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Photo journey -- Reef House Resort, Roatan (May 26 - June 2, 2012)

Discussion in 'Bay Islands' started by VicScubaVentures, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. VicScubaVentures

    VicScubaVentures PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Victoria, BC
    I just spent a week at Roatan's Reef House Resort (www.reefhouseresort.com) and came home with a few hundred photos.

    Here's a >>LINK<< to my FB photo album (no FB membership required).

    Happy to answer any questions about my RHR experience.

    mblake and Doc like this.
  2. RichKirby

    RichKirby Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Savannah, GA
    I will be there next month. SO looking forward to it.
  3. bkpix

    bkpix Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Las Vegas, NV
    We too love the Reef House. Have been there twice now and are in the planning stages of our third trip. Diving with Davit is always great, he's so good at spotting small critters. My avatar here on SB is from our first trip out there. It is still the only white sea horse I've ever seen. Click on the 57 after Photos under my avatar to see more shots from Roatan as well as other places.
  4. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    It looks beautiful. Got a question for any of you who've been here & also to CocoView:

    I've had some 2 tank dive trips on cruise vacations to different places (St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel) so I've enjoyed a few charter boat trips. But I've been blessed with 5 Bonaire trips, & I love shore diving freedom. I want to hit Roatan, but I'd like sweet, sweet shore diving available.

    Forum reviews suggest CocoView is the place for that, but it seems Reef House Resort also has shore diving. Any idea how it compares between them, and how the locations compare in terms of access to non-diving activities (I have a wife who's not as dive-happy as I am)?

  5. Doc

    Doc Was RoatanMan

    # of Dives:
    Location: Chicago & O'Hare heading thru TSA 5x per year with
    The shore dive is equally close to both resorts in comparison.

    CCV's shore dive is quite a bit more sheltered, allowing access during many days that would make RHR a non-starter. CCV also has a "parked" 140' intact freighter, upright in 35-65fsw on the shore dive, plus chunks of a DC-3.

    RHR's shore dive's best feature is that it is exposed to constant weather- the reef, when you can get at it, looks a lot nicer due to the large water exchange.

    I took more pix of the resort and boats itself, I was shooting on a day where the wind was up. Reef House Resort Roatan pictures by Doc_Adelman - Photobucket No shore diving when it's like this. The large boat I had pix of may no longer be there per VicScubaVentures pix.

    But all of that is kind of irrelevant- no matter what the wind and wave, the area of RHR that lies inshore of the breakwall (in front of the bar) is some of the best night diving to be found. All protected and shallow- RHR's front porch dive is well worth it.

    Neither Resort, CCV or RHR is an ideal place for a fidgety non-diver. I suppose RHR is about 1 Point worse than CCV on a scale of 1-5 but in terms of "access", well, I suppose the cab ride to access "non-dive activities" is about 40 minutes shorter from CCV. This is assuming you're talking about shopping or known tourist events/activities.

    i think, in general, RHR has a more commodious atmosphere for non-divers. It is micro-compact and has a nice front deck lounge area. CCV pretty much so ignores non-divers, maybe that's why very few arrive. RHR hosts guests from Europe, and remember that their idea of a vacay is different than our peculiar North American dive-dive-dive expectations.
    drrich2 likes this.
  6. VicScubaVentures

    VicScubaVentures PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Victoria, BC
    Honestly, I don't think either location is ideal for non-diving guests. RHR is a long cab ride to either Coxen Hole or West Bay. Because the wind & waves are a much bigger factor at RHR (there were days where shore diving wouldn't have been safe), snorkeling would be more accessible at CCV. If CCV is "summer camp for divers", RHR is less "campy" and more "rustic".
  7. RichKirby

    RichKirby Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Savannah, GA
    I would love to hear what you though overall. The resort, the diving, the experience, etc. Any pointers? Feel free to PM me if you prefer.
  8. Griffins

    Griffins Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Los Angeles
    I'd be interested in hearing any recent reports on Reef House as well- we just booked our first trip there for November.
  9. mblake

    mblake Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Centennial, CO
    Karen Cleveland likes this.
  10. VicScubaVentures

    VicScubaVentures PADI Pro

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Victoria, BC
    My opinion only .... based on my experiences elsewhere (CoCo View is the most applicable comparison), my expectations, and my personal experience:

    Meet & Greet at the airport 6.5/10 It took some hunting to find the RHR greeter, and I had to haul my bags to the curbside through the chaos.

    Transport to RHR 7.5/10 The airport to RHR taxi van was small, but the AC worked. The water taxi across the bay at Oak Ridge was an experience to itself.

    Initial impression RHR property 8/10 The property is clean, looks well maintained, fenced, and as close to the dive locker / dock as at CCV.

    Room 8/10 The room I was assigned was clean, fresh linens and towels. Housekeeping did a good job all week. AC worked all week. No bathtub
    but a large shower with plenty of hot water. Housekeeping kept a jug of filtered water topped off in the room all week. Don't drink
    the tap water.

    Dive boat 8/10 The main dive boat Henry Morgan is older, but roomy for 8 divers (we had as many as 11 on at once). No ladders, but platform
    at the stern made getting back on board easy once you learned the routine. New boat is used when there's enough divers to split
    the group into 2 (there were 13 divers while I was there, split 7 - 6 between boats). Neither boat is fast, but stable in rough seas.

    Dive gear 8/10 I took my own gear, but in looking at the gear used by people who rented from RHR while there it was brand name, and in good

    Air / Nitrox fills 10/10 Always between 3000 and 3200 psi. Nitrox was always blended to 32%. 02 analyzer on the boat for pre-departure gas checks.
    Air is included in your ticket price. Nitrox is available for $125 for the week, or $8 per tank (whichever is less). All tanks are AL80s.

    Dive Staff 9.5/10 The DM (Davit, pronounced Dah-Veet) is a long time employee and knows the dive sites very well. I deduct a bit for what I thought
    was too much attention paid to lionfish hunting and not enough to finding critters along the walls. Davit has great eyes and while
    coming back across the top of reefs he would always find the treasure critters. The boat captain (Choko, pronounced Cho-Ko) was
    always helping people back on-board after a dive, passing out / collecting cameras, checking "air on, or no lunch" before we hit the
    water, and always had a smile on his face. I will miss Davit and Choko.

    Diving 9/10 Because RHR is way off to the east on the south shore of Roatan, not many other places dive the RHR sites. They're all in much better
    shape than the sites I dove at CCV .... more critters, more variety, less dead coral, just healthier. It was always a challenge to decide
    if I'd set up for macro or wide angle photos for the day, but I always found a multitude of willing subjects during my dives. Bottom
    time is loosely set at 60 minutes. Davit plans the dives for 30 min deep (60-70 feet, maybe 80), then a gradual ascent up the wall to
    reef-top for the remaining 30 min so you end up doing your safety stop along the reef on the way back to the boat. Water was warm
    (82-84 Suunto degrees) and vis was consistently 60-80 feet. I managed a personal best 80 minute dive on an 80 cuf tank with a max
    depth of 65' .... there were a couple of 70-90 min dives for others during the week. Choko would start to rev the boat motor at about
    75 minutes .... they're on a schedule and need to get back to dock for guest lunches and then back to their families at day's end.
    I think I'll let the photos speak for the quality of diving around RHR. Most dive sites are within a 15 min boat ride. My personal
    favorite site was ISLAND SHORE, about a 30 min ride to the west from RHR. Make sure to ask to go to this site when you are at
    the Reef House.

    Food 4/10 I had read rave reports about the meals at RHR being so much better than what is served at CoCo View. I was sadly disappointed.
    Breakfasts were usually eggs n' toast or eggs n' tortilla, or eggs on biscuits -- we had pancakes once (could have had them again).
    Lunches and supper were disappointing, and at times, for me, not edible. Way too much white rice, mystery meat, and yellow sauce.
    Things got better towards the end of the week, with nice prawn & chicken kabobs, spaghetti, and a very nice steak n' lobster dinner
    on the last night. I talked to Mike (RHR owner) about my food experience, and he seemed a little shocked. Maybe I'm fussier than
    the average RHR guest, but in speaking to my fellow adventurers the consensus was that the food this particular week was very
    sub-par. Your mileage may vary .... perhaps the cook's cousin had died or something this particular week??? Don't ask about
    second helpings of anything ...the answer will be "no." Meals are accompanied by unsweetened ice tea and lemonade (Tang and other
    pre-mix fruit juices at breakfast), or water from the purifier. I know that I had an upset stomach the entire time I was at RHR and
    can only attribute it to the drinking water or the meals. Desserts at supper time were often frozen pies (think McCain style).

    Beverage / Bar 8/10 As a mostly non-drinker I don't care if there's not a wide selection of spirits and wines. RHR has a cooler at the back of the bar
    that is well stocked with Coke (and diet Coke), Fresca, Sprite, 3 local beers, and red / white wine. All is done on the honor system,
    help yourself, keep track of what you consume and settle your account when you leave. Pop was $1/bottle, beer was $2/bottle.
    I didn't try the wine, so I don't know what it cost or how good / not good it was.

    Overall Value 8/10 Considering a week at RHR cost me about $500 less than a week at CCV, and I dove in the same ocean off the same island, RHR
    represents a good value for the diving dollar. If the food was improved (I'd have killed for a good hamburger), I'd have no difficulty
    planning to go back to RHR. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that $500 is adequate compensation for having an upset stomach and being
    hungry most of the time. The jury is still "out" as to whether or not I'll go back. I have a reservation at CoCo View for April 2013
    that I'm not willing to cancel just yet.

    Hope you found this helpful. Holler if I can answer anything more specific.

    Doc likes this.

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