After going back to diving full-time, my body was exhausted and sore after a few months back in the water (hey, I had been out of practice for a while!). Luckily for me, my friend Mariela Garcia suggested that I spend a day at her wellness center in French Harbor.
Sundara Wellness Center follows an organic and healing philosophy, and it certainly showed in the serene setting, caring staff, and natural products. I loved that this tiny little spa (it could literally fit inside my current apartment) was a little oasis after the craziness of driving from West End to French Harbor.
I was so excited about a spa day that I managed to forget my camera at home. You’ll have to excuse the iPhone photos!
The interior is very zen and calming, and the two therapists, Jasmine and Kathy were welcoming and warm. Straight away I was ushered into a chair, given tea and spa paperwork to fill out. They explained that my wellness day at the spa would include a one-hour Swedish massage, as well as one of their signature organic facials, which Kathy would decide on after assessing my skin.
Jasmine took me into one of the tiny but well-appointed treatment rooms, and got me ready for my massage. The room was the perfect temperature and very cozy.
Kathy came in and after assessing my skin, decided on the ‘Going Bananas’ facial (see complete list of services here) as my face has been going absolutely crazy since getting back into diving – I recently had a doctor here diagnose me with a ‘salt water allergy’ but I think that’s made up – and this facial is designed to soothe and is anti-bacterial. It has fresh bananas in it and smelled delicious! It included a sugar scrub too, and my skin was glowing afterward.
Right after the facial, the massage began. I told Kathy to go ahead and beat me up because I was so sore…. and she did, in the best way! I had a dreamy hour punctuated by telling Kathy “more” every time she asked about the pressure. I noticed that she spent more time on my shoulders and upper back, which I appreciated since I had written that on my paperwork and told her that was a problem area. I have had a lot of massages where you tell them the spots that are bugging you but they don’t focus on it at all.
It was pretty difficult to keep myself awake once Kathy finished, but I managed to get back out to the reception area where Kathy and Jasmine greeted me with smiles and a bottle of water.
I had a wonderful experience at Sundara Wellness Center and would recommend it to anyone visiting or living on Roatan. It is a lot different from the big spas at the resorts where sometimes you feel like your therapist is just doing their job. I felt really well cared for at Sundara, and that Kathy & Jasmine were incredibly focused on making sure I was relaxed and enjoying my treatments in the cozy space. I’ll be back!
What you need to know:
- reservations are recommended – contact Sundara here.
- follow them on Facebook for access to fantastic specials that change weekly!
- if you’re not familiar with the island, French Harbor (where Sundara is located) is about a 40-45 minute ride from West End or close to an hour from West Bay, depending on traffic. A direct private taxi will cost you the same as renting a car. They do mobile service, so have them come to your hotel or home if you’re not up for the drive!
- please remember that tips are always appreciated by service staff on the island. If you plan on paying cash for tips (or anything else on Roatan) please bring new bills if you want to use USD – our banks here will not accept ripped, old or written-on US bills, which in turn means the businesses here won’t accept them either.
- make sure to let them know Rika sent you 🙂
Rika’s Rating: highly recommended! Loved it and will be back! Great option especially for those staying on the east side of the island.
Sundara generously hosted my day so that I could write a review. No matter who is paying the tab, rest assured that you’ll always get an honest review here!