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“The most perfect day (and a bit of a bummer afterwards)”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Hacienda del Mar

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Hacienda del Mar
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in San Jose Island
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
16 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“The most perfect day (and a bit of a bummer afterwards)”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2014

Marissa was wonderful in helping to arrange a last minute one day round trip visit to Hacienda del Mar. John Maynard greeted us at the plane in the air-conditioned van and taught us some interesting facts about the island on the way to the resort. They had a boat waiting for us with captain Hiro to take us on a fishing excursion. My husband and I are not experienced fishermen but had the most perfect day out on the Pacific. We caught 35 spanish mackerel and tuna (and a 4 foot needlefish) with ease due to Hiro's expertise. The water was perfectly calm, we saw manta rays breaching, big balls of sardines, and swarms of red snapper. The boat was stocked with water, soda, and beers. We brought the fish back to the hotel and while we had cocktails and hung out in the hammocks by the infinity pool, the chef prepared our fish 3 different ways (melt in your mouth tuna sashimi, "mackerel fingers" with the yummiest sauce and fried plantains, and grilled mackerel with 2 sauces). We ate and swam for a couple of hours with the macaws and toucans flying overhead. Honestly, it was one of the most fun and perfect days my husband and I have ever had. John escorted us back to the plane that evening and entertained us with great stories while we waited (plane was a little delayed). We passed out in our Panama City hotel tired, full, and happy. So the actual time there was 5 plus stars wonderful. The bummer was the next day when we were itching like CRAZY from sand flea bites everywhere (despite the use of regular bug spray and being at the resort for only about 2-3 hours). My husband and I are not squeamish, but we both have 100+ bites that itch insanely (i.e. waking us from sleep despite benadryl and ibuprofen) and are finally starting to disappear a week later. I could not endorse our visit enough, but just make certain that you inquire about the best way to protect yourselves from the cruel little bugs!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TNT393
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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102 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    60
    20
    11
    4
    7
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Panama
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2014 via mobile

I surprised my wife for her birthday and took her to Hacienda del Mar with the kids, the experience was incredible in all aspects. I really recommend that you visit this incredible place on earth. All the staff from reservations,management,restaurant and bar made us feel at home and was the best surprise that we could give my wife. Thank you Hacienda del Mar for beeing part of the surprise team for the birthday celebration.

Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Oscar B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 January 2014

Hacienda del Mar is a high ticket rustic resort on a paradisaical deserted island located on the Pacific Ocean, some 60 miles from Panama City, Panama, I use the word "rustic" because there is nothing fancy about the installations. The cabins have air conditioning, hot water, clean sheets, and a clean bathroom. And that's it.

The island has some 50 miles of dirt roads that cut thru the tropical rain forest. You can rent an ATV and enjoy watching birds, feral pigs, and assorted critters. The view from the hotel is fantastic. There is a nice beach of white sand next to the resort. The food is decent if you stick to the fresh catch of the day. The pool has somewhat murky water delivered from a local river. You can also rent a rather run down boat and very probably have a wonderful day of fishing. You might get lucky and run into a great deal of fish, including tuna and sailfish.

So far so good. You have spent a lot of money, you start to relax being away from a cell phone connection, a TV, Internet, your soul starts thanking you for the awesome view and the peace and quiet... and then zillions of voracious no-see-ums attack. And then you just want to leave the island in a hurry. No-see-ums seem to prefer ladies, but only slightly. Pretty naked legs and arms are gifted with hundreds of nasty, nasty bites by the end of the day. No-see-ums are relentless, day after day, all year around, all day long but they are absolutely unbearable early in the morning and late at night. And no one seems to care to do anything about them; it is offensive.

Hacienda del Mar in Panama is a wonderful place to visit if you are one to enjoy extremes. Extreme beauty... and extreme pain.

Room Tip: The "suites" by the ocean are the best.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank rsachs24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
panama
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 November 2013

I recently was a guest of the hacienda Del Mar, I had flown down from David Panama via Air Panama on one of their new jets. The flight down was so smooth and just as we hit our cursing altitude we began our decent! Just a twenty five minute flight sure beat a six hour drive. Upon arival at the albrook airport we boarded a twin engine turbo otter for the twenty minute flight to San Jose Island. The view and flight was spectacular, smooth and cloudless. We landed on the islands 5000' grass field built by the Us. Army years ago. A short ride in the hotels air conditioned van got us to the hotel for check in. I was so impressed with the beauty of the drive from the air field to the hotel, not a single piece of paper or litter was seen. The rooms were spotless, not extravagant but very comfortable, all with cold air and a nice bathroom. The staff was very friendly and the infinity pool must be seen to be believed. The view is specular of the off shore islands. Macaws and Toucans everywhere some can be hand fed. food was great so think I have found my new fishing paradise.

Room Tip: As in all the pacific islands, bring some bug spray as they do appear early in the morning and in th...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank maynardjw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
342 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 November 2013 via mobile

My husband and I immensely enjoyed our stay at this hotel. Our cabin was rustic, no TV, no telephone, no WiFi in the room (only around the pool and restaurant area), yet very intelligently and generously decorated. Mattresses are very comfortable and showers are good. The service and kitchen are excellent. We enjoyed the snorkeling tour of the beaches, the half day frisking trip and the four wheeler tour of the island. This place is heaven and the perfect place to rest and recover, and still have lots of fun.

Stayed November 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Cedar32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
42 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 October 2013

The food was above expectations, the service and attenttion was above expectations, the room over the sea were awesome, although much bigger than needed...but hey, it was great. Inside bar great, pool was great, the view is fan tas tic....our guests compared it only second to Phuket. Keep the widlife coming. Boat fising trip rentals seemed steep. Very enjoyable, watch out for the sand flies at sunset...they are a menace...lather with the provided soap...it works!!!

Watch where you wonder, unexploded ordenance from WWII tests still in site. Will be back.

Room Tip: room 14 has great view
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank felipegdep
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
70 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2013 via mobile

Some of the if not the most beautiful hotel setting of any of the 32 countries and 200+ cities I have visited... only Pha Nag Bay Thailand comes to mind as a close comparison .

The views are all post card quality but for an extra special treat get cabin 11 or 12 out over the rocks on stilts..

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank KPS92-5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hacienda del Mar

Property: Hacienda del Mar
Address: A Private Island Resort on San Jose Island | Pearl Islands, Panama, Panama Province, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: Panama > Panama Province > Pearl Islands > San Jose Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in San Jose Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Hacienda del Mar 3*
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hacienda del Mar offers the most stylish adventure in the Pearl Islands of Panama. Our hotel's unique and spacious air conditioned accommodations blend island charm and modern comfort, all just steps from our majestic white sand beaches. The vacation resort consists of 17 cabanas, each with its own balcony, offering breathtaking panoramic views to the beach, the sea, and the triple canopy forest of the island. Activities include kayaking, snorkeling, ATV tours, Night Safari's, Incredible Inshore and Offshore Fishing......Or relax at the beach or poolside with your favorite drink while watching the Toucan's and Maccaws fly by freely...A Private Island Paradise. Call us!! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hacienda Del Mar Hotel San Jose Island
Hacienda Del Mar Panama/San Jose Island

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