Bay Islands-Guanaja

12 ratings (9 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Very Good
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Bayman Bay Club - Guanaja (Bay Islands), Honduras

Oct 30, 2001
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Inexpensive, All inclusive, not crowded. Most staff was friendly & helpful.

Cons:Poorly managed, Poorly maintained, under-financed.

The Bottom Line: Island has not recovered from Hurricane Mitch. Visit Roatan or Utila instead.


Bayman Bay Club Resort:

Accomodations - Not all the Cabanas have been rebuilt from Hurricane Mitch. Those that have still have some problems. We had no hot water all week due to the resort indicating they could not obtain LP gas. We found out it was not that it was not obtainable, but they likely couldn't pay for it. Others had plumbing problems, inoperable ceiling fans, missing screens, not enough clean towels. Cabanas are nicely sized and most have a nice view of the bay. The 3-story cabana that houses the restaurant, bar, and entertainment area is rustic but fairly nice. There are no televisions, radios, or telephones available, so plan on zero communications unless you go to town (by boat, there are no roads). At the end of the week they didn't even have enough cash to make change when you paid your bills. I had to wait and hope someone would pay in cash to give me $5 change on a travelers check (which I got the morning we left only after asking).

Food - Food was fairly basic but good, and somewhat limited. they brought a chef in for the week from the mainland the week we were there since the resort was more than half full. The staff asked a guest to borrow money in town one day to purchase food. Various meals were without lettuce for salad, bread for dinner, and butter one breakfast due to cash flow problems of the resort. They only bought 2 cases of beer per day for the bar. We even offered to prepay our bar bills so they could restock the kitchen and bar.

Diving operations - Seven out of nine in our group did not get our gear until the 3rd day, since Air Sosa couldn't fit it on the plane. They only had about 5 sets of well worn rental gear, so we borrowed from other guests. I would always bring gear to this resort if I didn't own it. They had 2 boats, one of which did not run at all and hadn't for a while. Our group had a special trip to Barbaretta one day and the other divers only got to boat dive after insisting that the resort hire another boat from town. The one boat was fairly roomy but had no ladder. those who could not fin-kick to get on the diving platform were lifted out by the dive staff. Diving was safe and boat staff and divemaster was always helpful.

Personnel - All dive staff was helpful and friendly, and the bartender and food staff was excellent. The resort manager (who resigned midweek) and assistant were helpful when asked, but not real friendly or customer oriented and should seek jobs not in the customer service field. The General manager was accomodating after the manager resigned, but no one knew who he was until then. other staff was adequate.

Shopping - Don't plan on anything being available there. there is no camera shop, film, or even basic necessities. Even T-shirt selection was limited. The "store" was only open by appointment and only had some logo clothing and accessories. no snacks, no film, no batteries, no

Guanaja Island: Still badly damaged from Hurricane Mitch. most trees have been stripped and the reefs are in poor condition. Overfishing has killed anything large and reefs that I would rate a 9 back in 1991 I would now rate a 3. There are no roads on the main island and all travel is by boat. Take plenty of high concentration deet bug repellant to keep from being eaten by no-see-ums. I had only 4-5 bites, but wore 100% deet anytime I was on land or dock.

Guanaja Diving:
The diving was very poor in both visibility and sea life compared to Roatan or Utila. The only good dives were on the south side of the island at the wreck of the Jado Trader and nearby reef which was a very nice dive. Very interesting caves and swim through formations on far north side, but almost no sea life. A few large groupers but no sharks, a couple small turtles, a couple rays, and very few game fish or schooling fish.

Photographer Friendly:
No film, rental cameras, or photo pro. they did have a camera only rinse bucket on the boat and changed the water daily. I normally do 15-30 minutes of video per dive, but averaged only 3-10 minutes with the lack of good subjects. No television to show video on at resort.

Travel: Try to go via Roatan instead of the mainland. Chances of getting luggage late are fairly high (over 70% on our week). there are no direct flights into Guanaja, but there are at Roatan. The guanaja airport only accomodates the small planes.

Entertainment: There was a nice BBQ beach cookout one evening, but other than that it's diving, kayaking, snorkelling, darts, pool, or cards. They talk of a waterfall hike, but you have to get there by boat.

I've been doing dive travel for 13 years and this is the worst place I've been, both island and resort. The owners don't know or care what's going on and the resort is in dire financial condition and has not recovered from hurricane devestation.


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