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Los Quetzales Lodge & Spa
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Reviews (280)
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All reviewslos quetzalescloud forestthe ownerpanama citynational parkfruitan adventurerubber bootsbreadsmall townwood stovebird guidefinca draculajunior suitehot waterorchid farmrainy season
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100 - 105 of 280 reviews
Reviewed 14 April 2014

This is a very comfortable hotel in an awe inspiring part of the world. The true beauty is in the farmers and their crops on the sloped hills of Cerro Punta. The hotel itself was more than adequate with great meals, attentive staff, and fast internet. The meals are slightly expensive but they are well made. There are also some small restaurant/street food options worth checking out, I recommend the batido lady down the street. Also, definitely take advantage of the complimentary morning hike. Habel, the knowledgeable and comedic tour guide takes you up the hill to the trail head on the back of his tractor. Then you are lead on a great hour long hike in the forest, great way to start the day.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Timo P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2014

We booked a month in advance one room for 2 and the only available one was the suite at 130$. As we were planning a rest day & night, we though that we would enjoy the premises and great calm night. We arrived around 2.00pm and the reception asked us if we liked children; as I have 2, I said yes. We were than asked to come for diner at 6.00pm because it was fully booked from 7.00 till 9.00pm and for breakfast before 7.00am or after 8.00am. Later we saw that a private school and its 80 children were staying at the hotel for a few days. We spent our evening between shouting children because they were eating cakes and marshmallows ( the sofa is still sticky) after diner in the bar and it was the only place where we had internet (it does not work in the rooms). Many of the children were sleeping next to our room and were still very active at 11.30pm and some others started at 5.00am. We were able to sleep 4 hours! When we asked for a serious discount because we found the situation unacceptable, the receptionist told us that the mgr proposed us 10% discount. The mgr did not want to come or even to speak with us when we tried to call him. After 1 hour waiting and threatening to stop income calls to the hotel, the mgr accepted our proposal of 50% discount (via a call to the receptionist). He never apologised or even talk to us. Interesting is the fact that the night before, he told us that he wants to repaint the rooms in order to be able to increase the rates. Knowing now the person, I would be very careful to book a room in his hotel. Maybe he has contracts with many private schools from Panama city.....He is an impolite and arrogant person. On the positive side, the evening meal was very good.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank 462Nature
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 March 2014

My wife and I had previously lunched at LQLS and were impressed enough to go back to spend 2 nights in Cabin #9 (#8, recommended in TA, was occupied). Driving a large 4WD SUV, we were able to drive almost to the door, but barely. The road is very rough, and a smaller SUV probably would have bottomed several times. Alternatives are walking (a long walk) or riding in an open wagon pulled by a tractor (potentially chilly, windy, and damp [despite plastic curtains], and a very rough ride). Cabin #9 appears decades older than nearby cabin #8. You can see videos of its interior on LQLS's site.

PROs:
1. Habel (sp?) ("Ah-Bell"). Drives the tractor, takes guests on hikes, delivers dinners, gets things fixed or fixes them himself, always cheerful, courteous, and helpful. Greatly improved the quality of our brief stay.
2. Location: We were in one of the two most remote cabins and saw virtually no one else (the folks in #8, Habel, a few management or maintenance folks). The cloud forest was literally all around us.
3. Windows: The 2-story cabin has numerous uncovered windows, making it easy to see in all directions, and keeping the cabin from otherwise seeming a little dark, as many older cabins do.
4. Cooking: Food prepared at the hotel was usually quite good, if expensive.
5. Staff: Generally pleasant and helpful.
6. Critters: Numerous ( c. 10 at a time, various species) humming birds were at the feeders all day long. At sundown they were replaced by bats. Habel told us that if we left banana slices on the railing in the evening, we might see nocturnal kinkajous coming to snack on them (We did) but that if we put them out during the day, squirrels might come eat them (they did). We heard numerous different bird calls, including quetzals and, we were told, emerald toucanets. We did see a flying male quetzal.
7. Rain gear: Cabin 9 is at the start of the 3-waterfall trail, and management has also provided there an outdoor repository of rain-gear (ponchos, boots, etc.). A good thing.

CONs:
1. Heating/windows: All those windows meant that, come sunset, it got cooler, indoors (no insulation, open seams in floors and walls) as well as outdoors. We used the Franklin stove to warm the cabin until we went to bed but, overnight, the fire eventually went out and it got pretty chilly (c. 50 F?) (There are plenty of blankets but getting up to build a new fire to warm the place up in the morning [the humid environment meant the newspaper and wood were not very dry] wasn't the highlight of the visit). Kudos to Habel for cheerfully continuing to bring more wood as fast as we burned it.
2. Prices: The management of LQLS deserves great appreciation for undertaking a tremendous environmentally friendly facility, and has provided avid gringo (US, Canada, Western Europe; few Panamanians) birders a delightful opportunity to experience the area, but everything costs, sometimes a lot.
3. Electricity. There is a Wi-Fi router in the cabin, but all electricity in the cabin is obtained from roof-top solar panels. Keeping laptop, cell phones, etc., charged is doable, but forget about using a hair dryer or any heavy-demand electric appliance.
4. Hot water: The cabin's only bathroom includes a toilet and bathtub/shower, and a gas-powered demand heater worked for my first shower but, the next day, quit after two minutes. When I mentioned this to Habel, he got right on it, but by then we were leaving on schedule.
5. Weather. Birders we encountered frequently were carrying binoculars, zoom-lensed cameras, etc. The climate seemed a lot wetter than what we experience where we live in nearby Boquete, so I don't know how they worked all that out.

In conclusion, LQLS is a mixed bag. As stated above, it's a tremendous environmental undertaking. However, if I were contemplating spending a week bird watching in Panama (airfare; scarce vacation time; diversity of family member interests and activities, dining and sleeping opportunities, etc.), I would also take a very close look at Boquete. We do live there but I have no economic axe to grind (and would prefer to see fewer, not more, tourists, but I am pretty sure that I could find a greater variety of activities (zip-lining, rafting, etc.), fully competitive birding guides, somewhat drier conditions, more comfortable accommodations, more competitive prices, more varied eating alternatives, etc. Kudos to LQLS for all they're doing, but I thin I could have a better time in Boquete.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mtnmarathoner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 March 2014

Our group of 6 stayed at the end of January in cabin 2 and then cabin 8. Awesome rooms particularly cabin 8 with the nocturnal animal visits. Have always wanted to see resplendent quetzals and did on a walk further up from our cabin. Food in restaurant was good and the atmosphere in the small town is very friendly. Overall the owners and people of the area should be proud of the way they are preserving the rainforest.

Room Tip: cabins in rainforest are best. however we did have a large 4 wheel drive to get to them. I wouldn't fancy the tractor and cart ride.
  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled with family
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Thank wayne a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2014

My husband and I recently spent five nights at this lovely lodge and recommend it highly. It is clean, the staff is helpful and it is in a beautiful location. The lodge food is mediocre, but the quality of the hotel and grounds makes it all worthwhile. We went on several hikes, enjoyed the birding trip the hotel arranged and other nearby sights, such as the beautiful orchid farm nearby.

Room Tip: We were given a room away from the main lodge so it was very quiet except for a few barking dogs. It had a lovely deck and lots of space.
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank tillythepup
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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