Wonderful trip. I just returned (1/28/12-2/4/12) and had a great experience. They exceeded my expectations. The fact that I’ve taken this much time to write this review demonstrates my satisfaction with Anthony’s Key Resort (AKR). They did a great job and I they’ve earned this review.
Dive Operations – this was by far the best dive operation I’ve experienced. It was clear from the beginning that everything they do has been from a divers perspective. It was amazing how well they are organized. First each diver receives their own locker in a secured room which is just steps away from your dive boat. This allowed us to not lug our equipment (and weights) back and forth, and you had access to the locker room for most of the day (locked at night). Dive Board – I thought this was a great idea. Each boat has a dedicated board that show the times of each dive for the day, and you just put your locker number in the column for which dive you want to go on (as many or few as you desire). There was usually a night dive available as well. They also have their own wreck site just off the dock which you can dive anytime you’d like. As I mentioned, when you arrive you are assigned to the same boat all week, which means you get to know your Captain (ours was Kenly), Dive Master (ours was Jeromie), and fellow divers well, and provided a sense of safety knowing the captain & dive master got to know you and your needs over the course of the week.
Dive sites – one of the best features of AKR is how amazingly close the dive sites are to the resort. Many other dive destinations I’ve been to, you load up for the day and don’t come back until all dives have been completed. At AKR, the boat returned after each dive which allowed divers to pick which and how many dives they wanted to participate. Many of the dive sites you almost could swim to from the Key. Most dives sites were 5-10 min boat ride. There are more dive sites than you can dive in a week. They also provide unlimited shore dives. They have a small dive shack on the key with tanks, just bring your gear over and you can dive just steps away from your cabin. This was a popular choice after the last dive of the day for those that didn’t get enough during the day.
Grounds - They did a great job of maintain their grounds. I heard from someone from another resort say that the owners of AKR really took pride in their grounds and they were constantly raking the sand, leaves, etc… They were also constantly planting new flowers/trees. In doing my research prior to the trip there was a lot of comments about sand fleas on the island. None of the other AKR guests we talked with from the resort had been bitten by the sand fleas. When we left the resort it was another story (not bad). When we met other travelers to Roatan, their legs were covered with bites. What I heard was that the raking of the sand & debris at AKR kept these critters away or buried, which we all appreciated. Also on the Key there was a pool in the middle with a bar which you could lounge after or instead of your dive and sip a cocktail. They provided towels at the pool which was nice.
Cabins – they are fairly basic (ours was #40) and consisted of 2 beds, sink, toilet, and shower, and A/C, no TV. All of the cabins on the key were waterfront, which was great. Frankly it was all we needed as we spent so little time in our room, too busy diving. What we really enjoyed the most was the attached covered deck with hammocks. The fact that they were covered allowed us to put our wet items out to dry out. We ended up laying in the hammocks every night and most nights fell asleep out there listening to the waves. We were in a Key Superior room which meant it had A/C which we liked. If I went back room #39 would be my choice as that was basically the same configuration but had an additional uncovered deck closer to the water if you wanted to lay in the sun.
Food & Drink – this is an all-inclusive resort which they provide a small breakfast menu to order from, then for lunch & dinner there were always a choice of 2 entrees. The food was surprisingly good, and the soups were excellent. The bar was located next to the dining area which meant you could grab a drink before/during/after dinner if you choose. The bar closed down at 10pm which was fine for most of us as we were tired from all the dives and didn’t want to ruin our next day’s dives.
Other amenities – it was great having a convenience store, photo shop, air chamber, health clinic, dive education center, gift shop, and Roatan Institute for Marine Science (RIMS) which ran the dolphin training center, dolphin shows and a small museum. These amenities made it possible to not have to leave the resort for anything.
Excursions – there were also a number of onsite and offsite coordinated act ivies offered, such as shark dives, dolphin encounter/snorkel/dives, zip line, etc… to provide some variety or activities for the non-divers.
Air Chamber – it was also nice to know that the island chamber was right next door, should you need it, but hopefully not.
All the staff were extremely accommodating & friendly. You didn't have to carry any $$ the whole week which was nice, everything was billed to your account, and only do tips at the end. Within a few days most staff knew your name and which cabin you were in to charge your extras back to.
The only suggestion I would have is better wifi. It was dependable and always available from the lobby/dining/bar area but when a number of people were all on (many doing Skype) it got bogged down. I think this has more to do with their telco and less to do with AKR. It would have been nice to also be able to get wifi on the Key in our rooms.
Thanks AKR for a wonderful trip!!
Key Superior cabin is worth having A/C. I would also request cabin #39 since it has the covered dec...
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