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“Almost on a desert island” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Resort at Isla Palenque

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The Resort at Isla Palenque
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Boca Chica
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
87 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Almost on a desert island”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 May 2014

This is such a beautiful and peaceful place! I don't know how it turns out when they have built all the villas they have in mind, but at the moment you can feel like Robinson Crusoe, except that you will get the comfort of a very good hotel and an excellent service with a very dedicated and welcoming staff.
We had a very nice and comfortable ocean suite over the sea (which we could hear more than we could see due to the trees). Excursions are amazing, either walking or by boats, you will get to strange beautiful places, sometimes you will feel this can't be real.
Certainly a place to go.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank KUSNACHT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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110 reviews from our community

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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
Paso Robles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2014

This was our second time to Isla Palenque and man was it awesome! This island and its staff are incredible. This visit we brought 7 of our close friends to experience the island with us. Most of the time we honestly felt like the island was ours. The staff, bartenders, wait persons, and guides were always available and always trying to make sure our stay was five stars! We had a variety of rooms from the expansive ocean suite, to the garden room, to the tented suites. Every room on this island is an adventure. The tented suites puts you right in the tree tops with the islands flora and fauna offering some of the best views on the island! These suites are an incredible adventure that can not be had anywhere else in Panama. The new addition of Las Roccas (Bar Restaurant) is unbelievable. Almost every night we watched the incredible sunsets waist deep in warm ocean water with cocktail in hand. Once the sun had set, we would just mosey up to the outdoor shower, change for dinner only to consume some of the most incredible meals we could imagine. Benny was an absolute genius bartender. He made my wife “mocktails” with no alcohol and actually serenaded our entire group with his guitar including a rendition of the “Foo Fighters”. What an unexpected treat. Avarado, Ricardo, Juan Carlos, Oscar, Arron, and Manuel were all wonderful, we really had a lot of fun just hanging out. We have traveled to many countries, I am not a big reviewer of locations unless they are truly spectacular and I forced myself to sit down to write this review because Isla Palenque is just that good. If you have every dreamt of owning your own island or being on an episode of “Fantasy Island” or “Lost”….this is the island for you! The proprietor Ben was exceptionally helpful and knowledgeable about the property and ALL of our arrangements to and from the island. Ben is a consummate professional and really has a slice of paradise with Isla Palenque. We simply can not wait to return to this island and see what Ben does next.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ChadMerr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Qbaijja
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 April 2014

Wendy and I stayed in both the hotel Garden Room and the Tented suites over a 4 day period in late March. Extraordinary, Superb and other similar adjectives simply do not do the experience justice. The tranquility of the location, the almost individually private deserted beaches and the extensive variety of flora and fauna complemented by the unceasing but non-invasive attention of the staff all contributed to what can only be described as an unforgettable experience. Our only complaint is that it is such a long way from the UK to go back again!

One tip - if possible deal directly with Amble when booking thus avoiding travel agencies who may not fully appreciate the quality of the experience available here. Our experience was that Ben and his staff are extremely flexible in their ability to accommodate any desires or requirements you may have.

Room Tip: The garden room we stayed in is adequate in size but does not have a sea view unlike the others. Of...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Don C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Norwich, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2014

We stayed at the Isla Palenque resort mid-March at the end of a 16 day ’adventure’ tour of Panama.
We booked the four night discovery package on the Island in one of the tented suites and from the minute we arrived we knew that Isla Palenque was something truly special.

We chose a tented suite because we wanted to have a totally unique and unforgettable experience, and we were not disappointed
The climb to and from the suite was superb and not difficult (if reasonably fit) and it just added to the adventure of stepping into the jungle it made you feel like you were walking into your own secluded piece of tropical paradise, made especially exhilarating at night by torch light (supplied on the key ring).
The sleeping area was faultless, well-proportioned and furnished beautifully. We were lulled to sleep by the waves breaking on the shore and awoken by a dawn chorus from howler monkeys.
The open air shower room again was perfect, always clean and fresh (with towels changed regularly).
You don’t need air conditioning as the fans and the breeze make it feel really comfortable and NO BUGS at all, not even in the shower room.
The outside living area was amazing, a large decked area high above the beach in the canopy of the trees, the prefect spot to relax on the sofa (or in the hammock) with a gin and tonic at the end of the day whilst watching howler monkeys foraging in the trees 20 metres away and nesting black hawks above.
The whole suite felt deluxe and luxurious (even with cold showers and a composting toilet). The attention to detail was astounding from printed field guides and maps to providing binoculars, i-pads and buckets of ice, to meticulous housekeeping and a 24hr concierge (thanks Bibiana).

The Rocas was a perfect spot, especially for pre-dinner cocktails (a favourite was Olga’s Gold) and watching breath-taking sun sets, followed by short shuttle drives to the Eden for marvellous dinners.
The package included a choice from several excursions all of which were executed with perfection, you wanted for nothing, water, sun screen, bug spray all provided by approachable, friendly staff that truly love their jobs .

We had the most incredible stay, and we loved every single minute of it, for nature loving adventure travellers like us it was absolutely perfect.

Thank you Isla Palenque you made us feel like superstars.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tina and Peter L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2014

My family stayed 5 nights at the main hotel/ B&B, and it was amazing. Totally unlike the island experience I've had before - internet, Ipad in the hotel room, all totally new. What was absolutely amazing though, is the fact that the animals were most definitely not afraid. Vultures soared overhead, along with a falcon that visited the beach with us every day, and almost dived at us when we went boogie boarding. Along with that, crabs would scuttle around as we ate, monkeys would howl above, and we fed birds bacon.

They had a timetable of activities, from island hopping to fishing. The food was amazing, and they could easily cook something up that wasn't on the menu (we discovered this when they said they could serve the kids with french fries, and for my mother, who is lactose intolerant, they made soya milk ice cream.)

The only minuscule flaw was that the maids were not the best; there was a nest of midget ant over my head, and a small spider lived behind a painting.

Totally amazing experiance, everyone we met was amazing. :)

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Isabel r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
39 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2014

My husband and I stayed at the Resort at Isla Palenque at the beginning of March for one week.
It was truly a unique, yet luxurious travel experience.
We booked a Jungle room, and thought it was great. Our view was of the surrounding jungle, the ocean view suites, and a peak at the ocean on the horizon, The room was very comfortable, with an air-conditioner, and fan, comfortable bed, sitting area, and small balcony.

There are two sides to the minimally developed island. Playa Primera with the estate rooms, Eden restaurant, guest lounge and infinity pool. The other developed area is Punta Rocas with the tented suites, Las Rocas restaurant and bar, large beach for swimming, and the spa.
The walk between the two areas is about 15 minutes, or you can have a driver take you, or pick you up. Las Rocas seemed to be the place that we all gathered for a cocktail at sunset.

The Island is large, with multiple hiking and walking trails, and many private beaches. There are guides to take you on walks, explaining the flora and fauna of the Island. The guides will also take guests on day tours, kayaking, boat excursions, and fishing. We thought the guides were for the most part excellent. We loved their enthusiasm for the Island, and Panama, and their casual ,approachable nature.

The food at this resort is amazing. Seems to have an emphasis on local ingredients , when available. There were always a few choices for all meals, and we were never disappointed. The highlight was my 7 course tasting menu for my birthday. Set up on a private veranda over the ocean, surrounded by candles, and staff made flower arrangements. It was one of the highlights of our trip, It wasn't about the food, so much as the sincere desire for the staff to make sure the evening was a celebration for me.

The staff at this resort are exceptional. Gracious, welcoming, and genuine. Some of the most lovely waiters, bartenders, and guides Ive experienced anywhere.
This resort is for those who want a quiet,unique vacation experience without giving up luxury.To get a better feel for this resort you can view my blog entry at thewholewideworld.ca

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Collectmemories
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
32 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 April 2014

Our four person family (kids 12 and 14 years) had a once in a lifetime experience on the island! This was the last stop on a 2 week Panama vacation and we saved the best for last. From the employees (my younger son still emails with one staff member) to the location, this will not disappoint. We had the 'luxury' of staying in the first tented suite so we were all by ourselves on this beach (main hotel was a 15 minute walk away). Monkeys above our head, viewing sunsets and sunrises from our tent, "our private beach"...Heavenly. We spent 4 nights in the tents and wouldn't have traded it for a luxury room. In fact, we didn't even miss hot water.
We kayaked, fished (caught dozens of fish that they cooked for us that night), spent a day snorkeling on a nearby island and simply relaxed in true nature. Ben has done an outstanding job of building the hotel while maintaining the island's natural aesthetic. This is the antithesis of a mega resort--it's a natural beauty.
By the way, in Dec/January weather was not too hot and there was a mix of families and couples. In fact one night, Ben did a spontaneous coconut tasting for the handful of kids on the island while the adults had their own rum-filled tasting=)

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank tsimon05
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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