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“Excellent Birding and Friendly Staff”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Canopy Tower

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Canopy Tower
Certificate of Excellence
Gainesville, VA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Excellent Birding and Friendly Staff”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2014

We were here with a birding tour company and found the whole experience to be wonderful. The guides were excellent, knew where to find the birds, how to call them in for us to see and could pick out birds just by hearing their calls. The food is very good, no complaints. Please note that you must be able to do stairs, no elevators. The rooms are basic but provide all one needs to get a good sleep and shower. The location is splendid, especially being able to see birds and other creatures at the treetops. I was able to get excellent video of an Iguana, Three-toed Sloth, Palm Tanager, Keel-Billed Toucan and many other birds. If you are looking for eco-friendly adventure this is the place.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jeff G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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293 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (77)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Mill Creek, Washington
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 March 2014

Everything about my seven day stay at Canopy Tower was positive. The staff members with whom I had contact were most helpful, knowledgeable, and professional. Customer service is obviously a priority with the Canopy Family, and I always felt that staff members were doing all in their power to make my stay a positive experience for me. All of the details regarding my visit were meticulously organized; the food was terrific and plentiful; transfers occurred flawlessly; and the accommodations were just fine. The birding experience was nothing short of spectacular, and it was made possible by the outstanding guides with whom I trekked. They each have an unbelievable knowledge of the birds of Panama, and I was continually impressed by their ability to recognize birds by sight, calls, and sounds of their flight. On numerous occasions, they successfully called-in birds from distant locations. They were personable and I always felt they had my needs as their first priority. One of the things with which I was continually impressed was the enthusiasm they exhibited whenever a bird was sighted and the delight they took whenever they found a lifer for me. For my next Panama adventure, I will make plans to visit Canopy Camp and Canopy Lodge.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank Fred A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
15 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2014

I find it diifficult to give the Canopy Tower a review that does it justice. It certainly occupies a very unique location inside Soberanía National Park. The wildlife- and birdwatching in the vicinity are spectacular. We had great sightings, especially along Pipeline Road and Semaphore Hill Road, which are close by (Semaphore Road actually leads right to the Canopy Tower). Only the much-lauded and highly anticipated birdwatching from the Canopy Tower Observation Deck itself was quite disappointing during our three-night-stay, but of course I do not blame the Hotel for that. Besides the location, on the plus side were the very friendly and competent staff (including the excellent bird guides). And now to the negative: As a birdwatcher, I know I have to and am willing to pay good money to get into an exclusive location like the Canopy Tower. But the rates there are so high (additional info: if you book three nights, you get one courtesy guided morning tour close to the Hotel, all the other guided tours have an additional and very steep charge), that we couldn't help the feeling that we overpaid. Rooms and premises are plain and don't seem to be maintained in a way that justifies these rates. Same goes for the food, which was average at best (except for one night when we had a great BBQ which was delicious and fun). So if you go to Canopy Tower don't expect great rooms or food. What you pay for (and I cannot stress enough that you pay a lot) is location, location, location, and not much more. You can easily get to all these locations (except for the Canopy Tower's observation deck, which is only accessible to guests or if you pay a visitor fee) from other hotels as well, especially if you have a rental car. It was a nice stay, but we would not return for the rates that they currently charge.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank Frank T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CanopyFamily, General Manager at Canopy Tower, responded to this review, 14 March 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write a review of our property; all reviews, whether positive or negative are welcome, to ensure we continuously improve our products and service.

Canopy Tower is a former US Air Force radar station, that being one of our attractions in itself, along with the birds. We have never claimed to be a 7-star luxury lodge. But, we strive to provide to all of our guests comfortable accommodations and a tasty meal plan consisting of fresh salads and hearty meals of Panamanian and international fare. Furthermore, we pride ourselves on providing superior birding and nature eco-tours and excellent customer service to create a memorable experience for all of our guests, far exceeding the dollar value for most.

For our future guests, of course we offer the option to pay per night and a-la-carte tours, this is an excellent option for those interested in occasional birding tours with us and independent activities otherwise. However, if you are interested in taking part in our high-quality birding and nature tours at the Canopy Tower with our world-class guides, who carry Leica binoculars and spotting scopes, please consider one of our fantastic packages, which include half-day and full-day tours during your entire stay. In the end, this is a more economical way to enjoy the full Canopy Tower experience. There are several options to best suit your interests, and customized tours are available.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
watford
Level Contributor
127 reviews
90 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2014

This is an amazing and quite unique place to stay and if you are interested in birds it is a must. The guides are brilliant especially Michael who is probably one of the best guides I've ever come across. You must be able to do stairs as it is all arranged around a circular building with bedrooms on the second and third floors. The bedrooms are clean, comfortable and well equipped.
The food is excellent and it caters well for vegetarians if told in advance. There is free tea, coffee and juice on hand at all times. The trips out are included in a 3-day package which makes it look expensive until broken down into items.
This is not a cheap place to stay but it is well worth the extra for the experience.
When we first arrived and went to the dining room/lounge/library we saw a 3-toed sloth on eye level. Then a howler monkey came along, wonderful

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank valgardening
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado Springs, Colorado
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 February 2014

Other reviewers have summarized the physical description of Canopy Tower. It is a unique place to stay. Ability to handle stairs easily is a requirement, but our accommodations were clean with all the necessities provided. As advertised, there are differences in the room sizes, but Harpy Eagle (including a private bathroom) was very nice. The buffet-style meals were filling and delicious, and the dining room offered a wonderful opportunity to get acquainted with visitors from other parts of the world. There are no words to express appreciation for the abilities of the birding guides. Michael's skills in imitating bird calls, spotting birds where most of us would see only dense foliage and then immediately getting the scope on the birds were phenomenal. The pace fit us perfectly. We enjoy getting to know the resident species rather than counting how many can be ticked off in a single outing, and our stay at Canopy Tower provided the opportunity for seeing many different birds and feeling that we had much more than a "quick tick." If you are able to sign up for a night outing, be sure to do so. The animals seen after dark are amazing and well worth the trip. Everyone involved in our stay, from Elba responding to our initial inquiries, to the cooks, the guides, those providing transportation, and all who keep the operation running were courteous, friendly, and helpful. We were there for a week and loved the adventures of every day.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank MEOlsen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami
Level Contributor
59 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 February 2014

I'm a bird watcher so this was a wonderful experience for me. The birding guides are truly outstanding. We made 2 trips a day from the Tower and saw hundreds of bird species along with other wildlife.

I've been to other birding "resorts" before, so was expecting the spartan accommodations. I had a single room (about the size of a walk-in closet) and shared a bathroom with 4 other rooms. It's not designed for luxury. Air conditioning consists of a ceiling fan.

The water was drinkable and the food was good. The top floor has lots of chairs, sofas, etc for relaxing. And the roof above overlooks the forest canopy. Every morning, just before sunrise, people gather up there for coffee and to see the birds as they're just getting going. The Howler Monkeys provided a great wake-up call. However, the best birding is with the Guides, not staying at the Tower. If you are expecting to see parrots, toucans, etc. just flying around, you will be disappointed. There are a few, but mostly you have to get out and walk. Then - it's just spectacular.

Our Guide, Michael, could call in most birds with exact mimicking of their calls. Truly amazing!

The people are lovely and want to ensure you enjoy your stay.

Room Tip: The single rooms all share one bathroom
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank cbkMiami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sparks, Nevada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2014

I spent 17 days in Panama and my trip was capped off with an exciting 3 nights at the Canopy Tower! When I first arrived, I was met by Jenn, who warmly welcomed me and showed me around the tower and explained what to expect. My room was very comfortable and well appointed with all of the necessities. I especially liked the numerous hooks, besides the closet space, to hang my clothes that needed drying out after a rain storm at my previous location. I was then introduced to Michael C. who was my guide for most of the outings I booked upon my arrival. He was an incredible birding guide and could imitate the dozens upon dozens of bird species he heard or saw while we were out in the field. In addition, his English was excellent and he made every effort to find birds that I had on my "wish list". Thank you Michael. The food was excellent. This is not a 4 or 5 star hotel with gourmet 5 star restaurants. The food is served buffet style and was delicious, healthy fare. The dinning area/ common area/ library was warm and welcoming and has chairs, stools and tables set up next to the windows, so one can sit, do e-mails (strong wifi signal), write postcards or whatever while keeping an eye on the birds and butterflies in the upper levels of the trees surrounding the tower. The sounds of the Howler Monkeys coming through the open windows was icing on the cake. At dawn, clients are encouraged to climb up to the roof to hear the dawn chorus of birds and watch numerous canopy level birds that one can rarely see from the ground. Coffee and tea are also served while you are up there looking for the birds! Nice touch. One needs to be aware that this is a former military tower that has many steep stairs . Birders flock (I coudn't help myself…) here to see birds (& butterflies, mammals, insects, reptiles & amphibians) and go to bed early and get up early. Whispering during the evening and early morning is a must, so this is not a place to party loudly.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
3 Thank Nancy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Canopy Tower

Property: Canopy Tower
Address: Semaphore Hill Road | Soberania National Park, Panama City 0832, Panama
Region: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 110 Speciality Lodging in Panama City
Number of rooms: 12
Also Known As:
Canopy Tower Hotel Panama City
Canopy Tower Panama/Panama City

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