The news out of Honduras in recent years has focused more on political turmoil and drug-related violence than tourism growth.
But the developers behind the country’s first master-planned luxury beach and golf resort hope to begin changing that and start luring more travelers to the country early next year when the $133 million Indura Beach & Golf Resort opens on Tela Bay.
The resort is being developed along the 26-mile bay that used to be the bustling home of United Fruit Co., and for years the town of Tela has been a tourism destination.
The resort will feature 60 suites, a Gary Player designed 18-hole eco-sensitive golf course, a wellness sanctuary by spa company Espa and access to some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs, plus a biological corridor complete with monkeys, jaguars and the world’s largest botanical gardens. The operators of the resort call it a “frontier” destination.
Indura is a rare survivor of the double-whammy dealt to Honduran tourism: The recession and the political instability that followed.
It is the first property to open in a public-private partnership and multiyear project to turn 1,800 acres along the bay and a lagoon into what some had once touted as the next Cancun. Plans in 2008 for the project, formerly known as the Los Micos Beach and Golf Resort, included a Conrad and a Westin.
But like other plans at the time to bring a Raffles, St. Regis and Nikki Beach resort to Honduras, those fell to the wayside.
Kathleen Duda, a spokeswoman for Indura, says the company’s hope is that the opening of the resort area reenergize interest in Honduras as a destination and help the country heal.
"We are all aware of the challenges that we have to face. I don't think anyone is ignoring that aspect,” Duda said.
But, she said, developers are refocused on attracting more luxury hotels to Indura. “This really is the thing that is going to help turn the country around.”
The developers are currently re-focused on signing luxury hotel projects, she said.
“I think the entire idea behind this project ... is that this is really going to be landmark project for tourism in the country,” Duda said.
Patrick Goddard, COO of Trust Hospitality of Miami, which will manage the resort, said the company is “extremely proud to be in a position to showcase one of the most naturally beautiful destinations in the world."
“Latin America has been a focus for [Trust Hospitality] for almost five years and an important component of our growth strategy," he said. "The addition of Indura shows our commitment to that strategy and our belief in the Tela Bay area of Honduras as an emerging destination.”