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Hotel Olas
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Reviews (369)
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Reviewed 25 January 2009

Well, I must say that my wife and I never stayed at the hotel, because after I made my first contact in early Dec 2008 and made my booking finally on Dec 27th by sending the money via Western Union, when we came in the owners never found our reservation!!! When I booked our stay, I made an international call to directly speak to someone at the hotel and confirm the money transfer, since my mails took up to 3 days to be replied, so I didn't want to take any risks and just let them know about it. I spoke with a jewish-accent guy who took my money transfer reference number at WU, my name and the dates of the reservation. He stated that there was nothing else I needed, just to get there on the plnned date.

We did so and after standing at the reception for around 15 minutes, one of the owners was looking for my name on tons of paper sheets, calling the other owner, who was very relaxed reading a newspaper and drinking a tea or coffee, without worrying about the issue we had.

Finally, they ended up saying that there was no reservation under my name and they didn't have any available room. The only option they offered to us was helping us get another hotel for us to stay in. I requested the money back and thanks god we got it, including the WU fee, so we were lucky, since reading other reviews I noticed that others didn't even get the money back.

After this fiasco, we had to go under the rain, at 6 pm local time, to look for an empty room on any other hotel... Thanks to them, this was the begining of our honeymoon...

The moral lesson: NEVER never never think about this "hotel" as an option for your vacations

Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
2  Thank crguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2009

A friend and I stayed there for one night at the end of our week-lond stay in Panama. We had had an incredible experience up to that point (I HIGHLY recommend Al Natural!!) but then we checked into Hotel Olas. When we arrived, the downstairs hallway reeked of urine. We asked for an upstairs room because of the smell and safety concerns but were told nothing was available. So we checked in, showered, and had a beer on the deck which was nice. We went to dinner and when we returned about 2 hours later, our room had been broken into! We called for security and asked them to call the police. He came in and looked at us and said "Calm down!". We had to call the police ourselves and then go through our things to see what had been stolen. The owner sauntered in about 5 minutes later smoking a cigarette and just said "Hey, I lose in this too." He went on to say that break-ins are fairly common there. I asked why they hadn't informed us of this during check-in and he just shrugged and said "What are we supposed to do? Tell you people break in and steal and to take your important belongings?" and I was like "YES!!!!!". The police showed up and said that they knew who it was because his shirt had been ripped off when he jumped back out of the window and they recognized it from when they let him out of jail that day! Good God! We then had to go to the police station for an hour to fill out the report and when we returned the owner agreed to take us to another hotel for the evening and pay for it. So he drove us to a dive hotel in his pimped-out SUV and as he was leaving said that I was rude!! That place is horrible - do yourself and your belongings a favor and DO NOT STAY HERE!!!

  • Stayed: November 2008
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1  Thank kmarstal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 December 2008

Although they are on the water and beautiful out the restaurant, and the building is wood and has a lot of potential; the people working here RUIN THE ExPERIENcE here!!! Prices that they were demanding for staying (even if more than one night) were double what is quoted here on this website. We did not find this out until after we already had a room. Our room was in the back with no view except windows that opened on to the building next door. So I can't imagine what they charge for view rooms. In addition the staff have been incredible haughty and rude the entire time we've been here. We are two doctors who are married and own a clinic together - so hardly the backpacking young crowd - although we are travelling with backpacks. I speak fluent Spanish. However given all of this with any question or request we've communicated they have acted completely as if we are putting them out and literally look down their noses at us. I've travelled the world throughout my life and by far this is one of the very worst hotels for numerous reasons that I've ever been! DON"T GO HERE!

Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
2  Thank IntrepidTravelDoc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2008

We actually never stayed at Hotel Olas. Our trip to Panama had to be cancelled because of work. We did, however, make reservations at Hotel Olas and we were told that in order to secure our room we had to send $58 for the first night via Western Union, which I did, albeit to some name like Ashkenazy that didn't make much sense at the time. Olas, by the way, had come recommended by another hotel owner in the area so I was confident it would be OK. To make a long story short, I cancelled our reservation about 4 weeks in advance of our arrival and hoped to recoup my $58 minus the Western Union fee. I emailed Hotel Olas repeatedly and was told the money was on the way but I've never gotten it. This was in addition to the mountain of confusion that ensued when we first tried to book our room. First the Presidential Suite was available and then it wasn't. And then it was. And then it wasn't. What can I say? I feel duped. I feel scammed. I've traveled all over the world and a lot of in the third world and this was truly a remarkable piece of disorganization and misinformation. It might be lovely place, but I'll never know it. Michael Langlois, Miami.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank langloismj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 May 2008

Rooms are very clean and the views are great. The included breakfast is a great deal. Understand though that this isn't luxury. While clean, the rooms are basic and simple. Other reviewers mentioned rude staff.....I'd like to assume that the laid back island nature combned with the shy panamanian persona leads to this impression. No staff were rude but they aren't overly outgoing either. This is a quiet simple little hotel that complements Bocas very well. We'll definitely be back.

  • Stayed: April 2008
    • Value
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3  Thank ryanathompson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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