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Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort 3.0

West Bay, Roatan, Bay Islands

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Oceanfront location on West Bay, one of Roatan’s most beautiful beaches 
  • Colorfully painted, air-conditioned rooms with private balconies; some with ocean views     
  • Four restaurants -- two are oceanfront -- and a beach bar with amazing sunset views 
  • Lots of activities like movies on the beach, live music, karaoke, and trivia nights
  • Full-service dive shop offers PADI certification courses, nitrox dives, and night dives
  • Free breakfasts included with all stays 
  • Free kayak rentals and free Wi-Fi throughout
  • On-site generator for the island's power outages

Cons

  • Beach can get crowded with pestering vendors and cruise ship day trippers
  • Slightly dated and mismatched decor 
  • Wi-Fi can be spotty
  • No pool 

Bottom Line

Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort is a three-pearl oceanfront property on Roatan’s beautiful West Bay Beach. It’s 33 air-conditioned rooms, some with ocean views, are a mix of standard hotel rooms, cabanas, condos, and villas (the largest sleeps 12). Expect bright, colorful interiors with vibrant island art, king or queen beds, kitchenettes, and private balconies furnished with chairs and hammocks. A big draw are the hotel’s four restaurants, including a pricy, fine dining eatery  and nightly oceanfront live entertainment. Hotel amenities include a full-service dive shop, free kayak rentals, free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and a DVD library. Unfortunately, there’s  no pool at Bananarama. For an oceanfront stay with a big pool and a quieter vibe, it’s worth pricing out the nearby Infinity Bay Spa and Beach Resort -- but rates are higher.

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Scene

Beachy resort with lush grounds, but can be loud at night

Bananarama opened its doors in 2005 with a colorful and rustic ambience that's popular with laidback vacationers. The hotel’s grounds are lush and green, overgrown with tall palms, jungle plants, and blossoming flowers. Its pathways are sandy (and ideal for barefoot walking) although they flood during heavy rains. There’s also a big, sandy area near the beach with chairs, swings, tables, and hammocks. The hotel’s stretch of public beach is wide and provides lots of free plastic beach chairs. They’re great to enjoy the sun, but beach hawkers can be pretty aggressive. While the hotel does its best to keep them away from sunbathers, we read reports staff could do a better job. 

Nights at Bananarama can get loud. With activities like live music, karaoke, and the Sunday crab race (whose proceeds support a non-profit organization for mothers with AIDS) guests might have a tough time finding quiet before midnight, especially in rooms facing the beach or near the restaurant. The hotel attracts mostly couples, especially from Central America.  

Location

Oceanfront location along West Bay Beach, close to restaurants and bars

Bananarama’s oceanfront location is in the heart of West Bay Beach, a long ambling stretch of soft sand and bright turquoise water. Many restaurants and bars (located at nearby resorts) are a two-minute walk from the hotel and serve Honduran and international cuisines. An Argentinian steakhouse is a bit further down the beach at a four-minute walk. Less than a five-minute walk from the hotel is a shopping plaza with an ATM, convenience store, and a small pharmacy. Water taxis leave from in front of Bananarama for the 10-minute ride to West End, the island’s nightlife hub that’s also full of more budget-minded hotels and restaurants. Alternatively, it’s a 10-minute taxi to West End. The 40-minute ferry to Utila also departs from West End. The jetty for La Ceiba, the jumping point for the island in the Honduran mainland, is a 35-minute drive from the resort, followed by an hour-and 15-minute ferry ride. Juan Manuel Galvez International Airport is a 30-minute drive from the hotel.

Rooms

Big, air-conditioned rooms with colorful interiors, kitchenettes, mosaic-tiled bathrooms, and private balconies  

Rooms at Bananarama are big and colorful, with private balconies with hammocks. Interior walls painted in canary yellows, mint greens, and ocean blues with bright tropical art. All have beautifully carved front doors and some are painted with island scenes. Vaulted ceilings and exposed wood beams are standard in many rooms and some of the choicest units have great ocean views. Overall, the look is tropical but slightly dated and mismatched -- some guests find the decor to be charming. 

Bed configurations come in a choice of king, queen, or double beds with carved hardwood headboards, somewhat stiff mattresses, and Guatemalan-striped comforters. The bigger units have fully stocked kitchens while the smaller rooms have kitchenettes with microwaves, coffeemakers, and mini-fridges. All rooms come with five-gallon jugs of purified water, a definite plus on a hot Honduran day. Other room amenities include ceiling fans, safes, alarm clocks, and candles (a nice touch since the island's power goes out often). Wi-Fi is free in all rooms, but can be slow and spotty. Bathrooms are tiled and accented with mosaics of turtles or dolphins and have either stand-up showers or bathtubs. Only body wash and bar soap are provided.

Room location is definitely something to take into consideration for a stay at Bananarama. Rooms near the beach can be obtrusively loud from the nightly entertainment, and the dive shop compressor’s roar is a big negative in the early mornings. 

Features

Beautiful beach with lounge chairs, full-service dive shop, four restaurants, and free kayak rentals

Without a doubt, Bananarama’s biggest draw is its beautiful West Bay beachfront location. The sandy oceanfront is lined with plastic lounge chairs (free for guests), a beach bar, and free kayak rentals. The resort’s dive shop gets great reviews and offers PADI certification courses, night dives, nitrox dives, and shark dives. The hotel's four restaurants are quite good, and two have ocean views: Pizzarama Brick Oven Pizza and the Thirsty Turtle Bar and Grill. The Thirsty Turtle serves international and local cuisine. The Captain's Corner Sushi Cafe is an Asian-themed restaurant with outdoor seating. Vintage Pearl is the hotel’s more formal fine-dining restaurant that serves (expensive) international cuisine and has a wide selection of wine. Free breakfast features a rotating menu that can include fun items like fruit pizza. 

The resort’s a place to-be in the evenings, with activities like live music, karaoke, trivia, and beachfront movie nights. Drink specials are available on Sundays and there’s also a weekly Sunday night crab race whose proceeds benefit an island non-profit organization that buys formula for mothers living with AIDS. Roatan Activities, the resort's dedicated activity desk, can set up fishing trips, snorkeling, kayak trips, parasailing dolphin encounters, and wave runners. They also assist in arranging car rentals, taxis, and island transportation. Laundry service is available. There’s a DVD lending library in the lobby and Wi-Fi is free throughout the resort. 

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Address

West Bay Beach, West Bay, Honduras

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