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“Excellent surfing experience”
Review of On The Reef

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On The Reef
Ranked #7 of 11 Santa Catalina B&B and Inns
Reviewed 4 September 2013

This was my first time at Santa Catalina and it was an amazing experience thanks to On The Reef. The location is the best of all, right in front of a famous world class surfing break and minutes away from the main restaurants and shops in town. The rooms were clean and ready when my group arrived, which was great after the drive from Panama City.

If you´re looking for a perfect wave at an uncrowded spot, On The Reef is the place to go!

Room Tip: Remember to bring wax, leach and any other equipment found only at surf shops.
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Rafael P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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22 - 28 of 49 reviews

Reviewed 1 April 2013

We were not sure where we were headed when we booked our trip to Santa Catalina, but we were not at all disappointed! On The Reef fulfilled and exceeded any expectations we had, the place has the best location in town, with views to the reef break and beyond. The rooms are large, comfortable, and the staff make you feel right at home. Meeting Ricardo was like meeting an old friend, super accommodating and relaxed, he just wants you to have a good time! Will definitely be going back soon!

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank AnitaPCostaRica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 January 2013

Just spent five nights diving, and once again my stay at On the Reef made a big difference. No better place to stay.

Ricardo and Ingunn are the best host I've ever met. They strive to make your stay pleasant, and go the extra mile to do It. And the stories...you just want to keep on listening.

The club is very peaceful. Everyone is just relaxing and enjoying the great view. Do the same.

Luno makes great breakfasts, and excellent omellettes. Sorry about Tuesday Luno. We had to go diving and had to leave early. Missed those omellettes. The sandwiches were great though!

Noel helped me with my luggage, and every day with my diving gear. Thanks.

Hope to be back soon. Hopefully this year!

Room Tip: Suite 1 has ocean view. I stayed in suite 2, which is great! I love it.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank JaimePanama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2013

Spent a pleasant weekend with Ric and his team at On the Reef. My first time in Santa Catalina but a “must do” for anyone visiting Panama. Superb beaches, great diving, big surf, friendly cosmopolitan community and a wide variety of bars and restaurants.

On the Reef a good choice for a place to stay. Intimate, secluded and private but only a short walk into town and with one of the best sunsets I’ve seen. Rooms are basic, comfortable and well cooled, bathrooms work and the bugs are under control. Ric has an endless stream of stories to keep you entertained and seems to know every item on every menu in town. Probably best for surfer / diver / traveller groups but would work for families and couples. Try the cheese and vegetable omelette for breakfast, good anytime, even better if cooked by Ric’s wife. Wireless from next door property works OK, Ric has the access code.

Would be good if a supply of bottled water was available but can easily be picked up locally.

Try it, you won’t be sorry.

Room Tip: Suite 1 has an ocean view.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank David L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ONTHEREEF, Owner at On The Reef, responded to this reviewResponded 31 October 2013

Thank you David...you are too kind...we keep it quiet and private and thus the small number of reviews...we hardly ever check on them...we really just want to chill like all of our guests...our Surf Club Rules have guarantted peace and harmony here on the point for many years now...we thank you for your visit and I am glad you enjoyed my stories...

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2012

Ric was a fantastic host and we really have nothing but plaudits for our stay in Santa Catalina.
Myself and my partner are not surfers, and choser to stay in Santa Catalina for a relaxation, a bit of diving off Coiba and the fine beaches in the vicinity.

The accomodation at On The Reef is just lovely, the rooms are well made out and yes - rustic. The nature of Santa Catalina is (thank god) that water is a valued commodity, electricity is variable and not all luxuries are available, but On the Reef makes the best with what is available and Ric is a gracious and flexible host. He even taught us to surf!

Room Tip: We were in the 2-floor room facing the sea. Forget the name of it but it´s lovely, highly recommende...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank CraigMoss75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2012

We arrived one day early and our hotel didn't have a room for us for the night. We ended up here and what a treat it was. The room was the best that we had stayed in S. Catalina (we changed to the hotel that we booked). There was a nice group of people staying there and it was quite cozy. The owner had just returned from vacation and was really accommodating and friendly. It is located on a cliff overlooking where the surfers are so the view was amazing. We wished we had stayed the entire visit there. The only bad thing was the person who works the restaurant was on vacation so we didn't have the opportunity to eat there. I highly recommend this hotel. In my opinion it was the nicest in Santa Catalina.

Room Tip: Book ahead.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank KPGChesterton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 February 2012

My boyfriend and I researched well before we travel. We came to
Catalina after reading many reviews on different hotels . We visited
every single one before we checked in at On the Reef. Its true that
they have the best possible spot. We learned that Michael Douglas had
just left when we arrived. I don't usually travel to be writing
reviews about my trips but this hotel is the real McCoy. Practical,
clean and efficient. Friendly Maria the keeper is a super cook and a very nice lady. High up on a cliff they are directly in front of the wave. The other hotels are all
Surf Camps. They where really crowded. They where packed with young
surfers. On the Reef was for us a real treat. There was just one more
couple. The place is super private and exclusive. The hotel is within
a larger compound. All ocean front. Lots of space and tropical
gardens. It has only 3 suites so it was perfect. Very comfortable
rooms. Catalina is a very small fishing village but it has great
restaurants and a relax and very casual feel to it. We are planing
on returning in March as the Surf was wicked! Super tubes. They tell
us that the season really starts in March and it last all the way to
December. Wow! What a ride that wave is. So yeah... On the Reef is it
in Catalina.

Room Tip: you can see the wave from room number 1, the best!
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Amparo S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about On The Reef

Address: Calle al Estero | Follow Signs After Coming Up to Hotel Area, Santa Catalina, Panama
Region: Panama > Veraguas Province > Santa Catalina
Amenities:
Beach Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Catalina
Price Range: £57 - £94 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our ocean front suites are the only rooms of their kind in Catalina. On The Reef is right in front of the Point. We are right at the end of the famous reef at the best possible location. 24 hour security at the gate and a guests only policy keeps our property very quiet and private. Lots of hammocks on private niches in a tropical setting gives further oceanfront privacy to our guest. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
On The Reef Hotel Santa Catalina

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