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“A Special Place”

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The Resort at Isla Palenque
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Boca Chica
Reviewed 20 August 2013

Isla Palenque is a special place that combines a fantastic location and spectacular scenery with wonderfully crafted rooms and tremendous service. I think that Ben and his team have created something truly unique, not only in creating a wonderful little hotel in the midst of spectacular beaches and deep jungle but in enthusing a staff with a warmth and hospitality that makes the visit so much more special. Highly recommend the guided walks and kayaks if for no other reason than to get to know the guides and the island and then just explore on your own. Definitely get on a boat and Isla Secas, while a haul, should be part of the itinerary. Not every activity was individually spectacular (ie tree climbing was pretty short in height and duration) but all of them offered the chance to hang out with a staff that seems to genuinely to love the island. It is not for everyone and try to come at a time when they are offering discounts but man they are doing it right.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Christopherandfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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77 - 83 of 110 reviews

Reviewed 19 August 2013

The beauty of Isla Palenque is only surpassed by the excellence in service. The team has thought and acted in each detail; from the moment you arrive, to the planning of your days’ activities, to all meals, to the serene and quite atmosphere in the resort.. all are A+
My family and I had a memorable time full of great memories, and we all agreed that is a place to go back.
Ben (resort president) and all the Isla Palenque team are fantastic.

Room Tip: stay for a min of 4 nights..anything less, and you will miss out..
  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank Ricardo T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2013

In my 8 years here, I've stayed at just about all Panama's boutique hotels. More specifically, I've also stayed at all the small hotels in the Boca Chica region of Chiriqui (where this resort is located). I can promise you that the standards upheld at The Resort at Isla Palenque are world-class and among a top 5% sliver of Panama's hospitality world.

The rooms are tremendously comfortable, ideal for anyone who wants to feel like they're inside a jungle canopy while still enjoying fine linens, WiFi, and air conditioning. The staff is on top of everything, the actual quality of construction (albeit a new property) is extremely high, and the natural beauty needs no comment.

The best part of the resort in my opinion is the food. Beyond the organic ingredients they grow on-site, the combinations and innovations on the menu are very uncommon to Panama. The insanely diverse and unique drink menu follows suit, featuring a handful of renditions on old-world Panamanian cocktails.

Ben, the developer, is from Chicago and that city's emerging culinary scene is definitely well represented in his little nook of Panama.

Room Tip: 2 nights isn't quite enough.
  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TheCascoBoys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2013

You can spend your time at isla palenque laying on a beach, exploring new adventures every day, trekking through the lush rain forest and much more. There are many adventures from kayaking through the lively mangroves, to climbing up a monstrous tree to look over the canopy. But that is just the beginning, there are island hops to the most picture perfect. beaches you will ever see, whale watching where you don't have to get excited from seeing a fin a mile away, but from watching its tail flap 10 feet in front of you. This place is absolutely perfect.

Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
Thank Ely K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2013

Our family of four, including our 18 year old daughter and nearly 15 year old son just completed an incredible 8 day stay. We have travelled as a family quite a bit, and all four have voted it "best vacation ever!" The Island and area is simply everything we could have hoped for. Despite going during the green season, we had beautiful and mostly sunny skies the entire stay. The few thunderstorms and rain we did have were short lived, and beautiful and soothing to watch or be in, in their own way. Whether we wanted action/adventure by hiking, swimming, fishing, or kayaking it was just steps away. Or if we just wanted time to chill on loungers by the pool, or on a sandy beach while watching monkeys, that was even easier - just walk out the door! The resort itself is impeccable. Clean and modern, yet well integrated into its natural environs. The Resort beckons you to the outdoors with its open living spaces and walkways. We split our stay between the Ocean view and Jungle Rooms. The Ocean suites are larger, but both are excellent and afford outstanding views of the water and jungle. But as beautiful as the resort and the island are, and as previous reviews have stated, what really set our experience apart from all others, was the staff. They are professional, courteous, and you can tell they love their jobs. They will bend over backwards to insure you have the best experience possible. Aris keeps the place well oiled and took our family on an eye opening experience to meet the Ngobe Bugle people in Saloy, on mainland Panama. Our most frequent guide for the trip, Rodolfo, who took us kayaking, hiking, tree climbing, fishing, and on excursions to other islands is now a friend of the family for life. Our other guides Jose, and Manuel were truly excellent as well. The restaurant service by Benny (who made us laugh every day) and Argelis was superb. And of course there was the food! Yes, the food. Simply wow! We thought Chef Oliver would have it a little rough with our family, with a Vegan and Vegetarian amongst us, but he easily rose to the occasion, and every single meal was just perfect, including a 7 course tasting menu he prepared just for mine and my wife's anniversary. I could easily go on and on about this place. Suffice it say, we will be back as soon as possible. Thank you so much Ben for creating a vacation destination like The Resort at Isla Palenque. Keep up the excellent work!

Room Tip: Simply can't miss with any room, but currently during the lush green season, the first floor Oce...
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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3  Thank Robert_from_WA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2013

Being a local Panamanian guide enables me to visit and stay in a lot of hotels. I can certainly tell you that none of those resemble to Palenque. From the instant we arrived there were the hotel personnel with fresh cool towels to clean our hands and face...
The food is simply delicious and the staff is 100% committed to provide the best possible experience. Rooms are beautiful with views to the ocean or the jungle, and even have an I pad for guests to use!
But the most amazing thing about the resort at Isla Palenque is the setting: rooms, pool, dinning area etc are built "within" the forest. All is surrounded by trees and nature and the soft ocean waves can be heard all over. It is the perfect combination of both worlds for jungle lovers and ocean lovers. The many trails around the island lead to empty beaches, lagoons, mangrove areas and paradise places. After traveling through my country leading tourist for over a decade, I can certainly tell you that there is no other place like this in Panama.

Room Tip: It is up to you: junlge rooms face the jungle and ocean rooms face the ocean. Both are great!
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank 1Arlyn1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2013

What an amazing place! The grounds are beautiful, the staff is super friendly, and the food is great! It feels like you are vacationing on your own private island. The staff goes way out of their way to make sure you have a great time. Worth the trip!!!

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank MKinLA
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

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 4 Hotels in Boca Chica
Price Range: £986 - £1,371 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Resort at Isla Palenque 3.5*
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 
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Also Known As:
The Resort At Isla Palenque Panama/Boca Chica

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