After turning down the nice Dutch lady's generous offer to sleep on her floor, and for only $7.00 too, I was still stuck without a place to stay for the night in Omoa.
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I soon tired of tramping up and down the beach checking out the various dumps, er excuse me budget hotels and back packer hostels. The sun was well up, and the damn pack wasn't getting any lighter. Besides the inviting beach and warm refreshing waters of the Caribbean were mere steps away and very tantalising. I also wouldn't have minded a beer or two or six.
I eventually tramped back to where I had first started on the beach. There right where the main road intersects with the run that runs along the shore was Pia's Place where there had been no room at the inn that is unless you were counting the floor. Directly across from it though and right on the beach was another place, the Hotel y Restaurante Flamingo.
It was this place that I'd first noted when I strolled into town. Actually it was their sign, which is rather prominent. There were several things about the sign that I noticed.
First and foremost were the words noting hot water and private baths. Right beside that was the information that the rooms were airconditioned. Below that, although not quite as important was the fact that there was satellite TV and breakfast included. Finally there those famous symbols I love to see when the nearest bank is miles away, VISA and AMEX accepted.
It took me about ten seconds to make up my mind. Ten minutes later I was unpacking in my very own room, having first checked that all those advertised amenities were not the figment of some sign painter's optimistic imagination and that they all worked. Soon after I hit that all too tempting beach, I also managed to find the bar on the way out and deal with that little beer withdrawal problem. Actually I found it on the way up to my room. I've long since perfected the art of opening a door with my pack on my back and a couple of bottles cradled in my arms.
The hotel is at the south end of the beach; turn left when coming in from the main road. It is the newest and most upscale place in the village. Singles cost a very reasonable 450 Lempiras or $30.00 US per night including a full American style breakfast. I was however able to negotiate a deal for 400 Lempiras per night for two nights.
That was probably because it was slow season and mid week. It's probably a good idea to make reservations if you intend on staying in the high season and/or over a weekend. San Pedro Sula, Honduras' second largest city is less than two hours away, and Omoa is the closest beach. The village does tend to get crowded on weekends.
There are only ten rooms, two with ocean views. Rooms a fair size and painted bright, colourful pastel colours. As noted they're equipped with air conditioning, cable TV and hot water with good pressure. Really, really, hot water I should add.
There is a bar and a full service kitchen, although aside from the breakfast I didn't eat here. There are just too many great little places to eat in Omoa literally steps away.
There is also a large open balcony type dining room that overlooks the beach. It is a popular place to rent out for weddings, and other parties. While I was there it was being set up for a birthday party.
While most of the rooms don't face the ocean, there is a large covered veranda that does. This is the perfect place to watch the sun set. Yes that's right I said the sunset. Even though you're on the Caribbean side of Honduras, Omoa is one of the few places one can watch he sun set into the ocean.
Omoa and nearby Puerto Cortes actually sit on a peninsula that juts out into the Caribbean. Both towns therefore face west, not east as one would think. The sun sets over the bay, part of the Gulf of Honduras. The mountains that frame this spectacular sunset are actually in Guatemala and Belize to the north.
A Colombian couple, Juan and Diomar, runs the place. Both of them lived several years in the US and speak excellent English. The hotel accepts Visa and Amex credit cards as the side says and with no extra or hidden charges. There are no in room safes, but Juan will lock up Passports and other valuables in the office safe if needed.
I spent the better part of three days and two nights in Omoa. To be honest I was rather reluctant to leave. For a few minutes I considered staying for the whole two weeks and then quickly retracing my steps back up to Belize City when it was time to catch my flight home. It was only the lure of the sights yet to see that drove me down the road to the highway again. That it was so hard to leave there was in part due to the service and comfort of Hotel y Restaurante Flamingo
Hotel y Restaurante Flamingo Omoa, Puerto Cortes Honduras CA
Tel: 658-9199 Fax: 658-9288
NOTE: I originally wrote and posted this review on February 5, 2002 in the Honduras category. Later after much badgering of the CLs by moi, they managed to get this great little place added to the database. After waiting over 6 months and with more than one e-mail sent in, epinions has yet to transfer it over. I didnt want to delete and repost it, but it appears that is the only option. As comments are the icing on the cake on a good review, or conversely one Ive penned, for your retro amusement I have included all the original comments below.
Finally FYI there were 41 member hits (all VH) and 294 total hits with a whopping 56 cents in income share earned at time of deletion.
Hot Water? by Granniemose Feb 06'02 4:03 pm PST
That must have been heaven. And the sunset - It's too bad your lady couldn't have joined you for that, if only for the night. Myself, I am the type of person who rarely cries - not at movies or books, or even at real life, but the sight of a beautiful sunset will do it to me every time. (Of course, I cry oftener the older I get. I also swear more - and enjoy it less)
Sounds like an interesting trip! by Yzerman Feb 14'02 6:50 pm PST
I just bought a book on Central America that covers Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvadore and Belize, so it is interesting to read your reviews of this area. I adopted a little girl from Guatemala five months ago, so I have been eager to learn more about Central America. We also have an intern at work who is from Belize and she has been a wealth of information.
Good job on the review!
Re: Hot Water? by JAMES23 Feb 17'02 9:32 pm PST
Yeah it just wasn't the hot water that made me reluctant to leave. The second night I was on the beach with my camera o catch the sunset. a French/Algerian backpacker came up and the two of us just stood there and watched it. It left us speechless and I almost forgot to get the pictures.
Re: Sounds like an interesting trip! by JAMES23 Feb 17 '02
9:34 am PST
Stay tuned, there's about 4-5 more reviews I want to do about this trip. Then again I once said that about Cuba, and I think I'm over 50 there now.
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