Copán Ruinas, Copán, HondurasWest Bay Beach, Roatan Island, Bay Islands, Honduras
Located on the prime stretch of sand at the western end of Roatan, Infinity Bay is a work in progress that already has the island's nicest rooms. For now it's seriously lacking in the amenities department, but other options are only a stroll in the sand away.
As with most hotels in Roatan, there are some trade–offs here for the luxury traveler. In Infinity Bay's case, however, most of these compromises are temporary and by mid–2009 the construction kinks should be over.
Located at the far end of West Bay Beach, this three–story condo complex is the tallest thing around, with the rest of the resorts nearby being low–slung, laid–back hotels appealing to divers and vacationing families. Units here range from studios slightly larger than a normal hotel room to two–bedroom, two–bath villas that are a full home away from home. The resort is essentially a vacation and retirement condo operation, with owners buying units outright and then putting them into the rental pool. Unlike most villa rental places though, these are treated like hotel rooms, with a check–in of one or two nights perfectly acceptable. Rates are also quite reasonable considering the quality, though expect them to rise after all the construction clamor has quieted down.
Now only two of the three sections of the U–shaped resort are finished, but the final one, unfortunately for guests, is the one that is going to hold the restaurant, spa, and other public areas. For now these are just a rudimentary beach bar and an even more basic burgers and sandwiches restaurant that is just chairs and tables strewn across the sand––complete with terrible coffee and non–dairy creamer for breakfast. We can only assume the quality of what's served will rise to the occasion of the new venues.
A huge free–form pool is the centerpiece of the resort, surrounded by ample lounge chairs with webbing, a bridge going across the center, two waterfalls, and a shallow section for kids. A swim–up bar looks out toward the beach.
The beach here is the main draw, of course, a stunning crescent of sand that has appeared on more than a few of those "Top–10 Beaches…" round–ups the travel magazines and TV shows are so fond of. Here there are chairs and umbrellas reserved for guests, plus a great reef for snorkeling is right off the shore. Diving and watersports are easy to arrange. As with most of Roatan, the only downside is the sand fleas: grab the repellant before settling down with a book, toes in the sand.
The spa part of the hotel's name will be in that coming third section at the back of the property and like the restaurant, will feature a wall of glass with a view to the sea. It will be equipped with the usual services and facilities: sauna, steam shower, massage treatments, and a full gym. A business center and conference room will complete the package. For now, Internet access is wired only in the rooms (and unreliable at times), but WiFi for the public areas is promised for later.
The main reason to book here before construction is complete is to take advantage of the best accommodations on the island that are in a convenient area with other restaurants around. All of the units have full kitchens and most are one or two–bedroom condos with upscale materials in the kitchens and baths: granite counter tops, stainless–steel appliances, and half a mountain of marble in the baths. Cooking and eating utensils are extensive and a counter with stools supplements a dining table in the larger condos. Living room areas naturally get bigger as the number of bedrooms and baths increases, but all have comfortable cushioned rattan furniture, ceiling fans, central air, phones, and large flat–screen TVs with basic cable. Some have a DVD player and movie rentals are available in the office. All have a balcony or terrace with seating for four and larger units have a washer and dryer as well.
Bedrooms contain kings or two doubles with thick mattresses and white cotton linens, but floor space is tight in the one–bedroom condos. Closets have plenty of hangers and an electronic safe. Richly–veined marble baths feature either a large shower or combo tub stall and are stocked with quality sea–themed toiletries. The units dubbed Plumeria, Orchid, and Hibiscus are the largest and have a second bath.
After the construction is finished this should easily be one of the most luxurious options on the island––and the most convenient for those who want a little social interaction and nightlife. While built of concrete and more concrete, it will also be one of the "greenest" hotels on the island, with solar hot water, a completely self–contained sewage treatment system, and reclamation of waste water for landscaping. If nothing else, stay here to support those efforts: if others follow their example, the world's second–longest barrier reef will still be around for our children to enjoy.
Web Address: www.infinitybay.com
Total Number of Rooms: 145
Published rates: $125 to $475
Review and photos by Timothy Scott.