Carretera Pavimentada Ppal., West Bay, Honduras
"We will come back"
Posted by: Edith, Calgary on May 1, 2009
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Discover the finest sand beach and the bluest waters of the Caribbean: go for a swim in the picturesque coral reefs, or just chill out watching an unforgettable Caribbean sunset. The Henry Morgan allows you both relaxation and entertainment at the same time.
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"We will come back"
Edith, Calgary on May 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2009
467 people found this review helpful
Arrival: April 10-17
We arrived late afternoon after a schedule change that had us stopping in Varadero for an hour. Conquest had changed the flight twice in the weeks before departure - that should have been a tip off to us! Some of those on our flight had a chance to buy rum and cigars but as we had been there just the month before we chilled out and enjoyed a Cappuccino. Our arrival at the Roatan airport was efficient and we were met by the Conquest rep who quickly assigned our room numbers, processed our baggage and directed us to one of a couple of mini-buses waiting to take us to the resort. As we arrived Good Friday we caught the end of Semana Santa - the huge Easter vacation/celebration. The beach in front of the resort was as busy as a New York street with constant groups of people moving up and down the beach and live music blaring from Bananarama beach stage further down. It was very entertaining to grab a drink at the Henry Morgan Beach bar and plunk down on one of beach chairs and people watch. Saturday was also very busy but by Sunday it was back to normal. The rest of the week was very quiet - so we got the best of both worlds. I'd really think twice about being there the entire pre- Easter week though - just too busy.
Our room was on the main floor - corner unit - very spacious and clean. Although others have commented on the noise of the wooden walkways and footsteps from above we didn't find this to be a problem. Partway through the week a single bed was delivered to the room and set up - housekeeping must have got the message mixed up and when we tried to tell the maid in our broken Spanish she nodded her head and then delivered more towels ;-) It wasn't a problem - there was lots of room and it remained with us all week. The bathroom was clean but a little tired looking with mold on the wall around the shower head and a temperamental sliding door. Always had lots of hot water and pressure.
Restaurants and Bars:
The buffet restaurant is the only restaurant and serves all three meals. The food is good to very good, lots of variety and of a good quality and quantity. My only complaint was that things were not always hot - but I often chose from the made to order stations to get around this (especially at breakfast). The dress at the restaurant is casual - with things a little dressier at dinner but certainly not required. The service is excellent and all the restaurant staff go above and beyond to make sure you have everything you need. We began the week tipping but quickly realized that we received great service from many people each meal and so decided to tip an amount at the end of the week to go into the tip pool. I gave this tip to Jorge (in charge of the buffet) and he said he would distribute it for us. In addition there is a snack bar/beach bar that serves lunch and snacks. We always had lunch at the beach bar - grilled meats and fish, salads, bread/buns, a couple of hot vegetables and a pasta were usually offered. Also huge amounts of fresh fruit. There was fruit offered all day and off and on trays of sanwiches and pizza squares. The beach bar makes a great pina colada!
On Thursday night we treated ourselves to dinner off the resort at the Island Pearl ( a little ways down the beach) and really enjoyed the meal, the atmosphere and the service. We had made a reservation but it wasn't really necessary as only about half the tables were occupied. They have a great wine selection and people did stop in for drinks only. There was live entertainment that night - a singer and guitar - he was great. We felt quite safe walking along the beach at night to get to the restaurant but a flash light is probably a good idea as it is DARK.
The Beach is amazing - beautiful clear water, white sugary sand and sun, sun, sun. We go away once or twice every winter and this is one of the few spots I would return to. There are lots of beach chairs - no need to get up early and play the towel game - shade is at a premium in the afternoon but with a bit of moving of chairs it's always available. The security guards are very vigilant and there is no problem leaving things at your chair as you swim and grab lunch at the beach bar. There are a couple of fellows who keep busy moving chairs and fetching chair pads as well as picking up empty glasses etc. The beach is very clean! We are definately beach people and didn't even put a toe in the pool - but it looked lovely - lots of shade available there!
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We chose Roatan and the Henry Morgan on the strength of it's dive reputation and opportunities for snorkelling and it certainly didn't disappoint. My husband is the diver and was very impressed with the operation that TGI Diving runs - all the Dive Masters are very good at what they do and the dive briefings were always thorough and professionally presented. He always felt prepared and safe. There are 3 different dives each day. TGI also has a class room on site for the PADI courses and my husband opted to take his advanced open water course while there and so did the required night,wreck,deep and advanced navigation dives. My husband would not hesitate to return to Roatan to dive with this operation. There prices are excellent. The snorkelling from the beach is great and is best at the far end of the beach against the coral wall - no need to go out by boat to see a variety of sea life!
We were caught up in the Conquest Vacations collapse! On Wednesday the Conquest Rep at the Hotel came and found us on the Beach and said there was a meeting for all Conquest guests at 5pm. We arrived at the meeting to find security guards at the door which seemed a bit odd. We were soon to find out that Conquest had gone out of buisness, that there would be no problem with our flight home as that was going ahead as scheduled (although those that were there for two weeks would have to return with us a week early)and that we all would be receiving an invoice from the Hotel for our week's stay as the Hotel hadn't been paid by Conquest for our trip (or for any of the Conquest guests that they had had in the last month).
Understandably the guests were fairly hot under the collar - the Manager was professionaly stern but not threatening. One of the guests was very familiar with the protection for travellers under the TICO insurance and volunteered to help the Manager contact TICO to see what our options were. The next day we found out that TICO had assured the Hotel, in writing, that they would cover the bills of the TICO insured guests and that they would not have to collect from us directly. Five couples at our resort had not booked through a TICO registered agency and they had to pay the invoice before leaving the hotel. The invoice initially was at the "rack" rate of $1,700.00 US per couple per week (as much as some people had paid for the flight and the vacation combined!), but it did get adjusted down to $1,050.00 US per week. One of the uninsured couples were there for two weeks but opted to go home rather than pay that rate for a second week with no assurances of getting the money they had already paid back. A few couples had booked for two weeks and TICO covered their second week so they opted to stay and make their own arrangements to fly home (via Houston). It was a bit unsettling but for us it all worked out in the end and certainly was not the horror story we are hearing from those that were in Cancun and some hotels in Cuba where they had to come up with the funds right away.
The manager at Henry Morgan was very cool under pressure and was completely accomodating which I'm sure was very difficult given the spot he was in as well. We are planning on returning to the Henry Morgan next winter and hope that one of the other Canadian tour operators will offer it and if it were offered out of Calgary (rather than Toronto) we would be in heaven!
"Atmosphere was PERFECT"
Liza, Toronto on Jan 1, 2009 >
1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2009
462 people found this review helpful
Arrival: Jan.2 - Jan.9, 2009
Upon arrival in Roatan, several mini buses were at the airport to bring us to the Resort. Our room numbers were pre-assigned, and the bus ride to the property was only about 20 minutes.
Once at the hotel, we simply filled in some paperwork for check-in, while snacks and welcome drinks were served, and proceded to our room. The luggage arrived about 10 minutes later. The whole arrival experience was quick and painless - in fact, the plane arrived in Roatan around 10:15am and we were on the resort's beach by 11:45am!!
The rooms at the Henry Morgan are very functional and comfortable. Although some of the fixtures are a bit tired as some people have previously mentioned, the rooms are clean, airy and in everything was in good working condition. The housekeeping staff do a great job!
Restaurants and Bars:
There is one main restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is also a snack bar at the beach where they serve a small spread for lunch. The dining room is very casual. You don't have to get dressed up for dinner each night. Some of the ladies wear dresses, but for the most part, this is a very low-key place. Men do not need to wear long pants in the dining room. If you are the type of traveller who is looking for "a la carte" options, and gourmet meals - this is probably not the right resort for you! For us, this atmosphere was perfect. The food was always plentiful, tasty and traditional. The service staff are extremely pleasant and they greeted us by name at every meal. They even went so far as to buy some local "hot sauce" for us at the grocercy store in Coxen Hole when they found out that my husband loved spicy food! Thank you Jorge and Lenny!
There are two bars - one on the beach, and the lobby bar. The all-inclusive drinks were limited to house wines, local beer, and the local bar rail.
We rather enjoy venturing out from the resort. We found a fabulous little bar, just down the beach, at the Los Rocas Resort. During happy hour, from 3pm to 5pm, they served "two for one" drinks - including daquaries, mojitos, pina coladas, and many other fancy drinks. Drink prices are extremely inexpensive here and for a change in atmosphere, and the fun we had with the bartenders (Mike and Winston were the best!!), we thought it was well worth it! By the way, you can catch a great sunset from there as well as from the resort's beach.
The Henry Morgan's beach at West Bay is truly the nicest on island - the sand is soft and white; the ocean is warm and turquoise! We walked along the beach as far south as "the wall" and as far north as we could. It is possible to walk all the way to West End, but you'd need shoes for this. West End is the closest town - by water taxi it's about a five minute ride and only $3 USD. We found a great litle rotisserie chicken, and fish restaurant in town. They had the best "fixin's" I've ever tasted - and the best coconut rice and beans!
Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Roatan is well known for scuba diving and snorkeling. Although we didn't do any diving on this trip, we did enjoy the snorkelling that was best just down the beach towards "the wall". Here, we saw many varieties of colorful fish and reef life.
We also rented a car to tour the island for a day. It was a great way to see all of the towns and get a feel for the local way of life. We visited Coxen Hole, where the cruise ships come in, and French Harbour, where we ate a great lunch at Gio's. We did venture off the main roads, but after experiencing a flat tire on the dirt roads, we'll make sure to rent a truck or jeep next time!!!
Another good restaurant just down the beach from the Henry Morgan was Foster's. We had heard from a local that they'd be serving a "lobster special" the night before we left. We walked over, with a few other people from the resort, and found that happy hour was in full swing! We ordered appetizers first, and discovered the best "ceviche" we've ever tasted! For the experience of enjoying a lobster dinner on the beach, we thought this was a great deal.
Other Comments: We thoroughly enjoyed our week at the Henry Morgan resort. We loved the relaxed atmoshere, and found the staff to be wonderfully friendly. Raphael, our Conquest Rep was proffessional, and was always available to anwer all of our questions. We would, and have recommended this resort to our friends, and would love to return ourselves!