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“A secret everyone should know about” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Rancho Los Toros

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Rancho Los Toros
Calle Rastrojo, San Carlos 82-K J5-L, Panama   |  
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Hotel amenities
Nueva Gorgona, Panama
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“A secret everyone should know about”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

When we moved out to Panama, we wanted to make sure that we stayed a little nomadic and really explored places here and there. Since we've been here almost two years, we've had the chance to stay in our fair share of places. Rancho Los Toros was one place we were happy to find.

The place is awesome! It's quiet and is set away from the loud noises off the main road that most places build on. You still get great views of El Valle, and there's a river that runs around the property. It's a pretty cool place if you like nature.They have a bunch of plans for more things to do on site since they have a TON of land there. We really enjoyed just relaxing there.

One thing we really loved was how clean the place was. The hostel rooms are always well kept and the suites have all the ammenities. I know the place is new, but you can tell that they take care of what they have there. They even have this private dining area with all these different wines you can choose from. We eat dinner at their outdoor bar/restaurant everytime we go and the food is good and the drinks are cold.

What's great is that the place feels comfortable and relaxed. So much so that we have stayed there on 3 different occasions. And it's only about 25 minutes from our own home! It's kind of become our mini retreat, which is saying a lot since we already live in a tropical country near the beach.

Room Tip: The hostel rooms are really nice, especially if you don't mind sharing one of the 4 or 5 bathroo...
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Spanish first
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English first
ottawa
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

We discovered this little accommodation gem recently while travelling through Panama. It's pretty new - he's only been open about a month - so it's not really known yet. But what a great place to stay! It's just off the PanAmerican Highway, about 10 minutes uphill. It's a beautiful acreage with views of the mountains (including El Valle) off in the distance. So far, he has an amazing restaurant/bar, a hostel on one side of the property and a boutique inn on the other side.

We checked out the hostel and it was one of the nicest hostels we'd ever seen. Clean, spacious rooms, plenty of clean washrooms, a large common area with grill and even a small library!

However, we ended up staying in one of the hotel rooms. The rooms surround a beautiful pool area. They were all large, with king-sized beds and a couple of rooms with bunkbeds for kids. Large clean bathrooms, with flat-screen TVs. Some have mini-fridges.

After lounging by the pool for the afternoon, Joe Wilmoth, the owner, told us what was on the menu for dinner. This is how it's done at Ranchos - he does all the cooking and prepares a multi-course meal every night. There is no set menu. So, our dinner was: appetizer of cheese & olives, followed by a delicious cabbage-feta cheese salad, and a main course of grilled steak, with a side of grilled veggies and Russian potato salad. It was spectacular! He even finished it all off with some small truffle-like chocolates. And the whole thing was accompanied by a delicious bottle of red wine from his personal and well-stocked wine cellar!

After a lovely night's sleep - it's so peaceful and quiet up there - we woke to a traditional bacon, eggs and homefries breakfast, with that amazing Panamanian coffee.

Joe even offers tours - Tropical Toucan Tours everything from fishing to the Panama Canal - right from his place, and he will arrange to take you wherever you need to go. He has a good location - not too far from anything really: the mountains, the beach, Panama City. He is one of the nicest, most accommodating guys you'll meet anywhere.

We were told he has monthly wine tasting dinners - would love to come back for that!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

My family - two adults and one 11-year-old - have been traveling through Panama for a few months and we've stayed along the beaches, in Panama City, and up in the mountains. For this adventure we were looking for something a bit different, and this is exactly what Rancho Los Toros is.

The hotel is only a five minute drive from the beaches of San Carlos and El Palmar (good surfing) but is secluded as it sits on a huge acreage surrounded by fields, trees and a river, which runs through the property.

The property also includes hostel rooms, which we looked at before checking in. I've stayed in many hostels and these rooms were nicer than anything I've ever stayed in. There was a kitchen, common area, and even a small library.

We decided to stay at the hotel part, which is about six or eight rooms in total (can't remember exactly). The rooms surround a really nice pool and sitting area. The room itself was large and clean. We had a queen size bed plus a bunk bed. It had AC and a ceiling fan. The bathroom was huge with beautifully tiled walls. There was a flat screen tv, desk and closet in the main area.

The rest of the property includes a bar, which has covered outdoor seating and tables. This is where we ate our dinner and had some drinks. There's also a tv in this area. Although it was closed at the time, we got a tour of the fine dining room and wine cellar. Yes, Ranchos has an extensive wine selection. Apparently, they have a monthly wine tasting and dinner!

So, this brings everything back to Joe, the owner. He was fantastic. He gave us a tour of the entire property, which even included a 4x4 ride down to the river. He was our chef for the night - great fillets of beef, veggies and desert - our wine expert, and our tour guide.
There were two other couples staying at the hotel, plus some locals who came by for dinner and drinks. Everyone ended up chatting with each other, which was nice.

We had a North American style breakfast in the morning with some tasty Panamanian coffee. Wish we had stayed longer but we're planning on heading back at some point.

Joe explained that the hotel had just opened in the past few weeks and there were still some minor things to work out (we didn't notice anything). I think once the word spreads this will quickly become a popular spot, both as a hotel and as a restaurant.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Rancho Los Toros

Address: Calle Rastrojo, San Carlos 82-K J5-L, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Panama Province > San Carlos
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 7 Specialty lodging in San Carlos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rancho Los Toros brings casual relaxation, comfort and excellent customer service to the Pacific Coast of Panama. Located off the Panamerican Highway in San Carlos, Panana, Rancho Los Toros is a new addition to the Pacific Beach coastal area of Panama. We offer various levels of accommodations including bunk-style hostel rooms, private queen-bed hostel rooms and suites with king sized beds, satellite TV, AC and private bathrooms.San Carlos is a small beach community located about 1 hour from Panama City. San Carlos includes Playa El Palmar which is a famous local surfing beach where you can find surf lessons, bars and restaurants. Ask us about our shuttle service to the beach at El Palmar. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rancho Los Toros Panama/San Carlos

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