There’s only one place I recommend to travelers looking for the absolute ultimate in luxury during their stay on Roatan, and that’s Barefoot Cay Resort. A private cay? A gourmet restaurant only open to resort guests? The highest staff-to-guest ratio around? A spa, marina and private palapa + house reef? A 5-star PADI dive shop on site with high-end gear, boats and facilities? Yes, please!
Barefoot Cay is a four-acre private cay on the south shore of Roatan. With the dive shop + gorgeous loft accommodations on the shore side, plus luxury villa accommodations and the pool, restaurant, marina and palapa on the cay, this little jewel is as private as it gets – one of the reasons celebrity visitors and major Central American politicians can be spotted here during their time on Roatan.
When I had the opportunity to stay in one of the villas with the lovely Alex, I jumped at the chance! When we arrived at the resort we quickly completed the check-in process and were given bracelets that showed we were resort guests – non-guests are not allowed to cross over on the barge to the private cay. We felt very important!
Obviously, the first thing we had to do upon settling in was celebrate on our deck with a boozy Caribbean welcome cocktail. (Duh!)
After relaxing and taking in the view of the sea, we got to work dutifully exploring and photographing and Instagramming our beautiful suite. I managed to lose every single photo I took on my real camera because I am awesome, so please excuse the iPhone photos. You can check out Alex’s post for some fantastic pics that she snapped.
I loved the decor and the kitchen that was better-equipped than my own at home! (Not that we used it – read on for more about the food – but on a longer stay I would have loved to cook in it.) I’d have to say my favorite part of the villa was the bathroom. I’ve been ‘nice-bathroom-deprived’ ever since I moved to Roatan, and this one was such a treat. Big fluffy towels, L’Occitane en Provance toiletries and the biggest walk-in shower with a bench and a screened skylight… so fancy!
We did spend some time in the room, with Alex working at the built-in desk and me lounging on the deck or trying to watch documentaries on the Apple TV + Netflix without falling asleep in the comfy beds (note: not much success). But for the most part, we spent our time in the water, whether it was at the pool, the private palapa and house reef, or underwater with the dive shop. Can you blame us?
We had a couple amazing dives with Barefoot Divers one morning. This shop provides valet dive service, so we pretty much just rolled out of bed and onto the boat where all our gear was set up for us. Short rides to the sites were a bonus, and Roatan’s signature dive site, Mary’s Place, is right at Barefoot’s front door. If you want to see some pretty pictures of seahorses, dolphins, squid, and me (!), have a peruse through Alex’s rundown of our dives.
When we weren’t in the water we were eating – we ended up eating all our meals at the resort. We could have gone off-site but it was so convenient and the food was amazing (Alex got hooked on the Barefoot Salad and ordered it for pretty much every meal!) so we stayed put. All my meals were delicious, prepared and presented well and I loved the selection. My favorite was this epic shrimp and grits that I had for breakfast on the last day:
The dining room was friendly and had a nice calm atmosphere. I really liked the cheerful and colorful Caribbean decorations. Service was impeccable, and that is seriously tough to find on this island. Major kudos to the staff and management for training and expecting a high level of service.
All in all, this resort is perfect for anyone looking for a quiet, private, stunning getaway. It would be great for a small intimate destination wedding, or a honeymoon/anniversary, solo retreat or a relaxed dive trip. (It wouldn’t be my first choice for people looking for a lot of nightlife [try West End], or families with noisy kids who need a lot of entertainment [try West Bay].)
When you email the resort, all the staff signatures have “It’s a great day at Barefoot Cay!” on them, and I couldn’t agree more. This is such a lovely little gem and I highly recommend this resort. Thanks Barefoot!
Disclosure: many readers know I had a professional involvement with Barefoot Cay/Barefoot Divers until 2014. However, all opinions are my own and Barefoot Cay/Barefoot Divers did not ask me for a review and they will probably be surprised by this 🙂 This review is based on a stay in 2015 that I tagged along with Alex for, and the lodging was generously hosted by Barefoot Cay. Barefoot Divers also hosted Alex for diving but since I did all my training with them back in the day, I dive gratis there. We took care of our (fantastic) meals, (delicious) drinks and (well-earned) tips. You can check out Alex’s version of the events here and here. You guys know by now that I say whatever I think no matter who is taking care of the bill. Cheers to the Barefoot crew – keep up the good work!