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“Rustic Paradise”
Review of Hacienda del Mar

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Hacienda del Mar
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in San Jose Island
Reviewed 30 April 2014

We were looking to experience a region of Panama which was more remote & showcased the ocean and beautiful beaches and escape from a busy life - HDM definitely fit the bill. We found it on Trip Advisor and after a lot of back and forth with Marissa, we decided that this was the place for us. She was very helpful and quick to respond to our questions & concerns. She was even so kind as to have a birthday cake flown in for my wife's birthday while we were there, which they put away for us to enjoy over 2 nights.

Quick flight from Panama City. We spent 3 nights here in the Admiral Suite and were very pleased that we made the effort to get there. Our accommodation was as advertised thanks so the virtual tour and the huge balcony exceeded our expectations - the view of the beach and forest was a beautiful setting to wake up to. It is difficult to do anything other than relax here and it is a great escape from big city life - rooms have no phones, clocks or TV which was just fine for us. Beach is beautiful and we had it to ourselves a lot of the time. Pool area is a nice place to relax when your done with the beach and view is amazing.

Food at the restaurant was excellent. Pasta was amazing as was the catch of the day, but make sure you get the paella which needs to be preordered. Definitely a top notch dish. Included breakfast is pretty basic but does the trick. The view from the restaurant patio is spectacular.

Noseeums were a big concern for us because of previous reviews so we came prepared with high DEET repellent. There were a lot of people who were covered in welts but we were left alone. Highly recommend bringing your own spray. Also if you avoid being outside at dusk and where pants /sleeves at dinner then you will be OK.

If you are looking for a 5 star luxury resort, then HDM is probably not for you. If you want a beautiful escape from your busy life and be close to nature, then I would recommend for sure. We were actually very surprised to see how many of our fellow guests were constantly on their phones, iPads and computers - even during meals. To each their own I guess but sort of takes away from the experience of being disconnected from the world when the people around you are watching you tube videos and texting.

Diving wasn't an option when we got there which I was disappointed about. The resort could definitely improve on the promotion of the activities as its not actually clear who to book it through if you wanted to book something. We probably would have done the ATV trip or night hike if it was easier to co-ordinate. Also there isn't a gym so that's a little misleading.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank TorontoRam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 April 2014

in one Word: PARADISE!!!

We stayed 3 days and 2 nights and didn't want to leave. The bungalows are perfect and all of them with an amazing view of the beach. You also get to see many macaws and toucans in the trees.
All the staff made us feel at home. The only thing we recomend is that you should go prepared with bug spray becasue of the sand fleas that appear at dusk and dawn.
I cannot wait to return to this romantic and relaxing place!!!

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Tita23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 March 2014

This is truly a tropical paradise. We stayed 3 days, 2 nights. The resort did not disappoint. We enjoyed swimming at their white sand beach, swinging lazily in the hammocks, riding through the lush foliage in ATV's, and enjoying the spectacular views from every part of the resort. The only drawback is the noseeums that appear at dusk and dawn. The resort supplies bug-repellant in each bungalow. We were amazed at how many macaws and toucans could be viewed in the trees surrounding the bungalows (they do get noisy around 7am). We look forward to a return visit.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JPG72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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3  Thank TNT393
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2014

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
Thank Oscar B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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8  Thank rsachs24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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1  Thank maynardjw
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

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: £250 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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