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Review of Patty's Casitas

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Patty's Casitas
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 31 May 2012

Stayed here in early May for three nights. Patty and Rudy are very organized. Casco Viejo area has lots to do and it's easy to get around Panama City by walking down to take the Hop On - Hop Off Bus. The condo had it all...great bed, hot water, a kitchen area...really a small home away from home that is tastefully decorated. And there is a washer/dryer in the building. Beautifully decorated and a good stay for the start of our trip.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank esshop9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 May 2012

We stayed for three nights in the loft apartment and three nights in the studio at Casco Viejo. Both are up two flights of stairs; no elevator. We had an excellent experience and were delighted with our choice.

Location: this location is excellent. Nice quiet road. Walking distance from everything in Casco Viejo, two seconds from a road full of taxis, nearby breakfast cafes and supermarkets, and two minutes from a scenic parade along the water for running etc. Be advised, a lot of Casco Viejo is being dug up at the moment, which detracts from its loveliness just a little, but it's still atmospheric, cool, bustling, and filled with great bars and restaurants and pretty squares.

Loft: This is an absolute delight, and great value for money. Over two floors, it is spacious, comfortable and attractive, with stylish decor which is modern but simultaneously evocative of the Casco Viejo look. Two bedrooms (one locked when we were there), two bathrooms, kitchen area with all mod cons, breakfast bar, comfortable living room area, and pretty balcony overlooking the street with a table and two chairs. The bed was huge, and there was good storage space. The wifi worked well, and they even provided a laptop, as well as a landline and mobile phone.

Studio: This is absolutely lovely, though a tiny bit disappointing after the space and slightly more updated decor of the loft. Had I not had the loft to compare it to, I'd have had no qualms in being delighted. And it was cheaper, so frankly, there's no issue. Essentially a large room, again with a massive, comfortable bed. There's no sofa here, but two fairly comfortable chairs at one end, and a little bistro dining set at the other. The balcony's just a Juliet balcony so you can't sit outside, but you can open the doors and sit at the bistro table next to it. The room is pretty and decorated stylishly. The bathroom's a little smaller and looks like it has been updated less recently than the loft, as is the kitchen, which is tucked away and feels almost like a different room in the studio. Again, all mod cons in the kitchen. And the same wifi.

Patty: She was extremely helpful, answering e-mails within minutes, and very accommodating as our plans changed around. In between staying in the loft and studio, we went to Boquete by air, which requires small bags. You can't really leave your luggage as there's no reception (it's a residential block, not an aparthotel) but Patty obligingly took our luggage to their other apartment in Amador, and had us swing by in the taxi and pick it up when we arrived back in the city. Which was a bit of a hassle, but she made it work, which wa great.

Rudi's tours: Rudi is a very pleasant guy who speaks English well, and Patty organizes trips with him for her guests. We took the city tour along with two other couples for $50 each, and were disappointed - it felt no different to paying a taxi driver to drive us around the obvious places in the city, with little history or commentary from him. At the Panama Canal, he hadn't checked in advance whether there were any boats going through - which seemed to be information freely available - and we didn't get to see any. We left halfway through the tour, as despite having only just arrived, we'd already seen most of the things he planned to show us. Of course, it might be different on tours other than the city tour.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ms_scotsgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PattysCasitas2006, Owner at Patty's Casitas, responded to this reviewResponded 9 June 2012

Thank you for taking the time to write this detailed review…they are extremely important to us as it helps us maintain the constant quality that we thrive to give to our guests: accommodations & tours wise…by readjusting or making improvements when needed.

Accommodations: both our Casco Viejo properties have been remodeled at the same time but the studio has a more colonial feel to it and the loft a more modern one… same quality with top of the line appliances so it is just a matter of taste and of budget…the rate reflects the space;-) Might I ad that you are getting an excellent value for your money!

Tours: sorry you didn’t enjoy your “City & Canal” tour with me but there is bound to be an unhappy guest along the way through my 5 years of leading more than 1000 tours as a licensed tour guide.

Before addressing the main issue of not having seen a ship go through the Mira Flores Locks, I would like to take this opportunity to explain to our future visitors to Panama the differences of taking a taxi versus a tour guide when choosing to discover the city or nearby areas (not as a mean of transportation):
1. Accredited tour guides must have a well maintained car, usually a mini-van or 4X4 with a special plate called SET (Special Tourism Service) which means that your car goes to more detailed inspection & have a full insurance (4 times more expensive than the basic one which only covers the driver) which benefits you the guest.
2. Language barrier – very few taxi drivers speak fluent English unless you are lucky to have one that grew up in the Canal Zone with the Americans.
3. Knowledge – speaking English (or any other foreign language) does not make you an expert of the country, to get your tour guide license you do have to go through training. However, I myself, am not the typical guide that will debit an off by heart learnt script, you will still be educated on facts & dates but in a more friendly way where I’ll treat you like a visiting friend from overseas…isn’t that more fun & easier to recall than having a History teacher in front of youJ

Back to the ships: there are certain hours of the day that insure to see at least one ship, so I always make sure to wrap the tour around those times…and 99% of the times there is no issue…and calling is not a guarantee as they don’t always respond. On that particular day whilst in Casco Viejo for our lunch stop I have said twice that we would return to the locks but nonetheless you decided to abandon the group. We did go back and the other two couples (Patrick & Carol – outside tour guests + Thomas & Lesley staying at our loft) where very happy to see a big cargo panama ship. And for the side note after dropping off one of the couples at the Albrook Domestic Airport you missed our coffee break stop to taste a real authentic three times world winning Panamanian coffee;-) and where we talked about Panama’s economy, politics and real estate. This for example is not included in the tour; it was a spontaneous idea as the airport is close by to the coffee shop.

Wishing you all the best in your future travels and if you come back to Panama after 2014, I’ll take you to the new locks and make sure you see a Post-Panamax cargo ship which will carry nearly 11,000 containers compared to the actual Panamax that carries only 4,500!!!

Best Regards from Panama… Rudy

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Reviewed 8 May 2012

We were originally booked in the B&B but due to a water line problem out of Patty's control, Patty offered to move us to the Cosco Viejo Condo which was wonderful. It is a beautiful and safe part of town with old world charm. Patty's communication with us was always quick and helpful. The condo itself was beautifully maintained. In fact, after going out to Bocas de Toro, we cancelled our original reservation at a different place in Panama City and stayed at the condo again upon our return to the city. Luckily it was available the night we needed. Also, used Rudy for a couple of tours and he was very informative and did a great job. The visit to the Embara tribe was memorable. Thanks for everything.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Korcoug
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2012

We absolutely loved our home away from home. I would never stay in a hotel in Panama City when I had this option. It is right in the heart (safe) of the old neighborhood of Cosco Viejo. The best location in P.C.. Besides there were no hotels in this neighbor anyway. Full of shops and restaurants. Totally happining at night. No surprise the "White House" of Panama is in the neighborhood. The condo has every amenity of home. Rudy and Patty are the best hosts. Six stars!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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Thank tomhedge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2012

hi
we stayed at pattys bed and breakfast in bella vista. A lovely safe quiet location within walking distance of shops restaurants and the promenade. beautiful house. breakfasts huge amazing and the days that we had early starts patty had breakfast boxes arranged for us. place spotless. rudy pattys husband is a tour guide also so we availed of his services and he is great . great patience . you can find his web site through pattys web page. Internet access available and they even provided a mobile phone for use during you stay if needed. they arranged for us to be collected from the airport which was great as we were late arriving and didnt want to have the hassle of looking for a taxi etc. its the little details - and if you want to have your postcards posted just give them to patty or rudy and they willl arrange it. they have a few locations in the city so definitely one to look up

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank cumba68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2012

I stayed here in February of 2010 for a girlfriend vacation with 4 friends. The Bella Vista area is really safe and within walking distance to shops and restaurants. We came for Carnival and it was close enough to the action but far enough to not be trapped in the crowds. When we arrived they gave us cute drinks and were just so friendly and accommodating and gave us a tour around the palce. There are no scams here, everything advertised is how it is, and the price is so affordable, especially if you are splitting the place with others! My favorite thing about this place was the breakfast, it was amazing with fresh fruit and local Panamanian favorites. Patty and her husband were also very personable and talked to us about their interesting lives, where they've been, grown up, and how they came to own the B&B. Needless to say, we did not want to leave. So if you want a personal lodging experience in Panama City, I would definitely recommend this place.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Catldy104
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2012

We stayed at Patty's Bed and Breakfast in Bella Vista with our teenage son and daughter. The accommodations are immaculate. It is located in a safe, quiet neighborhood within walking distance to great restaurants and shops. The breakfasts are so delicious and plentiful that we were still satisfied through the afternoon! There is coffee and tea available all day and for a small fee you can purchase chips, granola bars, soda, etc. There are TVs in each bedroom (we didn't have time to watch) and a computer, as well as a writing desk and certainly anything a traveler would need. Patty gave us great advice on a car rental, suggesting we not drive through the city from Tocumen airport, and rather rent a car from Albrook - what great advice this was! We had spent the previous week in Santa Catalina scuba diving and surfing and needed a little wardrobe enhancement! Patty directed us to a wonderful mall which we walked to. We went to an Embera Village with her husband, Rudy. He is very friendly and respectful to the natives and you can tell they admire him as well. Don't miss spending time in Casco Viejo. Patty and Rudy are honest, gracious hosts with a wealth of knowledge of Panama. We will definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Lori C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Patty's Casitas

Address: Calle 49 | Bella Vista, Panama City, Panama
Region: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 112 Speciality Lodging in Panama City
Price Range: £69 - £115 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We offer top notch accommodations in the most sought out neighborhoods in the city...Bella Vista, Casco Viejo (the Colonial neighborhood - a UNESCO World Heritage Site) & the Amador famous for its Causeway at the entrance of the Panama Canal.We also have a gorgeous 1 & 2 bedroom Villa in the beautiful mountains of Capira - 50 minutes from the city...the views will take your breath away...please inquire.This is your one stop shop as we also provide airport transfers, tours with Rudy (certified tour guide), and we can welcome you in English, Spanish, French, German and Italian.We, Patty & Rudy, are 100% dedicated to our guests...let us make your Panama vacation an unforgettable one;-) ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Patty`s Casitas Bed And Breakfast
Patty`s Casitas Hotel Panama City
Patty's Casitas Panama/Panama City

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