We did an enormous amount of research before deciding to spend a week in October at the XBalanque resort (at the moment more of a boutique hotel, but in the process of expanding -- without sprawling). Several times a day we patted ourselves on the back -- it was an excellent decision. My boyfriend was previously more of a backpacker kind of guy, whereas I prefer luxury and comfort, and having traveled the world I can honestly say that XBalanque is the best hotel I've ever stayed in. The setting is truly out of this world. Not only are the views breathtaking at every time of day or night, but the design of the hotel will wow anyone with an eye for architecture or aesthetics. Patsy not only designed a stunning and discreet hotel (though oustanding enough that anyone who shared a water taxi with us swooned with envy whenever we pulled up to the dock), but she also curated is with some truly breathtaking artworks, most of them from her trip to Indonesia.
We stayed in the one bedroom suite and, while we almost opted for a larger room for the sake of more space, we were happy with the decision we made and never once felt cramped or claustrophobic in our room. The room was well-equipped, and very well insulated; we couldn't hear a thing outside, and with that tremendously comfortable bed, this makes it altogether too easy to sleep in and opt for an afternoon dive instead of the early morning dive. The exceptional security at the hotel also contributed to many peaceful nights of sleep.
Patsy's partner, Marco, met us at the hotel and drove us first to the grocery store to pick up a few essentials, and then to the hotel. He showed us our room, where we were greeted by a nice bottle of red wine and about a dozen fresh Honduran bananas (the best bananas I've tasted in my life). We left our bags and immediately went to the dining area where Pedro had already prepared us a pitcher of fresh juice, and then he made us a delicious dinner -- the first of many that we enjoyed during our stay.
The food at XBalanque is so fine, and the setting is so breathtaking, that leaving the hotel for dinner elsewhere in Roatan begins to feel odd. You nearly expect the dining options on the rest of the island to correspond somehow to what and where you eat at the hotel -- but really even at the best restaurants we ate at outside the resort (Oasis made excellent green curry chicken, as well as a wonderful lamb vindaloo), they nonetheless fall short where ambiance is concerned. We made