This was my 4th trip to Fantasy Island.
The resort has never been "perfect", however, the price-paid and the exotic location have always left me and my fellow travelers with a sense of good value and memories of an enjoyable dive vacation.
On this trip, our group had the 100-series newly-renovated rooms, which we found to be clean and adequately appointed. Despite being on a tropical rainforest island, our rooms were always fresh and inviting. Since the last visit, Fantasy has started installing remote air conditioning units to their rooms, where the chillers are well-away from the rooms themselves, resulting in quiet operation. Other improvements included a flat-screen TV (although very small) with about a 15-channel cable package, and a bar fridge stocked daily with a complimentary pitcher of water. There was also an in-room telephone and a user-programmable safe (which was incredibly handy for passports, wallets and money - which was not needed during the week at this all-inclusive resort!).
The rooms were not fancy; the flooring was an "engineered hardwood" that the ravages of the tropical climate and likely divers with damp gear had caused shrinkage/expansion in some areas, such that the floor was not completely even throughout. Didn't really bother our group, and we appreciated the thorough cleaning more than a perfect floor. Water pressure was on the low-side for the showers, but there was always hot water and fresh towels daily!
Food has always been good-to-very good on our Fantasy trips, although on this particular visit, the resort had low occupancy and the food service was not as varied as previous trips. I suggested to the owner that powdered juices weren't the best for breakfasts, so a minor point to work-on. One thing which has always been outstanding at Fantasy Island has been their desserts, including home-made ice creams and cakes (particularly their flans!). Delicious and refreshing horchata (a tasty rice-milk drink that should be experienced by all travelers) was commonly available at Fantasy's lunch beach-venue, so that was a real treat!
The lobby of the resort had complimentary wi-fi, which always worked when I wanted it. The resort's bar was also there. The all-inclusive selection of alcoholic beverages was limited, however, the serving staff was always super-friendly.
The overall maintenance of the grounds and the resort (including the beach) was very good. Crews could be seen raking and primping the resort (including the beach) daily, and the whole resort was "fogged" every morning to keep the bugs at bay. Given its tropical, wet, location, insects are an issue, and even with the daily "fogging", I found that I was nibbled by various insects, particularly in the beach areas where sand-fleas and no-see-ums, lurk. Use of insect repellent is highly recommended and sunbathing is probably more prudent around the pool, rather than actually on the beach itself. The property is breathtakingly beautiful, however, respect for the Island's natural setting is advisable regards insects.
The Island's animal inhabitants are one of many highlights for this resort. Easily topping the list are the three monkeys who will appear regularly and beg for food and affection. Guests were warned that the monkeys would be quick to snatch small cameras and cel phones, and scurry-off with them, so one had to watch what was available within their reach. For animal lovers, there is nothing more delightful than a playful monkey sitting on your shoulder and posing for pictures. The resort also had a number of iguanas, and guatusas (an ear-less rabbit-like critter), as well as geese, roosters, turkeys and others, all just wandering about like a petting zoo.
The dive operation was first-class. Since my last trip 2-years prior, the resort has bought 2 purpose-built 48' dive boats. Ours, the Mallorca, was the nicest of the two, with twin diesels and an operational head (washroom). Enough cover for shade if you needed it, or open deck space for those wishing to sun. Fantasy Island has gone more upscale for the service-provided on their boats, with ice chests always filled with fresh water & chilled fruit, guest towels, and even terry-towel robes! Other than very pricey liveaboards, I had never been to a land-based resort that has ever provided a robe service before, so a great treat! The resort claimed that they would not normally place more than 14-18 divers on one of their 48' vessels, which would still make them very luxurious for space. The divemaster and captain were always willing to help-out setting-up gear, changing tanks between dives and just being super hosts. The tank fills were nearly always perfect, and the air was as clean and sweet as any air station I've ever used.
I really enjoyed the diving, probably more than ever, on this trip; a combination of the new boat, great divemaster and captain, and pristine reefs seemingly not ravaged by hurricanes and storms. More seahorses and drumfish than any other trip, although no large pelagics. The resort co-offered a "shark experience" with another operator on Roatan for those who wanted a "big-fish" experience. We were all content to enjoy the specatacular colours and the hospitality of the Fantasy Island crew, so none of our group did the shark dive this trip.
The resort is somewhat isolated, so activities during the day for a non-diver are limited to pool-side reading or just lounging, unless they wanted to pay for a side-trip to one of Roatan's shopping, or other venues. Fantasy Island is the home-base for an open-cockpit twin-engined floatplane which two of our group enthusiastically enjoyed for some aerial sightseeing.
The owner of the resort was in-residence during our trip, and all of the resort's staff were completely switched-on with big grins and welcoming service. Fantasy Island is not a fancy resort, however, the total package makes it a great value for divers.
- 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