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“Island feeling”
Review of Cosmic Crab Resort

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Cosmic Crab Resort
Reviewed 22 April 2013

This hotel on Carenero Island has awesome green surroundings and the owners make you feel comfortable like at home. This is a caribbean chalet style hotel with this i mean don't expect phone or tv at the room.
Wake up early to get a kayak before the sun goes strong and take a trip around the island for free for what others charge you $10 per hour each, this way you get to know some parts of Carenero you usually don't see and is a great plus for this hotel.
They include you the breakfast, not so fancy but enough to fill your morning.
The night at the restaurant is a good atmosphere to take some drinks and chat with other travelers.
The beach is calm and we even saw a manta ray at our feet.

Overall: this hotel is a great option if you are looking for a cheap stay, green landscape (usually the hotels in Colon Island don't have more than a palm tree at the entrance) and a travel experience. The only con i think is the water taxi to the main island, and the noisy other guest when staying in side by side rooms (you can hear literally everything because is a wood construction).

Room Tip: Try always to get chalets with the less neighbors as possible, the noise from the other rooms are pr...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TravellingDonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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76 - 82 of 178 reviews

Reviewed 13 April 2013

I stayed with my girlfriend for four nights at the Careening Cay Resort. We couldn't have found a better place. We stumbled upon this by accident and found ourself to be the luckiest person in bocas del toro.

All of our friend who where staying at other cheeper hotels moved to Careening Cay After one night here. It has perfect location (1 min from everything by taxi boat). The family who owns the resort are very friendly and cool people. we stayed in one of the bungalows over the water and it was great. I assure you that if you go here you will have the best possible time in bocas del toro for the best price possible.

By the way don't forget to borrow the kayaks and go kayak surfing. It was probably one of the funniest and coolest thing we did in bocas.

Room Tip: We definitely recommend to stay in the cabins over the water if you choose to stay at the careering...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Karel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2013

We stayed here for 9 days while visiting friends in Bocas del Toro. We couldn't have found a better base for operations. Great views of Bocas Town and some really incredible sunsets. The staff was friendly and inviting. And the owners, Joan & Steve Crabtree, went out of their way to make our stay very special. Great Sunday buffet, fantastic hummus and the best Bloody Mary's. Away from the noise of Bocas Town but a convenient 2-minute water taxi ride to town. Highly recommended!!

Room Tip: The over the water cabinas are a great choice, but the cabinas on the ground are surrounded by beaut...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Panamatraveler76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2013

We stayed here for 5 days and loved it! The Cafe food is VERY good and the drinks are creative and tasty. The staff is helpful and the owners are present and available. The room we got was what we were looking for. So long as you remember that the Careening Cay is on an island without urban plumbing, sewage, and electricity and has to do it all themselves (they have WiFi in the Cafe) should let you know that this isn't a 5 star hotel but a great place to begin and end days exploring the islands. The location is great for the views, sunsets, and a quiet place to escape until the night life in Boacs begins but that's not the fault of the Careening Cay. The Cafe is the place to start with the breakfast (very good) and close (with the happy hour and the fine food). Try the chocolate drinks, the margaritas, the fish dinners, and the key lime pie. Stephen and Joan were great and Mango love us. Highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Steve R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2013

We booked four nights here and refused to stay! Let me start with the husband and owner sat at the bar and watched as my wife and I unloaded and carry our luggage up from the dock didn't even try to help! The wife and owner greeted us and showed use to our room and did not asked any of the staff to help use with our luggage again. The wife acted as if we we interrupting her day. Our cabin was the size of a queen bed and only had one very small window, it looked well worn. We then asked to up grade to a better unit and where shown 3 more. Each one was moldy, worn and very unattractive. When I tried to use a toilet in one of the units it would not flush because there was no water. When I said I was not staying I offered to pay the booking fee that the husband/ owner paid. He gladly took the $25.00 and put it in his pocket. When I said I hope there is no hard feelings The answer was" I don't care, this place is like a bus station people come and go all the time" The wife did help us pick another hotel. This place is a dump.

Room Tip: Please don't stay here !!!
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Robert Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2013

Stayed at this place with 7 people total, plus 2 friends who booked separately. The cabins were good - nice grounds, acceptable cleanliness, liked the location on an island a quick $1 water taxi ride from Bocas town (Isla Colon). Based on lots of experience living and traveling in Central America, it was overpriced - 7 people in 1 room, at about $33 per person per night?! That is basically a dorm situation. Not worth that price for the room we had. Would be an okay price per person if that was a 2 person room (which they have). Good restaurant, but not amazing (ate dinner here twice and breakfast each of 3 days). But a fun bar/restaurant area for a drink before heading to town. Breakfast was so-so and by 10am was pretty much cleaned out. Joan was helpful in making some recs for daytime activities. But the reservation process was not good. My opinion is heavily influenced by our friends' experience - they booked way in advance and then several days out were told - whoops - we overbooked! Eventually it all worked out, but just overall it seemed the owners didn't have a clear grip on who was coming and going and what rooms were booked. Kinda spacey. They were apologetic at times, but defensive and a little rude at others.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank AFrett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2013

This is an ideal location as far as getting around to other places in the water taxi and walking the island.
The rooms were lacking space for our clothes. The two closets were used for a TV, that took up the space and a refrigerator and microwave in the other. There was plenty of room to put these else where, it made no organization sense. There was no drinking water in the room and no drinking glasses. The mosquito netting was a plus, but it was for a single bed not a double. The window screens had holes in them.The bathroom was filthy, splatter from others was above the sink, the shower had a slime film and the toilet stunk.

The food was OK, but we had fresher fish in the mountains of Panama.

We would not go back due to the quality of rooms. Let's hope they take an good walk in their clients shoes to see their small issues that could be easily rectified, because it is a great location and the owners are very nice people.

Room Tip: None of the other travelers were happy with their rooms, some left very upset.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JaneShore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cosmic Crab Resort

Address: Carenero Island, Panama (Formerly Careening Cay Resort)
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Carenero Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Carenero Island
Price Range: £37 - £101 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Cosmic Crab Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our waterfront paradise is on the island, Isla Carenero. The resort now encompasses 6 1/2 acres of lush, tropical landscaping and over 600 feet of waterfront. Our backyard is verdant rain forest. We sit on a point facing west, which captures the refreshing Caribbean breeze and offers up fabulous sunsets. We are just a two minute boat ride across the bay to Bocas Town. We enjoy the convenience of close proximity to town, yet are removed from the hub hub, noise, pavement, cars and heat, while on our own tropical island.The resort is peaceful and quiet. We have hummingbird feeders throughout. Many different birds, including parrots can be heard singing and conversing in the trees. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Careening Cay Hotel Carenero Island
Cosmic Crab Resort Panama/Bocas Del Toro - Carenero Island

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