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“Relaxing Week”
Review of Paya Bay Resort

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Paya Bay Resort
Ranked #19 of 42 Hotels in Roatan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 February 2012

We joined another couple, whom we had met last year on a trip to Costa Rico, who suggested we try Paya Bay. Travel time from Atlanta was a little under 3 hours and since we did not check any bags, we cleared customs in no time. Tom met us at the door with a sign and once the other guests had collected their bags we were off. The ride to the resort took about 45 minutes. We stopped along the way to buy a local cell phone as most US carriers do no work on the island. We got the cheapest prepaid phone they had at the Claro store which included a ton of minutes and a camera for $20 US. It worked great once Tom set the language to English for us. We used it all week and hardly put a dent in our minutes. The cell phone store is in what looks like a new shopping center that had several banks, a large grocery store and several clothing stores as well as a Wendy’s and Applebee's. The exchange rate was about 18.5 to one in our favor although we never had any trouble paying with US dollars.

Most of the time traveling from the airport to the resort is consumed by the pace on the unpaved portion of the trip. Our driver took pains to avoid as many bumps as possible and probably went a lot slower than most of the locals normally do however the road was pretty rough in places.

The resort is on the east side of the island away from most of the established hotels, dive shops, restaurants and therefore, most of the other people. The word resort is a little over blown because Paya Bay is not what I suspect most people think of when they see the word "resort". It is situated on a large rocky ridge with water on 3 sides. There are 10 rooms so even when all of them are occupied you never feel like there are lots of people around.

We initially elected not to go with the all-inclusive option but after we arrived, we changed our minds and decide to switch to that option. You should look at the things that are included and decide if you think you will take advantage of them. One thing we did not note until we were almost ready to leave was that soft drinks were not included.

Lurlene, the owner, checked us in and immediately made us feel like one of the family. We had not eaten all day and we asked about getting a snack and she said all we had to do was say what we wanted.

We were shown to our room and while it was very bright and included a porch with a hammock, I was a little disappointed to find a double bed. As I am 6’5” I inquired about a room with a larger bed and we were offered another room with a king. The only stipulation was that the new room temporarily had no hot water. We were told that they hoped to have it fixed by the first of the week and if not then they would move us to another room with a king when it became available. Turns out the room was so nice even without the hot water, we kept it the whole week. We had a beautiful view looking out over a beach where the sun came up every morning. We managed with lukewarm to cool showers in between sharing with our friends who were in the room next door who allowed us to use their hot water whenever we asked.

There are 4 rooms that are called “Cliffside” which perch over the ocean. We looked at several of them during the week and while they are nice, I think ours was more spacious. All rooms are equipped with TV, DVD player and satellite but we turned our TV on only once just to see what was offered. There is a small refrigerator which they keep stocked with bottled water. Each room has AC but we preferred to open the doors and windows and leave the ceiling fan on.

The grounds are well maintained, lush and crisscrossed with trails (lighted at night) from the rooms to the various beaches. All beaches on Roatan are “public” but there is only one beach at Paya Bay that is accessible without going through the Paya Bay grounds and we only saw someone on that beach once during the week. The rest of the week we saw only guests of Paya Bay on any of the beaches, most of which are very sheltered and secluded. There are plenty of lounge chairs and either natural shade or covering for those who may want to avoid the sun. Bliss beach has an outdoor shower and a chilly plunge pool.

The restaurant is bright and airy and in the mornings the hummingbirds fight each other to get to the feeder that hangs an arm’s length from several of the tables. On several occasions a hummingbird would fly into the dining room through the open windows. The dining room staff are friendly and as attentive as you could ask for. The breakfast menu does not normally change but we never ran out of things to try as the offerings are pretty varied. Lunch and dinner usually had some form of a daily special but you could always order off the menu if the special did not suite your taste. The kitchen is staffed by two sisters , Winnie and Winciena, who rotate meals and days. If there was something you wanted them to fix all you had to do was ask. We had a wide variety of fresh fish, vegetables and meat dishes during our stay. All the deserts were homemade and we never left the table hungry.

As it turned out we snorkeled only once mainly due to the unpredictable weather. However on that trip the water was warm and clear and we saw a 5-6 foot nurse shark and a large spotted ray.

One day we hiked up to the top of a nearby Picacha Peak (about 900 feet high) and the view was fantastic. One note of warning: the map provided by the resort suggests that you wear long pants. We started out with them on but quickly decided that it was much too hot and changed into shorts we had brought along. BIG MISTAKE. Almost as soon as we switched to shorts, we began to encounter cutting grass. By the time we ended our hike we were all bleeding. The cuts made our legs look like we had been whipped. So if you take the hike, leave your long pants on the whole time! It is also suggested that you take a guide on the hike. The trailhead starts at a private residence and the family living there is related to several of the staff at the resort. There we met a 15 year old named Arvin who agreed to be our guide. He kept us from taking wrong turns or touching things we shouldn’t. Parts of the climb up are pretty strenuous and we were huffing and puffing our way along, grabbing on to anything we could to pull ourselves up. Arvin in the meantime was walking with his hands in his pockets wearing flimsy flip flops with no effort at all.

We definitely would return here and recommend this to anyone looking to get away from the usual resort crowd.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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9  Thank Riley S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 February 2012

Stayed here for a week,with another couple. The resort is truly beautiful,on a great piece of land. Bliss Beach is gorgeous,and the other "beaches" are fun to explore. Lots of surprises to find walking the trails.

The staff was great. The two waitresses,Myrna and Evelynn were a lot of fun.Tom handles the bar and snorkeling trips. The owner ,Lurlene, is very nice and happy to share the history of the place.

We thought the food was excellent. Nothing fancy,but hearty island style ,family fare. Lots of choices for a week's stay.

We definitely recommend the hike to Picacha (sp?) Peak. It's reasonably strenuous,so leave grandma at the resort,but it's a good hike. Definitely do heed the warning to wear pants,we didn't and paid the price,as the cutting grass cut us up. And take the guide,one of the property owners kids,or it may be tough to find the trail down.

Kayaking and paddle boards are included activities worth trying. The snorkeling was actually good,which we quite often find to not be the case at many places that have "included" snorkel trips.

Nightlife consists of talking with the guests and card and board games.We went to bed early and got up to see the sun rise.

All in all,we had a great trip ,and would put it on a very short list of places we'd return to.

Room Tip: Lots of people recommend a cliffside room,but we had one facing the beach ,and it was great. All roo...
  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank garyt1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2012

This was my second trip to Paya Bay. Again, an enjoyable time. Jose picked us up at the Royal Caribbean ship on time. We met some other people on board who were also going to the resort, and it was nice to have company to travel with. Jose said next time he wanted to pick us up at the airport. I would love that and am thinking of planning a trip by air. It was a rainy day as we arrived. Jose provided us with umbrellas and we went into the restaurant. At that time we were greated by the waitress and offered fresh squeezed juice along with nacho chips and dip. Jose brought us to our rooms for the day and we already knew the beach from a previous trip. Lunch was provided on time and was delicious. We enjoyed drinks on the beach and hiked around the resort. We asked to leave at 2pm as the weather was not very cooperative. With this being a small resort there is only one shuttle driver. Due to the number of guest, he was short on time. My only suggestion would to be to have two drivers. With the number of cruise ship guest increasingly knowing about this beautiful resort, maybe one driver to accomodate the ship passengers. We are planning another trip to Paya Bay with about six other people in September.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank tduke0914
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 February 2012

We were told they were full for the night but there was a 'lovely apartment' that is very nice and would be 'perfect for a special night". When we arrived, we were escorted away from the gorgeous resort, down a dirt road, past a swamp, to a 'boat house' about 500 meters away. The 'apartment' was the old dive master's place. They wanted $180.00 for the night! We quickly retreated and went to a gorgeous resort down the island. Resort looked lovely...too bad the staff were so deceptive!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank andrea w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 January 2012

We have traveled many places but have never enjoyed an experience as pleasant as Paya Bay. We spent two weeks enjoying beautiful Bliss Beach, the many trails through the property, daily yoga and snorkling, the varied menu selections and, especially, the friendly and helpful owners and staff.
Picked up at the airport by Jose, a knowledgible and great driver, you leave the more settled West End and travel a winding, very bumpy dirt road to reach Paya Bay. Your arrival will include both a welcome drink as well as a warm hug by the gracious co-owner Lurlene. This is when your vacation really begins.

Each day was more restful then the last. The nightlife was the abundant stars and the passing moon. Just sit on the deck with a cocktail and enjoy the night sky. As other guests are doing the same, the conversations are relaxed and easy. Paya Bay is not a party atmosphere. It is a tranquil place with incredible scenery, birds, fish, beaches, sunrises and sunsets and excellent drinks(Thanks to Tom, the bar keeper). The food is plentiful and very good. The waitstaff of Evelin and Mirna are a pleasure to see each day for three meals. Flashing hummingbirds join you at meals, especially at breakfast.
The yoga pavillion is built upon the side of a small rise about 70 feet over the ocean and facing the sunset. Practicing yoga toward the setting sun, clothed or not, is incredible. During many weeks, naturism prevails and you have the freedom to totally bask in the sun.
Paya Bay is true to it's theme of a relaxing, stress-free enviornment. I highly reccommend it for a quiet, sun filled, relaxing vacation.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank Joseph102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2012

located on the east end of the island, pretty much self contained, we stayed there as part of a group of 20+, family get together, super nice staff, private beaches, they did a nice Garifuna Show one night with a bon fire, would definitely go back

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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Thank suzyQ33149
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 December 2011

We spent a naturist week this past May but am only now getting around to a review. Other reviews present the food, staff, grounds, etc. accurately. Paya Bay is not a 5-star resort but a wonderful place for getting off the beaten track and relaxing. We went during a naturist week - our 1st real social nudity experience and loved it! PB advertises 4 beaches - we never visited the public beach and never saw anyone else from the resort there either. Bliss beach was wonderful but is clothing optional only during naturist week (topless otherwise). This area has plenty of lounge chairs, & shade (& sun if you want it), nice sand and beautiful water. There is also a small, freshwater soaking pool, a shower, kayaks, & foam floats. The 2 smaller beaches are always C/O but we didn't frequent them due to the lack of breeze & that fact that Bliss beach is so nice and easier to get to (although all are just a short walk). We also went on the snorkeling trip to Pigeon Cay; nude snorkeling was a lot of fun but beware of the sun! PC is very small and does not have a lot of shade. It is a 90 minute or so boat ride to the cay - we arrived around 11:00 and left about 2:00 - worst part of the day to be out in the sun. We used lots of sunscreen and still got a bit burned. Others on the trip got fried - I felt really badly for them, had to be very uncomfortable. Things we liked: hike up the local "mountain", the mangrove tour is a must if you want some exposure to the local culture, Pigeon Cay, morning kayaking, daily snorkeling trips with Tom (nude if you are so inclined), yoga with Davinci, massages on the beach (also a must), the staff, the food, our balcony overlooking the ocean, great coffee! Things we didn't like: sunburn - they should invest in some beach umbrellas for the PC trip, the shower in our room was only large enough for one (not a big deal). We generally don't visit places more than once but I'm planning on another visit to Paya Bay!

Room Tip: We loved cliffside!
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank Greg2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Paya Bay Resort

Address: Main Highway, East End, Roatan 00000, Honduras
Phone Number:
Region: Honduras > Bay Islands > Roatan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Top resorts Hotel in Roatan
Price Range: £90 - £166 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Paya Bay Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Paya Bay Beach Resort is Roatan's Ultimate Escape. Located on the pristine east end, it is Roatan's premier boutique hotel. Perched atop a bluff with private beaches on each side, Paya Bay features 10 uniquely designed rooms and an amazing restaurant. Paya Bay's on-site dive operation, Dive Roatan, specializes in underwater tours and training for one to ten divers. Paya Bay also offers: flats fishing, boat tours, hiking and of course relaxation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Paya Bay Hotel Roatan
Paya Bay Beach Dive Hotel
Paya Bay Beach Dive Resort
Paya Bay Resort Roatan, Honduras - Bay Islands

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