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Dive Review of Royal Playa Resort in

May, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Mark & Jan, CA, US (1 report)
Report Number 5519
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Roatan (Coco View), Bonaire, Cozumel, Maui, Loreto (Baja), Ambergis Caye
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
75   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No restrictions.  Dove our own profile. Typically 60 feet to 40 feet to gas
off at 30 feet. Typically surfaced with 500 psi.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 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  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
4 stars   
5 stars    
My wife and I chose Royal Playa Resort based on Undercurrent reviews of
resort as well as financial consideration.  We had contemplated a return to
Bonaire, a trip to Fiji (too expensive), Phillipines (too long of travel
time) as well as Hawaii (boat dives too expensive). We had a prior trip to
Roatan (Coco View).

Royal Playa Resort was described as "Fancy Camping, civilized
shoreline jungle living, live-aboard ease from land," which is a good
description. A few days were hot and if the tradewinds were not blowing we
got pretty warm. The cabana's have no ac, but a bed fan made sleeping
comfortable.  Most of our 'off' time was spent on the beautiful large
palapa over the water, cool ocean breezes and an unobstructed ocean view.
The resort is off the grid and relies on solar, generator, battery bank. No
seeums were a problem which is normal for Roatan.  Royal Playa lies on the
southeast end of Roatan which has good tradewinds. The resort is accessed
by boat and backs up to a jungle preserve. The resort typically gets an
ocean breeze that the West End of the island does not.  The food was very
good.  I am a bit picky about my food and the cook went out of her way to
accomodate my tastes.
We had the option to do 3 dives a day but only dove twice a day with the
exception of one day. The reason for doing 2 dives was that we averaged 75
minutes/dive. We had one 90 minute dive and our last dive was 122 minutes,
keeping shallow depths. We never felt the need to get in a 3rd dive. The DM
allowed us to dive our own profile and was good at pointing out critters we
might have otherwise missed.  We usually dove with a slight current and
never had to dive against the current. The DM and captain handled our gear
with confident knowledge and safety. We used one of the smaller boats,
back-rolling into the water; larger boat was available for larger groups.

In 2 weeks of diving we saw 2 dive boats in "our area." Coco View
sent a boat to the area but we heard they charged $50 per diver for the
trip (not verified). We never encountered a dive boat at our dive sites. No
one appears to operate this far east.  Lots of black coral, sea fans,
barrel sponges, many schools of small fish, Jacks, baracuda, groupers,
nurse sharks, drum fish, octopus, rays, morays, one slipper lobster, lots
of spiny lobster and king crab. The reefs are in excellent condition,
mostly untouched by large dive groups. Unfortunately we saw a lot of
lionfish (would estimate 40-50+).

The DM did take us west to dive Calvin's Crack which is a "noted"
swim through for many resorts.  After the dive we told the DM not to bother
with dives to the west (including Mary's Place) as the diving on the east
end has much better diving including swim throughs.  We told the DM take us
to dive sites he would want to dive which he was happy to do. 
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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