More about Reef House Resort
reviews were right on
I just got back from a 5 night stay at the reefhouse resort on Roatan. I read the reviews before I went and decided to choose this based on what I had read. They were right on target!!!!!!!!. The hosts were outstanding. If felt like you were part of the family. I was met at the airport and in their care until the end of the trip when I was taken back to the airport. The diving was outstanding. The Dive Master David (pronounced Dabeed) was fantastic as was his side kick the boat Captain Choco. He was very aware of the group went down on all the dives but gave you plenty of space. He was excellent at spotting all those little glorious finds like seahorses etc... The night dive was great. All the dive sites were great!!. The rental equipment was in great shape well taken care of. The resort is very comfortable, rooms were clean with window ac units and hot water in the private baths. The rooms cool down within a few minutes. The food was of course outstanding as posted in the other reviews. Meals are homestyle one big family makes for great conversations about the days adventures. We had King Crab, Lobster, Chicken, steaks on the grill, Salads, Rice (loved the conconut rice) and lovely desserts with all the dinners. All types of juices, teas, Breakfast were fantastict too. The little bar is a big hangout for resort guests and sometimes hosted a game of Texas - Holdem. The Salt water pool was fun. I used it to take some great photos of the sea turtles and nice size resident green eel under the deck. Lots of little fish in there too. This is not a resort for those of you looking for a luxury hotel with exotic night life, However, If you are looking for a place on Roatan with a laid back, comfortable atmosphere, the best food around, and fabulous diving with no other dive traffic around then this is the only place for you!!!!!!!
I recently returned from a week-long stay at the Reef House (end of May), and I would be remiss if I didn't write a rave review of the place. Why was it so good? First...the people: Larry, Carol, and family; the other guests, who you get to know very well after eating every meal together, and diving 3 times a day; the dive masters and boat captains (we had British David and Skinny David - they were friendly, helpful, and down to earth..and while we may not have seen any seahorses like the other group, I really preferred having them as our guides for the week). Did I mention the food? EVERY meal was GREAT. And EVERYONE loved ALL of it! That's hard to do! Snorkeling in the private "pool" with the turtles and other creatures was so nice...you won't get to do that anywhere else. The diving? We didn't see much big stuff, but the coral and sponges were amazing. Pristine. We never saw another dive boat all week, either. It was a little windy, which was great for keeping us cool, but made the water a little choppy - if you're in the small boat, just bring some Dramamine if you tend to get seasick. The dive groups were small (in fact, the 4 of us in our group had the smaller boat all to ourselves). Just an overall great experience. All of these great reviews can't be wrong. Enjoy!
To paraphrase the poet Milton...
"The island of Roatan was all before them, where to choose,
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide:
They hand in hand with wandring steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitarie way."
...for many people this is the eternal question when planning a vacation. Where to choose their place of rest? Well, I would be remiss, if I didn't augment the reviews here with my most recent experience at the Reef House Resort in Roatan.
My family and I just completed a lovely weeks stay (June 17 thru 24) with Larry and Carol, the resort owners, who assisted by their son-in-law Barry and his lovely wife Ashley made sure that everything was in perfect order. The entertainment was provided during our stay by Leland (the < 1 yr old grandson of the owners), Muttley (the resident resort dog and turtle hearder) and Choco & Davit (the boat captain and divemaster for our group) whose island attitude and wonderful sense of humor made the surface intervals more than just tolerable...they were refreshing. The meals were fantastic, as usual, the atmosphere friendly and relaxing, the diving and snorkeling beyond compare...all in all, a truely wonderful experience.
This was not my first trip to the Reef House Resort in Roatan, but a second trip in as many years. As with most people when you return to a place that you found to be exceptional upon first visit, you are typically let down by the image the second time you see it. I too worried this would be the case with this return trip to the Reef House Resort. I worried that the food would not match up to the quality that I perceived on my initial encounter. I worried that the guest would not be as friendly this time. I worried that the atmosphere that I found so relaxing might in someway have changed to a more "tourist" like setting. I even worried that the diving would somehow have become less enjoyable. I am gald to respond on all accords that I was worried for absolutely no reason what-so-ever! The resort was not only as good as I remembered, but in many ways better! Yes, that is correct...it was better the second time around.
Throughout the past year since my first visit to the resort, the owners have continued to upgrade the facilities, added various ammenities for the guests, and generally improved the overall feel and comfort of the resort. They have also began a partnership with the TAPS (Turtle Awareness and Protection Society?) to monitor, release and track the turtles rescued by the resort and temporarilly housed in the resort's tidal pool. We were lucky enough to observe the initial cataloging of the turtles in the tidal pool, a total of 25 at this time, by the marine biologist coordinating this effort. My daughter was facinated by the interaction with the turtles (as she was last year), but this time she also got to learn more about them and their habits. She also got to see first hand the way people who care about the environment and the creatures of the sea go about protecting and learning about their lives.
I apologize if this review is a bit disjointed, but trying to describe the events of the past week while still fresh in my mind, coupled with a desire to not simply re-write my previous review was a little challenging. In summary, I would say that there are many fine resorts on the island of Roatan, but the cream of the crop is without a doubt the Reef House Resort. For simple relaxation, wonderful food, good company, friends and great diving there is no other place that even holds a candle to it. If you would like more personal information, please feel free to e-mail me at the address listed.
Walter, Ruth & Stephanie
We will go back to the Reef House
I took a high school scuba group to the Reef House in Roatan this past June. I had looked into some of the better known places on the island but found bad reviews for them here. I couldn't find any negative reviews of the Reef House. I was a bit skeptical but figured I would give it a shot. I took a group of 19 (including 15 students) to the resort and was amazed at how nice the place was. Larry and Carol run a great little place and we had an awesome time. The diving was spectacular and we didn't even get to see any of the bigger visitors (sharks, dolplhins, etc...) The reefs just outside the Reef House are some of the best that we have been to during the scuba club's trips. The snorkeling off the pier is as good as any I have done, anywhere. The divemasters were outstanding for the different levels of divers that I brought along. Everyone enjoyed the dives and saw things that they had never seen before. Ask David to find anything and he will. I think if you asked to see a pig fly over the reef, he might even be able to find that! The food at the resort was great and the service was great. I have no complaints, other than the fact that I am not there right now. I highly recommend the Reef House and our group will be back there on a future trip for sure. I wouldn't stay anywhere else...
Thanks Larry, Carol, Barry and Ashley!
See you soon!
6 days, 17 dives
If you haven't been to Honduras before, you need to understand that it is an underdeveloped, poor country. Arrival at the airport will help you to quickly understand this! So keep that in mind when you think about accommodations on the island. David Swain, the instructor at the Reef House met us at the airport and was as pleasant (if not more) for the rest of the week as he was that day. He and his family are some of the nicest people you can find. The owners were away and David and Hugh made our stay very comfortable. The resort is actually on a key, so you must ferry to the resort. Therefore, if you are interested in anything other than diving, eating, sleeping, reading and 'hanging out with other divers' you may find it difficult. The 'resort' is a cross between a lodge and camp. Rooms have every neccessity however, A/C, bathroom, fan, TV, etc., so you can't really call it 'roughing it'. The food was absolutely superior, EVERY MEAL. The cooks are fantastic. Each mealtime a bell rings to notify you that your meal is ready. A vegetarin was among our small group and I am not a seafood fan. We always had tasty alternatives. Be sure to bring a large can of OFF as the bugs are pretty active in August. Dive Master Daveed and boat captain Choko made each trip a blast. Very knowledgeable and safe but also hilarious! The average water temperature was about 84-85 but one day we actually hit an 89 degree thermocline. The night dive was remarkable and memorable. My husband and I stayed at the Reef House Resort in August and made 17 dives in 6 days. There are other dive resorts on the island that cater to pickier tourists that demand more luxurious surroundings; but if you want to go to dinner barefoot, sit on the deck with a beer and some new friends as the sun goes down, you should consider the Reef House.
Another beautiful day in paradise !!!!!!
When we made reservations to stay at the Reef House , we had expected to have a nice vacation . However , NICE , can not even begin to describe our stay there. When my fiance and I arrived in Roatan we were greeted not only by a local to assist in baggage collection ,etc..., we were also greeted by Larry , the owner of the Reef House . Larry walked Diane ( my fiance ) and I through the small airport and out to his van parked right at the front door where our bags were all loaded and ready to go . Larry pointed out different points of interest on the way to the resort , and generally made us feel right at home on the island. Upon arriving at the resort Diane and I felt as if we had just walked into the pages of an advertisement for a tropical paradise. The entire resort was perfect in every aspect . The ocean view was picturesque and the breeze refreshing as we sat and took a few moments to look around and absorb it all.The rooms were clean and spacious and had everything you could need from a private bath to satelite T.V. .The diving was unvelievable ( all 15 dives ), the 2 of us had the entire " Henry Morgan " ( one of the dive boats ) all to ourselves. David ( Da-veed ) our dive master ,whom I believe has a permanent smile on his face, was incomparable when it came to keeping us interested , amused , facinated , and most of all SAFE. Choko, the boat captain certianly did not lack any skills when it came to handling the vessel. Even when the water was choppy , Choco navigated through the waves to where it was like an amusement park ride. He had our tanks switched for us after each dive , and helped us in and out of the boat for every dive . If you have any trouble getting your BCD off and into the boat , well as Barry might say ( being from Austrailia ) " NO WORRIES " . I watched Choco lift Diane ( BCD , tank , and weights ) right out of the water and onto the back of the boat when she was having a little difficulty one time . He's not that big , but watch out !!! The man can do his job .Meals at the resort were fantastic .The kitchen staff made a point of making sure that we all had more than enough at each meal so that no one could ever say that they went hungry . Each and every meal was something different and delicious , and was enjoyed at a long table surrounded by chairs so that we all ate as one family . This family however was more like great friends gathered every night to talk about everything from the dives of the day, to ones life back home .This group consisted of Larry , the owner, his daughter Allison , his son in law Barry , and of course his grandson Liam, ( monster , as Larry has lovigly nicknamed him ). We were luck enough to be there to enjoy Liams first birthday ,and I don't think we have ever encountered a happier child in our lives. Throughout the week , we were greeted every morning at breakfast by this beautiful childs smiling face and laughs , accompanied by the occasional dance. As a matter of fact , we didn't see anything less than a smile from any of our host, or the staff , the entire week . Larry , Barry , and Allison were fantastic to us , and as long as the Reef House and they are around , we will continue to try and make our visits a yearly event. Overall , the Owners, the staff , the food , the diving , the snorkling , the resort itself , everything ..... you can't find a better value at any price !!!!
The Friendliest Dive Resort
We loved the place. We arrived in rain and was hammered with rain and clouds for the entire week we were there. Being in Oak Ridge, rather than the West End or Sandy Bay where the other resorts are, we were able to dive three dives a day in calm seas with great visibility. (We heard that at other resorts they could do every dive or needed to be transported to get a dive in). Away from the other resorts, we never had to worry about other boats getting to locations or about running into other divers. The only exception was when we went to Mary's Place, which was crowded. We also understand that our location due to the winds attract much less no see ums and mosquitos than other resorts (a great plus because Roatan is overrun with these critters).
David, the divemaster, and Cocho, the boat captain, were terrific and very skilled. They are so happy and relaxed that they would make the most anxious diver comfortable. David is great at spotting and when he makes a great sighting, you can hear him laugh through his regulator. The boats are never packed; the most we had on the boat were 10 and there was plenty of room.
The resort is small and the owners are very personable. You immediately feel 'at home'. They are very interesting and always up for conversation. The other guests were also very affable and it made meal time a great pleasure. The food is basic and delicious. (We did have grilled steak and crab one night and lobster tails for another.) Portions are ample. (We had one very large eater and he always received more.)
Socializing occurred primarily the hour before meal time, with most people heading to their rooms soon after dinner was over (In other words, nightlife is pretty nil.) Since virtually everyone was diving, we were exhausted by then.
I will caution that the initial impression can be a bit off putting. The resort is on a canal in an area where natives live and many of the homes are rundown on stilts and not very pretty. Also, the rooms are clean but very "rustic" despite the color TV (great reception)and in room air conditioning. The linens and towels are inexpensive and a bit worn; the room chair plastic, the bathroom faucets weather beaten. A closet with shelves was sufficiently large to put our clothing in, but we would have loved drawer space. But, you quickly adjust and by the time dinner is over, it doesn't seem that bad.
I would have liked more plush surroundings, but that's it. Given the price we paid, this was a fabulous value. We're already talking about returning in the spring or summer. But, only if the current owners (who took over the resort two years ago and have done a great job bringing it back to life) and the wonderful dive team are there.
Eat, dive, relax, sleep - wonderful!
This was our first warm-water SCUBA diving and it was awesome. Lots of different corals and fish. David, the dive master, spotted sea horses, scorpion fish, rays, etc. that we would never have spotted ourselves. We felt very comfortable diving with him.
The resort was just like we imagined it. Small, quite, and personal. The owners Larry and Barry were great hosts and took very well care of us. The food was excellent, the rooms clean, the staff very nice and the entire ambiance was very relaxing.
If you need night live, it's not the right place. If you want peace and nothing to worry about the entire week, it's a great place. The people, the views, the food, and of course the diving...!
We had some bad weather on the island but plan to come back again sometimes when the sun is out. But only if Larry, Barry, David, and the rest of the crew are still there.
BEST DIVE VACATION EVER...........
One statement can summarize the experience we had at the Reef House. We loved it so much that we booked a return trip for the following month and will be going back within two weeks. This is the perfect place for anyone that wants to have the most incredible diving and feel like you're spending a week with close friends/family.
We were met at the airport by Larry (one of the owners) who made sure we were well taken care of. We miss you Larry!!! We were taken to meet the boat for the short ride over to the resort. Everyone that works for the resort is so pleasant and you always feel so relaxed around them all.
After this trip, it is going to be really hard to go back to one of the larger dive resorts (if we ever do). We were definitely spoiled by this experience. The food was always good, rooms were clean and the entire staff was awesome.
One of the comments from several other reviews needs to be mentioned. This is definitely not a place for someone wanting to be in a luxurious 5 star hotel. This is a dive resort and while the rooms are very basic, they are always clean and you feel very safe. The day consisted of eat, dive, dive, eat, dive, relax, eat, and socialize at night with one of the most spectacular views from the deck.
The dive master Da-veed and boat captain Choko are the best at what they do and will make sure you enjoy yourself.
We are looking forward to our return and can't wait to see you at the airport on the 23rd...
Like staying with friends
The outstanding reviews given by others reflect the incredible warmth & hard work of the owners & staff at Reef House. The folks who run this place try very hard to accommodate everyone's needs & to make everyone comfortable. There is a strong sense of community here, fostered by the fact that diving/snorkeling is the common focus & that meals are served family style, with everyone on the same schedule - breakfast, diving, lunch, diving, drinks, dinner. We found the other guests to be uniformly friendly & interesting. The dive operation is wonderful. The property is clean & neat as a pin. However, you need to know that this is an isolated oasis in a desperately impoverished area, as Third World as it gets. There is nothing near by, no other restaurants or shops. The rooms are simple & clean, but not particularly attractive. The food is good, but nothing to rave about. Overall, this is a very good value, with terrific diving & dive instructors, & delightful staff, but do not expect anything more than the most humble of amenties.