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“What a gem” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Bocas del Toro

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Hotel Bocas del Toro
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in Bocas Town
Certificate of Excellence
Southern California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“What a gem”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2009

From check-in to check-out, everything was great. The staff is friendly and eager to help you in any way they can. We had an ocean view room with balcony and it was great to sit up there and have our morning coffee and plan the day's activities. Carla, the owner, has an eye for detail and her hotel shows it. She was the first in the area to offer free wi-fi. We were on our honeymoon and there was a bottle of champagne waiting in our room when we got there, along with a hand written note stating they were happy we had chosen their hotel to celebrate our honeymoon. The food is delicious and they had reserved the area at the end of the dock for our first night's dinner. Get the chicken, rice and vegetable dish as it is to die for.
There is only one room that has a refrigerator but you can go out the hotel, make a left and then a right and buy a styrafoam cooler at the market a block down.
One morning we decided to branch out and went next door to Hotel el Limbo for breakfast. Don't bother. Overpriced and not worth it.
Check out the Pickled Parrot. You will need to take a water taxi which is about $1.50 pp one way. The owner, George, is from Kansas and is a hoot. He makes the best burgers, fries, ceviche, wings, etc. Oh heck, everything is good. Also check out The Marina (also a water taxi ride away). Dylan, the owner, has sailed around the world twice and has some great stories to tell. He has great chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy. Mmmmmmm. On Friday nights he has barbecued ribs and I understand there is quite a crowd there. Although we are in our fifties we had a wonderful time at night at one of the local hostels. Drinking, listening to music and talking to all sorts of people.
I will definitely stay at Carla's little gem, Hotel Bocas Del Toro next time I am in Panama.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Blakes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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371 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Philadelphia, USA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2009

We spent one night here on our way to Isla Bastimentos. Its a nice enough hotel, well located in Bocas Town but nothing out of the ordinary. The rooms are comfortable and well-equipped with attractive dark wood furnishings. The staff was OK but not especially helpful or friendly. They did arrange a cab for us to the beach at Boca del Drago (recommended) but didn't mention that we could have taken a collectivo for a fraction of the cost. Overall it was a reasonable hotel and I didn't see anything else in Bocas Town that stood out more. With a more enthusiastic staff I would give it 4 stars. See if you can negotiate on the price - it was off season and we had so little problem getting a modest discount that I think that we could have offered significantly less and still got a room.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank chapmanvet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wold, Director at Hotel Bocas del Toro, responded to this review, 1 August 2009
Please accept our sincerest apology for the reception you received at our Boutique Hotel. The best feedback we can get comes in the form of complaints. It would be nice if every single customer told us what a great job we were doing but it wouldn’t help us to improve our service. Complaints tell us how we could do it better. Our best method for managing perception and service is our Customer Comment forms. Unfortunately your customer comment form at check out did not provide the additional information we needed to do our job better until we received this review.

The cab recommendation to Boca del Drago was made for 2 reasons. We were advised by your partner was pregnant. Since the local bus was broken down, the collectives, small vans, can be crowded, lacking aisles and fresh air, thus recommendation of the taxi. Upon your departure we advised the taxi driver in Spanish to take special precautions while driving the 30 to 45 minute pothole road. The good news is the road was recently graded!

The room you agreed to was a standard room and we upgraded you to a town balcony room providing a 39% savings. Again, perhaps our communication was lacking regarding the upgrade and we apologize.

We highly appreciate your feedback as it will assist us in becoming better at what we do and the way we communicate with our guests. As with any business, the greatest advertising we can have is word of mouth from a satisfied customer. It’s our goal to retain all guests as loyal and happy customers. We hope to serve you again in the future and receive your 4 Stars.

Director
Hotel Bocas del Toro
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Napa, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2009

I had had a difficult year and wanted to get away from it all. I contacted a friend who knew of a boutique hotel on the Isla Colon,called Bocas del Toro.

I was looking for an adventure, a trip that would recharge my batteries and refresh my mind, body and spirit. I contacted via email the hotel and began discussing what I desired in a vacation. The staff at Bocas del Toro, helped me set up all my iteneraries for my 16 day vacation. I spent time in Gamboa (the rainforest) at Ivan's Bed and Breakfast and had private tours to the ruins, the Mira Flores Locks and to visit villages of indigenous indian tribes (The Embera) on the Rio Chagres. My tour guide was awesome. They also hooked me up with an island off the carribean coast in the San Blas Islands for a two day excursion. I was treated like a princess on the island of Yandup, which also is home to indigenious indians, the Kunas.

The staff at Bocas del Toro made my airline reservations, not to mention many other excursion reservations for me. It should be pointed out that I was traveling as a single white femaile who doesn't speak a lick of spanish! Or indian for that matter! But I always felt safe because of the recommendations of my connections at Bocas Del toro!

I spent an entire week (7 days in Beautiful Bocas Town). I was greeted with warmth and smiles from the start.

The Hotel is exactly what I was hoping it would be. It is a beautiful building, hand crafted by a ship builder who incorporated gorgeous woods of various origins. These woods are hand rubbed to a stunning shine. The furnishings were very tasteful and the decor was nautical. Lots of thought and detail went into the decor. The linens from the beds to the luxurious towels were simply sumptious, beautifully pressed and clean.

The bathroom was spacious and had lovely decorative tiles and was also very very clean. I always look for mold and I didn't see one spot of it. My shower water pressure was vigourous and the temperature was as cold or hot as I wanted it.
As I was traveling for a long period, I did not use the toiletries, but they did supply all the goodies one comes to expect in the finer hotels in say San Francisco, CA USA.

I loved the coffee that they provided for free, and it is from Panama! I also loved the big flat screen t.v. with excellent reception, CNN News and other programs all in English.

I was treated to the best penthouse suite with a balcony off the back over looking the blue of the carribean for my first night. Book this room if you can it is so worth it. Up a few flights of stairs, but the view and the room are YUMMY!!!

I stayed in another room over looking the street and the main hub of city life and I loved it. If I wanted to sit on the porch I could enjoy the colorful sites and sounds of the lively bocas town. In my room I was surprised and delighted that I wasn't bothered by the panamanian music that plays thoughout the town, especially on Saturdays. I am very sensitive to sounds and smells and all was well at Bocas del toro.

I did not drink the water, as I was advised by the staff at the hotel. They did sell bottled water at the bar. I always bought bottled water.

I loved the bar and the restaurant on the ground floor level. I ate my breakfast almost everyday right there overlooking the sea, gazing at the islands both close and distant. I saw boats ferrying passengers to the other islands to eat or play.

The food at the hotel was quite good and the staff was friendly and warm. The feeling in bocas is that everyone is on vacation, so they are a little more casual than the pace I am accoustomed to back home, but they always were very attentive and addressed my every need from breakfast to dinner. I recommend dining here. The prices are very reasonable and the staff is personable or they can give you your space if that is what you desire.

Often I saw folks sitting at a part of the restaurant doing work on their computers, drinking coffee or eating. It looked like an amazing setting for doing your work! Had I brought my computer I could have plugged in and used the WIFI in my room for FREE!
SWEET!

It did rain a bit, but it wasn't cold, in fact it was warm. Every day I used my bug spray and sunscreen. The staff helped me find various stores in town when ever I needed something. Like the Computer Cafe where I down loaded all my pictures to a disk.
They made available umbrellas, city maps, in room spa treatments, room service, babysitting, recommendations for restaurants and excursions, and in room safes. They even do your laundry! I loved that!!! Thank you ladies!

I did check out the book library but managed to donate one instead.

I think Bocas del toro had the best beds and linens on my whole trip with pillow top mattresses and king size beds.

I appreciated that the staff all spoke English and Spanish and this made me feel right at home.

I had a smile on my face when I left for my trip and one on my face when I arrived home. I owe it all to the staff at Hotel Bocas del toro. It was a trip of a lifetime and these folks really know how to put out the welcome mat and give you stellar service.
Do consider this quaint hotel. It has the best location and you will be glad you did.

Helpful?
2 Thank ItalianGirlofpisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Panama City
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2009

In this centrally located hotel right on top of the water, created of 9 different exotic hardwoods, you´ll feel like you are living on a wooden boat, minus the seasickness, with just about every necessity one could possibly think of. For an incredibly reasonable price, starting at $145.00 a night, you can have a room with a balcony from which you can sip a cup of delicious Panamanian coffee that supports sustainable tourism with the Organic Silico Creek Coffee Company, while enjoying the luxury of WIFI internet access or just taking in ocean breezes and views of nearby islands and the local boating scene. Rooms are fully equiped with flat screen televisions and cable tv, telephones, air conditioners, toiletries, and 400 thread count cotton sheets on PillowTop Orthopedic mattresses. WIFI is available for all customers in the restaurant, bar, and lobby, while also being available in those rooms with waterfront views, and for those wishing to escape the modern luxuries of technology, there is a pretty substantial library including books for all ages.
For larger groups or families the master suite is a spacious room easily sleeping a family of 5 at the top of the hotel with a large balcony and such amenities as an iPod docking station, 32 inch flat screen TV, DVD player, and a refrigerator. Best of all, there is a wonderfully warm and inviting staff ready to help make your stay a memorable one by helping to create excursions, day trips, and/or make in-house spa treatment, restaurant, as well as flight reservations for you. Water taxis to other islands, such as Bastimentos or Carneros islands, are readily accessible from docking stations conveniently located right outside the hotel. There are kayaks and snorkeling gear available for rent. There are menu guides in the lobby to most of the local restaurants, as well as an excellent restaurant in the hotel with a very romantic atmosphere complete with deck on water, lanterns, candles, sea glass and nautical art. Breakfast is included with the rooms and the menu offers a full range of meat and vegetarian options. There is also a full bar with a considerable selection of spirits, and if you´re lucky enough to have walter as the bartender ask for his specialty--margaritas!
In any case, whether you are looking for a relaxed, rejuvenating vacation just hanging on the water with a good book, a romantic second honeymoon, or looking for that active family adventure vacation, Hotel Bocas del Toro will help make it all happen for you.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SenioritaSurrender
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
36 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2009

We decided to visit Bocas on a whim, so we stumbled off the boat into the Hotel Bocas Del Toro without a reservation. We were greeted by a smiling front desk clerk who was able to accommodate us. The room was simple and clean. The shower had hot water (the water service in Bocas Del Toro is a bit dicey), and the location was smack in the middle of everything, from the ocean to the town.

The hotel staff was incredibly helpful. They consistently gave us excellent dining suggestions. (The Reef, and El Ultimo Refugio). When we had a cell phone issue, they called around town to find the local cell phone guru. When we decided to extend our trip one more day, the staff informed us that our room was unavailable, so they UPGRADED us to a balcony room for the same price and moved our bags for us!

The hotel has a small library of excellent reading choices. The restaurant is currently undergoing some changes, the drinks are great but the food is pretty forgettable. Bocas is a small place, so great food is either a few doors away (literally!) or a $2.00 cab ride across the island.

Enjoy! Bocas is super-cool place.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DagneyT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 2009

The best customer service and staff quality I have experienced in latin america so far. The owner Carla is both friendly and very professional, this is by far the best run hotel in Panama. My room was faceing the street which was great for enjoying the great people of Panama. My room was kept very clean and the people I met at the hotel where second to none. Make sure you visit Hotel Bocas Del Toro and catch a soccer game with the locals!!

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Krowe7777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 February 2009

Perhaps chronologically..

day 1 - $145/nite in Bocas? Not even a bottled water to go with it?

day 2 - awoke to construction on the wall adjacent to our room and two men crawling over the railing to our balcony. Apparently installing security cameras was a high priority item at 8:30am.

day 3 - no running water for several hours, towels left on floor not refreshed.. Arranged for a boat tour - Paid 25% more than anyone else on the boat, was promised no more than 6 persons/boat - there were 13 (not including crew). also ate the food at the hotel restaurant - it's pretty mediocre.

day 4 - checkout - requested an additional half hour for late checkout - that will be $40 please - no exceptions.

On the plus side, the beer is cold, and the rooms are nice (as they should be for this price) and the owner was actually really nice and comp'd us a couple of drinks for the construction interruption. The staff was friendly as well.

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KevinSeaTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Bocas del Toro

Property: Hotel Bocas del Toro
Address: #2 Calle | No 2 Calle, Bocas Town, Isla Colon, Bocas Town, Isla Colon 77777, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon > Bocas Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Bocas Town
#4 Family Hotel in Bocas Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Bocas del Toro 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Newly upgrade high speed internet along with Hotel Bocas del Toro Restaurant & Bar honored as one of the "Top" Caribbean Bars in the best spots in the world on Conde Nast Traveler's Gold List, ¨Cuisines & Bars, IPAPP. The Hotel consistently receives TripAdvisor's "Certificate of Excellence". We've discovered that understated elegance in our Caribbean Wood Design and superior service are essential. From every vantage point, the ocean & island views inspire us to respond to the elements. 2013 Hotel Bocas del Toro was chosen and featured in the Conde Nast Traveler January issue under ¨Caribbean Secret Islands, The Bliss of Bocas¨, for our commitment to Sustainable Tourism over the last 11 years. Bocas del Toro's oceanfront boutique hotel, restaurant & bar are unique to this island paradise. Eleven perfectly appointed nautically inspired rooms, displaying thirteen different types of exotic Panamanian hardwoods, custom built furnishings, some with ocean view or town balcony rooms. We invite you to join us for a memorable experience at the best sustainable boutique hotel in Bocas del Toro, Panama. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bocas Del Toro Hotel
Del Toro Bocas Town
Hotel Bocas Del Toro Panama - Bocas Town

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