Palma Real Hotel La Ceiba
Average rate: $142 - Hotel class: 3 stars
Km 20 Carretera La Ceiba, La Ceiba, Honduras
Palma Real Hotel La Ceiba Reviews
Poor All Inclusive - Stay at your own risk! Apr 19, 2011
On arrival at the La Ceiba airport, the guests were herded together like cattle by tour rep's, loaded onto a bus and drove with armed police escort trucks (in front of and behind the bus) about 45 min's to the resort.
The property itself is pretty small by Caribbean standards; Just under 200 rooms, in 2 sections, separated by about a 5 min walk. A tractor-drawn passenger shuttle runs between the 2 (Palma Real & Carib) lobbies at regular intervals. This takes longer than walking as it takes a different route.
We stayed in a villa for 1 week: 2 bdrm, 1 bath. Good sized and clean, overall. Musky smelling from humidty and non-use, I guess. It had a kitchen, living room with sofas and a TV, and a dining room area. Good layout, really. Full-sized tub. Bad shower head but decent hot water. A resident gecko lived behind the mirror in the bathroom that scared the hell out of me the first morning. (SURPRISE...It's a lizard!)
There were 2 pools off the main lobby with a full-bar, pool table, outdoor sofas, loungers & umbrellas, snack bar and performance area. Another pool with fountain in the villas section, and also a pool in the Caribe section of the resort.
The ocean was murky-brown, pretty choppy all the time, and there are several garbage littered streams that run into the sea in the immediate area. The water was warm, but there were never that many people in the water for obvious reasons: It just wasn't that inviting. Bring your own beach towels and save the possible hassles of trying to get them from the "towel hut".
Deserted beach for miles in either direction...but lots of garbage around...It may not have been safe to leave the property for a stroll, but we did anyways.
The resort's buffet was very small, and seemed to be 'ground zero' for the stomach flu that afflicted the guests. The guests were ALL sick! For most, it was like: Sudden queazynesss, followed by diarrhea plus maybe some vommiting & some even had fevers n' chills for even more holiday fun. Some for more than 1 day. Yup. Good times. As it turned out, everyone had picked up a rotavirus on the property.
We practised general "smart traveler eating abroad" rules, but like many others, fell victim to the bug. This made for a memorably poor experience for my wife & I.
Not the cleanest of grounds overall with garbage and fallen palm leaves lying around. Some dangerous metal grills in pathways to walk on.
The 2 tennis courts were in pretty poor condition: Ripped nets, torn, rusty chain link fences. Decayed court surface. Nice mountain view though. Right beside a small cow pasture with cows watching the action.
The staff were all very friendly, but sanitation conditions in the restaurant really need to be improved. Tables were cleaned with dirty cloths, and dishes & glasses regularly looked unclean. The staff let locals change their babies' diapers right on the tables...and then guests would sit down and eat! I'm not even kidding!
All the meat was overcooked and heavily salted. There were regularly empty food trays. Long lines of people queuing up to get more helpings of the regular poop-making poison-offerings called "breakfast, lunch & dinner" before it ran out...Which it usually did.
'Muy gracias', Palma Real! We won't soon forget you!
The on-site store ran out of immodium & diarrhea med's. I can laugh about it now, but it was *not* funny at the time.
The power was fully out in the villas and parts of the hotel from 8AM to 4PM on 2 different days in 7, and also cut out briefly during our dinner at the "Asiatic" restaurant on our final night; leaving us all in the pitch dark for a few minutes at a time. This restaurant was nearly empty because most of the guests were eating nothing but bread and water for dinners at that point.
All told, we had a bad experience at Palma Real, but it does have a lot of potential to be good, with some effort, better sanitary guidelines and renovation. My advice? If you're going to Honduras for some sun & fun: Stay somewhere else!
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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