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“Mel's kind hospitality”

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Roatan Backpackers' Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Denver, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Mel's kind hospitality”
Reviewed August 12, 2013

My husband and I stayed five nights in Mel's place. We rented the separate "cando" made of a converted shipping container-genius and green! Mel arranged for our transfer from the airport, where all travelers are a little bit "deer in the headlights" after the hot hot hot wait in customs. Mel waited for us and was at the hostel to greet us. We settled in pretty uneventfully; extras were very straightforward: ten bucks a day for a/c (electricity is sky-high there), two bucks to her sons for internet (those boys have a great thing going), six bucks (ish) for a load of laundry done and folded for you that day. Kitchen in the cando made cooking easy.

Mel had a few other groups there, a shout out to them (and another apology to Mel for the pool incident). Mel had a very nice splash-pool that was spotless and ready for use. Her back area is quiet, flower-filled and serene. Hillside location away from traffic but a five minute walk to nearest neighborhood beach. basic food at a roadside stand at the start of the road.

Last impressions: We used the a/c twice out of five nights; usually the ceiling fans were sufficient. five nights with Mel and her wonderful place were not enough. We stayed in several places during our trip, and Mel's was by far our fave.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank jwdnsdy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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227 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (38)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
Reviewed August 11, 2013

We had the best 5 nights staying here, Mel - the owner - made us so welcome and within the first half an hour of arriving we were off to the beach with her and her amazing two sons. You get some great local advice about the area as soon as you arrive and Mel went out of her way to help us.

Nice dorms with individual fans for each bed and the kitchen is well equipped. There's also a pool and area to relax.

Top notch Mel we miss you!!!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jessbarker_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
1 review
Reviewed August 8, 2013

Roatan Backpackers' Hostel (RBH), one of my top three hostels of all time, and I want to go so far as to compare this place with the spas of South Korea. It's a rare treat to have access to a pool when you're so close to the beach, and Mel had the forethought to build a very good one. Seriously. Over the course of living in her dorms for a month, I saw her tend to that pool like my uncle tends to his garden; if that pool could bear vegetables, Mel would have state-champion-quality-tomatoes.

Furthermore, Mel took the time to show me around West End when I first arrived. Which is HUGE for a hostel owner to do. What's more is that I saw her do the same with other guests as well. The lady is devoted to her guests and has near-mastered the art of hospitality. She is always looking for ways to improve the facility and is very party friendly (while considering the sleeping patterns of her guests).

Doors have electronic locks, bunks have lockers under them (bring your own lock). Mel will bend space and time to greet you personally when you arrive. I always felt safe. I bore witness to the aftermath of a robbery of a couple with kids that I volunteered at the clinic with. They moved into RBH the next day and told me that they felt a lot safer...but then that's the great thing about hostels, right?

BY THE WAY - there is no closer location to La Clinica Esperanza. If you are coming to volunteer, visit the website and check out the rates. I loved being able to come back in the afternoons and lounge in the pool before taking on the rest of the day. No other volunteer outside of the hostel could tell me that they had the same relaxing time with water sans sand.

Come for the island, stay for the community at RBH. I'm looking forward to a return stay as soon as possible.

Honestly - the best.

Room Tip: Down by the road are the dorm rooms and 1-2 person privates. There's even larger domiciles in th...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Trevor D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 6, 2013

This hostel is great. It was my first stay in Honduras and hopefully it won't be my last... Mel and her boys are great to be around and extremely helpful and welcoming! The accommodations are obviously of hostel style with bunks, shared bathroom and a kitchen. There is a pool that you can use, a shop down the street and also a "bus" station or main street to catch a taxi to either West End or West Bay down the street as well.

While I was in Utila, Mel & her boys took a little vacation there and met up with me right away and on a few occasions! It was great to get to see them again. Great people seemed to check into that hostel all the time so if you are alone, no fear, you're part of a group within no time!

Thanks for everything Mel!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank A_Magri41
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
149 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2013 via mobile

I stayed here with my brother and sister and we had a room all to ourselves which was fantastic. Mel gave us great advice on where to go snorkelling diving, getting to the west end etc.
She was lovely to chat with as were her two boys.
My only suggestion would be that the kitchen could do with more cutlery and ware and a communal living area would be fantastic as its a quiet location and be nice to have an area to mingle, we sat outside our room which was nice too, but a specialised area would add huge benefits to this hostel.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Pholpheist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hostelMel, Owner at Roatan Backpackers' Hostel, responded to this review, July 4, 2013
Thanks for the review. I didn't know we were getting low on cutlery (it has a habit of disappearing), I'll take some more down to the kitchen. There is a living area for anyone to use, but it's kind of tucked away, it's upstairs by the private rooms (I make sure to tell people about it during the rainy time, but don't usually mention it in the nicer weather, as the porch is breezier, but I'll start telling people about it when I welcome them. I appreciate the feedback!
Mel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2013

This hostel has a very sweet owner, and is a nice, cute little place. However, the location is really terrible (unless you have a car) and once you start adding up the costs associated to staying here that are not included in the base price, the deal seems less and less good.

PROS:
- Well equipped kitchen.
- Small fans on each bed, plus a large fan for the whole room.
- Nice garden.
- Internet available to buy.
- Drinking water available to buy.
- Met cool people staying here.
- Has a common patio.

CONS:
- Tiny rooms. We had a 6-person room which was only just okay with the three people who were there when I was. With six people it would have been impossible.
- It costs $2 or $3 to take a taxi down to town, each way. This will cost at least $5 per day. I think you can do cheaper with collective taxis, but I didn't realize until later. It will still add on a few bucks each day.
- Internet is $3 per day.
- The pool was not clean enough to swim in while I was there. Perhaps it is better other times, but it looks nothing like the pictures on the website.
- While I stayed there the owner was away, so our trash can did not get emptied for a few days. It needed a cleaning.
- The patio was nice but really small. Kind-of claustrophobic.

Overall cost $10 + $5 transit + $3 internet = $18 per night.
I ended up moving to Chillies in West End, which is only about $10 per night, includes internet, and is overall more comfortable.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
7 Thank Sonya B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hostelMel, Owner at Roatan Backpackers' Hostel, responded to this review, July 4, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to post. Usually there's just a few people in the dorms, and I spread people out between the dorm rooms, so there's more space. There are also private options available for just a little more than dorm pricing.
Many people enjoy the area of Sandy Bay, which has great snorkeling, botanical gardens, windsurf school, dive shop, the dolphins at Anthony's Key, and several restaurants that are very inexpensive, so they may just visit West End for one or two times during their trip. There are also lots of volunteer opportunities, and it gives you a feel for the community. For hostel guests that want to go to West End every day, the bus costs $0.75, and collectivo taxi is a little over $1 each way (25 lemp), and goes up a bit at night.
Sorry the pool wasn't clear- from time to time, this is a struggle as the community well water has a lot of sediment and iron, but usually it's good and is enjoyed by many hostel guests, and I always keep the chemical adjustment safe for swimming.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed June 26, 2013

This small little hostel is a great place to stay if you travel by yourself and wana meet up with other travelers. Mel is so nice and friendly helping you out with exploring the island. The hostel is so peacefull making it a perfect places to hang out and rest up. Easy to get to the villages next by with taxis and vans passing the road 2 min down there street.

Also there is great resturant down by the road that serves local food all day.

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank atlega
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Roatan Backpackers' Hostel

Property: Roatan Backpackers' Hostel
Address: On the side road next to Roland Hardware | Sandy Bay, Sandy Bay, Roatan 00000, Honduras
Location: Honduras > Bay Islands > Roatan > Sandy Bay
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Sandy Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Friendly, inexpensive backpackers' hostel in Sandy Bay, just a few minutes walk from the botanical gardens and the dolphins. Dorm rooms with communal kitchen and porch as well as private rooms and apartments also available. Easy access to public transportation. Hostel grounds includes pool and patio, garden pergola and oceanview deck. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Roatan Backpackers' Hostel Honduras - Bay Islands

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