To give the reader of this review some contextual background, I need to preface the words that follow with, that, after two hectic years without a single day off from work, we, my husband and I, were looking for a place that would focus on giving their guests “a relaxing vacation, away from the hustle and bustle of their regular lives” (i.e., Paradise Beach Resort according to the Sunwing website). The price was right, so.. why not? I was not interested in a cultural adventure or a trip of my life-type of vacation, just a relaxing time off with an option to dive and snorkel.
I will rank each section of my review separately since something that we considered to be bothersome or a nuisance may not necessarily be a problem for a particular reader. Decide for yourself.
Resort: The Paradise Beach is a small hotel, a total of 47 rooms, nicely located within a garden that is well taken care of. The hotel location is very nice. This is a public hotel with a public bar and public restaurants. This translates into a large number of non-guest wondering around the hotel grounds and constantly peeking into rooms. They (non-guests) would range from bus tours (stop for breakfast on Thursdays) to cruise ship tourist “cruisers (present almost every day) and others. As we were initially located in a ground floor room we have experienced it all, including the “pleasure” of wakening up one morning and facing 5 people (non-guest, they turned out to be from a bus tour) on our terrace peeking into our room. When complained to the manager about the tens of non-guest wondering around the hotel we were informed everyone has a right to be there. As for the bus tour people on our terrace, well we were told that we must have something against “locals”!!!! Overall for the “resort”, 2 stars maximum.
Hotel room: An average room with a hard bed. The room was cleaned daily. However, judging from bite marks on our bodies (fresh every morning) we had a strong suspicion there were bed bugs there or at least fleas. Because of that I would rate the room 2 stars maximum.
Staff: Excellent and very hard working people. They will serve with a smile, always keen on helping you and meeting your requests. I would rate the service 5 stars.
Restaurants/Food/Drinks: Except for breakfast which was repetitive and quite limited, food was delicious! What we did not like is that the hotel buffet was a pit stop for bus tours on Thursdays. Your chances to get a decent breakfast or a spot to sit down were slim on these days. Also interesting, that while we opted for an “all inclusive” we were constantly asked for the room number as the management keeps track of what you eat and drink, annoying but you give in eventually. Overall for restaurants/food/drinks - 4 stars because of repetitive and limited choice breakfast.
Beach: Beautiful if you will go there early in the morning, turquoise pristine warm water. The beach is approximately 1.0-1.2 km long and 2-25 m wide (the hotel beach is no more than 6-8 m wide) and there are thousands of people there daily. The hotel has a designated area with beach chairs so theoretically there should be no big issues. In reality, it really depends on daily “arrangements” between cruise ship guides and/or individual tourists and the hotel/bar staff. Be prepared that cruisers with or without “arrangements” will attempt to remove your towel and take your chair. And of course the hotel policy says that should you “accidentally” lose your towel you will be charged $25. Luckily, the security guy was very vigilant and protective of hotel guests and their belongings; he did the best he could despite all kinds of ongoing “arrangements”. Now, once you managed to keep your chair, you will be faced with all kinds of other issues ranging from insects to vendors. When the former one will be annoying but silent going about their business, the last one will make sure you will notice them and they will try to sell you everything you do not need. They would go absolutely ballistic on cruise ship days, knowing that for the most part, cruise ship guests have lots of money to spend on everything. Also, there is constant loud music from the hotel bar (trying to lure in cruisers and others), making a relaxing snooze on the beach all but impossible. If you are a party animal and love the constant buzz, then this place is right for you. Overall, for our beach experience, 1 star; due to the never-ending loud procession of tourists and vendors and, a lost fight with bugs.
Diving/snorkeling: This was superb. Roatan is a diver’s paradise. The reef is beautiful with an abundant sea life. We have dived with the West Bay Divers and we would recommend them to anyone. The shark dive was so far the best dive of my life. Great opportunities for snorkeling! Overall, 5 stars.
Excursions. We have booked two, the Gumbalimba Park combo and an island tour through Sunwing/hotel. We have really enjoyed the first one. As for the second one, can’t say since the driver never showed up. Apparently, on the way to pick us up he stopped to check for better deals than the one he was already paid for. Since found a sweet deal with cruisers, he just went for it. We were offered an alternative date or our money back. At this point we just gave up and took the money. Overall for excursions, 2.5 stars seem fair.
An average score for this “resort” and a whole experience is 3 stars. Summarizing our experience, weather was gorgeous, water was warm and crystal clear, food was delicious, diving/snorkeling to die for. Because of endless crowds on the beach, restless vendors and bugs waiting to suck you money and blood, we would not come back to this “resort”. Also, I would not recommend it to our friends. Should we ever choose to come back to Roatan for diving we would definitely look into other options.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on one of nature’s perfect beaches and nestled in verdant, mature, tropical gardens our family run resort was tastefully designed with the discerning traveller in mind. You want to sit back and soak up the sun with the occasional cooling paddle in the azure Caribbean Sea whilst being waited on by our attentive family of representatives. Maybe go diving in the unspoilt reefs or swim with dolphins? However you choose to spend your time, you can be assured of a warm welcome, superb air-conditioned accommodation, menus to suit all tastes and budgets but most of all, the holiday of a lifetime. A taste of paradise that will keep you going until the next time you can escape life’s realities and join us again. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Paradise Beach Club Hotel West Bay
- Paradise Beach Resort
- Paradise Beach Hotel Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras