While in Roatan, I made it a point to visit the Buccaneer at French Harbour. My first visit to the Buccaneer Inn was over 25 years ago, before I moved to Honduras. Back then, I stayed at the Reef House Dive Resort in Oakridge. One day, I hired a cab to take me around the island and visit the different hotels that were in operation. I visited Anthony’s Key Resort, Fantasy Island, Romeo’s Resort in Brick Bay, the French Harbour Yacht Club and the Buccaneer Inn. That was pretty much it as far as hotels was concerned in Roatan back then! Can you even imagine it? This last hotel struck me as having a unique sense of place.
Yes the Buccaneer Inn seemed built in the perfect spot and had the perfect feel to it. It gave the community of French Harbour character and was the pride of the town. Over the years, competition, and more hotels on the beach caused the demise of the Buccaneer Inn. So when I heard that it had reopened I just had to go for a visit!
Reinventing a Landmark Without Loosing its “Sense of Place”
As it turns out, it has not reopened as a hotel. It has been reinvented and is now home to Roatan’s newest swim club. It is also home to a lovely small museum that features the history of the Bay Islands of Honduras. Last but not least, you can enjoy some of the best coffee in Roatan at the Walala Café. If you are looking for spirited drinks, enjoy your favorite beer at the Beer Bar. This new bar offers the largest selection of beers on the island!
But I must mention, the character of the Buccaneer at French Harbour has remained intact. It retains the sense of place that it had long ago. It stands out in pride in the community of French Harbour. And just to prove the point, the French Harbour Heritage Society proudly hosts the small museum at The Buccaneer at French Harbour. This museum celebrates human occupation of the islands over several centuries. It tells the story of how the islands became a British Colony and were then handed over to Honduras in 1860. Last, but not least, it tells the story of French Harbour. The Buccaneer is a tribute to the Bay Islands architecture.
The swim club at The Buccaneer has plenty of inviting hammocks just over the Caribbean Sea. They are ideal to soak in the sun and yet close enough to the water to cool off if necessary. Facilities include a great beer bar that also offers outstanding tropical cocktails. I tried their pina colada and enjoyed this fun cocktail. My only regret was not to have a swim suit on hand to take a dive into the Caribbean and enjoy their swim club facilities to the MAX!
I hope that I will soon be back on the island. You can count on me taking some time out to enjoy the new swim club at the Buccaneer at French Harbour!