We did an enormous amount of research before deciding to spend a week in October at the XBalanque resort (at the moment more of a boutique hotel, but in the process of expanding -- without sprawling). Several times a day we patted ourselves on the back -- it was an excellent decision. My boyfriend was previously more of a backpacker kind of guy, whereas I prefer luxury and comfort, and having traveled the world I can honestly say that XBalanque is the best hotel I've ever stayed in. The setting is truly out of this world. Not only are the views breathtaking at every time of day or night, but the design of the hotel will wow anyone with an eye for architecture or aesthetics. Patsy not only designed a stunning and discreet hotel (though oustanding enough that anyone who shared a water taxi with us swooned with envy whenever we pulled up to the dock), but she also curated is with some truly breathtaking artworks, most of them from her trip to Indonesia.
We stayed in the one bedroom suite and, while we almost opted for a larger room for the sake of more space, we were happy with the decision we made and never once felt cramped or claustrophobic in our room. The room was well-equipped, and very well insulated; we couldn't hear a thing outside, and with that tremendously comfortable bed, this makes it altogether too easy to sleep in and opt for an afternoon dive instead of the early morning dive. The exceptional security at the hotel also contributed to many peaceful nights of sleep.
Patsy's partner, Marco, met us at the hotel and drove us first to the grocery store to pick up a few essentials, and then to the hotel. He showed us our room, where we were greeted by a nice bottle of red wine and about a dozen fresh Honduran bananas (the best bananas I've tasted in my life). We left our bags and immediately went to the dining area where Pedro had already prepared us a pitcher of fresh juice, and then he made us a delicious dinner -- the first of many that we enjoyed during our stay.
The food at XBalanque is so fine, and the setting is so breathtaking, that leaving the hotel for dinner elsewhere in Roatan begins to feel odd. You nearly expect the dining options on the rest of the island to correspond somehow to what and where you eat at the hotel -- but really even at the best restaurants we ate at outside the resort (Oasis made excellent green curry chicken, as well as a wonderful lamb vindaloo), they nonetheless fall short where ambiance is concerned. We made the mistake of eating out once or twice on the beach in West Bay, but all the menus really do seem to offer the same deep fried bar grub no matter where you go. Eating the fresh meals prepared specifically and carefully for us by Pedro spoiled us immediately and ever since. I'd like to note here, too, that I have celiac disease and have been gluten-free for two and a half years. I mentioned my condition to Patsy and to Pedro and they took excellent care in the selection and preparation of my meals and I was well-fed and symptom free.
We intended to dive more than we did, but enjoyed relaxing in the pool so much that we did it for hours every day before freshening up in the enormous and soothing shower and then dining in the moonlight. Some evenings we had a drink and shot the breeze with Patsy and Dennis who are both delightful company. The immediately felt like friends, talking with out about their travels and their professional and creative endeavours, their vision for the future of the hotel (which inspires us to plan another trip in the not-to-distant-future), books, our families -- you name it. Dennis also took us to the Pristine Bay Golf Club where they played 18 holes together while I lounged by a pool which does initially wow you with quite a view, but still doesn't compare to the chic, serene, and private pool I enjoyed (and preferred) so much at the XBalanque.
We wouldn't hesitate to stay here again, and look forward to more sunny days of pool lounging, and starlit nights with Patsy and Dennis over a glass of Scotch and their charming company.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Xbalanque is a luxury boutique resort tucked into the heart of West Bay and West End in Roatan. Xbalanque is located on the edge of the Caribbean Sea facing west with beautiful sunsets and white sand beaches. Several accommodation options are available from villa rentals to two bedroom or one bedroom suites. Lotus restaurant and bar surrounds the infinity pool by the sea with beach lounging. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Xbalanque Resort Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras