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“A swimming pool in Bocas Town!”
Review of Swan's Cay Hotel

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Swan's Cay Hotel
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Bocas Town
Reviewed 19 April 2011

Mom, Dad and two teenagers stayed at their ocean front motel part called Terrazo by the Sea. The main hotel is on the main street a block and a half away. We thought Terrazo was definitely better. Ordinary, small but clean rooms with a good shower and excellent air conditioning. Big, bright white sun deck with umbrellas and reclining sun chairs right over the water. Pool was clean and wonderful and used after every walk into town and water taxi trip. There was a fridge in the room and a small TV with Spanish speaking stations. Also a safe for important papers, cameras, etc.

We though the front desk people were a little brusque compared to all of the other wonderful people we met in Panama. Maybe this was because we just dropped in and asked what their best deal was for two rooms for two days. The place was basically empty with only one other room being rented and they gave us a great discount with no haggling. Breakfasts were not included, you couldn't use their phone but they showed you where the pay phones were (in the town square, a block or so away) and there was no free internet. Internet service at the hotel was twice as much as the nearby Galaxie internet shop which was two blocks away.

It was quiet at night while being close to town, which was a real plus.

The pool is the major plus. We recommend it.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank drgonzo_ca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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46 - 52 of 153 reviews

Reviewed 2 March 2011

My husband and I stayed at Swan's Cay for eleven nights. We loved our room, the front window had a beautiful view of the Carribean. We swam almost everyday in their lovely pool. We also had water taxis drop us off at their dock which was a short walk to the door of our room. Staff was great! The owners work very had at adding elegance to their hotel. The hotel is very quiet and private. I would highly recommend staying at the Swan's Cay!!!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Nightmare_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2011

Stayed two nights at this hotel which was booked through our travel agency...Gecko Trail Adventures. We enjoyed this clean and well maintained hotel. Good air conditioner, balcony and room was quaint! Breakfast was european and quite good. On the second night upon returning to the hotel, the front desk clerk (who spoke english) advised that the tour provider called and advised that our departure back to San Jose has changed from 11:45 A.M. to 6:30 A.M. due to protests in panama (Almirante bridge). The first water taxi will be taken out of Bacas to avoid the travel delays due to the protes. The owner/manager was present during the advice and was quite concerned that we would not be able to have breakfast which starts at 7:30 A.M. She relayed to the front desk that since we had to leave early, she would arrange to have breakfast ready for us before we left!!! This mgr (who I believe to be Italian and did not speak english) was very accomodating. We gratefully declined the offer and thanked the staff for their service. the next morning at 5:30 A.M. was already up and offered again to prepare coffee and breakfast. It seemed like she got up earlier just to look after us. We again declined and thanked her and staff for their gracious offer. This hotel is recommended for their courtesy and professionalism. Thanks folks!!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Snowden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2010

Traveled to Bocas del Toro, Panama over Thanksgiving break with my GF. We actually spend the first night in another hotel but the GF didn't like it to much so the next morning we woke up early and headed to look at a few other hotels after an hour we decided on Hotel Swans Cay. It's located on the main street but on the far end where there isn't much street noise. We stayed at a standard room for $66 a night which was actually cheaper than the other hotel we stayed the previous night ($75). The rooms are average nothing interesting about them but there is so much to do in Bocas you will spend little time in them. The bathrooms is a good size and the shower had warm water. The hotel actually has two pools one in the center of the hotel and the other one in the annex located a block away. The hotel also offers free Wifi in the lobby and has a restaurant but didn't eat in it because there are so many other options in town for a lower price. We want to thank the manager for being helpful with answering all our questions we had even though we can't seem to remember his name lol. At the end we really enjoyed the staying in Hotel Swans Cay and the beautiful beaches of Bocas del Toro.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank Victor A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2010

The annex is a block of 16-20 (didn't count) rooms over 2 floors surrounding a small courtyard - a short step from both the main hotel and the terrace swimming pool & cafe.

Our room was dark, but clean. The bathroom also had only a tiny, screened window. The shower water was hot enough, heated by a curious looking individual water heater. The air conditioning was … well … cold.

The main hotel has an Italian restaurant, a swimming pool and a reading/TV room. The white exterior and the dark wood hallway/lobby made it feel a bit colonial, a nice touch. Free internet access in the lobby was a bonus. We only ate breakfast in the hotel, which was pretty standard for Panama (scrambled eggs, pancakes, cold meats and cheese, fruit, juices and coffee).

The terrace swimming pool had fantastic views on the bay and a small café. The pool attendant/gardener/waiter was not the most friendly but served us a beer when asked. I wasn’t inspired to ask him for food, but then, there are lots of options in Bocas so I wouldn’t have bothered even if he looked ready, willing and able.

The hotel appear to be building a casino in the adjoining room between the café and the toilets (according to the advert), however, there didn’t appear to be too much activity in this area. In addition some work is being done in some rooms that overlook the swimming pool, this will damage the sense of privacy, but probably not by too much.
We didn’t have occasion to have too many dealings with the staff, so couldn’t comment on their friendliness (except for pool-guy, who wasn’t actually unfriendly, just busy gardening etc)

The location of the hotel is good. Although it is just a few blocks from the domestic airport it isn’t overly busy so noise pollution isn’t an issue. Similarly there are good restaurants a short walk from the hotel in either direction. Our room backed on to the indoor basket-ball courts, so at the weekend there was a little noise during the day, but then we didn’t stay in our rooms long enough for this to be an irritant, there’s lots to do in Bocas. Close ehough to the main road to be easy, far enough to be quiet.

  • Stayed: April 2010
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Thank Treez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 February 2010

We were travelling as part of a group of 11 and were allocated rooms in the annex. The rooms in the main hotel building are bigger and have better fitings and hot and cold water etc. Our room in the annex had no hot water to the hand basin and initially no hot or even warm water to the shower. On explaining this to reception that there was no warm water and member of staff came to the room and confirmed that basin only ever had cold water and that the temperature of the shower water was adequate. On a return visit to complain about the situation I was told by the unfriendly and unpleasant management that warm water was not necessary in their climate and nothing could done.

However, the staff member on reception advised us that he would try to get warm water or change the room. Finally, the hotel managed to provide warm, not hot water, to the shower. One should not have to make a fuss in this way to get warm water. The hotel could provide it but did not want to.

The good points about the hotel were its swimming pool in the main hotel area and its swimming pool and decking area next to the sea.

We did not try the food in the restaurant, but the prices looked high

  • Stayed: January 2010
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Thank travellerNEEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 December 2009

We orignally had reservations at another hotel in Bocas but when our cab pulled up to the hotel we knew we weren't going to stay there. The outside was horrific and the rooms were even worse. I'm not going to mention this hotel because they were nice enough to refund our money in full. We just told them that we couldn't stay because we had to move on, implying that something came up and we had to the leave the island. We didn't want to cause a big scene since the woman at the front seemed nice enough and didn't speak English anyway. Before we asked for our money back we took a walk into town to try to find another hotel. That is when we came across the Swan Cay. After talking to the front desk and seeing the rooms we decided to stay there. It was myself, my husband and my two cousins. My husband and I got a delux room and my cousins got a standard room outside the one pool. The lobby is dark wood but it's very nice. I'm not sure why people would complain about it. Just walk outside if you want to see the sun. The hotel is air conditioned and all of our rooms individual units worked fine. My one cousin did complain about a smell in his room. I smelled it but it wasn't awful. Both of them did end up changing to standard rooms because they thought their rooms were too dark. They were happy with their new rooms. The front desk people were more then happy to do it.
I can't comment on the restuarant because we did not eat there. However, the staff was outstanding. I can't say enough good things about the female employee, Hanelai. I'm sure the spelling of her name is wrong. She explained all the excursions available and then set one up for us. We also asked her about massages and she set that up for us too. The woman came right to my room and gave me a massage and then my cousin. She was awesome. It was the best massage of my life. It was called Estetic Massage Therapy, I think. She was so good that we actually went to her shop and got another one a few days later.
One day the four of us decided to rent scooters and of course my cousin ended up wiping out and getting injured. He was all cut and needed to see a doctor. He and my other cousin got into a cab and went to the hotel to ask where the best place to take him was. There is only one hospital on the island and they had to go there. Hanalei was getting off her shift and insisted on going with them to the hospital. She helped them check in and stayed with them the whole time. The hospital itself was scary and by hospital I mean more like a clinic. The beds were rusty metal frames and my cousin ended up assisting the doctor while he stiched my other cousin up. When my husband and I got back to the hotel after returning the scooters the male employee was extremely concerned about my cousin. I told them he would be fine but he was still worried. The owners also showed true concern. I don't know what the other reviewers were talking about when they complained about the staff. I have never encountered more helpful people in my life. We asked them a lot of questions about things to do and they also answered us with enthusiam.

Both pools were very nice. We really enjoyed the Terrace pool. The beds weren't great but the staff made up for any issues that we had the rooms. I don't know who is going to the island to hang out in their rooms all day. I personally don't mind the darkness when I'm trying to fall asleep.
We checked out a few of the other hotels in the area and none seemed to be as nice as the Swan Cay. Let's face it, you're not going to get Marriott style quality on Bocas. The Swan Cay was fine for our needs and the staff was first rate.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank MeredithP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Swan's Cay Hotel

Address: 3rd Street | Main Street, Bocas Town, Bocas Del Toro, Bocas Town, Isla Colon, Panama
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon > Bocas Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 13 Hotels in Bocas Town
Price Range: £34 - £87 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Swan's Cay Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Swan 's Cay is located on Main Street where it has a great advantage where it is accessible to all facilities and shops, offers elegant and comfortable rooms with private bathroom , air conditioners , televisions , safe , mini fridge and access to high speed internet , we have rooms for couples and families. Definitely the best place to enjoy a relaxing holiday. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Swan's Cay Hotel Bocas Del Toro, Panama - Bocas Town

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