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Reviewed October 11, 2015

When you think of “Utopia”, you wouldn’t think a secluded resort on a 23 square mile island could achieve that ideal. But Utopia Village on Utila truly lives up to its name.

This little resort has everything you could possibly want in a tropical vacation destination. Clean, comfortable, well appointed rooms with plush pillows & the best mattress I’ve ever slept on in the Caribbean. Infiniti pool with hot tub & in-pool lounge chairs. Fire pit. Guest center. Game room. Library. Gym. Spa. A well stocked open-air bar with a friendly bar tender who knew how to mix excellent cocktails. Phenomenal dining with a chef who caters to each guest’s likes and dislikes. A private beach with lounges shaded by palapas where you can enjoy ocean-side drink service. A beautiful house reef for snorkeling or shore diving. A full service dive operation with concierge service. You drop off your dive gear when you arrive & then you don’t have to fuss with it untill you leave. The staff carries it, sets it up, and cleans it for you! Having been diving for over 20 years, all across the globe, U-Dive is one of the two best dive operations we’ve experienced.

But what truly sets Utopia Village apart is the personal service and the attitude. Paul & Chrisna, the owners of the resort, welcome their guests as if they are welcoming friends into their home. This filters down to every member of the resort staff. It is a genuine, caring approach that makes your stay at their resort-home amazing. As a guest, the Utopia staff sees to it that your every need is met, and done so with a smile. If you’re a trip leader, they make your job amazingly easy and you can actually enjoy vacation because you know every single member of your group is taken care of.

The love for what they do truly shows and makes for a wonderful experience that other resorts just can’t offer. The only down side is when the end of your vacation hits & you have to say good bye to your Utopia Village friends… Until next time. We will be back!

  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank txpamfish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul A, Owner at Utopia Village, responded to this reviewResponded October 12, 2015

Thank you much for the wonderful review. It gets to the core of what we are trying to do. Even if Utila is remote we still want to provide casually elegant accommodation, amenities and dining that are all top-notch. And of course we take advantage of the beautiful reef to provide a great diving experience with convenient valet dive service (the amazing whale shark encounter that week definitely helped with that :-) ). But at the center of everything we do is a genuine desire to deliver an unmatched level of personalized service with staff that genuinely care and enjoy what they do. And our job was made easy by you and your group, who were so kind and considerate and generous to us and our staff from day 1. We really enjoyed the week as much as you did and were genuinely sad when you left. (BTW we love to see the pictures of your 2 dogs on FB). We look forward to seeing you again soon. Thank you for everything.

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Reviewed October 7, 2015

I have waited several weeks to write this review to try and wrap my head around what happened with our group the week we were at Utopia Village. I thought of many ways to make this a brief review, but I just can’t. Let me first say I have led group travel all around the world from Cozumel, Belize, Roatan, Bonaire, Curacao, Turks & Caicos, Galapagos, Palau, Yap and many other places. I have to say that Utopia Village, Utila made my life easy!!! This is not your typical Caribbean resort, and the reason for that begins with the owners Paul & Chrisna Avenant. A couple who a little over a year ago did not dive, nor had they ever been in the hospitality industry. But their passion for life led them to listen to the absolutely right people and act on their advice to create a resort that is not only perfect for avid divers, but also relaxing and entertaining for non-divers alike. No detail has been spared!! Starting with the purchase of a building off site near a dock for staff to live in, as well as building a home on site for staff to live in. How do you service your customers? Make your staff so happy to work for you that it shows in every aspect of your business. BRILLIANT! For the week we were there, we never saw an unhappy face, we never wanted for anything, and if anyone in our group did want for anything, it was because they did not ask! The rooms were spacious, clean and had mattresses and pillows that would rival any Four Seasons in the US!! Something we learned Chrisna stressed over and spent hours shopping in Houston until she was satisfied they were right for her guests. Her efforts were not lost on the deep sleep we had every night, and waking every morning as if we were in a spa. Outside of the bedroom you can relax in cushioned lounge chairs under palapas on the beach while your friendly bar tender brings you drinks from a fully stocked bar. Don’t feel like lounging at the edge of the ocean, head over to the infinity pool where you have a choice of lounging in chairs in a wade pool with jets gently pushing water past you, or relax tight muscles from diving in the hot tub. With a 10 foot well in the pool they can even teach you how to dive while you are there. Just had enough of water? Then hang out in the air conditioned guest center that has all manner of video games that would make any teenager happy. Not in the mood for games, enjoy a movie on the 120” screen from the HD projector Paul recently added. Not in the mood for electronics, there is always the pool table or ping pong to entertain you or just hang out by the fire pit in the evening and be amazed by how many stars are actually visible in the sky. Feeling more active? You can always snorkel right off the beach, take a kayak for a spin or work on your core while you paddle board. ALL of this for no additional cost!

So it is a nice place to stay, but what about the diving? Glad you asked! We have traveled to Utila in 2005, 2014 and again in 2015. Of all the places we have been diving, I can honestly say that the health of the reefs in Utila are improving – not declining as they are in the rest of the Caribbean. Sorry Bonaire. With a chance to see seahorses, pipehorses, pipefish, flying ganard, frog fish, all manner of eels, rays, and sharks – including the chance to swim with whale sharks. What else can a Caribbean island offer? Well Utopia offers a nice comfortable boat with plenty of room. Easy entry and exit with plenty of room for cameras and rinse tanks on board. If that is not enough, there is the concierge service that means you never have to carry your gear, rinse your gear or store your gear the entire time you are there. The dive crew is always happy to bring your gear to the boat, take it back to the gear locker, rinse it for you daily with separate rinse tanks for gear, wetsuits (that has a shampoo in it to keep you smelling fresh all week), and a separate rinse tank for cameras. The gear is always returned to your assigned gear locker in case you want to go shore diving between the 2-3 boat dives daily. The dive staff is always happy to help as much or as little as you wish. The dive masters have incredible eyes underwater pointing out the smallest and most unusual marine life and always on the lookout for the large and rare. Utopia’s dive operation rivals Manta Ray Bay Hotel for the best dive operation we have ever been diving with.

There is one more aspect of the resort that has to be addressed to make it the perfect place to vacation. That would be the food. I am sorry to say, if you are planning on losing weight on your vacation – don’t go here! You are treated to a breakfast buffet every morning which always includes an omelet bar, quiche, yogurt with granola, cereal, pancakes or waffles and a different hot meal every morning. Try the tortas, they are incredible. Once you are almost finished with your breakfast, one of the staff members will come around and ask each person what they desire for lunch. Always given a choice of two meals, you can still request and receive food off the menu like comfort food such as grilled cheese if you wish. Just as you finish your lunch, a staff member will ask you what you would like for dinner. Again, always a choice of 2 different 3 course meals for dinner! Still hungry, don’t worry – every afternoon following diving there are snacks put out just in time for happy hour. Lionfish ceviche, chips, salsa, and guacamole were a few of the appetizers we had a chance to taste. Still not convinced, did I mention that the chef is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York? Ever had homemade pizza on a small Caribbean island that rivals some of the best pies in NYC? Well if you come here – you can say you have!!

This review may just seem like I am just blowing smoke, but let me just finish by saying this. Usually our group is always interested in looking for a new place to go diving, a place we have not explored before. However after our week at Utopia, every single person in our group said they want to come back here. Not only for a return trip, but to make this an annual trip we return to each year. I am already working on the return for 2016, and as long as Paul and Chrisna are there, we will be returning year after year!

Stayed: September 2015
2  Thank tkern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul A, Owner at Utopia Village, responded to this reviewResponded October 9, 2015

Your review made us feel proud, humble and thankful all at the same time. We cannot express enough how much we appreciate that you took the time to write such a comprehensive review and for your kind feedback about the resort and its staff. What a great group you brought!. We enjoyed every moment, and when you left it felt like saying goodbye to good friends. We still talk about your thoughtfulness and kindness and we truly look forward to your return. Maya and Otto say "Hi" too :-)

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Reviewed October 3, 2015

This place is amazing! My boyfriend and I couldn't decide between Utila or Roatan for our week of diving, so we started inquiring about splitting the week up. We emailed Charlene, she takes care of reservations for Utopia. She got back to me pretty quickly that since is was the start of low season, they could accommodate our request to only stay for 3 nights. After booking we got in contact with Stephanie, who is pretty much the concierge and once you get to the resort she also is the bartender. Stephanie helped us book our plane from Roatan, and told us that the staff would meet us at the Utila airport to take us to the resort. Getting to Utopia was quite a journey! We took a plane to Roatan, a smaller plane to Utila, a tuk tuk to the boat dock, and a boat to the resort. Paul, one of the owners, met our group at the small airport and assisted us to the boat, he then let Devine (the boat captain) take us to the resort. Paul had to go back to the airport to greet the rest of the group. The boat ride was very smooth, Devine is great! Crisna, Paul's wife, was waiting for us on the dock with staff to assist with our luggage. From there we headed to the bar, where Stephanie greeted us with complementary drinks and snacks. We had a tour of the resort and showed to our room. Alejandro, the chief, also came out to greet us and to discuss meal preferences. The meals during our stay were wonderful! We are vegetarian and Alejandro did a great job accommodating us. Every meal was better than the last.
Our room was much better than expected, Crisna was nice enough to upgrade us to a bungalow on the beach, and the view was amazing. The room had a small loft, a living room, a mini bar and fridge (that was stocked with anything you wanted), a very comfortable king size bed, and a large bathroom. We had two air conditioners, that worked great, and made sleeping very comfortable.
The dive shop is located right beside the dinning area. On the first day of diving, you take your stuff down, and they take care of it from there. Valet diving is the way to go! Marcos and Anka take care of everything. During our 3 night stay, we did 8 dives, and all were great. Our night dive, we seen a huge Octopus! No whale shark encounter, but not from a lack of searching by Elvis, the captain of the dive boat.
Stephanie and Paul set us up with Mr. Herman to take us to Roatan, on Tuesday afternoon, on a dory. It was quite an adventure, but went very smoothly.
Our stay here was amazing! Paul and Crisna do a great job at making you feel very welcome in their home. I can't say enough great things about this place. We still talk about how much we loved it there. If you are trying to decide on where to stay in Utila, this is the only place to go! I would like to thank Stephanie, Evelyn, Elvis, Devine, Marcos (our great dive master), Anka, Alejandro, and of course, Paul and Crisna for making our stay there so pleasant! We had a great time, and will miss you guys!

  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank merrillma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul A, Owner at Utopia Village, responded to this reviewResponded October 5, 2015

Thank you for taking the time to write a review while you were still on the 2nd leg of your vacation and for your kind feedback about your stay at our resort. Thank you also for recognizing so many of our staff by name. It means a lot to them and to us. We will miss you too. Lastly, thank you for being a great Lion Fish spotter :-)

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Reviewed September 22, 2015

Paul and Crisna bought this resort in May 2014. If you read reviews from before then, disregard them. The resort was completely renovated in Sept. to December 2014 and then reopened. Paul and Crisna are doing everything right here. They stay on property and interact with the guests and staff on a constant basis. They care about the staff and give them opportunities to display their unique talents.

I went there with a group of 10 from Dallas and Austin. We were greeted at the airport by Paul and he escorted us to the resort. All of our baggage was handled by the staff and magically arrived in our room a bit later. We stayed in a bungalow which has a separate living area and bedroom. A very spacious room with a couch, table for working (if you choose to) and very comfortable chair (ask Crisna the story about the chair).

When we arrived at the resort, we met Stephanie who would be our bartender and friend for the week. At the open air bar, we had our "welcome rum punch" and snacks which included Lion Fish ceviche. Alejandro, the resort chef, asked very casually if there was anything we do not like, are allergic to, or have other intolerances for. I told him that I really liked just about anything, but that I didn't care for olives or peppers. One night at dinner, the group all commented on a dish that had distinct flavors and we're trying to name some of the ingredients. The group agreed that olives was one of them, and I disagreed, saying there were none on my plate. Sure enough, there weren't. It took us a while to figure out that the staff had actually listened and served my dish without the one ingredient I didn't care for. Wow.

Dining was done in a central dining room. At breakfast they take your order for lunch and at lunch they take your order for dinner. They have two offerings for each meal (generally a meat and fish), but you can really request whatever you want (as several of our group did). You certainly will not go hungry here and Ally makes some of the best banana bread in all of Honduras.

Diving is done from the "Miss U." It leaves from two different docks depending on the water conditions. If the water is calm, the dock is a short walk from the village. If not (as it was on most of our dives), you leave from a dock that is a short "jungle bus" ride from the village. The diving is very easy as there are little currents here. One of our divers was newly certified and had no problems with the diving.

We did have a fantastic whale shark encounter which you can see on the resorts Facebook posts. At the end of our trip Paul sent us a link to a Dropbox that had almost 600 pictures from our week there. If you are like me and sometimes forget to take pictures during your trip, you will really appreciate this.

If you have not tried this resort and like a secluded place where you can relax and dive, then give this place a shot. Our group is already talking about a return trip in 2016.

Room Tip: The bungalow rooms have direct views of the ocean.
  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank Greg5124
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul A, Owner at Utopia Village, responded to this reviewResponded September 24, 2015

Thank you so much for your comprehensive review and your kind words about the resort. We really appreciate your recognition of our staff and the work that they do. Your olive story made us all smile, because as a team we often talk about the importance of paying attention to the small details. We enjoyed meeting and spending time with you and the whole group and we eagerly await your return (we truly are looking forward to it). I continue to practice my lion fish hunting skills in the mean time:-)

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Reviewed September 14, 2015 via mobile

I'm From the minute we landed at the Utila airport, Paul from Utopia Village was there to see that our group and luggage were taken care of. The short trip to Bush's pier on a "tuk tuk" proved exhilarating and the boat ride with Devin was peaceful and relaxing after two flights to get to paradise.

Once we arrived at Utopia Village we were told to leave our luggage and head to the visitor center for our orientation. After that we were given time to check out our rooms (ocean view) and put away our luggage.

No aspect of this trip was overlooked by The owners, Paul and Chrisna, or the ENTIRE Utopia Village staff! As Paul said to us, "you are like friends who have come to visit." Suzanne, my wife, flew down to Utila with a case of bronchitis and even though she was given prescription drugs by her doctor in the states, I truly believe it was the "bed side manner" of Chrisna, the dining staff and the masseuse. By Tuesday she was feeling better and able to go diving. And to top it all off, it was the day we saw our first WHALE SHARK!! An awesome encounter that Paul did not get to witness (LOL). We were with the young whale shark for several minutes. All this was due to the keen eyes of our boat captain, Elvis.

Our dives were phenomenal with the outstanding guidance of our dive masters Anka and Marko. Every dive was a new encounter with amazing plants and creatures. A better team of professionals we could not have asked for and yet they felt like friends we had not seen in some time.

When I left the states for Utila I actually weighed myself and when I got back I reluctantly weighed myself again. To my surprise I lost 4 pounds. Now you might ask why I included this in my review, the reason being, Alex and the entire culinary team made such delicious meals that I should have come back several pounds heavier. Alex from day one asked each of us our likes and dislikes and made sure that none of us were allergic to certain foods. After that it was "Bon Appetite."

When it was time to kick back and relax after a day of diving and whale shark watching, Stephanie, our barkeep, was there to take care of our "adult beverage" needs. Actually, she was everywhere taking care of us. At the pool, the bar, the dining area, the tour, EVERYWHERE!! What a phenomenal person.

The one thing the Bay Islands have that no one wants are the sand fleas (unaffectionately known as "no see'em") and mosquitoes. I was attacked mercilessly even after the liberal application of insect repellent and my arms and legs were a war zone. Chrisna was on the spot with allergy medicine and ointment for the bites. Try and get that type of service from another resort. I really felt like I was at a friends house for the week!

From the boat captains, to the grounds keepers, to the host and hostess, to the barkeep, the entire dive crew, and our constant companions (Hondo, Maya and Otto) our experience was memorable.

So, in closing and to put this review in perspective, if you want to be pampered but feel like you're with family, I highly recommend Utopia Village. If you want a dive experience second to none, I recommend Utopia Village. If you want to relax and be taken care of, I recommend Utopia Village.

Paul, Chrisna, Stephanie, Marko, Anka, Elvis, Alex, Devin and all the others that made our trip so fantastic, thank you and we will be back (queue the Arnold Schwarzenegger voice).

Stayed: September 2015, travelled with friends
5  Thank Jesse B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paul A, Owner at Utopia Village, responded to this reviewResponded September 17, 2015

An appropriate title given the absolutely amazing and very unique whale shark encounter you had. We were so exited and happy for the entire group, despite the fact that you did not come back to pick me up at the resort first :-). We were especially glad that your wife was feeling better that morning and was able to experience it too.Thank you for your kind words about the staff, the food (we told you the island desserts had no calories :-) ), the diving and the service. It truly makes us happy when our guests have a great time. We are sorry the bugs took a liking to you but glad that the allergy medication/ointment helped. You and your entire group were so kind and generous and we can't wait for you to return.

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