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Recently, my Irish-Colombian and I took advantage of a gift certificate we won back when we attended the Roatan Humane Society’s Fur Ball Fundraiser. Our raffle prize was a two-night stay at the lovely West Bay Lodge, complete with breakfast each day and a 5-course lobster dinner one night! A weekend in West Bay isn’t a distant getaway for us, but it was really fun to feel like a tourist in our own backyard. Here are some of the highlights from our staycation in West Bay Roatan.
West Bay Lodge, West Bay Roatan
West Bay Lodge is located off the main West Bay Beach, tucked up into the hill directly across from the entrance to Bananarama Resort and diagonally across from the West Bay Mall. Its location off the beach means it enjoys a quiet solitude, but it certainly isn’t a long walk to reach the pristine white sand just down the road. West Bay Lodge is owned by married duo Milos and Celeste, whose eponymous restaurant hosts the included breakfast each morning and an array of lunch and dinner options all day.
Celeste’s Island Cuisine offers a blend of island and international flavors, highlighted by our pineapple waffles for breakfast one morning and a zesty but light gazpacho starter during our 5-course lobster fiesta.
Pineapple waffles for breakfast at Celeste’s Island Cuisine at West Bay Lodge, Roatan
The most important note I can make about West Bay Lodge is their outstanding staff. We were floored by the level of service we received – maybe because we’ve been living on the island too long and have grown accustomed to mediocre customer service – but more likely because the staff is just that fabulous. Everyone we met during our stay greeted us warmly, even if we simply passed by down the driveway. They were attentive and thorough, from reception to the kitchen. I cannot praise them enough for their great attitudes – we even got hugs when we left!
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Best Coffee in West Bay Roatan
Despite the lovely breakfast we enjoyed at West Bay Lodge both mornings, I still needed my JavaVine latte fix while chatting with friends. You just cannot go to West Bay and not stop in at JavaVine at West Bay Mall! It’s air conditioned (a rare find!), the coffee is fantastic, and the wine list is just so inviting. It’s a must-do for West Bay.
Sunday Funday in West Bay Roatan
A weekend in West Bay also wouldn’t be complete without Sunday Funday at Beacher’s Bar and Grill. Beacher’s is the expat haven for West Bay, bringing everyone together for a weekly celebration of sunshine and 2-for-1 drinks all day. To top it all off, Branan Logan plays live Sunday nights at Beacher’s, which is something you don’t want to miss!
My view from Beachers’ deck on West Bay Beach
Snorkeling in West Bay Roatan
Snorkeling is obviously a huge highlight for visitors to West Bay Beach. If you don’t have your own gear, there are plenty of options for rentals between the hotels and private vendors on the beach. Our favorite places to snorkel out from the beach are at the far end in front of Grand Roatan Resort, or heading out from between Grand Roatan and Infinity Bay Resort toward Mandy’s Eel Garden. We chose Mandy’s for this snorkel foray so that the Irish-Colombian could do some freediving at the deeper mooring.
Both of these snorkel spots offer shallow coral with gorgeous views, but as always PLEASE be very careful and do not EVER touch the coral. Do not swim down and grab a conch shell. Do not grab a starfish. Do not grab anything ever.
Take photos, enjoy your time in our beautiful water, and then head back to shore. Carefully. If you find yourself heading into shallow water, turn around. The Roatan Marine Park has placed several markers both on the surface and underwater to direct you away from very shallow areas. PLEASE observe and utilize those markers.
In addition to their water markers, the RMP has posted signs on West Bay Beach to remind snorkelers to protect the reef.
Sunset Drinks in West Bay Roatan
After an enjoyable snorkel adventure, you’ll need a cocktail. While we love several spots in West Bay, Bananarama was all too conveniently on our way back to West Bay Lodge and it simply sucked us in for a happy hour beverage. Keeping your feet in the sand while enjoying good service and a cold drink just doesn’t get any better. Except if you watch the sunset, too. Then it’s better. And even though it’s just such a cliche paradise image, it never gets old.
If we had stayed longer, Lala’s Garden Cafe would have demanded a dinner visit and Grand Roatan would have been our next happy hour stop – it’s my personal favorite location away from the crowds.
Whether you’re staying in West Bay or you just pop over from West End (a quick water taxi trip at only $3 per person from the West End Water Taxi Association dock across from Splash Inn), you will find ample opportunity to sit back, relax, and have some fun. This was our weekend staycation and we had a blast!
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