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Dive Review of Reef House Resort in

July, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Jill Rain, WA, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (8 reports, with 3 Helpful votes)
Report Number 5696
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean, western Pacific, Hawaii, US west coast, Australia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry  
calm, choppy, no currents  
Water Temp
85   to 87    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
depth, stay with group  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or  
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
Reef House Resort FACILITY: on small cay reached by boat opposite Oak Ridge
town, an hour's drive by winding road from airport and busy West End, faces
the ocean on windward side of Roatan (all rooms with view, some better than
others, modest but comfortable except for bed - hard as a rock), mainland
Honduras visible on horizon; small one-story old converted fishing lodge,
rustic but attractive and in good condition; AC, good plumbing, electricity
(went out once, used backup generator); oriented around central sandy
landscaped courtyard, private, quiet (even though the rest of the cay is
fully built-out on small lots which means no private rambling); no beach
(but that's a good thing, lessens sand flies), has a big snorkeling pool
out front with turtles, moray, barracuda, conchs, fireworms. Free Wi-Fi,
satellite tv, honor bar, comfortable hanging-out areas inside lodge and on
deck outside. Meals at communal table, fixed hours, weekly fixed menu
rotation; food is ample, well-prepared, US Southern cuisine for most part,
with magnificent desserts (esp. fresh coconut cream pie); self-serve early
morning coffee (good Honduran); plenty of potable water, ice. Staff
unobtrusive, professional, long-time employees (little turnover). Excellent
management: Mike the owner is present and hands-on, keeps things running
smoothly, friendly, fixes things immediately, pitches in on all aspects of
the operation personally, makes arrangements, checks email daily. Sand
flies can be a problem, for sure bring repellant. Quiet and relaxed
atmosphere, no partying (most of us in bed by 9), people come here to dive,
eat, dive, relax, dive, sleep, dive....
DIVE OPERATION: dock 5 minute walk from your room, on other side of cay
(facing Oak Ridge); aluminum-80s, consistently 3000 psi, 3 dives/day, two
in morning (surface interval on boat, they duck into a protected bay if
rough water out on reef), one after lunch; dedicated dive boat with shade;
you set up your gear, disassemble, rinse and store each day yourself; short
(mostly 10-20 minute) trips to sites; during our 2 week trip there were
from 8 to 14  divers each day, one dive master. This could have been a
problem but wasn't: boat big enough, routines well-organized for getting
in/out, assembling/keeping track underwater. Divers were generally
competent/responsible and low-current, fair viz conditions made keeping
track of group feasible. Longtime divemaster David excellent: good
briefings, good choice of sites for conditions, found/showed us lots, esp.
small critters, patient, made sure anyone who wanted to see something,
could. Conservative profiles, usually dropped onto reef top at 15-20', then
down to 80-90' on walls, gradually up, to spend safety stop on reef top,
able to see stuff at all stages of dive; most dives about an hour. Viz
generally no more than 80' so this profile most suitable for best views of
life. No nitrox, but this was a plus for us, simplifies dive group
cohesiveness and not necessary for these profiles; we were just fine after
3 dives/day straight through for 2 weeks, not cold or tired. Most dives
from moored boat, sometimes a drift dive; backroll entry, get out on swim
step: hand up gear, hoist self up, usually fine but on rough days it's a
challenge and potentially dangerous. Didn't cancel any dives though, even
on rough days. Never saw any other dive groups, sites around Oak Ridge and
east toward Port Royal. Generally little current, moderate viz, very warm
water, some litter (abandoned lines, batteries etc). Resort equipment in
good condition, except for several days of blown O-rings, which Mike then
dealt with. Night dives once a week: first week was too rough to go out of
harbor, group dropped into polluted town water to swim out, one diver's
tank blew O-ring and when he came up, got disoriented and swam into sharp
coral getting back to boat; second week, plague of jellyfish getting
in/out, lots of stings. 
MARINE LIFE SEEN: Huge "old growth" corals and sponges of great
variety and lushness, colorful, abundant, good condition mostly. Few large
fish (local overfishing) or pelagics: some groupers, a few spotted eagle
rays, nurse sharks. Many seahorses: large, various colors and patterns.
Lots of typical small reef fish, especially juveniles. Scorpionfish, moray,
reef squid, comb jellies, several octopuses in daytime. Often saw large
schools of wrasses, jacks, spadefish, snappers on reef edge. Invasive
Pacific lionfish infesting these waters, saw them on every dive, and though
divemaster and others spear them, seems no hope of eradicating them. Eat
vast numbers of small native reef fish, including herbivores, and algae is
starting to grow over corals and sponges. Weekly optional shark dive on
West End, pay extra. You may be at RHR when the sea turtle researcher from
Loma Linda is there doing work with rescued hawksbills: rehab,
documentation, tagging, release, even share some dives with them, certainly
learn a lot about turtles, which are kept temporarily in the snorkeling
OVERALL VALUE: Excellent. About $100/day/person for lodging, food, diving
and airport transfer. Nice friendly relaxed atmosphere. Quiet, private.
Extremely well-run operation. Will come here again for sure.
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Other dive reports on Reef House Resort

All Honduras Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Honduras
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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