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“Yup, THAT good”

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La Loma Jungle Lodge and Chocolate Farm
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Yup, THAT good”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2014

Ever wake up one morning realizing that two old friends have spent the last decade of their lives building a paradise in the middle of the Panamanian jungle along the Caribbean coast, just so you can visit and enjoy a week of paradise? Well, then this your morning. Such is the reality waiting for you at La Loma. And I mean that in the least hyperbolic way possible.

It's been a year, sadly, since my visit to La Loma, but Henry and Margaret and the lodge have often been in our thoughts. I won't rehash the other gushing, accurate reviews on this site. The "tree-houses" are the coolest, most beautiful rooms we've ever stayed in. Wake up early and watch the monkeys jumping through the trees while you sip on the fresh coffee delivered to your doorstep each morning. The food? Yup, it really IS that good. Every ingredient is local, many from the farm you're surrounded by. Someone will give you the rundown before you dig in. Eat your heart out, Williamsburg.

Three days in, we should have known better. We took the "packed lunch" on our beach excursion. I think I actually laughed as I sifted my way through the delicious falafel and homemade yogurt and freshly baked pita with carrot salad--the degree to which my expectations were once again being so absurdly surpassed.

But what really makes this place amazing is the staff, starting with Henry and Margaret. It's such a small lodge and special place, and they are so hands on in their "service," that it really will feel like time away with old friends more than any visit to a "resort" that you have ever taken.

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank ThomasK1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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348 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (81)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Francisco, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2014

For our honeymoon, we spent 23 days in Panama and were not quite sure what to expect. La Loma blew our expectations out of the water.

The Service: In a country where the service often leaves something to be desired, our hosts (Henry, Margaret, Jack, Bri, Kelly etc) were constantly doing anything they could to help, were genuinely friendly, and helpful with tons of great suggestions. We kept running into them after our stay around town, and we longed to go back and hang out at La Loma.

The Food/Drink: The best we had in Panama. We kept trying to find something that would compare after we left, but we couldn't. Most of the food is straight from the farm, so it's fresh, unique and delicious. Bri was our primary cook, and every night was amazing, and kept surprising us. Also, Bri came up with a specialty cocktail every night, also with fresh fruit, which were always delicious. Quite honestly, the food we ate at La Loma had a major impact on the way we cook at home, if that's any indicator.

The lodging: The main lodge is nice. Everything is open air, a big common table, beautiful wood, and lots of friendly people running around. The places you stay are even cooler. Each cabin has its own private shower, two double beds with a fan above them, which are inside of a mosquito net, on a nice sized open air loft. Each cabin has two hammocks out in the open air area, so you can read, or just hang out and observe the jungle. The lodging is simple, pretty, and perfect for the setting. Just make sure to bring insect repellent (for the Chitras) and earplugs as the jungle is not a quiet place at night.

Day trips: La Loma did a good job of trimming down the many options there are for day trips. The bat caves they suggested was our favorite adventure of the whole trip. Also, many of their trips were more reasonably priced than at other resorts.

The animal life: We saw sloths, monkeys, spiders, stick bugs, and lots of other cool stuff. You'll have to take some time to find the animals, but it's there. There are also trails around the property that the dogs (Jelly and Goose) are happy to escort you through where you might stumble onto something interesting.

The little things: It seemed like they had already thought of everything. When you wake up, they've already dropped off muffins and coffee/tea at your front door, so you can slowly wake up and make your way down the hill for breakfast when you're ready. There's a real focus on doing what they do well. The music at the lodge is always just what seems to be perfect for the setting, the tours are well run, the staff is knowledgeable and friendly.

I really can't say enough about this place. It is quite honestly the best experience I've ever had at any resort/lodge/whatever. Thanks Henry, Margaret, Bri, Jack, Kelly, and the rest of La Loma staff.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Cory H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2014

Really loved La Loma! Even though it was a climb to Rancho #2 up the side of a hill, we felt we were part of nature. Three sides of the Rancho were open to the air with a wall behind the bed, where the bathroom was located. We felt as if we were in a nest! The owners, Henry and Margaret and their help, Jack and Bri, were warm and helpful. They prepared 3 knock out meals a day which rivaled food prep in NYC. The only semi-down side for me was a communal table at which you shared all meals. Otherwise, it was a great get away in a eco-friendly environment which we won't forget!

Room Tip: Higher ranchos have a water view!
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Maria K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2014

We spent 2 amazing days at La Loma - the highlight of our 2 week trip to Panama. We booked the Rock pool cabin which is located close to the lodge. Arriving at La Loma was an experience! We were picked up by Mr Kelly from Bocas town and taken by boat to the lodge. Upon arrival, it really felt like we were in the jungle. The rancho was very comfortable with 2 beds, mosquito met, hammocks, table & chairs and a lovely bathroom. The jungle surrounds you and the sounds are amazing. The food at La loma was outstanding! From the evening cocktails to the delicious chocolate desserts, everything was fresh and full of flavour. We took a snorkelling trip during our stay and also visited Red Frog Beach. Another great touch was the coffee and muffins brought to the rancho at 7am. On our first night there was a storm and the sound of the pouring rain accompanied by the sounds of the jungle was unforgettable. The service provided by the owners and staff was very impressive and I highly recommend La Loma if you are looking for a memorable stay in Bocas.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank MKTTW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Elst, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 February 2014

Just wonderful! The owners and staff do anything to make your stay just perfect. We had lovely dinners (also vegetarian), a perfect lodge with a view over the treetops as promised. We went to the batcave, which was really impressive and on a tour on the coffee farm. Everything was also done in an eco-friendly way, a big plus.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Kim_en_Dirk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Somerville, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 February 2014

We stayed at La Loma for four nights during a recent trip to Panama. From the moment we stepped off of the boat and onto the La Loma dock everything was perfect. The grounds are beautiful and the view from our cabin was fantastic. The food is as good as advertised and the group dinner is filled with lively conversation with very interesting people.

There are so many great 1/2 day and full day trips offered, you will NOT run out of things to do at La Loma. Highlights included a mangrove tour/bat cave hike and an all day snorkeling/beach trip. If you are in the mood for more low key activities you can hike around the property, take a kayak out for a spin, take a tour of the chocolate farm or relax at Red Frog Beach. You can be as active as you want at La Loma knowing that you have a four star quality meal waiting for you when you get back. On our next trip to Panama we will definitely be coming back!

Room Tip: We stayed in room 4, and saw monkeys every day but one!
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank James B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2014

The two days we spent at La Loma were the best two days of our trip. The hosts, Henry and Margaret, are so accommodating and make you feel like you are old friends staying at their home. They have every detail of your stay is covered. Coffee and muffins are left at your door in the morning, and lunches are packed for day trips. Dinners with the other guests were filled with delicious home-made cocktails, fresh food straight from the island, and lively candle-lit conversation. We liked some of the other guests so much that we traveled with them for three more days into different areas of Panama. I highly recommend the day-trip option to Zapatias Beach. Kelly, one of many amazing people working at the lodge, took us on a private boat ride there and waited off-shore until we were ready to head back. La Loma isn't just a place to stay, it's an experience and an amazing one at that.

Room Tip: We stayed in the lowest cabin, and while the view wasn't as magnificent, it was awesome to be in...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Laura B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about La Loma Jungle Lodge and Chocolate Farm

Property: La Loma Jungle Lodge and Chocolate Farm
Address: Bahia Honda, Isla Bastimentos, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 17 B&Bs / Inns in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience something a little different. La Loma is a working cacao farm that also accepts a small number of overnight guests.If you want to escape everyday life, relax in comfort in a hillside rancho overlooking a secluded bay, participate in tropical farm life or engage in a range of activities designed to bring you closer to the natural environment and local communities of this spectacular island, La Loma is for you. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Loma Jungle Lodge And Chocolate Farm Hotel Isla Bastimentos
La Loma Jungle Lodge And Chocolate Farm Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro

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