We ended up at Xbalanque due to fortuitous circumstances. Our planned dates to visit our own vacation condo in Grand Cayman had to move due to work commitments; as luck would have it, the condo was rented out over our new travel dates. So, we were forced to consider visiting somewhere new. Being an avid snorkeler I was drawn to Roatan and figured my wife “wouldn’t mind the beach”.
We searched the rental by owner sites and were both intrigued by Xbalanque; partly because the accommodations (minimalist and modern) and partly because of the location (roughly have way between the main tourist towns of West Bay and West End). Never having been to Roatan, we also liked the idea of the chef and bartender being available on-site. Patsy Bracy, the owner, answered all our questions and made us feel comfortable in selecting her rental. The booking process painless.
Turns out the owners were going to be in Roatan the same time we were, they were actually on our connecting flight. As airport transfers are included in the rental, we got to ride with the Bracys over to the property.
We stayed in the boutique hotel portion of their complex which shares the Xbalanque name with the neighboring beach house. There is also another rental home on the property. The grounds are amazing with a stream running through to the beach, parrots, lighted lanterns in the trees, a stunning pool with water features, a private dock with hammocks and little decorative touches all over.
The property's location is fairly isolated, so if you are looking for peace and quite this it is a good place. The beach is nice, but be advised the water entry is a mix of some sand and then the turtle grass that lines most of the area inside the reef. While sunning on the beach, we got a kick out of watching just about every beach walker stop and star at the resort. it is just that stunning.
The building face west so you get to take in the sunset every night. We like viewing it from the roof top lounge area with a glass of wine. Water taxi service runs constantly during the daylight hours between West Bay and West End ($3 pp) and a taxi back at night can run $10-$20 depending on the driver. Best to agree on a rate prior to getting in the car.
The suites are beautifully decorated and outfitted with top of the line kitchen, bath and A/V accessories, if only our home was so nice. We had a second floor unit named Men (Mayan for Eagle). There is AC for each room, along with ceiling fans and all lines are provided, including beach towels. The large balcony had a dinning table and 2 loveseats. We liked eating breakfast on the balcony and watching the morning procession of workers and tourists walk the beach between West End and West Bay. Bed was comfy, plenty of storage for our clothes and gear.
The staff, Raul the chef, Abel “Captain Jack” the bartender and Delvin the all-around helper were great. Make sure you have Raul cook his ceviche and Wahoo one night and have Abel make you an Xbalanque mojito or the unofficial cocktail of Roatan, a Monkey La-La.
The snorkeling at the reef off the beach and continuing up towards West End featured some of the best snorkeling I have every experienced. Here is a link to some pictures from the snorkeling there: Xbalanque Snorkeling Pictures.
Delvin would have a kayak ready and waiting each morning for my paddle out to the reef.
The Bracy’s were such wonderful hosts and the island such a magical place, that we could not help but have one of the most memorable vacations. If Xbalanque looks like your kind of place (their website and pictures are accurate, if not understated), do not hesitate to visit. You won’t regret it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Xbalanque is a luxury boutique resort tucked into the heart of West Bay and West End in Roatan. Xbalanque is located on the edge of the Caribbean Sea facing west with beautiful sunsets and white sand beaches. Several accommodation options are available from villa rentals to two bedroom or one bedroom suites. Lotus restaurant and bar surrounds the infinity pool by the sea with beach lounging. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Xbalanque Resort Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras