Keep your expectations low. One of the best places to stay is at Mirador de Amapala (tel. 504/795-8483, www.miradordeamapala.com, US$30–45 d), a few minutes’ walk from the main dock. Mirador means lookout, which is a bit deceiving, since only one or two of the 30 rooms have a view of the sea just across the street. The modern-style hotel, with air-conditioning, TV, and hot water, also has an adequate restaurant, a murky pool with a water slide, and free transportation via mototaxi to and from Playa Grande (imperative, given that the beach right at the hotel is unswimmable). Promising new rooms are being built right along the shoreline that look like they will truly have spectacular views. Room prices seem to vary according to how much business they have.
Directly on Playa Grande is the Hotel and Restaurant Dignita (tel. 504/795-8707, US$26 s/d without a/c, US$42 with a/c). The three simple rooms come with two double beds and private bath—but no view of the sea.
Hotel Playa Negra (tel. 504/220-1183 for the owner Roxani in Tegucigalpa, or 504/795-8027 to contact the hotel directly, US$79 s/d), up the hill from the beach of the same name, seems to have recovered from its nadir of disrepair. While the grounds are still somewhat run-down, rooms and the pool were clean during a recent visit. Reports since then have been hit or miss. The spacious rooms have two double beds and a small sofa, and there is a restaurant on-site with a nice view of the water. Kayaks can also be rented for a row in the sea.
There are a couple of places to stay at Playa El Burro. Aquatours Marbella (tel. 504/795-8050, US$42 s/d) has humid rooms with two double beds, private baths, and air-conditioning. They also charge nonguests US$2 a person to use their “entertainment center,” which consists of a cloudy pool, broken-down patio furniture, billiards, music, raggedy hammocks, and beach games. The next-door restaurant, Veleros (tel. 504/795-8040, US$16 s/d), has three simple but tidy rooms.
Locals also claim that the island is safe enough for camping right on the beach, if you should be so inclined.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition