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“Ehh... definitely go with Luna's Castle if at all possible”

Panama Hostel by Luis
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Panama Hostel by Luis
Reviewed 19 February 2013

Luna Castle was booked, so I stayed here instead hoping for the backpacker vibe. A mix of older and younger crowd, I did meet a lot of really awesome people. Omar, one of the managers, good man. There is also a group of locals that just hang out there, can't really say why, but it seemed like they were up to no good.

The hostel environment wasn't bad, but the location is rather poor. Perfectly safe, but away from all the action. There is a bus stop just outside that can take where you need to go but those things are hectic! Always ended up taking cabs.

I took a stroll through Old Town during my stay, and came across Luna's Castle. My god. Backpacker haven. The number of young, beautiful women and friendly people from all around the world coming in and out of there... I felt like I was really missing out. Old Town has some quite lively nightlife, I must add.

So if you want backpacker and can't do Luna's, this place is a good alternative.

Room Tip: The single rooms aren't that expensive, considering, and they're dramatically better than th...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled solo
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1  Thank MusikAnimal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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10 - 16 of 52 reviews

Reviewed 16 January 2013

We had a private bedroom which was very comfortable. There was air conditioning which I don't believe was in the dorm rooms. It was more expensive for a room than anywhere in South America but I don't have anywhere else in Panama to compare it to. However we had to share a bathroom with the other guests. There were 2 bathrooms available for 6 rooms. Often it was busy and we had to wait. There was no warm water in the shower, not horrible in a place where it is 30 degrees Celsius and very humid. The kitchen was clean and big enough for several people to be cooking at once.
The hostel is in a pretty good location. Not much within walking distance besides a 24 supermarket and a McDonalds but you can easily jump on a bus and be down at the waterfront in 15-20 minutes.
The manager was very friendly and helpful. He spent as much time as we needed outlining what there was to do in the city and making sure to tell us how much a cab should cost from here to there so we weren't taken advantage of.
Overall, very pleasant stay.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sphnh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2013

The whole Hostel is very dirty and in general not maintained well. We had an private room and the carpet, bed, fridge were very dirty. The promised warm shower didn't work and the offered towels had an acid smell of an old water tank.
The hostel claims to offer a 24h checkin, which is not the case. Nor do they offer free breakfast as announced on their flyers.

The hostel is in a very secure part of Panama City.
They are offering well organised tours to San Blas Islands.

Personal I can not recommend this place to stay with. And to my opinion they are a rip off for the service offered.

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank madaley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2013

Don't book Panama by Luis - He gave away our private room, even though we booked a room and he replied to our a confirmation email. We assume that normally reservations are processed more smoothly at Luis. However Luis tried to blame us for his mistake.

After having stayed at more than 20 hostels in Central America alone, this is the first time we encountered a hostel owner who treated his customers so impolite.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Joppe B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 November 2012

First of all, I want to say thank you to everyone there! My Boyfriend and I stayed here about a week in a private room with awesome A/C and a shared bathroom (who even cares about a private bathroom, you spend all of 5min in there a day anyways). I arrived in panama city really sick... to be honest I don't remember much of the first few days except how amazing the staff (and other guests) were. As soon as I showed my sick and sweaty face, their first priority was getting me to bed! I was so grateful to be lying down in air conditioning, We had been at another hostel that morning and they were extremely rude, lost our reservation and was absolutely no help to me when I was sick. Everyday the staff and owner at Panama by Luis asked how I was, told us where to go for a reliable doctor, pharmacy...the whole nine yards. The atmosphere is super chill, and really friendly. We made some pretty cool friends there and stayed in panama city longer than we had planned for. It's an older building, but it is cleaned everyday. There's a 24hr supermarket down the street, buses/cabs a minutes walk away...The staff helped us organize our trip to san blas too (which was AWESOME). After 2+ months in central and south america, we found ourselves comparing every place we stayed in to panama by luis... :)

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DanielleLawless
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2012 via mobile

Thank you for being so quick to reply to ALL my emails. It was the first time I ever traveled outside the U.S. and I was traveling on my own. Plus I knew VERY little Spanish. I suggest you defiantly speak Spanish if you head to Panamá but don't let it stop you if you don't. I did manage with books & apps and got around very easily but it can be frustrating from time to time. In Panama City lots of people speak English but not many do when you travel through the country. Everyone was very kind and accommodating plus very patient with my learning curve. Panama by Luis was close to many things within walking range or the price of a $3-$5 cab ride. The neighborhood was safe and clean, so were the rooms. The staff was the best, very nice people. I will be back the next time I am in Panama City. The Shuttle pick up at 2:30am at the airport truly started my trip off right and made it easy. Keep up the wonderful job!

  • Stayed: September 2012
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Thank ArtistAfloat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2012

I booked a single room with bathroom but what I get was a single room with shared bathroom....but both room and bathroom were clean and nice. The staff is helpful and friendly and the hostel is located in a very safe area, never feel uncomfortable.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled solo
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1  Thank Anna M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Panama Hostel by Luis

Address: Coco del Mar, Panama City, Panama
Region: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Hotel Style:
Ranked #49 of 109 Speciality Lodging in Panama City
Number of rooms: 13
Also Known As:
Panama Hostel By Luis Panama City

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