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“Fantastic service in an ideal location” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Giralda

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La Giralda
Bahia de Guanaja, Honduras   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Guanaja
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Fantastic service in an ideal location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2012

I spent several days at La Giralda and had nothing short of a wonderful time. The food is out standing and the cooks flexible, my Vegan diet was not only catered for but was done so with enthusiasm spawning novel, healthy and very tasty meals. The rooms are generously furnished, clean and spacious and the staff efficient and helpful.

Highly recommended, next time I'm in Guanaja I look forward to another visit.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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53 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
balen,belgium
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2012

Tropical island, upon the the hill, beautiful villa's, bedrooms with ocean view, how more idyllic can it be? The managers and there staff lifted 'serving people' to the level of art. In the kitchen lives a cooking princes. We stayed for Valentine and received more then we ever dreamed of.
Thanks Daniel!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winter Park, Florida
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2012

Upon arriving at La Giralda, people were at your service immediately and very friendly learning ours names from the day we arrived. La Giralda is the paradise place you have always dreamed of going, but never knew existed! The entire Island is incredible and is the perfect place to watch a sunset. As we walked into each room, I felt as though I was in a exotic movie because the Villas are amazing and the view from each Villa as well. Villa del Rey even has a pool you can walk out to from your personal shower! Down by the beach kids ( or even adults looking for an adventure ) can wakeboard, water ski, knee board, kayak, snorkel, and lets not forget SCUBA DIVE into the second largest coral reef in the WORLD. I had so much fun seeing new things and enjoying things I had never done before like Scuba Dive. At night walking up to the dinning area with the moon light and walking into candle light areas was one of the most beautiful and serene moments I have experienced. The dinner was the best meal I can honestly say I have ever had, beginning with Sweet Plantains and fresh salsa, to exotic and amazing salads I has never had before, to fresh Lobster, Crab, and Shrimp, to end it with the most stupendous cheesecake ever ( better than Betty Crocker could of done herself ). Having staff available 24/7 for any type of food or drink I wanted was great. (Tip: A must have is a Monkey La La). It is so hard to describe in words what this place is about, you have to see it for your self and experience it for yourself. This resort is perfect, exclusive but a perfect way to spend time with family and friends. I would recommend this for any and everyone who is looking for the best exotic/ Caribbean Island experience. What are you waiting for, book it!! I know I can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: The Villa style houses will be one of the most beautiful places you will have stayed at! Each room h...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madisonville, LA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2012

Like a pair of eagles in an aerie 40 or so feet over the water, we scanned the sea for schools of reef fish. A pair of barracuda darted after prey while a big, red starfish took half a day to make its way from the deeper water so near the shore my husband could pick it up without getting his shorts wet. We came to Guanaja, Bay Islands Honduras, for Christmas in search of a little adventure. What we found was a garden of Eden, but with better food and service.

La Giralda is a one-year old boutique resort set on the peninsula surrounding Sandy Bay on the south side of Guanaja. Owned by an experienced group of Caribbean developers and investors and operated by La Giralda Management Company, it has until recently been one of the best kept secrets on one of the most overlooked islands in the Caribbean. It took two cars, two planes, a boat and two days to actually get there from New Orleans, but then we never opt for the easy route to anywhere. Arriving at the island's tiny airport, the absence of a baggage claim and even a taxi told us this was definitely going to be an adventure. Instead of a baggage claim all eight passengers picked their belongings out of a pile in the middle of the terminal. Outside, instead of a line of taxis and hotel shuttles, there were four boats picking up passengers. The staff from La Giralda loaded us, our dive gear, cameras and personal effects onto a small boat and headed down a canal toward the open water between Bonacca Cay and the main island. In a few minutes we were unloading at La Giralda's dock.

Our stay was simply splendid. Managing Director, Daniel O'Connor is an ex-pat with over 20 years of hotel management experience, including previous stints at Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton and the award-winning Honduras Maya in the capital city of Tegucigalpa. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and holds a master´s degree in Hotel and Resort Management. At La Giralda he has put everything learned in his long career into making guests feel as if they are visiting the comfortable hacienda of a close friend. The staff, though not entirely bi-lingual, is thoughtful and only a presence when there is a need. Guests stay in beautifully appointed two-room cottages scattered about the property. Interiors have high ceilings with fans, a lounging area and a kitchenette stocked with soft drinks in the fridge. Outdoors on the veranda overlooking the sea are hammocks. The main dining area is centrally located in Casa Grande, a large two-story house wrapped in airy verandas that open to an interior where guests can read or relax with a drink on comfortable seating or at the bar before sitting down to meals. We are rum aficionados and our host wasted no time in organizing an impromptu tasting of some of the best rums from the Caribbean, Cuba, and Latin America. The bar stock is top shelf all the way. Over a long visit, O'Connor explained his ambition to create an outstanding menu based on traditional Honduran staples such as plantains, rice, corn, and tropical fruits presented in very untraditional ways. We particularly enjoyed our breakfast blend of mandarin orange and carrot juice. A ring of pineapple drizzled with honey and pink peppercorns and served scorching hot was a simple, very delicious lunchtime dessert. Grilled lobster tails, conch soup, and steamed giant reef crabs were a special treat. Very crisp lettuce wedges served with tangy, sweet salad dressings went well with the grilled grouper and shrimp scampi. One evening O'Connor fired up the wood burning oven under the veranda and served up a variety of pizzas his staff had prepared from freshly made sauces and crusts topped with fresh fish, meats, fruits and vegetables. The variety, quality, and presentation of our meals was superb.

Barely able to push ourselves away from the table, we spent time waiting for our next meal by exploring Guanaja aboard La Giralda's small runabout. Our guide took us to the other side of the island for a day of snorkeling at Michael's Rock, hiking some ruins and combing the beach for sea glass at a small park where legend says Christopher Columbus landed on his fourth visit to the Caribbean. We had day of offshore fishing and several photography expeditions to Bonacca Cay, Mango Bay, and Savannah Bight. Our guides steered us to places we would not otherwise have found. We preferred to snorkel the reef, but others will enjoy world class scuba diving on the reef that surrounds Guanaja, or relaxing in one of La Giralda's three connecting pools near a second restaurant and bar on the beach. The Crazy Parrot restaurant is for dockside dining.

In the evening we settled down in crisp linens under airy mosquito netting listening to crickets and frogs and an occasional gentle rain shower. The sea breeze kept us cool until the next spectacular sunrise over the ocean.

La Giralda on Guanaja was perfect for us, but might not be the perfect resort for everyone. Its spectacular location is on very steep property and its unmatched views of the Honduran mountains on the mainland, crystal clear turquoise water surrounding the world's second longest reef, deserted cays and quiet relaxation away from noisy guests and nosey staff comes after a climb of many steps. Your cottage is approximately half way up between the beach at sea level and the main gathering location for meals at the top of the hill. There are no mechanical lifts, so a certain degree of physical fitness is required. We are 65 and 62 with, shall we say, “non-athletic” bodies and we handled it just fine at a leisurely pace. Guanaja's medical services are minimal, there are no roads or cars to take you from place to place. All travel is by boat or foot. There is only very basic shopping on Bonacca Cay, and no casinos, bands or exciting nightlife. There is no TV, but there is wireless internet. There are no waterslide parks or malls with video games where the kids can entertain themselves. The beaches of Guanaja are small and, in the remote areas, ungroomed. Abundant strong sunscreen and bug repellent are necessities. A good pair of binoculars will be of value.

Our little adventure to Guanaja was all we could have wanted and more than we expected. We have already reserved our quarters for next December. Two Mayan crystal skulls, one in a British Museum and one held by a private collector were found on Guanaja and there are a couple of interesting archaeological sites on the island. Our plan for next December 21, the date of the Mayan Apocalypse, is to hike to the top of the island and enjoy abundant good rum while waiting for the world to end. If it doesn't? Well, we'll probably head down to the beach, order some lobster and a lettuce wedge with mango sauce, top it off with a Monkey La La and not be too disappointed we didn't see the big flash.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Key Biscayne, Florida
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2012

Guanaja is an out of the norm Caribbean destination that offers exceptional natural beauty. This was our second trip to La Giralda in less than a year. The small exclusive resort has beautifully furnished oceanfront villas, top notch service and outstanding food. The staff is amazing, they remembered our names, knew exactly what we wanted for breakfast, organized great tours and were always there when we needed them, yet were never obtrusive or in our way. The excursion to the waterfalls, snorkeling on the north shore and an amazing gourmet champagne lunch on the beach was an incredible day. We love the privacy of their white sand beaches and especially the day beds they strategically position close our villa. The Casa Grande contains a lounge, air conditioned restaurant and large wrap around verandah where most meals are served. The Bloody Marys and Monkey LA La's are the resort signature cocktails, we tried both, they are excellent and hard to resist. The wood burning oven is used most days baking breads and they make the best gourmet pizzas we have tried anywhere in the Caribbean; however it is the wonderful local seafood which makes it worth the trip alone. Lobster, shrimp and conch are plentiful, the grilled grouper sandwich on toasted coconut bread is remarkable but it is the local king crabs served on the Saturday Night Seafood festival that we loved the most. Overall, the food is the best we have tried anywhere in Honduras, creative, wonderfully presented and expertly prepared. We loved that fresh squeezed fruit juices were served each morning and our favorites are mandarin orange-carrot, papaya-pineapple and watermelon-ginger. We have already booked our next trip for easter week.

Room Tip: Villa del Rey is oceanfront and has a beautiful infinity edge swimming pool, it has 3 bedrooms and p...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2011

I stayed with my husband and another couple on our wedding anniversary in the Vila del Rey. The bedrooms and rooms are so large it was like we were by ourselves with our own suite. Our room was beautiful, with comfortable bed, walk in shower, flat screen tv, his and hers sinks and own personal pool outside the walk in shower.
It's easy to relax inside and out, inside with the beds, large white sink into sofas and outside deckchairs and pools and hammocks. You have the option of room service meals or in the candlelit restaurant for meals or outside patio. The chef is excellent, we thoroughly enjoyed all our meals.
We took kayaks out to a nearby key, where there was amazing snorkeling. You can also relax on the beach in front of the Vila on the four poster beds! The scenery is spectacular and at all times you feel truly away from it all. I will definataly be coming back.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2011

From the moment I stepped off the tiny plane, I was greeted by very friendly staff. The boat ride there introduces how gorgeous the island of Guanaja is. The resort is just beautiful. Although it was a short stay, it was the best carribean experience I have had so far. I As I step onto my ocean front deck, a diverse natural landscape captures me. A private white sandy beach awaits me every morning. The resort is just beautiful, my villa was awsome, I stayed at ``Casa Grande``, where your deck is literally right on the water. The rooms are very comfortable. The 4 days I spent there I felt like a King. I felt there was not a single thing I couldn`t ask the staff that they could not do. Wether it was to schedule a late minute dive,with amazing coral reefs,( I even saw a huge 6 foot nurse shark and numerous exotic lion fish), or bring me delicious breakfast in bed. Its a perfect escape. My peak moment there was a delicious 3 course meal I had on my final night. I ate at the ``bar``, (Very antique looking launge place with amazing interior design) as I sat down, beautiful music plays in the backround, a friendly bartender makes me a delicious sangrita, and the cook brings me meal after meal of delicious sea food. The lobster was out of this world, and a huge crab dipped in an extravagant buttery sauce topped it off. I didn`t want to leave, you just want to stay there the rest of your life. One word, AMAZING. I can´t wait to go back, already booked for June 2012.

Room Tip: Casa Grande was amazing.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Giralda

Address: Bahia de Guanaja, Honduras
Location: Honduras > Bay Islands > Guanaja
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Guanaja
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
One of the few private luxury destinations in The Bay Islands of the Caribbean, La Giralda is a 65 acre private sanctuary with spectacular white sand beaches and unbelievable swimming in crystal clear turquoise waters. The hotel is situated on a peninsula with a tropical forest climbing the mountain behind the property and all the villas located on the peninsula itself surrounded by a pristine turquoise bay to one side, home to dolphins, and the clear Caribbean Sea on the other side. ... more   less 
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