest areas were kept in very good shape. Trash and debris were swept up and cleaned up every morning (there was a lot of trash along the rocky areas that had washed ashore -- I am not sure why they never cleaned this up -- it is an eyesore). One of the things we did not like is that throughout the property there are signs of neglect. Light posts have rotted and fallen over. Electrical outlets with bare plugs laying on the ground. Signs knocked over or leaning askew. These things could be corrected in days and would give this place a polished, finished, cared for feeling.
Monkeys -- I don't find monkeys cute. I may be in the minority here, but I don't like them. The monkeys would steal pool balls, they stole clothing from our friend's balcony, and they would scatter trash around the beach. They would also run across the bar and steal from the bar. On more then one occasion they came in to the dining room and would run across the tables and through the food area. Some people found this amusing and delightful, I found it to be gross.
Service -- Now this is where the resort starts to really shine. For the most part the service was great. Even though quite a few of the staff didn't speak English, between their poor English and my poor Spanish, hand signals, and smiles, communication wasn't too difficult. I would give the service staff an A for all they did for us. Even the groundskeepers were very pleasant and friendly. The only complaint I have about anybody were some of the girls at the front desk. They were far from friendly and when we were checking out, they were not sending us off with a smile.
One last comment before we get to the diving. Almost every morning between 6 and 6:30AM, we were awakened by a worker spraying insecticide outside of our rooms. If you can imagine the sound of a leafblower waking you up, then in a few minutes the smell of insecticide coming in to your room. Also, we had a lot of our equipment and wet clothes out on the railings out front and all of it was sprayed with the insecticide. The poor guy spraying everything only had ear protection, no face mask.
Diving -- this is what the vacation was all about. Here is where we got our money's worth, and a lot more.
Boats -- they were clean, they worked, and we never had problems
Crew -- Amazing. We had Kevin as captain and Derry as DM. They did what ever they were asked to do. They helped make the diving great. These guys are an amazing asset to F.I. diving. The other boat also had great guys (according to our friends) and we were all very impressed with the service. Little things like fresh melons and pineapple between dives make a big difference.
Derry really impressed us with his ability to find seahorses. He found us turtles, eels, seahorses, toadfish, and even dolphins. He did not deliver on his promise to find us a manta ray, but we forgave him. Derry says the manta ray never received the text he sent......
The seas were fairly rough and some of our group had difficulty getting back on the boat. The ladder caused a few casualties during the week. Derry and the other DMs would stay in the water and help take divers' fins off if they were having problems in the water. This was stellar service.
My final comments would be that this place is a gem in the rough. If they would concentrate on fixing it up, it could be a classic vacation spot. We think they have too much going on, stretching limited resources, leaving too much unfinished. If you are coming here to dive, and you don't mind rooms and food that aren't great, this is the place to be. If you are coming here for the beach, the food, and the rooms, you'll be only 33% satisfied. Thanks again to a wonderful staff and a FANTASTIC dive operation.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Enjoy the best of the Caribbean at Fantasy Island Beach Resort, Dive and Marina! Our Roatan, Honduras resort is located on its own 21 acre private island. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fantasy Island Beach Hotel Roatan
- Fantasy Island Beach Roatan
- Fantasy Island Roatan