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“soooo relaxing”
Review of Paya Bay Resort

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Paya Bay Resort
Ranked #18 of 43 Hotels in Roatan
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 14, 2007

Our week in Roatan was beautiful, relaxing, and fun! We can't wait to go back again---soon! Lurleen was so sweet and accommodating. She greeted us with a smile and hugs every time that she saw us. The entire staff was very accommodating, friendly, and personable. The location is very secluded. There was entertainment planned for several of the nights. DaVinci has done a great job of planning the whole week. Speaking of nights- we have never seen a more beautiful night sky.
The best part had to be the weather- a nice breeze blew all day. This kept away all the pesky bugs and kept us comfortable (so we could enjoy the relaxation and snorkeling). Tom has found some excellent nearby spots for snorkeling, we are not experienced divers and thought that we would miss out, but the beauty of the spots that we were taken to proved us wrong. We can't wait to go again, and plan to take more friends.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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Thank genesup1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 2, 2007

This place is a diamond in the rough!
One thing we have learned from traveling is that everything is relative. After spending a week on the West End of the island amongst thick crowds of whining and dining tourists, taunting taxi drivers, and strict dive masters, we were happy to get a litte taste of the "real" Roatan.

On the West End of Roatan we were sick of feeling like we could be anywhere else in the Carribean. The resort we stayed at was owned by an American, dive shop run by a German, and everything was so restricted. Also, we paid top prices, but when the power went out on the Island (50% of the time) we had no back up generator, leaving us sucking humid, soggy, heat-riddin air, and unable to sleep.

At Paya, however, they have a back-up generator to run air conditioner when the power goes out. But it is not as if you need it because this resort has an awesome constant breeze blowing in from the ocean like nowhere else on the island. Not to mention the views from upon the rocky bluff the resort sits on. Also, we enjoyed the fact that the resort was owned by a local, and despite her struggles, has managed to make a living on the poverish island. The owner Lurlean is very genuine and we enjoyed talking with her about various characters we had met on the island. Most local residents all seem to know a little about each other and their history. We also enjoyed visiting with Divinci, Lurlean's son, now fresh out of college with a Masters in Business ,who will be working with his sister to take over the family business.
Food was good, we ate one dinner and breakfast there. Both good, breakfast was a buffet style: fried eggs, toast, fry bread, fruit salad, cereal, coffee, juice, bacon. Try the fresh made watermellon juice one of the staff squeezes daily. Dinner varies nightly.
Diving was completely different than what we were used to. Henry a great dive master ( known to find rare seahorses) let us dive to 100 ft on our first dive (technically open water should only be 60ft). But, despite the lenient diving, it was rather unorganized and you may be better off diving at Luna on the West End if you truly want to get three scheduled dives in per day at an efficient rate that allows you to relax on land between dives.

Things to look for: If you see small sea-shells around the sidewalks in Paya Bay Beach resort, pick them up. Most times they will contain cute tiny hermit crabs. We renamed Paya bay, "Hermit Bay" because of all the crabs we found the couple days we stayed there.
Bottom line:
If you are sick of being around tons of tourists, come relax in complete quiet at Paya Bay and let the constant crashing of waves and the calming cool ocean breezes lull you into the soothing rythms of island life. If you want to find more night life and have a variety of shops to pick souveniers from, pick a hoppin more organized resort on the West End. Or go to the West End first to get your party on, then rent a car and come relax here for a couple nights. I LOVE Paya, but it may not be the best place to go first thing on your vacation, especially if you are planning to be here the entire time, as you are completely isolated to only this resort if you do not rent a car.

TIPS: ask if someone at the resort can give you a ride, a bike, or try to walk down to Asylum bar at Camp Bay down the road from Paya, where Sirena, a daughter of a former employee of Paya (only 17) has set up her own beach hut bar over the water. Food is good, try the ceviche!
Sunday or Friday: get a ride to Jonesville (15 min away) and ask a boatman at the docks for a ride to Hole in the Wall restaurant for a twice weekly barbeque on the water. Great seafoood!!! So good in fact, when the owner Bob's original restaurant burned down about two years ago, his patrons raised over $5000 overnight on the Internet, and all the locals helped rebuilt the restaurant from the former rock cliff location, to an over-the-water wood-dock locale, in less than a week.

Things to bring:
Bug spray! skin so soft or pure deet. Rain coat. Flash light.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank alybee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2007

Judged by most of the reviews on this site, Paya Bay would seem like a good bet. It isn't. It's a depressing, rundown hotel that's best avoided. With mediocre rooms (spongy beds, poor water pressure & heat, problem plumbing), greasy food that takes ages to arrive and a "secluded" location that's really just a never-paved road, Paya Bay at half the price would be disappointing. The beaches barely count as such. The staff are generally ineffective in a good-natured sort of way; they will ask you directly for tips, but that's only because the management steals their portions if you leave a lump sum with the treacly old lady who runs the place. She manages to cover the gross inadequacies of Paya Bay with sob stories about her health or her 25-year effort to put up this architecturally forgettable hotel.

That said, the dive operation, which is separate from the hotel, is very good. Excellent guide and gorgeous reef just offshore. If you're a 3-tank a day diver and you don't care where you sleep or what you eat, Paya Bay is for you.

It's certainly true that Roatan is not nearly as developed as many other spots in the Caribbean. Nevertheless, there are a few better options on the island and many even better choices elsewhere.

Stayed: December 2006
14  Thank itinerantLosAngeles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2007

The rooms were wonderful, meals were fantastic the view was spectacular but the people who ran the resort made the place special.

Paya Bay beach resort is a family run operation. The family welcomes everyone and every night had a special event planned. Togo, the dog also welcomes all visitors and was a special addition to make folks feel at home.

There are few resorts left that have the flavor that Paya Bay does. Warm, inviting, friendly and extremelty relaxing. Huge thumbs up!
One of the best Island retreats I've found & we were all pretty well traveled.We didn't want to leave & after visitng the west end, were happy to be back at Paya Bay.

The dive operation was also top notch! The divemasters were extremely conciencious and Ben and Chuck were incredible.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with friends
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1  Thank WarmboundWisconsin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2007

A really spectacular diving resort !

This is an amazing resort on Roatan for diving vacations. We had spectcular time at Paya Bay. You can't beat the location and the views and the sound of the waves breaking on the rocks beneath the balcony of your room. The proprietor, Lurlene, and her family (including the family dog, Togo) make all of the guests feel instantly welcome and at ease. The warm, friendly staff create a family style atmosphere complete with personal touches such as arranging flowers and special desserts on guests birthdays. The perfect place to take your love for quiet time in a hammock or a moon light dance on a private beach.

The reef near Paya Bay is more healthy and alive than Cozumel and the dive staff and unique dive sights provide for wonderful week of diving!

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ________
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2007

We were at Paya Bay Feb.26 to Mar.5th, 2007

Paya Bay is truly a Jewel within a Jewel! Paya Bay is tucked away in a quiet part of this beautiful and friendly Island of Roatan! If you are looking for Jet-skies, lots of people, noise..etc., you have come to the wrong place! Paya Bay is exactly what they promote, friendly, quiet, great food, nice rooms and fantastic diving or snorkelling! The Dive staff are the best I have ever had in the Caribbean! They sure look after You! Your gear is washed, hung to dry and ready to slip into the next day! The dive locations are usually no more than a 5 to 15 min. boat ride! The dive staff will usually spot something unique for you on each dive! The reefs are unbelievable…huge canyons, endless swim throughs. I did 2 to 3 dives a day! I saw sharks, huge crabs, lobsters, a school of squid, a large green Moray eel, beautiful French and Blue Angel fish! We loved everything above and below at Paya Bay !
Glen & Nora, Toronto, Canada

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank aquaguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2007

We have been going to the island since 1998 (before hurricane Mitch) and have seen a lot of changes to this little island paradise but what has not changed is the hospitality and warmth of Paya Bay.

Our last stay on Roatan was from 2/10-2/24 and we stayed at Paya Bay for the first half of our trip. We first arrived at Paya Bay in 1998 on our honeymoon and stayed in Room #4 as has been the case for all of our trips except this one. On this trip, we stayed in Room #5 because we had our 13 month old daughter and needed a little larger shower for her.

Rooms
The cliff rooms (1-4) are high above crashing waves. They face north so, from the balcony you can see a bit of the sunrise to the east and sunset to the west. The rooms are private and comfortable with smaller bathrooms and showers but have the wonderful advantage of over water views and crashing waves. They are made of traditional island wood and have wood floors with very high vaulted ceilings that keep them airy and comfortable. They recently added air conditioning to all the rooms which we have not needed in the past but can see how some guests would. We secretly missed Room #4 on this visit because it has always felt like “our” little hide-away.

Rooms 5-8 face north-east and provide a fantastic view of Big Beach and sunrises. There is lush vegetation below your balcony so there is a lot of privacy in these rooms too. Most offer king size beds that are firm and comfortable and the rooms are LARGE. They each have a private balcony with seating area inside the room and larger bathrooms with approximately 4.5’x 3’ tiled showers. We had good water pressure and warm water throughout our stay which is a lot to be said for such a wonderfully remote piece of paradise. Make sure to let the hot water run for a little bit before you decide there isn’t any ;). As with the Cliff Rooms, these have hardwood floors and vaulted ceilings with private balconies. These rooms are made of masonry and we found them to be very insulating (cooler and quite) – important to us and neighbors since we had a 13 month old. We really like our room, a LOT.

All the rooms are decorated simply and do not take away from the beauty of the property.

Property
To provide some context - We own property on Roatan (on Western tip of the island) and Paya Bay (far Eastern side of the island) is one of the most beautiful spots on Roatan. The pictures on the web really do not do it justice. Every time we take pictures we always comment on how it’s just not as nice as in real life. Guests have access to all the beaches and surrounding property and if you like quiet, secluded, natural settings, this is the place to stay.

Little Beach is our favorite spot as it provides a very private manageable beach. This time, we found the water to be the calmest and clearest of all our stays. The water was CRYSTAL clear and no waves - similar to West Bay (Roatan). Weather has a lot to do with how clear the water is and how easy it is to swim around and this trip provided water calm enough to put our 13 month old in her ‘floaty’ raft to play. A lot of sea life could be seen from snorkeling off Little Beach - a lot to the left at Alligator Nose Point and by the point below the restaurant.

Food
Great food – lobster salad was wonderful. Note - For guests that are diving, they do ask for your lunch preference after breakfast before the morning dive so that it is ready when you return. If you are not a diver, just let your server know and you can order whenever you’d like. Breakfast was served buffet style which is different from our previous stays but in general, they had a wide selection food. If you have a special request, let them know. They will do what they can to accommodate you.

Tea, coffee, and bottled water are always available (self serve) at the restaurant and bottled water is provided to all the rooms in the refrigerators. They provide fresh, in season, fruit juice based on what is available during specific times of the year – the watermelon was great!

One thing I did miss was Tom’s flair for decorating my welcome drinks. The drinks were still just as tasty but I think I got used NOT being able to see my coconut because of all the flowers he put on it. They were each a work of art!

Staff
What can we say? Lurlene and her family are some of the kindest people we’ve met. They have always made us feel welcome and tired to provide whatever we’ve needed during our stays. I will say that the comments about feeling like you are staying with family are really true. That’s why we keep coming back to this little place even when we have a lot to do on the western end of the island. It’s a place to decompress and relax. The staff is always around but never in the way. The owners are always on the property and able to help with any extras you need including car rental or suggestions where to go etc. Tom is always happy to take guests on snorkel trips (weather permitting – trust them on this) and his enthusiasm is magnetic. In addition to Tom involvement, Sem and Da Vinci, more McNab family members, are taking over the day to day operations for the resort and allowing their parents more time to rest and hang out with guests. We look forward to seeing them on our return trips and to see how some of the plans for the resort are implemented. We are confident that they will continue the same hospitality and peaceful escape that Paya Bay currently provides.

We hope this helps anyone thinking about visiting this great, out of the way, vacation spot. The property, the family and the tranquility makes this place VERY unique and a place we will continue to visit year after year.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with family
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4  Thank payatat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Paya Bay Resort

Address: Main Highway, East End, Roatan 00000, Honduras
Phone Number:
Location: Honduras > Bay Islands > Roatan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Roatan
Price Range: $212 - $224 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Paya Bay Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Paya Bay Beach Resort is Roatan's Ultimate Escape. Located on the pristine east end, it is Roatan's premier boutique hotel. Perched atop a bluff with private beaches on each side, Paya Bay features 10 uniquely designed rooms and an amazing restaurant. Paya Bay's on-site dive operation, Dive Roatan, specializes in underwater tours and training for one to ten divers. Paya Bay also offers: flats fishing, boat tours, hiking and of course relaxation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Paya Bay Hotel Roatan
Paya Bay Beach Dive Hotel
Paya Bay Beach Dive Resort
Paya Bay Resort Roatan, Honduras - Bay Islands

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