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“A Legit Aqua Lounge” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Aqua Lounge Bar & Hostel

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Aqua Lounge Bar & Hostel
Isla Carenero, Carenero Island, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Denver, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A Legit Aqua Lounge”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

Aqua Lounge, not a very original name. In fact, the landlocked city I hail from has had many a bar come and go by the name Aqua Lounge. Your city is probably the same. However, this bar, club and hostel on Isla Carenero actually lives up to the name! Aqua Lounge is a party over the water (and a lot of times in it) in the Caribbean paradise of Bocas Del Toros, Panama.

The lounge features swings and a trampoline for jumping in the water. If you have snorkeling mask there's lots of aquatic life to see below the waves. Whether you are staying in the hostel, eating at the restaurant or drinking at the bar, Aqua Lounge is one of the best values in Bocas.

At Aqua Lounge I met an interesting cast of characters, European travelers on gap year, Aussies on holiday, digital vegabonds like myself, gringo rastas, American's expats who call the island home, locals dropping by for a swim and beer who you can practice your Spanish with.

Aqua Lounge is a party hostel on Mondays, Wedsday and Saturday so if you stay there on those nights, don't plan on sleeping much but it is a blast! Also don't carry your cell phone if you are partying at Aqua, it's bound to capture photos of you in moments of intoxication and it stands a decent chance of falling in the water.

If there's one thing that's an annoyance at Aqua Lounge (and Bocas Del Toro, in general), it's that virtually every local young man you meet offers you drugs (Weed or Coke), sometimes soliciting you quite aggressively. While this is a great if you want to get high, it creates the impression that the only employment opportunities that exist for young men in Bocas is to be a small time drug dealer. The police do nothing about these peddlers and the establishment owners do nothing to keep them out.

Karin, Roxy and the rest staff do a surprisingly good job of running a hostel for people who party as much as they do at Aqua Lounge!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aqua L, Manager at Aqua Lounge Bar & Hostel, responded to this review, January 6, 2013
2 Legit 2 Quit! Thanks for the great review! We glad you enjoyed your time on the Aqua dance floor and splashing around with us! We're 100% with you on the annoying drug factor in Bocas! We pride ourselves on our staffs narcotic free lifestyles and our security teams ability to keep and kick as many dealers as we can out of our parties and completely out of our days. Like you said, it's an overwhelming population, no? Unfortunately, it is definitely not the the only employment opportunity for the youth of Bocas, just one of the lazier ones. On the other side of that coin, thanks for noticing the hard work myself and my awesome staff puts in, we love to do it, as you got to see. Seriously, thanks for taking time out to write such a thorough review for us, we really appreciate it! Cheers and safe travels Jonathan!

-Carrie, Aqua Lounge
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122 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012 via mobile

Where else can you jump out of the window of your hostel into the water. So much fun and great people. Had so much fun on their wed ladies night. Trampoline and swings outside for your enjoyment. I swam all night and danced inside with an open sky overhead. Wow I'm still in shock when I thing of this place. They even gave us a great suggestion for a scenic boat ride to see dolphins and to snorkel. We will definitely be going back to panama to bocas and stay at aqua lounge. Thank you tons

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012 via mobile

I didn't stay here but friends of mine did and really enjoyed it. I went a couple of times to eat and drink. The food was amazing (coconut chicken curry) the drinks are well priced and the owner is a great guy. I would recommend checking this place out.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2012

We arrived to bocos wanting to stay a couple nights. Ended our stay after a week. Everyday i had to ask the owners if i could stay anothernight. And they were the best people ever we stayed in a private room a fairly high comodity especially at the prices they offered. The place was packed all the time yet everyday i woke up afraid we lost our slice of paradise they had the room for us. Id highly recommend this place tonnes of people very safe and great staff. Also if ur travelling as a couple and you both have the same name they will look after you extra well... Hahahaha love you bocos and miss you.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

Stayed here in August 2012, planned for 4 nights but that turned into eight. I watched my flight take off while enjoying yet another Panama or was it a Balboa with new found mates on the epic setting of the Aqua Lounge deck. Not many hostels are built on stilts above the Caribbean waters where the swimming pool is simply a large couple of holes cut in the deck and the taxi to the next bar floats. The team were brilliant and friendly, however they don't like a$% holes as the sign clearly states behind the bar, so if they're a little frosty towards you it's probably a self inflicted reaction. If you can front up with $25 (price at the time) for a private, I'd recommend it, they are tidy little rooms and super dark to sleep off the hangover & have a big fan. The party nights are when it heats up, happy hours get everyone in the mood before the other island party animals arrive, then the cheap shots and a midnight dip with your new friends normally round off a great night.

Oh I almost forgot, definitely compliment the Aqua stay with dinner at BB's restaurant (short walk on the same island) and some sun setters at the Pickled Parrot....be sure to buy George a few & get him telling a few stories... guarantee you won't leave your seat until you fall off laughing.
PS..as for the bugs, yeah I got bitten quite bad but it was because i was dumb enough to sit around without any repellent on. They're sporadic and was only two occasions...it's the tropics what do you expect. Also, Wed and Sat nights are party nights...if you like to party it's all good, if not..... well your in the wrong place. "Boacs man, you can't make this stuff up" George

Room Tip: Go private if you can afford the few extra.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

Aqua Lounge has all the components to be an AWESOME hostel! swings, trampoline, ocean, dock, cheap rooms, etc. BUT, the sand fleas that are rampant around the swimming areas and everywhere else on the hostel are sure to ruin it for you. You will have literally hundreds of bug bites all over your body in red welts that won't go away for weeks. Also, the manager/co-owner of the place, Carrie, is completely unprofessional and has no idea how to run a hostel. She will mess up which beds you're supposed to stay in and then try to blame it on you, the maid, and everybody else. So immature and knows nothing about customer service/satisfaction--not sure why she hasn't been fired yet, definitely doesn't know anything about business or being organized either. I plan on going back to Bocas, but I definitely won't be staying or visiting Aqua again because of her and the bugs.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012 via mobile

Aside from the one female bar tender who was incredibly unfriendly to females it was an amazing experience staying at the Aqua Lounge. The food was really good, great kitchen facilities & a super rad location.

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.

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Additional Information about Aqua Lounge Bar & Hostel

Address: Isla Carenero, Carenero Island, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Carenero Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty lodging in Carenero Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only entirely over the water hostel in Bocas del Toro. Just 1 minute boat ride away from Bocas town, lies in wait the best time in Bocas. Walking distance from the beach and 3 surf spots. Comfy dorms, 3 and 2 person private rooms, hammocks....starting at 12 dollars a night, including free breakfast, free wifi, towel and snorkel rental, onsite laundry and in dorm lockers. We offer safe swimming areas, sea swings, ocean trampoline, sundeck, lounge chairs, hammocks, beer pong tables, indo boards, tour arrangements (fishing, spearfishing, beach, surfing, day trips, etc.), sister surf school, delicious restaurant, tasty beverages and a staff that loves their life is just the beginning. So come and enjoy Bocas del Toro in the best way possible, in a happy place for happy people. AQUA LOUNGE.... Paradises Playground. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Aqua Lounge Bar And Hostel
Aqua Lounge Bar Hotel Bocas Del Toro Province
Aqua Lounge Bar & Hostel Panama/Carenero Island, Bocas Del Toro

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