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“Right on the beach”

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Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort
Ranked #9 of 21 Hotels in Isla Colon
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Right on the beach”
Reviewed 16 January 2014

I recently spent 3 nights at the Playa Tortuga - Jan 7 - 10. We stayed in Ocean front rooms on the main floor. 2 coupled, two rooms. We had a fridge in our room, so we bought ice and beverages in town and had a fun party on the beach with great access to our rooms. The food was good at the restaurant - only ate there twice for lunch. The location of the restaurant is built on stilts over the water - very nice. It cost us $2 per person for a taxi ride into town and taxi's were usually easy to get.

Took the colectivo bus over to Bocas del Drago and walked to star beach - Lots of locals out as it was a holiday - very enjoyable adventure. Cost $5.00 per person for round trip transportation.

Bocas del Toro is a cool town. Lots of young travellers. Always felt safe. Lots of good bars and restaurants. Locals are friendly.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RalphMalf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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702 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (73)
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English first
Puerto Aventuras, Mexico
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 January 2014

There's no internet in most rooms and it is very slow. The food is not good. I will post pictures of the disgusting conditions in the rooms, including mold, mildew and dirt. At least the beds were remotely clean and comfortable. The food sucks here...Not much of a choice or options. You are also on the outskirts of town with a staff that can't get you a taxi (and none come by). The free shuttle is a cluster where you wait and then can't get a ride because everyone barges in and takes all the seats. The staff chooses to understand English when it is convenient for them. They play dumb at every turn when things are wrong. We switched rooms due to no internet and then we couldn't even get CNN on the TV in the second room...OH, DO NOT PAY FOR A JUNIOR Suite! The "LIVING ROOM" is a run down little room with an old TV and no windows! I was embarrassed for the hotel...The gym is nothing like the photos OR the hotel itself...It's a bit run down...The complaint book on the front desk is full ! The owner is hopefully reading this and looking at the photos....TRAIN YOUR STAFF.....You get what you pay for at this hotel...It's inexpensive (CHEAP) and is CHEAP in many ways.

Room Tip: Don't waste your money on a junior suite..>The "LIVING ROOM" is dark, dirty, not co...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jonathans123456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Isla Colon hotels

Trondheim, Norway
Level Contributor
26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2014

The nicest view we've ever had from a hotel-balcony! And the worst service we've ever experienced in a resort!
Maybe this is one of those if-it-wasn't-for-the-guests-it-would-be-a-nice-place-to-work-hotels? Very sad, because Playa Tortuga Hotel and Beach Resort has a great potential. The pool-area is beautiful (you can even take a sunbathe in the water-mirror), the lobby interior is nice (only place for wi-fi when we stayed there), there is as hotel-shuttlebus to town (pick-up-spot in town may change) and there is access for wheelchairs. But the guest-service is far from acceptable.
I'm not very picky, and I don't mind if a hotel is far from perfect, if the staff is helpful and friendly.
When we came from the airport late in the evening, my husband had very high fever and needed water. The minibar was empty (every day), the bar was closed and there was no shop nearby, so I asked the front desk where I could get some water. I was told to take a taxi to town! Bocas is several kilometers away. Finally the lady gave me some bottles from the shuttlebus. The only glimps of helpfulness during our stay, in addition to the guy at the tourdesk.
Spacy room and comfortable beds, but the "pillows" were peculiar, flat and hard. Long, dark hair were laying on the bathroom floor when we checked in - still there after five days. We're blond - it wasn't our's. Wet, dirty towels on the floor wasn't changed for three days. Bad hairdryer - it sucked my hair in the fan.
No coffee-maker or water-boiler in the room. During daytime the bar near the pool was closed. Someone in the bar told us to go to the Bar Baula restaurant at the end of the pier to buy coffee. We did, but Bar Baula had no coffee-maker. One of the waiters had to walk from the pier and around the hotel-area looking for someone who was competente to operate the coffee-machine at the pool-bar! After dinner in the Naguas restaurant we also ordered coffee - it took one hour. Every meal was caotic, dispite very few guests when we were there. Either the food was cold, or we didn't get what we ordered.
We don't blame the staff - it must be lack of training, missing routines or totally absence of management.
This is also a don't-do-this-and-don't-do-that-hotel. Prohibido-signs are everywhere: It's forbidden to spit in the pool! It's forbidden to enter the pool after you have been to the toilet - unless you have taken a hot shower with soap! (Bad cleansing-system?) It's forbidden by law to smoke on the property! And so on ... a long list, very detailed. Even in the room there was a prohibido-list. Only in spanish, so I don't know what was forbidden there. The smoking-area is amongst the flies near the litterbin at the parking-area.
When we checked out, I paid and asked for my receipts. The ladies at the front desk couldn't find them. I was told someone had thrown the receipts away!
This resort isn't worth spending neither time nor money on, if the management expect the guests to obey all their rules, but carry on with their own laissez-faire-attitude towards their guests.

Room Tip: Most of the rooms have sea- or.pool-view, i think. Ask for second floor or higher if you want some p...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank arie53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
perry, mo
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2014

Hotel looked very nice on the out side. Pool was nice but no beach, Room, I would guess, had not been really cleaned in two or three years. Floors and walls dirty. Wood trim around the bath room door was a dull gray and the bottom 1/4 inch had turned black. I know it could be cleaned to white because I cleaned a small section just to see. Alarm clock did not work. Each bed had four pillows but they were so big and heavy you could not sleep on them.The breakfast was poor. Eggs were not cooked enough and on the seconded day the same and cold. Bacon not cooked. They did not run the heaters under the containers. Nothing great. The evening buffet was $25 so I don't know how bad it was. I ordered a hamburger and fries at there small eating place.
Brought it with plantain chips. Never asked or said any thing to me that they could not find the fries. My wife had a bread pudding which was good. I asked for a glass of water four times before I ever got it. The bill should have been $15.45 They stuck me $18.
We were with a tour so I don't know what he paid for the room but at the desk they said the rate was $181.50 I have stayed at better hotels for under $50 and had better food.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rob w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
David, Panama
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2014

I came here in a family trip and my experience was terrible, the food for the breakfast was bad and they always ran out of food, plates and cups before everybody ate And the lady on the counter was very rude at us... I had the worst experience here

  • Stayed January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dsafi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
23 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 January 2014 via mobile

Pros
Away from city which is very noisy at night until 3 am
Not far from city
Feels like a resort
Nice swimming pool
New management and happy employees
Good service
Most service employee speaks English
Taxi can pick you up from hotel
Beach area
Restaurant open late since most in town close early
In hotel activities
Well behaved patrons
Free shuttle to city

Con's
Interesting hour for shuttle
Since you are staying in playa Tortuga taxi will charge you more
Room have smell of old hotel
Food selection at restaurant is limited and expensive
Very weak WiFi




Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank mtl450
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
89 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 102 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2013

The reviews about the hotel are quite accurate. The property has seen better days and the smell of mould is pervasive. On the other hand the rooms are clean and the views are nice. The pool is very nice.

The internet in the rooms was broken throughout our 3 day stay. It worked very slowly in the lobby and the breakfast area. Breakfast is quite basic. The drinks area above the water is nice and drinks very reasonably priced, particularly during the (long) happy hour.

The room prices are not too expensive, given that everything needs to be transported to the island.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the pool. The left wing looking from the reception is quieter than the rig...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank GerardN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort

Property: Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort
Address: Isla Colon, Panama
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Colon
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Isla Colon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 117
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tropical Caribbean Beach Resort on the crystal clear waters of Bocas del Toro, Panama.Playa Tortuga offers 117 stylish room accommodations, each with a balcony and spectacular ocean view. Guests may choose from standard rooms, junior suites and large grand suites, all offering a contemporary décor, modern amenities and a soothing tropical atmosphere.Relax in the hotel’s sea view pool, or sunbathe in our water mirrors while enjoying your favorite beverage from the nearby bar area. Little ones will enjoy the children’s pool. Other modern and convenient amenities include free WIFI and a state of the art Fitness Center featuring a private massage area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Isla Colon
Playa Tortuga Hotel And Beach Resort
Playa Tortuga Resort Beach
Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort Panama/Bocas Del Toro - Isla Colon

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