Automobiles, Trains and Planes....a Paradise found
After taking a totally different route along with an Amtrak Train and 26 extra hours to get there we arrived one less suitcase on Roatan. We were met at the airport by Chris and Monica of Tranquil Seas. Chris helped with the delayed bag and Delta. While we were gathering what arrived of our luggage Paul arrived on a different flight got his stuff, then we were off to Tranquil seas and 5 days on the Island. During the drive Chris was speaking to a Hank, and then informed us he would be meeting us later that afternoon back at the hotel. Who was Hank? It was Capitan Hank of the Sunyata; he was coming to discuss the week’s weather with us. We arrived at Tranquil Seas and Chris helped us to the Hummingbird Room with the bags and then let us knows to meet him at the bar when we were ready for a complementary drink. We got our drink and Monica gave us the scoop on how Tranquil Seas is run. A great set up for both the guests, giving them abundant privacy and Chris and Monica, who don’t have to be around 24/7 to ensure everyone has whatever they need. We went for a walk and on our way back were met by Capt. Hank. After discussing the week’s weather with us and Chris, we rearranged our time on and off Island to have the cruise the last three days (best weather window) instead of the middle. Once again, Chris and Monica went out of their way to ensure we had a pleasurable stay on Roatan. Because of the delays in arriving we ate at Tranquil Seas that evening and Monica prepared the best Greek Salad for super. Believe everything you have read about her cooking and then some, she is GOOD! You also have to try her breakfasts, pancakes are awesome and Tapas’ night saw by our estimate 50 or so people attend, a great time was had by all.
During our stay at Tranquil Seas we had pizza from the end of the road, not bad just don’t eat the black olives. We ate at the Lighthouse Restaurant twice, the food was very good and we would go back again, just give yourself extra time for a slower than normal service (worse at lunch than super), still well worth the wait. The food at The Eagle Ray was good, would we go back, yes with a large group of people, their deck over the water is large and has a great view especially of sunsets. We also had breakfast at Blue Bahia, just down the beach from Tranquil Seas. Very good food and when we go back in September we will be trying their smoked meat and ribs.
We did a lot of walking; one of our favourite walks was to Melvin’s. He was just down the beach located across the road from the church in Sandy Bay. You could take a short cut through Anthony’s Keys to get there (saves walking the roads). Melvin is a local character who grew up and has lived all his life on Roatan; we ended up with two of his carvings. They are more like Maritime Canada folk-art but really reflect Roatan culture and we are happy to have them in our great room. Anthony’s Keys was beautiful to walk through, the paths were well kept and the gardens and grounds were well taken care off. A great place to take pictures.
You could snorkel right off the dock at Tranquil Seas; it was better than anything we saw off Akumal / Tulum area of Mexico. There were more fish and the coral was in a lot better shape. Chris actually helped map the reef system for the Roatan Marine Park and some of his pictures are featured in their calendar for 2010. (They are available at the office at Tranquil Seas) Octopus Dive School located just down the beach from Tranquil Seas at the Blue Bahia offer great dive packages and Kent and Eva are great dive masters. I did my introductory dive with them (ended up in Flowers Bay due to a bit of chop on our side) and Kent made the whole experience feel more than comfortable. I highly recommend them for either the beginner or a more experienced diver.
We probably spent a total of one day exploring West End and West Bay, they are great little villages / towns to visit but only stay their if you like hussel and bussel especially when the cruise ships are in, Tranquil Seas lives up to its name, nice and quiet. The cabs are more than fair in their prices, just confirm what that price is before getting into one (Cab 190 was great). It also went up when the sun went down, just beware of this. Water taxies from West End to West Bay also cheaper than taxies between the two places, though the view from the top is worth taking a taxi once. On a clear day you can see way past Mahagoney Bay (the new cruise ship pier and shopping area) on one side and not sure how far on the North side.
It’s now Thursday morning and James has arrived to take us to the Sunyata for our 3 day cruise of Cayo Cinchinos and two nights moored off Big Hog Island in the Marine Park. After a quick stop at the store in Coxen Hole for some supplies (still no bag from Delta) we get to Dixen Cove and the Sunyata. Capt. Hank and James help us load our stuff on board then we cast off and its three days of rolling seas and even more serenity. After a 4 hourish crossing we moor off Big Hog and while we make ourselves at home Hank prepares a LIGHT lunch. We spend the rest of the afternoon snorkelling around trumpet bay and pelican point on big hog. If we thought things were nice off Tranquil Seas then the reef and fish here were better than being at the Atlanta Aquarium. Super the first night was great so were the rest of Hanks meals. All the fish was fresh and well prepared. Friday morning while we waited for the dug out for our tour of the islands and lunch out at a small fishing village we hope into the dingy and go to shop to look around. After an hour or so we visit the Plantation Resort, the only all inclusive on the islands. They are well located and offer great dive packages, or just a secluded place to vacation. Back on board Capt. Mario arrives and we hop into his dugout for our trip to the other side of the island to see a small village and a school there. After walking around and talking to the villagers (even saw a Columbian drug boat that was washed up on a reef and wrecked) we get back into the dugout for our trip out to the village for lunch. After picking our fish from a chest we wonder until our lunch is ready, whole cooked red snapper, fabulous. Served with rice and plantain chips and some sort of tomato and onion sauce that they called ketchup; it was one of the best meals we had while we were away. After lunch it was back to the Sunyata for more snorkelling and then sunset. With not a cloud in the sky it was a perfect final evening to a perfect paradise found. After the sunset, the start came on one by one over our heads as we stretched out on the stern of the boat. After super we did some more star gazing then off to sleep, lulled by the roll of the boat, for the final night of our vacation. Bright and early then next mooring we cast of for Dixon Cove, one passenger more, he was hooking a ride back to the island to catch a changed flight. After a relaxing 5 hours, we were once again met by James who helped us to the Van with the bags and took us back to Tranquil Seas for a shower and change of clothes before Chris took us back to the airport (we finally got the lost bag, only to recheck it two counters down for the return trip home) and wished a good trip home. This was also over and above the call of duty, just their way of ensuring a good time is had by all their guests. The flight on TACA (booked over the internet) was great, comfy seats and lots of room. Landing in San Salvador was wicked. You circle a volcano before you land. The airport is very easy to get around. Everyone speaks English and is more than willing to give you a hand with any questions. The flight to Washington was good as well, a full hot meal (two choices) with complementary drinks was served followed by a feature presentation, and we have no problems flying with them again. Landed in Syracuse all luggage accounted for, then drove home, picking up the dogs from Matthews Kennels (great care, they truly love dogs, highly recommend them as well).
We loved the island so much that when a seat sale came up, Cheryl and a girlfriend decided to go back for another week, this time to Turquoise Bay. She wanted to stay back at Tranquil Seas but they were both fully booked, Chris did offer to check around but we knew he was busy and Tranquil Seas looked like a good place for Andrea. We also spoke to Kent, who made the same offer from the Blue Bahia, as they were fully booked as well.
All in all, we give Roatan Island, Tranquil Seas, Octopus Dive and the Sunyata Sailing Charters 6 out of 5, recommend it to all.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tranquilseas Eco Lodge, Dive Center, Restaurant & Bar, Roatan - Unique island accommodation & Padi Dive Resort set amongst beautifully landscaped tropical gardens, secluded from the hustle and bustle and yet easily accessible to some of the great adventures to be had on Roatan. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Tranquilseas Eco Lodge And Dive Hotel Sandy Bay
- Tranquilseas Eco Lodge And Dive Center Roatan, Honduras - Bay Islands