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“Simply beautiful... Go and experience this resort for yourself...”
Review of Paya Bay Resort

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Paya Bay Resort
Ranked #17 of 41 Hotels in Roatan
Certificate of Excellence
NE
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“Simply beautiful... Go and experience this resort for yourself...”
Reviewed 9 March 2009

Where to start. My Wife and I wanted a relaxing trip to re-charge the batteries. We wanted a Caribbean paradise with a beautiful beach where we would find peace, seclusion & beauty. These are hard to find if you still want top quality services. Paya Bay met and exceeded every expectation we had. First the Staff. The Paya Bay family of staff was simply great. They always made us feel at home and were always there to help. This is not because that's what they were paid to do (i.e. Cancun resorts). They were genuine and this makes all the difference in the world. From enjoying wine and good conversation at the bar at night with everyone to the welcome hug from Lurlene. Second the rooms. We had originally booked the hillside rooms because of the king beds. We changed our minds last minute and went with the cliff rooms. These were unbelievable. If you have ever been on a cruise with a balcony room and awoke every morning to the sounds of the waves and the view of the ocean that is what you will enjoy every morning, afternoon and night. The rooms were very well appointed and had everything you would need. We found our balcony looking out to the beautiful Caribbean ocean to be the perfect spot to get lost in a good book while sipping a fresh cocktail, try the Paya Special or one of Davincis Mohito's (they use fresh mint grown right at the resort, Lisa even runs to grab it fresh for your drink). The wood plank floors worked excellent for this environment, think sandy feet, wet clothes and spills... trust me they knew what they were doing. The rooms have a small TV and DVD player, we used ours a few times but usually the Ocean view had our attention. They also have a nice frig to keep things cold as necessary.... Water is supplied daily so they will replace what you use every day. If you need more simply take your empty bottle down to the restaurant and fill up using the bottled water cooler, no worries. There is a hot water kettle in the room. We used this for our morning coffee in the room. Just fill it up down in the restaurant and bring it back to the room, no worries. The maid service is exceptional. By the time we were back from breakfast our room had already been cleaned & new fresh linens were sitting waiting, quick and efficient. Fresh flowers from around the resort were in the room everyday, nice touch and goes to show how little things make a difference. The resort itself. This could get long.... The resort is basically the Restaurant, the rooms, the beaches, the lagoons. There are also trails and nature areas everywhere. We never spent any time at the "Big Beach" we always went straight to the "lil beach". This is a zone 2 area so tops down. The walk there was almost as fun as being there. You can take the walk along the cliff or you can go through the "jungle" path. Both are beautiful walks and only take a few minutes to reach the beach. The beach was simply tropical and relaxing, no crowds here. We would soak in the ocean for hours and relax. Tip. the lounge chairs are wood and can be uncomfortable after awhile, we brought 2 self inflating camp mats, they worked great as pads and were easily rolled up to pack. We relaxed here all morning. It can get windy in the afternoon so by mid afternoon we would move to the next spot. The very secluded lagoon "buccaneer landing". This is only a 1 minute walk from the beach and is breathtakingly beautiful and very secluded. This area is zone 3. If you have never walked around, sunned or swam in your birthday suit this is the place to try it. It was normally just us all afternoon there. There is no wind and the lagoon water is very warm and calm. Few tips here: we brought 2 of the swimways rafts with us and we would float on these for hours with our cocktails in hand and suits not... due to the fact there is no wind to keep the sand flies at bay you will get bites without deet. It's really not a big deal I got a few "bites" and never even knew it my wife would get a red bump, "they never itched and we never felt any type of bite". Any deet will do as you are in and out of the water so much, 10-20% will be fine just reapply. In this area we also found the fresh water shower to rinse off after a dip, this is a great amenity to wash off the salt, look around it's there. This is the best spot to watch the sunset, simply beautiful. There is also the "secret cove" this is nice to sit on a hammock and read a book or watch the beautiful sunset. The resort has many paths to walk and enjoy the natural beauty. When heading out for the day to the beach they will pack a cooler full of beer and ice for you as well as a nice big pitcher of margaritas, yum. Just ask at the restaurant. I highly recommend the trip out to pigeon cay, just go you will understand. A few things to keep in mind: The resort is located on the secluded "north" end of the Island. All of the "nightlife" is located in the "south" end. Keep this in mind if you are looking to party or hit different restaurants. There is no easy way there and it is a solid hour drive. We brought a small portable speaker for our IPOD that we used to listen to music on the beach during the day this worked great for us. They also have full wireless internet connectivity in the restaurant, as well as a PC to use. This is great to stay connected to family via email. Calls to the US are also free. They do have the occasional power outage. No worries here, it makes it romantic to eat by candlelight and there are LED lanterns in the rooms if needed. This was rare and usually was less than an hour. When you are picked up at the airport I had the driver swing by the "supermarket" on the way to the resort. We picked up some snacks, champagne and a few bottles of wine to enjoy in the room. There are so many great things about Paya Bay that words will never do it justice. Just go and experience this beautiful resort.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Carribeancpl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (113)
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English first
chicago, il
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 January 2009

My wife and I spent the week of Christmas at Paya Bay. The resort was all that we hoped for and more. The location on the east end of the island (about 1 hour from the airport) was away from the busy and tourisy west end. So, if you're looking to get away from the crowds, Paya Bay is the place.

The property is absolutely stunning, with beautiful beaches and small secluded coves for swimming, snorkeling, etc. We stayed in one of the cliff top rooms and enjoyed the sound of waves crahsing below us during the night. No need for air conditioning (although all rooms are equiped with AC), as the trade winds help keep the room cool in the evenings.

We took full advantage of the snorekling, as Captian Tom took us out daily to various spots along the reef which is only a few hundred yards off shore. We have traveled and snorkeled in several spots throughout the Caribbean, and I can honestly say the snorkeling was as good as i've seen. The reef was in excellent condition and the marine life was plentiful.

The resort also offers variouis outings, including a guided hike to the high point on the island and a day trip to Pigeon Caye which is not to be missed.

Overall, what really made the vacation is the friendly staff (family run resort), and the positive energy felt while at Paya Bay. We would strongly recommend this resort to anyone wanting to get away from the crowds and looking for a relaxing vacation in a stunning location.

  • Liked — clean, well appointed rooms
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank ellamadison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Placida, FL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 31 December 2008

My husband and I just returned from a 10 day wonderful stay at Paya Bay Resort. If your are a couple that prefers small, quiet, peaceful Zen-like nature atmosphere...then you must book a stay here!

We are also scuba divers and never had more than 4-5 people on the dive boat with excellent dive masters Brian, Jake and Kiki.

The food, cliff rooms, nature paths, culture, property views, diving and staff were all spectacular and well worth the hour drive from the Roatan airport.

We visited the West End just one day and were so thankful we stayed at Paya Bay Resort vs. Fantasy/Anthony's Key resorts. If you like big crowds and 20-30 divers per boat then West End would be up your alley. If you prefer primative, tranquil, small groups and intimate service; we would highly recommend East End - Paya Bay Resort with the McNab family.

Try to include a boat day trip to Pigeon Caye with Capt. Tom and a most challenging hike to the tallest peak on the island with guide, Davinci. (Both family members.)

We enjoyed the weekly BBQ beach party with local tribe performances and daily Happy Hour overlooking the ocean... getting to know the family and guests better.

We are definately rested and relaxed to face the New Year 2009!

Thanks McNab Family.

Lisa and James G.
Placida, Florida

  • Liked — The views of the ocean and rainforest
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank bocablonde
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, VA
Level Contributor
211 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 140 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2008

This property has two major selling points: stunning views and a wonderful staff. First, the views. From everywhere on the property, beauty abounds. Perched on a cliff above two spectacular beaches, you will spend your vacation taking pictures of unspoiled Caribbean landscapes – with not another house or hotel in sight. The staff also makes this place special. We felt they were genuinely happy for us to be there – and they went out of their way for us several times during our stay.
Rooms: The rooms are comfortable. Upon our arrival we were shown two rooms from which to choose. The larger, hill-top rooms have King beds and larger bathrooms with views of the beach. But the cliff rooms literally sit over the water – and offer breathtaking views and the constant sound of waves crashing against the rocks underneath. The cliff rooms are a bit smaller, with smaller bathrooms, but we chose our room for the view. Our room (#4) had a balcony we loved sitting on watching the ocean – and corner windows which allowed us to lie in bed and still have unbelievable views. The rooms are Caribbean décor – with beautiful high ceilings, wood plank floors and cheery paint colors. We slept with the windows open every night and were lulled to sleep by the waves. All rooms have TV, mini-fridge, and AC. The rooms do not have safes. Although I trusted the staff (we left our room unlocked many times) I did bring a luggage lock and kept valuables in the suitcase for my own piece of mind. The TV does not get US channels, which wouldn’t have been a big deal, but it did rain a couple of days so we watched DVDs.
Activities: We are not divers, so we cannot comment on the dive operation. If the weather is good, they will take you out for snorkeling every day. The snorkeling is an “on your own” experience. They give you gear and take you to the reef in the boat, but no instruction is included (at least when we were there). I would not recommend for first-time snorkelers.
We were there during the very low season- October 12-18, and for five nights we were the only two guests. The intimacy was charming; we had the beach all to ourselves – but there were no scheduled activities that week like the beach bonfire party or massages.
Food: We were on the all-inclusive meal plan, which I recommend because there are no restaurants within reasonable distance of the hotel. We had some lovely meals: the shrimp was very good and vegetables were fresh. We had lobster several nights, and the staff is flexible if you have special requests. The Central American standards – beans and rice, chorizo, plantains – were very good. Because we were the only two guests, and it was low season, there was a bit of “menu roulette” – meaning several items on the menu were not available. They have a full bar, and make great rum punches. The bucket of local beer is a great accompaniment to a hot afternoon at the beach.
The hotel is remote. If you need to “go somewhere” every day, go during the high season when there are lots of activities. If you enjoy just relaxing by the beach, having cocktails overlooking the ocean, catching an afternoon nap, and chatting with the local owners, this beautiful place is for you.

  • Liked — Views
  • Disliked — Limited options during low season
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank tropicalfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wailuku, Hawaii
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 October 2008

As a frequent traveler I was extremely impressed by the effort extended to guest hospitality at Paya Bay. Though not a 'new' resort, it certainly is Caribbean Classic and full of charm and warmth. The rooms are comfortable enough for a romantic day spent in bed. Besides, you don't go here to spend your time watching TV!!! Its really the beaches that shine here. The grounds are magnificent in their beauty and there are hidden gems to be found throughout the area. My wife and I split our days between relaxing beach massages and adventurous scuba and free-diving.

The dive operation at Paya Bay is first rate. Though no longer located on-site, they pick you up at the Paya Bay dock just a short walk from your room. Now operated by Tropical Island Divers- their equipment is good (Atomic regulators!) and there are excellent dives just a few minutes boat ride away. Unlike the 'west side' which can be a bit congested, I did not see another dive boat all week! The quality of the coral was excellent and full of life.

Being a bit of a free-spirit, my wife especially appreciated the naturist beaches. Since the other couples at the resort were like-minded she was able to go without a bikini bottom at the beaches for the whole week. (who wants to come back from vacation with tan lines anyhow?) Officially the beaches are topless (of course, this is the Caribbean) and 1 are is set aside for nude use, but that rule is rather 'bendable', using common sense.

The food was good. It did take a bit to get your meal, but it is made to order by hand. You have to be realistic, this is an island and runs on island time. There were even a few magnificent stand-out dinners. At the time of my visit the menu was being re-worked to be more health conscious. There is a vegetarian menu. If you like to drink wine bring your own as their selection can be really limited. The bar offers great mixed drinks, the classics (margaritas etc..) and cold beers at good prices. Definitely go 'all inclusive' here as there are few dining options in the area.

I heard they will be offering daily yoga soon.

Visited October 4-11. Lots of sun, only 1 full rainy day. Daily thunder storms blew through and were short lived. Good romantic weather.

  • Liked — Service
  • Stayed October 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank sphonic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ohio
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2008

We went to Paya Bay for a wedding and stayed for 7 days. The service was great. Sometimes the food took awhile, but was well worth it! Get the grouper sandwich-we ate it everyday. The fruit was so fresh and delicious, the plantains were good. Make sure you go down to the beach for the bonfire and dinner on the beach. The entertainment-the Garfinuas was unique. They grilled out and had a bar serving drinks. The paella, lobster buffet, and beer-butt chicken were just some of the featured dinners and were great. Each night has a different theme/menu. All day there was free local, strong coffee in the dining room. Get the pitchers of drinks-cheaper! The Salva Vida (Honduran Beer) were always cold and the drink menu was very extensive. Taste the single before you order a double.

The view was incredible. Some days it rained, but never lasted long. We were awakened by the sound of rain a few mornings. That was really relaxing. All the rooms are set into the side of a cliff. The balconies overlooked the water crashing onto the rocks (see photo). This could be heard at night and was so beautiful.

All the rooms had a window unit for air conditioning and a ceiling fan. The bathroom in our room had low water pressure and could use better lighting. It had a queen size bed. The bride and groom's bathroom had a shower with a window that had a view of the big beach (see photo) and it had a king size bed with a futon in the corner/sitting area. Our room was cleaned everyday after we left. There are roughly 10 rooms here, so there isn't that large commercial resort feeling. The owner, Lurlene, was always in the office/dining room and very personable.

You can easily lose track of time and date here. It's all about relaxation! There are three beach areas to look out into the Caribbean with so many hammocks or chairs to rest and view the sunset. Enjoy the Zen Path. Take time to explore the whole area. I was leary about the water at the lagoon (see photo) - it was rocky and grassy.

One of us got ate up by bugs and the other only got one bite all week. Bring bugspray, sunscreen, and any treats you cannot live without. Example chocolate, potato chips, etc.

The road trip from the airport is bumpy, winding, and about 45 minutes. The driver for the resort will take you in a van to anywhere on the island you like. Tom, the owner's son, can hook you up with snorkeling, fishing, etc.

  • Liked — Isolation from tourism and Food!!.
  • Disliked — Having to leave.
  • Stayed June 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank casrnccrn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2008

We stayed the entire week of July 13-20, 2008, at Paya Bay Resort on the northeast end of Roatan. We picked Paya Bay for its isolation and beauty and we were not disappointed.

Paya Bay is a special place and sits in undoubtedly one of the most beautiful resort locations on the island on a cliff with sweeping mountain and ocean views and natural grounds that cover something like 20+ acres of tropical landscape. The resort has two deserted beaches, a secret cove and lots of nooks and crannies along its rambling hiking trails for exploring.

Best of all it only has about 10 guest rooms so it’s quaint and quiet and uncrowded. The week we were there occupancy was only about half with three other couples and one family but even full the resort would only have about 20 people.

We stayed in a cliff side room over the ocean and enjoyed the waves crashing under our bed each night. The A/C worked great! The room was very basic and rustic, not fancy, so if you’re looking for marble floors and exquisite bedding go somewhere else. We visited a hillside room while there and those rooms are much larger and nicer with king bed, tiled shower and sitting area. Those rooms’ view is of the hills and Big Beach.

Snorkeling in front of the resort is not great, but most days Paya Bay runs two snorkel boat trips for guests. Captain Tom knows all the “secret” spots. One afternoon I had the boat to myself, and we never saw another dive or snorkel boat the whole week. Highlights included an eagle ray, lobster, stingrays, starfish, tiger tail, tons of fishes, and much, much more. This is the place to come for uncrowded and unspoiled snorkeling. We also did the day trip through Paya to Pigeon Cay and this was the trip highlight, the best thing we did all week (see main trip report in Roatan section for more info)

The quality of the food in the Paya Bay restaurant was excellent, especially breakfast and lunch. You don’t go hungry at those meals. The meal plan is all-inclusive except for alcohol and sodas, but unlike most AIs you can order off the menu. Our only complaint was the lack of dinner choices — half of the nights there was only one option and one in our party doesn’t eat seafood. Not a huge problem but dinner options certainly could have been better. They currently are working on improving the menu.

Thursday nights Paya Bay has a beach party on Lil’ Beach complete with dinner and a local Garifuna group dancing and playing traditional music. The food was barbecue style and ample and the atmosphere was low-key, perfect for our laid-back style. This is absolutely the only nightlife at Paya Bay during the whole week so if you want a bar and disco go somewhere else.

Bugs — yes they are ample and unavoidable. Paya Bay has lots of them just like the rest of the island. The worst places are on the beach with sand fleas and down at the dock with noseeums and mosquitoes. I wore DEET the whole time and did not have much problem; my spouse did not wear DEET because he has his own dive gear and DEET ruins rubber so he got quite a few bites. Best advice is to wear DEET and/or long sleeves then it’s not a problem.

Paya Bay really is a special place but it’s certainly not for everyone — we saw two separate couples spend one night and then leave during our week’s stay, one of which only came to Roatan to “party” so they headed to the West End.

In a testament to its beauty, we also met a set of Roatan residents who live in the West End but chose Paya Bay to come and stay for a couple days to “get away from it all” because they said it is the most beautiful place on the island.

The resort is isolated and there is nothing to do if you’re not on or in the water or enjoying the beach and grounds, so if you need trendy bars and trinket shopping nearby go somewhere else.

Paya Bay is all about beautiful scenery, good food, great uncrowded and unspoiled diving and snorkeling, two deserted beaches, and lush tropical grounds. The resort is family-owned by Roatan natives and “mama” Lurlene and her staff are down-to-earth, friendly people just waiting to make your stay the best ever. If that sounds good to you then Paya Bay is it.

  • Liked — location, isolation, quiet, uncrowded
  • Disliked — dinner choices
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank pword
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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