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“Mostly Great!”
Review of Eco Venao

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Eco Venao
Ranked #1 of 1 Playa Venao B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 28 March 2013

It takes a little dedication to get to this spot but it is totally worth it. The beach is gorgeous and if you're lucky you'll find the biggest sand dollars you've ever seen washed up on the sand!

Eco Venao itself is gorgeous, set on a giant piece of land with the most gorgeous huts where you can relax in hammocks overlooking the ocean. We stayed in a private double for around $30 a night (weekend prices run Thurs-Sat which is a bit of a scam.) It was tiny but comfortable enough. All the rooms in the Hostal are adjoined so they are only as quiet as the other occupants in the building so it has its ups and downs. Bring ear plugs! I heard only good things about the other accommodations but didn't see them first hand.

The kitchen is fly filled and ill equipped. Food is overpriced in the store so if you do want to cook I advise bringing as much with you as possible. It's a long way from civilization so this accounts for the high cost of basics.

Never fear however as the onsite restaurant Bobore was amazing. Chef Aldo whipped up the most amazing food I had eaten in Panama. He is very talented and good fun too... you can tell he has a passion for what he does. Sad to say I hear Bobore is changing hands so I can only hope that the new restaurant that takes its place is half as good. If it is then you won't be disappointed. Even if the kitchen had been amazing I still would have chosen to eat at the restaurant!

I did yoga in the morning and it was idyllic. $4 if you are staying at Eco Venao and you stretch out overlooking the breaking waves. Yoga mats and blocks are provided and you're welcome to go and use the facilities at any time during your stay.

We are not surfers but we enjoyed the beach... you can take long, lazy walks and the ocean is the perfect temperature for cooling down. It's clean too! Minimal trash on the beach which is refreshing.

Wildlife is abundant... howler monkeys are loud and fascinating.. hummingbirds and a lovely, friendly resident cat who will be only too happy if you invite him into the hammock with you.

The only thing that cast a shadow on our stay was the member of staff who took over half an hour to check us in whilst bad mouthing her co-workers inefficiencies in the process. She then bad mouthed a guest in Spanish to a co-worker. When I made it known I understood, she changed to English and continued. We met this guest and he was a very pleasant man undeserving of her insults. She also unwittingly insulted us. There was a BBQ on the beach organized by said individual and we decided to give her another chance but her passive aggressiveness, bossiness and whining still failed to impress us. I don't like to single people out via reviews but I really feel that there was bad energy created which many guests were not responding well to. I hope that she adjusts her behavior in future and can make a more pleasant impression on people.

Room Tip: Every room has it's benefits. Privates in the hostal are small but beds are comfy. Dorms are s...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank BritOpinion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 March 2013

Eco Venao was really a great place for a beach retreat. $4 yoga everyday in their beachfront pavilion was a highlight. The surfboard rentals weren't great, but the shops a little ways down the beach had a better selection, also for $5 per hour (same as at Eco Venao.) The restaurant was good and the prices reasonable for dinner, but there are also a few mini markets to purchase your own food to cook in the communal kitchen if you want to save on food.

Room Tip: All the rooms we saw were clean and well cared for, but the casita and cabanas seemed to be an amazi...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Emily S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2013

Come here if you want to feel good, relax, surf ect. This is the perfect place if you are not looking for a party youth hostal but a nice place to meet fun and good people. For party you can always go to the other side of the beach...
The area is beautiful, rooms are always clean, the dorm is nice and breezy (no ac). Casa Mango is beautiful and comforteble, the cabanas are nice (very in the jungle like)...
Eco Venao is one of my favorite places to stay in the world!

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank carolajne2406
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2013

This was definitely an experience.

Pros: The food (the seafood is really amazing), the beach, the jungle exploring, the very chill atmosphere, the ability to drink water from the faucet.

Cons: The room was quite uncomfortable, but not bad for $30/night for two people. If I went back I would pay more for a one of the little cabanas. Also, the howler monkeys don't allow anyone to sleep past 7am, if that.

My husband and I stayed here for 3 days in a private room. The private room was very small. It had a full-sized bed, a window, a little table and chair and a fan. It was hot, humid and the bed was as hard as a rock, but still...$30/night, what do I want? The fan made it pretty bearable and probably kept bugs away too. On that note, we didn't have too many issues with mosquito bites. Definitely got them, but just use some bug repellent and you'll be fine. Oh, other fun fact about the private rooms is that you can hear *everything* between rooms since they're all open at the ceiling level.

We spent most of our time walking on the beach or lazing in the little hammock cabana they have right next to the beach. No one else seemed to use it, but it was really comfortable and a great place to read. Tip: There's a little shower to the side of that hammock hut for rinsing off sand. We didn't notice it at first. Also, you probably won't be sand free until you leave Eco Venao, it's everywhere.

This is really a surfer's paradise, so I recommend it most for that or those that want to learn to surf. We did do a little jungle exploring too one morning at the crack of dawn when the howler monkeys were screeching their little hearts out. We had decided to go find them, and that we did. Little buggers...

There's also a little waterfall you can hike to (which is where we found the monkeys) and swim in. We skipped the swimming though because someone else we talked to got a couple of leeches in there, just FYI. It looks like a great swimming hole though.

Room Tip: Stay in one of the cabanas and skip the private room unless you really want to save some $$.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Carolyn B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2013

Dear fellow travellers, I spent 8 days in Eco Venao in 2012 and to summarise my stay I would say:
- Super close to the surf. Quite consistent spot and close to a few other spots if you have a car.
- Aldo's food is mind blowing. He runs the nice little restaurant at Eco Venao and the food is some of the best I've had, at very affordable price (huge portions too!)
- The accommodation options are great. I stayed in a dorm and it was super clean, very cool look (all made of old timber) and never got too hot as it is in forest. Somehow there is always a cool breeze.

Anyone who travels through Panama should go there. Check my short movie of the place and surroundings on my blog http://theduckwhisperer.com/2012/08/24/panama-small-waves-magic-places/

Cheers
Ben

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank Ben H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 January 2013

Great Weekend.... We stayed in Eco Venao and Sampled two of the houses which both had outstanding views of the bay, nothing quite tops waking up and looking down to the ocean this alone makes the house unforgettable but on top of that they are beautifully designed with every thing you need for a comfortable stay. Our families consisted of babies and toddlers and we found the houses very kid friendly. You have a restaurant and bar on site and a hugh park for the kids . They had every thing one would need for a beach holiday and a short walk from your door is rippling waves and a yoga terrace. The staff where not only profesional and super helpful they made our trip and I hope will become life long friends. We was worried re the drive from Panama city which took five hours but with out hesitation was worth every minute.. Looking forward to our next trip in a month or two.......

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
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Thank kellystanley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2013

We were really excited about the cabana......and despite our ability to be adaptable....it was too eco. Huge bugs, mosquito bites, and cannot use any light after dark. We left after one night.
A beautiful spot, but uncomfortable.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank papayalove16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nicholas N, General Manager at Eco Venao, responded to this reviewResponded 15 January 2013

Dear papayalove,

I am truly sorry your experience at Eco Venao was uncomfortable. The comfort of our guests is the most important aspect and focus of our work. The cabañas (we have 2 of them) are indeed very open and one is directly in contact with nature, which in tropical Panama frequently includes different sized insects, sometimes many of them. As this is the case we take great care to provide adequate mosquito netting, and special dim lighting to reduce (unfortunately not eliminate) the number of bugs attracted to light. We do have guests that have enjoyed the cabañas so much that when they return they specifically request them, and we have had long term visitors who have been thrilled to call the cabañas their home for months at a time. However, we understand that they are not for everyone. Eco Venao is characterized for offering a wide range of lodging options, to cater to all tastes and budgets. Perhaps one of our more enclosed lodging options (we have several) would have been more to your liking, and provided a more enjoyable experience. If you were ever to return to this neck of the woods perhaps you would allow us to offer you lodging that is more suited to your needs. And in any case, we would love to hear any suggestions you may have about improvements to the cabañas. Please email me at nico@ecovenao.com.

Thank you for this opportunity to talk more about our cabañas. I hope that your review and this response will be helpful to other travelers. My only regret is that we were not able to address your problems while you were still here, but your feedback is very helpful to us as we strive to not only always offer the best to our guests, but also to continuously improve our services.

Kind regards

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Additional Information about Eco Venao

Address: Carretera Principal | Playa Venao, Playa Venao, Pedasi 0000, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: Panama > Los Santos Province > Pedasi > Playa Venao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Playa Venao
Price Range: £17 - £48 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Eco Venao Hotel Pedasi

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