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“Paradise Found”
Review of Paya Bay Resort

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Paya Bay Resort
Ranked #18 of 41 Hotels in Roatan
Certificate of Excellence
Redondo Beach, CA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Paradise Found”
Reviewed 18 March 2009

Stayed at the Paya Bay Resort in March 2009 for 7 nights.How do we begin to describe this incredible place . Well to begin the family that owns and runs the resort as well as the staff, are such a wonderful group of people.The entire McNab family as well as Lucy, Lisa, Marcy and staff make this place so very special.

After a very long and tiring journey we arrived to such warmth and friendliness and a delicious meal! We awoke the next morning to the most incredible view from our cliff room # 4. We began to explore the magnificent property on which the resort lies. Every path would lead to a beautiful spot . Could not stop taking photos.

The McNab family truly put their heart and souls into creating this bit of heaven on earth!

Love all the signs along the pathways "The Zen Path", "Secret Cove", Bucaneer Landing", and our favorite "The Good Energy Tree". This place has good energy all around .

The very friendly staff will go out of their way and Davinci McNab gives the place a very cool ,spiritual vibe. Loved doing yoga at sunset at Bucaneer Cove with Davinci, Lisa and Lucy . Davinci is a wonderful host . Loved the family style dinner we had one night with the other guests.

Captain Tom Mcnab took us to a wonderful snorkel sight not to far off from the resort.
He is very accommodating and will take you snorkeling twice a day if you like.
The reef was beautiful! We also highly recommend a day trip to Pigeon Cay which the resort will arrange. Incredible snorkeling!

As far as food goes every meal was a delight. The freshest fruits ,veggies, meats and seafood. Loved the breakfast omelets and our afternoon fruit plates.

Oh and we can't forget Lucky the Paya Bay Resort resident dog. Loved inviting him into our room for a quick nap.He was such a great addition to the friendly hospitality and warmth of our stay.

Paya Bay was truly the ultimate getaway for us .Everything you need is here. Hiking, snorkeling,biking,massage on the beach, great food and pure relaxation. So if you are looking for a remote location to get away from it all, with incredible beauty all around and a wonderful staff then don't miss out on Paya Bay Resort!

Thank you McNab family and Paya Bay staff for such a wonderful stay!

Brian and Shelly
Redondo Beach, CA

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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1 Thank Lovetravel55555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Calgary, AB
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 March 2009

When I set out to book a resort for our 8 day stay in Roatan, I was looking for a beautiful location with small scale, intimate accomodations. Paya Bay Resort fit the description to a "T".

Davinci McNab and his mother Lurlene run the resort with Lucy (reservations manager), Marcy, Lisa, other family members, and local, cheery staff. We chose to be picked up at the airport, where we were received patiently by their driver, Franklin, after our flight was 45 minutes late - gotta love "island time". After waking at 3:45 am to catch our flight, we were relieved to have a welcome cocktail and a tasty meal. Despite our overtired state, we were greeted with warm smiles by guests and staff alike. Desperate for sleep, we called it an early night.

We were in room 8, one of 4 overlooking the big beach, the other 4 rooms overlook a small ocean cliff on the northerly side of the small peninsula. We found our room very comfortable and quiet, with excellent views (loved the tiled bathroom with the hill view from the shower). We used the air conditioning the first night, but due to the strong trades during our stay, the remaining time we just kept windows and the balcony door open for ventilation / cooling.

We slept in 'til 9 the first morning, and had a wonderful breakfast on the expansive oceanside patio. We explored the property at leisure, which we had to ourselves, as most of the other guests were on Paya Bay's boat excursion to the Pigeon Cays (highly recommended, and we did go ourselves later in the week). Davinci and company have devised a series of pathways around the property that are minimally intrusive, and take you to several very different environments in a short distance. Little Bay beach is literally picture postcard perfect, and the paths continue on to Secret Cove and Bucaneer's Landing, which are on the leeward side of a rock bluff, and have lounge chairs and partial screening (via thatch & poles) set up. An excellent area to catch the sunset, and a great setting for the late afternoon Yoga sessions Davinci led while we were there. Note that these areas are dividided into different zones corresponding to levels of "clothing optionality", and I believe every 4th week is naturism week. The paths continue around the bay to where it turns into a mangrove channel and the boat dock. Egrets and a couple of types of herons were often spotted. Even if the resort has a full complement of guests, there is always somewhere on the property to "get away from it all".

But, we found we really didn't want to, as the family atmosphere cultivated at the resort meant we became fast friends with staff and several guests. We looked forward to socializing at breakfast and then later while imbibing Keidy or Tom's delicious margaritas at cocktail hour, and dinner. In fact, on a few occasions, we pulled several tables together to dine as if at a large family dinner. One occasion was on the Friday before many of the guests left, and a delicious impromptu Mediterranean buffet was whipped up. Faves on the breakfast and lunch menu included the banana pancakes, the fruit smoothies, the fish turnovers and the grouper po' boy.

Initially, we had plans to do a couple of day trips, and perhaps check out West End and West Bay. In the end, we were happy to just enjoy the beautiful weather and the resort, save for an excursion to the Pirates of the Carribean extreme zip-line (also highly recommended). We did partake of Tom's services to take us by boat to a good snorkelling spot, and the Pigeon Cays excursion (they truly look like the iconic desert isle, a few palms, white sand, and great snorkelling). Snorkelling was also decent off the Secret Cove, but slightly turbid due to stronger swells. Another highlight was the Thursday night beach party, where they move the tunes, the bar and grilled food down to Little Bay beach, with a performance by the local Garifuna people. Davinci has a great music collection, which provides a mellow, relaxing groove throughout the day at the restaurant.

All in all, we had an excellent stay, and we certainly hope to return. There was one minor blip when trees rubbing on wires one evening caused the loss of one phase of the 220 volt power, meaning no air conditioning and limited lighting overnight. I chalk it up to island life.

I also commend the efforts on trying to make the resort greener (for instance, they will reimburse you if bring energy efficient bulbs, which are expensive in Honduras), beginning to cultivate an organic garden (poor Lisa and her battle with the crabs), etc.

I will also mention that since Honduras is a developing nation, some items, especially for children, are in desperate need on the island. We brought a selection of books and school supplies, some which we left at the resort for local families, and the remainder we delivered to another contact. She mentioned 2 good sites for donations:
The E-learning center:
http://www.roatanchildrensfund.com/frenchharborlearningcenter.htm

and Partners in Education on Roatan:
http://www.roatanschools.org/

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TravelFunBeganAt41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
NE
Level Contributor
3 reviews
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
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
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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:
#11 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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