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“Unique”
Review of Eclypse de Mar

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Eclypse de Mar
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 12 April 2014

We stayed here for 4 days, 3 nights as a large group (2 families, 10 people total) toward the end of our Panama spring break vacation last week. After a lengthy and most interesting journey to get there (4hr bus trip from Boquete including getting stuck for hours in some local political protest in the middle of the jungle with temperatures topping 90 degrees in the shade) we were just anxious to arrive. We were not disappointed. As a disclaimer, personally I was not that big of a fan of Bocas Town. Perhaps I would've enjoyed it more 20 years ago, just married, childless and carefree, but with kids, a wee bit older and wanting just a little bit more comfort this was just not my scene. I'm not judging - it is what it is, it's just not for me. Eclypse de Mar on the other hand is absolutely perfect! It is a small, exclusive eco-resort with six luxuriously decorated over-water bungalows and two rooms in the main building. Malena, the owner, and her staff are just delightful, friendly and extremely helpful with everything. The vibe is Caribbean and mellow, but very safe and never lacking in attending to the guests' needs. This resort is perhaps not as secluded and quiet as the *other* luxury over-water property in Bocas, but this is made up with the much more appropriate (read: not overpriced) room charges, excellent local cuisine, and ease of getting around. The resort includes a large jungle area with a hiking trail where we spotted sloths, the famed red poison dart frogs, turtles and caimans. While the bungalows are not on a beach but near mangroves, the water is shallow and the ground sandy, and it is very safe to swim and snorkel (no stingrays!). It is also but a super short boat ride to Red Frog Beach. All in all, we had a wonderful time here and nobody wanted to leave. We would most definitely come back here in a heartbeat!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Petra O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 26 March 2014

This is a wonderful place. The bungalow over the water were fantastic, They were clean and luxurious. Having a hammock to loll in either in the shade of the room or on the deck (which was close to the same thing with the wall being one door that could be fully open) was a great way to relax. We also loved feeding the fish we watched from the glass-bottomed table in the living room of the bungalow. We made great use of the free kayaks, snorkling in the area, walking and photographing the grounds (the preserve) and walking to the cocoa plantation through the nearby town.

The noise at night from the bar accross the way was the only negative.,and even that paled compared to the beauty of the grounds, and the ability to dive off of our deck into the water.

The and the owners and staff were attentive in every way. I only wish we could have stayed for more

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank robin p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2014

We just returned from Panama. We spent 5 nights at Eclypse with our 18 yr old daughter and her friend, there were 4 total. We had a wonderful stay. The owner, Malena, was wonderful and the staff was so attentive. The restaurant was great and they also were helpful in finding other dining options. They even made reservations for us at other places in the area. The bar across the way was loud for 2 of the nights. They are trying very hard to remedy this situation. She also helped us set up surfing lessons for the girls. We were sad to leave and will definitely go back.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank madmargaret
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 March 2014

Where can I start in sharing the beautiful memories at Eclypse de Mar in August 2013? Maybe at the end of a 2-night stay where none of our family group (12 people) wanted to leave. Even the twenty-something year olds tried to cling on to soak in the last minutes of heaven on earth here.

We chose this place due to the high ratings on TripAdvisor and were not disappointed. Here are the reasons why we loved the place:

The bungalows are right on the water with so rich marine life of various species of fish, star fish, live corals and kelp.

The water is simply one step away from the stairs off the deck. It was a snorkler's dream as the water is calm, clear and away from the taxi boats.

The lodge has a nature area that is quite large and nice to explore. We saw big birds, lots of butterlies, crabs, and flowers.

The rooms are beautifully designed with honeymooner's bed surrounded by windows and patio doors, all of which can be opened for an almost 360-degree view.

The living room area if nicely furnished and comes with windows into the bay which resembles a giant TV with a nature show on. Simply splendid!

From this window, we could see the kids on kayak, body boards, stand-up boards against a gorgeous background of the open water. These equipment are free to use.

We used the deck extensively to get in and out of the water during the day. But in the evening and at night, we would lie on the wooden lounge chair and admire the serene water glittering
against the islands in the background. At dusk, the blue sky turns into a tapestry of reddish hue, bright orange with white clouds above the navy blue water.

When the sky turns dark, the stars come on in force and the colorful lights from the faraway Bocas town seem to start pulsating. Now and then a shooting star streak across the starry sky.
More frequently, water taxis with their red marine light streak across the dark ocean, creating their own shooting stars in Bocas.

Then the sound of ocean waves lapping right below us is so soothing. Sitting on this deck, I wish my own backyard could be like this. And that I could stay here forever. And I could feel my blood pressure lowering ...

Malena and her staff are wonderful hostesses. They treated us for delicious juices the first day at no charge and gave us ideas as well as contacts for activities. Our kids were at times very nosy playing in the water and got a reprimands now and then. The staff were always warm and welcoming.

Another big bonus is that the water here is potable, which doesn't exist anywhere else in Bocas that we know of. We stopped having to haul in gallons of water for drinking. And not even the kids got sick.

About the loud music reported by other reviewers, we did not have this problem. It was not that loud and none of us had problem sleeping because of it. The previous nights we stayed at
Agua Acuario which faces Bocas town and there the music was much louder. We are travelers and appreciate local culture as it is, not how we prefer it to be. Actually we enjoyed having
this background music at Eclypse de Mar. It added to the exoticness of the experience. I would never hesitate to come back here again.

Warning: Outside of the lodge, we also walked to Bastimentos town but do not recommend it.
It requires stepping on precarious wooden planks on the mangrove root system where a misstep would land you in the water below. Crocodiles are not known to live here permanently, I believe,
but they do roam here especially when certain water condition is favorable. There are trash and broken glass bottles everywhere. After that, the path lead us through a dilapilated, depressing shantytown before the bars appear.

Regret: We should have stayed here longer than just 2 nights.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Daniel N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 February 2014

My boyfriend and I stared here one night during our five day stay on the Island. I have to say, I was a little disappointed considering the excellent reviews on here... The place was very beautiful and clean, however it's not as remote as it looks-there was quite a bit of noise from the nearby bar until at least 2AM. This was not the sleep I was hoping for... I loved our little cabana and being able to jump into the water from our dock. The cabanas are closer together than I thought they would be, making them less private. The staff I met were very friendly and helpful, but I thought the owner was somewhat inflexible with check out time (and probably didn't need to remind us of the check out time twice)., though they did allow us to continue using the restaurant and hiking trails. The restaurant ambiance was child and had good service, food was average. The hotel is located walking distance from the town. Overall a fun place to stay, but not as romantic as I had hoped. Clean and good atmosphere, if you don't mind the noise.

Room Tip: If possible, try to get a room as far away from the nearby bar as possible.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank CowgirlInChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2014

We stayed in the honeymoon suite for 2 nights at the end of our stay in Bocas.
It was nice to end our trip with luxury - especially since both my husband and I got sick from likely drinking something with icecubes somewhere along the way.
The cabins are beautiful with their own private decks. It's a wonderful experience to fall asleep with the windows open and the fresh air from the ocean.
The cons to this place are unfortunately beyond the hotel's control. There is a disco that blasts music all throughout the night and the sound really resonates. . The water in old town is also very dirty along the shoreline and I noticed that the water off of our balcony wasn't very clean. It is isolated from the rest of isla bastimentos so it all depends on what you're looking for.
I liked the room and the luxury of nice sheets but at $250 it's a bit pricey for what you get but there aren't many other high end options in the area.

  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank monique p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2014

We really loved the beauty of this place, the very wonderful owners and staff and food. This was countered by the all night blaring club music of Bastimentos. It was so loud on 12/26 - 28th that we will not return unless the Bastimentos decides that it does not want to be an all night party town.
The coordinated tours were great and it is a great place if you choose non- holiday times.

Room Tip: They are all great but look out for the party scene in Bastimentos
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled with family
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1  Thank saltysailorman
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

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: £86 - £238 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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