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Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge
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Reviews (321)
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73 - 78 of 321 reviews
Reviewed 23 April 2012

The Acqua Lodge was exactly what we were looking for, a relaxing beautiful spot, quiet and in harmony with the environment. The Bungalows had everything one needs in such situation, the bedlining was confortable and we get all the clean fresh towels that we wanted as well as complimentary water every day. We suggest to change the hamacs made of whool for cotton ones since the first can be too hot for this weather. The food was good and every day the options offered had something for everyone. The personel did accomodate some of our requests (for instance finding a specific kind of wine for next day or more of one fruit etc). The personel is friendly and well trained. Only one complaint: in our last night there the owner and some guests stayed very late after dinner, listening to music and talking really loud, since the bungalows are close toguether, we had a hard time sleeping that night. Appart from that we recommend this place for couples that love to read and look at the sea. We did not make any of the tours offered but other guests came back from those telling nice stories about the beaches and snorkling places. Bocas (ten minutes by boat from the hotel, free ride at certain hours) has a variety of restaurants. We absolutely LOVED a place call El TALLER DEL SABOR where a cook from Oregon made the most DELICIOUS empanadas. We went to see him every day!!

Room Tip: The best bungalow is the last one (LUNA 3)
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank JimenaBogota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 March 2012

Nice stay the location is perfect. but too expensive. All in all a beautiful place, perfect for couples on holiday or honeymoon

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank vaneloo l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2012

This is a difficult review to write. II have been very fortunate to have traveled the world, and I have done so in every class of service. Not every trip needs to include gilded hotels or resorts, and as a change of pace I occasionally try to find ones that are off the beaten path and offer unique experiences. It is under those auspices that on a recent trip to Panama we chose to spend four nights at Punta Caracol.

The beauty of the resort's location is without question. The resort is peaceful and secluded. Indeed, not another building or structure can be seen from its position off the coast of Isla Colon. The owners, a family that moved to Panama from Spain to build and operate the resort, are friendly and welcoming. Their staff, presumably locals from Isla Colon and other villages in the archipelago, are pleasant and, when asked, helpful. The restaurant offered a fresh menu each night of simple but tasteful dishes. And clearly the resort maintains as "green" a footprint as possible.

Unfortunately, my compliments stop there. Although the surroundings were peaceful, we slept poorly. The resort's limited power supply, generated exclusively from a few small solar panels, is insufficient to power proper ceiling fans. The bedrooms are on the second floor of the bungalows, essentially in the attic, and the thatch roof proves very effective in keeping the day's heat in the room. The last night we were there it was so hot we decided to pull down the bug netting over the bed to try and increase the airflow. This seemed like a good idea since there really weren't any bugs during our stay. Unfortunately, there a lot of bugs before our stay, all of which come to their final resting place on top of the netting. When we pulled it down (which was secured with velcro) they all relocated onto our bed and into our sheets.

The mattresses and linens are decidedly not heavenly. The bathrooms are small, dark and rather tired, even for bungalows that are essentially a wood shacks.

Perhaps the most disappointing (and, as it is not mentioned anywhere in the resort's marketing materials, deceiving) discoveries was that when upon check-in management tells you that you can't put paper in the toilets or they will backup on account of the resort's "dark water management system" that the definition of paper extends to toilet paper. Instead of disposing of your soiled paper in the toilet you have to put it in the basket next to the toilet, which the staff empties once a day. The wicker basket. To open the wicker basket there was a wicker handle. I recently read an article that reported that the surfaces with the most bacteria were pedestrian stop sign buttons and elevator buttons. I don't think the author of that article has visited this resort.

If not for the cost of the resort, all the above nuisances could be forgiven. We paid over $600 a night including taxes. That is the cost of The Four Seasons in Costa Rica, or the Mauna Lani in Hawaii, or many other top hotels and resorts around the world. If the cost of buidling or operating the resort demands those rates, I guess it would be ok. If the resort put the money back into the community, perhaps built and funded schools for children and trade workshops for adults like Grupo Plan (owner of a half dozen Luxury Collection Properties in Mexico) that would be even better. But neither of these things are the case, and therefore, the excessive cost of the resort is unjustifiable.

Ultimately, we enjoyed ourselves despite these surprises and disappointments. If nothing else, they have provided great material for dinner party conversation, and when we tell the wicker basket story and the bed netting story tears come to our eyes from laughter. And I guess at the end of the day that's what traveling is all about.

Room Tip: The bungalow farthest from the welcome pavilion and restaurant enjoys the most privacy and seclusion. However, this bungalow is a Luna Suite that is $100 more expensive than the Caracol Suite, purportedly due to the extra space. Much of the extra space comes by way of "side halls" along the outside of the bungalow that lack any clear function.
  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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19  Thank travelingjps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 January 2012

The lodge is perfect very relaxing. It was a paradise for us. The Bungalows are gorgeous.
They offer us extra tours to differents islands and beaches

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank yar_12281
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2012

Stayed here with 2 backpacker friends in may 2011. Even though we arrived sweaty, dirty and with our big backpacks on our backs - we were welcomed and taken care of as any other "fancy" visitor.

It is a chill place, 15-20 minute by boat from the city of Bocas. The location is perfect, it is quiet and beautiful. The resort in it self is idyllic-looking, a paradise on earth!

Someone from the resort picked us up with a boat and drove us to the resort, where we were welcomed with a delicious drink on the house while we hung out in the hammocks waiting for our bungalow to get ready. All the time they carry your luggage and go out of their way to make your stay as pleasant as possible - the service is inpeckable.

The bungalows are really nice and cozy, because this is cozy-luxury (eco!) - not Hilton-luxury. We stayed in the "Master Suite", so I do not know what the other bungalows look like - but I guess they are spacious as well. They wash the bungalows every day, changing your sheets, towels and placing fresh waterbottles around inside the bungalow. A really spacious deck with sunbeds and hammocks, perfect for diving almost straight from bed into the delicious ocean.

Kayaks and snorkling equipment is included, it is free to use anytime you want. The reef outside the bungalows is not the best, a lot of it is dead - but you can see some beautiful fishes etc.They also offer boatservice taking the visitors into the city 2 or 3 times a day for free, it can be helpful for buying stuff you need etc.

The restaurant is beautiful, and at night there is a lot of candles at the tables and everything just looks like paradise. Dinner is good, not excuisite - but good. You get to choose from three pre courses, three main courses and three desserts each day - different courses. Breakfast is whatever you want, almost.. Omelette, cereals, yoghurt, scrambled eggs, fresh juice, coffee, tea etc. The only thing we paid for was all the wine we had to dinner each night, but hey :)

The staff, especially the guys working at the bar and as boatdrivers, became very friendly and served us free drinks at times. Friendly staff!

They also offer trips to different surrounding locations, such as beautiful Red Frog Beach ++. They might charge a little bit too much, but I thought it was ok. The trip we went on was really nice!

All in all a beautiful place, perfect for couples on holiday or honeymoon! You get to spend time with each other, and NO one else.. Remember that if a rainy day arrives, the only thing to do to keep time running is to play monopoly in espanol (believe me, we got to try it) :)

Room Tip: All bungalows are perfectly located :)
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank maggimaggi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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