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“Fabulous”

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Hotel Bocas del Mar
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Boca Chica
Certificate of Excellence
Lutz, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Fabulous”
Reviewed 3 February 2014

We just returned from an 8 day trip to Panama and our 3 days at Bocas Del Mar were by far the most enjoyable of entire trip. The property and views and gardens are beautiful. We booked the Deluxe Garden Room and it was worth the extra $$ but not one person we talked to had anything bad to say about the other rooms. The service from hotel management and staff was amazing and the ratio of staff to guests much higher than one would expect. In the restaurant, Jose and Alex made our meals enjoyable, they were attentive and fun to talk to. In management, Neil, Alberto and Lara attended to our every wish, arranging and rearranging excursions. Every meal we had in the restaurant was delicious, the seafood, veggies and fruits were fresh and the menu dependent on local availability.
I would highly recommend this hotel to anyone looking for R & R in a tropical environment and we will certainly return to enjoy again.
This is a very remote area of Panama, the local town is tiny but there is a small Mercado in Boca Chica. It is hot in January but the ocean breezes and the beautiful pools with shaded areas kept us cool. As for AC in our room, it was totally comfortable although it did take maybe 2 hours to cool down on arrival.
For excursions, we rented a Panga boat with local captain for one day and had a great day of partial fishing, partial snorkeling and just viewing this beautiful area of islands in the Pacific. Trip even included a viewing of Howler Monkeys in the trees on the shore of Boca Brava. The cost of this trip was just $60 per hour, very reasonable. Day two, having enjoyed the time on the water so, we did it again but rented the hotel boat and captain along with another couple we met and had just as good a day, again at a very reasonable price. The kitchen cleaned and cooked our catch for us.

Room Tip: all rooms have a beautiful view, if traveling as family or with another couple, there are rooms that...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank beth e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelBocasdelMar, Manager at Hotel Bocas del Mar, responded to this review, 25 February 2014
We really appreciate your thorough and helpful review.

It was a pleasure to have you to stay and we enjoyed helping you discover our hotel and the magical area around Boca Chica. Everyone works hard to make guests feel at home on their vacation and your comments are very motivating for all the team.

Thank you again.

Everyone at Hotel Bocas del Mar
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (108)
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English first
Edegem, Belgium
1 review
Reviewed 3 February 2014

We enjoyed very much our three night stay at this hotel in it’s very beautiful location on the sea. The staff and proprietaries were helpful and we felt like part of the family when we left.
It is a very pretty place with modern, minimalist style rooms that are big and bright and with good-air conditioning. The road there is a wynding country road ( but there are signs) but please keep going as the view as you round the corner when you arrive is not to be forgotten.

The hotel organized for us two good excursions in the hotel boat; we found the local captain to be excellent and knew where to take us to see the evening birds & the snorkelling-it is true that he does not speak much English, but we were not expecting this in this part of Panama & he made it fun for us with his funny young assistant and I will recommind this boat to everyone.

Thank you to Alec, Christian & Diane for your lovely smiles in the restaurant.

Sandra and Jeroen

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SandraDeMeulenaere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelBocasdelMar, Manager at Hotel Bocas del Mar, responded to this review, 25 February 2014
Dear Sandra and Jeroen,

What a great review; we thank you for your comments. We’re glad you took advantage of what the area had to offer and that you found your stay with us to your satisfaction.

Kind regards,

The Hotel Bocas del Mar Team
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Johnson City, Tennessee
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2014

I stayed at this hotel with my husband.

This was the last and most expensive of three hotels we stayed at during our visit to Panama. We were surprised to find the room to be small, very warm, sparsely appointed and without a phone or functioning WiFi.

We immediately brought the issue of weak AC and WiFi to the attention of management. We were told that the Wifi was down because of wind. After coming to our room, we were told that the AC was functioning normally and the temperature in our room was actually pleasant. Furthermore, it was pointed out to us that the previous occupant had no complaints. We were advised to pull the curtains during the day and keep the bathroom door closed at all times and that over a period of several more hours, the room would cool down even more. We had not run into a similar situation in any other hotel we stayed at in Panama and found these measures a surprising let-down. We found that the loss of Wifi was not unique to our room and yet, that it functioned very nicely in the bar/lounge area. Perhaps wireless repeaters would solve the problem.

The hotel enjoys beautiful views and spectacular weather. In January, temperatures run consistently at about 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. This of course is why one comes to a hotel like this mid-winter. However, one does not necessarily wish to be 90 degrees all the time. This hotel provides climate control in one place, your room. Unfortunately, being in one's room means being in a small dark place with the curtains drawn and the bathroom heating up like a sauna. The restaurant/lounge is entirely open to the weather and provides shade but no respite from the heat.

We found the restaurant to be inconsistent and sometimes mediocre. As an example, we ordered lobster for dinner one evening and asked for a bottle of chilled, white wine. We asked for our wine again, then again. After enjoying very nice appetizers, our lobsters arrived at our table, seasoned and baked on the half-shell, with rice. These two lobsters had been baked until they were something like rubber. Our wine finally arrived after we had finished at least half of our main course and were thinking about what to have for dessert. On another occasion we stopped by the restaurant and ordered a snack of shrimp cocktail and waited....and waited.... we inquired, they had simply forgotten, and as it turns out, don't do shrimp cocktail.

We enjoyed a couple of excursions. The first, was an evening boat ride in the mangrove swamps. Fascinating and truly enjoyable. However, it should be kept in mind that the staff operating the craft, speak only Spanish. This is a ride in a boat, not a guided tour. We managed to communicate and asked how big the mangrove swamp was. The guide simply did not know nor could he answer any other questions.

The second excursion was a four hour exploration of uninhabited islands and some snorkeling. This was the best part of our stay and we really enjoyed it. They packed a lunch for us, consisting of a ham sandwich each, several beers and sodas. Our guide was quite ill and after anchoring laid under a tree until it was time to return. A young man in his teens leaped out of the boat at one point and swam away quite rapidly. Suddenly he disappeared and moments later popped back up with two very beautiful star fish.

Later, we asked about doing some fishing and were surprised to find that it runs $90/hr, before tax and tip. Although, it can be said that for that price, they include bait and a rod.

Overall, we enjoyed our stay at this hotel. However, what we found disappointing was the reaction to our concerns when they arose. We are not overly sensitive to the heat (we are from the southeastern U.S.), and we know what good AC is by Panamanian standards. Nor are we fussy or demanding diners. I would not recommend this hotel to a friend.

Room Tip: Avoid any room facing the afternoon sun.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 18Irene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelBocasdelMar, Manager at Hotel Bocas del Mar, responded to this review, 25 February 2014
The aim of each member of the Bocas del Mar team is for every guest to have an enjoyable and happy stay with us & we take all comments from guests very seriously; we are sorry that we could not do more to make your stay better for you, however we are heartened that your husband in his separate review of the same stay did say he liked our hotel & guest rooms.

The guest room air conditioning is to a good, modern standard, and works; the Panamanian lowland climate is tropical & there will naturally be a normal delay if a guest wishes to change from medium setting to the coldest setting of room temperature on a warm sunny day. We explained this as attentively as possible to what we believed was your satisfaction and we are truly sorry to now learn that this was not the case.

To help future guests;- Bocas del Mar is a boutique-style hotel in Boca Chica, an unspoiled natural location with the added delight of being in an area still being discovered by tourists (yet only 20 minutes from the Pan American Highway). Consequently guests will not see the sort of mass-market tourist infrastructure common in large concrete resorts in other coastal areas; for example very occasionally wi-fi might be interrupted for a few minutes as our wi-fi signal comes from a radio tower located one mile away, (as there is no fibre optic network in the jungle). And perhaps local people a guest encounters on their travels around the Boca Chica area may not all speak fluent English, however we hope guests will agree with us that this is more than made up for by the locals charm and eagerness to please the visitor.

Thank you for taking the time to record your comments.

The Hotel Bocas del Mar Team.
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Johnson City
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2014

We enjoyed our stay at this hotel. The rooms are large and clean and the grounds quite beautiful. This establishment is perched over the bay and features spectacular views.
Worth noting in a candid review... there is air conditioning in only one place, your room. When dining, seek a table with a breeze. The weather is very hot. Our room required that the curtains and bathroom be kept closed during the day. The AC is weak and if you forget to do this it takes many hours to attain a reasonable comfort level again. Our room had no WiFi during our stay. Though, if one chooses, you may walk down to the lounge area where it works very well.
The staff is very attentive and helpful.
This hotel offers numerous excursions., including sunset island tours, whale watching and snorkeling. We enjoyed a four hour adventure where we had the opportunity to do some snorkeling and explore an uninhabited island.
The hotel also offered us an opportunity to do some close-in fishing for only $90/hr (not including tax and tip), poles and bait provided, or a day of deep sea fishing for only $1,300 per couple.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tedirene
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelBocasdelMar, Manager at Hotel Bocas del Mar, responded to this review, 27 January 2014
Thank you for your Tripadvisor review. We’re glad you enjoyed many aspects of your visit.

Panama’s tropical climate is normally a key reason why guests choose to come to this area to relax. The awesome weather in January, here on the edge of the Pacific Ocean beneath glorious tropical sunshine, is something that we feel privileged waking up to each day and it makes us sad that you were taken by surprise by this.

The air conditioning in guest rooms is at least to the standard of other similarly located hotels in Panama; (other hotels located oceanside in the jungle may still have no air-conditioning at all). On receiving your review today, we believe we have identified from your profile the room you were staying in (as you do not mention which one it was) & we will carry out an immediate quality & maintenance check on the air con (and Wi fi) in it, making any corrections as necessary. Our team is always on hand during a guest’s stay & pleased to do all possible to make it more comfortable.

Kind regards,

The Hotel Bocas del Mar Team
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Netherlands
Level Contributor
374 reviews
92 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 January 2014 via mobile

We stayed here 3 nights and if there had been a room available would have extended. Great room, 2 queen beds, mini bar, amazing views. We had nr 16 which has, with no 15, the best views, though 50 meters further up the hill. 2 infinity pools and everything situated in a lovely setting, quiet and relaxed, make this feel like paradise. Great owners and staff, very service oriented and great food too. Possibilities to do some trips such as island discovery which brought us at a deserted white sand where we could also do some snorkeling.

Wifi in the upper rooms is not good but will be fixed in a week. On the other hand, the signal at the restaurant is excellent. Remember, you are on holiday!

Not cheap but worth every $!!!

Thank you all, Caren & Michel

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Golfandtravelfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelBocasdelMar, Manager at Hotel Bocas del Mar, responded to this review, 21 January 2014
Dear Caren & Michel,

It was great fun to have you to stay at the hotel and all the Bocas del Mar team thanks you for your review and wishes you well for the rest of your stay in Panama. (The WiFi signal in the area where you stayed has been restored to full strength already.).

We’re glad you were able to make the most of the hotel’s facilities and the trip options.

Kind regards,

Hotel Bocas del Mar
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Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed 19 January 2014

The staff and owners make this place. Notwithstanding, the views are glorious. They are the nicest people and provide superb service. We had to leave very early to catch a plane back to Panama City and the owner Diego, got up at 5 am and made us breakfast and coffee and made sure the driver came and we went off OK.
We had some minor issues acclimating upon arrival. Every one of our issues was solved immediately. The food is excellent. We went to a remote beach by boat where they set up this superb picnic after we snorkeled around. Table, chairs, wine…the works. On the beach, protected by a tree canopy. Very impressive.
The only negative was the lack of a real beach at the resort. But keep in mind you are in the jungle so beaches are not the thing. This is compensated by their ability to take you to remote, deserted islands where we were the only ones there with an occasional interloper from another local hotel. The two infinity pools are fantastic and provide a superb view of the bay and sunsets. We had a Jacuzzi on our porch which was even better!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Jorge508
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelBocasdelMar, Manager at Hotel Bocas del Mar, responded to this review, 21 January 2014
We are very appreciative of your 5 star review of our hotel and thank you for your gracious comments about the service you received.

Our aim is to give everyone just the amount of personalized attention, while maintain their privacy, and we are pleased that this element added to your enjoyment of your stay with us.

With kind regards,

The Hotel Bocas del Mar Team
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Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2014

The few negative things mentioned in other reviews were also part of my experience, but one must remember that this is still a relatively remote location and to find a hotel with such luxurious ambitions and yet reasonably priced was a delight. I have a feeling that this is an area that will soon experience major growth. I'm glad we went now. Just as I am glad I went to Costa Rica fifteen years ago.

We had just come from the Caribbean side of Panama and it rained much of the time even though it was the "dry" season. Our experience of the Pacific was that the dry season is dry.

The infinity pools (there are two) were hard to leave. Last words - THE VIEW!

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 2J0hns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HotelBocasdelMar, Manager at Hotel Bocas del Mar, responded to this review, 18 January 2014
Thank you for your kind & encouraging review.

We are proud of our beautiful, natural location, on the mainland overlooking tropical islands. All the team works hard to ensure as many people as possible can enjoy this privileged spot in comfort with us

Best Wishes,

The Bocas del Mar Team
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Additional Information about Hotel Bocas del Mar

Property: Hotel Bocas del Mar
Address: | Gulf of Chiriqui, Boca Chica, Panama
Region: Panama > Chiriqui Province > Boca Chica
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Boca Chica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Bocas del Mar 4*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Bocas Del Mar, in Boca Chica, is a boutique hotel with modern, luxury features. In a privileged oceanside location on the mainland, it is perfectly positioned for a completely relaxing vacation. We were TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice Award Winners in 2016 for the Top Hotel for Service in Panama. Our focus is on quality customer service and attention to detail. We have 20 large contemporary-style guest bungalows that are set in tropical gardens right alongside the glistening blue water of the Gulf of Chiriqui. Open your drapes each morning and the Pacific Ocean is there to greet you! Choose from several room types; from our spacious king or queen bed bungalows through to the exceptional Premier Suite. There's a gourmet restaurant & bar on site and we have not one but TWO stunning infinity-style pools to bathe in. There is also a small beach, except at high tide, and we have our own dock to head to more local beaches via water taxi or excursion boat - we are opposite the beautiful islands of the Gulf of Chiriqui and have a full ocean and land trip program. Plus a massage studio (advance reservation required). Just 5 minutes by car or watertaxi from Boca Chica village. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Bocas Del Mar Panama/Boca Chica

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