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Mayan Princess Beach & Dive Resort 3.5

West Bay, Roatan, Bay Islands

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Right on West Bay’s widest beach, plus a PADI dive shop on-site
  • Big air-conditioned villas with king or queen beds, beachy accents, and kitchens 
  • Huge freshwater pool with lots of lounge chairs and a hot tub
  • Buffet and a la carte restaurants serve local and international cuisines 
  • All-inclusive rates cover top-shelf alcohol; breakfast-only rates available as well
  • Simple spa for treatments and massages, plus a gift shop
  • Free weekly water aerobics classes and West Bay walking tour 
  • Free welcome cocktail and kayaks; snorkel gear can be rented
  • Rooftop helipad cuts travel time from Tegucigalpa to 45 minutes
  • Free Wi-Fi in public areas
  • Free round-trip airport or ferry transfers 

Cons

  • Guest rooms do not have Wi-Fi 
  • Noise from on-site nightclub is bad news for early risers (like divers)
  • Day passes available and resort gets crowded with cruise-ship day-trippers 
  • Not safe to snorkel in front of resort due to boat traffic
  • Beach often overrun with vendors hawking tours and massages 

Bottom Line

Mayan Princess Beach and Dive Resort is a three-and-a-half-pearl oceanfront property with a long, beautiful beach in Roatan’s West Bay. It’s 55 air-conditioned villas are big and tropical, with plush seating, flat-screen TVs, balconies, and great showers. Dining options are delicious and include a buffet restaurant, three a la carte spots, and a snack bar. All-inclusive packages are available and they include top-shelf liquor. The resort’s huge freshwater pool stretches half the property and free water aerobics classes are offered weekly. Other freebies include round-trip airport or ferry transfers, welcome cocktails, and kayak rentals. For an oceanfront stay with posher rooms, an infinity pool with a walk-up pool bar, and arguably the most romantic location on West Bay Beach, it’s worth pricing out Grand Roatan Caribbean Resort instead. 

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Scene

Beautiful, blossoming grounds that stay mostly laid back until late-night club vibes take over

Mayan Princess opened in 2007 and its units are individually owned, but managed by the resort. As such, the property undergoes continuous renovations that are great for room upgrades, but the sound of construction could dampen a trip depending on when you arrive. Even so, the grounds are lovely, with sandy pathways framed by fabulous hedges of beautifully manicured ixora flowers. In fact, there are so many flowers that you’d be excused for thinking that you’re walking through a botanical garden. The beach is probably the widest of any resort in West Bay and has lots of plush lounger chairs. Its central location comes with a downside, though, as there’s a ton of nearby boat traffic and while swimming is OK, snorkeling to the teeming reef just offshore is best avoided. For that, you'll have to walk downshore.

During the day, the resort is quiet and relaxed, especially when cruise ships aren’t in port. Like many other nearby resorts, Mayan Princess sells day passes for cruise-ship day-trippers whose presence stretches the resort’s capacity to the max and fills up the beach lounge chairs. The resort’s nightclub, San Simone Beach Club, tries to emulate the South Beach hotspot Nikki Beach, and early risers (especially divers needing restful sleep) won’t likely appreciate the clubby beats bumping late into the night. Guests are mostly couples and families from North America.

Location

On a sweep of beach in the heart of West Bay, near restaurants and bars

For travelers wanting to be in West Bay, this resort is prime territory. It's a two-minute walk from multiple dining spots, as well as bars. There's also a pharmacy, ATM, and convenience store in town. Water taxis to West End -- the best spot for Roatan nightlife -- leave from in front of the resort. Otherwise, it’s a 12-minute taxi ride. Ferries to Utila leave from West End and take about 40 minutes. The jetty for La Ceiba, on the Honduran mainland, is a 35-minute drive from the resort, followed by an hour-and 15-minute boat ride. Juan Manuel Galvez International Airport takes about 30 minutes to reach by car.

Rooms

Big air-conditioned one- or two-bedroom villas with kitchens, flat-screen TVs, and balconies

The rooms here are a mix of spacious one- and two-bedroom villas with garden, pool, or ocean views. All have central air-conditioning as opposed to the wall-mounted units found in most Roatan resorts. Small paintings of island scenes or marine life in bright pastels hang on white walls. Expect sea-foam or azure couches with striped pillows and matching ocean-blue curtains. All villas have full kitchens -- the most recently renovated feature granite countertops, stainless-steel appliances, and extras like blenders, coffeemakers, toasters, and cookware and cutlery. Other standard amenities include flat-screen TVs with premium channels, irons and ironing boards, and wall safes. The bathrooms are especially great, with glass-brick stand-up showers, toiletries, towels, and hairdryers. A nice touch are the foot faucets in showers, which are perfect for rinsing off sandy feet after a beach day. All units also have private patios or balconies with tables and chairs for four. Disappointingly, guest rooms do not have Wi-Fi.

Features

Fabulous beach, sprawling freshwater pool with hot tub, four restaurants, and dive shop

There’s no doubt Mayan Princess loves its beach. It’s one of the widest in West Bay and full of beach chairs. Swimming here is great, but this spot doubles as the jetty for many water-based tours, so boat traffic means guests have to walk down the beach a bit to swim to the offshore reef. It also gets crowded when day-tripping cruise ship passengers overrun West Bay. The hotel’s huge freshwater pool stretches half the resort and is surrounded by lush, blossoming hedges, palm trees, and lots of wood loungers with plush cushions. There’s also a free water aerobics class and a secluded hot tub. 

Mayan Princess' four restaurants get mostly positive reviews, although some require reservations. Luna Maya serves delicious international fusion cuisine, while Calkett’s Bar and Grill offers Caribbean food next to the beach. You'll also find live music, fire shows, and DJs here. Balam Buffet Restaurant is the resort’s buffet option that serves themed meals including Italian and Mexican cuisines. San Simone Beach Club is the oceanfront a la carte restaurant serving international food and decorated with huge photos of models. At night it gets clubby, with beats thumping late into the night. There’s also a small snack bar that’s open all day long serving hot dogs, cookies, and other simple items. All-inclusive and breakfast-only rates are available, and the former includes top-shelf liquor.

Mayan Divers PADI Dive Shop offers daily dives and lessons from intro to Dive Master classes. It’s one of the only area dive shops with an on-site defibrillator and oxygen. Kukut Spa provides standard massages and also has a beauty salon for manicures, pedicures, and hair services. Near the lobby, there’s a big gift shop that sells sundries, medicine, jewelry, bathing suits, and souvenirs. The hotel can assist in arranging tours, car rentals, taxis, and laundry service. Kayaks are available for free and snorkeling equipment can be rented (for a fee). 

There are conference rooms, a book exchange, and a helipad as well (one of the only ones at a hotel on Roatan). Freebies include round-trip airport or ferry transfers, parking, a West Bay walking tour, and welcome cocktail. Wi-Fi is free throughout the resort's public areas, but certain spots like the lobby have the strongest signal. 

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Address

West Bay Beach, West Bay, Honduras

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