The Best Hotels on Roatan Island  

by Pool Builders on 10-17-2008 in Articles

The Best Hotels on Roatan Island

By Timothy Scott, Editor of Luxury Latin America

Roatan Island in Honduras has long been a favorite with scuba divers and those looking for a prime retirement spot in the Caribbean. As word has gotten out, standards are improving and new luxury hotels are on the drawing board. For now, however, here are the top spots on the island for upscale visitors.

Anthony's Key Resort
Anthony's Key was the premiere Roatan destination for decades and only now is it starting to see any real competition for demanding travelers. There is nothing to compare it to in Honduras or on other parts the Caribbean coast of Central America. There are several dive resorts in the Bay Islands, but none have the number of boats, extensive educational facility, or such a well-equipped dive center, complete with an on-site hyperbaric chamber. This is the best place for those who want to eat, sleep, and dive. Rooms are rather basic, but most are on a small island reached by water taxi and have impressive views from their hammocks and lounge chairs on the deck.

Barefoot Cay
Situated next to a yacht harbor, Barefoot Cay is one of the top choices on the island for upscale travelers who prize room amenities over size. It hosts more than its share of VIPs and wealthy yacht owners who need to meet up with friends or family. Within the resort is a gorgeous swimming pool, a long dock leading to a pristine gazebo out in the sea, and private beaches. Only four bungalows are on the island itself while the other seven rooms are on the mainland above the dive center, with views of the sea. The resort is fully equipped with a restaurant, bar and diving shop, but it's the impressive bungalows and decked-out rooms with full kitchens that are the high point.

Infinity Bay Spa & Beach Resort
Located at the far end of picture-perfect West Bay Beach, this condo building that also functions as a hotel has the best rooms on the island. Units here range from studios slightly larger than a normal hotel room to two-bedroom, two-bath villas that are a full home away from home. A huge free-form pool is the centerpiece of the resort, surrounded by ample lounge chairs, a bridge and 2 waterfalls, plus a swim-up bar. The beach here is the main draw, of course, a stunning crescent of sand that has appeared on more than a few of those "Top-10 Beaches lists". This is also one of the "greenest" hotels on Roatan, with solar hot water, a completely self-contained sewage treatment system, and reclamation of waste water for landscaping.

Palmetto Bay Plantation
Palmetto Bay appeals to guests who want to experience natural isolation with a minimum of noise and outside intrusions. The restaurant and lounge are in a dramatic open triangular structure made of wood, its high ceiling sailing up to a peak in the center, everything spilling out to the pool, with a view to the beach beyond. The indoor/outdoor bar and lounge gives you the choice of barstools, chairs around a table, or a giant Rajasthani-looking daybed. The resort contains a full dive center, a gazebo over the sea, and nature trails. The bungalows on stilts have wraparound decks and are the size of small houses, making them a great choice for families. Getting to this isolated location is not easy, but if you're up for quality time and relaxation in a natural setting, this is paradise.

Timothy Scott is editor of Luxury Latin America, a guide to the best hotels and tours in Mexico, Central America, and South America. To see full reviews, go to the Honduras Luxury Hotels section

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