Think of a gated community in the US that is half built and in the jungle and you'll get the idea. Sadly it seems that no one purchased enough homes so now they'e trying to make it a "resort".
Were the beaches great and the jungle beautiful? No doubt! But there are better places to stay in the area if you're on vacation. There is painfully little infrastructure that one would expect at a "resort". The roads were half built and because it's a development the distances that need to be covered between your villa (actually a full blown vacation home) are vast. You can indeed rent a golf cart for extra $$'s which is a must and quite fun but they don't really tell you this. Many of the roads are dirt/ mud with big hills and no lights so just going to dinner would be a hour hike in the dark. There is only one restaurant. The owners were new and were making a go of it. It was also a fun place to hang but not without it's issues. The menu was limited (but good) and things like breakfast were a bit inconsistent as to whether or not someone would even show up.
The "villas" do have full kitchens and if they would let you know in advance you could show up having shopped for groceries in Bocas town. We weren't expecting to have to self cater and weren't there long enough to make it worth taking a water taxi back to town to get supplies.
Other annoyances were that when we showed up in Bocas town and went to their office to sort things out and get a water taxi over to the island no one was there. Mind you it was in the middle of the day during regular business hours. They just took the afternoon off.
After a few phone calls (to a call center in the USA) we got the info on what water taxi to take and we managed to get the very last one over to the resort. On arrival it all seemed a little confused about what we had booked and it turns out that they were going to put us in a "shared villa". What this means in plain english is that you will be staying in a vacation home with someone else that you don't know. You will have a bedroom and they will have a bedroom and all the common areas in the house are to be shared....weird!!
If you want a vacation home to rent with family or friends in a beautiful part of the world where you mostly fend for yourselves then this is a great option and a great deal.
If you're looking for a luxury resort/ lodge with amenities to match then look elsewhere.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Red Frog Beach offers upscale villas to rent with private pools and so much adventure to enjoy on Isla Bastimentos. If you like nice beaches and exploring jungle--this is the perfect place. Two restaurants, 4 beaches, Zipline, surfing, snorkeling, hiking, sailing and famous cave tour. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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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