One of the best values in La Ceiba  for this price range is the Gran Hotel Ceiba (tel. 504/443-2737, hotelceiba [at] hotmail [dot] com, US$28 s, US$33 d), about halfway between the central square and the waterfront. Rooms are spacious and clean, some have balconies, and all have a desk, a TV, air-conditioning, and a mini-fridge. There is a nice little restaurant in the hotel, open 6 a.m.–10 p.m. Note to families with babies: Cribs are available here.
Another very good option, popular with middle-class Hondurans and tourists alike, is Hotel Iberia (Av. San Isidro between 5 and 6 Calles, tel. 504/443-0401, US$30.50 s, US$37 d). Rooms are nice, with decent furniture and some with a balcony, and all with air-conditioning and cable TV. The doubles are spacious.
There’s not much to choose from near the airport, but if you have an early flight, many recommend Rainbow Village (tel. 504/408-5696, www.hotel-rainbow-village.com , US$32 s, US$43–54), which is also known for the Sunday buffet at its German restaurant. Five cottages have two bedrooms each (it’s possible to rent just one of the bedrooms), a kitchen, and a living/dining area, and there’s a swimming pool on the grounds.
The Hotel Olas del Mar (tel. 504/440-1851, US$27 s, US$36 d) is the only beachfront hotel west of the estuary, but mysteriously doesn’t capitalize on its location, and none of the 17 rooms have views. A few do have wireless Internet or king-sized beds, and they are reasonably clean, unlike the beach they ought to overlook.
In a quieter part of town, four blocks south of the center, is La Posada Catracha (Av. San Isidro between 13 and 14 Calles, tel. 504/440-2022, US$18 s, US$32 d), with nice furniture and clean bathrooms, as well as air-conditioning, TV, and wireless Internet. Rooms go for almost half if you don’t use the air-conditioning. Don’t let the overbearing owner put you off.
Over in Barrio La Isla, a recent addition to the hotel scene is the good value Hotel Costa Dorada (Av. La Bastilla, between 1 and 2 Calles, tel. 504/442-2158, www.hotelcostadoradahn.com , US$26 s, US$29 d), which is close to the nighttime action. All rooms have TV and air-conditioning, and laundry service is available. Rooms with four bunks are available for just a few dollars more, a fantastic deal for groups of backpackers.
Also relatively new, and a step up, is the Hotel Versalles (tel. 504/440-2405, US$42 s/d), opposite Mango Tango. All rooms have two double beds, a mini-fridge, air-conditioning, and TV, and the furnishings are nice, if a little baroque-ish. The hotel has a swimming pool; a bar and suites are reputed to be in the works.
A third midrange option in the Barrio La Isla (zona viva) is Hotel Paraiso (tel. 504/443-3535, tuhotelparaiso [at] yahoo [dot] com, US$28 s, US$37 d, cold water only), a bright yellow hotel with sunshine walls, Formica floors, and simple rooms. The hotel is a few blocks from the beach action, but it has a great Asian restaurant on-site. Furnished and unfurnished apartments are also available, for about US$315/month.
Out on the highway near the mall is the new Posada La Caribe (US$31 s, US$46 d), with slightly spartan rooms. Suites with either two queen beds or one king are US$55. All rooms have TV and air-conditioning, and some have mini-fridges. The hotel has a decent restaurant open 6 a.m.–9 p.m. daily.