Hotels in West Bay are a decided step up in price from West End, although there are still many reasonable options by international standards. Those who are really after some peace and quiet, and some serious beach time, may enjoy staying in West Bay. And while the restaurant selection can’t compete with West End, there are several spots worth seeking out. Some rooms in West Bay also have kitchens, or at least mini-fridges and microwaves, which can be useful for breakfasts and snacks.
Many house vacation rentals are available across the island. Try Roatan Life Vacation Rentals (tel. 504/445-3130, U.S. tel. 970/300-4078, www.roatanlifevacationrentals.com) for both short-term rentals and long-term leases. There are also listings on the website for Subway Watersports (www.subwaywatersports.com).
Rates skyrocket from those listed here during Easter and Christmas weeks, when rooms should be booked well in advance. Remember, all room rates are subject to a 16 percent tax, which has been included here but may or may not be included in the price quoted to you by the establishment itself.
Foster’s West Bay (tel. 504/445-1124, U.S. tel. 877/245-5907, www.fostersroatan.com, US$64–81 d, US$87–162 for suites, cabins, and duplexes that sleep 2–5) owns several cabins near the north end of West Bay beach. In addition, a small room built into the branches of a mango tree, complete with electricity and running water, rents for US$64–104 d, depending on the season. One-, two-, and three-bedroom units are also available.
One of the giants in West Bay is Hotel Mayan Princess (tel. 504/445-5050, U.S. tel. 786/299-5929, www.mayanprincess.com, US$211–277, with discounts during the low season and weekly rates available), a collection of plaster-and-tile units along the beach equipped with comfortable wicker furniture, satellite TV, telephones, master bedrooms, sofa beds, and kitchens. “Suites” have two bedrooms and rent for US$319–520. The units are all privately owned, and then rented out by hotel management when the owners are not using them. Price includes transportation to and from the airport. The hotel’s restaurant/bar is open 7:30 a.m.–10 p.m. daily, although there are better places to eat on the beach.
The newest addition to West Bay’s collection of large and luxurious hotels is Infinity Bay (tel. 504/445-5016, U.S. tel. 866/369-1977, www.infinitybay.com), located at the southern end of West Bay, close to where the reef reaches the shore. Although construction was still going on at the time of writing, the first-phase units have been completed and were available for rent (US$162–197 studio, US$231–307 one bedroom, US$242–423 two bedroom, US$481–539 3 bedroom). The massive complex will have 145 rooms upon completion, the largest hotel on West Bay. Rooms have beautiful furnishings, patios or balconies, and amenities such as large flat-screen TVs. All but the studios have full kitchens, and many have sofa-beds for additional capacity.
A long swimming pool runs down the center of the complex, leading to the bar on the beach. What’s noteworthy about this resort is its significant efforts to have zero negative impacts on Roatán’s beach and reef. Environmentally friendly aspects include state-of-the-art water treatment and septic facilities, solar water heating, the use of biodegradable soaps in housekeeping, and an awareness of erosion control in the construction process. The only drawback we found (besides, perhaps, its behemoth size), was that the windows for ground-floor units open onto walkways, limiting privacy for those who like to keep the curtains drawn.
A relatively budget choice on West Bay is Bananarama (tel. 504/445-5005, U.S. tel. 727/564-9058, www.bananaramadive.com, US$94–123 d, with specials available in the low season). A variety of simple but decent garden and beach-front rooms can sleep up to five, although there is a US$10 per person charge for more than two guests. There is also a two-bedroom house that can sleep up to 12, priced at US$350 for double occupancy. Cruise ship excursions are offered through Bananarama, so it can get fairly chaotic some days, but the on-site dive shop has a good reputation and fair prices.
Bananarama recently purchased the neighboring property, Island Pearl (tel. 504/445-5005, U.S. tel. 727/564-9058, www.roatanpearl.com), but seems to be maintaining it as a quieter, more upscale accommodation, although the unique artwork left with the previous owners. The attractive apartments in four separate houses set among shady trees rent for US$232–290, and a studio with queen bed is available for US$116. Accommodations for 3–5 guests are available for an additional US$10 per person. The on-site restaurant, Vintage Pearl, is very highly regarded.
An Italian conglomerate (tel. 504/445-5009, www.hmresorts.com) is the owner of several all-inclusive hotels on West Bay, including Henry Morgan Resort, Paradise Beach Club, and Las Sirenas. The first is especially renowned for its throngs of Italian package tourists. Paradise Beach Club has lovely grounds, with winding paths and lush tropical foliage leading between the buildings and around the swimming pool. Guests have reported being disappointed by the somewhat simple rooms given the price. For rates and information, call tel. 504/445-5009 or check www.hmresorts.com.
Casa de Paradise (tel. 504/9961-5311, U.S. tel. 740/251-4123, www.casadeparadise.com) is actually two casas (houses), with five different accommodations ranging from a one-bedroom efficiency suite to a deluxe four-bedroom home. Amenities vary by room but may include a king bed, TV, hammock, balcony, or full kitchen. All rooms come with coffee from owners Ron and Myra Cummin’s plantation in Olancho. Prices range US$92–327; monthly rates are also available. Unusual in this price range, air-conditioning is charged separately (US$12 per unit used per day). Thankfully the hotel’s small size hasn’t kept it from getting a generator to keep the air-conditioning running during the occasional power outage. Casa de Paradise works with the well-regarded dive shop at the nearby Hotel Mayan Princess.
Las Rocas (tel. 504/403-8046, U.S. tel. 877/379-8645, www.lasrocasresort.com) has several two-story wood cabins tucked along its own private beach, two minutes along a wooden boardwalk from West Bay proper. Rooms are named after Italian islands such as Capri and Stromboli, thanks to its Italian-expat owner, Piero. The best rooms are the “superior” (US$103–151), which are spacious and tasteful, with wood furniture and floors, and peaked ceilings. Standard rooms (US$80–127) lack water views but are just as spacious and have porches with hammocks, while the “value” rooms (US$75–110) are smaller and in cabins built claustrophobically close together. The resort has its own dive shop, and dive packages are available, a good deal at US$532–730 per week, based on double occupancy.
Set back from the beach a few hundred meters (opposite the West Bay Mall) is Sea Vue (tel. 504/445-5002, www.seavueroatan.com, US$75–133 for up to four people), with four very attractive condos, each with a full kitchen, and two bedrooms that can sleep up to six. High ceilings, white walls, and a sleek design give the place an airy, bright feel, and all units have an ocean view. There is an outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi, and an ecologically friendly water collection and disposal system for the hotel. A path next to the West Bay Mall leads to the beach, a four- or five-minute walk away. This is a great deal for anyone who doesn’t mind the walk. Cars are available for rent from the owners as well.
Another option nearby (that is, also a four-minute walk from the beach) is West Bay Lodge (tel. 504/445-5069, U.S. tel. 503/761-7172, www.westbaylodge.com, US$93–145 d), with cute little bungalows tucked into tropical gardens, each with its own porch and hammock. “Supreme” units with kitchens and two double beds are available for US$25–30 more. There is a pool on-site, perfect for cooling off after the beach, and guests rave about the breakfasts.
Note: In December 2008 there were two evening muggings on this path that leads between the beach and West Bay Mall—highly unusual according to local police, but be attentive to your surroundings after dark.
© Chris Humphrey and Amy E. Robertson from Moon Honduras, 5th Edition