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“Wonderful, homely, beautiful and welcoming - you will not regret a stay at Careening Cay Resort!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Cosmic Crab Resort

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Cosmic Crab Resort
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Wonderful, homely, beautiful and welcoming - you will not regret a stay at Careening Cay Resort!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 May 2014

We stayed here in May 2014 in a 1 bedroom bungalow and couldn't believe our luck in finding such a beautiful place to stay for such a bargain. Careening Cay is nestled in a lovely garden teeming with life on Isla Carenero - you can choose from a house on stilts over the water or a tucked away bungalow right in the 'jungle'.

The facilities are amazing, fantastic air conditioning, brilliant warm shower, little deck outside with gorgeous rocking chairs where my friend and I sat on a warm summery evening reading our books! You even get breakfast included which is absolutely gorgeous and fresh; fruit, french toast, pancakes, perfect scrambled eggs (and I am a perfectionist when it comes to eggs!), tea, coffee the works.

It's a lovely atmosphere in the restaurant (Cosmic Crab), the staff have a great rapport and made us feel very welcome (we stayed for 2 weeks!!), the wifi was really strong (enough for us to watch breaking bad on netflix when it rained) and there are 3 beautiful, well behaved doggies.

Joan and Steve (the owners) are very attentive, welcoming and professional - they tended to our every need. We are both vegetarian and Joan even specially made guacamole for us (not even on the menu). The food itself is of a really high standard, there's a huge menu of delicious fresh fish / meat and veggie dishes. The restaurant takes sustainability very seriously which was a huge plus for us.

All in all, I couldn't say a bad word about the place and recommend anyone considering a stay in the Bocas, who would like a relaxed atmosphere in gorgeous yet affordable private cabins to come and stay at the Careening Cay!

Room Tip: Rooms over the water have an amazing view and those at the back are more cosy / intimate so depends...
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BettyJane32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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160 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    19
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2014 via mobile

Careening Cay was a little slice of heaven and I wish we could have stayed longer. Every single employee (especially Edwin, the man of many hats) as well as the owners bent over backwards to make sure we had a pleasant stay. Edwin even called the horrible place we had been staying prior to get our money back! Because we had to miss breakfast he also surprised us one time with breakfast for lunch!
Our little cabaña on the dock was a dream come true after two other disasters on Isla Colón. Beautiful, clean, and it had HOT WATER! A huge plus in Latin America. Easy to get a water taxi whenever we needed one. I'd expected to be inconvenienced by transport issues, but they were nonexistent.

Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank Jennifer G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 April 2014

I stayed here with my wife and her parents. She has left a review and received such a disgusting answer from the owner that I felt that I should write too.
Our experience, in short ,was this:

We reserved the three bedroom bungalow and it only had one room. The place was dark and dirty ,you can even see some pictures that my wife took.

In their website it says that it has kitchenet: we even had to throw all of our food away... it does not have a place to cook! just a crappy mini refrigerator and a sink. Not even plates or forks!.

Breakfast wasn't ready on time and it was bad

The owner was asleep and we had to wait for about 20 minutes to pay and they never showed up, so we had to leave the money with the cook ( even tough she never offered it, because its not her job)

I do not recommend this place at all!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ManuTahilramani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bend, Oregon, USA
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 March 2014

As soon as your little boat taxi pulls up to the open air restaurant with over the water cabanas, you know you've come to the right place! It's decorated in whimsical blue, green and yellow... gorgeous flowers, cute decorations and a personality that makes you want to sit and try every cocktail on the menu. (It might take a few days to get through!) The food is excellent and every guest I talked to raved about what they'd ordered.

The over water cabanas are small but have a private bath and AC, and it's a fairytale to lay on your bed with the door open to watch gentle Caribbean water splashing on the deck. The sunsets are straight out of the tourism brochure.

The owner showed me some of the cabins in the garden that are being remodeled and I can see that the negative reviews have been taken seriously and issues addressed. They're adorable, clean and fun now!

It's breezy and close to Bocas while not being on the dirty main street. It's an easy $1 boat taxi ride to town any time of day or night. Perfect!

Room Tip: The over water cabanas are the way to go if you're solo or a couple. There are small, cheaper c...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SalsaVictoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 March 2014

Just got back from a 5 night stay at Careening Cay with my husband and our two kids (ages 2 and 5). It was a wonderful trip, in large part because of our experience at Careening Cay. We stayed in the Hummingbird cabin and it was a good set up for a family. It'd also be good for a group of friends traveling together. We had two rooms, one set up with a queen bed and the other with three twins (a bunk and a single). The cabin was basic but very comfortable. The whole setting of Careening Cay is fantastic - my kids enjoyed playing at the small and charming playground they have and my husband and I enjoyed being able to watch them from the comfort of our front porch. The restaurant/bar is outdoors, beautiful and very good. The staff is friendly and welcoming. The best part of Careening Cay is the owners and staff - Joan and Victoria were amazingly helpful with telling us where to go, suggesting things to do, and engaging with our kids. And they did it all with a warmth that made them feel more like old friends that hosts. We will definitely be back!

Room Tip: We stayed in Hummingbird and our friends stayed in Tucan. Both were great!
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 397rockpile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JoanCrabtree, Owner at Cosmic Crab Resort, responded to this review, 22 April 2014
We enjoyed having you and your friends here with us!
We love seeing the excitement and joy especially when families with young children
embrace the experience and natural beauty that is Bocas.
Your little guy, Arlo, is (as you know!!!) a very special, bright, thoughtful, funny and oh so entertaining person! We enjoyed his company and creative narratives.
You're always welcome back "home" at Careening Cay!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bettendorf, Iowa
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 March 2014

Thank you, Victoria, Joan and Stephen! We especially enjoyed peaceful seaside mornings in the Cosmic Crab Café, catching up with wireless while we waited for the yummy breakfast to be served, a wonderful start to the day. The fiddler crabs are a great source of entertainment. Add the soothing call of the Oropendula bird and the stunning flora; beautiful grounds!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Wendy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
53 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 February 2014

THIS IS A TERRIBLE HOTEL . We made a reservation for the ¨THREE BEDROOM bungalow¨ as it shows in their website, and to start with it had ONLY ONE ROOM. The bungalow was dark and extremely dirty: the bathroom had hairs from previous visitors and the shower was discounting. In the website it said that it has a kitchenette but it ONLY has a tiny and dirty refrigerator, so we could not cook the things that we bought for dinner. The sink is also in horrible state.
I would maybe expect this from a $5 hostel... but we were paying $169 for this!!!!. They should be ashamed.

Oh, breakfast is supposed to be from 8 30 to 9 30 but you have to wait because is not ready at 8 30... or even 9 15! And is a crappy one.

We decided that we wanted to leave as soon as we saw the room, but we got a hotel for the next day. The manager was sleeping during breakfast and she/he never showed up to charge us for the room when we called him trough the cook. We waited for 10 minutes and we had to leave the money with the cook because thanks to that we were late for our tour.

Also: The day we were supposed to arrive they called us to let us know that they have a construction going on in case we want to avoid it going to another hotel.... which is a nice gesture if you have time to change your option... but on the very same day and in high season it´s really hard to come up with another hotel fast.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Violetagrancelli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
JoanCrabtree, Owner at Cosmic Crab Resort, responded to this review, 22 April 2014
Trip Advisor claims to take MALICIOUS REVIEWS BY COMPETITORS seriously. The writer of this review is ALSO from the very small tourist town of Bocas Del Toro. Hmmmm……..
Trip Advisor was consulted regarding this highly suspicious, distorted and damaging review. yet declined to remove it. I am obliged to respond to clarify accurate info and omitted details.

We take reviews seriously and listen to our guests constructive recommendations
Most of our guests enjoy their experience at Careening Cay. We are committed to contribute to the overall positive experience for all Bocas visitors. We take time and care to assist with advise to guests in the resort and the Cosmic Crab for snorkeling day trips, beach destinations, transportation and dining around Bocas.

Everyone who knows us locally, and guests who have stayed here for several days and/or have RETURNED FOR MULTIPLE STAYS, KNOW our commitment and the incredible improvements and upgrades we have made on the resort over the years.

Because we were still in the process of construction, including renovating THE 3 R00M CABIN you reserved, (a private bedroom + a huge living room with 4 sofa beds & pool table,
+ kitchenette with bar and fridge + a semi private alcove with another single bed + a spacious bathroom, WE CONTACTED YOU IN ADVANCE OF YOUR ARRIVAL to inform you that unfortunately the repairs to the bathroom and kitchenette were not completed on schedule. We offered to release you from the obligation of your reservation and help place you in another hotel that had a beautiful room available IF YOU CHOSE.
THAT WAS AN OPTION OFFERED TO YOU
After seeing the cabin ……AS IS........YOU CHOSE TO STAY.

Usually we collect payment from guests at check in. I do not recall why that did not happen then. Visitors are often eager to head out for day tours or the beach.
I am usually in the restaurant by 9 am to assist with check ins/outs, guest needs, requests and recommendations for outings. As I work 12-15 hours a day during season, and especially busy Holiday weeks such as Carnival, I had not yet arrived in the restaurant as early the next morning. I am sorry you were offended I was not there for your departure, or to process your payment myself. A resort employee was available and was able to accept your payment.

Our housekeeping staff usually does an excellent job cleaning and maintaining the cabins.
The Crab cabin is a favorite for families and groups of friends because of the LARGE PRIVATE BEDROOM AND HUGE LIVINGROOM. You were informed of AND saw the incomplete renovations prior to check in and agreed to stay. I do apologize if the bathroom was not pristine as I agree it should be, and the faucet had not yet been changed prior to your arrival, it should have been. I address cleaning and maintenance issues with staff immediately when it is brought to my attention.
Had you done that, WHILE YOU WERE HERE, It would have been corrected immediately

Our housekeepers retrieve the keys to open the restaurant FROM ME every morning promptly at 7:30 to prepare breakfast. Our breakfasts are served buffet style from 8:30-9:30 and includes daily: Fresh Fruit, Hard Boiled Eggs AND Scrambled OR Fried Eggs, Pancakes OR French Toast, a variety of breads (with a toaster on the buffet), Butter, Peanut Butter, assorted Jellys and Jams, Juice, coffee and a selection of teas.
The resort was FULL. We had 45 other very satisfied guests, most of whom I did have the opportunity to speak with during their stay. Everyone I spoke with was very pleased with their accommodations, food, and service.
Not one other guest mentioned inadequate or a delayed breakfast service during Carnival.

Because you identify yourself from Bocas Del Toro, I question the integrity of your venomous title and vindictive comments and whether you are, or are an associate of, a competitive local business owner???
I choose to work in cooperation with local colleagues, many of whom I am proud to call friends.

As Trip advisor has declined to remove your suspicious review, I hope this response CLARIFIES YOUR MISREPRESENTED DISPARAGING COMMENTS.

Joan Crabtree
Careening Cay Resort
Cosmic Crab Cafe
Owner
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 Cosmic Crab Resort

Property: Cosmic Crab Resort
Address: Carenero Island, Panama (Formerly Careening Cay Resort)
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Carenero Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Carenero Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
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 
Also Known As:
Careening Cay Hotel Carenero Island
Cosmic Crab Resort Panama/Bocas Del Toro - Carenero Island

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