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Cosmic Crab Resort
Reviewed 9 November 2013

My husband and I stayed here for several nights. Unfortunately, the water was turned off during our time here. Our original reservation was for the largest room but after we complained about the smell and cleanliness, we were moved to another cheaper one. This place may be okay if you get one of the small reasonable priced rooms and you are not expecting much. But, I would suggest that you review all the low reviews here before making up your mind. Perhaps just book one night and see how you like it.

Room Tip: Try to get the small rooms on the water that are inexpensive. Do not book the largest room.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank LorAlves
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CosmicCrab, Owner at Cosmic Crab Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 21 December 2013

We have endeavored to create a natural, comfortable, clean, beautifully landscaped and fairly priced haven for travelers.
AND.............WE HAVE A VERY LOVELY PLACE!!!!!!
As clearly illustrated in the many pictures available on our website and Picasa gallery, Careening Cay Resort is perfectly situated waterfront on Isla Carenero, just a minute from town, but with true island feel. Our rustic tropical themed AC cabins are comfortable, attractive with colorful decoratives. Many of our guests comment on the beautiful Caribbean color scheme. The gardens are lush with unique tropical plants, flowers and orchids and the restaurant sets over the water with amazing views, especially at sunset.

In the dry season, even in the rainforest, water is precious,
and we ask our guests to adapt to island living, be aware and conserve.
There have been occassions when ALL of Bocas is out of water
We are on rainwater catchment.
We have 7, 1,200 gallon water tanks. We dug a well to access a natual aquifier,
and we invested in an expensive Reverse Osmosis water maker.
If WE dont have water at CCR, no one on the island does!!!
We do not turn the water off to guest inhabited cabins. We do however turn off the main water valve to each cabin to avoid leaks of precious water when cabins are uninhabited.
If we mistakenly forgot to turn on the water to your cabin when you checked in,
YOU SIMPLY HAD TO ASK US TO DO SO.
For goodness sakes, Did you approach us or discuss with us at any time why you may not have had water as you claim?
Dont you think adult seasoned travelers should have the sense to ASK WHILE HERE,
rather than complain 10 months later???????

We cannot keep our air conditioners working while the rooms are not inhabited.
As a result, we sometimes risk some naturally occurring rainforest odors due to the humidity.
Our housekeeping staff usually does an excellent job of maintaining clean rooms, and keep our linen, bedspreads and towels well laundered.
I make natural air fresheners for the rooms and AC filters that contain essential oils of Lavender, Peppermint, Tea Tree and Eucalyptus, (all of which are anti fungal, and natural antiseptics,) smell....wonderful! and are safe to spray in our rooms !

Our largest cabin, the Crab Cabin, has been recently renovated and has a private bedroom, huge livingroom with 4 orthopedic mattresses on sofa beds, a pool table, Kitchenette with minibar, alcove with an additional bed and of course a private bathroom/shower.
The price for this cabin, high season, was $129/night ($99 in summer)
Our additional cabins which vary in size are priced between $39- $89 HIGH SEASON,$29-$69 in summer)
These prices are based on double occupancy AND INCLUDE A HOT BREAKFAST.
We believe our cabins are VERY FAIRLY & COMPETITIVELY PRICED.
Our website has accurate descriptive pictures of all the cabins.
WE DO CARE about our property, and our guests' experience here.
This is our business and our HOME and we have invested much time, money and energy
to develop our little piece of paradise.
We live on site, are service oriented and address any problems that are brought to our attention as expediently as possible.

WE ACCOMMODATED YOUR REQUEST FOR A SMALLER, LESS EXPENSIVE CABIN,
WHICH YOU WERE SATISFIED WITH.

I find it rather.....curious.... that you visited Bocas in January 2013
and then wrote negative reviews.......nearly A YEAR LATER??!!?!?!!?!!!
I felt compelled to fill in the facts of your misleading reviews and title
I suggest potential visitors read ALL the reviews and responses.
MOST OF OUR REVIEWS FOR CAREENING CAY RESORT & THE COSMIC CRAB CAFE
ARE EXCELLENT!!!!

Joan Crabtree
Owner
Careening Cay Resort
Cosmic Crab Cafe

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69 - 75 of 178 reviews

Reviewed 25 September 2013

If you like to eat on Mondays......you won't find even a snack. You take the water taxi to the main island, and on your return, if it is dark....it is REALLY DARK. ALL the lights are off....bring a flashlight.

The cabin had poor air conditioning....our room was a "double" .....the A/C was on one side of a wall....so the other side was miserable.

The meals we did have there were good.....but do not ask for anything special, as the price I was told, was completely different (higher) when we attempted to actually order.

NEVER EVER AGAIN.

Room Tip: Check our your room before paying.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank geri f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2013

It's probably the most disgusting hotel I've been in. When you arrive it seems quite idyllic, with those beautiful wooden blue&yellow cabins.... However, you feel a bit strange when, just arrived, the owner asks you for the money for the whole stay (a bit rude in my opinión... I'm sure he does it because otherwise on the 2nd night all his guests would go to another hotel). Then you go to your room (where, by the way, there's no WiFi... it "just broke the day before"..aha).... and it takes no longer tan 10 minutes for the BUGS to let themselfs be seen!!!! It's full of them: spiders, wall-lizards, roaches... There were bugs even in the breakfast (inside the juice jar!!!). I attach pictures so that you can trust me & my review. I sincerely not recommend anyone to stay in this hotel. It's totally disgusting, and with so many bugs running around it's complicated to get to sleep at night.

Room Tip: Go to another hotel!!!!
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank rociobg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 September 2013

Nice Place, nice restaurant, nice cabins and rooms on the sea.. Very near to bocas down, a dollor to get there on ferry. Food at restaurant is very good, you can get things of your choice. If it rains too much, you can still enjoy the restaurant and the view.

Room Tip: if you two, take the cabin on the sea.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank PranavSharma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2013

We spent a couple of nights in one of the basic bungalows, which was indeed basic but good value. The bungalow was really charming on the outside with a small veranda. Inside, the air-con worked well and we good a good night's sleep. It was a bit dark though and some people might be a bit put-off by the fact that the bathroom/toilet is part of same room, just separated by a partial wall and curtain.
The owners were friendly enough and we really liked the Cosmic Crab cafe (good burgers, STRONG margaritas, really should stay open later than 9pm though), but we found the immediate surroundings to be pretty charmless. Lots of litter, polluted water due to the lack of sewage system, a hell of a lot of sand flies. Obviously this isn't the fault of the resort, but location-wise we much preferred being in Bocas Town - having to get a water taxi to Bocas got tiresome quickly.

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank adam e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 May 2013

A big hearty thanks to Joan and staff at Careening Cay for their attention, understanding and care during our stay in Panama. We enjoyed being away from the busy town and loved sitting on the dock each morning with our coffee as our two boys ran around catching crabs and playing with sticks. The clean, comfortable cabins are tucked into the jungle offering just enough privacy for my family. The 1$ taxi ride to the town each day was a great treat for the boys before and after all of our excursions.

Unfortunately, one by one my family fought a virus that prevented us from leaving on our scheduled date. Though Joan was busy with staffing, end of season cleaning and organizing, she made sure we had everything we needed, checked in on us regularly and even offered us a discount as she knew that we were forced to spend beyond our budget. I am thankful we landed in her care.

If you have a chance I highly recommend visiting Careening Cay and getting to know the owners. They are delightful and authentic.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Claytonba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2013 via mobile

We stayed just one night in Careening Cay Resort in Bocas del Toro but we loved it. We choose tiny water house, got one with tortoises. There's nothing sophisticated in here but sophisticated is not a word you are looking for in Bocas. The owner is a right person on the right place, funny guy, laid-back and great host. Breakfast is light, fresh and tasty bar and night atmosphere memorable, and the name - Cosmic Crab Cafe seems to be kind of significant;-) there's plenty of really cosmic crabs coming out from their wholes in the night time all around the resort. A little bit crappy but still interesting. If you're looking for an authentic, clean, nice place with amazing vibe and you do not mind cute lizards on the walls of your hut - you will love to stay here as we did.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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1  Thank Kaja C
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 - £102 (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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