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B&B Hotel Cerrito Tropical Lodge
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Reviews (113)
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Reviewed 18 January 2012

We cut our trip to Taboga Island and Cerrito Tropical short after we got there. The island, while full of potential, is pretty trashy, with lots of glass on the beaches. The hotel was very clean but a bit run down. The owners were not there during our stay, and the people who run it for them (who do not speak ANY English) were friendly enough but did not seem to know what was going on. We left early and went back to Panama City. Taboga might make a nice day trip, but it is not worth spending several nights there, and certainly not for the price this hotel charges.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank TeaSip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RanchitoCerrito, Owner at B&B Hotel Cerrito Tropical Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 February 2012

Thank you for your review. We appreciate all input, and even more appreciate input when you are staying at Cerrito so that we can improve your experience at the time to try to meet your expectations. We support sustainable tourism, therefore offer a truly local experience.

We always send complete information to all our guests offering options and letting guests know we are often in the city to run the business since there are no supply stores, banks or supermarkets on Taboga.

Taboga Island is a simple island, near the city. Many people come to Taboga Island especially to collect sea-glass which is a popular hobby nowadays. Taboga has sea glass dating back 500 years. Taboga is a fishing village, beach town in Panama, and not a wealthy resort town. Panama City sends little money to assist the village and island infrastructure. Its people are simple and fish for a living or rent beach umbrellas.

Taboga Island is the perfect place to have a local experience. It is the perfect place to really relax, enjoy the jungle hikes and the 2 simple beaches. It offers historic hikes, fishing, great photo opportunities, and more. For tours to more enjoy your visit, our guests only need to ask.

Cerrito Tropical has local staff, we support sustainable tourism. They are always learning and are not perfect. We have a new staff member who is trying to learn English. If visitors speak no Spanish we are a phone call away to translate, or we are there. However, very often mid week we are in the city buying supplies and manning the office there (and guests are notified of this).

As for our rates, we include taxes, a full breakfast with fresh fruit, eggs and unlimited Panama coffee, air conditioning and private bathrooms which most other places do not. Our rates are in the range and cheaper than some on Taboga Island. Our accommodation runs from $70 and upwards per night depending on when you go and what you choose.

Please note that all accommodations on islands including Taboga are more costly due to the cost of the transport - from the beginning - from building with cement blocks to shipping the coffee for breakfast. Panama itself is experiencing a steep rise in food costs due to inflation. Therefore a milk which cost $.75 cents when we started some 6 years ago now costs $1.25 more than a 50% increase.

As we noted previously, we are supporting sustainable tourism which means we support the local people and the local market. It is not always easy to see the immediate benefits to this but when we see a child having new shoes to attend school, or getting better medical attention on Taboga, it is worth every moment. Taboga is improving, and we at Cerrito are doing our part to allow visitors to enjoy a beautiful local experience. For many of our guests that is why they travel.

Again thank you for your review, it will help us and our staff to improve experience for our guests.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2011

So - the positives first. The outside of this hotel is lovely. I like the hammock and I like the sitting area. The views down to the water are spectacular. The staff is quite friendly, and the meals are good. The staff is accommodating and will cook when you want to eat (even if it isn't the designated meal times). Inside, the common area is nice - and the games and TV w/ videos are a nice touch. Also, if you book online, the hotel sends an email asking if you want someone to pick you up at the ferry, which is nice - b/c the hill up to the hotel is brutal (sadly for us, I didn't get this email until after I got back to the States... but, that wasn't their fault). Also - overall, the island itself is laid-back and a relaxing place to spend some time.

The not-so-positive aspects of the hotel: I understand that Panama is a 3rd world country - and I know that I visited during rainy season, and chose to stay in the least expensive room... thus, what I'm about to say should be taken w/ a grain of salt -- however, the room we stayed in (room 5, I believe) had a VERY strong smell of mold... so much so that I feared we might get sick after staying there for a night. The room itself is okay, albeit somewhat bare-bones - which isn't a problem. I'm a pretty laid back traveller - and I also understand that I paid for the cheapest room, and I had read the reviews - thus, I wasn't expecting warm water in the room and I wasn't concerned about the lack of amneities. I was not expecting the pervasive smell of mold. I suspect that the suites that cost a bit more money must be better -- because the overall reviews on here are very good -- but, that led to my being more surprised when I got there. However, all in all it was a nice enough trip to Toboga. Tobogo is relaxing - and, in the end - we didn't get sick... so...maybe I was just paranoid... but, if I had to do it over again -- I would likely make the trip to Toboga a day trip -- and come back to Panama City in the evening.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jfoster101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RanchitoCerrito, Owner at B&B Hotel Cerrito Tropical Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 February 2012

Thank you for your positive and honest review.
We always appreciate reviews especially like yours which give us the chance to respond and improve.

Yes, in rainy season it is hard to keep the smell of mold down on the lower ground level). You can find this in practically every hotel in Panama - I have experienced it too. The upstairs rooms have never this problem. In the future, we simply need to know and will either try to find a better room or fix the problem.

We do appreciate if guests let us know any concerns on arrival so we can make the experience better for you. Thank you again.

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Reviewed 13 June 2011

The hotel was great - amazing views, lovely staff, and very close to center of town. Walk up the hill is quite the workout!!!! Food was great - a little slow - but that is because it's not a restaurant. Great variety of food. Staff very ready to assist with travel arrangements and local tours etc....

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank fcarter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 May 2011

If you have ample free time to spend in Panama, I'd stay over night here. If you are only here for a few days, make it a day trip. If you decided on a day trip, come on the weekend because of the boat schedule. If you come during the week, you are stuck ALL day.

We went to Taboga Island for a day trip. We walked to this hotel after reading all of the reviews. It was more of a B&B. When you get off the boat, go up the ramp, make a right and walk about 7 minutes until you see their sign. You will make another right and walk up a steep hill. It's a really nice place with lots of charm. When we arrived, no one there spoke English. A local called Cynthia the owner and we were able to communicate with her. She was very pleasant to speak with. We were looking for a room to rent for the day but but decided not to rent. They were going to charge us $44 for 3 people. We inquired about lunch and the charge for a day room and a full coarse lunch would be $118 for 3 people. (Not a bad price) We decided against the offer and just stayed for lunch and spent $52 for three people including tip. Renting a room for a day would have been a good idea, but for the time we were there, I felt like it would have been a waste of money. If you go to the island during the week, the boat gets there at 9:30 and leaves at 4:30. We arrived to the hotel around 10:30 and waited to have lunch at 12. I just couldn't justify spending $44 for a place that we wouldn't spend much time in.

The lunch was ok. We ordered shrimp and pork chops and it was over cooked. However, the people were extremely nice even though they didn't speak English. Our order was wrong but it was because we don't know Spanish and there was a language barrier. They offered to replace our food, but we decided to keep what we had because we wanted to go to the beach.

Although we didn't spend the night, we could tell that the placed was very well kept, clean and neat. The staff was really nice, but didn't speak English. I think that the people would really go out of their way to help you.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Tiffany1103
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2011

I just returned to the city from Taboga and stayed in an apartment at Cerrito for 3 days. I added an extra day so that my camera and I had enough time. The food was very good and the price was great from the perspective of a United States citizen. Cynthia was a wonderful multilingual host and a handful of interesting travelers graced the B&B. The staff is very honest and helpful. I never had to worry about where to get a meal and the menu is quite diverse. I offer many compliments to chef who is on hand daily to prepare the meals. I don’t drink alcohol but it is available for a fair price and the nonalcoholic drinks I had were made with fresh local ingredients.
Cerrito is on an island that is still quite well preserved and not over developed. This is what gives the island of Taboga so much charm. This also makes it necessary to be somewhat conservative regarding energy and water. There is bottled and filtered water on hand all the time though and I never missed a shower. The energy issue does not affect the quality of living at all. I was able to use all of my camera equipment, wireless internet (provided free of charge) to post my pictures and speak to my family.
I walked a rugged but wonderful hike to the cross and beyond in a couple of hours. I recommend bringing plenty of water, walking stick I found easily and a camera. The second day I spent on and amazing beach that has clear waters for snorkeling and taking pictures. It is a strip of sand with the ocean on both sides. The amazing thing is that the whole strip is filled with water at night. Two other beaches are available to enjoy in the evening as well. I think it would be a great place for couples and I intend to bring my girlfriend back with me sometime in the near future.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled solo
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1  Thank Alec1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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