For romancing the reef, as well as your significant other, the Luna Beach Resort on the northwest corner of Roatan is perfect. Fashioned primarily of Honduran hardwoods, this casually elegant diver's retreat descends from a verdant, jungle-covered hillside onto a spectacular, sprawling beach. The scenery is idyllic, the location ideal. No mere sliver of sand, the beach borders the crystal lagoon of West End Bay for nearly a mile. A short walk east of the resort will lead you to the rustic tourist village of West End and its strip of craft shops, funky bars, and seaside restaurants.
The long, narrow island of Roatan is fringed by a nearly continuous, coast-hugging reef. From Luna Beach's position, at the west end of West End, it's only a mile or so to the tip of the island, both coasts are easily accessible. The resort's 47-foot custom dive boat can reach more than 40 named dive sites within three to 15 minutes from the dock. Many of these sites are among the best dives in Roatan.
Along the north side to the east is Peter's Place, which combines a middepth plateau with a plunging wall. The plateau often harbors up to seven species of groupers and hinds. The wall sprouts buff-tube sponges, azure-vase sponges, and groves of deepwater fans.
Also to the east are two exceptional shipwrecks. El Aguila is a huge, fish-filled cargo ship, broken in half and angled down a sloping sand wall. Even larger is Odyssey, an intact, upright freighter that features a five-level superstructure more than 90 feet tall.
Many lush reef sites are found to the west along West Bay and Tabyana Beach. Late spring and early summer is turtle time; as many as three or four hawksbills can be found at any of these sites on a single dive.
The western tip of the island narrows to a rocky point. Here, along the south coast wall, is Herbie's Place, one of the most exciting dive sites in Roatan. Normally bathed in current, this is a mixing bowl where large groupers, huge turtles, and schools of jacks, barracuda and spadefish abound.
The picture-perfect Luna Beach Resort provides a variety of air-conditioned accommodations divided into spacious oceanfront beach suites and tropical houses with up to four bedrooms and four baths. Owner-builder Chuck Aderle says singles, families and groups can find their personal paradise. Accommodations, nature walkways, a restaurant, bars, a spacious freshwater pool, a sun deck, a PADI dive center and a dock are all connected. Saturday is party night, when a sound and light system attracts locals and tourists throughout the island. The Temptation Island reality-TV program recently filmed here and chose Luna Beach Resort as the perfect romantic hideaway.