Saturday, July 16, 2011

Day 3 in Honduras- tourist day

Today we were on a mission to see the Honduran culture and visit the locations where our adoptive families will stay while they finalize their adoption. We first went to the Valley of Angels, a city about 30 minutes from Tegucigalpa. In the afternoon we visited two bed and breakfasts and 2 hotels. I will give you my personal opinion of each of the locations and what I liked and didn’t like. First, let’s talk about Honduran culture!
Many Hondurans understand English. Even if they aren’t able to speak English, they understand what you are saying. They show many US TV shows and the radio plays tons of American music. Some of the TV shows and channels I saw in the TV Guide are America’s Got Talent, Top Chef, The Defenders, America’s Next top Model, the E! Chanel, Disney Chanel, FOX, CNN, Nickelodeon, vh1, Royal Pains, Big Bang Theory, Rules of Engagement, Bones, Friends, etc. All of these shows are in English. All cartoons are dubbed into Spanish. People are typically well dressed. I have not seen one single Honduran in sweat pants, shorts, or t shirts. Casual attire is jeans, a nice shirt, and flats. Hondurans are welcoming of Americans. There are many groups from the US that come to volunteer in Honduras so they are used to have Americans in the city. Driving in Honduras is an adventure. I think there are 3 stop lights in the city. I’m sure there are more, but in a city of 2 million I had expected more. At intersections cars just seem to know where to go and honk at other cars as a warning that they are passing through. The roads are very narrow. Taxis and buses stop wherever they please so it’s almost an obstacle course navigating through the streets. At the stop lights there are people selling items or performers.
The weather has been great. It’s in the high 70’s during the day and cool at night. Today it rained for the first time in the evening. Hondurans love their pizza! There is Pizza Hut, Little Caesar’s, and Dominoes. They also have Popeyes, Chili’s, Burger King, Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, TGI Friday’s, and Denny’s. The first day we had lunch at a Honduran restaurant called CafĂ© Honore which was excellent! The service was great, atmosphere was fun and friendly, and the food was amazing! The Honduran food has all been wonderful! I’m definitely going to check out the Honduran restaurant in Fort Worth when I get back. What I don’t like about Tegucigalpa is that there no parks or public playgrounds where families can take their children. There is play area in the mall and a children’s museum.

Portal de Angel bed and breakfast – they had 24 rooms and bilingual staff. It was a pretty standard bed and breakfast. There are a couple restaurants one block over as well as a great bakery. The restaurant is open from 6am to 10pm. Wifi and breakfast are included in the cost.

Humuya Inn suites and apartments- they offer a great rate for a month long stay in a suite with a living room, bedroom, and full kitchen. The apartments are large and can accommodate large families. The downside is that they don’t have an elevator or a pool. They are located in a good area, but there is nothing nearby. They have a restaurant open 630am to 9pm, laundry service, massage, and gym. Wifi and breakfast are included in the cost.

Clarion Hotel- Centrally located hotel with a great rate for adoptive parents. Wifi is an added expense, but breakfast is included. They have a spa, pool, gym, and small business center. Across the street is Burger King, Denny’s, Chili’s, and McDonalds which I believe all have free wifi.

Intercontinental Hotel- By far this was my favorite hotel, but it is also the most expensive. They have given us a discount for our adoptive families, but it is still significantly more expensive than the Clarion. There are 3 restaurants located in the hotel in additional to a gym, spa, pool and children’s pool, souvenir shop, and business center. On the executive floor there is a second lobby/lounge area where guests staying on the floor can enjoy coffee and happy hour. The Intercontinental is located directly across the street from the mall. There are many retail stores and restaurants in the mall as well as a grocery store. The downside to the hotel is that their standard rooms can only accommodate 4 people: 2 adults and 2 children under 12 years of age. The junior suites can only accommodate 5 people. Wifi and breakfast are included in the costs. The staff was all extremely friendly and spoke perfect English.

The Marriott is located in the same general area as the Intercontinental and the Clarion. All 3 are located just minutes from IHNFA. We did not go by the Marriott, but according to our tour guide at the Intercontinental the building is better than the Intercontinental, but their food and service don’t compare. The Marriott is located next door to the Presidential Palace. The only downside to the Marriott is that when there are strikes or political demonstrations at the Presidential Palace the road to the Marriott is closed. Families staying at the hotel are still able to come and go, but there is the added inconvenience of explaining the police who have the road blocked off why you need to enter or exit.

I have had a great time in Honduras and would definitely come back again!
Stairs at the Humuya Inn
View of the mall from the IntercontinentalPool at Intercontinental

1 comment:

  1. So we can stay in whatever hotel we want?