Had a nice time
Arrival: We are well seasoned travellers. Visited Roatan for the first time in mid Feb for 2 wks. Bus ride on very windy roads took 30 mins, up and down the mountain you go. Roatan is not your typical Dominican Republic, Cuba, Jamaica etc kind of island. Tiny airport with no duty free shop. No glitz and glam resorts here, but you do get basic comforts. Paradise Beach is a very small hotel, and very clean. All or most of the rooms have been renovated and are nicely appointed. Nicely landscaped with trees and garden plants everywhere, giving you the feeling of being in a little jungle. Paradise Oceanic Hotel (sister resort) guests use the same restaurants, beach and services.
Rooms: Room was very nice, big night table dresser drawers; however a regular dresser would come in handy as the shelves in the closet are up high. Bathroom had 2 nice sized drawers. Everything worked well, but we did need a new door lock. Ran out of toilet paper once. Very well insulated walls, but did hear everything outside through patio door. Provided with 2 bottles of water, no fridge replenishing as your bottles are to be refilled at the bars. Lots of good lighting. Beds are extremely firm. Our maid Jenny did a good job looking after us. Luggage arrives separately by truck, is interesting to watch them loading it.
Restaurants and Bars: We only ate at the buffet. Very pleased with selection and quality of all foods, and also their temperatures. Contrary to previous reviews on 2 other sites, any previous negative food issues have now been addressed and corrected. Neither of us was sick. Some hot items, especially meats, could be individually identified as to what is in which pan because sometimes we were not sure. This would also help keep food hotter as not everyone would lift a lid on an item they are not fond of. We wish some food items were available from the beach bar at lunch time for those of us who travel under the AI Sunwing package. This way we would not need to change out of our wet suits to go eat at the buffet. We were able to order from the bar, but had to pay extra for those meals. All AI meals are taken at the buffet restaurant. Allowed one a-la-carte meal per week at either Il Pomodoro/Pizza, or Aqua/seafood restaurants. You can have any drink you desire, however not all of them are part of the AI package. Beer and pop come in glass bottles. You can always wander up or down the beach and have a meal or drink elsewhere.
Beach/Pools/Grounds: Beach is beautiful. Some shade from trees and palapas. Chairs are hard plastic, and very uncomfortable. Good idea to bring some sort of cushioning or yoga mat. Water shoes not required for the most part. Excellent snorkeling, but watch out for jelly fish. Juan, the security guard, will do a fine job keeping an eye on your belongings while you go for a walk or a swim. Nice easy walk down to the rock wall, or a bit longer walk in the other direction. Lots of people traffic, and it gets much worse on cruise ship days from Tue to Fri. No-see-um sand fleas, this is where we had a problem, approx 25-30 bites each. This was despite staying off beach at the worst times. Sprayed bug spray over sunscreen, but don’t think it did anything to protect us. Were very itchy (few bites are still itchy 2 wks after returning home), and drug store itch cream did nothing to relieve it. Their cactus juice cream was also not very effective in preventing bites.
Other Comments: Shopping, you don’t even have to stand up from your chair as everything from jewellery to t-shirts to mahogany to cotton candy and ice cream will be paraded in front of you. Beach vendors walk up and down the beach all day long, and yes they will bother you even if you are ignoring them. The worst are the women offering massages. They all get more aggressive on cruise ship days. Make sure to buy from the “banana donuts” chap. His wife makes delicious homemade donuts at a cost of 3 for $5. Carlos, a beach vendor set up at the pathway/alley to the Paradise Oceanic Hotel has some very nice jewellery and wooden items. A nice young couple from Alberta own and operate the Java Vine, a coffee and wine bar just outside the hotel entrance, to your left in a little plaza. Service was excellent from everyone. They are a group of hardworking smiling folks. English is spoken by most. Very much enjoyed our holiday. We plan on returning next year!