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“THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Popa Paradise Beach Resort

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Popa Paradise Beach Resort
Punta Laurel | Bocas del Toro, Isla Popa, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Isla Popa
Montevallo, Alabama
1 review
“THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

All I have to say is a HUGE THANK YOU to Popa Paradise and all the staff!!!! My husband, daughter and I found a true paradise after a very trying and exhausting 3 weeks between dental work in Costa Rica and then a very, very rainy season of the little bit of time we had for an actual vacation in Panama. Luckly, the weather cleared up for us while at Popa Paradise and we had a wonderful time - much needed hot showers with great water pressure, comfy beds, peace and quiet when wanted/needed or plenty of laughs and entertainment when wanted. The casita was beautiful, clean, tranquil. Dylan, Darion, Bev, Handre and the rest of the staff made us feel like family and they threw the most wonderful 4th birthday party for our daughter, Isabella, making her a true princess not just for one night but for our entire 4 day stay. Food was excellent - especially the fish soup!! We miss you all and can't wait to return!!! XOXOXOXO!!! Monique, Michael and Isabella

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
Sasailor, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Thanks for the great review! We are so pleased you and your family enjoyed Popa Paradise, we had great fun throwing a birthday party for you daughter. Popa Paradise is such a great vacation spot for the whole family, hope to see you back next year for the next birthday!
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142 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (40)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

I could have had an amazing honeymoon in a lot of places, but I am certain I could have had no better one than I did during my four-night stay at Popa Paradise.

If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path, unspoiled piece of paradise, you must visit Popa. If you are looking for a big, glitzy, all-inclusive mega resort, you must visit Popa. I can guarantee that the resort's staff and service will make you redefine your expectations of an "all-inclusive."

My husband and I spent four nights listening to the sounds of the ocean from Casita 6, and it was far too short a time. The views are amazing. The food is to die for. The dogs are adorable. The rooms are lovely. The staff is the best I have ever encountered. My husband and I were practically the only guests while at Popa, so the service was unmatched. However, I have a feeling that even when the resort is full you'll still never suffer from lack of attention. Dyllan, Darian and the rest of the staff have created a tropical paradise that somehow feels as inviting as your best friend's home.

The resort boasts modern amenities like satellite TV and WiFi in the common areas, but God help you if you come here to do that. Popa is not a place for email. Popa is a place to escape email and immerse yourself in sandy beaches and clear blue waters. Visit the swim up bar, take a trip to the Zapatillas, swim with dolphins, go sailing on the yacht, hike the island, but for god's sake leave your blackberry behind. You do not need it here.

This is not a place you visit once. This is a place you visit and then plan to return to while you are still there. I left a piece of my heart at Popa Paradise, but I cannot wait to go back and visit it several times in the years to come.

Room Tip: I could not imagine a better view than the one from Casita 6.
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  • Stayed October 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sasailor, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 18, 2012
Many thanks for your great review, we are so pleased you had a wonderful honeymoon here! We look forward to seeing you soon again at Popa Paradise!
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Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

My fiance did not tell me where we were going to stay for our honeymoon, and this was truly more than either of us could have ever dreamed of. The staff went truly above and beyond to make this a special trip for us, and really made it feel like home for the 7 nights we stayed. The beautiful beaches and amenities at the resort, as well as the privacy of being on an island made the trip so relaxing and restful, just what we needed! We also got a good mix of snorkeling and other excursions as the resort has a great list to choose from. One note about the food: it was AMAZING!!!! Every meal we ate at Popa was unique and equally delicious, our biggest problem on this trip was trying to finish every meal because we did not want to waste a drop! We were so sad to leave to move on to the next leg of our trip, but can't wait to plan our next trip back!

  • Stayed September 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sasailor, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 13, 2012
Many thanks for the great review! It was great meeting you, what a nice couple! We hope to see you back here every year for your anniversaries.
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Brooklyn, New York, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2012

As epic journeys tend to unfold, we stumbled upon Popa Paradise almost entirely by accident after an egregious error led to a great stroke of luck. A pair of vagabonds cruising Bocas del Toro on a rented skiff, lost in the rain at night, we were resigned to sleeping across the boat's stiff wooden benches when we saw a faint glimmer in the distance. I’ve seen my share of awesome, but never before has “paradise” failed to adequately describe the majesty of a setting.

Like creatures from the deep, backs hunched under the weight of soggy packs, we traipsed into the chic and lofty foyer of the sole resort on Isla Popa. Despite our mangy disposition, manager Dyllan treated us like royalty, executing rapid and efficient preparations to "just get them settled!"

We were led to what my world-traveler companion described as “the nicest place I’ve ever stayed” – a private suite nestled in manicured overgrowth that boasted a balcony with views of the ocean, and one of those gorgeous inlaid showers that extends right through the bathroom and sends water rippling across the stone floor. A much-needed scrubdown was interrupted by a knock at the door – though it was long past serving time, co-manager Darion whipped up king-sized servings of spaghetti bolognaise just for us, with artfully spiced meatballs drenched in a savory tomato sauce, served with crisp vegetables and a husky red wine that brought out the basil and black pepper. After weeks of travel by land and sea, we knew we had finally come home.

With its relaxing blend of rustic luxury and a gregarious staff, Popa Paradise isn’t your average sterile island resort. Staying here feels more like visiting lost-lost friends who have missed you terribly and are so happy you’ve come. There is no structured schedule – just a rag-tag group of genuine hosts who are eager to provide whatever you and your family needs to have fun and feel at ease. Whether you’d prefer to sip piña coladas at the swim-up bar while the kids splash around in the pool, or you’d like to trek from white-sand beaches through the jungle searching for surf on nearby Islas Zapatillas, this crew will happily exceed your expectations for relaxation and adventure.

Darion’s yoga studio is a dream – sheltered from the elements, overlooking the rainforest, his whimsical blend of banter and zest will make even the most reluctant yogi find Zen. And speaking of downward dog, his pair of beagles roam the resort in constant search of belly-rubs. Snuggle up with Leila or play a brisk game of fetch with Luca, and those puppies will love you like no one ever has before.

If you’re lucky enough to visit while Handré and his wife Beverley are passing through, you’re in for a special treat. During your charter trip on their luxury catamaran through the crystal-clear coral reefs and the friendly waters of the aptly named Dolphin Bay, feel free to indulge in an array of on-board refreshments, or take in the sights with your arms spread wide off the starboard bow. And if you’re looking to sail three sheets to the wind, it’s worth noting that Beverley whips up the world’s most notoriously unmemorable White Russians.

I hope your journey isn’t as rocky as ours, but no matter your proclivities, Popa Paradise will provide everything you and your family could need in a vacation – and more.

Room Tip: I've heard that some travelers complain that the waves are "too loud" when staying in...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Sasailor, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 13, 2012
Many thanks for your awesome review! It was only a pleasure rescuing you from the dark stormy night! We are so pleased you found us and hope to you find your way back here real soon!
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

We stayed for 4 nights with our three boys (ages 9,6,6) in the master suite at the end of August and cannot wait to go back. To quote our boys - it was better than Disneyworld! The staff, food, activities and location were all amazing.

While this is a luxury resort, please remember it's quite remote. Accordingly, it's not fair to expect the same amneties on such a remote island that you would expect at a Four Seasons. For a property to grows much of its own food, generates it's own power, and produces much of its water, we never felt less than pampered.

Dylan (the general manager) went out of his way to make us feel at home. He was personable, responsive and unobstrusive. Darien, the chef, is excellent and very welcoming to special requests including kids meals. We very much enjoyed the catermaran charter with Handre and Beverly - a truly wonderful day. Each day, Dylan was able to plan a great activity and pack us lunches, drinks, etc.

We would highly recommend this place to anyone looking to relax on and around the water.

Room Tip: The master suite was beautiful with two bedrooms, living room and kitchen. It sits on a bluff with...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sasailor, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this review, September 9, 2012
Many thanks for your kind words, we are so pleased that you had a great stay with us. Hope to see you soon again at Popa Paradise!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

We loved the food, the staff, the died-and-went-to-heaven setting, the overall vibe … all of it. We stayed here three days with our 4-year-old son in early August. Here’s our experience with:
The setting: It reminded us of Bali. The landscaping was tropical, lush and beautiful. The beach and calm, clear water looked inviting, but we had just come from several days at the beach on another island and were ready to swim in a fresh-water pool.
The pool: It’s a beautiful crescent-shaped pool that is zero entry on one end (nice for our son), and a swim-up bar (nice for us). While it’s not a kiddie pool, there is a submerged shelf on one side that our son used to climb out of the water. He was able to walk/swim around the shallow perimeter … and up to the bar to drink his fresh-fruit smoothie. Ernesto and Nadie were available to take orders for food and drink, which you can have at the pool or at the outside restaurant.
The food: While the menu is limited to what’s available in town (or the sea) that day, every meal we had was fantastic. The first night, we ordered a green-curry Thai seafood dish, a filet and spaghetti/meatballs for our son. The steak was tender and tasty … but the curry was amazing. My wife actually went hunting for leftovers the next afternoon…sadly, there were none. Darian is a wonderful chef and uses fresh ingredients from a vegetable garden at the resort. He approached the guests each day when we were in the pool to give us ideas of what he had available for the evening dinner and to get an idea what people liked. But our favorite things were the fresh corvina (sea bass) and seafood bisque, which was one of the best soups I’ve ever experienced. Brilliant. Darian also is the yoga instructor and masseur. Great yoga class, and very relaxing massage in a beautiful setting overlooking the jungle. My wife had a massage at sunset and she could see parrots flying by.
Our Amazing Race moment — The staff escorted us and eight other guests down to the dock, posed for pictures and saw everyone off. We took a 45-minute boat-ride to Bocas del Toro where we were to catch our flight back to Panama City. After the luggage was unloaded, we realized we had left a bag (the one with our passports) in the hotel lobby. Nadie, an employee who had come along on the ride to pick up provisions in Bocas, immediately called the resort. She escorted us to the airport and explained the situation to the employees there. Meanwhile, Dyllan had already dispatched another boat with the forgotten bag. While we missed our original flight, the last flight of the day was leaving just 30 minutes later. We watched that plane board and decided we’d be spending the night in Bocas. As the final passengers were taking their seats, Nadie burst through the backdoor at the airport and leapt over the counter with the backpack. We got the last three seats on the flight and made it to Panama City to catch our flight home the next morning. I’d call that pretty exceptional customer service. In addition, we needed a hotel in Panama City for the return home and Dyllan told us about a special at a new property in Panama City. We stayed at this hotel and it was the perfect ending to a wonderful vacation. Steve, Deirdre and Ian – Washington, DC

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sasailor, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this review, August 23, 2012
Thanks so much for your great review! Yes it did feel like the Amazing Race getting your bag to you and we were relived that you made the flight, so glad we could help you on that one! We look forward to seeing you and your family back at Popa Paradise soon.
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Haymarket, Virginia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2012

My new wife and I just spent 4 nights of our honeymoon at the Popa Paradise resort. It was hands down amazing! Let me start by saying Dyllan the manager went out of his way from the first second we arrived on the island to make sure we were comfortable and had everything that we needed. The casitas that we stayed in was just beautiful, nice furniture, fridge, ice cold A/C, a satellite TV (that my bride wouldn't let me use), and the most amazing balcony over looking a deserted beach. Dyllan put champagne in our room before we got there, and made sure the entire staff knew that we were on our honeymoon. Some commenters wrote that there were bugs in the rooms?? We decided to use the screen door, so we didn't experience that... ha ha.
The beach is beautiful, hardly any of the other guest used it except for us, so we felt at times like we really were on a deserted island! There are free kayaks to use, and also free snorkel gear. About 100 yards from the beach, it turns into a tropical rain forest complete with Toucans and parrots flying over head, Total paradise! The pool is nice, and has a swim up bar that is staffed all day. This is a great place to lounge around, meet the other guests, and talk to the staff about their world travels. The main building by the pool also has ping pong, pool table, and a library, and computer.
As for the staff, we couldn't have asked for better service. They were so cheerful, and literally spoiled us. Nadie, the bartender/server/consierge was always asking us if we needed anything, and jumping through hoops to make sure our stay was great. Ernesto the Bartender helped us with our spanish, and made great drinks! Handre and his wife do the excursions/help cook. They were some of the friendliest people I have ever met, and even hung out with us one evening by the pool bar telling us about South Africa, and their world travels. Darien does Yoga (which I highly recommend), massages, is also the resident chef. He also did a special fire show for us because we were leaving on Sat, and they normally did it on Sun. These guys went all out for us everytime we asked!
Let me just say I thought the food was 5 star quality. Lobster, steak, chicken, pork, all cooked to perfection with Dariens own artistic style and the crazy thing is you are a 30 min boat ride from anything that would even resemble a grocery store. I was full the entire time I was there!! I can't wait to visit Popa again. The resort is great, and the staff made it incredible it was a perfect vacation. If you can actually write a bad review about this place then you shouldn't be evaluating Popa Paradise, you should be evaluating yourself...
-Brandon and Amy

Room Tip: Ask for Casitas 10. very private with a perfect beach view.
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  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sasailor, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this review, August 23, 2012
Many thanks for your kind words! Popa Paradise is such a great venue for a honeymoon and we are so pleased you had a great time. We look forward to seeing you soon again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Popa Paradise Beach Resort

Address: Punta Laurel | Bocas del Toro, Isla Popa, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Popa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Isla Popa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Popa Paradise is the only Adults Only (18+) All-Inclusive hotel in Panama. Popa Paradise Beach Resort is located on a stunning island called Isla Popa in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, off the Panamanian coast in the Caribbean Sea. We are located about 30 minutes away from Bocas del Toro by boat. Stay with us for an unforgettable vacation where you can relax, snorkel in beautiful clear water and visit the amazing outer islands. Our chef creates a spectacular, tasty, unique and healthy menu and can cater to vegetarians and vegans, which is all included in our all inclusive rate. We have a large range of activities and excursions from diving, fishing, zip lines to the spectacular Zapatilla islands marine park or simply relax by our swimming pool and enjoy a Popa Paradise cocktail at our swim up bar, enjoy a massage on the spa or take a walk on one of our stunning beaches. Our new beach bar and restaurant "Rosie's" is great for cool drinks on the beach all day and at night beach BBQs, bonfires, and occasionally live music under the stars. Our dedicated team of professionals will take care of your every need and ensure you have a memorable stay at our boutique resort. We look forward to meeting you at Popa Paradise - barefoot luxury! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Popa Paradise Beach Hotel Isla Popa
Popa Paradise Beach Isla

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