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“Simply the Best in Bocas”
Review of Eclypse de Mar

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Eclypse de Mar
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Simply the Best in Bocas”
Reviewed 10 December 2013

We spent 5 nights at Eclypse de Mar last August and it was amazing. We stayed in Two different rooms during our stay, both of which were fantastic (the original room we wanted was booked for the first 2 days but the first room was also amazing). The hotel is close enough to Bastimentos town and Bocas to make it easy to get around by water taxi (not to mention easy to get anywhere else on Bastimentos) but remote enough to be relaxing and feel like you have your own slice of Panama. They provide Kayaks and Snorkels and have a Finca behind hotel where you can do Jungle walks to view the caiman and famous red frogs. A delicious breakfast was brought to your room every morning and the staff helped coordinate activities particularly tailoring their suggestions to your interests and needs. I couldn't have asked for a better experience and would gladly go back.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank kevinabailey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
Date | Rating
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English first
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 November 2013

Eclypse de Mar was the best of Bocas del Toro!
Where to start?
Breakfast is delicious, with a really good coffee and the best Bocas’ coconut bread with homemade jam, and fresh fruit.
The bungalows are beautiful! and very comfortable. They have a private terrace from which you can enjoy the best sunsets and from which you can swim and do some snorkeling. The best thing is that as they are over the water, so no bugs!
Another activity we really enjoyed was taking a kayak and going to a nearby reef, very close to the lodge (swimming distance too), one of the best snorkeling spots we’ve visited.
We have also enjoyed a lot of amazing walks in the Lodge’s Natural Reserve. There are paths and corridors where you can see lots of tropical birds, butterflies, red frogs and if you are lucky, a few caimans. We got a lot of beautiful photos!
The food is delicious. We enjoyed some great local and international meals, and of course the unforgettable garlic lobster!
The hosts are amazing people. Thank you guys for everything, we are definitely coming back!!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank PitiyoTatita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2013

We spent two nights at Eclypse de Mar during a busy two week backpacking trip through Costa Rica and Panama. Four of us were travelling, two couples, so each couple had a cabin, I must admit it was fun swimming to your neighbours! Malena was a wonderful host, and all of the employees were so friendly and cheerful. We walked through their reserve looking for tree frogs, best to see them at sunset. Just a short kayak trip took us to Bastimentos town, not much going on, but a couple of nice restaurants, recommended by the hotel staff. At night we relaxed to the sounds of the water and tunes from the town. Bliss!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Sam D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Springdale, Arkansas
Level Contributor
91 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 September 2013

We spent two nights at Eclypse de Mar and would highly recommend over accommodations in Bocas Town or the outer islands. Eclypse is only a short water taxi ride away for dinners, day trips, beaches, etc.

We arrived early in the morning and were pleasantly surprised that we could check in early and head to the beach. Marlena was thorough and welcoming and arranged a water taxi to take us to Red Frog Beach for the day (the BEST beach in Bocas!). Her husband (sorry can't remember his name!) let us leave our packs at the main lodge after we checked out on our last day so we could explore the main island without our packs. He even offered to let us shower and clean up if we needed to later in the day even though we had already checked out!

Here's the many pros for Eclypse de Mar: 1) Great hosts and staff -- so accommodating and friendly! 2) Great bungalows on the water...fantastic and beautiful 4 poster bed with decorative netting and good décor. Clean and up to date bathroom. We slept with the doors and windows open each night to listen to the water and get a breeze. 3) Back docks on your bungalow have a hammock (so nice!) and chaise lounges. It was fabulous to have a bottle of wine and look at the stars each night 4) The jungle path/trek is pretty cool and we enjoyed watching the sloth at breakfast one morning 5) The property has a restaurant which we enjoyed one night for dinner (great lobster!) when we were too tired to go into town 6) Kayaks and snorkeling equipment were free and it was great to be able to snorkel off the reef near the property.

There really aren't any cons if you know what to expect but just to be sure you know what you are getting here are the things you should be aware of before booking: 1) There is no electricity during the day...this never caused us a problem because we were at the beach...just be sure to charge your iphones/ipads/cameras/etc at night! The sun comes up early (5am) so we never had an issue not being able to see 2) There is no beach at Eclypse...it's on the water and you can snorkel there but you have to take a water taxi to the beach. Again, we were fine with this for the money and location! 3) There are no other properties/restaurants/etc within walking distance...you must take a water taxi but they are easy for the staff to call and we never waited more than 15 minutes. 4) No hair dryers allowed 5) Breakfast is low key -- great toasted bread and coffee but that's it (unless you pay more). That's the one thing that would make Eclypse even stronger in my book -- a better breakfast included in the price!

Again, we highly recommend this property and would stay again if visiting Bocas!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Jennifer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spring, Texas
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2013

The suite is beautiful and quite romantic in that it is over the water. After staying in one, I have to say the over the water has it's romance but not practicality. You have to take a water taxi to go anywhere other than the hotel's restaraunt. It was fun to feed the fish from the hole in your floor. The bed was excellent and gorgrous with it's netting. One of the nights there a disco in the nearby town which played until 3 or so in the morning. So much for tranquillity. Electricity was also an issue. The hotel turns on the electricity between the hours of 6 pm and 8pm and then again between 6:00 am and 8:00 am. We had to leave early to catch a flight so it was very annoying trying to use a flash light to make sure we collected all of our belongings. Don't expect to use a hair dryer.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank hend1025
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GLENWOOD
Level Contributor
90 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2013

Here's a charming over the water hotel just far enough from town that it is private. Charming over the water bungalows brightly painted. Nice setting, nice staff. And just a water taxi from town. You can swim just off your room dock, a real gem.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Tom88039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 August 2013 via mobile

This review might sound more negative than I intend it to be but there really is no other way to provide my feedback. I guess I just had way higher expectations of the hotel and Bocas del Toro itself. Nevertheless there are some strong points to it as well. Ill start with these: the bungalows at the hotel are nicely decorated and are all Eco-friendly which is a plus. The bungalows are perfect for two people with a very nice fit out and the novelty of being on stilts on the water - with an opening in the floor to feed the fish! Really beautiful. Secondly, the owners are lovely and the service in general is pretty good in terms of friendliness and attentiveness. Special shout out to Suji who is there most days taking care of your every need and she really is so sweet and genuine. So thank you Suji. It has a bit of a garden behind it and we saw a sloth so that made my trip/year! The major downfall for us revolved around the breakfast/dinner situation. It does say that breakfast is included, when really that consists of toast, jam, tea and coffee. If you want eggs, fruit, cereal, yoghurt, juice etc. it costs extra. And due to the remoteness of the location you have no real choice but to eat breakfast there. That's ok, it's not particularly over the top expensive, however granola and yoghurt translated to cornflakes and yoghurt - which was a bit strange and annoying but we learned not to order it again. The only eggs they do are two fried eggs, or you can get a ham omelette. The fried eggs were cooked in something strange, garlic or something, and so we (and others there) learned not to order them again also. Fruit salad was fine so we stuck to that predominantly. Then there was dinner which was also fine but not a great deal of variety / vegetables - wouldn't be a problem if like I said it wasn't remote and so the only option unless you wanted to go into town or Bocas by boat every night. We went a few times but perhaps we were just lazy! It also costs per person to take a boat anywhere, and we were often ripped off. The hotel doesn't offer any free shuttles to and from town, or the beach etc which is slightly disappointing. You do end up spending quite a lot on water taxis. Anyway, after 6 days it just became slightly frustrating- little things like getting our order wrong (in their defence we asked for things altered slightly, sauce on the side etc but it shouldn't have been too difficult). That's my only criticism. Now for some warnings/tips: Mosquitos in the area are ruthless. Everyone got bitten despite using repellent and I'm not talking one or two, I am talking 108! Also, if you are on your honeymoon I would check the guest situation... I was there with my mother and we crossed over two "intakes" of people - first a few honeymooners - second a bunch of families with young children. Lucky for them they didn't cross over with one another. Anyway other than the food issues it is a lovely place to stay and I hate that this review comes across as unpleasant, I just think constructive criticism will hopefully make them change the negatives and make this place the perfect resort it could be.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank SamanthaBee22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Eclypse de Mar

Property: Eclypse de Mar
Address: Isla Bastimentos, Isla Bastimentos, Panama
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 20 Speciality Lodging in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Eclypse de Mar 3*
Number of rooms: 24
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Also Known As:
Eclypse De Mar Hotel Isla Bastimentos
Eclypse De Mar Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro

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