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“Great location with good food”

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El Limbo on the Sea Hotel
Ranked #14 of 20 Hotels in Isla Colon
NE England
Level 6 Contributor
407 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
“Great location with good food”
Reviewed 5 February 2010

We did not stay at thsi hotel but ate in the restaurant in a large group. The location next to the sea is good and the food and service were acceptable. We cannot comment on the rooms or facilities

  • Stayed January 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank travellerNEEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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137 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cincinnati, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2009

First let me say that the facility in a great location and the food is good but I would not spend the night here again. After reading all the reviews I should know better but the last review made it sound like they had new ownership or at least turned over a new leaf.
They haver not. We spent 2 nights there and we did not have any running water for those 2 days and nights. They sent a guy up to our room with a bucket to flush the toilet for us but that was the only water service we received.

When we inquired at the desk we were given the run around or outright lied to. At one point they told us "Call us in 2 hours and we will release water to your room so you can shower". Never happened. When I went to the desk to ask them to "rlelese the water" there was a new person on the desk and they had no idea what I was talking about. They said all the water was off but would be on fixed soon. It never was. They also would not make an adjustment on our room rate due to the inconvience.
We left El Limbo after 2 days and found a great place called Los Bacones on Carenero Island right across the bay.
Eat here if you want to but do not spend the night!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mcunnin777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Isla Colon hotels

Costa Rica
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 December 2008

I stayed at Limbo for five nights. It is not a luxurious type of hotel, but as I am a travel agent I had to check almost every hotel in town and must say Limbo is, from the hotels we visited, a usual hotel in Bocas, not the best (Neither the most expensive) not the worst (Far from it!!)
From the very start I must say and say it out loud, the staff was amazingly friendly! When I read the reviews here and knowing I was to stay there for such long stay, I was terrified!
Carolyn, the new manager has done a great job with the employees if everything that is written here is true. Nizzia, the front desk clerk, all the girls and boys in the restaurant, the porters... All of them greeted us, smiled and laughed at all times... Really nice people! Very mild, gentle... a little laid back? Yes! But that is the tone in the island!

We stayed in a standard room... yes! If you can afford it ...Ask for a room with a balcony. Since I was there on business i couldn’t care less... I just needed a bed at night... But standard rooms are small and you can either have a view to next door hotel windows, or a view to next door’s hotel wall... Feel a little bit trapped? Yes! Standard rooms are small and dark.
The cleanness was great, no complaints whatsoever on that. Beds are fine. Although, at least in my room and my partner’s room we had what it looked like a double bed, and actually are two twins put together with a double sheet on it. Being by myself I couldn’t care less, but if you are on your honey moon or similar... Ask for a real double!
Water didn’t fail during the whole stay and was clean at all times. We had wireless in the room, which was great to move the business... (Must say I found that in Bocas, almost all hotels have wireless).

The restaurant was very good at all meals. Excellent service!

Location... Couldn’t be more convenient!!! On the water, but in town! Really great!

Bocas itself is a laid back typical Caribbean feeling sort of town. People is nice and mild, but the costumer service is not in their priorities. From all hotels we inspected, trying to give them our business (More than 50 already confirmed groups throughout 2009)... Some of them didn’t even care enough as to stand from their chairs. For me, it was sometimes like twilight zone sort of feeling... I mean! Empty hotels! They didn’t even make the effort of talking to us or taking the business we were bringing!

For travel agents... I warn you! the area is a nightmare! Don't even think about planning anything without coming and staying for a few nights... Get the flavor, the feeling... and afterwards, plan itineraries and so on!

On the tours side, we ended up hiring Panama Expediciones, which is one of the very few tour operators in town, the only one who would give you a real guide in the tours, not only a boat ride. Their owner is Jorge Forero and they are located at hotel Los Delfines.

We hired at first a real nice boat captain (Lee Roy Marvin) Super nice guy! He took us to the main locations and showed us all the islands. If you are on own... Super highly recommend him!
But, if you are a travel agent, try to get a real company to be in charge of your costumers. Do not trust individuals there. Not because they are dishonest, or anything like that... just because they are extremely informal... And they might not show up when you expect them to...
Like I say... Panama Expediciones is the one we signed contract with. Is not the cheapest choice... but at the same time... they are not “cheap” either... (Hoping you understand what I mean!)

On the tours side... Do not miss Starfish, Coral Key and Dolphins Bay!
Food at Boca del Drago (Yarisnory Restaurant) is superb, specially rice with coconut and her flan!!!! And snorkling is a MUST!
In town we went to have dinner at a lounge that is in a market's building... i think is called Lounge 9º... The place is so beautiful! The food, nuevo latino style... Excellent!..The chef (Chad, a canadian guy) super sweet! Ask for the pork! Wow!!!

Coming back to Limbo by the Sea... If I was to come back to Bocas...yes I would stay there. If I was to recommend it.? yes...as long as you have a balcony... Or like me, are not going to spend time in your standard room at all whatsoever!

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — The darkness and almost claustrophobic sort of feeling in the Standard rooms.
  • Stayed December 2008, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Olga-TravelPRO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level 1 Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 March 2008

Upon arrival we were already aware of some of the issues that we might face so we were ready to take on whatever we might encounter. As soon as we hit the door we were confronted by a guy named Carlos(looks like Mike Tyson). He informed us that he could hook us up with a boat ride to tour all of the surrounding islands. We were reluctant because we had just arrived so we blew him off. Little did we know we would befriend and see Carlos practically every move we made. After all, Bocas town is about the size of my living room. As for a boat, he doesn’t own one, he just hustles to get people to ride on boats and gets a cut of the money. Great hustle especially since he speaks English and Spanish. Nevertheless, Jampan tours is the most reliable boat company on the island except for one time they didn’t pick us up from Bastimentos after promising us that they wouldn’t leave us stranded on the Island. Later, the man claimed I told him we were weren’t coming back. I’ll admit, I was yelling and calling on Jesus during our boat ride in hell because he was driving like a maniac. The waves were fierce and we were going against the tide in this little a** banana boat. Lesson- Beware of this fool, he has tattoo tears under his left eye he is fairly young (late 20’s) and appears to be Mexican . He thought it was funny that we were scared….other than that stupid encounter, Jampan was all right with us. The lady at the counter where you purchase your boat ride is extremely patient, pleasant and informative.
Now back to Hotel Eli Libo
Tasha, the hotel receptionist greeted us with a mild manner. She remained this way the entire time. Pretty cool and laid back not too friendly, not mean either. We informed her that we read bad reviews about the hotel on the internet- she laughed and told us that she know about it. Anyhow, she called on a young man to help us with our bags to the third floor. He was little under the influence but it didn’t bother us. I guess he just decided to get his “drink on” a little earlier than most. The room was pretty decent. It had an ocean view with a balcony, one twin bed, one Queen bed, hard wood floors, 26 inch TV, DVD, refrigerator, window air conditioner, etc…. Make sure you request a room with an ocean view but if you can’t stand noise, i.e., people congregating in the restaurant, Brazilian house music from the Aqua Hostel across the water, or the sounds of boats, I suggest you get a room facing the main street. Personally, I enjoyed, the native sounds of the island, especially at night. I don’t know if its because I’m a city girl or they just reinforced the fact that I was in a different place and away from home, whatever the reason, I liked it. Also, keep in mind we slept with our balcony door open all night. The bathroom was extra small and could’ve used a visit from that bald guy Mr. Clean himself. Luckily, Sylvia, Ms. Product Queen brought a 2,000000 oz. spray can of Lysol which worked wonders for us. LOL The tub was super deep but I would not have bathed in it if my life depended on it.
O.K., after dropping our bags, we headed straight for the restaurant (breakfast was included with our stay). Long story short, the waitresses were sort of rude. But being the urban girls that we are and having already read the reviews earlier which described rude slow service, we already knew that we had to put on our game faces. Funny note- Cha Cha was ordering eggs and was trying to describe to the waitress how she wanted them prepared and she was rudely interrupted with a “Mi God” in a very Spanish Panamanian accent. We all looked at each other and died laughing. “Mi God” was an inside joke for the remainder of the trip. Nevertheless, we continued to order and about 30 minutes later was brought a subpar breakfast. Warning, if you order toast be prepared for a thick slice of French bread- I guess that’s Bocas style toast. The butter they served is incredible. The juice was amazingly fresh and sweet. We ate there everyday except for one. Overall the breakfast was just o.k.. One day they had no syrup but they sent someone to the store to get some but the store was all out so there we had it - old school style, pancakes with Jelly. The service at the hotel wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be. Why ? We demanded everything we wanted, we were persistent, straight forward, but respectful at the same time. Case and point….Sistahs, hate us or love us. Every culture is different, clearly, Bocas is laid back, its island life, not city life so we didn’t want to come off rude and impose our city slickn’ ways on them but it helps to know how to maneuver so you get what you want and what you need in a timely fashion.
Note-
*The linen was clean
*The pillows under the cases are dirty-most hotels probably are. I just happened to look at Limbos because another travel advisor reviewer said they were- Curious so I’ll check from this point on.
* There were times with no water-Luckily, we weren’t using any chemicals that needed to be rinsed or we would’ve left Bocas with no hair or skin just burns- chemical not sun LOL
*We called and informed the front desk and they turned it on about 10 minutes after we told them. The only thing was I started to brush my teeth and the water turned poop brown while I was rinsing my mouth out. I know- Gross
* Visit EVERY surrounding island especially Star island- starfish everywhere- simply gorgeous.
*El pecado del Sabor Restaurant is PHENOMENAL the food is absolutely an epicureans dream. They don’t open until about seven. The menu is in Spanish. Supposedly, the owner wants it that way so that the waiter can explain to you in detail every dish thus promoting dialog between the patron and the staff- The food was superb !
* Next best food was the Reef- Fried Red Snapper- To die for ! The owner is so friendly and personable. His son is a waiter at the restaurant and he is an extremely well mannered boy who is clearly about the business.
As for Bocas, I can’t wait to get back… it truly is paradise !
Email me if you want more details on Bocas, Gamboa, or Panama City

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Water Problems
  • Stayed March 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank blackgirlwilltravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
needham
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2008

Very rundown Hotel.Shabby room that was very possible the worst room we have ever seen.The food was as bad as we have ever experianced.Traveling many we have seen many poor places,and this ranks with the worst.....The wait staff was so slow that long periods of times were needed to get food.If not hungry at order you will be by time food arrives.while there a poor sole was robbed by one of the mant vultures that inhabbit this Island!!!beware

  • Liked — view
  • Disliked — substanded
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank senojdr2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new york, ny
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2007

My husband and I just came back from Panama where we spent a couple days in Bocas del Toro. Unfortunately, we stayed in Hotel El Limbo. I recommend anyone to stay far away from this place. As the other reviews have already stated, the rooms are overpriced, dirty and service is terrible to non-existent.

  • Stayed July 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
4 Thank luxusnewyork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2007

I am an avid world traveler and I have to say: Never have I been treated in such a rude, unprofessional manner as in this hotel.
The service is non existent. Example: Nobody is there to help you carry your luggage upstairs to the 3rd floor. I was shown one room before checking in and after I agreed to take the room I was given another room which was much smaller and smelled aweful.
The faucet in the bathroom was missing the handle, so to wash your hands you had to get creative...
But the real kicker came in the morning at breakfast time.
As I arrived to the restaurant to eat the breakfast which is included in the rate, the waitresses looked at me like: "What do you want?!"
I sat down and all 3 of them "purposely" ignored me.
I kept looking at them to no avail. Finally I got up and asked them if I could please order breakfast and they simply replied:
No more breakfast.
I said : Its not 11am yet ( which was the cut off time for breakfast).
They said : You can have eggs.
Since I am allergic to eggs, I asked if I could have a bowl of fruit, or bread. They replied: "No"
I saw an orange on the bar counter and asked if she could be so kind and cut it up for me. She simply said she wasnt going to.
Can you believe it?!
I gave up and asked for coffee. She simply kept ignoring me and I sat there at the table without EVER been given a simple cup of coffee.
I heard the waitresses say: I just dont feel like dealing with her, I am tired....
I complained at check out and was simply given a $9 refund after this whole ordeal...Eventhough I paid over $130.00 a night
The hotel is way to expensive and they truly dont give a damn about the guests nor who they hire.
Horrible experience to be treated in such a rude fashion.

TIP: After leaving that horrible place I had the most amazing breakfast in all of bocas at: Lilly's Cafe.
A little cafe just a block down, right on the water where home cooked meals are served. Best coffee, fresh fruit, the best pancakes I have ever had, best veggie lasagna, delicious home baked bread AND the most caring and prompt service ever!
Thanks Lilly for saving my day!

  • Liked — nothing
  • Disliked — staff/service
  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank Superwoman72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Limbo on the Sea Hotel

Property: El Limbo on the Sea Hotel
Address: Calle 2A. Isla Colon, Isla Colon, Panama
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon
Amenities:
Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 20 Hotels in Isla Colon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:2 star — El Limbo on the Sea Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 18
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Also Known As:
El Limbo On The Sea Hotel Panama/Bocas Del Toro - Isla Colon

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