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“Fantasy Island - Great for Divers”

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Fantasy Island Beach Resort
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in French Harbour
Reviewed 19 November 2011

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.

Room Tip: The "100-series" rooms are the newest-renovated ones (at this time), although a little bit...
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  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with friends
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11  Thank Adventure_Diner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 November 2011

Just arrived back from Roatan! Stayed at Fantasy Island Derry and Kevin were wonderful I couldn't believe all the marine life Derry found for us. He actually found a drum fish about 1cm big! The food was wonderful, the staff were great and very friendly. The rooms were comfortable! We couldn't have asked for a better week!!! Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: November 2011
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2  Thank Dwalters10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2011

We have been to Fantasy Island before an enjoyed our stay. But, we just got back and we hated the way it has gone downhill. The diving was great but everything else was horrid.

The buffet was deplorable. Food was not kept at what anyone would consider acceptable standards. We ate out and spent hundreds more than we planned because of this.

The rooms were just as bad. The bed had an odor like a musty comforter which was quite annoying. The shower did not work right and the water frequently was inoperative.

We love Roatan but with so many other resorts on this beautiful island, there is no way we will return to Fantasy Island.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Robert M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2011

First of all, we come for the diving and have done so for 6 years. During that time, the resort has had ups and downs, and is definitely on an upswing. The rooms have been upgraded with new A/C units, beds, vanities and glass doors for the balconies. The grounds are well cared for and relatively bug free given the location. They spray every day. The dive boats are either new or refurbished and well maintained. The new (returning) hotel manager is determined to make it a better place to be. The dive shop, also under new direction, is now concierge, where they do all the work for you. The dive crews, Nelson (DM) and Kevin (Cpt) in particular, are top notch. Diving in this area is great, with lots of diversity and the water is around 85 deg. F. The food is not gourmet, but for the genre in this area, quite good. All meals are buffet with lots of selections, and the service is very efficient. The rates are outstanding when considering they include all meals, 19 boat dives, unl. shore dives, all local beverages incl. sodas, beer and liquors. Overall, if you want to dive, snorkel, swim in the fresh water pool, or just lay on the fabulous, well tended beach, this resort is terrific. We will return.

Room Tip: We like the second floor, with beach view, usually between 205 and 225.
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Kenypoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2011

We went to this resort as a day excursion from a cruise ship. We booked through Island Marketing. Our driver was very nice and on time. She explained some stuff about the island and showed us around the resort. I think it is more Island Marketing's fault that we were not pleased with our experience. IM stated that we would get all these amenities that was not the case. We received no welcome drink, there was no towel service, the swimming pool with swim up bar had no water in it, we only found 2 kayaks with an oar not a real kayak paddle, and yes you can snorkel but there isn't that much to see.
The beach was clean and water was refreshing. If it wasn't for the monkey's that provided hours of entertainment we would have been a little bored. We didn't eat food or sleep there so I can't comment on those areas. I can assure you that the monkey's like french fries and cherries and the iguana's will creep up behind you for food too! The monkeys will also try to swipe your belongings so keep your bags zipped up and hold on to your hats and glasses. We saw a monkey with a TV remote so I guess they know how to get into rooms too if you don’t secure it.

Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
5  Thank lissakinz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fantasy Island Beach Resort

Address: Carretera Pavimentada Ppal, French Harbour, French Harbour, Roatan IB3110, Honduras
Region: Honduras > Bay Islands > Roatan > French Harbour
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 5 Hotels in French Harbour
Price Range: $227 - $416 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Fantasy Island Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 115
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

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