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“Paradise in Paradise”

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B&B Hotel Cerrito Tropical Lodge
Ranked #2 of 4 Isla Taboga B&B and Inns
Reviewed 14 May 2012

Dear travelers,

I have had the pleasure of spending the past seven months in Panamá. In my time here I have had the opportunity to experience many exotic locations and wonderful activities. The absolute highlight of time here in Panamá was the time I spent on Isla Taboga. Isla Taboga in and of itself is a wonderful paradise with endless possibilities and unlimited entertainment. That being said I could not possibly stress how much all of that was amplified by choosing to stay at the Cerrito Tropical. Waking up and looking out the window, even before a cup of coffee, I knew I was going to have a great day. It is hard to miss with the spectacular view! After a quick shower it was off to a catered breakfast with mouth watering fresh fruit and of course the coffee I had been hoping for. All of which served with a smile by a friendly staff of local Tabogans who are well treated and happy to help in anyway. I spent a month on Taboga and I can assure that the cleanest and best tasting food on Isla Taboga is at the Cerrito Tropical and the service is perfect. If you make a tripe to Panamá and need some activities it is just a quick boat ride across the bay to Taboga and it has to be the best place within a hour of the airport. In my personal opinion Isla Taboga is a must and The Cerrito Tropical is the diamond of the island!


Best Regards,


Cory

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled solo
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Thank Cory R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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35 - 41 of 109 reviews

Reviewed 23 April 2012

we stayed at Taboga for a few days which we enjoyed ( longer ago than may 2011...the date didnt go back to january 2011 when we stayed here). The climb to the B&B is pretty steep, but once you get there the stay is good. The room we stayed in was basic but clean. The staff was friendly and helpful even though our spanish was terrible ..they took the time to understand us and help us out when needed (always funny if tourists get upset when the english isn't what they're used to..you decided to travel to a non-English country..)
Anyway...the staff saw that we had an interest in the wildlife and gave some tips and advice and even made us aware of some creepy crawly's nearby in the jungle...
all in all a good stay when you are willing to have a climb and not accept basic , clean acoomodation.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank vandervliet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2012

Don't waste your money. This place is not as advertised. Rooms are dark and dirty (walk barefoot only if you like the feeling of sand and grit on the bottom of your feet). Bathroom was funky. Bedspread was skanky. Decor? Plastic furniture and lack of lighting (we had to ask for a lamp). View is obstructed. Absolutely brutal hill climb to get to the place leaves you panting and dripping with sweat. Only saving grace is the food. Chef Aristedes is a master. But you can eat here without staying here. Your money would be better spent at Vereda or Agua Sol or anyplace else on the island. Don't do it.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Getback420
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RanchitoCerrito, General Manager at B&B Hotel Cerrito Tropical Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 16 May 2012

Thank you for your review, we will use it to improve. We are disappointed you didnt bring up your concerns to us so that we could attempt to improve your stay and satisfaction.

Many guests appreciate relaxing in the cool rooms after the bright tropical sun on the beach, we use low amp bulbs to be as environmentally friendly as possible which is not always easy in a developing country. Had we known there was traces of sand on your floor we would have re-mopped it, the floors are swept and mopped after every stay, and several times between stays if the rooms are vacant. Also the bedspread would have been easily changed for a new one had we known. Since Cerrito Tropical is in the tropics and on an island near the sea, we use some plastic tables and chairs where we can since they handle the environment better, metal rusts and wood tends to attract termites. View is obstructed.

Our name is Cerrito Tropical, Cerrito is a Spanish word which means hill. In all of our advertising or emails which we send to every guest,we make clear in both English and Spanish that we are located on a hill. Many guests enjoy the fact that we are located on a hill which offers great ocean views from the front exterior balconies as well as breezes which are not found downhill the street level. The hillside location, plus the vicinity to the tropical forest behind gives Cerrito a significantly cooler temperature than near the main street which is at sea level. Plus the climb up can be avoided if guests wished to opt for a taxi service, or opt to take one of the village side paths which are stairs.

Thank you for the compliments about our Aristides and our food.

Our guests happiness does come first and we very much appreciate your comments; we will make sure the items you mentioned are corrected if it is possible.

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Reviewed 9 March 2012

The island of Taboga, Panama is a great place to get away from the noise, pollution and irresponsible drivers of Panama City. Barely an hour’s ferry ride from the Amador dock, it provides a serene, unhurried atmosphere and splendid beaches, a sharp contrast to the aggressive bustle of Panama City. Other than the beaches and what is touted to be the oldest church in the Americas, there is little to do or see, so a day and a half is plenty of time there. Plan to take the morning ferry to Taboga and the afternoon ferry on the next day back. An interesting excursion is by boat around the nearby island of Uruba with its nesting colony of brown pelicans and the attendant white egrets, cormorants and frigate birds. Local fishermen will be happy to take you there; we went with Arturo Herrera, who is very knowledgeable and has a reasonable charge ($20 per hour when he took us out). We stayed at Cerro Tropical, a reasonably good B&B hotel. In addition to comfortable, if a touch Spartan, accommodation they can provide three meals a day, much of it based on fresh fish caught by local fishermen. It is a place we have no trouble recommending.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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Thank 50yearstravelling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2012

The B&B is located at the top of a big hill, surrounded by trees and beautiful flowers. Our suite had a partial view of the ocean and the breezes were refreshing and we had a lot of privacy. The accommodations were well equipped though basic. The bathroom was in a bit of disrepair but otherwise, the room was comfortable.

The staff seemed fairly helpful and friendly. Breakfast was a generous helping of fresh eggs (I think I saw the hens running around the yard), fruit, toast, juice and coffee. My partner is vegan and they forgot to accommodate him the first day but the second day they improvised with black beans and a veggie patty and a plateful of fruit, so we left pretty satisfied.

Room Tip: We chose the slightly more expensive room with the partial ocean view and shared balcony. I would re...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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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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Additional Information about B&B Hotel Cerrito Tropical Lodge

Address: Via Pizarro and Via Congresso, Isla Taboga 0832-2565, Panama
Region: Panama > Panama Province > Isla Taboga
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Isla Taboga
Price Range: £45 - £78 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Quiet Hillside B&B Hotel Lodge plus Apartments. Ocean view plus tropical garden at the edge of Taboga village, 3 minute walk down to the shore and 10 minute walk from beach. Property backed by forest - quiet & great for bird watching. Offering the best of both worlds! ocean view from the exterior balconies (rooms have exterior shared balconies, one suite has ocean view from the living area). Relaxed Bed and Breakfast hotel lodge, comfortable air conditioned individual rooms, as well as apartments, all with TV & WIFI. Located on the laid back Pacific island of Taboga just 30 minutes from Panama by ferry. Restaurant by reservation offering delicious food by local chef, served by friendly local staff. Ideal quiet vacation spot to relax for 1 day to 1 month. Activities include: Beach, boat trips, fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, tours and more. Visit us and truly relax with the Cerrito family. Cerrito Tropical Bed and Breakfast Hotel Lodge, Taboga Island, Panama. ... more   less 
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