I was in back in Trujillo this past weekend. This was the first time in at least 4 years since I was here and there are many interesting changes. I am happy to say that the CA13 highway was in better shape than I expected. The section between La Ceiba and Jutiapa was the worst by far. As always, I suggest you stay off Honduran highways after dark. Many of the roads lack any signs, and its hard to see the potholes. I took me almost 2 1/2 hours to travel between La Ceiba and Trujillo. If you are taking a bus, Cotraipbal offers the best service between these two cities.
The Villa Brinkley Hotel: an Icon in Trujillo
My first stop was at the old Villa Brinkley Hotel. It is under new management by a Costa Rican family. They are doing a great job at reviving one of the most unique hotels in Central America. The Villa Brinkley offers the best view in Central America. The hotel sits up high on the edge of the Capiro y Calentura National Park in Trujillo. From there, it offers a commanding view of the Bay of Trujillo and Guaymoreto Lagoon. On a clear day, you can see the Bay Islands of Guanaja and Roatan, as well as the Cayos Cochinos.
The Villa Brinkley opened it doors in 1987. This means it has been around for 30 years. Back then, Trujillo was bustling with activity as a result of the cold war. Nicaragua had fallen to the Sandinista Revolution. The Reagan Administration was bent on running them out of Nicaragua. The Contra’s Strategy came together in Honduras, and there was a strong presence of US armed forces and intelligence in Trujillo. The Villas Brinkley was THE place in town back in those days.
Was the Villa Brinkley Hotel the First Boutique Hotel in Honduras?
In many ways, the Villas Brinkley Hotel was a Boutique Hotel before the concept became a trend. Each room has unique hand carved doors and panels. They are all different and made out of the best wood in the World: Honduran Mahogany. The architecture is a combination of colonial elements mixed in with medieval, castle like building elements. Bathroom floor tiles are handmade with Mayan reliefs, an interesting touch. Each room is different and has its own unique charm and views. The old pool in the central courtyard is now an attractive turtle pond. The pool sits out overlooking the Bay of Trujillo in front of the restaurant. The best view from the hotel is probably from the comfort of the open air restaurant.
Besides the great view, the restaurant is serving some of the best food in Trujillo. The menu is short, but includes burgers, fish and other seafood platters. Quality is outstanding, and service is reliable; a commodity that is hard to come by in Trujillo. Best of all are the affordable prices in all the items of the menu. A full service international bar is also available.
Renovations in the rooms include new mini split air-conditioning units in the rooms. Flat screen TV sets with cable TV service are in each room. Of course, all the walls have been painted. In many cases, the bathroom furniture is new. The extra large showers offer plenty of hot water and cold water for a relaxing shower. Although the hotel is not back to new, the service is probably better that it ever was. At the same time, the rooms are better than they have been in the last decade. I found my stay at Hotel Colonial Villa Brinkley pleasant and comfortable. I will be back soon.
Good Things are Happening in Trujillo!
Besides to the renovations at the Villa Brinkley, I must say that as a whole, I found Trujillo quite improved. A nice pedestrian street is inviting. Several new businesses have opened up along this street. The Parque Colon is clean and attractive, as are the gardens around the Municipal Town Hall. I was happy to find some time to chat with my old friend Jon Tompson at his restaurant Café Vino Tinto. The restaurant offers one of the best views in Trujillo. (The view at Villas Brinkley is better, but his is hard to match). His restaurant is one of the best restaurants in Trujillo. He offers outstanding pizzas cooked in his wood oven.
My friend Jon is the best source of local tourist info in Trujillo and surroundings. This includes the Moskito coast, as well as the Garifuna Villages at Guadalupe, Santa Rosa de Aguan and Limon. Trujillo is a historical town. Remember that Columbus discovered this magnificent bay during his fourth and last voyage in 1502. It was here that the first Catholic mass was held on continental America. A good spot to begin your exploration of town is at the Fortress of Santa Barbara, one of the oldest structures in town. Built by the Spaniards to help protect the port after the pirates and corsairs ransacked and burnt it to the ground. I hope to back in Trujillo soon with the family.