We just spent a week at Los Roques, staying at the Macanao Lodge. We had looked into staying at several others; La Gaviota, Natura Viva, Mediterraneo and Acquarela. A venezuelan friend who was going to be joining us had heard that Macanao was well worth the extra cost as it was reported to be far and away the best posada in Los Roques. We got the full package, breakfast, lunch, dinner, transport to local islands and a beachfront room. We got a good price at just under $200/person per night. This was about $25 more than the others.
The setting is magnificent, Los Roques is truly beautiful and Macanao is a very well appointed posada. The food was good but not great, The rooms are spacious enough and are very attractive, the dining area and lounge are also very pleasant. There is an empty decorative pool and waterfall in the courtyard, it would be nice if it had water in it, being empty gave the lounge a little of a feeling of being past it's glory days. Water however is VERY expensive on the island as they make it by desalinating seawater.
Breakfast was a choice of eggs or pancakes although we did get to have some emapanadas one morning as that was what the kitchen staff was preparing for themselves. The eggs are served with a choice of arepas (a flat venezuelan biscuit) or toast and the pancakes with aunt jemima. There were always two types of juices to select from, one being a melon the other was almost always papaya. The coffee was not very good.
Lunch was better than most of the other posadas from what we could tell. If you went to a close in island they would send a boat to deliver a hot lunch, usually a steamed fish of some sort, a salad, an orange and oreo cookies. If you went to a far island they would make a ham and cheese sandwich on white bread for you to take with you. In any event they would always send you off with a large cooler full of ice, water, soda and beer. We didn't see any other posada do that. We had so much we would freely share with others and still have leftover drinks.
Dinner got progressively better each night and was always fish served with an overcooked vegetable side both covered in some sort of duck/soy sauce. The desserts were the best part of the meals and were truly outstanding. If you like you can pay extra and order a lobster dinner which was just o.k.
When you come back in from a trip to the beach in the afternoon there is usually a snack waiting on the bar, shark empanadas and pound cake were two that I remember.
Where this posada lacks is in service. For the reputation that they have for being the best and most luxurious they really don't go out of their way to make sure that everything is taken care of. We had to wait a very long time in the lounge on our first day there as we arrived on the morning flight when all the planes fly in and had to wait for our room to be ready at the end of the day when the previous occupants flew out at the end of the day. I would have expected that while we waited that there would be lounge chairs on the beach or the rooftop deck to relax in. All they had were decrepit canvas sling chairs for the beach and straight back wooden deck chairs on the rooftop lounge. Just a few poadas down was a mid range lodge that had chaise lounges and bean bag chairs out on the beach. While waiting for the water taxi in the morning or just sitting in the lounge no staff asks if you would like a drink or anything. They just kind of leave you alone more like a bed and brakfast than a lodge or hotel. Most of the staff are very friendly though some are indifferent. Do not expect 5 star hotel treatment where everyone is making sure that all your needs are taken care of without having to lift a finger.
If we were to do it again, and we intend to we would not get the full package. We would just get the room, brakfast and lunch. Transport to other islands and dinner we would get elsewhere as that is very easy to do. After walking the streets and seeing all of the different posadas we would be inclined to try Natura Viva as it looks really nice and they have a restaurant with an impressive menu. Bequeve really stood out since whenever we walked by the smell of their food wafting out of the kitchen into the street was very enticing. Their transport boat is also the nicest of any of the boats there, a full cover (for the sun) padded seats and Honda engines that don't put out as much exhaust as other outboards. Bequeve is not on the water but is close enough and is on a very nice tree lined street. Their lobby looked very comfortable. La Gaviota looked nice, we met some brazilians that were staying there and liked it very much. Also met some folks staying at Botuto that enjoyed their stay there with no complaints about the food or service as other reviewers have posted here.
To sum up:
Los Roques is magnificent and worth the trip, Macanao is better than most but not as good as it makes itself out to be just don't expect to be pampered and you'll have a great time.