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“The most spectactular place to get married...”
Review of Paya Bay Resort

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Paya Bay Resort
Ranked #17 of 42 Hotels in Roatan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 20 October 2013

My husband and I got married at Paya Bay Resort in July and are truely amazed by this beautiful hotel! We enjoyed ourselves so much during our stay. We had never been to Paya Bay before, but our expectations were so much exceeded. It was an unforgettable experience for me and my whole family!

The hotel had organised our pick up at the ferry, we got a cocktail and felt welcome and taken care of from the moment we checked in. Is it the open restaurant deck with its spectacular views, the beautiful Bliss beach or all the hidden places all over the quite big resort area, where you can observe this special place or take time for yourselve, we felt like in the most beautiful hotel we had ever been in! The attention at the hotel was very warm and personal. This is how we felt in our room also. We absolutely loved it. There is no better place to wake up, relax or take a shower than room nr. 8!

The hotel offers everything you could need on a getaway like this. The room and resort area were always clean. Staff was always nice and helpful.

Regarding the wedding organisation, Michelle did a really great job! We were in contact with her for almost a year, she took care of everything and it all turned out to be perfect for us! The rain on our wedding day didnt stop the Paya Bay team to create a beautiful scene on the beach with a lot of privacy, dinner was delicious and we had a great party on the restaurant deck!

Paya Bay was the perfect place for us to get married! We hope to celebrate a lot of anniverseries there.

Christine & Douglas

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Krystainsky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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173 - 179 of 400 reviews

Reviewed 12 October 2013

My husband and I spent Labor Day Week at Paya Bay, as we were specifically seeking some quiet time together in a Caribbean resort that supported naturism. We knew very little about the resort other than what had been written but decided to go for it, anyway--especially as we booked a 'two-for-the-price-of-one' rate labeled as a naturist week.

Yes. Paya Bay is on a windy, (scary!) road. And yes, it's about as far east of the airport as you can get and is virtually isolated. And yes, there is little nightlife. Suited us just fine! At no time were there more than 10 other guests, all of whom were friendly and warm but non-intrusive. We spent many pleasant meals with folks from all over the US of all ages, ethnicities and lifestyles.

The food was plentiful (conch ceviche to die for!) and cooked creatively. Sometimes they ran out of a particular item, but who doesn't do that home? The breakfasts were enormous, the free smoothies an excellent accompaniment, and the table service was more than accommodating. For those of you who can't unplug even when you're on vacation, there is an excellent free wireless connection in the dining vicinity. And what could be better than enjoying your meals with a full Caribbean vista on three sides?

We stayed in one of the high, ocean-facing villas (cliffside) and the views were spectacular. I was initially very nervous as to whether sleeping in such a hot climate would be uncomfortable, but our room had an excellent air conditioning unit and a ceiling fan that did a fabulous job keeping us cool and comfortable throughout the night. Housekeeping staff was very pleasant, unobtrusive and brought us the few items we needed throughout the week. The villas are very rustic with wood floors and stone bathroom floors--probably not quite what you're used to, but kept clean. Lots of hot water for showers and a very strong free wireless connection--we were actually able to Skype from our room back to the States. TV is satellite, mostly in Spanish, but who's there to watch TV? I'm an avid reader, and was impressed by the breadth and variety of books in their 'library', which is on one side of the dining room.

But enough said about that. The real star here is the beach. There were days when we stayed in the warm, blue Caribbean water for 6 hours at a time. We snorkeled, floated, kayaked cavorted and enjoyed the wonderfully refreshing plunge pool at Bliss Beach--all in a very comfortable and accepting naturalist environment. Note that Bliss Beach is completely naturalist only during designated weeks. There is a smaller very private swimming cove that is naturalist any time of year. Hubby booked a 1-hour massage on the beach for one afternoon and raved about it. What's not to love?

Thomas took us out snorkeling on one day (included in the package price) and was very helpful when I was having trouble with my breathing tube, and we went on the full-day excursion to Pigeon Cay, a spectacular hour-long boat ride through the mangrove grove to a quiet, relatively deserted island where you can sun, snorkel and swim. The staff sets up lunch for you and it's a lovely day. Ask them to bring some beach chairs along with them on the boat, as there really is no place to sit comfortably otherwise.

The staff at Paya Bay was phenomenal. They go out of their way to be friendly, helpful and unobtrusive. As a family-run endeavor, you become part of their family for the time you're there.

We're city folk, have traveled quite a bit and have come to expect a certain comfort level in the places we stay. However, we know beauty and nature when we see it, which more than compensated for the rusticness of the villa. Our advice? Drop the attitude, folks, and enjoy Paya Bay for what it is--restful, beautiful, peaceful, private and quiet. It's not a 5-star east-end resort with lots going on. If the soaps and toiletries aren't of a designer nature, who cares? If the kitchen runs out of bananas, order pineapple! Just go where the week (and your body clock) takes you. We came back rested (having slept an average of 10 hours per night; unlike home!), tanned, and completely rejuvenated.

A word about bugs and sunburn--on windy days, you are likely to be attacked by the tiny "no-see-um bugs." We had both DEET and permethrin with us, and can't say that either of them really did the trick. You likely will get bitten and you're likely to itch. We found that oral antihistamines like loratidine worked well to keep the itching down as well as benadryl-type sprays. And bring a waterproof sunscreen--lots of it. No matter how much you've been in the sun prior to your arrival, the Caribbean sun is strong. You'll be in and out of the water so you'll need to reapply often. We went through 3-12 oz tubes of sunscreen while we were there.

We had a wonderful week. We probably won't go back every year, because there are so many places in the world to visit, but we will definitely return. I encourage those of you who are adventuresome, relatively laid back and can go with the flow to give Paya Bay a try. I hope you love it as much as we did.

A note to the management: Might you consider putting higher-watt bulbs in the bathroom fixtures?? :) And for readers, Paya Bay would be basically unnavigable for anyone who is physically challenged or who needs an assistive device for walking.

Room Tip: The hillside rooms have bigger, more updated bathrooms and good water views. But the cliffside room...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank JILL S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2013

enchanted.....hypnotized and captured...this is why I keep going back. I have stayed with my partner, been with friends and just myself......Paya Bay is the only place that truly shares Roatan's Magic!

amazing rooms over looking the azure waters that surround Roatan, take a meander through the lucy tropical vegetation on one of the Hotels fantastic trails.

you will discover a paradise just for you....relax and enjoy every second...

leave expectations with the high volume all inclusive raging resorts, escape from the craziness and you'll be amazed at Roatan's beauty here at Paya Bay Resort...ENJOY!

Room Tip: Cliff/ocean view rooms are the way to go!
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Chris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 September 2013

Find another hotel ANYWHERE on tripadvisor that gets a bad review and management doesn't even have to respond.....the league of "fans" who regularly visit the hotel (like my wife and I and the folks in the reviews below) take care of it for them. I love it. That sums up paya bay. We've gone 6 years in a row. Never had a problem or bad experience and when we decided to have our commitment ceremony there in March, they took great care of us.

I'm happy and grateful I found paya bay.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank timmerw35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 July 2013

I’m torn about writing, as I know there are some people that just complain for the sake of complaining and no matter what, they can’t be pleased. On the other hand, as Paya Bay is our newest, favorite destination and as I did promise to write a review when leaving this past April, I guess it’s time to get off my butt and fulfill ‘that commitment’. I just couldn’t let Rhode Island’s very negative report sit undefended, not that Paya Bay needs defense with a 92% approval rating.
First question – did they really stay at Paya Bay? I guess the lesson in reading reviews is to do so with an open mind and then go with the averages – 92% vote this resort as great [they won the 2013 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence] and of the 205 reviews only 7 fall below average. Is every one of the remaining 198 wrong? I guess I could stop there as the numbers say it all to me, but I’ll elaborate further.
When you go to a third world country, your view and expectations can’t be what you expect at home. At this small, cosy, Roatan resort with 14 rooms, you aren’t going to get heated marble floors in the bathroom, 4 restaurants, 5 bars, concierge service, 24 hour room service, gift shops, car rental desk, electronic gadgetry etc.
Deirdre and I are simply in love with Paya Bay for all it represents; remote location; small, friendly staff; great service; great food; very comfortable, rustic rooms; great beaches to choose from; yoga every morning; snorkelling twice a day; and the freedom to be a naturist on their most idyllic Bliss Beach. I can’t think of any resort that fulfills all these needs and does it so well.
We first spent 2 weeks in Feb 2012 [on a recommendation of our friends who’d stayed in 2011] and we had such a fantastic trip, that we had to return for two weeks Apr 2013. As we said our goodbyes to the staff this year, we left a $500 deposit to guarantee our room for two weeks in March 2014. So yes, you could say actions are the proof of our complete satisfaction and comfort level, vacationing at Paya Bay Resort. It’s unfortunate for us, that we didn’t discover this “gem in the rough” years ago. My biggest fear now is that word will get out and with the limited number of rooms, it may become hard to get in. This would be a deserved dream for the McNabb family.
Fortunately, flying from Toronto, we have direct flights on Mondays and don’t have to spend a day coming and going to/from the resort. It would be very frustrating after a day in the air and airports to have to wait 40 minutes for the transfer – however I’ve waited 20+ minutes in Toronto to get a shuttle bus back to the Park ‘N Fly for our car. I hadn’t heard of anyone not being met, however had heard of one couple that had to wait 1 hr. for another couple to arrive at the airport. That’s frustrating when you just want to get to the resort and the beach. BUT it’s a small resort with ONE vehicle and a 3 hr. round trip to and from the airport, so you have to go with the flow – smile and be happy! Fortunately for us Jose was there with a Paya Bay sign [1st year] and a big smile to great us. He is a great ambassador for the resort and island, talking non-stop from the airport to the resort about various aspects of life on Roatan. And yes, the last 20 minutes [seems longer] off the paved road was a rough dirt road, but to Jose’s credit he crawled at a very slow speed and he weaved from the right side of the road to the left to avoid the worst potholes. I don’t think we got over 35 km/hr [20 mph for the non-converted] so motion sickness was never an issue for us. I personally have been affected especially when not driving so understand this issue.
Once at the resort, the friendliness just kept on coming, including a big welcome from Lurlene, [one of the owners], Michelle and Marci. Being a family run business, you have 3 generations represented and all are cut from the same cloth – one of sincerity and friendliness and concern for their guests. Everyone is ‘special’ to them in their own way.
As far as rooms, we have experienced the Cliffside in 2012 [Rm3] and Hillside in 2013 [Rm5]. We thought being cantilevered over the ocean in 2012 would be fantastic. Being able to sit on our balcony with a westerly sunset view, with the gentle sound of the ocean lapping up underneath, lulling us to sleep. WELL, our first week was the tail end of a VERY violent storm and the waves CRASHED into the rock wall and shook the balcony with each crash. We didn’t sleep well for 4 nights until the storm calmed down.
Now in fairness, can one FAULT the resort for Mother Nature? I would still recommend the Cliffside rooms and have met guests who would choose nothing else. There were some spectacular sunsets viewed from our balcony while enjoying a glass of wine. In 2013 we chose a Hillside room and really enjoyed it and have booked another one in 2014. These rooms are all slightly bigger, but have King sized beds versus Queens, in the Cliffside. All rooms are rustic – yes natural, unfinished, wooden floors add charm. There was nothing we wanted and didn’t have in the rooms. They were clean and well supplied with soap, towels and water in the fridge. When you live on the ocean, salt water air has to take its toll on some of the finishes, and that is to be expected. Generally I think the resort is current with its maintenance. They responded within 30 minutes of us making a call for something that didn’t work.
To be honest, we can’t comment on TV or air conditioning. We have never, in our 2 years/4 weeks, turned on either. The ocean breezes always kept us cool enough even when the humidex was 40C [105F]. Being able to listen to the ocean without the white noise of machinery was a bonus. For news, we had the internet, but really we went to this remote location to get away from electronics. Okay, we did check e-mail, which brings me to the internet. There were a couple of rooms that had poor reception. Bu,t we always had good and fast connections. Once we lost it for a day and had to go to the restaurant area which has its own separate router. The salt water had corroded a circuit breaker that operated the hot water tank for room 4, so they ‘stole’ the circuit breaker that operated the Cliffside, building lights and the router for the rooms. It lasted one night until they could get to town for a new breaker. Remember, it’s a remote resort and one just goes with the flow. Okay they should have had a spare on hand. Complaining is a waste of energy. So what? We felt our way to the room that night and had to carry our “heavy” iPads to the restaurant, so we could check out stupid comments on Facebook that someone we didn’t know had made – call it an adventure. As for power outages at the resort during storms, the resort does have its own generator that will run the essentials when disconnected from the outside world.
Sorry, this is a little winded – so much to say. Trip Advisor wants comments to be a minimum of 200 characters – shouldn’t be a problem here!
Okay onto the food. Generally there was enough variety; the portions were good; and friendly service delivered it to our table in a timely fashion. The odd time we might not have received exactly what we ordered, but I’d blame that on a language issue; understanding our special request that wasn’t on the menu. How many languages do you speak? They do really well considering, English is a second language for some.
Breakfast – only general complaint would be having the coffee ready to consume the instant the doors open at 7AM, and having a backup coffee urn ready when the first runs out. Coffee mugs were plentiful and we had no problem using a common stir spoon over again after someone else had placed it in a clean glass of water. If that was offensive for the particular, fussy person, then there were always fresh spoons to use. No different than re-using an ice cream scoop at a buffet that is stored in a container of water. The kitchen always produced consistently good food, and considering it was mainly a la carte, in short order. Since we were relaxed and on holidays, timing wasn’t a concern, however my stomach would have noticed if the food took an extraordinary long time to be delivered and that never happened. It’s always great being away from a foot of snow and being able to enjoy a plate of fresh fruit or a fruit smoothie out on the outdoor patio, in the fresh ocean breeze. The variety on the menu was more than sufficient for 92% of the people.
Lunch – again same comments; good variety, healthy choices, served with friendly staff and in a timely fashion
Dinner – ditto. Most nights there was a choice of 1 or 2 specials, but if neither struck your fancy, there was always the a la carte menu as backup. The only exception would be when we were on the beach Thursday’s and had a fixed BBQ menu.
A negative comment would be the number of times they ran out of white wine. It was almost guaranteed on a Monday [the day we arrived], after a Sunday wine and cheese party for all guests. It also happened on other nights this year and surely a little foresight and planning could eliminate that issue. Davinci, maybe you can build a bigger wine cellar. After all, it is revenue that is charged over and above the hotel package price – no wine, no revenue. The other comment would be to have all beer/wine/cocktail prices posted so that you don’t get a surprise when checking out. When one wine ran out, we’d switch to another, but had no idea it was substantially more expensive.
Another negative would be the number of times that menu items weren’t available – there are only on average 14 guests that pay for their meals, so the planning of staples shouldn’t be rocket science. Running out of ham, cheese, bacon and chicken [affecting breakfast and lunch menu items] is unacceptable. When the grocery store isn’t around the corner, it becomes more critical to plan ahead. Most guests went with the flow and there were many other choices to keep us happy. Of our group, no one complained of too much salt and thought we actually ate rather healthily. I don’t ever remember going away on holiday and coming home with such a nominal weight gain of only 1-2lbs and I never felt hungry during my holiday. This says a lot about the menu to us.
Having Yoga offered every morning sure started the day off correctly. Casey is an excellent instructor able to deal with all different levels from beginners to the experienced Yogi. The experience is further enhanced by being held in this amazing Yoga pavilion, high up on the hill, overlooking the ocean. All 4 sides open to allow the ocean breezes to flow through, while the birds sing their songs while you meditate or concentrate on your next Yoga position. When Casey was on holidays, Marilou provided an excellent Yoga class.
Snorkelling was the day’s activity after Yoga. Tom would take us out to a different location each day or was willing to do repeats. He is very flexible and loves showing us the ‘best’ spots. One day after snorkelling, he took 6 of us to a great restaurant down the beach that overhangs the ocean. It was out of this world, serving a great variety of lion fish dishes. The staff is so willing to accommodate most any requests. Another trip Tom took us to Marble Hill Farms after snorkelling, to get 1 or 2 jars of homemade jams. We had a hard time choosing as there were about 18 varieties to choose from.
We didn’t do the afternoon snorkel as that was ‘our beach time’ and often the ocean was a bit rougher. When it was churned up, underwater pictures didn’t come out with the same great clarity.
Beaches – 3 to choose from; however Bliss was the most popular. The main beach was primarily used for kite sailing lessons with Chris & Marilou as it had a great afternoon breeze. But the seaweed collected on that beach and made it the least attractive. Bliss Beach was the best with a constant breeze, great sand and many palapas. During the naturists’ weeks, it is clothing optional and most go to Paya Bay so they can enjoy this feature. Also at the beach, is an outdoor shower; washrooms [new this year] and a most spectacular beach bar [scheduled to open by the end of June]. If and when the ocean breeze becomes too much in the late afternoon, there is another great beach ‘over the crest of the hill’ called Buccaneer’s Beach. It is always clothing optional no matter what time of year. We did enjoy time over there, but found with the heat, that it was a little too protected from the ocean breezes, which meant a lot of time was spent in the water to cool down. Some days, beach towels weren’t available, but let’s call a spade, a spade. Do you get a new towel EVERY day for your own shower? Please, no complaints about not having towels for ONE day! Once, my wife and I got big, fluffy towels of the color that didn’t clash with our bathing suits [bare skin]. We hung onto them and never changed towels.
What else can I say? Everyone one is friendly, happy, accommodating and dealt cheerfully with most any unusual requests. They were glad to see us the next year and they enjoyed serving us for a monthly pay rate that was less than what we’d spend as a couple, eating out 3-4 times a month at home! I think all staff go about their daily “work lives” fulfilling the resort’s mission statement, as stated on their home page; “Paya Bay is a beach, nature, leisure, and wellness resort catering to those seeking serenity, tranquility, and a communion with nature”.
Until something drastic happens, Paya Bay will be our choice of destination for at least one of our annual treks, escaping from snow in Canada. “Smile, Be Happy” goes a long way in the hospitality industry. Hope you too get to enjoy this great resort in the near future.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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17  Thank JohnS_DeirdreP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2013

My wife and I have been to Paya Bay 3 times: February 2012, August 2012, and February 2013. We can't wait to return- next February for sure, and if somehow the money/time is right; sooner. A WONDERFUL resort with OUTSTANDING employees- no, call them "friends".

SO- this is a "defense" of the Paya Bay staff, and a need to present MY opinion- "opinion" is not something that has hard data numbers and provable facts- the reviewer immediately below mine did a long, thorough detailing of their first time stay, but I feel the need to counter some of the criticism, especially about the part of their report on the service given by the staff.

The reviewer immediately below mine misspelled the name of the other front desk Reception employee encountered during their stay, which is a relief, since our satisfaction and appreciation for the usual front desk staff could not be higher. BOTH the usual women in Reception are friendly, attentive, accommodating, and give accurate information. BOTH the women are eager for us to have a good experience while at the resort, are quick to give us their full attention, and we are definitely not ignored- and even our FIRST visit, that Feb. 2012 beginning, was as professional and courteous and friendly as you could hope for, so I am trying to compare our "first" with this reviewer's "first".

I would also widen my statement and say that, contrary to what the reviewer below me gives as their opinion- every single staff member CARES. They all are friendly and, if you need something, they all will do their best to help. The reviewer does allow for the fact that a small tropical island located in Central America might not have every supply or food item all the time. But, the staff is willing to help, and if an item is available, you will get your request.

The point I am making is, that since the employee the reviewer spoke so negatively about, had her name misspelled, that is a sign the reviewer is not precise about details.....so comments in the review about waiting 1.5 hours for breakfast to be served, and arbitrarily dating the age of the room furnishings......do you, future possible resort guests, who are reading these postings to help you decide if you should go to Paya Bay or not, think this is accurate information by that reviewer?

I am also intrigued that this reviewer, and others, don't seem to read Davinci's Blog, note how Davinci lists the spelling of the current Massage/Yoga instructor's name, and then use it spelled correctly in their review.

When weather or your own health are compromised, then that negatively impacts your view of the resort. The reviewer immediately below mine described people getting sick twice- once someone in the group of passengers from the initial drive from the airport to the resort, and once on one of the daily nearby snorkel trips- and certainly, being at a resort during a storm, and then having the conclusion of the vacation affected by weather and having flights cancelled, is disheartening. My experience- my wife and I in August 2012 were at Paya Bay for Tropical Storm Eduardo; but the staff took care of us, and it was a pretty minor impact- tracking higher to the north and making landfall in Belize/Mexico. Also, the reviewer below had difficulty sleeping because of the sound of crashing waves. We have stayed in Room 4 Cliffside; 5 and 8A Hilltop, and will probably go back to a Cliffside room, even if they are smaller. We, and others, revel in the uniqueness of the sounds of the tropical Caribbean crystal clear warm water outside their balcony at night, so I guess you, as a potential future first time visitor to Paya Bay, have to decide if you like that sort of thing or not.

I defend every member of the staff and their excellent level of service to the guests. My wife and I like the family run personal friendliness, we like the "spiritual", "holistic" philosophy of the management, and efforts to show us the natural beauty and benefits of this tropical environment. We like the deliberately small size of number of guests that can be accommodated, we like the food, we like the snorkeling, we like the Yoga. The quiet and lack of planned activities and boozing nightlife, suits us. All the guests we met have been nice, but it is gratifying that the clientele is becoming more international, and less "US/Ontario centric". We pay the rate charged because of the freedom and tolerance and acceptance we get as Naturists. Finally, we like that the resort is improving each year- so as I write this in June- can't wait to see the newest thing- the natural, fit into the landscape, island material constructed, spacious, dramatically located Black Iguana Beach Bar!

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank hammer_forever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2013

I was planning vacation to Paya Bay resort for last 3 years. In the end of 2009 military coup has happened and we decided to wait a bit. Since that time I was reading every review about resort, blogs, talked to people who visited Paya Bay resort. Don’t need to say that I loved what I heard and read and could not wait until our vacation. We had group of 8 people and booked our 4 rooms 7 months in advance. We visited in middle of January 2013. And after so much anticipation … what disappointment it was! I cannot believe that people who wrote nice reviews about this resort were writing about the same place. And I totally agree with 7-8 bad reviews that I saw and ignored.

In airport we waited for our transfer for about 40 min, in one of the latest reviews before our trip we read that resort forgot to pick them up (even its included in package), we thought that it might be the case as well; we specifically e-mailed resort day before the trip as a reminder. Eventually we were picked and 4 of us + driver were sited into extended cabin of the truck, with knees under our chin, our baggage was in open truck under the rain. Road to resort is about an hours and last 30 min on very bumpy dirt road, 2 of us got sick. We were planning to do tour of the Island, but on this dirt road I knew that I will not be able to do it.

Check-in was fast and easy. When we came to resort we got a hug from the owner and tropical drink. It was very nice. It was raining and gloomy, after 15 hours of travel it was a nice touch. We came to the room ~ 6 pm - had no power - could not really see the room. We could not see anything and didn’t know where our stuff is. Have to get ready for dinner in complete darkness; we didn’t have any lantern, etc. It was not warm welcome any longer.

After the dinner we finally could see our room. What a disappointment it was. We stayed in the Cliffside Room #2. Very basic and very outdated. Limited Spartan furniture: old, probably 30 years old, TV (that didn’t work first 3 days) and tiny probably 40 years old fridge, 2 wicker chairs, coffee table, bed, 2 night stands, and unfinished floor that always look dirty. We saw that some other rooms had flat screen TVs and newer fridges, but it was not a case for us. Bathroom is complete disaster, tiny, rusted, and old. Bad mirror, no hair dryer, no magnifying mirror, no storage place, very dark. Towels are much worn and almost grey from age, no bath mat or anything to stand on when you get out of shower. AC often was out in evening without power, when it was starting to work at night it was making awful noise, after 2 nights we decided to turn it off.

Rooms hang over the crashing sea: views were magnificent but sounds of crashing waves were too much, could not sleep because of it. When tropical storm came house was shaking, wind was hauling, no lights, we could not sleep and thought that entire structure will be swept away into the ocean.

The best thing about resort is resort grounds. They are beautiful, 4 beaches, nice paths, hidden resting & sitting areas, pavilion for yoga with breathtaking view, serenity, and tranquility. You can really enjoy the place and feel like the place only for 2 of you. We watch beautiful sunsets from Buccaneer Landing beach almost every day…

I was looking forward to try food after all nice reviews that I read. Food was inconsistent and sloppy. Paya Bay called itself wellness resort with healthy food, but food was very often overcooked and salty. You can see a menu on Paya Bay website, it is not a real menu, it’s a dream. There are breakfast & lunch menus, only half of the dishes on both menus are highlighted in yellow as available, when you start ordering only half of the half is really available, and sometimes you order from this quarter of available dishes and later waitress will come back and tell that it’s not available any longer. Sometimes also orders got mixed up and you get something that you never ordered and never get what you ordered, just be flexible. By the way waitresses were doing good job, they were really trying. Special thank you to Evelyn, she was the best.

Breakfast was OK with very-very good freshly made juices (papaya, pineapple, orange) and smoothies, nice fruit plate. But service was slow; allow from 1.5 to 2 hours getting your fruit plate and eggs. Two people from our party after 2 days decided not to have breakfast any longer because it’s such waste of time. About inconsistent cooking, example: first 3 days we were getting perfect sunny side up eggs with running yoke, next 4 days sunny side up or poached eggs were coming completely overcooked, hard cooked, do death, to blue, it is hard not to see it, but it was served to us anyway and because you already waited for 2 hours you didn’t want to send it back and to wait for another 2 hours. Another example: Hash browns, comes in portion of 3: one will be completely burned out to black, another cooked fine, but completely over salted and last one simply great. Also sometimes you get 3 pretty big hash browns in a portion, next time you think I will order 1 portion for 2 of us and they will bring to you 2 tiny little things for 2 of you. It was only 15 people on the resort during our week and every day it was a struggle to get cup/mug for your coffee or tea (self-served). You need to go up to 6 times to get a cup. It was funny first 2 days…and become annoying after. Is it so hard to have 15 clean cups on the resort that have 15 guests and also planning an expansion? The same story with beach towels too. For first day and half we and our friends didn’t have beach towels because resort didn’t have enough clean beach towels. Also tea spoons were not available, sometimes they had couple tea spoons in a glass with dirty water, which you suppose to reuse, completely gross.

Lunch – Some variety but often overcooked and salty. Service was slow, again about 2 hours wait. First 4 days they had only one soup: Creole Chicken soup. I guess they use the same soup for 4 days, on 5th day it was no soup and on day 6th Creole Chicken soup again. Probably they cook it once or twice a week. First 4 days they also had the same fish – wahoo that was almost always overcooked. Last 2 days they had bass and snapper, we were almost afraid to order it but it actually was very-very nice. Conch ceviche was nice most of the times and our group’s favorite appetizer for a lunch. Sometimes they didn’t have lettuce or other vegetable, so you could not order salad.

Dinner – Kind of 2-3 course set menu consist of salad/or soup/or nothing and two or one specials every night + 1-2 deserts. Some nights dinner was served buffet or family style. If you did not like what was being served you have no other choice. During our stay they did have a few very nice dishes: my favorites were chicken Cordon Bleu served first night, also lobster tails dinner and carrot soup. We didn’t mind long service at dinner, because there is nothing else to do on the resort, too dark for walks, often no lights in the rooms. It was actually very nice to spend time in company of your friends.

We heard that cocktails were weak and expensive. We ordered wine and beer a few times and were making our own cocktails. Paya Bay did not mind if you BYOB. Before arriving at Paya Bay ask your driver to stop at the supermarket.

Resort promised free phone calls to US/Canada and Internet. In 8 days I could call only twice and check Internet 3 times, resort usually didn’t have power, or connection or Internet or all together…

Bugs –Sand Fleas & Mosquitoes of Roatan are vicious and pack a wicked bite. Always wear lots of bug spray, sun screen.

Service was bad, I had a feeling that most staff members completely don’t care about anything. Too bad it is family owned business you think that they should care. Reception: Michelle was nice. Marie was completely useless and with bad attitude, every single time when you come to ask something she is speaking to someone on the phone (in Spanish), you will wait for 15-20 min, no reaction, complete ignorance. Whatever you ask - no answer or incorrect info, like info about our departure time to airport. It was simply unbelievable. Stamps for Post Cards and letters were bought and sent from resort reception, 3.5 months later they finally came…

Activities/Entertainment. Sunday evening’s wine and cheese was a nice touch in Yoga pavilion with beautiful views. Yoga classes with Casey were every day at 8:30 am and 4:30 pm (easier stretching class). She did very good job, everybody liked Casey and her classes.
Paya Bay offers two free snorkeling trips per day (9:30 AM & 2:30 PM). On Sunday both trips were not available, no gas. On Monday morning we went for a trip. The ocean never was quiet, always a bit rough, I got sick in a boat…Didn’t try to go snorkeling after this. July through end of January is a wet season and ocean always a little bit rough.

Resort’s black book in a room promised Movie Night on Monday, it didn’t happen. The same book listed Thursday as a massage day, later we learned that you could have massage with Casey on any day. Resort had Tribal party on Thursday on the beach with buffet for dinner. Dancing and singing of native people were interesting, food was so-so, fire was cancelled, because they made it too close to palapas.

We had self-guided hike to highest peak of Roatan – Picacho Peak. It took 1.5 h to get to the top and hour to get down. It was not easy, soil was very slippery after night rain, and it was steep hike, definitely strenuous. It was nice sense of accomplishment to get to the top. Yes, wear cloth with long sleeves and long pants because of the cutting grass with very sharp edges (still have scars as a reminder)

Pigeon Cay Island is the best thing about our trip to Roatan. Don’t miss it. Check the weather yourself. Resort scheduled trip to Pigeon Cay on Friday for 19 people (15 from our resort + 4 from some other place). Resort had a disclaimer in case of bad weather trip will be rescheduled. We seen on Internet in the beginning of the week that rain is possible on Friday and decided not to risk it, we asked to make trip for 6 of us on Thursday. The most wonderful day of our entire week at Roatan was Thursday, bright and sunny, ocean not so rough – perfect day. It took ~ 1 hour to get to Pigeon Cay Island, I was worried a little about motion sickness, but we went by bigger boat and I was fine. Island is tiny and absolutely beautiful, color of the water fantastic – turquoise dream, beautiful snorkeling on the reef, two of our group even seen a nurse shark. Lunch and water was provided by resort, we brought our beer. Very-very memorable trip, definitely highlight. Captain Ramon and his helper Eric both were very nice. There is no way that resort didn’t know about upcoming tropical storm on Friday, but they didn’t make any effort to reschedule trip to other day, 13 people lost opportunity to see this beautiful island.

Tropical storm started on Thursday night. It was bad! No power, strong winds with gusts, heavy rain. 2 nights we thought that our house will be swept into the ocean. It was cold and everything in the room became wet. We had no blankets in a room; it was really cold to sleep. Last 2 nights and 1.5 days in the resort and after 3 days in airport (flights were cancelled) were a total nightmare. One night after first day in airport we stayed in Parrot Tree resort, we didn’t see all grounds, but what we saw was very nice, rooms & other amenities were definitely really nice, new, comfortable, well maintained - no comparison with Paya Bay.

Overall:
It's certainly true that Roatan is not nearly as developed as many other spots in the Caribbean. It is called unspoiled paradise. Nevertheless, there are a few better options on the island and many even better choices elsewhere. Resort has beautiful grounds, but bad service, poor management, sloppy food, and bad amenities. Price is definitely too high for what you get … For me it’s never again for Paya Bay and probably for Honduras too, too many bad memories… What a shame.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Cliffside Rooms, they are older and smaller.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank RItraveler512
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:
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Roatan
Price Range: £93 - £169 (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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