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“Great value, nice and chilled, and hot showers!”

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Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel
London
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great value, nice and chilled, and hot showers!”
Reviewed 7 July 2013 via mobile

A super chilled out haven in what is otherwise a massive party town. The hostel has lots of space to chill out, a garden where you can pick veggies and herbs, a bar and a nice pontoon built out over the water. It's just round the corner from Aqua lounge so you're not far from the party but far enough away to get a good nights sleep! It also has surf boards an kayaks for rent. Really enjoyed my couple of days here.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank saffronrice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kcecil, Manager at Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel, responded to this review, 25 October 2013
Hola,

thank you very much for taking the time and writing us these nice words.
We are glad that your enjoyed your time at our hostel and the island as much as we do!

We constantly looking to improve the living area for our guest to enjoy their stay, at the moment we do a lot of work in our beautiful garden to make it a even nicer place to relax and hang out.

Make sure you come back to the island when surf is up!
We save a bed for you then!

All the best,

your Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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124 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 June 2013

Gran Kahuna really made our trip to Boca. Apparently, they have been at this location for less than a year...we would have never guessed! It's already so comfortable and well run. We really liked being on Carenero Island, which is chill and calm, where you can go out and surf, watch some amazing surfers become one with some huge waves, swim, walk around the island, rent some sea kayaks and go snorkel and just hang out and drink some cold beers. It takes less than 2 minutes to get to the hostel via water taxi and the hostel is muy tranquilo, it even has it's own organic garden in the back that you can eat from (the basil is delicious). If you want to stay at a place that has big parties, loud music, and a lot going on, this is not the place for you.

The only downside is that it was more expensive than we are used to for a private room.

The people who work at this hostel are amazing. They will give you a ton of insider information and are very laid back. They let us store our backpacks there and take a shower with their hose after we checked out. Do yourself a favor and visit this awesome hostel and meet some interesting and kind-hearted people, too.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Ashley G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kcecil, Manager at Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel, responded to this review, 25 October 2013
Hola Ashley,

thank you so much for your great review.
We are very happy to hear that you found your own paradise here at our Hostel.
We decided to move our hostel to Carenero island, in order to provide exactly what you described. A place to relax, enjoy, surf and hang out!

make sure you pop in and see all the progress we made in our garden and in the public areas when you come back to the islands!

All the best,

your Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 May 2013 via mobile

When we first checked in the lady that was at the desk was really helpful... But speaking to her was the only hospitable thing in this hostel... We had planned to stay 3 nights but left after the first, we stayed here because we had heard it was not a party place, yet had a huge group of people sit outside the dorm until 6 am blaring music coming into the dorm turning lights on etc and we didn't get a wink of sleep... There didn't seem to be any rules about quiet time in te hostel at a certain time and the bar closed early forcing everyone outside the dorm... The next morning we went to tell the guy at the desk we were checking out and he barely wanted to look away from his computer screen let alone speak to us, he then proceeded to tell us we would not get any of the hostel world deposit back and didn't even care to ask why we were leaving... Oh and to top it off the water was off all night so I bet you can picture how the dorm toilet looked by morning!! Apparently this is a regular thing too :/

  • Stayed May 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Daimo90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kcecil, Manager at Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel, responded to this review, 25 October 2013
Hola,

thank you very much for your comment. We taking every feedback very serious and we are sorry to hear that your experience with us was not how you expected it.

We want to provide a space, where all our guest can relax, enjoy and find the time to do what they like.
Even though we highly promote our hostel as a chilled out, laid back and tranquil place to rest we cannot allways influence the type of people who come to visit and stay in our hostel.
Bocas is also know as a great place for parties and therewith sometimes attracts people who want to party all the time.
For this reason we recently moved our hostel to Carenero island, away from the noisy town center, away from the bars and close to the beach.

Of course we have a night policy and next time we will make sure that all guests of the hostel keep the noise to a decent level.

We hope that you could enjoy our beautiful islands anyway and when you come back, give us the change to prove to you that we are a very nice and tranquil hostel.

All the best,

your Gran Kahuna beach Hostel
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Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2013

Very nice and freindly staff. Clean. Great chilled atmosphere.Very happy to have found this hostel. Stayed here for a week in a 6 person dorm with a/c and slept well every night.The location is perfect on carenero island much nicer and more chill than the main island although if you want to party its just a 5 min walk to a club. Dont hesitate book here you will not want to leave this place. saludos

Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank hostelvillaventosurf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kcecil, Manager at Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel, responded to this review, 25 October 2013
Hola,

thank you very much for your nice comment.

We are happy to hear that you had a great time with us!

Make sure you pop in and say hallo next time you are back on the islands.

We look forward to seeing you again!

All the best,

your Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2013

After 12 hours of traveling to get to Bocas, I was so excited to finally get to my hostel and check into the private room that I'd already paid for. My friend and I arrived and waited at the front desk for at least 10 minutes before the horrible front desk woman finally came over. She said she had no room for us and put us each in separate dorms with 5 other strangers each! In addition, she told us it was a busy weekend, so they were booked, to which we replied with all our booking paperwork that stated we had booked there TWO months previously in order to avoid the busy weekend issues. She continued to walk away while we tried to get help, and she came back and only addressed us in Spanish then (when we only speak English, and she had been speaking English very well before).

The owner, Alex, was super friendly and nice, but we still didn't get our room. In addition, he allowed others not even staying at the hostel into our room constantly to use our bathroom (which barely had running water as it was).

Also, don't stay here if you want any sleep because Aqua Lounge is about 50 feet away, and it's all your can hear all night.

The people there were pretty nice, and the atmosphere has a lot of potential if it were run in a more professional and courteous manner.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tammy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kcecil, Manager at Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel, responded to this review, 25 October 2013
Hola Tammy,

thank you very much for taking the time and writing us a review. We take every feedback very serious and are sorry about the experience you had to make.
At that time, we just recently opened the hostel in a new location and there were a lot of changes going on. For that reason there was some misscommunication and bad planning regarding your reservation.
We now changed our reservation strategy and policy and hope to avoid the problems described in your review in future time.

We only allow former guests to use our showers after they checked out. Many people spend their last day at the beach and leave the island in the night time. We know how uncomfortable it is, to keep travelling without being able to take a shower before and we want to provide a great experience for our guests during the entire time that they spent with us.

We hope that you come and visit our hostel again when in Bocas del Toro.
This time we make sure that we reserve a spot for you and we hope that you give us the chance to make up for the experience you had during your first stay.

All the best,

your Gran Kahuna Family
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
South Africa
Level Contributor
48 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 December 2012

We booked in advance to stay in a bungalow and on arrival we were shown to our room which turned out to be a 4 sleeper dorm. After requesting the room we paid (a lot) for we were told only that room was available and the lady who was as miserable as sin and very unhelpful would not even offer a discount.
The hammocks in their chill out area were so dirty that we couldn't sit on them and we have travelled a lot!
We moved first thing the next morning.
If you can stay somewhere else - do it!

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank cocozee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kcecil, Manager at Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel, responded to this review, 25 October 2013
Hola,

thank you for taking the time and writing us a review.
We are sorry to hear that your room was not how you expected it.

Here at Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel we do not have any bungalows to rent.
We provide four dorm rooms with a max capacity of six people and besides we have two private rooms available.
However, the private rooms have space for up to four people and come with one double and a bunk bed.
We are sorry that the room style appeared to much like a dorm room to you but we want to give families and travel groups the chance to stay together in one room as well.

Our cleaning lady is working really hard every day to keep our hostel neat, clean and spotless.
There is a large public area for our guests, with chairs, sofas and hammacks and we assure that they get cleaned and washed regularly.

We will look through our room deceptions again to avoid that theyrise wrong expectations.

All the best,

your Gran Kahuna Family
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Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 October 2012 via mobile

We stayed in this hostel with a big group. The service was friendly and all of us enjoyed it. The rooms where clean. It was nice that beer was $1 and that we were aloud to drink our own drinks! I recommend this hostel since it is on the same island where the saturday-night party is at(walking distance) still the hostel itself is very quiet:)

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Fernando1993
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kcecil, Manager at Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel, responded to this review, 25 October 2013
Hola Fernando,

thank you very much for taking the time and sending us this nice review.

We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your time with us and hope that you stay with us again when coming back to the island!

Check out our new chill out area in our big garden next time you are here!


All the best,

your Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel

Property: Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel
Address: Carenero Island | In Front of the Beach, Carenero Island 00420, Panama
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Carenero Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Carenero Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Find your own Paradise!On Isla Carenero, directly located on a beautiful beach lined with palm trees, you will find the Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel. Only a three-minute boat ride from Bocas Town, we provide a lovely beachfront hostel setting offering shared and private rooms. Our aim is to provide travellers with laid-back, quiet, clean and comfortable accommodations with all the best that Bocas has to offer close at hand. This newly-renovated hostel is a tranquil choice for travellers looking to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Bocas del Toro. If you came to Bocas del Toro to wake up on the beach, enjoying a relaxed, frienly and welcoming environment, then the Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel is your choice! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gran Kahuna Beach Hostel Panama/Bocas Del Toro - Carenero Island

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