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“A little like Gilligan's Island” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Buccaneer Resort

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Buccaneer Resort
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Cayo Carenero, Carenero Island, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Carenero Island
Playa Coronado, Panama
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“A little like Gilligan's Island”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2013

Ok..the positive: Elizabeth and her brother who seem to manage the property are lovely, friendly people. They want their guests to be happy and were very helpful at making changes in our accommodations..2 of them in fact. We first chose a raised cabana, that had AC, no hot water, no wifi and no mini fridge. We were told a fridge would be brought to us from another room, however, after viewing a second story room from the outside, with a hammock, we asked to relocate to that room, and we were quickly granted our request. This room also had AC, it worked well, wifi that we could only access from Bibi's, the restaurant across the path, a sink, a fridge that didn't work at all, no hot water and two bedrooms: one with a queen bed, the front room with two twins. We slept in the queen bed, however, one of the " walls " in our bedroom was a set of louver doors , and provided great access for me to be eaten alive by no see ums all night, and earlier in the day..sand fleas. All of the Deet in Panama, and I used a boat load, didn't even phase these biting bugs. Hoping for a better experience, I explained my discomfort to Elizabeth, and she agreed to again relocate us a room below the was fully screened in.This room also had AC, a sitting porch with table and chairs, and again..no hot water, but a working fridge and again, wifi from Bibi's... but when Bibi's closes, so does the wifi. Aside from the bug bites, the rooms needed a thorough cleaning. The linens were just ok at best and the comments I had read previously by Chris and Jessica about remodeling, seemed to be just that: comments. We did not feel at all the it was a fair value for the stay. The beach is lovely, and it is a rustic place..that is taken into consideration, but I caution anyone to have a frank conversation about what you expect and what you will receive before checking in. And IF you are prone to the bug bites, avoid it all together. We learned AFTER checking out from literally every person we spoke to, that Carenero and the Buccaneer are KNOWN for this problem. Bibi's is great.,good food, friendly people, excellent drinks. If it weren't for the kindness of Elizabeth and her brother, and another young girl, I would rate it " poor ", but the three of them really did their best to make our stay pleasant. Even without the bug bites, I personally would not return to the Buccaneer. However, do check out Bibi's..they do a have great food and drinks with a really fun and friendly staff!

Room Tip: Stay in a fully enclosed, screened in space. Take mosquito coils and slather yourself in bug repelle...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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108 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Sarasota, Florida
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

In Bocas for a 10 day surfing trip, we didn't want to join the party crowds of Bocas town so stumbled apron Buccaneer whilst staying at Casa Acuario. We were looking for a less expensive room and as it was low season, Elizabeth in the office gave us a deal for the week. We had a cool looking hut, raised from the ground, that looked out to the water, only feet from the lapping waves. The space was cute, a bit damp but then it did rain every day and there were the craziest storms. No leaks though as I think the roofs had recently been done. I loved being close to Bibis ( the $5 off every mornings breakfast was a nice touch ) and we ate most of our meals there. We loved the staff and quite frankly the bar tender in the evenings makes the best fruit margaritas I have ever tasted! Try the passion fruit margaritas! Internet was available at the restaurant and sitting outside Elizabeth's office. There are sand fleas on this island and slathering on the insect repellant becomes the norm. But it is rustic, gorgeously unspoiled, quiet, close to town ( $2 boat rides ) and feels like a little community. Best of all my husband was able to walk along the path thru the trees and mangroves to the best wave in the whole area. I would go back here in a heartbeat, absolutely love it. If you are squeamish about little crabs in the sand, don't like camping, must have air conditioner 24/7 and a tv... you might not like it here.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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bucresort, Manager at Buccaneer Resort, responded to this review, August 25, 2013
As of august 16, 2013 the Buccaneer Resort is under new management. We are remodeling and catering to any past issues addressed here on trip advisor from our guests. We will have new photos up soon and any other information. Hope to see you soon here at the Buccaneer!
Thankyou, Jessica and Chris
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

We traveled to Bocas with 3 other couples and picked this place to stay. We liked being away from Bocas Town but only a quick boat ride away if we needed action. I loved being so close to the water but in a cabin-like feel. The restaurant was delicious and if you absolutely needed to jump on wi-fi, it was available there. This was truly a unique experience, staying here. We weren't looking for 5-star, stuffy hotel so this worked out perfectly and very reasonable.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Tallahassee, Florida
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

We loved our stay at the buccaneer (or how the locals call it bucaneros). This was our destination for our honeymoon, and after seing the information on their website we made a reservation and headed that way. This hotel is not on the main island, which we found nice because it's not quite as busy and more secluded. It is important to mention that if you are taking this vacation thinking this is like the US, where everything is open 24/7 and everything opens on time then you won't enjoy Panama in general. People here are on island time, which we loved because that's what vacations should be like, relaxed and laid back. So with that said, we arrived to the island quite early due to our flight schedule and waited for the office to open. The staff was absolutely wonderful. Very caring and promtp to assist you with any of your needs. They can call boats for you, set up tours, advise which places to visit depending on what you want to see, ect. Be mindful that they do close at night so if you have plans to go to another island make sure you have a boat called to come get you before they close.
The room was very clean, and the price was great (we got a student discount!). It is rustic and simple, but when you have such beautiful beaches around who needs a tv. We didn't have a problem with bugs inside the room. When outside always put "off" or use the coconut oil that they sell.
There is a restaurant in the hotel, Bibi's, the staff is so nice and attentive. We loved the food, breakfast was so peaceful specially if you came right when they open because everything is so calm with a beautiful view of the sea. Dinner was my favorite because there are lights under the restaurant and you can see rays sometimes. Breakfast was about $5 per person, lunch maybe around $8, and dinner around $15.
Overall, if you love the beach and want a very relaxing place to stay with people who care about you then this is the place to go.

Room Tip: we stayed in the individual cabanas
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

Was not really sure what to expect and I'm still not sure how I feel about this place. We took a boat over with no reservations. The place we wanted was booked so walked over to the Buccaneer. Elisabeth at the desk was very helpful and showed us a few different rooms to choose from. We choose the yurt. It was clean and functional but like most places in Bocas, it had a musty smell. We also had crickets (or something) living in our roof, which was quite mouldy. We were only there for the night so we didn't worry to much. It's was raining (surprise lol) so I did slip and fall on the stairs. Was not hurt though. The restaurant was great. We sat and had drinks with some other guests and enjoyed it immensely. However, no fault to the establishment, the mass swarms of sand fleas ate me alive. Would not go back to Carrenero for this reason alone.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

I've stayed there with my girl during April 2013.

The island it's "virgin" , i mean you still can find a very nice nature and small "human intervention".

Now talking about Buccaneer:
First impression was "Where the hell I am". Last impression was "This is the best place in the Island". People was extreamly nice (not easy in Bocas) , the breakfast simple but great (amazing Pineapple!!!!). Rooms where clean and provided of everything you might need in a place like bocas.

Vram (the owner) gave us a room update for the same price and some very good advices about the island and bocas.

Feel free to ask me anything , i'll answer as soon as I can.

PS: My first review, fully motivated by the great experience there.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Anthony, Texas, United States
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2013

My family stayed in a suite, that had two rooms. One was closed-in, had AC, and it was where the bathroom was. The other was an open room with two twin beds, a table, sink area with small fridge, and was easily open to the beach/ocean by moveing the partition like doors.
The area is amazing, along with the views. Bibi's restaurant was on the property, and it is great. Plus, each guest gets a $5 breakfast coupon, which pretty much took care of breakfast. Also, for every $10 spent at Bibis, you get 1 hour free for the Buccaneer's kayaks, paddleboats, etc.
My only complaint was that there was a leak in the rook (it rained every morning we were there) and the open room did not have AC, but the kids didn't mind. The staff also cleaned any rain up, and were very helpful.
Note: this is a great area, but a little rougher than you would think of when considering "resorts".

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Buccaneer Resort

Address: Cayo Carenero, Carenero Island, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Carenero Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Carenero Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Small resort/hotel on Isla Carenero across from Bocas on Colon Island. Recently purchased, and being completely renovated. A white sandy beach on the south-east stretch of the island provides a great starting point for many local activities. A new Royal 2-bedroom suite has been added with a full kitchen. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Buccaneer Hotel Carenero Island
Buccaneer Resort Panama/Carenero Island, Bocas Del Toro

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