More about Luna Beach Resort
Excellent Dive Shop! Above Average Overall
My husband and I stayed at Luna Beach Resort for a week in December. The weather happened to be rainy, but I hear this is not typical. Even so, we had a wonderful experience and would definitely stay there again. The main reason is because of Wolfgang Schild, the Dive Instructor and Dive Shop Manager. My husband and I completed our Open Water Certification at Luna Beach and were thrilled with the level of service we received from Wolfgang. He was knowledgable, patient, friendly, and all around a marvelous instructor. Andrew, the Dive Master, was also an excellent dive master to swim with and we enjoyed every dive we went on.
The room we stayed in was right on the beach. The waves sounded great. The room itself was very average. It was large, but lacked enough furniture. I had no bedside table which was odd. The room had a fresh water bubbler which was very helpful. The towels very very small and ratty, but the shower itself was fine. It was all clean and we never had trouble with insects. The balcony was shared with the room next door which wasn't ideal, but it was a nice balcony. The hammock on the balcony overlooking the beach was one of my favorite places to be.
The largest complaint I had with Luna Beach Resort was the dining. There is one bar/restaurant with very limited menu selection. The restaurant isn't open very late so if you happen to be hungry after 6pm, you will probably have to walk to town to get something to eat. There is no TV in the room and there's nothing else to do on the resort after dark so walking in to town really is your only option. The walk isn't very far, but it is along a dark beach so wasn't very fun in the rain and could be a little unnerving to do alone. There were plenty of eating options in town.
Great Dive Shop -- Decent Resort
About us: We're a couple in our early 30's. We went to Roatan primarily to finish our scuba diving certification. But, on a typical "relaxing" acation, we usually stay at 4-5 star resorts.
Overall we enjoyed our stay, but Luna Beach has both positives and negatives, so I've tried to go through them all below....
Location: The location is great. A 10 minute stroll down the beach and along a sand road into the vibrant town of West End. (take a flashlight when you go at night) And a 5 minute boat ride to most of the famous dive sites in Roatan. Secluded enough to give you a feeling of privacy, but within an easy walk to fun beachfront bars and restaurants.
Luna Beach is great for diving - the dive shop is AWESOME, Wolfgang and his team were more professional and helpful than the people we met at our dive shop in the states. Nice boats, three dives a day that leave from your doorstep.
Pretty much everyone is there to dive, so if you are not interested, it might not be the best pick on the island.
The rooms are clean but sparsely furnished. No alarm clock, hairdryer, etc. But they do have AC.
The architecture is great - very beach jungle lodge-like. The cleaning staff works in the morning, but doesn't really maintain it throughout the day. (eg. a beer bottle left on a railing at 2pm, will be sitting there until 10am the next day when the cleaning staff comes back)
The food was actually really good - not fancy, but great fries, quesadillas and breakfast burritos, etc. BUT it took forever to get served. Not so bad if you're just sitting having a beer and watching the carribean sea, but it was stressful when we supposed to leaving on the dive boat at 9am, and our breakfast didn't get served until 8:55am. But if you know this ahead of time, just make sure to order early and expect that it will take about an hour beginning to end.
Besides the hotel restaurant, The Lobster Pot is the first place you will come across on your way to town, on the beach, and is wonderful family place with great food! Go there!
The bar has everything, (monkey-la-la is good) but it shuts down at 6:30 (along with the restaurant) so there is NO nightlife unless you walk into town.
I liked strolling into town at night though, there are fun beach bars and restaurants to discover. You just should bring a flashlight to navigate the walk.
The hotel is not that expensive, for a room, but they charge you piecemeal for a lot of little "extras" when you get there. You could of course avoid this by not needing any little "extras" - just be prepared if you do: phone, internet, beach towels, fridge, etc.
Maybe we got lucky, but we had no problem with the bugs at all. I brought Deep Woods OFF and sprayed it all over every few hours, or after I went in the water. I got about 3 bites the entire time and hardly noticed.
Luna Beach is a rustic but nice resort. It is NOT a 4-5 star luxury "wait on you hand and foot" kind of place. It is a clean basic beachfront hotel for people who want to dive in Roatan and hang out in West End. If that is what you are looking for, you'll enjoy your stay.
Great Location and Dive Op - Go Elsewhere for Food and Service
I will keep this one short as I will be echoing many of the other reviews.
LOCATION: This place is in a great location, proximity to fantastic dining and diving. After talking with several locals, Luna Beach used to be THE PLACE for nightlife in the West End. That is no longer
and much of the resort goes unused with no intentions for their use (large bar and dance floor). However, you are walking distance to the island nightlife that does exist in the West End. West Bay beach is a 2 USD water taxi away and was a fantastic, uncrowded, quiet beach with fantastic snorkeling. I chose Luna for week one of this two week trip due to its proximity to West End as we had some non-divers in the group.
DIVE OPERATION: Wolfgang runs a first rate dive operation and really pays attention to the details. All divemasters were very professional. This is a great operation to dive with if you are newly certified. My girlfriend was well taken care of by Wolfgang and Neils; they took extra care of her concerns and helped to tweak her bouyancy control. We would have completed her adanced with Luna, but we didn't have enough time (she completed this with Coco View during week two of our two week stay. Also, if you are going to rent gear, Luna is significantly cheaper than many other places on the island (6 USD per dive for BCD and Reg or 30 USD for week... I think). Bottom line if you are going to rent while in Roatan, check websites of shops as the rental rates can easily exceed the cost of your dive fees.
STAFF/SERVICE: During the first couple of hours poolside, waiting for the rest of our party to arrive we met Chuck, the resident owner and manager. Very personable and pleasant to talk with, he is always busy doing stuff around the property. Unfortunately, the rest of the staff are not as amiable. Two of the girls who act as bartenders/servers were substandard by any standard. You would be challenged to see them smile and you would be lucky to have them come and take your order. More often than not you would have to go to the bar to make a food or drink order. Orders were taken, but they didn't seem to appreciate being 'bothered' by customers. There was one exception and I can't remember his name, but he works the bar in the late afternoon and evening. He was cool and even took some music requests from us. GO ELSEWHERE TO DINE! Chuck is aware of the service problem, but didn't seem to have a solution in mind for the near future. It is unfortunate because the Luna kitchen prepared some very good food, just no service to go with it. Desk staff were okay, but issues did not get addressed without repeat reminders (out of purifed water took two requests and towel requests were not addressed, despite paying 25.00 extra for a fith person in our house a fifth bath towel never showed up during our stay). Final note on staff; Debbie in reservations was very professional and helpful. Luna just needs more Debbies to work the bar and restaraunt!
ACCOMODATIONS: Rented house number 2 for the week. Great house! with perfect accomodations for our group of one couple, two single guys and one single girl. Large loft master bdroom upstairs, two bedrooms and one bath downstairs. One room had two twins and one with one full size bed. 2nd BR upstairs in loft. Nice kitchen, but we didn't use it that much, since there are so many nice dining options in West
End. The fridge is the real plus, so you can stock it with beer, gatorade and juice from the grocery store in Coxen Hole. House is a two minute uphill hike from the bar/office and dive shop. Recommend dropping off dive gear upon arrival in the shop, rather than lugging it up the rocky path. (no one offered to take our stuff to our room). Beds were all comfortable and the AC worked very well. Purified water provided, just remind them before its goes empty, since it may take a couple of reminders.
Recommendations for local dining:
LOBSTER POT: two minute walk from Luna, great food at a great price. Breakfast, including fresh juice and bottomless coffee for about 5 USD (2 bucks per refill of coffee at Luna). Dinner was also great and the servers were great (a little slow, but on par with local standard) Fantastic fried chicken and homemade hot sauce.
ARGENTIAN GRILL: 15-20 minute walk into West End. Get there early or make reservation. Fantastic food and ambiance. Dining on the beach available by reservation.
PINOCHIO: 15 minutes walk from Luna in West End. Off the main street,
great pasta dishes.
LIGHTHOUSE: 2 USD water taxi or 15 minute walk into West End. Fantastic sea food, right on the water.
PURA VIDA: Perhaps the best service in West End and great Pizza, Pasta, seafood and other fare. Great Bruschetta.
EAGLE RAY: Over ther water dining, probably my least favorite of the great meals we had.
LASTLY: USE CACTUS JUICE, there were people that we met who got really bit up and they did not use cactus juice. DEET doesn't seem to work as well. There was no rain duing our stay here and that seemed to minimize the sand flies. During week two at Sante Welleness
Center (also reviewed) there was three days of rain and seemed to increase the number of bites we would find each night. The spray or lotion runs 12.00 USD at the Luna office, but was 8.00 at a local dive shop. Whatever, just get some right away and use! Unlike a lot of other reviewers, I would not eliminate Roatan as a destination due to sand flies. This place has so much to offer and it should be enjoyed before it becomes Cancun. I found the slow internet, unreliable phone service and occasional power outage to be a refreshing break from the constant connectivity we are subject to back at home. i DIDN'T CHECK MY EMAIL FOR AN ENTIRE WEEK and when I finally did check it I had about 10 semi-important messages out of 180 in my inbox.
OVERALL RECOMMEND, BUT GO ELSEWHERE TO EAT AND DRINK!
We spent the first 10 days of March in Roatan. There were many, many things we loved about our trip. A few items at the resort could be much better.
As to the good things. Roatan is an easy island for English speaking natives. Just about everyone speaks English as well as Spanish (national language) plus several native languages. Everyone on the island was very friendly but reserved. You do have to remember that this is an island so things are done a bit slower.
Besides diving we did a taxi tour of the island, went to Gumbalimba Park and tried the zip lines, went to the butterfly park and the Carambola Botanical Gardens. Gumbalimba Park and the zip lines are well worth the visit. There are 11 platforms that your traverse on the zip lines so it takes 30+ minutes to get from the top of the mountain to the beach.
We would skip the butterfly park. Not worth the time.
The island tour and Carambola Botanical Gardens are good to do for a first time visit. We would not repeat it. For the island tour, the resort arranged a taxi cab (with air conditioning) to take us around. It cost us $50 for half a day.
The diving was very easy. The reef is within eye sight of the shore so the boat rides out are 15 to 20 minutes at most. The dive boats would come back to shore for your surface interval. The old regulars complained that the amount of marine life was less than in past year and the reef was not in as good as shape. The island is growing fast and water run-off is apparently impacting the coral. For us we had a great time. Well any diving is good! There was plenty of small schools of fish, a few turtles, eels, sting rays, lobster, etc. We did run into a pod of dolphins that were the highlight of the trip. They spent almost an hour around us. We saw no sharks but there is a shark feeding dive you can take. We would rank the diving about an 8 out of 10.
We dove with the dive team out of Luna Beach. We highly recommend them. Everyone there has a year or less tenure but that was not a detriment . They were very professional, stuck to the rules (probably a bit conservative for us on going up with 1000 psi) and knew the area. They were very friendly and would go out of their way to make sure what every you wanted or needed would happen. We dove 2 to 3 times a day and went to a different site each day. We did a fantastic night dive seeing a large ray, several octopi and lobsters. Truly one of the better dive groups we have used.
The resort we would give mixed messages. The location is great. Right on the beach and within walking distance of West End which has the majority of the restaurants. No need to take a taxi!! The room accommodations were good. The room air-conditioning was noisy. (Guess we are spoiled with central air and not use to window units any more.) We would get the room cold during the day and then shut it off at night. That worked fine for us. The bar would shut down at 7pm so you really have to go into West End (10 mintue walk) for a late night drink or food. (We rented a fridge for $5 a day and kept drinks in it) The negatives were the wait staff. We did the partial inclusive where we had breakfast and lunch included. It would take forever to get our food. Plan on an hour wait. We even started to pre-order lunch after our first dive of the day which helped only a little. Forget trying to get a second cup of coffee. Unless you went up to the bar and asked for it, you would never get it. The wait staff though not discourtous would only do the minimum to wait on you. They were the bane of the trip. If you stayed at one of the houses with a kitchen, you would be much better off. About the only other negative we had were the sand fleas. Make sure you bring Off and use it. At dusk they can get really bad.
We were go back, probably not. There are a hundred other islands we have yet to visit . Roatan is a quiet island to get away. Don't look for high end restaurants but we did encounter very good food. (Try Pinochio's. They were the best we found.)
Wow what an amazing experience we had on Roatan! Our first look at Luna was driving down the near mile long winding driveway that ends at the lovely if not small private beach. After a speedy check in we were amazed by our fantastic accommodations! We rented a premium house for the week for 6 people (2 couples and 2 singles) each of us had plenty of room to spread out in the 4 master bedrooms and loved the beautiful home and astonishing views from the 3 balconies. The biggest downfall from staying in that particular home was the long uphill trek from the beach up to our house everyday but we quickly adapted. Chuck the owner quickly introduced himself to us and made sure to always point us in the right direction. The key to any vacation is to know what you are getting yourself into. We knew that going to Roatan meant "island time" and that nothing would be done at lighting speed and so we prepared for that. We brought breakfast food which we made in our wonderful kitchen and we always left early for other meals knowing full well they would take at least an hour after being ordered to get delivered to us. Honestly the wait never bothered me; I wasn't in a hurry to be anywhere but at rest. Luna has an extremely friendly bartender named Hirum Walker who is quick with a smile and happy to make you whatever you'd like to drink and his Monkey-La-La's are the best on the island (I tested). Be warned that if there is no business places will close down and that does include Luna's bar. The food at Luna was excellent but cost more than at West End so more often than not we made the short walk down the beach. I would certainly recommend Luna to anyone traveling to Roatan, again you have to know what you are getting into it is not a 4 star 5 Diamond place but, I never saw another place as nice as we walked around West End and West Bay Beach. It is secluded without being isolated; we had a security guard patrolling outside our house 24/7 not that I ever felt threatened. I didn't want to be right in the middle of the party center but the guys wanted to get to the bars every night and that they did. I look forward to returning soon!
Perfect Now That the Power is On
We just returned from a week in Roatan, staying at Luna Beach near West End, and I would highly recommend the place. Even though they call themselves a "resort" it's very low-key (there's a restaurant, but no nightlife or heavy traffic), and you have the benefit of onsite staff who can help you with arrangements for tours, taxis, etc. Their place is clean and has onsite security (because the bar area is wide open and not locked at night).
We really enjoyed the "tree house" we rented (three bedroom, two bathroom, equipped kitchen and screened-in porch). Even though we (3 adults) could have fit in one of their "beach suites" we were much happier in one of their houses. They just hooked up the house to generators, which is very important given the current situation with the power company on the island (that's a loooong story so I won't go into it here).
While the staff aren’t very extroverted, they are very helpful and accommodating when you take the time to interact with them. Connie in the office hooked us up with her cousin Gustavo, who is a tour guide, boat captain, divemaster, taxi dispatcher and restaurateur. We spent one day with him and he took us all over the island for $100 (and did not just take us to touristy places).
Luna Beach is quiet, but it is within walking distance to a small town called West End, where you can find restaurants, an ATM, grocery store and some other amenities. If you aren't renting a car (which I would NOT recommend given the current state of the traffic and roads), it's really nice to be within walking distance of West End.
The snorkeling was great (and cheap)! We practiced the first day at the resort's small stretch of beach, and then went out three days on the dive boat. We spent $30 to rent our snorkeling equipment for the week, and then paid $5 each time we went out on the boat (it goes out 3 times every day -- weather permitting). Even though we weren’t “real” divers, the Dive Team staff treated us warmly and made sure we knew where to swim when we went with them.
I spent a lot of time reading reviews on TripAdvisor before we made the arrangements, and after seeing the other places I am so glad we stayed at Luna Beach!
Great staff at Luna
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay, the staff (front desk in particular as well as dive shop) and found the bugs not as aggressive as people wrote. Debby on the U.S. side answered many questions right up until our departure, which was a real plus.
The positive reviews are accurate. Swimming directly in front of Luna Beach is terrific. Walks into town are very pleasant. Our two teens gave us an A plus for choice of destination, accommodation, things to do, and the freedom they had because we felt they were very safe, even late at night. They ran into people from the plane, from Luna, from zip lining, etc. and enjoyed the small island atmosphere.
Yes, the electricity goes out every day but Luna has a generator that manages to deliver the basics in a minute.
We bought lots of fresh fruit and vegetables from the trucks in town and cooked most nights. When we didn't, cook, we enjoyed The Blue Channel, run by an Italian family in town.
We couldn't have made this lodging choice without all the input from other trip advisors, so thanks. Ending up at the West Bay with all the developments and resorts cheek to jowl wouldn't have been our style.
Luna Beach Resort - we'll be back!
My husband and I spent March 24 – April 3 at Luna Beach. I want to start off by saying our trip was supposed to be a full week prior, but due to a snowstorm, our flights were cancelled. Debbie took care of us completely – instead of staying in Tropical House #1 the entire trip, she arranged for us to move around a bit to accommodate our delayed dates – thank you Debbie!
Tropical House #1 – we highly recommend this house, despite it being one of the original buildings on the property. It has an amazing view of the Caribbean, great loft, and just steps away from the main area and beach. We spent as much time on the second floor deck relaxing on the hammocks and watching the sunsets.
Premium House #7 – this was my least favorite, because we did not have any water views, but could not complain, because we were lucky to have a bed since our dates slipped. The house was huge – 4 bedroom/4 bath. The premium houses would be a great choice for a large group.
The kitchens are not supplied enough – no sponges, paper towels, coffee filters, and ice treys missing in one of the houses. This did not bother us a bit – just an example of the relaxed vibe at Luna Beach.
Beach Suite – Room B – I loved the beach suite. I could literally step 3 steps to the beach. The bathroom needed some renovations, but besides that, it was great. We had the front room to sleep and the back room to store our stuff (clothes ect..) – very spacious for 2 people. I’m glad we rented the refrigerator too ($10 per day).
Luna Beach is the ideal location for Roatan. It is situated between the West End and West Bay. You can walk to both or take water taxis to both ($2 USD – I recommend you confirm the cost for taxis prior to departing). Luna Beach is very quite, but I like getting away to the peace with the nice availability to get into West End or West Bay so easily.
The beaches in Roatan are not long, white sandy beaches (West Bay has a very nice beach though). This does not matter though, the water is beautiful and the entire island is surrounded by a reef – great for diving or snorkeling.
I recommend the Lobster Pot, Pinocchio’s, and the Lighthouse restaurants. Lobster Pot is the best for breakfast and you sit right on the beach – Lorna is a sweetheart and takes such pride in her business (food comes out piping hot). Los Rocos (West Bay) is really great for happy hour and sunset. Bite on the Beach is next to Los Rocos; it was closed on Sunday when we tried to go, but I will go next time. Water taxis stop running at 6pm though. Remember at all restaurants service is very slow – different culture. We just sat back, relaxed, had a cocktail, and enjoyed the many amazing views.
Roatan has a few larger grocery stores – Plaza Mar in Coxen Hole (liquor store upstairs) and another in French Harbor. Woody’s is located in the West End (Half Moon bay area), it is much smaller, but good for a few items. Duty free shop in the West End with all types of spirits.
I loved Roatan and can’t wait to go back – I would go back to Luna Beach, but all should know it is not a 4 star hotel. Roatan is not that type of place; it is for travelers who like a bit of adventure and different culture. Roatan has such a good, relaxed vibe – no need to bring your heals ladies, this is the most casual island. I wore flip-flops the entire vacation!
A bit of reality…
The electricity goes out once a day, but most places have generators including Luna Beach. They were installing the second generator during our stay for the houses. It honestly did not bother me, because you still had running water. This did not bother us and would not prevent me from going back – I wanted to get away from it all and I did.
Purchase sunscreen with cactus juice on day #1 – it works. The sand flies are vicious – I saw people with bites all over their legs. I was fine, but was religious about putting on my sunscreen with cactus juice.
The currency in Roatan is Lempira (about 18 Lempira for $1 USD). You can purchase using US Dollars, but watch out for change. We never received change in US dollars and I know I was ripped off a few times (very minor and once was one of the trips to happy hour) When I return to Roatan, I will be clearer on the currency exchange. I don’t recommend using credit cards; they charge a 6% service fee.
I hope this was helpful – if anyone wants to ask me any questions, I’m willing to respond. We took time to see the entire island and could give thoughts to help with planning your trip. Another nice thing about Luna Beach, not necessary to rent a car – if you stay at Luna, West End, or West Bay – no need to rent, but anywhere else on the island you would need a car.
A-1 accomodations but no power!
We stayed in a luxurious, well-built, and huge jungle-view house. It was well over 4,000 sq.ft. and accomodated the 6 of us just fine. There were 3 huge verandas that were completely screened in from the bugs and such. I enjoyed sitting out on the veranda watching the rain pour, the birds sing, the sun shine, and the boats going by as I read my novel. Very relaxing.
The restaurants on West End were fabulous but very expensive! Our favorites were the Argentinian Steak house and the Indian place called Ooloonthoo. Be forwarned that if you dine, take lots of cash because some of the places don't take cash. Although Ooloonthoo was the best it was not cheap. For two people it came to $79 but we did order drinks, appertizers, and dessert. If you do go to Ooloontho order the ice cream! Fabu! To find this place just walk around the store next to the Argentinian steak house and it's up the hill in a house.
Regarding ATM's. We found two in the West End and they always had cash so don't worry!
Electiricity is a commodity hard to come by on Roatan. The electric company has gone bankrupt and thus we experienced DAILY power outages. The power usually went off at around 8:15a.m. every morning and was back on by 11:30 or so. This was our number one gripe!
The customs queue(or line) at the airport when we arrived was another downer. Expect to wait 45min to one hour to get through it. Due to constant power outages the air conditioning rarely works at the airport so try to have patience. (We wrote to the Minister of tourism in Tegugigalpa about this Customs queue).
Not all as it seems
As I understand it, Roatan has been having some power issues for quite sometime now. So expect 4 to 12 hour random power outages each day. Depending on where you stay this can be a minor or a big problem. The Luna Beach Resort is not geared up for this. The rooms and houses did not have any generators to provide basic power. Some of the other resorts did.
While on the outside this place looks wonderful and seems to have many good attributes, but it has too many faults that quickly diminish them.
Our first night we stayed in one of the rooms down by the ocean. It was a 2-bedroom unit and the rooms were clean. It had an air conditioner that failed right after the power came back on at about 9:00 p.m. and there wasn’t anyone at the office to ask for assistance. We thought no big deal; we’ll just run the fans and open a window or two. Unfortunately, the windows didn’t have screens to keep the bugs out.
The next week we had reserved one of their premium houses. House 21, which is at the very top of the grade. Great views, but the hike up and down the steep hill gets old fast – no big deal. The house appeared to be ok with air conditioners in each of the bedrooms. But with the rolling power-outages it would have been nice if they had provided a generator so you could take advantage of the air conditioners and other items that you were paying a premium for, like the refrigerator, blender, coffee maker, washer and dryer. You get the picture. It would have also been nice to be able to open a widow to get some cross ventilation, but NONE of the widows opened. They were just ordinary panels of glass. You felt like you were in a stuffy hot box. They did have portable lanterns you could sign out from the front desks for a $100 deposit. Get real! They sold these same lanterns in the gift shop for $35. Now if they were service oriented, they would have already had several of these already in the houses/rooms as a courtesy to their guests.
The wait staff was dismal. The bartender was so bad that I seldom went to the bar. This guy looked and acted like this was the last place on earth he want to be. Not once did I see him smile at a customer.
The dive staff on the other hand was very friendly and knowledgeable. Safety was really never an issue because they run a very tight ship, which also tends to make them a little too conservative. The dive sites, in general, were good. I’ve seen better and worse, but overall the diving was fun.
Would I come back . . . NO