Ever popular Cocoview Dive Resort is somewhat an anomaly in an otherwise slow industry. Around the world, numbers are down at resorts, and dive resorts in particular. Cocoview however, maintains their numbers. Eighty percent occupancy at low times is nearly unheard of. Look at several nearby resorts that are closed for several months in the slow season. A nearly 50 percent return rate helps. There is a special name for those that come back time after time-Coco Nuts. After a visit it is easy to see why.
Upon arriving at the dock, a friendly captain whisks me away through a mangrove channel to a resort accessible only by boat.
Managers Mitch and Debbie Karlson greet me on the other side. We start off in the open air screened-in restaurant. Tables are made up and place mats are set. A closer look reveals each is a drawing of a different Roatan dive site. This small detail is indicative of the resort as whole. Everything is geared toward The Diver. The boats had just gone out for the second trip of the day. So no one was around. If you come to Cocoview, you come to dive. Most guests will do the infamous shore dive as a drop off on the way back in so there is plenty of time for the staff to get their work done.
Twenty nine rooms are both on the sandy peninsula and several cabins sit over the water connected by a myriad of walkways. We look into a few cabins. Rustic, yet everything is there. From hairdryers, to refrigerators, coffee pots, air con, and the essential hammock on the shaded porch. Deluxe service in a laid back atmosphere.
As we tour, Mitch and Debbie reveal their story. How did they get to be onsite managers of the most popular dive resort in Roatan? They used to be clients-Coco Nuts themselves. When they were approached by the owners to manage the place it seemed like the perfect situation. Why not live in a place they would love to retire? They packed their bags and headed down to Cocoview indefinitely. The resort has been in operation for over 30 years. They manage a well oiled machine. Mitch is the first to admit they had nothing to do with this (I have a feeling he is too humble), and merely maintain what they have inherited. They stay busy and make improvements wherever they can. As we meander around the extensive property, they point out what is new in the last few years. Quite a bit.
What keeps the divers returning? The obvious answer is diving. But many places offer diving. It is the attention to detail and complete and total respect for The Diver. All you can eat buffet meals, all inclusive dive packages, a well run dive operation, large boats that are not too crowded, 24 hour unlimited shore diving (yes you can dive at 3am if you wish), divemasters that know everyone by name, any and every dive gadget you could want available onsite, photo and video pros, and most of all a sense of family. Many staff members have been at the resort for years and a few since the beginning. That says something. All are local and proud to be part of such a great operation.
How do you become a Coco Nut? Visit 5 times (the 10th trip is free) and you are inducted into the Coco Nut Hall of Fame. To start your journey find more info at http://www.cocoviewresort.com/.
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