ANTHONY'S KEY RESORT ROATAN HONDURAS
It was that time of year again. We longed for warm tropical breezes, pristine clear water, palm tree’s swaying and spectacular diving. We pondered the idea of Bonaire or the Bahamas, but our hearts were once again drawn to the Bay Islands. Roatan is the largest of the three Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras and our favorite island destination. This being our third visit to the Bay Islands since our honeymoon, we decided to go all out.
After careful consideration we chose to stay at the all-inclusive Anthony’s Key Resort which is centrally located in Sandy Bay, Roatan. The all-inclusive resort includes everything required for a stress-free, romantic, relaxing destination wherein one never has to leave their resort. Anthony’s has everything and I mean everything. Utmost on our list was of course fabulous diving. Three dives a day were included in the price. Along with the stellar diving, there is horseback riding, kayaking, dolphin shows, spa treatments, entertainment, a great pool, and really scrumptious cuisine.
Our water front bungalow was located on Anthony’s private key. Can you think of anything more romantic than a waterfront bungalow? Due to the limited availability during the busy Christmas season, we had to book a bungalow without air-conditioning. Our bungalow had a cozy bed, ceiling fan, and large screened in windows surrounding our entire room allowing the soft Caribbean breeze to gently blow through our room during the night. To our surprise even in the day time the temperature was quite comfortable with the ceiling fan.
The central part of the resort is on the main island, so every morning we walked down to the water taxi to hitch a ride to breakfast. The taxi is less than a minute ride across the calm harbor to the resort. If we wanted to get the captain’s attention all we had to do was bang on the scuba tank hanging from the dock. There was something quite amusing about banging on that tank every morning!
The resort has many dive boats, one of which we were assigned to for the entire week. Lockers and rinsing stations were provided right on the dock for our scuba gear. They assigned us the same dive master and boat captain for the week. It was nice to have the same crew on the boat every day as were diving three times a day plus the mid-week night dive. The captain and the dive master were incredibly friendly, eager to help out, and very safety conscious. This continuity coupled with the professional staff allowed us to just go and enjoy our dives each day.
The water was a toasty 78 degrees, however, I do recommend a five-millimeter full-length wet suit as I was in my three-millimeter and I got a bit chilly after about 30 minutes on my dives. Due to the rainy season the visibility was not at its best, but still a most satisfying sixty- feet plus on most dives. We also had plenty of sunshine for the rainy time of year.
There were many gorgeous walls to explore with colorful corals and sponges. We saw multiple sea turtles, eels, trumpet fish, lobsters, barracuda, and an array of colorful fish. There was always something exiting to photograph.
As if diving all day wasn’t enough, there were many other fun things to keep us entertained. The kayaks are located on the beach out on the key: no need to sign up, we just grabbed one whenever the mood struck. Anthony’s Key Resort is home to island’s dolphin research center. Every day around 4:30p.m. they would escort the dolphins from their large ocean pen to the area where they performed a live show. We would grab a kayak and paddle on over to the show and it felt like we were part of the dolphin escort. It was so incredible to float in the water right along where the dolphins were jumping and showing off for the guests. Afterwards, we would paddle behind the escort boat and watch the dolphins frolic and play as they made their way back to their pen. Then we would float around and watch the beautiful sunset. What a great way to end the day!
The resort has an activities board near the front desk listing all the events planned for the week. One day we rode horses along the beach for about an hour. Some nights they had live music in the restaurant. They even had real live traditional garifuna dancers on Christmas Eve. About mid-week, the resort hosted a barbeque out on the key complete with fire dancers, hermit crab races, limbo, and live music. The ribs and the fresh fish were mouth watering.
There was so much fun to be had at Anthony’s Key Resort that it was really wonderful. One day they ferried all the guests by boat to the other side of the island for a picnic. We enjoyed a couple dives on that side of the island as well as lunch. A nice private beach to relax on and a gorgeous pool rounded out the lovely day.
During our two-week stay we only left the resort once to visit the famous West end, which is just short taxi ride from the resort. We were so content and well taken care of we really had no other need or desire to leave the resort. And, I have to admit I did enjoy the enormous gift shop as well. Diving, horseback riding, kayaking, beach bungalows, and did I mention the fantastic pool located in the middle of the bungalows equipped with a full bar and snacks to order form the kitchen. There are plenty of shady nooks and chairs to doze off in next to the pool. This is really paradise!
There was everything we needed and it was all-inclusive. We really had such an amazing time that I can whole-heartily recommend Anthony’s Key Resort for a great destination. We have been on many dive vacations over the years and this by far exceeded our highest expectations. We will definitely be returning for some more fun in the sun. We sure had a blast! Happy dive travels Lady Divers!
Getting there: Direct flights from Houston and Miami now fly into the small island of Roatan on a regular basis. Continental has been our carrier of choice from the west coast on every trip and we were not disappointed. Customs has always goes smoothly and it is organized in Roatan’s small airport. I strongly advise not transferring in San Salvador as it is much smoother to fly directly to Roatan.
This article was first published on http://www. ladydivermagazine.com
Written by Karma Crampton, San Diego.