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“a pleasant surprise”
Review of Hotel Sol y Mar

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Hotel Sol y Mar
Certificate of Excellence
Michigan
Level Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“a pleasant surprise”
Reviewed 22 February 2010

We just returned from staying at Sol y Mar for 3 nights. Yes, it's Spartan. Yes, you have to walk up a steep hill to get to your room or meals. Yes, the power went out once. And, yes, there's really no comfy place to just sit and veg out. But the place is in a beautiful setting with beautiful views. The rooms were clean and air-conditioned (!) in a place where both of those attributes might be quite rare. The owner, Luis, is worth the trip alone! So informative and so accommodating; he'll do anything to make your stay in Santa Catalina (the perfect antidote to touristy places) fun and satisfying.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank subee8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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208 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    55
    16
    7
    3
See reviews for
50
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
london
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 October 2009

After a hot drive 100 kms down a heavily potholed road from Santiago, it was a nice relief to find Sol Y Mar at first. The room was clean , and i suppose at 50 dollars a night quite good value. But then at night things started to go wrong.... little touches would be nice - nets over the gaps in the windows and doors which let in bugs and mozzies would help, and the rooms themselves arent comfortable for louning around in - the tv area could do with proper seating. it rains a lot at this time of year over there and indoors needs to be do-able in comfort if its pouring
The visit wasnt helped by the fact that the electricity failed during our stay, across the whole of the village, so we had to leave after 1 night. 32 degrees and high humidity, and wet weather make the place unbearable without a/c if you have been used to it . I got the impression this happens a lot in the village. take a torch for walks into the village. Maybe we will return in a few years - it was out of season so yes, it was quiet - what we wanted - but things can be too quiet and we came away thinking that whilst beautfially isolated, and a real place of magic amongst the jungle, Santa Catalina itself is a very poor, dirty village, with people living amongst their animals. there are very few places to eat, or things to do, and it was the town that disappointed us as much as anything. it's not very geared up for tourists, like much of panama. something which prospective visitors to the area should consider as much as anything is whether the difficulty getting there is worth it until the road is repaired. A pity, as i was really looking forward to a nice stay there.

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank creatured
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spokane, Wa
1 review
Reviewed 15 October 2009

Sol y Mar is a delightful if spare accomodation. The owner/proprietor is helpful and fascinating, like many of the residents of Santa Catalina, which seems like it fell right out of a Steinbeck novel. Prices are right but bring cash, when we were there there were no cash machines and they didn't take credit or debit cards.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank grandma3boys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 25 September 2009

I can recomend this wonderful place to everyone, but probably really elderly persons cause it´s really not that easy to climb the high stairs to your cabin. But as a reward the higher you stay the better view you enjoy!
The room was airconditioned, quite spacious, with 2 twin beds, a tv-set and a fridge. But to crown it all we took the advantage of the terrace - utilities for barbeque, wooden garden furniture, 2 hammocks and a splendid sea view!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MoscowAcuzena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bretagne
Level Contributor
62 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 February 2009

Spacy and clean rooms with aircon, fridge, hot water. The tenant is very sympatic and helpful.
We particurlaly appreciate to have aircon as the average temperature is °C 32 without lots of air. Wich is, as of today NOT the case for most of Santa Catalina hotel.
We also appreciate to be able to take a real shower before dinner knowing that you are mainly going there to enjoy sea oriented activites, but as you got black sand, it is very sticky.
Last but not least, the fridge is very appreciable to put freash drinks, we also used it to store our lunch stuff for coming excursions (I.E. if you go to Coiba you can either buy a lunch pack in the village for an average $8, either by what to make your sandwich at the grocery store for an average $2 and store it in the fridge)
Finally, as regard to its location as well as 24/24 guard, it is a very safe place.

The only things to improve were:
- the absence of room service but I think the tenant is currently looking for the appropriate staff.
- the difficulty to have breakfeast there. However, a dedicated house is currently under construcation to offer food services and it should be solved by mid year

If you go there, ask the tenant to show you the view from his terrace, it is incredible.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank diveadvent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2009

Sol y mar is fine for the area, but not great. The rooms are large, but in disrepair. The rooms were not cleaned during our week stay.

Stayed January 2006
Helpful?
Thank lindseyteal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 6 January 2009

Sol y Mar is a wonderful option for travelers to Santa Catalina. The property is very well-kept by the owners who live on-site. The rooms are clean, spacious, and comfortable, the air conditioning nice and cold. Luis, the owner, is more than happy to help his patrons, and went above and beyond by driving us around and showing us where one of the restaurants is. The view from the front patio of my room was unbelievable, with great visibility to the ocean. The sunset is to die for! I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone staying in Santa Catalina.

  • Liked — Great service from Luis. Very clean rooms.
  • Disliked — It didn't matter for us because Luis drove us in his car, but the property is on a hill, and it might have been hard to get bags up to the room if Luis hadn't helped us out.
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Marc R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Sol y Mar

Property: Hotel Sol y Mar
Address: Calle principal, Santa Catalina 00507, Panama
Region: Panama > Veraguas Province > Santa Catalina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Catalina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Sol y Mar 2.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located along the main street in Santa Catalina,600 meters from Santa Catalina beach,on a hill overlooking the ocean,Sol y Mar offers 9 spacious rooms, all with air conditioned, private bath with hot shower, satellite TV, mini-fridge,safe-deposit box,terrace, internet (in restaurant area). Six of the rooms have two double beds and a sofa-bed, so they can accommodate up to 5 people Some of the rooms has an additional bunk bed,so can sleep 7.There are three new rooms each with a King bed. We also have a restaurant with pool table,ping-pong and a swimming pool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sol y Mar Hotel Santa Catalina

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