I have been coming to Roatan for approximately 10 years (approximately 15 trips) and am familiar with many of the places on West Bay Beach. I had to make my plans at the last minute and was not able to get a room at my usual spot so I decided to book a room at the brand new Paradise Oceanic Hotel. I am putting a lot of details into this review because of the varying level of accommodations on Roatan. It helps to know what to expect.
The Oceanic is located on the grounds of the Paradise resort complex which contains the Paradise Beach Resort, four restaurants (the Cayuco Bar, the Aqua Lounge, Il Pomodoro, and the Buffalo Steak House) and separately run West Bay Divers. I made my reservation via e-mail address located on their web site (http://www.roatanswisshotels.com). The reservation process was very smooth. Karina handled all the details and was very responsive to e-mails. I opted for the full meal plan since I had heard good things about the restaurants. I was asked to pay 50% upfront since I was making the reservation so close to my arrival date. This is very common on Roatan due to its being more of a remote destination. The hotel does accept all major credit cards. Be careful when you are making your reservation to state that you want to be at the Oceanic or they may quote you the rate at the sister resort.
Since I was staying for over a week, my round trip transportation from the airport was included. This is important since by this would normally cost $40-$50 by itself. I was met outside of the airport by a driver who took me on the 20-30 minute drive to West Bay. I checked in with the front desk which is currently shared by both of the Paradise Resorts. The front desk also placed a plastic band around my wrist to indicate I was a guest at the resort. It may have also indicated that I was on a meal plan.
The Oceanic shows really well. It looks very modern on the outside with lots of glass walls. There’s a small parking lot behind the hotel if you choose to rent a car. The hotel is five stories tall, including the roof top lounge and pool. The hotel is not ocean front, but rather 100 feet away from the beach. They installed a small elevator as well – one of the few on the island. The elevator is one which has a regular type of door on the outside and an inner door. You close both doors after entering and select your floor. The elevator worked for my first two days but then I noticed it was out of service, I believe due to a problem with one of the access doors. I suggest that if you have difficulty negotiating the stairs, that you get a first floor room. I was on the third floor and was fine with the stairs but please take your own needs into consideration. The stairwells do not have handrails at this time. I hope this is addressed for safety reasons. Also, all the stairs are nicely tiled. The title has a slight texture to it but the resort might want to consider some kind of additional no-slip treatment.
Since I travel with a small laptop, I think it’s worth mentioning that the safe could hold (based on my estimate, a laptop that’s 12 inches by 10 inches, perhaps a little more. I had no problem fitting mine in there but if you have a 17 inch laptop, well, that’s another matter. Wireless internet access is My room came with a king size bed with a nice mattress a lightweight sheet and spread, and good pillows. The two adjacent night stands had large drawers. The balcony had two chairs and a small table. Also in place was a large desk that contained a small refrigerator. The closet was quite large and had a digital safe.
The bathroom was small, but nicely furnished with a porcelain above counter “bowl” sink. The sink drain is a strainer type cover and does not have a stopper valve so if you want to wash clothing items in the sink, bring a drain cover. Shampoo, soap, lotion, and a small box of tissues were provided as well as several decent towels. One small annoyance was that there was no place to put your soap in the shower. I had to reach out and grab it from the counter and place it there when I was done. The only thing missing was a clock but I had my watch with me and didn’t care. It’s the tropics! Also, there was a shower curtain rod, but no shower curtain. Actually, given the size of the shower and that it has a “rain” type of showerhead, I think a shower curtain would feel very confining. The water pressure was good.
Wireless internet access is available throughout the property. The signal was pretty strong on most days but it went out completely in the Oceanic for a few days so I took my laptop to one of the other buildings and used it there. There is a charge for internet access. I paid $50 for a week’s usage. As an alternative, you can rent a USB cellular modem from Captain Van’s in West Bay Mall for a lower cost per week but I believe you have to put a deposit on it. Also, one of the restaurants down the beach near Foster’s (I think the restaurant is called Beaches) lets you use their Wi-Fi if you order. Also, the Java Vine in West Bay Mall (on the main road) will let you use their Wi-Fi for 30 minutes if you spend at least $5.
I thought of a few more details on the room. There was a 32” television in the room. The channel selection was pretty good. There were lots of Honduran channels and feeds from all of the major US networks including the news channels (CNN, FOX News, etc.). I don’t watch much television but it was nice to hear some news. Also, the room has a split unit air conditioner which was fairly quiet. I had no problems sleeping with it on. There is a ceiling fan as well. Also, the refrigerator is small. It’s more like the size of a hotel minibar unit. It is not very deep (maybe 6-8 inches). It can hold several water bottles and some small items but do not think of it as a “true” refrigerator. The rooms use card key locks. This is much better than carrying around a hotel key. Also, you need to insert a room key into a control slot to turn on the electricity. I believe this is done as a way to conserve electricity since it is very expensive on Roatan. The electrical power was stable for the whole week. There were no outages. I do not know if Paradise has a backup generator. You should ask if that’s important to you.
The room also contained a telephone – something not common today on Roatan. I did not see any instructions on how to place calls (e.g. dial 9 first). I did not use the phone. I suggest you bring an unlocked GSM phone from your home country. You can buy a SIM and top it up from a local provider (TIGO or Claro) at Captain Van’s in West Bay Mall.
One of the stellar features (in my opinion) with the Oceanic is the rooftop pool. If you go to the fifth floor, you first enter a nice bar/restaurant area and then can pass to the pool outside. This pool is about 30 feet long by 8 feet wide (more or less). It is not a lap pool. It’s a soaking pool. The view is spectacular. You can see almost the whole of West Bay Beach. There are several nice lounge chairs. I took a book up there several times and just relaxed for a few hours. Incidentally, each guest gets a coupon for a beach towel. It’s nice to not have to pack one of those. The only issue I had with the pool is that it was often locked and I had to ask the staff to unlock it. We did have a few rainy days so that made sense. The last few days were sunny and I had to ask the staff to unlock it. I waited quite a while for that to happen.
In terms of the view from the room, remember that the hotel is not beachfront. You will probably have a view of the condominiums next door. It didn’t matter to me. If you want that panoramic view, go to the rooftop pool. Also, keep in mind that many of the beach front hotels in West Bay do not necessarily offer views of the Caribbean from their rooms.
The Oceanic offers three meal options: Bed & Breakfast includes breakfast only, a half board (lunch or dinner each day, your choice) or full board. Breakfast is served in the Il Pomodoro/Buffalo Steak House restaurants (it’s actually one big restaurant with two sections. You could order eggs any way you wanted. I requested a baleada (a tortilla stuffed with beans and cheese). They also had fresh fruit, breads, juice, and coffee.
Although there are four restaurants I think it’s better to view them as a combination of four locations and four menus. The reason I am saying this is that I was able to order off the menu from one restaurant while sitting in another.
Il Pomodoro and the Buffalo Steak House are two separate spaces in the same building. Il Pomodoro has a variety of pastas, pizzas, and some seafood. The Buffalo Steak House offers different meats and seafood. Also, breakfast is served in this facility each day. The Aqua Lounge has some Italian entrees which aren’t on the other menus as well as some other lighter fare options. In general, all the food was fantastic. I did notice that they were often out of stock on some items on certain days. For example, I was only able to order the beef filet on one day. They didn’t have it on the other days. I believe one of the reasons for this is that I came at the start of the slow season. Consequently, resorts do not want to buy large quantities of items which could potentially go bad. I did not ask. That’s just my guess. I’ve experienced this at other resorts in West Bay as well. I found all of the portion sizes to be quite large. You could probably split one entrée between two people in many cases and add a few side dishes.
I had opted for the full meal plan just for ease. It did not include alcohol (although you get a coupon for one welcome cocktail). I think next time I might go with the Bed & Breakfast plan or maybe the half board. There are enough options in West Bay now to provide some variety, but you have to bring extra cash. Many places (but not all) take credit cards. There are a few ATMs now in West Bay (which usually work).
When it comes to bugs, Roatan’s “no see ums” are legendary. Having said that, I was on the island during a very breezy time and had very few bites. Also, Paradise does spray the grounds and it does make a difference. You can either bring repellent or buy it on the island at West Bay Mall or other gift shops.
Also, if you need incidentals or munchies, there are some minimarkets down the beach at Bananarama, Conconut Tree, and the Mayan Princess as well as West Bay Mall. You can find all the essentials, sometimes at very good prices.
The staff members at Paradise are fantastic. Everyone was very helpful. I’ll mention some of the people that were very helpful: Felipe and Karina in the front office, Fanny and Ermelinda in the restaurant, and Doris the housekeeper. There are many others whose names I do not remember who also lent a hand.
I will definitely consider staying at the Paradise Oceanic again. This hotel is beautiful. sI had a very relaxing time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Paradise Oceanic Hotel: Sandy white beaches; relaxing on sun-loungers under cooling parasols, served by Cayuco Beach Bar & Restaurant. Inviting, cobalt Caribbean; gentle sea breezes, tropical gardens. Plunge pool; sipping chilled Champagne at The View, Roatan’s only rooftop bar, overlooking the glorious West Bay Beach. Refreshing Mojitos; seafood platters, fine dining. Snorkelling and scuba-diving right from the beach. Doing nothing at all: Your Freedom to Choose at the Hidden Jewel of the Caribbean! ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Paradise Oceanic Hotel Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras