This is the best place to stay in Bocas if you can afford it ($175 for a double with no sea view and $225 for sea view. Price drops to $129 for island view and $159 ocean view if you book in advance). For that you are right in the city center on the water. You get a huge room complete with Jacuzzi, cable TV, fast WIFI, kitchen with stove and large balcony. The place is spotless. One day I even saw a maid washing down the walls in the corridor with bleach. You get breakfast vouchers every morning for Lili´s café next door on the water. (Bring a book as service is charming but slow and they make everything fresh from scratch). You can also order room service from Lili´s for a modest surcharge. They also have an efficient same day laundry service (bag for $5).
There are two minor shortcomings. The lights are very dim so it is impossible to read at night. However, you can ask for a desk light to remedy this. Also, the curtains are very thin and let the light in. The place is about six years old and has just been taken over by new American managers from Dallas. They plan on doing some renovations (though the place has been so lovingly maintained it looks new) soon which will no doubt fix these issues.
Communications to book were efficient. You are supposed to be met at the airport. I had to call them however to get a pick up in a communal taxi. The airport is only a few minutes walk from town so if you don´t have luggage you can walk the distance easily. If you are arriving by boat from Almirante, the two boat taxi places are only a few steps away from the hotel. The shuttle to Cost Rico (Puerto Viejo) also leaves a few steps away.
I stayed here five nights because I had heard Bocas was the best place in Panama to dive. Actually, the diving is so so. In March, the diving was murky due to run off from the islands with very few reefs. Best time to dive is September when the waters are glassy flat. The waters are shallow but have some interesting brittle reef in which rays, squid, large crab, chubb, lobster, stonefish hide. They also have lionfish (infestations from the few who got out of their aquariums in Florida during a hurricane and reeking havoc in the Caribbean, so they try and control them by killing them with spearguns, but these voracious feeders breed quickly and have no enemies in Panamanian waters so are gobbling everything in site). I would change into my wetsuit in the morning and simply walk a few steps to the Starfleet dive shop next door for my dive. Sleep, eat, dive. Heaven.
Bocas is a great place to chill, island hop and check out the great food from the profusion of restaurants to satisfy any palette. It has an end of the world feel about it which is charming. And Tropical Suites is an excellent place to stay and unwind while in Bocas. I would stay here again in a heartbeat.
- 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:
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- Also Known As:
- Tropical Hotel Bocas Town
- Tropical Suites Hotel Bocas Del Toro, Panama - Bocas Town