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“Thanks for the memories”

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Starfish Reef Resort
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Thanks for the memories”
Reviewed 27 December 2011

The villas at Starfish reef are beautifully designed and built. The things that need to be "like home" are that. That is, the two washrooms in each villa are modern, large, clean and well laid out. In the kitchen, the appliances are top grade, with lots of cooking area. Small appliances like coffee makers and mixers are supplied. You do not have to worry about the basics.

The villas have a nice "local" flavor with lots of wood and tile, and the beds are comfortable (in the master bedroom, there is a queen size, with two single beds and a bunk in the second bedroom and a double bed on the main floor). The setting is beautiful, with the jungle coming up to the villas that are set up on the hill with breathtaking views of the ocean from the main floor balcony and the upper floor balcony. We founds bananas in the jungle, and the kids drank coconut milk that they picked from the trees. There is a beach were one can relax and the ocean is warm at all times of year for swimming. One night, the family was on the upper balcony, counting shooting stars with the sounds of jungle nightlife in the background. At night, you can sleep with the windows open and the sounds and smells of the jungle coming through the screens. It does not get better than that.

Jack and Kelly are wonderful. They cooked Christmas dinner for the families. Their natural warmth creates a really nice atmosphere. We met the other two families staying at the villas and this sense of small community added to the place. There are lots of day trips one can take to the different sights. However, this is the best place to call "home base".

Room Tip: All the villas are identical and offer good views.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bill P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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28 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
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  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Houston, Texas
1 review
Reviewed 30 November 2011

This place is a nature lovers delight-just what the doctor ordered. The views are gorgeous, the sounds are bird and frog songs, you can put your fins on and start snorkeling right from the beach. The snorkeling is very colorful and there are a lot of fish. It was very relaxing and we had fresh papaya and bananas. We got to try the cacao beans which are very tasty. Our villa had great views from every room and it was quite spacious with comfortable beds.

Thanks Jack and Kelly for a wonderful vacation!

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank shells s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mobile, Alabama
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 March 2011

We enjoyed our stay with Jack and Kelly for 4 nights. The villas were nice and comfortable with a beautiful view. We enjoyed snorkeling and hanging out the 1st day and did a few tours with a guide the rest of the time. It is very relaxing, quiet, and remote. But it is quite a boat ride to make it anywhere. Would reccomend for relaxation and peaceful surrondings with good hosts. But not if you want to hang around the city.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank raina2575
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Antonio, Texas
1 review
Reviewed 20 March 2011

If you are looking for a place to get away from everything and everyone, this is the place to stay. Great place to enjoy a nice book, hearing the parrots flying by the island in the morning, pick up some fresh mangos and coconuts and go down to sit by the calm waters. However, if you are looking for some adventure, go to the beach or go party every night, take in count that all other islands are kind of far and you'll need a boat ride to get anywhere.

  • Stayed December 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank MitziShipley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 9 March 2011

We (4 of us) spent 3 days/nights at Starfish Reef Resort. The space was large and comfortable. Great quiet sleeping with comfortable beds. Nice bonus to have good snorkeling right off the beach in front of resort. It is quite a hike up to the resort so be prepared. Jack and Kelly were friendly and very helpful in answering questions and arranging transportation for our day trip to Crawl Cay.

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank ShirlMiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amelia Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2011

This was not my first visit to Starfish Reef so I anxiously awaited this trip. The weather was gorgeous with the exception of 1/2 day of rain. Jack and Kelly are incredible hosts who seem to think of everything right down to the basics like rum punch and bug spray! We went with other guests to a local restaurant, snorkeled their beautiful reef, had a beach party, ate a LOT of good meals made with fresh local food. If you want to get away from it all in a tranquil environment this is the place to go. The flora and fauna (not to mention waterfall) abound. you can bird watch, check out beautiful flowers all over the property or just swim all day. I did it all with a lot more time on the beach than anything else. If you are looking for malls or disco's then maybe it's not the place for you but it brought back my sanity after a stressful few months at home in the US working. Night life is playing games with others and having a good old fashioned party. I will add beach party pictures shortly. (When someone shows me how to get them off my camera on to this site!)

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank cathyi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Chester, Pennsylvania
1 review
Reviewed 27 February 2011

I am not the usual tourist, as I have owned land and spent much time in the Bocas area for the past 6 years. I am now building a house on my property, it seemed reasonable to stay a month on the island where my land is located, despite the cost.

Starfish Reef is really a beautiful eco resort. I stand in awe of their beach and homes, as I appreciate the difficulty in building American-type structures in tropical rural Panama. They should be applauded for their accomplishment....because it is quite grand.

Initially, I was struck by the American antique furniture....the canopy bed in my room was magnificent. The room was airy, spacious and comfortable, with everything but a stove to make my stay economical. Hot water was not always available, but hardly missed. Internet was sufficient for anything short of day trading stocks. The staff cleaned my room every week, asking my permission before entering.

Kelly and Jack were very accomodating to my particular set of interests. I accompanied them to several social events, and met all the fine people in the southern part of the bay. No price can be put on that, and I will always be thankful.

The resort's location on a less populated island lays open the reality of the fauna....along with the hawks, hummingbirds, starfish and stingrays, there are a smattering of annoyances....mosquitos, no-see-ums, scorpions, and spiders.....it's part of the reality of the area. If these both you, or you find DEET and smoke coils annoying, stay in Bocas Town and visit an eco lodge. Eco includes the bad with the good.

  • Stayed January 2011, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Paula_Webster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Starfish Reef Resort

Property: Starfish Reef Resort
Address: Starfish Reef | Shepherd Island, Panama
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province
Hotel Style:
Ranked #53 of 94 Speciality Lodging in Bocas del Toro Province
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Starfish Reef, a Small Caribbean Island Resort and beautiful bature retreat, claims beautiful ocean & mountain views from all 10 hillside Villa rooms, Jungle hiking trails in hill & valley topography, a colorful coral reef, a palm fringed white sand beach, and sand bar rimmed salt water swimming lagoon. All of this amidst a working Cacao (chocolate) plantation interspersed with many mango, coconut, papaya + trees. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Starfish Reef Hotel Bocas Del Toro Province

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