Where do you recommend to stay at Roatan?
So if you are a Marriott bigot, or a Hilton Honors fan, we have some bad news for you. Roatan is not home to any of the chain hotels that you will find in other areas of the Caribbean. Roatan is home to many beautiful independent hotels, hostels, bread and breakfasts and single family options. You should have a great time selecting the one that is best for your needs. And your second and third visits will allow you the opportunity to try something different each time. There are so many options to explore.
Your first decision will need to be where you want to stay. While the island is only 36 miles long and at the widest maybe 3 miles, it can be quite different from one end to the other.
The west end of the island is the most developed from a tourism perspective. It will offer the greatest number of places to stay, restaurants, shopping and other tourist options. It is also the most crowded, least quiet, and offers the least opportunity to really disconnect. If you are looking for excitement and lots of activities, this is probably for you.
Mid island is home to the largest towns including the major ports of Coxen Hole and French Harbour. In this area you will find the most commercial activity supporting most of the commerce on the island. It is also home to the airport, and the island’s two cruise ship docks sometimes welcoming as many as 3 to 5 cruise ships per day. In this area you will find some nice hotels and resorts, and a large number of private residences that are often rented by the week or month. You may however have to manage the crowds arriving with the cruise ships.
The east end is comprised of one town, Oak Ridge, as well as several villages and expat communities like Punta Gorda, Diamond Rock, New Port Royal and Camp Bay village. This is the quietest and most laid back area of the island. It is uncrowded and in some ways remains the way the island was 50 years ago. On the east end there are a couple of hotels and resorts, and a number of individual residences that can be rented. With fewer visitors to this end of the island your diving, fishing and other activities tend to be more intimate and more easily tailored to your specific likes.
One of the best hotels on the east end is The Camp Bay Lodge (www.campbaylodge.com). It is a 16 room island style resort located directly on the longest white sand beach on the island, Camp Bay Beach. The Lodge offers a full service restaurant and bar, as well as many activities such as fishing, snorkeling, hiking, kayaking, yoga and massage. The Roatan kite school, Kite Surf Roatan (www.kitesurfroatan.com) is located at The Lodge and offers the opportunity to launch your kiteboard directly from your doorstep. For divers, Dive Pangea (www.divepangearoatan.com) is steps down the beach and offers a quiet diving alternative to the hectic dive operations on the west end.
The Lodge also offers regular yoga retreats, and is available for other groups to rent the entire lodge to organize their group get away. Group rentals offer the opportunity to customize the menu, organize special activities and create an environment tailored to your specific needs.
While staying on the east end you will have the opportunity to engage with the folks of the Camp Bay Village. The village is an authentic island village still isolated from the development on the remainder of the island. Here visitors can engage with the locals, visit the local school and church, and share time at some of the local establishments like the palapa restaurant La Sirena.
The opportunities for places to stay, and areas to explore are almost unlimited. Visitors often find that one or other of the areas are right for them, and then explore different places to stay on each visit. Or, they fall in love with one particular place and return time and again. In any case, there is a place that is right for everyone on Roatan.