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“A friendly hotel in a perfect location”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Mar & Oro

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Mar & Oro
Marbella, Spain
2 reviews
“A friendly hotel in a perfect location”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 December 2013

Perfect location right on the beach. Everybody at the hotel was very friendly and it was a lovely relaxed atmosphere. Pascal who is the manager spoke both English and Spanish (and French obviously) and was very welcoming and hospitable, and the girls on the desk (sorry I'm hopeless with names) were always cheerful and went out of their way to help.
The room was a bit tired in terms of decoration, but this didn't really bother me. If you come here expecting luxury then you will be disappointed but the way I look at it is you don't come to Contadora to enjoy the room - if you want luxurious decoration and 5* facilities then there are plenty of good hotels in Panama City that will cater for that. On Contadora I spent most of the time swimming, snorkelling, spear fishing, kayaking etc and just went back to the hotel room to sleep. Having said that I understand there will be some refurbishment works over the coming year. The internet was generally ok but in common with most other places in Panama it doesn't always work when you want it to, however they have 2 wifi networks so at least a better chance of getting a connection.
The food was of a good standard, I generally went for fish but they also do pizzas and paninis etc, and the eating area is in a beautiful spot overlooking the beach. Restaurant service was fairly laid back, I guess what you would expect on an island in Panama.
I didn't really understand some of the other comments on here about going to bed at 10pm. It's not as if there is any nightlife on the island, no streetlights and no taxis. It's not really a party place, which personally I like, but if you want that then go to Bocas del Toro instead.
Overall a very enjoyable few days, thanks to all at Villa Romantica, I hope to come back soon.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank LizzieVG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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330 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
77 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2013

We went here on the strength of reviews we read here. Oh dear - never again. Checked in - room we booked for our anniversary with a patio/veranda was given to another couple by mistake - no apologies just an arrogant and rude French man trying to make out it was our fault! Front desk were clueless about our booking. Room we ended up having to take was not clean - pillows were dirty and lumpy. Sliding doors let in the rain. Sheets on the bed were totally worn. Toilet was really smelly and carpet on toilet floor was wet. Just dingy overall and of a poor standard. Came back after dinner around 11 and all the lights were off - except in a room near reception where the owners wife?? was running across the hallway naked!! Truly bizarre set up! Needs a huge amount of work to get it anywhere near decent. We certainly wont be going back!

Room Tip: Dont use the bathroom downstairs off reception - it is soo dirty. Bring plenty of your own toiletrie...
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Shamrockin12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Contadora Island hotels

Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 September 2013

Nice hotel beach resturant but you must go to bed before 10 pm becose they are turning of the light . In september ewerything is total Black outside No light at the road outside. Hotel Villa Romantica is maybe 1500 meter from the end of airport where you have more hotels and resturants.. If you are eating 9 pm they start putting way chears 9 30 pm becose they like to go off and sleep. This family or something work from early morning to 10 pm. Tryed to complain becose they diddent like me outside 10 20PM. I tred to say that only children go to bed 10PM. Roms have no television ,so you anderstand why this is Villa romantica. This hotel is ok if you anderstand this things ! Best for you is to have a romantic partner at this place ! Easy to get angry if you are mature person and must go to bed 10PMwith no TV ! Make them happy ,eat early and go to bed !

Room Tip: Bilding on the top is more privat ,with nice seanery to ocean!
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Gjest2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paris, France
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 September 2013

The hotel is great for families, they do have very confortable family rooms, very spacious, with nice bathroom. The hotel is really right on the beach, which looks like an exclusive private beach. The restaurant is really good, and prices are reasonnable. The french owner is really nice and will give you good advice. A very peaceful place to rest at only 2hours from Panama city !

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank ozone75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
29 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 August 2013

I stayed here with my parents for 2 nights. Even though we had confirmed our flight details per email and per telephone, there was no one to pick us up. We called both the cell phone and the land line several times but nobody picked up. We got a ride from the nice gentleman of the Welcome Center. Upon arrival we found out the owner's wife had been on the telephone and that is why we could not reach them. We booked the room Caracol 4 which has a king and a queen bed and would serve us well for the 3 of us. Even though check in was at 3pm, we were allowed to enter our room at 10 am which was great. When we got into the room, towels and glasses were only placed for two people. The sheets of my parents were not clean, they smelled horribly and were full of sand. It felt like the floor was not swept properly and half the lights were not working because of disconnected cables. Also the beds are full of bed bugs so they seriously need a good cleaning or replacement.
Even though Charly still owns this place, he has leased it out to Pascal and his family who lack giving personal attention to their guests. His wife is very inappropriately dressed (lots of skin and very short dresses). This rubs off on the staff who are not very (customer) friendly at first but if you are nice to them, they become much more accessible. The only exception was Ruben, who goes out of his way to help you.
The second day we booked a catamaran trip to go see whales and visit some beaches for the day. Even though we had confirmed to the wife and owner's son what kind of drinks we would like to have on board, this was not relayed to the captain of the ship. The day on the ship was absolutely fantastic. Vinnie, the captain, is a wonderful guy and goes out of his way to make you feel comfortable.
The hotel is beautifully located on the beach but the rooms are not what they used to be as they are in dire need of a paint and maintenance job. The parasols on the beach are either too low, not well maintained and the prices of the hotel for food and drinks are way too high: $8 for a glass of sangria, $3 for a beer, $10 corking fee if you want to drink your own bottle of wine in the restaurant, $49 for lobster etc. Obviously prices are higher because they have to bring everything from the mainland but that does not justify in our opinion the height of the prices.
After we gave feedback on the second night, the personal attention became a little better. And in comparison to our last stay, there are way more beach beds available.
Also we were allowed to keep using our rooms until we left at 4pm even though check out is at 11 am which was excellent!
All in all, we felt like we were staying in a hostal for a surfing crowd rather than staying at a nice hotel at the beach which should have at least a 3 star service. I hope that Pascal and his family take note of all the reviews that have been left on Tripadvisor so they can turn things around and bring the hotel experience back to what it was. If not, Charly, please come back!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank fhr1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Torrance, California, USA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2013 via mobile

The hotel sits right above a gorgeous beach. The folks at the front desk picked us up at the ferry, carried our bags to our room and had welcome drinks ready for us at the bar as soon as we dropped our bags off. 10 minutes later, we were on a gorgeous beach. Paradise!

Breakfast is included, and was actually quite good. Other meals at the restaurant were slightly overpriced, and the pictures on the menu didn't always match what was served. The restaurant overlooks the beach, and is the best place to get WiFi.

The room was spacious, with a large king bed. Bathroom was small but sufficient. The room had a tinge of a mildew smell, which probably isn't uncommon on a small, humid tropical island.

Overall, I'd recommend this place to friends and family traveling to Panama.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Phatlefty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PLYMOUTH
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 July 2013

We were a party of 13 staying at Villa Romantica July 2013, The selling point for this hotel is the location on a white sandy beach with palm trees.
The rooms need an upgrade as they were quite shabby,The shower in our room didn't work as the taps were missing! we used my daughters shower instead.
The food was basic although breakfast was very good and the staff were really friendly and helpful
and the drinks were of a good quality.
We hired a speedboat and went out to some of the neighbouring Islands which was a lovely day out as we saw whales which was a real treat.
The hotel is under new ownership so I would be interested to visit again in the future to see what improvements have been made as the location is fabulous and this hotel could easily be 5* with the right Manager.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Moowards
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Mar & Oro

Property: Mar & Oro
Address: Calle Playa Cacique | Casa A24, Urb. Isla de Contadora, playa Cacique, Panama Province 4470, Panama
Region: Panama > Panama Province > Pearl Islands > Contadora Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Contadora Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Mar & Oro 3.5*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Mar & Oro is the only hotels on the island, Contadora, with direct access to the the most beautiful beach on the island, Cacique Beach. With recently updated rooms, Mar & Oro features a great range of rooms types for you to pick from. Furthermore, the property is now run by a new administration which promises to deliver a great customer service to ensure you and those who accompany you have an excellent experience. Whether you are looking to enjoy some drinks by the beach or have a great meal, Mar & Oro has got you covered. Within the hotel we feature a beach bar known as Cacique Beach Bar, and a restaurant known as MiraOlas. Since we are located next to the beach we take great pride delivering the freshest seafood. To ensure that our seafood is the freshest we buy it directly from the native fishermen's which spend hours fishing daily from the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean which surrounds Contadora. During your stay with us, you will be able to request an umbrella and beach chairs to spend hours relaxing at Cacique Beach. With our staff from Cacique Beach Bar standing by to facilitate any beverage or meal we ensure you will have an unforgettable experience that will last a life-time. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Villa Romantica Hotel Contadora Island
Romantica Hotel Contadora Island

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