We flew from Vancouver and stayed overnight in Houston each way - we are not really fans of red eye flights now that we are no longer "in our prime" lol! Flights on United were fine - uneventful thankfully.
We stayed at the new Paradise Oceanic Hotel, part of Paradise Beach Club, on a bed and breakfast basis so we ate dinners at different places up and down the beach. I would say that between the Beach and Oceanic sides, occupancy was only about 20% when we arrived, and after a few days, the last of the folks who were travelling with Sunwing left and there were perhaps 20 - 24 people in total for much of the remainder of our stay.
I cannot say enough good things about the Paradise. This was our first time in Roatan but we have been taking two vacations per year to various destinations in the Caribbean , Hawaii, a couple of times in Asia etc and we found the staff at the Paradise to be amongst the best we have ever encountered in terms of their friendliness, work ethic and a sincere desire to do whatever they could to ensure that we had a great vacation.
Coming from rainy Vancouver, we found Roatan to be very hot so we soon settled into a routine of going snorkeling around 7:30 each morning before the sun got too much for us ( we tend to get carried away and stay in the water for a couple of hours at a time). The snorkeling was terrific! We weren't lucky enough to see any rays or turtles but I think we saw almost every variety of fish under the sun plus a sharp tailed eel. We were surprised that some species were so big, like a couple of grouper and barracuda that we saw. I love parrotfish and the various colour combinations that they came in were so beautiful !.
The food prices at our hotel were a bit on the high side, so apart from breakfast we didn't eat there much. We ate quite a bit at the Thirsty Turtle and found their food to be of a decent quality for a reasonable price, with some great fun. I won a $10 bar tab on "spin the wheel" one night :)
Other places we ate at:
Celeste's - food was fine but not a big selection.
Bite on the Beach - hubby and I both had fish and it was overcooked. We went hoping to see the morays being fed, but the water was a little choppy that night due to winds so none came in to feed, although we did see a small one swimming a few yards away.
Vintage Pearl - We were really expecting great things from this place based on reviews. For our first course , we both chose the grouper chowder and it was excellent. Then our entree arrived. We had the lamb (of which we are both fond) but it was not very good. It was done in breadcrumbs and little to no seasonings , so was very bland. Disappointing !
Smugler's Cove - Awesome! Great food, great location.
We got a driver to take us around a lot of the isalnd, and I asked him to take us to Hole in the Wall for lunch, based on what I had read about it on here. I didn't realize that we would be taking a short boat ride over there, what a hoot! We loved it! Fresh fish sandwiches and cold beer and lovely folks running it I believe for the late owner' s son.
Many thanks to the regular posters on this forum for all the invaluable info that I learned , including places to eat, to see, opinions on bug spray and so much more .
We have fallen in love with Roatan for sure, and we will be back!
I will write a review of our stay at the Paradise in the next couple of days.Edited: 22 May 2012, 09:20