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Private Villas on Roatan

Vancouver, Canada
2 posts
2 reviews
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Private Villas on Roatan

Having read the postings on the disaster at Casa Dolphin I am now alittle weary about renting here. Has anyone stayed at any of the following Villas? They all look great, but I had looked at Casa Dolphin and thought it was good too...

Villa Dos Geckos

La Diosa del Sol

Villa del Mar

Fuego del Mar

Helicoma de Balanque

Half Moon Bay House

Swimming conditions out front? Safety? Got what was advertised.

Thanks!

Nashville, Tennessee
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1 post
107 reviews
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1. Re: Private Villas on Roatan

We just stayed at the La Diosa Del Sol for a week. The view is beautiful. The caretaker of the property lives next door and he was here everyday cleaning the pool and working outside. He is very nice.

The property is fenced and is gated. There are three very nice dogs that live outside on the property which is nice because they will bark if someone walks by. Access to the water is an easy walk and they have a shed with Kayaks. The rooms have plenty of windows. There is not central air and only the bedrooms have units. The kitchen and living room do not have air, but we didn't need it. The breeze was nice and they have some high powered ceiling fans.

Last tip would be to rent a truck not a car. The dirt road is rough and becomes muddy with just a little rain.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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2 posts
23 reviews
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2. Re: Private Villas on Roatan

We are a family of 5, all SCUBA divers, who usually go for a week to Hawaii to Dive each year, but this year decided to go to Roatan, knowing it was a "must dive place" as well as finding out that it is much cheaper to get there and stay there, than going to and staying in Hawaii (with some caveats - more about that later!). We did our usual due diligence and looked at many villas offered for rental, but really liked what we read and saw on the VRBO web-site of La Diosa, Del Sol

especially liking the reviews and the price for staying in such a unique villa.

Setting the rental up was pretty standard and easy, and the owners immediately put us in touch with their on-island property managers, Ed and Jami, who were very helpful from the get go with tips and referrals for car rental, Diving outfits and even arranged for the Villa's house cleaner to come in daily - and cook too, for a very reasonable cost.

The preparation for going to Roatan (Honduras) were a little more elaborate than expected. All of a sudden we had to decide whether to take malaria prophylaxis, Hepatitis A vaccine, had to think about consequences of becoming ill or injured as when it comes to medical and governmental infrastructure, Honduras, and to some extend even a tourist centered area as Roatan, truly is a third world country. We had heard a lot about the mosquito’s and other insects, and prepared by filling a suitcase with anti-mosquito tools, and must have done it well as none of us got ill, or even received more mosquito bites than what we would in any place in the US. However, we did take out a separate 2 million dollar medical/evacuation insurance per person, as in case of serious injury or illness it is paramount to get out of Honduras and back to the U.S.!! – You read that ahead of time – and they say that on the island!

Arriving in Honduras came with the expected inefficiency that we are used to south of the border: long lines in the airport fueled by the 2 only US flights per week arriving within 30 minutes of each other, slow, and I mean very slow, luggage retrieval – but that was no different than any of the many Central and South American countries we have visited ppreviously. Once out of customs, which went very smooth, once we had our luggage, we were met by Jami who was to take us to the villa, with our rental truck waiting for us as well.

The trip from the airport to the villa took about 30 minutes and took us through Coxen Hole along the main high-way running through the length of the Island. We turned off the highway and headed down towards the water on a dirt road that in the US would be considered only for high-clearance 4-WD, but where we regularly saw small Taxis (Toyota Corollas) crisscross. To get to the villa we had to drive through a small coastal village (Politilly Bight) with people and children hanging out outside their houses. We thought it was a little unusual that they didn’t smile or waved back when we smiled and waved to them until we discovered that the truck’s windows were tinted so no-one could see anything or anybody inside.

The villa itself was gorgeous, and just as described and shown in the video on the Villa's web site. Very well maintained, spacy and clean. There are two master bedrooms and 2 additional bed rooms, 3 in total with air condition. In addition there is a room on what would be a third floor, like a little tower room, but clearly with the ability for a person to spend the night there. A big open room with tall ceilings contains the kitchen, sitting and dining areas and are spacy and comfortable. A big TV (not flat screen), but working well and having Direct TV was there (we watched the vice presidential debate in real-time while there). Huge DVD collection, but we didn’t really watch much TV with more interesting things to do. The kitchen was as described well equipped, though not with the state-of-the-art utilities one would expect from the description. The fridge was a little dated w/o an ice maker and was overwhelmed when stocked to the rim (there is a small fridge in the downstairs game room that we used to take the pressure off the upstairs one). The toaster oven and microwave were adequate, but not spectacular. The same for most kitchen tools and other utensils. There were two big (5 gallon?) jugs of drinkable water as the water from the tap is not to be used for drinking or ice cubes (or brushing teeth in for that matter). We used 3 of those during our stay for 5 people for the week. On each of the two main floors were a huge barbecue (first floor) and a dining table for 8 (second floor) where we ate most of our meals. Because Honduras do not have Daylight savings time, and thus was in the US MST zone, it became abruptly dark around 6PM, and you had to be on your toes if wanting to see the sunset!. But we had some lovely dinners, keeping the bugs at bay with various gizmos we had brought with us from home. All, in all we were surprised, but happily so, that we had no significant bug problems, but then we were diligent with our 40% DEET on ourselves. The view from the house towards the ocean was very nice, but because of trees and foliage, could only see the sea far out. One could walk to a beach area with a shed with kayaks and other beach toys, 3 in the family tried to take the Kayaks out, but found them to fill with water and decided to spend their time in or near the pool at the house.

As mentioned, we had arranged to have Rosa, the house cleaner, make all our dinners, and that was a perfect introduction to the tasty local food. She took us to fresh fish markets off the beaten path to buy fresh Grouper, tiger shrimps, snappers and lobsters, and in the local huge supermarket (with both American and local selections) chose ingredients from which she made delicious food from scratch, all in all a huge success, we did not feel an urge to go out for dinner even once. The only “miss” we had with Rosa was asking her to take us to a local crafts market, thinking she would take us to a “real” local place with local arts and crafts, however, in retrospect, that place probably doesn’t exist and we ended up in a classic tourist (cruise ship) trap with people breathing down our neck to convince us to buy the hugely overpriced tourist stuff they had. The closest we came to a real crafts market was a cluster of tables on the main highway 2/3’ds of the way towards the airport where we did buy some good stuff and were able to bargain to a price I think everyone was happy about.

The younger people in our party loved the swimming pool which got used quite a bid, and with 2 of us diving every single day, the 3 remaining spend a total of 2-3 days at the house all day, feeling no need to go out and zip-lining, swimming with the dolphins or horse-back riding as they had planned, as the house and it’s property was so comfortable.

The on-site caretaker Elias was present all the time, working the yard or cleaning the pool, helping carrying luggage, bags, fixing things etc., he was very nice and helpful, and was never intrusive.

There is a game room with a pool table, but to be honest, we didn’t even take off the cover as that was not our thing and only used this room for it’s small fridge.

The week passed much too quickly, and all of sudden it was time to pack up and leave. On the day of departure, Jami came to make sure everything was OK, (including the house) and we parted with Rosa, and Elias. On the way to the airport we got stopped in a police road block close to the airport. Remember the truck we had rented had completely tinted windows so no-one outside could see anyone or anything inside. The policeman stuck a worried head inside the cab, and saw a bunch of tourists and then opened in a big grin and shook the drivers hand warmly and said “Thank you” and send us on our way. Checking in, paying our departure fee, going through emigration and security was much easier and faster than getting out of the airport, leaving us some time to peruse the 2 crafts shops in the waiting area which actually had some really good prices!.

Even though CC is accepted in many places, it is almost a “law” that if you use the CC you are subjected to up to a 20% surcharge if using a card over cash – enough so we recommend to bring lots of cash. The exception is the big supermarket, which took our AE without adding a fee. There are ATM’s, but they are said to be temperamental, we used it once and it worked fine. Also bring over-the-counter type emergency/first aid medicine is adviced: Dramamine, meclicine, Benadryl, Immodium, cortisol cream, and neomycin cream, to which we brought the following prescription medications: ciprofloxacin & prednisone. We only had to use the Meclicine to one of our family members, but that is pure luck based on what we had heard. Also brought a little assortment of bandages which we actually did use for a few scrapes and blisters, quite important as you do not want to get an infected wound on the Island if you can avoid it. And we gave what we did not use of our “emergency kit” to Elias and Rosa when we left, as even the OTC stuff is very expensive for the locals, and their need for good first aid medicine is no different than ours.

Regarding safety, we had heard and read “a lot” most pertaining to mainland Honduras and really not applicable to Roatan. In general we felt safe at all times, with the most unnerving things being what the locals told us: “don’t stop for hitch hikers” (of which there are many as the bus route is utterly unreliable), “don’t stop if you get into an accident”, “don’t go to Coxen Hole at night” (“don’t drive anywhere at night if you can avoid it” (with 12 hours of darkness) etc. etc. Again, we felt safe at all times, anywhere on the island, though I have to admit, then when going deep into a small obviously poor fishing village with Rosa to get lobster, I was glad she was with us!.

All in all, as enjoyable a vacation and stay as we could have hoped for, also helped by the diving shop next door (1.5 miles down the road, Subway Watersport) was superb and made for up to 16 great dives for 2 of us, 9 for the remaining 3 for the week. Despite the logistics of going to the poorest central American country is a little “different” than going to Hawaii, we felt safe and comfortable during our stay, especially when at La Diosa.

3. Re: Private Villas on Roatan

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4. Re: Private Villas on Roatan

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