This was our eighth visit to Roatan. We've previously stayed at Fantasy Island, Infinity Bay (both with and without the AI package) and Anthony's Key.
To start with the rooms: very spacious, we had a second floor beachfront with kitchen, sitting room, bedroom and bathroom, and nice big balcony. The bedroom is quiet and dark, the only noise that managed to penetrate was the dawn chorus of birds. The furnishings, which were quite tired last time we saw them, are in the process of being upgraded - while we were there we got two new sofas and a new flat screen TV (not that I care about TV), and I understand this is happening in all the rooms. Everything was always spotless, and we had no issue with towels. The bed was fine, although friends in the next door room said theirs was rock hard. I would recommend bringing your own pillow, I always do that. The hot water is inline electric water heater. We couldn't get it to work the first two days but every time we called maintenance (who came very quickly) it worked fine! Eventually we realized that if there is not enough flow, the heater does not kick in - so at peak times, like when everyone comes off the beach, it may not work. If so, have a drink and wait 10 minutes and try again. Also we found that turning on the kitchen tap would create enough flow to kick the heater in when it would also work in the bathroom. To me, this is just a quirk of Roatan living and didn't cause undue hardship.
The beach is beautiful of course - clean white sand and crystal blue water. For snorkeling, walk down to the far end of the beach near the rock and swim out to the drop-off, then snorkel back to about Infinity Bay. There is quite a current, depending on the tide, so be careful you don't drift. I was very sad to see how much the reef has deteriorated even in the last two years - the cause is clear - people, especially cruise shippers, standing on the coral. This will kill it. Please don't ever stand on or touch the coral. However, there are still many beautiful fish and sea fans to be seen, especially if you go a bit deeper where they are out of reach of morons. If you have not snorkelled in Roatan before, you will be entranced.
Talking of cruise shippers, this is an increasing problem in West Bay in general, not specific to the Mayan P, so I won't let this affect its rating. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (Wednesdays are worst) sometimes up to four cruise ships will be in town at once, and the beach is flooded with them. Many hotels, including the Mayan P, sell day passes to these people. Suggest you get a lounger and umbrella early in the day, or you might find yourselves out of luck. Speaking of loungers, this is one area desperately in need of an upgrade - the beach loungers are ancient and terribly uncomfortable. The ones round the pool and at the next door beach club are however very nice. The towel guy will get you an umbrella and place it wherever you like, so shade it not a problem. Every day, vendors will ask you to buy jewelry, massages, hair braids, sunglasses, dvds, t-shirts, shells and most sadly of all, lacquered seahorses. Please don't buy these. The sheer number of vendors is irritating but most are not persistent if you just say no thank you.
You should be aware that there are sand flies everywhere in Roatan, little no see-ums that will cause nasty itchy bites that usually don't appear until later, so you are unaware you are being bitten at the time. In many years of travel to Roatan, we have found the only solution is Avon Skin So Soft SPF 30 with Bugguard - Canadians, you can find this on Ebay, but not in stores. The beauty of this is that it is very waterproof, so one good application in the morning will keep you free of both sunburn and sand fly bites all day. Deet will also work but you have keep reapplying after each swim, and it's nasty stuff. If you do get bitten, the best solution is Cactus Juice Miracle Gel (blue bottle, not red) - you can buy it at the little grocery store/deli in the West Bay mall. Expensive, but it will save your sanity.
Food - so-so. Some highlights were the cappuccinos and the soups, which were both exceptional. Apart from that I could usually find something edible but the choice was quite limited. Surprisingly no bananas. We didn't try the inside a la carte, but of two couples we talked to who did, one loved it, and the other said it was like waiting at a bus stop - absolutely no atmosphere. The outside a la carte was horrible, but perhaps because we left it too late and it was on a cruise ship day when the staff was exhausted. On the last day, I and at least 3 other guests got violent food poisoning - the projectile vomiting type. We ate only at the Mayan P that day. This is obviously a downer on an otherwise great week, so I hope they find the cause. The drinks were good, with a choice of four beers in cans or bottles (not foamy draft), pina coladas and strawberry daiquiris. Again no bananas, so no banana drinks. Great confusion over bloody marys - first we were told they were not included and we would be charged $6, but when I pointed out that vodka was included, they said that tomato juice wasn't and it would be $3. After much argument, one was made which contained about 50% lime juice and a heck of a lot of black pepper and was completely undrinkable. I didn't try again.
The staff was, with the exception of the bloody mary girl, absolutely wonderful, and the main reason I am giving the Mayan P 4 stars. They make such a huge difference to your stay. Some names I will mention in particular: Yean, Joham, Fino the towel guy, Anna, Glenda and Richard the security guard - but many others whose names I didn't catch were just as good. The manager was present every day and always said hello.
The resort was mostly very quiet, with low-key entertainment in the evenings. That's a plus for me, but if you like a wild time, it wouldn't be for you. On some nights, the beach club next door which is part of the resort, has quite a loud party to which you are invited... too loud for my taste, but it doesn't last long. Despite being full while we were there, the resort never seemed crowded, and it felt very low-density. The grounds and pool are beautiful.
For outside dining, our favorites are Rendez Vous sushi and the Argentinian Grill, both a short walk away. Rendez Vous only takes cash, and you'll need reservations. If you like dolphins, take a trip to Anthony's Key where you can snorkel or dive with, or just meet the dolphins in a very lovely environment where they are taken great care of.
In all, from what I observed and know for myself, I think the Mayan P is currently the best choice of AI in West Bay. Infinity Bay is now very overcrowded with the new AI option - the loungers are five deep and jammed together in front of the hotel - every day, not just when the cruise ships come in. The rooms are posher than Mayan P but quite similar in functionality overall. Would I come back? I'd like to hear that the food and the loungers had improved, but probably.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An elegant Roatan resort on the island's best beach, Mayan Princess Beach Resort features waterfront hotel accommodations and service. Just steps from your luxurious condo, a white sand beach leads to sparkling turquoise waters, perfect for scuba diving Roatan's spectacular undersea gardens. Nominated for Honduras' Leading Hotel Award in 2007-2010, this Roatan beach resort offers a variety of vacation activities, first-class amenities, and beachfront restaurant. Welcome to paradise and comfortable relaxation in a tropical oasis. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com and Agoda so you can book your Mayan Princess Beach & Dive Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Mayan Princess Beach Hotel West Bay
- Hotel Mayan Princess Beach
- Mayan Princess Beach & Dive Resort Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras