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“The Platonic Ideal of the Caribbean”
Review of La Giralda

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La Giralda
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Guanaja
nyc
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“The Platonic Ideal of the Caribbean”
Reviewed 14 February 2014

I've been to most of the islands of the Caribbean, and many other islands besides: Maldives, Indonesia, South Pacific, Greece, Hawaii, etc. I've stayed at boutique hotels, Aman and Aman-esque hotels, and rented my share of villas, including several in Mustique.

This place beats them all.

This isn't particularly surprising, as this hotel is the pet, personal project of Lane Pettigrew, of Mustique and high-end Caribbean resort fame. Words fail -- and the pictures here don't come close to doing the place justice.

This a villa "hotel" -- a small group of extremely beautifully designed (with personality) villas (some one bedroom villas), centered around a magnificent great house. The food is excellent, the service impeccable (but not cloying or snooty) and the surroundings breathtaking. As it is the brain child of Mr. Pettigrew, expect some unexpected touches. Like a, shall we say, eclectic free-range menagerie and a beach bar that's -- well, I'm not going to ruin the surprise for you.

Guanaja is verdant and utterly unspoiled. There is a single, short road that bisects the island. All transportation, really, is by boat. The diving is great, plenty of healthy corals and some pelagics. As some of the coral heads are shallow, it is also good for snorkeling. The hotel will arrange for diving (and there is plenty suitable for experts, technical diving). Snorkeling should be fantastic right off one of the resorts many powdery white sand beaches (after 3-4 hours of diving my interest in snorkeling was non-existent, but I could see the coral heads from my veranda).

Did I mention the wine cellar?

Spending a week at La Giralda was like spending a week at Gatsby's house, without the necessity of dressing for dinner.

Room Tip: There isn't a bad room. Some villas have more bedrooms than others, so I suppose it depends on...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank luxdiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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65 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
USA
Level Contributor
302 reviews
228 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 640 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2014

This hotel is really a great place located right on the beach. You can hear the ocean from your rooms and sleep really nice with that sound all night. Went there for scuba diving and the diving around there is superb and some of the best in the entire Caribbean Ocean. The hotel staff is trained well and offer 5 star service and you get exactly that. Restaurant is top notch and just about everything here is worth coming to see and stay a while. I would recommend a week as this hotel will take whatever stress you have in your life right out!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Larry8241
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Trujillo
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 September 2013

I spent two nights in Casa Del Rey with a group of friends earlier this month. Upon arrival, we were welcomed with cold washcloths and coconut water, sipped right from the drupe with a straw. Their staff helped us up to the house with our bags as we marveled at the beauty of it. It felt like a Caribbean palace. We enjoyed dinner in the Casa Grande one night, which was spectacular with delicious and creative dishes and impeccable service. Carlos and our bartender were absolutely amazing, and I am positive that no one in our party will ever forget our magical stay. Thank you guys so much for taking such excellent care of us, it was truly special.

  • Stayed September 2013
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Helpful?
3 Thank Samantha R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 May 2013 via mobile

We spent a week at La Giralda. We were in Villa Caterina which is 50 feet in the air on the edge of a cliff with amazing views. Below we could see starfish,rays and barracudas in the crystal clear water. We did the island tour with Stephen and then had a private picnic on a deserted beach. Every night we had fantastic seafood dinners at the Casa Grande. Jose is a great bartender and takes care of everything. The chef served us ceviche in a conch shell the first night and we liked it so much we had it every other night. The local airline cancelled our Saturday AM departure so we left a day early but the manager organized a night in La Ceiba with a morning transfer to San Pedro to catch our flight. On what turned out to be our last night we had a bonfire on the beach with local music it was a great send off. If you want a quiet peaceful place in Paradise with great service, this is it.

Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
5 Thank Jon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 May 2013

We really enjoyed La Giralda. We had a short stay to check out the place but wish we could of stayed for a week. If you are looking to get away from the big beaches in Roatan then come to Guanaja. You will not be disappointed. The sand was the white and the water was clean and clear. We attended the Friday night beach-bonfire and have never see so many stars. Truly an amazing place.

Room Tip: Villa Del Ray is amazing
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bsfa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Savannah, Georgia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2013

In February, I booked and prepaid for a DIVE trip with La Giralda in March because I saw all the great reviews for it on Trip Advisor. La Giralda misrepresented to me their ability to provide dive services. There was no dive operation either there or in partnership with anyone else on the island. They would not even agree to provide me with transportation to a dive operator on the island. Despite their deliberate misrepresentations to me, La Giralda has refused to issue a refund. Don't make the same mistake I did.

Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
14 Thank Kim H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
42 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 March 2013

First, the only reason this property didn't get 5 stars is due solely to the repairs needed in the villas (which are minor, but to give it a 5-star rating didn't seem accurate). Everything else, however, was nothing short of 5 stars!

Our family just returned from a week at the property and had a fantastic time. I echo all the past positive sentiments. It seems, however, that the staff has changed since the last post - but that doesn't change how fabulous the place, staff and service are!

First, Mareille booked our trip - she's the person in charge of reservations when you contact the resort. She answered every single question I sent to her - and there were many (more than many!). She was prompt and descriptive in her responses in ways that helped me immensely. She handed the intra-Honduras flights, met us at the San Pedro Sula airport, made sure we were on course and then updated us with the weather looked like it was going to turn, so that we were able to leave the island a day early (and not miss our flight from SPS). She offered hotel options in La Ceiba, and set up the transportation. With her in charge, you can rest easy.

The current "Friday" of the property is Jose. He is THE RESORT, in our eyes. The man took care of everything we wanted. His English is great, his demeanor is disarming and personable, his response time is lightning-fast and he made us fell tremendously welcome. My boys miss him already. He is a gem of an employee.

The cook prepared excellent meals everyday and we were never hungry or lacking.

We spent 4 solid days with a fabulous snorkeling and fishing guide, Peter Andrade, a native of the island. His knowledge of the island, the wildlife (marine and non), the people, etc. was outstanding. His patience and personality made each day tremendously enjoyable. (It can't be easy to spend that much time with a family that isn't your own). We miss him very much. Make sure you ask for him at the property.

A couple of points:
It's a repeat, but bring one bottle of DEET heavy bug spray. We didn't have many issues, but it was breezy everyday, so that probably helped.
Bring lots of cash - the property still seems to be working out the kinks of payment and they don't encourage credit cards, so you have to settle your trips and bar tab at the end and they prefer cash. Also, fishing and diving/snorkeling trips with Peter are direct with Peter, so you need cash to pay him directly as well. Also, you may want to bring your own fishing poles.

In the end, we'd go back tomorrow if we could.... enjoy!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Meanwhile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Giralda

Property: La Giralda
Address: Guanaja, Guanaja IB2101, Honduras
Region: Honduras > Bay Islands > Guanaja
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Hotels in Guanaja
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on a south facing 50-acre peninsula with 1/2 mile of white sand beaches, La Giralda is perfect for families, couples, weddings, honeymoons, reunions, diving, fishing, adventure or simple peace & quiet. Made for memories, La Giralda guests enjoy fresh gourmet island inspired meals, a unique and completely unspoiled location with graceful service and pure tranquility in luxury accommodation. Our private, secure peninsula is surrounded by clear turquoise waters, white sand beaches, a picture perfect calm water bay with two resident dolphins and framed by rising hills with a lush tropical rainforest. We feature all the benefits of an upscale island boutique hotel: impeccable personal service, a gourmet restaurant located in the elegant Casa Grande, a cocktail bar with living room, the Golden Parrot beach bar, a colorful botanical garden, private fishing jetty, beach beds and private hammock gardens. See you soon! ... more   less 

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