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Dive Review of Utopia Village in

Utopia Village: "Luxury Valet Diving", Sep, 2016,

by Ken, ON, CA (Contributor Contributor 15 reports with 15 Helpful votes). Report 9113 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments In our many years of vacation diving, Utopia Village stands out as a luxury destination focused on great diving. Paul and Crisna were excellent hosts with a top notch family-like team. And they are invested in making a difference**. This is not a resort that has some diving, it is a luxury diving resort. Emphasis on diving and luxury.

We have had valet diving once before and Utopia Village service was similar in nature, but much more flexible (see below) and much more valet. We dropped our gear off at the start of the week and picked it up at the end. The dive crew handled everything in between. Actually we did not get to drop our gear off. As we headed to the dive shop with our gear, several staff "popped out of the bushes", grabbed our bags and carried them to the shop.

There were 3 scheduled dives each day, but you could do more (or less) if you wished. Most days were 3 boat dives: a double tank dive starting at 8:00 am and a single tank starting at 2:00pm. There was some small variation with a checkout shore dive on the first day and a night dive mid week (dinner was greatly delayed for this).

Flexibility: Every dive was well over an hour. We never felt rushed to get back on the boat. The night shore dive was 79 minutes. One morning Evelyn spotted dolphins swimming past the resort - we rushed in the jungle buggy to the boat, spent 10 minutes locating them and then we all snorkeled with the dolphins. Boat Captn Elvis even maneuvered the boat so that the dolphins played in the bow wave and Elvis brought them back to us snorkelers. This interlude meant lunch would have to wait for us. The surface interval on the morning dives was spent looking for potential sea life encounters. Instead of sitting at the mooring Elvis motored in a large arc to the next site. One day we encountered a sailfish feeding? on the surface. We slipped in with snorkels, but spooked it. Oops.

The land based resort side was pure luxury. Over the top. Very surprising for a remote and small place like Utila. Lodging, service and food was excellent. It stood out beyond any other dive trip. The prior week we had spent on Roatan at a very popular dive resort and that quickly paled in comparison.

Breakfast offered an array of local Honduran dishes AND an ala cart menu (which I never used, can you say full of delicious?). At breakfast you ordered your lunch and at lunch you ordered your dinner. Every meal had a choice of 2 apps and 2 mains, but they suggested you try a half order of everything. After a few days we just waved them away and said "bring us some food". Every meal I had at Utopia was better than the fancy steak house dinners I ate in Houston on our way to/from Honduras. As foodies, we asked Crisna about her chefs. Chefs? Nope! Just some local cooks that are very capable, very interested in food and have been given the mandate to have fun and make interesting and tasty food. Some highlights were the fresh lionfish meal (hunted by the crew on an afternoon dive at an un-named seamount off the west cays) as well as the tuna sushi meal that Crisna waffled on since Melvin had phoned to say he hooked one but had not landed it yet. Fresh fish!

Lunch in the pool... No bathing suit needed. They set up "picnic tables" in the shallow end and you get to eat lunch under a shroud with your feet in the cool water of the infinity pool.

** the difference: Paul and Crisna have "gone Honduran". They take pride in employing local people and are very active in spearheading environmental programs at the Pigeon Cay school. They arranged a volunteer English teacher and are actively teaching all of their staff English and Scuba.

P.S. If you ask nicely they will sell you some of their home made hot sauce. I preferred the green stuff over the yellow stuff. Use sparingly. Yum!

Websites Utopia Village   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Multiple Caribbean, Hawaii, PNG
Closest Airport utila Getting There from RTB via Island Air with Captain Angelo!

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 83-85°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-80 Ft/ 15-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Unsure. All of our dives were long and shallow.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments they handled my camera perfectly. The boat did not have any permanent camera tank, they used a pair of coolers for masks and cameras. They brought a bigger camera cooler after they saw my rig.
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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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