The newly renovated Lighthouse Hotel (tel. 504/425-3164 www.utilalighthouse.com , US$50 s, US$65 d) is a great addition to Utila ’s hotel scene. Built on a pier over the water, the rooms are classy, with ivory wood-paneled walls, blonde wood furniture, and sliding glass doors that maximize light. A couple of rooms command spectacular views of the harbor. Amenities include TV, air-conditioning, a sink and microwave, and a wireless Internet hotspot by the hotel office. There are also two smaller rooms in the building that houses the hotel office with four bunks each, for US$40 a night. Native Utilian Owen O’Niel and his Louisiana wife, Thelma Bodden, go out of their way to ensure that each guest has a wonderful visit to the island.
Colibri Hill Resort (tel. 504/425-3329, www.colibri-hotel.com , US$45 s, US$50 d, US$10 off during low season) is a bit of a mixed bag. Really simply a hotel rather than a resort, the property does have a small swimming pool, and a three-story building with attractive rooms for reasonable prices. Details, however, are often overlooked; at our visit the shower curtain was moldy, and a window shade was missing from one of the guest rooms. Although it’s only 10 minutes from the center of town, the last stretch of road can be deserted at night, with the final block down a street without lighting (bring a flashlight!).
Two blocks along Cola de Mico Road, the cabins, buildings, and swimming pool of the Mango Inn (tel. 504/425-3335, www.mango-inn.com , US$55–150 depending on the size and furnishings of room, US$5–20 off during low season) are set in a lush garden, with palm trees and flowers lining brick paths. The cabins are very nice, with tasteful decorations and details like purified water and a coffee maker in the room. The deluxe and standard rooms are a little older, but still pleasant. A few rooms have been converted into dorms, which can fill with divers from Utila Dive Centre , but if there’s a space free, it goes for US$10 a night. The shared bathrooms have cold water only, at least for now, but they’re clean, as are the dorms, and it’s the only dorm with access to a pool. The restaurant, Mango Café , is run by an Italian expat and serves pizza and pasta, among other things.
A most exceptional array of accommodations, certainly out of the ordinary, is found at Nightland Cabins at Jade Seahorse (tel. 504/425-3270, www.jadeseahorse.com , US$100 s/d, US$25 off during low season), located behind the Jade Seahorse restaurant on Cola de Mico Road. Six fantastical cabins with twisted roofs, multicolored windows, carved wood accents, and mosaics in every nook and cranny are tucked into a tropical garden with various octagonal wooden decks, mosaic archways, brick and wood bridges, and gazebos with seating areas. All the rooms have a different color scheme and theme (Shangrila, Mona Lisa, Cama Sutra, Dalai Lama). One of the cabins even has a rooftop porch with views out to the sea. All come with air-conditioning, hot water, refrigerator, and (essential in the rainy season) umbrella.