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“Great place to get away from it all...”

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The Resort at Isla Palenque
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Boca Chica
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great place to get away from it all...”
Reviewed 5 May 2013

I attended a Travel and Adventure Show a few months back. We stopped at the Panama booth and met Emily. She spoke highly of the resort, and explained to us how they were going to have a great soft opening sale for people traveling before the end of April. Thank God my vacation was schedule for April! I booked the trip finally after a few emails back and forth with Emily. This secluded and private island is the perfect place to get away from it all. I wanted a vacation that provided peace, quiet and beautiful natural surroundings. Well, I got it all at Isla Palenque! The staff was attentive and catered to our every needs. Chef Oliver prepared the most delicious freshest meals I have ever tasted. He even came out a few times to speak with us during dinner. Carlos our bartender was so handsome, and made us the most amazing drinks! The tour staff (all of them) were so much fun to hang out with during our tours. They made our trip soooo memorable! We miss them all very much. Our ocean room suite was just amazing, and what a view! I loved showering in their private outdoor shower. How cool is that! Listening to the ocean waves and howling monkeys each day was just an incredible experience. It made me forget about all the stress in my life. We were there for 8 days! I want to thank everyone personally who took part in making our vacation the best experience ever! I have never met such a great group of people--so down to earth. They all love their job, and it truly shows! If you want to get away from it all--this is the place to go. Thank you so much for making this vacation the best experience ever! Many blessings to you all always.

Room Tip: All their rooms are great!
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank auroravazquez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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110 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 April 2013

Isla Palenque is deserving of the accolades it is gathering. The meticulous planning and creativeness of it's architect-owner and his young, enthusiastic staff has paid off in spades. Their passion for this 400 acre island paradise is contagious as they guide, teach, entertain and feed you.

With only a limited number of rooms open, book this resort while you still can. The guests I met who stayed for fewer than 8 days all regret not booking longer. The resort was suitable for both couples and parents with children. Each type blended well with the other - critical to a small resort. We enjoyed our island treks, accompanied by an enthusiastic Rodolfo, who was the fastest coconut tree climber in Central America, unofficially. Aris talked about a challenge but I never saw it. I enjoyed having the island pretty much to ourselves if we wanted to wander to one of the beaches. When we went to another island for a half day it reminded me of "a passage to india" - we disembarked from the boat and the staff carried our gear, entertained us and cooked our lunch over an open fire. The only thing missing was someone fanning us with a big leaf!

Fishing was fun, more so after hearing how Captain Matches got his nickname! and going to Boquette zip-lining was fantastic. As a first time visitor to Panama seeing this different eco climate (cooler!) was well worth the trip almost as much as seeing the smile Rachael couldn't seem to wipe off her face after racing 80km/hr through the sky.

If this was all Isla Palenque had to offer it would deserve a 5-star rating. The food, however puts it over the top. Chef Oliver delivers a delicious meal every day of the week, and beautifully-plated as well. Each day he calls in his ingredients to Pete on the mainland who hunts them down for our meals. I honestly think this was a little game to see if he could find some of the obscure things chef had him find.

We will return...

  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Creemore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Savannah, Georgia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 April 2013

My husband and I were blessed to spend a week on this island paradise. We did not know what to expect with a new resort with no reviews on tripadvisor, but something told me to just book it and enjoy the adventure of being one of the first guests. I am so glad we did. It all started with the constant communication with staff before we arrived to help ensure our trip was everything we hope for and more. This was one of my favorite vacations. The mix of luxury, attention to detail, attentiveness of staff and adventure was just perfect. From the beautiful oceanfront room down to the gourmet food and drinks, no detail was overlooked. We enjoyed the island hikes and boating adventures with our guides Rodolfo, Jairon, Aris and Manuel, who were all so knowledgable and entertaining. Each meal was outstanding. Chef Oliver is amazing and our waiters Carlo and Carlos were so nice and attentive. We had a special private dinner on a platform above the beach one night. The seven course dinner paired with seven cocktails was unparalleled. This little eco-luxury resort really was a little slice of Heaven. The monkeys, birds and iguanas combined with all of the edible fruits and plants made exploring the island such a unique experience. My hope is as this resort grows and more people take advantage of all that it has to offer, that it will stay wondrous and uncommercialized. Thank you for sharing fantasy island with us. We fell in love with the island and the resort. We were very sad to leave and felt like we were leaving friends as the staff waved good bye from the dock as we departed. Truly an amazing experience, one in which we hope we will repeat when we return (we will definitely go back).

Room Tip: We loved the large balcony and the sunrise views from our oceanfront room. Also the outdoor shower w...
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank mmc_tybee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boquete, Panama
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2013

My wife and I celebrated her birthday at Isla Palenque. The owners have done a beautiful job with this resort. We selected the Isla Palenque resort online and I can honestly say that as good as their web pages is, it understates how beautiful the resort and the rooms truly are. I recommend the ocean front room with king size bed and an outdoor shower. The views are spectacular. The food and drinks were gormet quality in both presentation and flavor. We looked forward to every meal. They must have one of the finest chefs in Panama. The iPad tablet provided in the room was a nice touch. The high-speed internet allowed us to listen to streaming music on the iPad. The Isla Palenque staff was friendly, courteous and efficient. Thanks Isla Palenque Resort for a wonderful and memorable birthday. We highly recommend this unique island resort get-away.

Room Tip: We loved the ocean front room on the first floor. It features an outdoor shower.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SMcADa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greenville, South Carolina, United States
1 review
Reviewed 9 April 2013

Well, we couldn't find them but I could swear our fantasy began as we stepped off the boat onto the Isla Palenque dock. You will not find better service as they will attend to your every need.The food was incredible, as good or better than the Napa culinary experience...Chef Oliver is truly an artist. The island hopping tours are awesome...we fully recommend the Islas Secas tour, the water is so clear you can snorkel from the boat! The views are breathtaking from every corner...you don't just see ocean, but rock formations with lush vegetation in the middle of the ocean. Our kids loved the experience and saw more animal species than in our local zoo. We highly recommend this luxury location, you will not want to leave.

Room Tip: Have to splurge on an Ocean Suite.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Michelle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2013

After reading the other rave reviews and well-described island resort attributes, I am beginning to think it may be impossible in words to actually share how incredibly unique, and how incredibly awesome, a visit to this place can be. Maybe TripAdvisor could expand its owl eyeball rating system, giving us early visitors an opportunity to capture in a special sixth circle a wordless assessment about a once in a life time experience!

The family trip planning for this adventure felt like a big risk - new place, new resort, remote location - what could, in fact, go right? It turns out - everything.

The "remoteness" added to the sense of adventure and discovery. Getting there feels a bit like an expedition, water landing and all. The lack of development as you crawl through jungle in your pint-sized shiny white van only enhances the feeling that you have been assigned to the island as an explorer of sorts.

After arriving at the resort, the feeling slightly changes from a pure adventure trip to the possibility that you are a celebrity invited to your wealthy friend's private island. Spacious and uber comfortable private spaces, island elegant communal spaces, and the pool and dining area all connected by outdoor walkways - a great way to keep you connected to the surroundings and to make certain your gaze is pulled to the animals of the moment (iguanas and howler monkeys the favorites) and/or the impossibly cool beach at the foot of the resort. On top of the design is piled the service and food. Both exceptional and well-reviewed.

From these first impressions forward, my family was able to move effortlessly back and forth between being the explorers/adventurers and the celebrity visitor. Sometimes lounging about the pool, and sometimes lunging around island. For all the remoteness and wild, everything felt safe and secure. Manual, Rodolfo, Hiro (our Hero) and Aris - expert eco-guides with patience beyond the call of duty.

Our one desire upon returning home was that the place could stay exactly as is and wait for us until we visit again. It can't and won't - but here is hoping that all visitors to this special place (and the operators) work to keep the wonder of it all in place.

Stayed March 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
8 Thank HolzFam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, England, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2013

We have travelled to Panama for 20 years, but this is the first truly 5 star luxury eco resort we have found. The food and service are world class, and there are enough activities for all types of visitors. Our kids love the beach and the island hopping. We loved the island walks and drinks at sunset, We thought 3 nights would be perfect but we left feeling we should have spent a week!

Special experiences included watching from the ocean suites the howler monkeys eating fruit high up in the nearby trees; enjoying the dolphins swim with the boat on the island hopping tour.

Ask chef Oliver for cooking lessons, or master guide Aris about the local island legends - magical realism still lives on in Chiriqui!

Room Tip: The ocean suites have the best views, but the jungle rooms are very quiet.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Henry R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Resort at Isla Palenque

Property: The Resort at Isla Palenque
Address: Isla Palenque, Boca Chica, Panama
Region: Panama > Chiriqui Province > Boca Chica
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Casino and Gambling Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Boca Chica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — The Resort at Isla Palenque 4*
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A new sustainable private island resort on a pristine 400-acre jungle island in the Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama, featuring 16 luxury rooms nestled among forest trees with glimpses of the Pacific, two restaurants, a spa and over 20 custom tours and adventures on the island, in the Gulf and on the mainland. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Resort At Isla Palenque Panama/Boca Chica

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