The Inn of Last Resort suits us perfectly! Easy diving with lots of colorful fish, creatures and coral, great food and accommodations, helpful and pleasant staff and a chance to relax, relax, relax surrounded by blue water and blue skies.
My husband and I have spent 2 weeks in each of the past 3 years at ILR and although with each visit some things have changed, we have always had a Great time. ILR is a small, rustic resort set on Gibson Bight (which is a small cove or harbor, they say one of the safest of the island). The resort is made up of 4 buildings. The lodge which faces Gibson Bight encompasses the dining room, bar, lounge, game area, gift shop, TV and library. The other 3 buildings are the guest quarters, each with 10 rooms on 2 floors. The 4 buildings form a square with cement walkways and tropical gardens in between. The rooms are large and rustic with wood paneling and flooring. Each room has a queen size bed and 2 twin beds. The bathroom is small with a stall shower, but functional. All the rooms are air conditioned with 2 ceiling fans as well.
Each room has a large open closet with built in shelves and hanging space as well as overhead storage for say your luggage. The rooms have a large window that faces out into the jungle like gardens.
The food is great. This trip the Inn had a new restaurant manager and he was still trying out some new recipes. So after many meals we were asked what we thought. Breakfast is whatever you want off a standard menu (Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, French toast, Pancakes, Toast, Fresh Fruit, Juice, etc) or the daily special. Lunch and Dinner are a fixed menu that is posted in the Lodge. Lunch is usually a one plate meal such as Chicken Kabob’s with rice and beans, Baked Fish with vegetables and rice, Spanish Enchiladas with rice and beans or on picnic day ILR’s famous Fried Chicken and potato salad and always served with some kind of cookie or cake for dessert. Dinners are a little more formal with several courses. Dinner starts with some kind of appetizer such as soup, pasta, salad or maybe even shrimp cocktail. Then the main course is meat, potatoes and vegetables. A few examples that we had were Pasta with tomatoes, Bacon Wrapped Filet, Broiled Potatoes and Cheesecake or French Onion soup, Lobster tails, Baked Potatoes, Peas and Carrots and Banana Pie or Tossed Salad. Baked Red Snapper with Pasta and Key Lime Pie. All the meals were plentiful, but you can always ask for seconds. There are appetizers served at the bar each evening before dinner. The bar in on a check system. Each time you get something from the bar or the gift shop they fill out a slip and have you initial it. That way you need no money during your stay. On you last day, you settle up your bar bill.
So now your wondering about the diving, isn’t that why we came?? Yes. The diving is great. ILR has 2 large dive boats the Miss Susan and Special Lady. Each has a dry box as well as area in the center of the boat. They have 2 rinse tanks in back, one dedicated to cameras. There is plenty of storage under the benches for weights or fins. They have a platform on the back, so you enter via Giant Stride and then 2 ladders for exit. The boats are covered and their roofs have access via a ladder for those who want to sun bathe on the ride. Most of dive sites are within a 10-minute ride of the resort and there are 3 single tank dives planned per day. Most of the time you come back to ILR for your surface interval. It gives you a chance to change film, batteries, get a soda or whatever. Dive times are 8:30 AM, 10:30 AM and 2 PM. Dives are lead by a Divemaster and last usually 50 minutes with a 3-minute safety stop required. Depending on the site some of the dives are a drift and others are moored. The diving is mostly wall diving, going down to a planned depth and then slowly working your way back shallow. Once a week the resort does a 2 tank AM dive, usually to the other side of the island, since the coral formations are different. We even had the opportunity to go to Mary’s Place this trip. Mary’s Place is a site that what closed for several years and is now open with restrictions. For those staying at ILR it is a 90 minute boat ride to get there, so that day we only did 2 dives, but Mary’s Place was a neat dive. Once a week, weather permitting they also have a picnic lunch down on West Bay Beach. They also do one boat night dive a week, omitting the 8:30 AM dive and adding 6 PM.
The life is incredible!!!! All of the sites have tropical fish galore. This trip was lots of turtles. We saw turtles at least once a day if not more. We only saw a few Spotted Eagle Rays all at a distance. Even thought this was our 3rd trip to Roatan there is always something new to look for and see. After 12 days of diving and 16 rolls of film later my camera was glad when the trip came to an end. There is so much to see, the slower you go the more you can find and finding something unusual is the golden prize. They have a set of Humann’s books so that you can look up any fish or creatures you want to identify.
The dive shop is just a few feet away from the boats. They have several fresh water rinse buckets out on the dock for your gear at the end of the day. Each room has four pegs in the shop for your gear storage and the shop is locked when no one is inside and at night.
The resort has a lagoon that is a short walk from the room with a dock and chairs to watch the sunset and it is beautiful. The water at the dock is about 4-5 feet deep and goes to about 10 feet out by the reef. There is a natural cut in the coral with a marker on it and you can swim through and be out on one of the dive sites, Fish Den. You can dive from the lagoon any time, just let them know ahead and the staff will have tanks down there for you. Fish Den is a nice dive site and is easily navigated at night.
What else can I say?? What more could you want, eat, sleep, dive and relax. A perfect diving vacation. There are some places that you can visit topside and the Inn has a receptionist who can help you make any arrangements needed. LESLIE BARDELL
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