We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

La Buena Vida

Certificate of Excellence
Hotel website
Main Street (in front of school) | 600 Meters From the Beach, Santa Catalina 60745, Panama
Special Offer
Free Yoga Class With Stay
La Buena Vida
Write a Review

108 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    78
    18
    7
    1
    4
See reviews for
11
49
13
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
  • All months
    (108)
  • Mar-May only
    (42)
  • Jun-Aug only
    (19)
  • Sep-Nov only
    (14)
  • Dec-Feb only
    (33)
All months
The Hague, The Netherlands
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

For 3 years me and my 2 brothers have come here from The Netherlands to enjoy a surf/dive holiday since we are avid divers/snorklers/surfers. there are not many places in the world where you can enjoys all these activities in such close proximity and with such ease. Surfing on a sandy beach, excellent for both beginner as expert surfers. And... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Shogs1, Owner at La Buena Vida, responded to this review

Bernd, FINALLY one of you brothers have written us a TripAdvisor after three years :). Congratulations, you have now successfully advanced to “favorite brother position”. I hope the other two will follow suit. We have so many laughs with you three, we hope we can get you here a fourth year. Maybe with your families next time. Thanks so much... More 

El Segundo, California
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We just spent two nights at La Buena Vida and had the most incredible time. The hotel is beautiful and Mike and Michelle are super cool. It's an artistic wonderland with beautiful tile mosaics and metal work. The yoga studio was made by love by Mike for Michelle. Every detail is thoughtfully and beautifully executed. Breakfast is excellent and the... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Shogs1, Owner at La Buena Vida, responded to this review

Thanks Michele! We hope there is a next time and you stay longer!!! Hello to all!!!! -Michelle More 

New Orleans, Louisiana
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Mike & Michelle are wonderful hosts! They made us feel at home & we appreciated their knowledge of the area which helped with our house hunt. La Buena Vida is a quaint hotel on the main strip in town. All the rooms have a different theme & we had the gecko room. Super cute! Everything was very clean & tidy.... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Shogs1, Owner at La Buena Vida, responded to this review

Thanks Guys! We'd love to hear how the rest of your trip was and which areas of Panama you liked most. I have a feeling we'll see you again, further on down the road. Good luck! More 

Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
21 hotel reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We arrived shortly before nightfall having driven from Panama City - a good five hours! We were welcomed and shown to the Bird Suite. Plenty of space, hammock on the porch, gorgeous mosaic work by owner Michelle and bed frames, etc. in wrought iron by owner Mike. They made great suggestions for dinner and offer the best breakfasts in Santa... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Shogs1, Owner at La Buena Vida, responded to this review

Thanks so much for your and your wife’s general interest and enthusiasm for La Buena Vida and Santa Catalina Pancho M! We truly enjoyed having you. If you are headed back this way again, be sure to pre-schedule that massage as it would be a shame to come all that distance and I not be available. -Michelle More 

Copenhagen, Denmark
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Just spent three perfect nights at La Buena Vida. The whole place and rooms were each decorated in great mosaic work by the owners (+ each room had a outdoor shower. Nice touch.) They have a really nice breakfast and lunch restaurant, where they also can help you out with a lunch to go. The staff is very helpful and... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Shogs1, Owner at La Buena Vida, responded to this review

Thanks Niels!!! Hope the rest of your trip was great. We'll be here :). More 

Essex, Vermont
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We spent a week at La Buena Vida with our 2 teenage children. We all absolutely loved the hotel, the food, the location, the whole experience. Michele and Mike went out of their way to give good advice and suggestions; it became a mantra of ours that "if Michele told you to (not) do something - you better follow that... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Shogs1, Owner at La Buena Vida, responded to this review

Thanks so much Anne! For those travelers who want to know my (Michelle's) words of advice which were so closely followed... well... some helpful hints would be .... Only go to the beach early morning and late afternoon. Take plenty of sunblock and more water than you think. As for our other recommendations.... you'll have to come on by, see... More 

Albuquerque, NM
Top Contributor
159 reviews 159 reviews
35 hotel reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2015

We liked staying here. It is pricier than some hotels but worth it. Nice patio restaurant although we didn't eat there much. The only problem was we didn't have hot water for a few days and then we had almost no water pressure. That was fixed by unclogging the shower spray but it took awhile to get that done. The... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Shogs1, Owner at La Buena Vida, responded to this review

Hello "Zialucia". I apologize for the delay in your shower repair ---"MIGUEL"! I hope you enjoyed the rest of your stay in Panama. Thanks for everything. More 

Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2015

This was our second choice hotel but should have been our first. Amazing breakfast super helpful Staff amazing rooms and overall beautiful. Unfortunately we missed yoga as one of the owners was away when we were there but nonetheless amazing. Highly recommend

Was this review helpful? Yes
Shogs1, Owner at La Buena Vida, responded to this review

Hi Girls! I'm sorry I wasn't here for yoga during your stay. Hope readers take your advice! Thanks so much! More 

Toronto, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2015

I stayed in the gecko villa. There are gecko images throughout the room including custom detailed lighting made in the shape of the gecko. The iron towel rack and towel hooks were made with gecko emblems, the open concept shower features a large green tiled gecko as part of the wall upon entry. The bathroom sink was gecko detailed as... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Shogs1, Owner at La Buena Vida, responded to this review

Yeah JLove!! You get it!!!! We've thought to have a competition, the guest who can guess the exact number of geckos in and around this room wins a big big prize :). Hope to see you here again. Thanks so much. Michelle More 

Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2015 via mobile

On a recent trip to Santa Catalina I was told of a place that one could have a great meal, practice yoga and even receive an excellent massage. Well I tried all 3 and it was amazing. I signed up for the 4 yoga classes and ate there for breakfast and lunch many times. I also had Michelle's 90min massage... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Shogs1, Owner at La Buena Vida, responded to this review

Sweet Melissa, Thanks so much for this. We loved having you here. I'm sure our paths will cross again. Michelle More 

Questions? Get answers from hotel staff and past guests. Ask a question

59 photos of this hotel

Traveler photos: See what travelers like you saw

Viewed
All traveler photos (30)
Viewed
Hotel & grounds (6)
Viewed
Room/suite (7)
Viewed
Family/play areas (3)
Viewed
Bathroom (1)
Viewed
Dining (4)
Viewed
View from room (3)
Viewed
Other (6)

Management photos: Courtesy of the property manager

Viewed
All management photos (29)
Viewed
Dining (4)
Viewed
Pool/beach area (10)
Viewed
Hotel & grounds (6)
Viewed
Room/suite (2)
Viewed
Bathroom (1)
Viewed
Other (6)
Hotels you might also like...
Check In Check Out
Price Your Stay

Amenities

Questions? Get answers from hotel staff and past guests. Ask a question