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“A mixed bag”

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Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort
Ranked #5 of 14 Hotels in West Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 10 January 2012

Last week my wife and I checked into Bananarama, centrally located on West Bay beach. We stayed for a week in cabana #3 which is a free standing unit near the office and dive shop. The cabana is well built of solid wood and had no leaks or drafts. It is a small unit of approximately 12 x 15 ft featuring a FIRM double bed, plenty of windows, overhead fan, air conditioning, lots of hot water, good water pressure, small microwave and small refrigerator. Ouside the front door there is a porch (5 x 12 ft) with two chairs and a table.

The resort has very clean grounds, well raked every day, trimmed shrubs and good drainage for the days when the sky opens up with rain. There were plenty of very pleasant staff for the grounds, bar, restaurant, rooms, etc.

WiFi is free but comes and goes, not reliable, but useful when it works.

The food was disappointing. Breakfast is included but consisted of a choice of cold cereal or a fruit plate or something hot that varied from day to day. The oatmeal was inedible. After two dinners we ate elsewhere.

The rub is that the resort caters not only to its guests but the cruise ships too. On Monday we received a notice that the cruise ships would be arriving on the island every day, Monday through Friday and the taxis and vans started arriving at 9:00 in the morning. The cruise passengers pretty much take over the bar, restaurant and beach until 3 or 4 o'clock.

The dive shop is first class and busy. They have two boats that handle up to 8 guest divers each. They usually do a two-tank dive in the morning and one-tank dive in the afternoon. The rub for us was that the compressor runs all afternoon and the noise is very annoying if your room is nearby as ours was.

This resort is a mixed bag of good and bad. We had a great time in spite of the parts that rubbed us wrong but we'll pass on Bananarama the next time around.

Room Tip: Stay clear of the dive shop.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Rocks_road
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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845 - 849 of 1,282 reviews

Reviewed 9 January 2012

We stayed at the Bananarama in cabin number 25 for 10 days over Christmas and New Years with out two teenaged children. The cabin was well equipped with everything we needed. The second bedroom with two doubles was perfect for our children. The location is perfect with great snorkeling right out front. We ate most of our meals at the Thristy Turtle. The food is good and there are many different items on the menu to choose from and the staff is excellent. In the evening it was so nice to sit on the porch and watch the sun set. The front office even let us borrow a board game to play with the kids. When we can make it back to Roatan, the Banarama will deffinitely be our resort of choice.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank Skipperd00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2012

First of all I want to say that the Thirsty Turtle remains a favourite for us because of the staff. They are amazing and I've reviewed them separately. The Dive Shop is also amazing here and I will review them separately. I highly recommend both of them. If we return to West Bay we will definitely eat/drink at the Thirsty Turtle (as long as current staff is still there) and we would dive with the Bananarama Dive shop.
The resort has new manangement since we were last there. When we first visited in 2010, Guy was the Manager. He was terrific, he really cared for his staff, and he cared for and respected his Customers. We have a lot of concerns regarding the new Management and unless something changes we will stay somewhere else when we return to West Bay. There were a number if issues that came up, mostly minor, but it was the attitude that the manager's had when dealing with these issues that put us off. The major one for us was getting our breakfast (included with your room) in time for us to get ready for diving. The dive boats left at 8:30 and breakfast is supposed to be served by 7:45. In our 2 weeks there we usually did not see breakfast until 8 and then it was a scramble. We mentioned our concern to Ricardo after a couple of days. While he listened he never once came back to us to see if things were going better; no follow through. The waiters and cooks did their very best to get us something on time before our diving. There were other minor issues but their attitude put us off and we just never got the feeling that he or Cory really cared which is what it came down to and a real lack of respect. They seem to care about the cruise shippers that visit when they are in port and about the expats that come to eat and drink which is an important part of their business. We're pretty low maintenance guests but we were there for 15 nights, ate almost every meal there, and did 71 dives between the 2 of us. Simple customer service, caring and respect goes a long way. I hope they really do realize that their staff and dive operation are the reason people return and they could learn something about customer service from their staff. Sometimes you need to listen, observe, and learn from the people who have been there before you.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank SSRossVernon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VintagePearl, General Manager at Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 24 January 2012

First I would like to say that we have lived on Roatan and worked for Bananarama for 4 years and care very much about Bananarama and our guests, especially our return guests.
We are glad to hear that the staff we manage treated you very well, you enjoyed the dive shop and the thristy turtle staff. We are glad that you feel if you return to west bay you will return to both areas.
Guy does still come to resort and still oversees the management and hotel as he is one of the owners.
We are sorry if you feel that the general managers were not attenative to you enough. The time you visited happened to be one of the busiest weeks of the whole year. Between all the festivities of Christmas, New years eve and a full hotel we are extremely busy at this time. We try our best to make sure we say hello every day and get to know all of our guests, as well as ensure that the operations of the hotel run smoothly each day.
I walked by your room various times and even stopped to talk to you about a trip you took and checked in with you. When you reply that everything is good it makes it hard to fix any problems you are having. I also remember the first few days saying hi a few times and never even getting a hello or response back.
As for the breakfast, I am a bit confused as to the comments made in your review. You said you were mad about the breakfast however if you arrived only a little bit before 7:45 and received breakfast at 8am that is around 15 minutes for a fresh made breakfast when the hotel is full. You mentioned in the review that the cooks and waitors were both going as fast as they can as well...
We always try to get our divers their breakfast really fast but respect our other guests just as much and can not put your food order infront of any one else's that arrived before you.
We do reccommend if you are a diver to arrive at 7:30 to receive breakfast on time. The dive boats leave at 8:30 and our dive shops set all of your gear up for you so there also was plenty of time (30) minutes for you to finish.

We do not expect everyone to feel the same, however we have never had comments like that towards us so were a little shocked by them. You also mentioned that you saw that we gave attention to other people like the cruise shippers and the expats on the island.. We always try to make sure that all of our customers feel welcome and enjoy their trip no matter the duration of their stay. Our guests are always our first priority and would like to apologize if you felt less important because that is not what we intended at all.

We appreciate all of our guests feed back and will definitely take your comments into consideration and once again would like to apologize on our behalf and hope you will visit again and we will do our best to show you that we DO care and want to help in any way we can.

Thank you

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2012

My wife and I planned a stay here following some medical mission work on the Honduran mainland. After a week in the bush with some rather interesting living conditions, anything with running water and bug free would have been great. Bananarama was the perfect place for us to rest. Simple, clean, peaceful, unpretentious, delightful all cover this place. Very well managed by Riccardo and Cori with friendly, helpful staff. The Bar/Restaurant food is good and the activities and music made it all so fun. but all were friendly, helpful and made our stay there so easy and restorative.

The cruise ship traffic can be interesting but I realize what it means to the local economy and actually found it very entertaining. The resort thoughtfully set aside the adjacent property for the guests that was off limits to the cruise ship traffic and this made it painless. We didn't dive this trip and chose to rest, read, snorkel and relax. The low-key atmosphere made that possible. They got the wood fired pizza oven going the last night we were there and the experimental pizzas were appreciated by all!

I had left some books and a personal journal by mistake in a shelf behind the curtains and they got them back to me here in the states yesterday. It was all there, even my pen!

We look forward to returning and wish them all the success they deserve.

Room Tip: If you want the party, stay in rooms closer to the beach. If you want quiet, ask for the suites back...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank Richard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2012

This resort wants to be all things to all people. Not a bad location, but it is totally inundated with cruise ship day trippers most of the week, crowding out the few resort guests on the beach. The Dive Shop operates on a large volume basis, offering five (or more!) dives per day. The result is that complete newbies are packed on a boat next to experienced divers with delicate and expensive camera equipment, and chaos ensues under water. The Bananarama food was abysmal, the worst sort of summer camp food prepared half heartedly in bulk, never enough, and poor quality. The bar was open late most nights so that most people in rooms near the bar could not sleep until the bar closed. Then the cleaning crew arrived in early morning with leaf blowers (!) to waken the weary guests. The resort is for sale, and most of the staff and management seem to care less about pleasing current guests. Our advice is to skip this one.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Sixtyandfit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VintagePearl, General Manager at Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2012

This particular couple vacationed during the Christmas/New year holiday time. Yes we do reccommend that if you do not like large crowds and don't want the resort to be full to please not come during one of the busiest weeks of the the whole year.. The hotel is completely full during this time as well as the other hotels next to us adding to the amount of people that will be on the beach at one time.
I am surprised to hear that they were unhappy with the staff as they are some of the best on the beach and we have heard nothing but good things about them! The food is not fine dining, it is good bar and grill food and we always offer more than large enough portions. If they had felt there was not enough food on their plate we would of been more than happy to add food to it. We reccommend those who would like something a little more upscale to try our Vintage Pearl restaurant.
The Bar is never open late and is always closed by 10pm (exception for New years eve) Many of our guests absolutely love the family fun activities and is the main reason we do them every night.

The dive resort is always very particular about who they pick to go on the dive boats, they never do groups larger than 8 and make sure there is plenty of room for everyone to enjoy their time and have a safe dive. We are not a large dive operator however are very full because of the safety and excellent reputation the dive shop has.
I am sorry that they believed different but, the staff and management care very, very much about this resort and our guests are our top priority .

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort

Address: 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 Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in West Bay
#3 Top resorts Hotel in West Bay
#3 Family Hotel in West Bay
#4 On the Beach Hotel in West Bay
#4 Romantic Hotel in West Bay
Price Range: ₹ 5,408 - ₹ 9,707 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 22
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 
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Also Known As:
Bananarama Beach And Dive Hotel West Bay
Bananarama Dive Hotel
Hotel Bananarama Dive
Bananarama Beach And Dive Resort Bay Islands/West Bay, Roatan

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