on June 13, 2006
Bananarama is the perfect refuge from the condos being built along West Bay. They have private cabins and suites with either A/C or fans, TV (with whatever channels Roatan can get), a fridge, and a microwave. You can call home or access your email from their main office. Trees and tropical fauna surround the resort so you really feel like you’re in a secluded area when you’re at Bananarama. The beach is a few steps away, and West End is accessible by taxi from the dock off the cabins.Bananarama is really a dive shop. They have a fully-equipped dive center with qualified instructors and dive masters. Their dive boat is right off the beachfront, so carrying your tanks and equipment wouldn’t be too much of a pain. If you’re not a diver, you can also sign up for snorkeling, although when we did we were told the next morning that their dive boat is full and we just have to find another boat to go snorkeling. It was only a small inconvenience because it was easy enough to rent some gear from one of the Hondurans on the beach for $5 per day and hire one of the water taxi guys to take us far enough in the water to snorkel (but I’m still convinced we got ripped off for paying $50 to go to the “Blue Channel” which is really just half a mile off the beach). We borrowed their mountain bikes one day but we didn’t last too long because West Bay is a very hilly neighborhood. We also tried to kayak one afternoon but the kayaks were too heavy for us to lift all the way to the beach. I think staying at Bananarama just forced us to go into our vacation-lazy mode. We stayed in Suite #5, a suite with a queen-sized bed and a futon in the living room. Every morning, we would wake up at 7am because the staff would start carrying the tanks from the storage room out to the front to get ready for the day’s dive. We would wake up to the sound of tanks clinking and being dragged around. In the afternoon, our nap would be disturbed by the tanks being returned to storage. If you can avoid Suite #5, I think you’ll have a better chance of sleeping in.The rooms and suites range from $54 per night single occupancy in the small cabin to $94 per night for a quad occupancy in the king-sized bed suite. Prices are reasonable until you get tacked on 16% Honduran tax plus the 5% international payment service fee when you send your deposit. Breakfast comes with it from 8am to 9am in the common area but you’re better off walking along the beach or going to West End if you want a more substantial—and tastier—breakfast. The diving courses are still the least expensive I’ve seen in all of my travels so far: $100 intro dive without a certification to $700 to be a dive master.
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