First I want to cover Bocas del Toro and Panama City.
It can be a complicated place to get in and out (and around) of and has many choices for activities and accommodations.
Typically it is best to fly a major airline into Panama City, Panama - Tocumen Intl. (PTY), then drive across town in a taxi ($40) to Albrook Airport (PAC) and fly Panama Air to Bocas Town (BOC).
Panama City sits right on the Canal on the Pacific side of Panama. It is an amazing town much more modern than you can imagine and the infrastructure is amazing, Subways, Buses, Private Buses, Multiple Airports. Panama City downtown is very modern with great hotels, casinos, and every international bank.
Having travelled extensively around Panama, mostly in West Side like David, I was looking forward to Bocas del Toro.
Getting to Bocas was very smooth on Air Panama, we looked at all of the main Islands: Colon, Cristobal, Pastores, Popa, and Cayo de Agua and of course Bocas town. Even though we were told by all to stay at Red Frog Beach we decided to to stay in Bocas Town.
The airport is five minutes from Bocas Town and it is a classic emerging Central American City. Almost every building is built along the gorgeous waterfront facing the Pacific. I would recommend staying on the Red Frog or Popa.
I hope this helps.
To the Review:
1. Tropical Suites was located right off the main strip in a very raw, relatively undeveloped town.
There are several hotels all of varying qualities and lots of retail stores (no chains) with great shopping.
2. Bocas town is where all of the activities take place for the most part. It is packed with surfers, divers, and sun seekers. Plus there are lots of great restaurants and bars.
3. The Back of Tropical Suites overlooks the Pacific and all of the gorgeous Islands and vistas in the bay.
4. We read a lot of reviews and selected Tropical Suites which demanded payment upfront no AMEX before we booked, we were then planning to leave and spend a few days on some other islands and head to Costa Rica.
1. Close to good restaurants, huge rooms.
2. The Hotel is relatively new and has a nice buildout.
3. Otherwise not much.
1. Where to begin...
2. Tropical Suites asked us to pay up front and we accommodated. They said we had to pay upfront due to the holiday/demand and if we canceled we had to pay half. So, we booked a waterfront room for the trip after reading a lot of reviews, and paid upfront.
3. As we went to reserve our room, we entered our credit card and it said AMEX was not accepted only VISA or Mastercard. As we went to finish out booking we printed out our page, but reentered our Credit Card Info.We have a printout that shows waterfront, but oddly the email they sent us had city view. I tried to call and received nothing back. Then called my credit card to cancel it. Finally, I was told it would be worked out at the hotel.
3. We arrived at the hotel to horrible service and an extremely cold greeting by the receptionist.
4. We were then told where our room was and went up to a spacious, but city view room,
5. We went down to the receptionist (the only person working who was on her cellphone speaking to her friend, and ignored us), but she said all the ocean view rooms were sold out and they wouldn't have anything for the length of our stay.
6. We were hungry so we decided to eat and come back and try and work out the situation.
7. While eating at a fantastic restaurant a few buildings down, we found out the entire story on the Hotel. It was owned by a great, service oriented owner, and then given to his daughter or relative as a wedding present. The new owners were from California and basically let the property and service deteriorate significantly. The restaurant manager told us it was THE place to stay, but they had heard lots of complaints.
8. After returning to the hotel the receptionist said it wasn't her problem and the manager would be there in the morning.
9. The "City View Room" was horrible and loud. it faced the city, and all of the noise from the Bocas Town partiers and bars.
10. The next day I went to speak to the manager again and once again, no one responded. We were tired of the noise, bad service, and a who cares attitude. Plus reserving a room and having a print out, but then paying and getting another room "bait and switch" was unconscionable. We decided to check out. The Receptionist didn't care, and said we would be charged no matter what. So, after being lied to and manipulated we decided to leave.
11. Suddenly a new receptionist said oh we have lots of water front rooms we can move you right now. So, it went from, bait and switch, to apathy, to rude, to lying, to suddenly now that we are literally walking out with our bags there are rooms.
It was not only disappointing, but sad. They are liars here, and don't care about the patrons, and we heard it from others in Bocas Town. They ruined the first 2 days of our trip and now magically had rooms after they were "fully booked for the duration of our stay".
What was even worse was NO manager and higher level tried to help us, but didn't mind charging us $2,000 for a room we didn't book. I never got an apology or the chance to show someone our paperwork.
This place is untrustworthy, dishonorable, and still charged us.
If I could give them Zero Circles I would. THEY DO NOT CARE.
Do not stay here.
Actually stay on Red Frog Beach all of my friends went there and had a great time and loved their hotels.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tropical Suites is a modern oceanfront hotel located in the heart of Bocas del Toro. Resting on a tranquil Caribbean shoreline, the property is close to many over the water restaurants, shops and attractions. The hotel's comfortable and spacious suites feature a panoramic view of the Caribbean waters or the island's tropical landscape. Amenities include private balconies, air conditioning, 24 hour front desk and water access from the hotel's private dock. Nearby attractions include beaches, snorkeling, dolphin watching, zip-lining, diving and surfing. Tours and activities may be arranged through the hotel's front reception. Guests may choose to include breakfast with their room rate. The property is a 15 minute walk or short taxi ride from the Bocas Town island airport. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, Ebookers, Odigeo, Agoda, Priceline and Evoline ltd so you can book your Tropical Suites Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Tropical Hotel Bocas Town
- Tropical Suites Hotel Bocas Del Toro, Panama - Bocas Town