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What's important: you can compare and book not only Roatán hotels and resorts, but also villas and holiday cottages, inns and B&Bs (bed and breakfast), condo hotels and apartments, timeshare properties, guest houses and pensions, campsites (campgrounds), motels and hostels on Roatán. If you're going to Roatán save your money and time, don't pay for the services of the greedy travel agencies. Instead, book the best hotel on Roatán online, buy the cheapest airline tickets to Roatán, and rent a car on Roatán right now, paying the lowest price! Besides, here you can buy the Roatán related books, guidebooks, souvenirs and other goods.
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How to Book a Hotel on Roatán
In order to book an accommodation on Roatán enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Roatán hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Roatán map to estimate the distance from the main Roatán attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Roatán hotels and see their ratings.
When a hotel search on Roatán is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel on Roatán is waiting for you!
Hotels of Roatán
A hotel on Roatán is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger on Roatán hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms on Roatán are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Roatán hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Roatán hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels on Roatán have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels on Roatán
An upscale full service hotel facility on Roatán that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Roatán hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels on Roatán
Full service Roatán hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels on Roatán
Boutique hotels of Roatán are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Roatán boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels on Roatán may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels on Roatán
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Roatán travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Roatán focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels on Roatán
Small to medium-sized Roatán hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Roatán traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Roatán hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs on Roatán
A bed and breakfast on Roatán is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Roatán bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Roatán B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels on Roatán
Roatán hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Roatán hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels on Roatán
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Roatán hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels on Roatán lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs on Roatán
Roatán timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts on Roatán often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Roatán on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels on Roatán
A Roatán motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Roatán for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Roatán motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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Roatán (Spanish pronunciation: [ro.a.ˈtan]) is an island in the Caribbean, about 65 kilometres (40 mi) off the northern coast of Honduras. It is located between the islands of Útila and Guanaja, and is the largest of the Bay Islands of Honduras.
The island was formerly known as Ruatan and Rattan. It is approximately 77 kilometres (48 mi) long, and less than 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) across at its widest point. The island consists of two municipalities: José Santos Guardiola in the east and Roatán, including the Cayos Cochinos, further south in the west.
The island rests on an exposed ancient coral reef, rising to about 270 metres (890 ft) above sea level. Offshore reefs offer opportunities for diving. Most habitation is in the western half of the island.
The most populous town of the island is Coxen Hole, capital of Roatán municipality, located in the southwest. West of Coxen Hole are the settlements of Gravel Bay, Flowers Bay and Pensacola on the south coast, and Sandy Bay, West End and West Bay on the north coast. To the east of Coxen Hole are the settlements of Mount Pleasant, French Harbour, Parrot Tree, Jonesville and Oakridge on the south coast, and Punta Gorda on the north coast.
The easternmost quarter of the island is separated by a channel through the mangroves that is 15 metres wide on average. This section is called Helene, or Santa Elena in Spanish. Satellite islands at the eastern end are Morat, Barbareta, and Pigeon Cay. Further west between French Harbour and Coxen Hole are several cays, including Stamp Cay and Barefoot Cay.
Located near the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea (second largest worldwide after Australia's Great Barrier Reef), Roatán has become an important cruise ship, scuba diving and eco-tourism destination in Honduras. Tourism is its most important economic sector, though fishing is also an important source of income for islanders. Roatán is located within 40 miles of La Ceiba. The island is served by the Juan Manuel Gálvez Roatán International Airport and the Galaxy Wave Ferry service twice a day.
French Harbour, Roatán
Oak Ridge in the 1960s
The pre-Columbian indigenous peoples of the Bay Islands are believed to have been related to either the Paya, the Maya, the Lenca or the Jicaque, which were the cultures present on the mainland. Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage (1502–1504) came to the islands as he visited the neighbouring Bay Island of Guanaja. Soon after the Spanish began raiding the islands for slave labour. More devastating for Native American communities was exposure to Eurasian infectious diseases to which they had no immunity, such as smallpox and measles. No indigenous people survived the consequent epidemics.
Throughout European colonial times, the Bay of Honduras attracted an array of individual settlers, pirates, traders and military forces. Various economic activities were engaged in and political struggles played out between the European powers, chiefly Britain and Spain. Sea travellers frequently stopped over at Roatán and the other islands as resting points. On several occasions, the islands were subject to military occupation. In contesting with the Spanish for colonisation of the Caribbean, the English occupied the Bay Islands on and off between 1550 and 1700. During this time, buccaneers found the vacated, mostly unprotected islands a haven for safe harbour and transport. English, French and Dutch pirates established settlements on the islands. They frequently raided the Spanish treasure ships, cargo vessels carrying gold and silver from the New World to Spain.
In 1797, the British defeated the Black Carib, who had been supported by the French, in a battle for control of the Windward Caribbean island of St. Vincent. Weary of their resistance to British plans for sugar plantations, the British rounded up the St. Vincent Black Carib and deported them to Roatán. The majority of Black Carib migrated to Trujillo on mainland Honduras, but a portion remained to found the community of Punta Gorda on the northern coast of Roatán. The Black Carib, whose ancestry includes Arawak and African Maroons, remained in Punta Gorda, becoming the Bay Island's first permanent post-Columbian settlers. They also migrated from there to parts of the northern coast of Central America, becoming the foundation of the modern-day Garífuna culture in Honduras, Belize and Guatemala.
The majority permanent population of Roatán originated from the Cayman Islands near Jamaica. They arrived in the 1830s shortly after Britain's abolition of slavery in 1838. The changes in the labour system disrupted the economic structure of the Caymans. The islands had largely had a seafaring culture; natives were familiar with the area from turtle fishing and other activities. Former slaveholders from the Cayman Islands were among the first to settle in the seaside locations throughout primarily western Roatán. During the late 1830s and 1840s, former slaves also migrated from the Cayman Islands, in larger number than planters. Altogether, the former Cayman peoples became the largest cultural group on the island.
For a brief period in the 1850s, Britain declared the Bay Islands its colony. Within a decade, the Crown ceded the territory formally back to Honduras. British colonists were sent to compete for control. They asked American William Walker, a freebooter (filibuster) with a private army, to help end the crisis in 1860 by invading Honduras; he was captured upon landing in Trujillo and executed there.
In the latter half of the 19th century, the island populations grew steadily and established new settlements all over Roatán and the other islands. Settlers came from all over the world and played a part in shaping the cultural face of the island. Islanders started a fruit trade industry which became profitable. By the 1870s it was purchased by American interests, most notably the New Orleans and Bay Islands Fruit Company. Later the Standard Fruit and United Fruit companies became the foundation for modern-day fruit companies, the industry which led to Honduras being called a "banana republic".
In the 20th century, there was continued population growth resulting in increased economic changes and environmental challenges. A population boom began with an influx of Spanish-speaking Mestizo migrants from the Honduran mainland. Since the late 20th century, they tripled the previous resident population. Mestizo migrants settled primarily in the urban areas of Coxen Hole and Barrio Los Fuertes (near French Harbour). Even the mainlander influx was dwarfed in number and economic effects by the overwhelming tourist presence in the 21st century. Numerous American, Canadian, British, New Zealand, Australian and South African settlers and entrepreneurs engaged chiefly in the fishing industry, and later, provided the foundation for attracting the tourist trade.
In 1998, Roatán suffered some damage from Hurricane Mitch, temporarily paralysing most commercial activity. The storm also broke up the popular dive-wrecks Aguila and Odyssey.
Roatán looking northwest with West Bay on the right and Coxen Hole and Manuel Galvez airport in the upper middle
Roatán looking north towards West End
The Caracol people are an English-speaking people who have been established in Northern Honduras (specifically, the Bay Islands) since the early 19th century. They are chiefly of European and British-Afro-Caribbean descent. "Caracol" is Spanish for "conch, snail or shell", and relates the people of the Bay Islands to their unique environment and their seafaring culture. In its current usage, the term "caracol" refers to all people born in the Bay Islands region, and their descendants. The term "caracol" has also been deemed offensive by native Islanders and the term is only used by Spanish-speaking "mainland" Hondurans who have a long-standing rivalry with native Bay Islanders because of their differences in culture, language, beliefs and ideals. All native islanders regardless of race, creed or colour prefer the term "Islanders" when being referred to. The region of the Bay Islands encompasses the three major islands of Roatán, Útila and Guanaja, the Hog Islands as well as the smaller islands or cays. These people are also called "Islanders", especially locally.
English is the first language of native islanders regardless of race and Spanish is spoken second, whereas mainland Honduras is Spanish-speaking. It remains this way because of the islands' past as a British colony with descendants of the British Isles. With the steady influx of mainland Hondurans migrating to the islands, Spanish language use has increased. Because of the tourism and cruise ship industry that supports the islands, English continues to be the first spoken and dominant language among all native island peoples. Over time, the form of English spoken by the Caracol has changed. The language differs mostly in morphology but also in pronunciation and accent and, to a lesser extent, in syntax and vocabulary, from the English of the other British Caribbean colonies, as evidenced by the usage of a wide variety of old standard English terms and words throughout the islands. They are similar enough to be mutually intelligible and understood throughout the entire Bay Islands. The language can also be learned, although it is not taught in the general sense, whilst the accent derives from the wide variety of expatriates living and working on the Islands from North America and Europe.
View from Big Bight over the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, 2nd largest barrier reef in the world
Roatán Island Agouti-Dasyprocta ruatanica
Roatán lies on the southern edge of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world. Reef systems are very delicate and have experienced massive damage and degradation worldwide. On Roatán, unchecked tourism development and an increased population are putting a strain on its natural resources. Deforestation, run-off, poorly managed waste treatment, and pollution are the main threats to the terrestrial and marine environments.
The capital city of Coxen Hole underwent a major reconstruction between the years of 2003 to 2005 adding new black water and septic lines as well as fresh water lines to accommodate the growing business sector and population. These lines are used in conjunction with the new water treatment plant and a waste management plant that recycles waste which are adjacent to the Roatán International Airport.
A similar project has been completed and now serving West End Village (the Island's tourism, social and diving hub) with even greater success than its predecessors. Although the project was initially met with some scepticism and anger at a tax hike proposed to help fund the project, it has turned out to be an overwhelming success with a new state of the art road, pumping station, sewer lines and drainage system. The project and its facilities are currently maintained and operated by ACME sanitation and solutions. It was not that long ago where "sanitation" was provided by hundreds of out-houses located at the ends of short boardwalks over the water. In the smaller communities, this "system" may be still in use.
The Roatán Marine Park was the main force behind introducing recycling to the Island as well as the popular "Coastal clean up" projects that have become very popular among schools, residents and expatriate communities on the Island. The Marine Park is led by a team of professional divers, marine biologists and oceanographers.
Roatán: Roatán Marine Park
The Roatán Marine Park (RMP) is a grassroots, community-based, non-profit organization located on Roatán. The organization was formed in January 2005 when a group of concerned dive operators and local businesses united in an effort to protect Roatán's fragile coral reefs. Initially, the RMP's goal was to run a patrol program within the Sandy Bay-West End Marine Reserve (SBWEMR), to prevent over exploitation through unsustainable fishing practices. Over time, the organisation expanded the scope of their environmental efforts through the addition of other programs to protect Roatán's natural resources, including patrols and infrastructure, education, conservation and public awareness.
Roatán: Roatán Institute of Marine Science
The Roatán Institute for Marine Sciences (RIMS) was established in 1989 with the primary objective being the preservation of Roatán's natural resources through education and research. RIMS is located in Sandy Bay, specifically in Anthony's key, in northwest coast of Roatán with over 30 miles of fringing and barrier reefs, seagrass beds, mangroves and shoreline. Over the past twenty five years, RIMS has established itself as a teaching institution and is visited by colleges as well as universities from abroad to study tropical marine ecosystems and the bottlenose dolphins.
All reef systems throughout the Bay Islands are protected by the local and central government with help from charitable donations and those on the front line. Through local donations to the Marine Park and the many causes along with a concerted effort from the resorts on the island weekly clean-ups are undertaken to insure no metals or plastics litter the reef system and beaches as well as all major dive shops doing clean-ups on most of their daily dives. There are still obstacles to be defeated but the Islanders and expatriates living on the islands have taken a united stand to conserve and educate.
The Juan Manuel Galvez International Airport (RTB) on Roatán is one of four airports able to receive international traffic that is in service in Honduras. The other airports in Honduras are the Ramon Villeda Morales International Airport (SPS) in San Pedro Sula, Toncontin International Airport (TGU) in Tegucigalpa, and Goloson International Airport in La Ceiba (LCE).
The island of Roatán airport has a terminal that is served with nonstop flights to Roatán from Houston, Atlanta, Miami, New York City (Newark International Airport), San Salvador and Milan. During the winter months, the island also receives flights to Roatán from Montreal and Toronto.
On 9 September 2011, EasySky started operations in Honduras, serving the mainland City of La Ceiba and the island of Roatán in the Western Caribbean using a Boeing 737-200.
Divers and a large Barrel Sponge
Diver exploring the El Aguila wreck
Divers and a large Brain Coral
Dolphins at AKR
A typical day in West Bay Roatán
West End Sunset
West End Beach
Roatan Institute of Deepsea Exploration
"The History of Roatan". bayislandsdiver.com.
"Roatan Institute for Marine Science (RIMS)". Anthony's Key. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
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Bay Islands Department
Capital: Coxen Hole
José Santos Guardiola
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