By Elizabeth Anthony
Just off the Caribbean Coast of Honduras is Roatán, the largest of the Bay Islands, where spectacular diving and snorkeling draw visitors from around the world. The island is completely surrounded by a large reef system that is part of the Mesoamerican reef – the second-largest barrier reef in the world – which is teeming with fish, coral, sponges, rays, sea turtles and even whale sharks. The islanders have a fascinating heritage that includes African and Carib, European and other ancestry. English is the dominant spoken language, and Spanish is second.
Roatán is a long and narrow island – about 37 miles long and only three miles wide at its most expansive spot. The rolling hills and mountains, with a maximum altitude above sea level of approximately 900 feet, make every piece of property virtually a unique ocean view lot. Roatán’s coastline is surrounded by outstanding white sand beaches, iron shore bluffs and mangrove forests.
The combination is almost perfect and provides the best of all three worlds: tropical beaches, such as the one in West Bay considered Central America’s best beach and one of the world’s best; the iron shore bluffs offering some of the best ocean front views on the island; and the mangrove swamps that provide an insight to the tropical wetlands of the Caribbean and Central America.
Roatán is also home to the beautiful Las Verandas — a 5-star hotel and villas community located inside of Pristine Bay. This luxury-gated community is a short 2-hour flight from Houston, served by United, American and Delta. Accommodations at this luxurious resort please even the most discerning guests. Just 15 minutes from the International Airport, Las Verandas captures the essence of Roatán with its lush mountainous landscape, deep blue skies, white sandy beaches, crystal clear water and sunset views. These elements make Roatán the third-best island in the world, according to Trip Advisor, and one of the safest.
Las Verandas offers prime location, luxury villas that are second to none, and when you make Las Verandas your home away from home, you’ll enjoy the Caribbean island life in style. The villas are absolutely the best vacation rentals on the island with first-class amenities and hotel services. You’ll have more than 2,500 square feet of ocean view space all to yourself. Amenities include
striking private infinity edge plunge pools; HD LCD televisions with DVD and cable TV; luxurious oversized bathrooms; portable telephones, mini-bars and free high-speed wireless Internet; comfortable living areas and high-end kitchens equipped with a full-sized refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, toaster oven and blender as well as an array of cooking utensils, plates and flatware.
The resort also offers large and lavish Ocean View rooms. These 500-square-foot spaces feature a private balcony or terrace. No other Roatán hotel compares to these quality luxury accommodations. Amenities include many of the same features found in the villas, along with incredible sweeping views of the Caribbean.
Invest in Las Verandas
When you invest in a home at Las Verandas, you will own a gorgeous spot for memorable vacations as well as an income-producing property. The property is managed and operated by Destination Resorts Limited, an affiliate of the Lancaster Group of Houston, which also manages the Victoria House Resort on Ambergris Caye in Belize, one of the most successful and highly rated resorts in the Western Caribbean. For information on Villa Sales-www.lasverandasvillas.com
In addition to two guest pools and the Palapa Bar, guests have access to a fine dining restaurant, Las Pergolas, the main restaurant at Las Verandas. Offering exciting Caribbean/Americas fusion cuisine, this contemporary menu sets new standards for dining in the Western Caribbean. No other Roatán restaurant can boast the quality or diversity that Las Pergolas offers. From fresh-caught seafood and inspired flavorful sauces and sides to tantalizing desserts, Las Verandas shows you what island dining on Roatán is all about.
If a round of golf is on your getaway itinerary, Las Verandas Hotel & Villas offers the Black Pearl Golf Course. Take the day to try your luck on a course fully equipped to challenge and please all levels of golfers. Whether you just want to drive, play half a round, or are ready to spend the day golfing, Las Verandas is more than up to par. Need clubs? The staff can set you up with rentals and other packages.
The centerpiece of the resort is The Black Pearl, Roatán’s first and only golf course. This 18-hole, par-72, 7,200-yard championship golf course was created by renowned golf course architect Pete Dye. The course starts at the ocean’s doorstep, rises into the island’s rolling foothills and then takes golfers on a wild ride back to the seaside clubhouse.
The Black Pearl is also eco-friendly – one of only a few courses in the world to use a special strain of grass called Seashore Paspalum, known for its environmental compatibility, ease of irrigation and maintenance and translucent green hue. Dye Designs pioneered the use of this saltwater-tolerant grass for tropical projects, and its appearance juxtaposed against the turquoise Caribbean waters inspired the tagline “Come mix the best greens…with the best blues!”
Other unique course features include one of Dye’s signature island greens and 14 holes offering stunning vistas of the ocean and the barrier reef.
Not just a haven for golfers, The Black Pearl is also a haven for wildlife. With more than 100,000 plants and trees, the course is one of the largest sanctuaries for plant and animal life on the island. Enjoy a sunset as you make an eagle, or let the sea breeze carry your ball to a hole in one.
Scuba diving and snorkeling in Roatán are like nothing else on earth, capturing the unique beauty of Caribbean sea with the most extraordinarily vibrant reef setting and the most colorful fish you’ll ever see. If snorkeling is what you prefer, you’re sure to catch sight of all the bountiful Carribbean wonders. Ask about diver’s certification courses, gear rentals and more.
Whale and dolphin watching on Roatán Island gets you in close with the action. The staff at Las Verandas knows some of the best places in the world to get a good look at the whale sharks and dolphins.
Roatán fishing is relaxing and rewarding. With the diversity of fish life, the beautiful crystal clear oceanic surroundings and the wondrous reef, any worries will wash away with the tides. Catch a sailfish, or line a yellow tail snapper; Roatán fishing has everything from mackerel to marlin.
Your trip to Roatán wouldn’t be complete without a four-hour island tour. Talk to Emsly Hyde with Hyde Tours Roatán. During the tour Emsly shares much of the island’s history and culture. It is definitely worth the price. www.hydetoursroatanhonduras.com
Looking for a different perspective? Zip lining on Roatán Island gives you the opportunity to go above the lush rainforest as you zip from tree to tree, taking in the incredible views and enjoying the diversity of the island’s beautiful forests and terrain. The staff is trained and ready to show you the ropes; first-timers have nothing to fear.
Full spa services are available at Las Verandas through La Pina Spa and Wellness Center, where you can slough off the daily grind or soothe your sun-drenched skin with a variety of upscale services.
Las Verandas Packages
Las Verandas offers a selection of packages ranging from romantic honeymoons in exotic suites to action-filled saltwater fly fishing, scuba diving on the barrier reef and other exciting tours.
The Golf Package is perfect for those who want a little time on the green while indulging in paradise.
The Dive Package showcases some of the highlights of a Roatán holiday: world-class diving, fine cuisine and top-notch accommodations.
The “On Bended Knee Package” helps you plan the perfect proposal for your sweetheart. The hotel’s proposal concierge will meet with you to discuss how to best sweep your bride-to-be off her feet. Once she says yes, the couple will enjoy a private sunset tour, snorkeling trip and daily meals.
The Angler’s Package will not only help you catch an impressive fish but also allow you to reel in an incredible fishing experience. From the flats to the food, you’ll have a great time soaking in all that is Roatán with this package.
A “(Married) Life Is An Adventure Package” is designed for couples looking for more than just rest and relaxation on their honeymoon. Couples will snorkel and zip line their way through their honeymoon while enjoying a romantic, private spa treatment in their room and bottle of champagne upon arrival to toast to a life of married adventure.
Las Verandas Hotel & Villas is truly an incomparable resort on an Island that is “The Island Jewel of the Western Caribbean.” For more information, go to las-verandas.com. For reservations, call 713-344-2345 or 855-224-6620.
Category: Travel Destinations