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“Best Family Vacation Ever”

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Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 November 2011

It is always hard to please everyone's taste with family vacations. I can guarantee everyone in every family will feel this is the best vacation ever. It has luxury villas to satisfy the pampered traveler and more activities you can do in one vacation for the outdoor lover. The beach is beautiful, the food is great (both on and off Red Frog Beach), and there is so much to do. One great feature is the price. You will not find this type of accommodation at this price anywhere. Activities are so much cheaper then places like Hawaii and are not tourist traps. The food, water and environment was extremely safe for our kids who are both under 7 years old. North American kids need to see places that are not destroyed by large corporate travel outfits.

Room Tip: Villas close to the beach are the best (Villa 62)
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  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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380 - 386 of 538 reviews

Reviewed 27 September 2011

This place was amazing and much better than I expected. I did a lot of research before I went and these beaches were said to be the best in Panama. The beaches were fantastic and even better than I anticipated. There were a few beaches to visit and only one of the beaches had anyone on it. So we felt like we had the beaches to ourselves and it felt very relaxing. The Villa we stayed in was very nice with a view that was incredible (again, better than I expected).

I also appreciated that the person who booked our trip was very upfront about this place not being totally finished. There were some unpaved roads and some unfinished roads but for the price (about $350/night for 7 of us, $50/night per person). I would imagine that they would increase prices when the place is totally done.

I have never written a review before but this place was unique and better than advertised.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Jm12345678j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 September 2011

The most impressive thing about Red Frog is the amount of stuff to do there. I am not the kind of person to just sit and lounge on vacation and Red Frog was perfect for a guy like me. The zip line, the trails, the cave tour, the dolphin tour, the fishing, snorkeling and the ping pong, all made for fun days. We also went out to some keys on a little sailboat excursion that was awesome.

The best thing about it was that it was all very affordable. In fact, I thought they had made a mistake when they rented me snorkel gear for $8. If you want to get a lot for your money and a lot of "experience" out of your vacation, this was a great place.

"Never been to a place with so much to do"

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Robert G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 September 2011

I've never written a review before, but this place was so great that it's only fair that I take the time to tell others about it.

We found Red Frog by chance, surfing the web just two days before the beginning of our vacations (4 days). It looked good on the web, the zipline sounded like a nice activity, so we (my wife, two our our kids and I) decided to go. Upon arrival, which was very well coordinated by the administration team (airport pickup, taxi, water-taxi, etc.), we realized that it was even better than what we expected. The villa (number 26, a 3 bedroom unit) was, in a word, spectacular. Very well equipped, everything spotless, comfortable, spacious, etc. The view from the terrace (rain forest and the beach) is breathtaking. And the private pool... amazing.

We took the advice from their website and rented a golf cart. It's definitely worth it, since our villa was up the hill, about half a mile from everything. You should buy groceries in Bocas before taking the water-taxi to Bastimentos Island (where the rresort is located). The kitchen in the villa is well equipped, we cooked our breakfasts and diners, and only had lunch in the restaurants.

We had never tried a canopy tour before: you have to do it, it's exhilarating, a lot of fun. It takes about two hours. It's very safe, but it might be a bit frightening for kids under 12. Also, book a tour with the water-taxi that takes you from Bocas to Bastimentos. It takes a whole day: you go look for dolphins, snorkel in coral reefs, have lunch in a restaurant over the water, and go to Isla Zapatilla, where a season of Survivor was shot. I'm told that in december the waves are good for surfing.

There are several beaches in Bastimentos. We went to Red Frog Beach, where one of the two restaurants of the resort is located, and also to Turtle Beach, which is close by. Turtle beach is less crowded (actually, there was NOONE else when we went there!). Avoid going to the beaches before noon, if you don't want to be eaten alive by the mosquitoes.

The only problem we encountered was that because our villa was so new, the water in the pipes was smelly at the beginning. After letting it run for half an hour, it was fine.

They have a spa, but we didn't have enough time to go and check it out.

The logistics, the service, the location, the villas, the sights, the activities, and yes, even the price (!!): everything was excellent. I most definitely recommend Red Frog Beach Resort and Villas.

  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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3  Thank Fabien S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2011

Arriving to Bocas was like traveling back in time where the simple things become that much more beautiful. No stuffy crowds here, simply natural beauty with humble people doing their best to please us travelers. This is not your typical resort area where everything is manicured to perfection nor are the locals trained in customer service at a Ritz Carlton in West Palm Beach. If you are looking for that stay in the US. If you are looking for a return to nature and good quality non-pretentious people this is the place to be. Red Frog was absolutely beautiful. The villas were top notch and very comfortable (American style). Zip lining was excellent and their staff were very knowledgeable and focused on safety.
Overall I would recommend this destination and resort to all my friends and family. A few thing to think about is that one should get to Bocas on the early flight to have enough time to buy some groceries in the island before going to Red Frog. Although there are two restaurants to purchase food in Red Frog, it takes a golf cart ride to get there and they close at 6pm or so. Also the golf cart rental is a must, it is the best way to get around and see the sights. Also buy good mosquito repellant, remember this is a resort within an untouched tropical jungle. Night time belongs to the natural insects of the area. I take the relaxed atmosphere of this environment and the adventure over the manicured resorts any day. Will most definitely return but for at least 4 to 5 days to explore the whole area!

Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
3  Thank Robert D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2011

I would sum up Red Frog Resort with one word- bizarre. It is tough to write a less than shining review because we really liked many of the people that worked at the resort; the villas are clean, modern, spacious and very nice; they proximity to great beaches and jungle hiking is great; and overall we had a fine time- but I wouldn't go back and if we had a do-over I wouldn't stay there again.

The resort is a strange mix of very nice completed villas, villas under construction and basically abandoned sites. I was told few years back there was a construction workers strike and many villas in various states of being built were abandoned- this strike lasted two years and the still today there are MANY villas that remain half built and in the intervening years the jungle has taken back the houses. It is depressing. We had a lovely villa but directly next to our villa (and directly next to our plunge pool) was a skeleton house in complete disrepair (someone who worked at Red Frog even admitted it was 'disgusting').

I was told that the plan is to complete these houses over the next year. Which brings me to my second significant issue with this place- construction noise. My husband and I work very long hours and traveled very far seeking extreme relaxation- our experience at Red Frog included extensive band saw, hammering, heavy equipment (back-hoe), etc... as the house behind ours was being worked on. We would sit on our lovely balcony trying to relax and read and only hear construction sounds. We had to plan our day to avoid being home when construction was ongoing so that we could sit outside and not be driven crazy. It was infuriating.

Then there is the cost. I felt the nightly rate was high given the state of the resort but once you are there you realize that you have to rent a golf cart (which is really required as the distances between villa, beach, marina, restaurant are quite substanital (I would guess 40-60 min for us to walk from our villa to Kayukos)) for an additional $25-$45 a day. So that puts the nightly rate at $200+ which is WAY too much in my opinion. Also keep in mind additional costs that are not included: no food, boat transport to/from island, any tours, zip line, beach lounger on Playa Lava- I don't feel these expenses should all be inlcuded but they all add up and make this place very spendy!

Finally, I agree with the previous reviewers that the mix of high end villa with backpacker/hostel environment at Kayukos only adds to this places bizzare atmosphere and dynamics. It killed me to think that those in the hostel paid a fraction of what I was paying and didn't have to listen to construction noise all day!

Maybe in a year or two this place will be built out and will be nice, but I regret that we stayed there for our vacation.

Room Tip: Negotiate the cost of the golf cart.
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank SeattleLisa777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raven55, Manager at Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2011

There is very limited ongoing construction on a handful of unfinished homes at Red Frog Beach. Our staff recognizes that the resort is not completely finished and that guests will see unfinished homes. However, prices have been discounted appropriately and our guests can enjoy the lush surroundings and beaches.

The quality of the Villas, amenities, and island setting we feel offers a great value to our guests that want relaxation and adventure.

Thank you.

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Reviewed 20 August 2011

We did not stay at Red Frog Beach Resort, but we did go for the Zip Line. It was $100 for my wife and I ($50 Each) and it lasted about 2 hrs with the safety lesson and walking time. So about 1.5 hrs on the lines or course total. It was great because we only had another person on the zip line tour/course with us. It would probably taken a lot longer if we were in peak season, so make sure to call and get a good time to go so its not so packed... Over all, glad we did it and would do it again.

Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Porfiriopicante
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa

Address: Bocas del Toro, Isla Bastimentos, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range: £146 - £282 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Red Frog Beach offers upscale villas, rooms and Jungle Lodges to rent with private pools and so much adventure to enjoy on Isla Bastimentos. If you like nice beaches and exploring jungle. Awarded at Panama's most beautiful beach and resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Red Frog Beach Hotel Isla Bastimentos
Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro

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