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Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort
Ranked #5 of 14 Hotels in West Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 3 January 2018

This was our second visit to Bananrama in 2017. The first in February (a little drier) and the most recent for Christmas week. First, the people...just the nicest staff both for the accommodations/front office and at the Thirsty Turtle-main very casual no shoes required restaurant - DeShaun is just exceptional even on the busiest of days. Try the ceviche--its clean and tasty. We stayed in Villa 25 right on the beach. It is a two story property with one bathroom and a full kitchen/dining area--one BR downstairs with 2 twin beds and one king (?) upstairs with its own screened in balcony. A/C works VERY well (think meat locker if you really crank it down) but we chose to sleep with the screens only most nights. Beds are reasonably comfortable (but I am an accomplished drinker and never have much trouble sleeping on vacation :) ). Good wifi if you want it and no TV which is our preference. The best part is the very large porch with hammocks and seating that are less than 50 feet from the ocean. Can watch the sunset from your balcony sipping a Salva Vida or Port Royal (two local beers). There is a decent-mid sized fridge, stove, range, blender, microwave and a sufficient number of pots/plans etc.--we never cooked in, but it dawned on us that a future visit might warrant a stop at the local store (Eldons). There is a 5 gallon water dispenser in the kitchen which is all that we used to drink/brush teeth etc. Didn't want to risk any unfriendly stomach bugs (which worked for me, my wife and 18 and 15 year olds). The beach is really nice--soft sand, warm calm water on this side of the island. Limited insect issues even with rainy evenings and early mornings. Enrique watches the beach and will set you up with chairs as needed and is the kindest man--he stands about 5 feet, 3 inches tall, with a great smile and always willing to help. There are locals offering to sell stuff--bracelets, rum-filled coconuts, excursions, massages, but a pleasant "no gracias" and a smile if that is not your thing is respected and heeded. We were there Christmas week and there were some cruise ships visiting, which in turn means people coming to West Bay, but there was plenty of space and chairs and most of the day cruisers set up by the restaurant, which is at least 50-80 yards from where we sat. As stated the staff took care of the handful that were staying at Banarama and treated us well. The day visitors made for good entertainment and people watching--the attempts at fly-boarding and stand-up paddling were fun to watch. We ate all but a few meals at the Thirsty Turtle but did have one somewhat expensive dinner at their higher end restaurant on site (Vintage Pearl--~$350 for 4 people including tip/bottle of $40 Shiraz...not horrible by US standards, but on average other meals for the same 4 ranged from $60 to $100). The perk with eating on site is you can put it all on your room tab and just settle up at the end of the week--many restaurants on the island do not take credit cards so this was convenient and limited the cash we brought with us. Breakfast is included in your room fees which is nice and it was very good--just walk up, they tell you the 3 or 4 things being offered that morning and go get your coffee. Not some crappy buffet either. Usually a local egg dish, another local dish (banana pancakes), and a fresh fruit plate. Strong coffee and the juice du jour were always good. It's a great perk and they run breakfast in particular very efficiently. After 8 days of eating 90% of our meals and drinks, our final tab for food and booze for three solid eaters and drinkers and one lighter eater and drinker was $1000. It may sounds a little steep, but that includes substantial lunches and dinners and a pretty healthy stream of beers and pina coladas delivered to us by DeShaun (and included tips). Maybe my perspective is skewed from living outside of Philadelphia, but that's not all that bad. Anyway...

I always felt safe both at Banarama and every place we visited on Roatan. Of course be smart but it is fair to say that the nonsense that happens on the mainland has been sequestered to the mainland.

What I loved: the beach, the people, the food, the porch at the room.
What I would like to see changed: nothing at the resort per se. But...the boat traffic to the 'left' of the beach for dive boats/other water taxis leads to some occasional fumes from the boats. Nothing too bad, but would love to see those boats move down the beach about 50 yards. Really picking at nits on that, but just trying to be helpful and give fair warning.
Go if...you're not the Ritz Carlton type. This is not the Ritz, or even a Marriott for that matter, but it is much more charming, at least to my family.
Go if...You like to engage with the locals and try your best broken Spanish with a smile (Roatan was originally a British colony so most people speak very good English, but give it a shot...the smiles and understanding are well worth it).
Go if..you like snorkeling/diving....there's good snorkeling off the beach. I suspect there is good snorkeling elsewhere on the island--hire one of the dive shop guides and do it that way--we did an expensive ($180pp) tour to Cayos Cochinos and left underwhelmed...I suspect because we just didn't get the right guides..

Don't go...if you want the Ritz (see above).
Don't go...if you are impatient with people trying to sell you stuff. I personally did not mind it and actually bought a few things (must get the banana bread from the banana bread man) everybody is quite friendly, but you will get asked to buy stuff on West Bay and if that is not something you want to deal with, best to go elsewhere, or hang in the villa on your porch.
Don't go...if you want absolute seclusion. This is not it. You can certainly have your space to sleep on the beach in a chair or hammock, but you will have company which to my family was part of the fun.
I hope they keep up the good work. I have not seen the space they manage that are not the villas (we've stayed in 25 on the beach; and 26 off the beach) but highly recommend either.

Room Tip: Villa 25 is probably best beachfront Villa..distant from restaurant/bar
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  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank BrianC190
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 December 2017 via mobile

I have mixed feelings about this place. I’ll start with the pros:
Location, location, location. Right on the best beach of Roatan. You walk 5-10 minutes to the left, swim a little and you get to an amazing reef.
Gumbalimba park is 5 min drive
Great snorkeling
Staff is very friendly
Hotel is clean
Nice restaurants
Fun activities

Cons:
Rooms are very old, when we arrived there at night and I couldn’t evaluate the location I was a little shocked.
Some rooms have very low pressure in the shower
The included breakfast is not a buffet. It changes
daily, and some days are better than others
The internet is EXTREMELY slow. I know that you shouldn’t care that much when you are in vacay, but there were a few days when it rained almost non stop, and if you are stuck in an unpleasant room with no TV, it would be nice to have good internet access

Overall it was a great vacation, reasonably priced

Stayed: December 2017, travelled with family
Thank MHessNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bananarama_Manager, Marketing / Social Media at Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 2 January 2018

Good day is a pleasure, we appreciate your comment, we will put emphasis on being able to improve in these aspects since the comments of people like you is how a business grows to offer a better and excellent service

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2017 via mobile

We had an amazing experience at
Bananarama for our first ever trip to Roatan! The staff is what makes this place a ton of fun—from the bar staff to the security guards who make you feel safe 24 hours a day to DeShawn & the rest of the wait staff—all made our trip so enjoyable. One word of caution: be careful when arranging excursions with Detour Roatan. We ended up paying $300 for deep sea fishing and we basically just watched the guides fish. They didn’t talk to us or engage us in any way. That was the only negative experience we had on Roatan Island.

Stayed: December 2017, travelled with family
Thank Karen K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bananarama_Manager, Marketing and Social Media at Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 29 December 2017

Good day, it is a pleasure to greet you, we appreciate your comment which, we will send to be able to continue offering you the service that characterizes us

We're at your service

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2017

I stayed at Bananarama (West Bay) for 3 weeks while taking the PADI Rescue Dive course with their Dive shop. My room was upstairs with a balcony, hammock, chair and small table overlooking the beautiful gardens. There was a separate bedroom with a comfortable double bed, dressers, and closest. Very spacious for 1 person. The bathroom had a tiled shower with plenty of warm water. It was too hot there for a hot shower. The front room combined the living room with the kitchenette. A large bottle of water was supplied for you. A coffee maker, kettle, small fridge, microwave with sofa, coffee table, TV etc. I watched TV in the evenings and the WiFi was good. The girls in the office would offer me movies to watch and they even had a computer there for guests to use, first come first served.
There are taps at the front of the steps to rinse sand off your feet. Housekeeping was good too. Their open air bar/restaurant was good and a hearty breakfast was included but to change the menu around a bit I also went to West Bay Lodge restaurant for several dinners and watch the birds there.
Their beach location is simply magical and they run a top notch operation here. The owners are from the US, and some of the dive staff too. All the staff was amazing!
Yes, cruise ship passengers do flock here. But it's a big enough place to share and meet other travellers. I always felt safe there. They also put on a fund-raiser event, an evening with a live band to help the mothers feed their babies that can't breastfeed due to AIDS.
As a solo traveler, I opted for the airport pickup. My driver allowed me to stop at Coxen Hole to buy a Digicel phone and minutes for my stay. The office managed other taxi rides for me to dive Mary's Place with Barefoot Divers (a Canadian ran dive shop), and to dive with the sharks.
Their operations manager loved his job, he was involved daily with all aspects of the business. Always personable and pleasant. All the staff made me feel welcome, but he really made me feel like family. He was wonderful with all the guests.
Roatan Island is lush with rainforest and mountains, so it always felt humid to me. The low end budget hotels are mostly in West End. West Bay is more upscale and Bananarama is a very reasonably priced dive resort. They have a full range of accommodations including larger fancier units for families.
I would recommend Bananarama for a place to stay in West Bay Roatan. I would definitely go there again.

Room Tip: The larger units are beautiful
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  • Stayed: January 2017, travelled solo
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank sun101goddess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2017

First time to Roatan. Great experience on Roatan and with the staff at Bananarama. Snorkeling was the best just a short walk down the beach. Made many friends with the staff who were always there to help for any questions or needs. Other quests were great too and many were returning for multiple times to Bananarama. Rooms were decent and no TV - can always get that at the bar if you need a fix. To sum it up -- Location! Location! Location!

Stayed: December 2017
Thank zkats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort

Address: West Bay Beach, West Bay, Roatan 34101, 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:
#3 Family Hotel in West Bay
#3 Top resorts Hotel in West Bay
#4 On the Beach Hotel in West Bay
#4 Romantic Hotel in West Bay
Price Range: $112 - $358 (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

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