New wife and I spent 6 nights at Las Verandas, near the end of July. Except for a few small annoyances, I don't think we could've been happier. Got a great deal $189 per night, booked through Jetsetter.
- away from the busy hub and cruise ship traffic of West Bay. It is located along the North Coast (Pristine Bay) at the midpoint of the island. Just incredible views on the drive there from the airport.
- located next to a brand new golf course, Black Pearl. Played 9 holes, great condition, challenging course. Literally, it was next door.
- I'm not sure if we came during the down season, but there were hardly anyone other people there. We saw maybe 5 other couples/families, at various times, over the course of 1 week. That seemed to allow the staff to be especially attentive, bring food and ice whenever we needed, calling and arranging daytrips/transportation. Very professional staff, young, friendly. Perfect environment for a honeymoon.
- Private beach, with three umbrellas (to give you an idea of how quiet it was). White sand.
- Amazing infinite pools by the bar.
- Room: Villa-style, with an upstairs suite and downstairs suite. We had the downstairs suite, which did not have a kitchen, but had a private small infinite pool and lounging area. Our unit was beachfront, and we could walk down to the beach in less than a minute. Comfortable beds, mini fridge, 40+ inch TV mounted on the wall (which we never turned on), walk-in showers. Woke up every morning with a great view of the ocean. A/C was as adjustable and cold as you'd ever want.
- Restaurant: the restaurant was essentially the bar. ~ 10 tables in total. Indoor and outdoor area. Pool-side, ocean-view. The food was surprisingly good. We went back twice for the fish tacos, and the omelets on the morning menu were tasty. While the local beer is cheap ($2.75CAD bottle), the cocktails were surprisingly pricey (average $9) and pretty standard in quality.
- Located immediately adjacent to another resort called The Beach Club. If we had to rebook our vacation, this would've been the better choice (though more expensive). The dive shop is ON their private beach (great dive shop owner, Mike), the fancier restaurant is here too, and equally beautiful pools. Not sure about what the rooms look like though.
- because the Pristine Bay area is located away from the busier areas, we had to take a shuttle transport to everything else (groceries, souvenirs, West End/West Bay areas). The cost of the shuttle to the grocery store was $10 each person. The cost was immediately worth it, as we met quite possibly the most helpful shuttle driver. His name is Emsly Hyde, the owner of Hyde Tours Roatan. Turns out he owns a fleet of shuttle vans that transport tourists around the island, offering tours. He drove us to the grocery (~10 minute drive through hilly terrain), waited for us to finish (~30 minutes), took us to a local eatery and helped us order (~45 mins, long-wait), then drove us back. He ended up being the driver for all our day trips, and was extremely helpful throughout.
Of note: the cost to shuttle out to West Bay is $35 each person. This is a ~30 minute drive each direction, and included him dropping us off and picking us up at the end of the day (at a location of our choice).
- you will want to try other restaurants. The menu at the bar restaurant is pretty limited. There is a great restaurant at The Beach Club, and a great pizza restaurant a few minutes away (they deliver, $3 cost).
- the resort is still under development. Actually, to be more accurate: there are approx 6 villas that are finished and furnished, all beach front. There are about 10-12 other villas just behind them, also mostly finished, but unfurnished (they were in the process of doing so while we were there). Though, at the rate things seemed to move on the island, it'll be months before they are done. At the far end of the short beach, there is a construction site. What appears to be another villa being erected, though I'm not sure if it is affiliated with the resort. It is in plain site of the pool and bar area, and can be quite noisy. Small boats shuttle in bags of sand onto that portion of the beach all day long. Didn't bother us too much though, we didn't spend that much time by the main pool (we had our own private pool!).
- SAND FLIES. Probably the most disappointing part of our trip. The first day we arrived, we sat on the beach chairs (alone, no one else was there!), and noticed tiny flies the size of a grain of sand. Seemed harmless. That night, after a nap, we awoke to 20+ little red bites all over. They didn't itch initially, thank goodness. Every time we went to the beach, or sat by our pool deck (beachfront, remember), these sand flies were there. It really limited our use of the beach and pool. Apparently, this has long been an issue on Roatan. They try and prevent it by regular dredging/raking the sand during the daytime, so that the sun can destroy the sandfly eggs. The West Bay area didn't seem to have this issue now that it was more populated and busy, but apparently it used to be a big problem there as well. Deet bug spray was essential for us. You've been warned!
- no Spa. They are affiliated with another spa, and can book massage sessions for you. The wife seemed to really enjoy her time there. Again, we needed to pay $10 for the shuttle ride there and back, so factor that into the cost.
- no Gym. Not that big of a deal for me.
Overall, I don't think we could've been more pleased with our honeymoon. Roatan is a very tourist friendly island, with lots of locals too.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Roatan, the “Island Jewel of the Western Caribbean” is now the home of the new and breathtaking Las Verandas Hotel & Villas at Pristine Bay. Located on the north shore of the island facing the Mesoamerican Reef and just fifteen minutes from the international airport, Las Verandas embodies the essence of Roatan with its deep blue skies, white sandy beaches and amazing views. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Las Verandas Hotel & Villas Roatan, Honduras - French Harbour