Unpack your fins at the stylish scuba-diving resort Utopia Village (from $224), located a 25-minute boat ride from town. Unlike the island’s other drab resorts, the nineteen rooms here are smartly furnished with accents that evoke both the Caribbean and Bali. There’s a private beach, and you can explore world-class purple coral gardens within a reef just 100 feet offshore.
Fall asleep to the sounds of the sea at Utila Lodge (from $159), an eight-room inn built over the water in the heart of East Harbor. Its location next to the Bay Islands College of Diving allows you to go straight from the boat to your room, making it the ideal place to stay if you’re looking to brush up on your scuba skills or take an underwater-photography course.
Book a room at one of Utila’s most unique hotels, JadeSeahorse (from $75), where six cabins sit on a whimsical property that’s part botanical gardens, part art installation. The property features a dazzling array of mosaics, brightly colored buildings, and ornamented fountains, but perhaps the most popular draw is the Treetanic Bar, a watering hole shaped like the bow of a ship that sits in the branches of three mango trees.