The resort—Absolutely perfect. The staff was great, the grounds were impeccably maintained and the vibe was relaxing. We went to West End twice via water taxi and I really can’t see why people choose staying there with zero beach as opposed to the beautiful beach at West Bay. Again this is my personal opinion.
The reef—We brought our own snorkeling gear and went out out 2-3 times a day and it was fantastic. You go out to the round white buoys by the pier, go through the small channel and then go left and it is incredible. My daughter and I tried SCUBA for the first time with West Bay Divers and it was great. Christi and Collin were very patient and accommodating.
The bugs—We barely applied anything and had no issues with sand flies or mosquitoes. The only time we were bothered was at Iron Shore at Grand Roatan and the staff gave us bug spray.
Gumbalimba—We were so fortunate to be there during a non cruise ship day. We had the place to ourselves and had a blast (Please spare the self-righteous rhetoric about it being a zoo and not a sanctuary—it was a fun place, especially for the kids).
Cleve—Did the full day with him and just our family of four and what a day! We had brought about 20-30 “smile bags” from our dentist (the bags of toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss,etc that you get every time you go to the dentist) and Cleve gave them out to people on our trip. What an enriching experience! The pastalitos were the bomb!
Food—This was the most disappointing aspect of our trip. Very sub par across the board. Bananarama is awful—avoid at all cost. There were a few good meals but overall if you’re a foodie you might want to pass on this island. My moment of food zen came when I got some breakfast baleadas at Arlyn’s Place for $3 and stumbled across the banana bread guy on the way back (it was still warm!). Had an awesome breakfast for four for $6.
Overall I would highly recommend Roatan. The people are very friendly and the snorkeling is the best I’ve ever seen in 7 different trips to various islands in the Caribbean.