There are a few destinations in Honduras that shine on their own. Each one of those, has a set of hotels that help that destination shine. The brightest Honduran Stars are in the destinations of Copan, The Bay Islands and Atlantida. In addition, there are other stars that deserve a mention: Lake Yojoa, Comayagua, Tegucigalpa and Gracias.
I have put up this short list of truly unique hotels with a sense of place, outstanding service and lots of character. I believe that they will make your vacation in Honduras memorable. I have decided that the most democratic form of listing these destinations is to do so in alphabetical order:
Honduran Stars in Atlantida
A unique destination that offers three very different and unique hubs, each truly outstanding and offering the perfect combination with the other two Honduran stars: Copan and the Bay Islands. The three hubs in Atlantida are the Cangrejal River Valley, La Ceiba and Tela.
The Cangrejal River Valley, a Unique Star that Shines on its Own!
The Cangrejal River Valley is the perfect nature and adventure destination, if you are looking to get up close with nature, to have the adventure of your lifetime or simply relax in hammock and connect with the surrounding nature, the Cangrejal River is your ideal destination in Central America. You will not find another destination like it Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and even Costa Rica!
The Cangrejal River Valley has a variety of lodges where you can stay, all small and intimate. Each one has their own character. They are all under the loving hand of the owners or innkeepers that work hard to provide quality service. In my personal opinion, the brightest Honduran Stars in the Cangrejal River Valley are La Villa de Soledad, a charming colonial style bed and breakfast that is managed by a hospitable and friendly couple who live on premises and Las Cascadas Lodge, a unique upscale nature lodge set next to a waterfall and offering direct contact with nature.
La Villa de Soledad offers the ideal location for a nature Lodge. Less than 200 yards from a magnificent 400 foot long suspension bridge that gives you access to a network of trails into Pico Bonito National Park. If you prefer some adventure, the crystal clear waters of the Cangrejal River are ready to give you the adventure of a lifetime. Try rafting down the white waters that offer a challenging experience. Within walking distance, you will find a zip line canopy tour. The possibility of doing some canyoning by rappelling down the face of some pristine waterfalls is also an option.
La Ceiba, Gateway to the Bay Islands
Also within Atlantida, you will find the coastal city of La Ceiba. The city has a variety of national parks surrounding it. It is also the gateway to the Bay Islands of Honduras. Within La Ceiba, the most outstanding lodging facility you can find is the Lodge at Pico Bonito, located within Pico Bonito National Park, just west of La Ceiba. This property is truly a paradise within the jungle.
If you are looking for a property within the city limits, then try Hotel Casa Luisa, a unique bed and breakfast that has been set up in the old American section of town, known as Masapan. Casa Luisa offers the charm of a home built in the traditional architecture of the Banana companies, truly reminiscent of the days when Honduras was the Original Banana Republic!
Also within La Ceiba, but on the beach, the Hotel La Casa de Nery offers a very nice bed and breakfast setting with a total of 6 rooms available. The property has a lot of charm, and the rooms are spacious and original. Gardens are extensive and they have a pool looking out to the Caribbean.
Tela, The Best Mainland Beaches in Central America!
Tela, the last of the hubs within Atlantida, offers a few properties with a true sense of place. Indura Resort is an upscale property in the Jeannette Kawas National Park. It offers a championship golf course, and some of the best beaches in Central America. Indura is the most upscale beach property in mainland Honduras. Los Olingos Resort is another unique property. It is on the shores of the Los Micos Lagoon, next to the Jeannette Kawas National Park. Here you can explore the mangrove canals within the lagoon, as well as visit the Garifuna Village of Miami, one of the most unique and original of all Garifuna communities in the World!
Honduran Stars in Copan
Copan is certainly one of the brightest Honduran Stars when it comes to tourism. As I explained in a previous post, Copan can be a confusing destination! Basically there are two different Copans: Santa Rosa de Copan, which is the capital of the department and Copan Ruinas, where the magnificent Archaeological site of Copan is.
Copan Ruinas has some truly unique properties that are well worth visiting and staying in. Perhaps the most famous of all is the Hotel Marina Copan, easily the oldest hotel in town, with over 70 years of continuous operation. The Hotel Marina retains a colonial charm, offers a very nice pool, one of the best restaurants in town and many stories. Visit the small lounge, down the steps to the left of the front desk to see a series of photos that depict the story of Copan and the Hotel Marina Copan!
Hacienda San Lucas is another truly unique hotel with a sense of place. This is a century old rural hacienda that has been lovingly restored and is now a boutique hotel. Located outside of town, and with a spectacular view of the Copan River valley, it sits on a bluff opposite of the Copan Archaeological site. Food is absolutely superb, and the setting for dinner is magical. If you cannot stay at the Hacienda San Lucas, you should certainly plan on dinner there one night. Make sure you make reservations though! Hacienda San Lucas offers a total of 8 rooms, each with lots of charm and a rustic décor with all the comfort you would expect in a unique property.
The third and last place I will include in our list of select hotels in Copan Ruinas is La Casa Rosada. Truly a boutique hotel located on the backside of the Hotel Marina Copan, right in the heart of Copan Ruinas. This small hotel offers a total of 5 rooms with a pleasant interior courtyard and gardens that are a true oasis in Copan Ruinas.
Honduran Stars in the Bay Islands
The Bay Islands of Honduras are the other truly bright Honduran stars. The archipelago has three unique islands, each different one from the other. They all boast an English heritage that they are proud of! Most of the tourism development is located within the islands of Roatan and Utila. Therefore I will limit myself to these two islands.
Roatan, the Brightest Honduran Star in the Bay Islands
Roatan is by far the largest of these islands. It is also the most popular, and many travelers complain that it is overrun by the cruise ships. However you will find that there are several truly unique properties with sense of place that are away from the hustle and bustle of cruise ship passengers, and were you will still feel you are in a remote island, despite being very easy to get to!
In my personal opinion there are four truly unique properties within Roatan that have a sense of place that makes them deserve being one of the Honduran Stars: I will begin with Las Verandas, a modern property located within the Pristine Bay Resort Area in the mid Roatan island area. Las Verandas offers gourmet food, outstanding gardens and pools and direct access to the Caribbean. It is within the complex that is home to the only golf course in Honduras. This gives you a chance to play a round of Golf in the Black Pearl Championship golf course!
Ixbalanque Resort is a small boutique hotel located right on the beach in West Bay. It is within a small beach that is naturally secluded. You will not be aware of the cruise ship crowds. Food is outstanding, and the minimalist decor blends in beautifully with the natural surroundings. Enjoy the spacious dock, the lovely pool, and the isolated setting.
The Mayoka Boutique Hotel is a small property offering one of the best restaurants in Roatan. Located on the beach in Sandy Bay, this new property has individually appointed rooms, with lots of charm and making the best possible use of the magnificent views of the Caribbean. If you want to pamper yourself in a truly idyllic setting, Mayoka is the place for you!
Paya Bay is a secluded resort in the far less developed East End of Roatan. Sitting on a bluff overlooking the Caribbean and the reefs that surround the island, it offers a spectacular location. Paya Bay offers several beaches to choose from. One is a small private beach with spectacular white sand. The resort offers a truly idyllic setting with a remote feeling to it. Rooms are pleasant, food is great, and the beach is absolutely beautiful. They even have clothing optional days and weeks for those you would like to enjoy the beach au natural.
Utila a Honduran Star With its Own Merits!
The island of Utila is the smallest of the Bay Islands, and although it has a reputation as a backpacker’s destination, it also has some outstanding properties that shine on their own and give this island a refined and original feel.
Without doubt the most eclectic and unique property in all of Honduras can find in Utila. The Nightland Cabins is a dream come true. Original art, eclectic architecture, lovely gardens and truly unique restaurant and bar make a one of a kind setting. Each room is different, and offers a totally different experience. This is boutique hotel if there ever was one! If visiting Utila and not staying at the Nightland Cabins at the Jade Seahorse, do yourself a favor and visit the site. You will be happy you did! Are looking for a vegan restaurant, or a unique bar? Visit the Jade Seahorse or the Treetanic Bar within the property.
The Utopia Village Dive Resort is surely as close to Utopia as you would imagine… Utopia Village is on a lovely strip of beach on Utila’s south shore. Accessible only by boat, this location is idyllic. The Resort is secluded and private. It offers great access to some of the best protected reefs in the Caribbean. You will enjoy some truly outstanding diving. If you are a serious diver looking for a unique remote destination with beautiful beaches and an exclusive setting, this is about as good as it can get!
I hope you enjoy my selection of unique hotels with a sense of place. Together they make our Honduran stars shine bright!