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“Confused because an hotel like the Intercontinental must know before advising people to go to such a place.”

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Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge
Ranked #5 of 21 Hotels in Isla Colon
Certificate of Excellence
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
50 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Confused because an hotel like the Intercontinental must know before advising people to go to such a place.”
Reviewed 13 June 2012

We were advised by the concierge at the Playa Bonita Intercontinental Hotel in Panama and when they said "Luna Suite upgrade" and so many options like the welcoming cocktail which never came, we imagined a high standard hotel, specially with the price us$ 340 plus tax a night.
The bathrooms are like a camping and the hotel standard is low, so is the food. If it would be us$140 plus tax, it could be accepted but for that price it's a scam.

Room Tip: All the rooms are the same. There is no swimming pool because it is inside the caribean on pilots so...
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Jane S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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297 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cuernavaca, Mexico
Level Contributor
105 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 May 2012

Last fall my partner and I visited this great property in bocas del toro. Not sure what to expect, we drove to a key and took a little boat to the hotel, crossing a beautiful lagoon full of fishes and birds, it was a magnificent ride. Arriving at the hotel the staff was very helpful and welcoming.
Our room/cabana was spectacular, we had a good size bathroom and living room, an outside veranda and a key where you can dive to the sea. Upstairs was our bedroom with a doble bed and a mosquito net.
We did snorkle around the hotel it was simply beautiful.
At night the atmosphere is very romantic and you feel really away from it all.
Not to mention the food that happened to be Amazing!!

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank SergioLeon33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
toronto
Level Contributor
91 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2012

My husband, daughter, son in law and I spent a wonderful 5 nights here. We loved the clear water, remoteness and sheer beauty of the surroundings. This is not a hotel for people looking for night life or excitement.The over the water bungalows are very spacious, with living area downstairs and bedrooms upstairs. Wrap around decks in the suites are wonderful and it is heaven to be able to swim right outside ones' bedroom door. The hotel provides masks and fins and one can also canoe.The bathrooms are very simple and the hot water is solar powered so there is not much of it but when the sun shines, it is so hot that all one wants is a cool shower. There is no air conditioning which might be a problem for some people and no electrical outlets, which means no hair dryers. Bring bug spray because on nights when there is no wind, there can be little bugs that bit.
We found breakfast to be excellent. The staff will cook you anything you want. Dinner was also very good and very large servings. The staff was always pleasant especially Ismael.
Boat trips/excursions can be quite expensive but the hotel's shuttle goes to town several times a day and you can take it for free.
My husband and i cannot wait to go back.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank exploraToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bogota
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
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)
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank JimenaBogota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cleveland, Ohio
1 review
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank vaneloo l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Hollywood, California, USA
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
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...
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
19 Thank travelingjps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank yar_12281
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge

Property: Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge
Address: Punta Caracol, Isla Colon, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Colon
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Isla Colon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3 star — Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Punta Caracol Acqua Hotel Isla Colon
Punta Caracol Acqua Resort
Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge Panama/Bocas Del Toro - Isla Colon

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