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“The relaxing getaway we needed!!”

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Popa Paradise Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Isla Popa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 25 January 2014

My husband and I spent 5 nights at Popa Paradise the beginning of December. After much dilemma about where to go for our annual getaway, my daughter in law suggested Bocas Del Toro. She had been to Red Frog Beach a few year ago and thought it was amazing. I chose Popa Paradise instead of Red Frog because it is all inclusive, and I really like that aspect in a resort. I was not disappointed.
We were greeted at the Bocas airport by one of the employees and taken to their sister hotel in Bocas Town, Popa Paradise, where a boat was waiting to transfer us to paradise!! It is a small boat with not much protection. About halfway there it started to pour down rain and we were soaked by the time we arrived. Fortunately it was warm and just another experience!!! The boat transfer is one negative I have about the place. I think they should invest in a boat with a bit more protection if needed. The captain was going to David to pick up a new boat, the day we were leaving, so maybe the new one has this.
Upon arrival at the resort, we were taken to checkin and given a yummy coconut drink. we realized there was only one other couple there at the time, which we liked. Almost had the resort to ourselves!! The next day 3 other couples arrived, and the day after the first couple left and then the next, one of the other couples. The last two days there were only 3 couples still there. NICE!!
The resort is beautiful and the food was fabulous. It is a bit different than other all inclusives in the fact that you have certain meal times and a few choices at that time. No all day long buffets. I suppose if you were hungry between meals they would prepare you something. This was never the case with us. The meals were filling and exceptionally good. My husband and myself both commented that this was the first Latin American vacation we had been on that we never got an upset stomach, even a little!!! One of the evenings they had a beach BBQ at Rosies, the beach side bar. It was so fun and lots of choices of meat. We especially enjoyed the 2 bartenders from Argentina, Maria and I forgot the guys name. They were so delightful and tried so hard. All of the staff aimed to please in whatever they were doing for you. The natives that work at the resort were all very efficient and helpful. It was a delight to have such good service.
The beaches at Popa, there were 2 while we were there, were alright, but the water was never clear. I think this may have been due to recent storms churning things up. My husband and several of the other guests were stung by Jellyfish, which you could not see due to the cloudy water. We were told the Jellyfish were there because the storms the day before we arrived pushed them over the reef, a ways off shore. He was stung not only while swimming by the dock, but also got a small sting when we went around the rocks to the private beach.
We were in Casita 5, which had a small view of the ocean and some of the trees. It was very clean and quiet at night. The bed was very comfy and we never had a problem with hot water for the shower. It would just trickle out when you turned it on, but as soon as you added cold water to it there was plenty for a shower. The housekeeping would always sneak in and clean sometime while we were at breakfast. We never did see them!!! I was hoping for Casita 10, which is closer to the beach and empty when we arrived but I think had already been requested by a couple arriving the next day. They did comment that it was almost too close to the beach and a bit harder to sleep due to the loudness of the waves. If the resort had been full there may have been noise and less privacy due to more people hanging out on the beach. Who knows!!! Casita 6 is probably the most private and is close to the beach. If we ever returned we would opt for one of the Casitas overlooking the rain forest (2-4) so we could watch the animals and birds from our deck. We always stay on the beach and would like something different next time!!!
They offer many excursions, if you feel the need to leave the resort for the day. we did a half day snorkel trip, which was fun, and went to the Zappatillos to walk around the beach in the afternoon. It was beautiful and almost deserted. We also spent one morning at Red Frog Beach, which is beautiful but the waves are pretty rough. We did find the Red Frogs, though!!!
I was really hoping to see a sloth and some colorful birds while on Popa Island, but never did. We walked around the property every day looking with no luck. Darrion said there was a sloth hanging out by the generator building, but we couldn't find it. I did finally see one when we returned to Panama City and went walking around one of the islands there.
I think the only thing keeping me from giving Popa Paradise 5 stars is the unkept pathways with trash on them around the resort. This was not the case around the pool, casitas or club house, but if you walked around the property it was everywhere. It would not take much to have one of the workers trim back the grass and pick up the trash. There was a rubber boot just laying along the path when we did the jungle walk, a few odd flip flops, shoes and an old cooler by the beach at the end of the concrete path leading to the private beach, and just odds and ends laying around on the property. We would return a few days later and it was all still there, so no one intended to pick it up. One morning there was a shoe laying on the path to the "Jungle Gym" and it remained there the rest of our stay. Just pick it up!!!!

Room Tip: We loved Casita 5. Quiet, but still able to hear and see the ocean. Casita 10 is right on the beach...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank swaylo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dyllan M, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 27 January 2014

Many thanks for your review. We are so pleased you had the relaxing time you needed at the hotel and that you enjoyed our faculties, food and excursions. We have taken action on your comments and thanks you for you input.

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190 - 196 of 299 reviews

Reviewed 18 January 2014

My husband and I stayed at this hotel during early January during a 2 week trip to Costa Rica and Panama. Without a doubt this hotel was the highlight of our trip. From start to finish nothing was too much trouble for the staff including being picked up from Bocas Del Toro airport. The staff really set this hotel apart and very quickly we realised this was somewhere special. When we were initially shown our lodge room we asked Dylan about upgrading and we were very glad that we did. We were allocated a gorgeous room directly on the beach. The fact that the resort is all-inclusive made it very relaxing. We were regularly offered drinks around the pool or in the bar and the quality of the food at both lunch and dinner was excellent. There are also lots of facilities at the resort to keep you occupied including pool, table tennis, darts, watersports, Internet, and DVDs. A particularly big thanks to both Dylan and Manu who looked after us extremely well especially Manu for all of the great cocktails!! We certainly kept him busy. If you are looking for somewhere in the Bocas region to relax and get away from all this is certainly the place to do it.

Matthew and katherine

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Katherine23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dyllan M, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 20 January 2014

Many thanks for you great review of our resort. It was a pleasure meeting you and we are so pleased you enjoyed you vacation with us!

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Reviewed 11 January 2014

I just quoted my daughter Jaz's recent FB post about Popa. Her second visit, my third, to this amazing, beautiful island resort/retreat from the tedious reality of everyday life.
Rooms are so lovely (you can't have the penthouse because we own it for life, we wish)! Food is so fresh and well done. Thanks to Darion and the rest of the kitchen staff!
This resort runs amazingly well considering that it does not have power lines, city water or anything else that most of us take for granted.
The owners are echo friendly and love to share their knowledge of all things Panamanian and beyond.
Many thanks to the entire staff. Special thanks to Dyllan who is a master GM, Darion, who is the master of all. Manu and Maria, and on and on. Oh, can't forget Handre, thank you for getting me up on a wake board on my first try, and for the beautiful day out on the Ingwe Spirit.
Many thanks again to all. We will see you again very soon.


Stayed: December 2013, travelled with friends
Thank Judy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dyllan M, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 13 January 2014

Thank you for another great review and your kind words. return guests become friends and its always exciting to see them back for another great vacation at Popa Paradise. See you soon!

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Reviewed 10 January 2014

My husband and I never managed to go to a honey moon or anything like that for over 3 years into the marriage. We finally picked the Popa Paradise to be completely away from the busy life and worries and enjoy each other's company. And we were so right! It is the exact place you would want to go to unwind, relax, reflect and meditate on your own terms.

The island is easy to approach from the main Boca island. The resort sent a boat for us; we were picked up from the airport timely and had an enjoyable 25 mins boat ride to Popa island. This way we saw the Bocas del Torre islands from the sea.

Upon arrival we were nicely welcomed by Dylan (the owner), Thiago (the cutest puppy dog), and a delicious Coconut drink. We stayed in one of the casitas by the beach. The reception/joint area is a great great place to spend time in, btw.

The casita was perfectly clean, very secluded, viewed parts of the beach, while perfectly shaded by the palms too. So perfectly that I managed to yoga twice a day during the day-time without any discomfort. We had the DVD player (we watched a movie after the dinner every day, it was excellent) and the satellite TV in the room. The bed was perfect, the window/balcony were huge and the bug net prevented every bug from coming inside. We never used an AC -the open windows did a great job. The bathroom was very nice and impressively, the hot water was running consistently. We enjoyed our spacious and beautifully decorated casita every day! Especially the sea waves sound ...

The beach towels were plentiful and available around the resort; the beach was right there (2 mins walk from the casita), clean, secluded, had sun beds, showers and surely beautifully warm turquoise water!!the only downside at the wilder /jungle beaches is twofold: bugs(small and unpleasant) and the tide (the more tide -the less beach). For those who want no bugs and no salty water -there is a beautiful swimming pool with a swim-to full bar and pleasant clean water.

The food at the paradise is AMAZING! New every day, creative all the time and always the freshest fresh! Darren, the other owner, the chef, the masseuse and a fun, very open person -was doing an excellent job with keeping us full and healthy fed every day, three times a day! The cuisine was not only fresh, it was highly gourmet! We miss the food already. Thank you, Darren !

We went to the Popa village one day and it was a lovely trip to see the local people; we also went to the couple close-by islands just to see a different style of living there; we kayaked and that was a pleasure! The jungle gym is a joy and fun too -must try;) for the nature lovers -there is a wonder every step: from incredible birds to lazy sloths on trees.

All we wanted to do is just to relax and enjoy every moment of this wonderful and very sustainably managed place! We loved every moment of it!

Surely, it is not cheap- but it is absolutely worth it !

NB we felt that coming during the dry vs. rainy season would have been even a better idea! :) we had one of three days gloomy and without much sun, which is great for other activities but not for a tan :)

Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank opuntus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dyllan M, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 11 January 2014

Many thanks for your great review! It was wonderful to meet you and look forward to seeing you at Popa Paradise again soon.

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Reviewed 9 January 2014

This year we went to Popa in mid to late December for 6 days. It was as awesome as the year before, when I went for my birthday. Always greeted with friendly hellos and smiles, this resort feels like more of a second home.
Whether we wanted to walk up the white sand beach or sit at the pool, relaxing and having fun were most definately in the cards.
Going snorkeling, day trips on the Ingwe spirit, or kayaking at Popa is breathtakingly beautiful. My boyfriend had a great time wake boarding, and my mom did it for the first time. Everyone there made sure we were completely comfortable and any requests we had were met.
The food is always scrumptious and I left full from every meal. At one point of your stay you will get to see a phenomenal fire dance. This is my favorite vacation spot that I've been to. I can't wait to go back hoping it's sooner than December. You won't be disappointed!!! Check out Popas paradise island!

  • Stayed: December 2013
    • Value
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1  Thank Jaz4travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dyllan M, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 11 January 2014

Many thanks for your great review, its always a special pleasure to welcome back guests who have stayed with us before. We look forward to seeing you next December!

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Reviewed 9 January 2014

This Resort was nothing short of Heaven on Earth. The Staff were the most accommodating workers I have ever seen on any trip to the Caribbean before. They pampered you and made sure you were completely happy 100% of the time. They were friendly and eager to make your stay perfect. The food was equally astounding. The Chef created delicacies using all local fruits fish and meats. This food was so delicious and well presented that I felt like a Rock Star with my own private Iron Chef competition right in front of me. The rooms were clean, modern and very romantic. The grounds of the facility were meticulously maintained, very easy to maneuver and close proximity to the restaurant, pool and bar. I would recommend Popa Paradise Beach Resort to all my friends. We loved Popa Island so much we bought we bought a home right around the corner from their facility. A true vacation and dream come true!

Room Tip: Spend the extra money and get the casitas on the beach. You and your date will experience one of th...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled as a couple
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    • Rooms
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Thank Louis E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dyllan M, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 11 January 2014

Many thanks for your great review and your kind words. The staff here take great pride in taking good care of our guests and we are so pleased you enjoyed your stay with us. Welcome to the neighborhood, I am sure we will see you around!

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Reviewed 3 January 2014

My wife Lucy and I spent 7 nights at Popa. Having travelled from Vancouver, BC it was along way from home. There are few places I rate as a 10 but this was it. The entire experience was very special and the staff were so good. The food was outstanding. Dyllan and the staff will look after you!

Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
Thank Blair K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dyllan M, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 10 January 2014

Many thanks for your great review and your kind words. It was our pleasure meeting you and looking forward to seeing you back at Popa Paradise.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Popa Paradise Beach Resort

Address: Punta Laurel | Bocas del Toro, Isla Popa, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Popa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Isla Popa
Price Range: £101 - £140 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Popa Paradise Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Popa Paradise is an Adults-Only (18+) beach hotel located on a stunning island called Isla Popa in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, off the Panamanian coast in the Caribbean Sea. We are located about 30 minutes away from Bocas del Toro by boat. Stay with us for an unforgettable vacation where you can relax, snorkel in beautiful clear water and visit the amazing outer islands. Our chef creates a spectacular, tasty, unique and healthy menu and can cater to vegetarians and vegans, which is all included in our all inclusive rate. We have a large range of activities and excursions from diving, fishing, zip lines to the spectacular Zapatilla islands marine park or simply relax by our swimming pool and enjoy a Popa Paradise cocktail at our swim up bar, enjoy a massage in the spa or take a walk on one of our stunning beaches. Our new beach bar and restaurant "Rosie's" is great for cool drinks on the beach all day and at night beach BBQs, bonfires, and occasionally live music under the stars. Our dedicated team of professionals will take care of your every need and ensure you have a memorable stay at our boutique resort. We look forward to meeting you at Popa Paradise - barefoot luxury! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Popa Paradise Beach Hotel Isla Popa
Popa Paradise Beach Isla
Popa Paradise Beach Resort Isla Popa, Panama - Bocas Del Toro

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