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“A little punchy on the wallet” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Rancho de Caldera Eco-Resort & Hotel

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Rancho de Caldera Eco-Resort & Hotel
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Calderita, Caldera | Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama, Caldera, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Caldera B&B and Inns
Sydney
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“A little punchy on the wallet”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2012

Caldera ranch, caldera, boquete (April 2012)
We were expecting great things from this place but to be honest we were a little disappointed. The reception that we received from the owner (Gina) throughout our stay was neither warm nor friendly. Refreshingly, Craig (the renowned chef), as well as all the other staff, were the complete the opposite. we came away feeling that perhaps this place would be 10 times better if Craig was running it.

So most other reviews rave about the food. Being foodies ourselves this was the reason we booked in here so we were looking forward to this part of our trip. Whilst the food was very good and straight from the source (organic gardens on the ranch) the set dinner (which is advertised at $20 to 25) was charged at $30 at check out! To be honest the food offered in our next accommodation (la loma jungle lodge) rivaled that presented to us at caldera ranch.

On the plus side the rooms were spacious, had hot powerful showers, but lacked the finishing touches we expected from paying $150 per night. Oh and the breakfast was the worst we had in all the places we stayed in panama - a couple of frozen muffins placed in your room freezer the day before and some fruit (which was forgotten on our first morning).

Overall a great location but could be so much better....

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
GMT_Panama, Owner at Rancho de Caldera Eco-Resort & Hotel, responded to this review, May 8, 2012
I apologize for any perceived lack of warmth or friendliness on my part; I make every effort to insure that all of my guests are happy at Rancho and enjoy getting to know my guests.  Clearly I personally failed this time, though I am happy that my staff did their job in that regard.  I would appreciate more specific feedback so that I don't let down my guests in the future, and thus welcome an email (gina@ranchodecaldera.com) with constructive criticism from this reviewer.

Also, I apologize for the mix up over the price of dinner.  We previously advertised $23 - $27 for a 3 course dinner, and recently changed to $30 for a 4-5 course dinner.  Our new literature says $30, so this client must have booked the room and received the information before we changed the price and arrived after we changed the price.  This will not happen again. 

Finally, breakfast consists of locally baked cinnamon rolls, frozen English muffins, house-made jelly, butter, fresh fruit (apples, bananas and pineapple), yogurt and locally grown coffee - we put the food in the rooms so guests can enjoy breakfast and the lovely view in privacy, at the time of their choice.  Most guests enjoy this.

I'm sorry that this reviewr's visit was less than hoped for; we do try our best to provide top quality service, food, and accommodations to all of our guests.

Gina
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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74 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
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English first
Geneva, Switzerland
Top Contributor
138 reviews 138 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2012

Went for lunch. Small selection of very clever and delicious meals. They are sandwiches, but are much more.... Really good. Hard to describe. Fresh ingredients, in a very odd combination. Watermelon and Mexican bean style salad? Yup, that can be very tasty. Another Boring quinoa salad? Not here! Also, try the basil lemon juice....
The setting is fabulous. Feels like a lodge in south Africa. I kept waiting for an elephant passing in the distance. Didn't come, though....
Went with our 2 year old.mshe likes it, too.... (though seems they don't accept small kids overnight. A pity)

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Boquete,
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012

My wife and I visited Rancho de Caldera with our two friends from Boquete the other afternoon. After a refreshing swim in their infinity pool, we are treated to a fabulous 5 course meal comprable or better than anything one would find in the finest 5 star restaurants anywhere. Craig, the chef, is extraordinarily talented. Each course contained delicious ingredients grown in his own garden.

  • Stayed April 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pittsburgh, PA
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2012

Last week, I completed a rather arduous journey from my home in Pennsylvania to visit a former college roommate who had moved there seven years earlier. After a series of travel misadventures, including missed connections, an unexpected overnight stay in Panama City, and a final long, late night drive in the rain and fog, we arrived at Rancho de Caldera near Boquete, Panama. My first thought was to ask my friend Gina what in the world she was thinking for moving to such a remote part of the world.

Gina and my family and I caught up over late night sandwiches and salads prepared for our arrival by her brilliant chef, Craig Miller. Later, she settled us into our two luxurious “cabins”, number 9 and number 6, for our very comfortable night’s sleep. In the first morning light, as I awoke to a crescendo of the symphony all sorts of insect, bird, frog, and other unidentified creature sounds, and as the dawn revealed the most incredible sights of mist over mountains, my question was decidedly answered. I totally get it, Gina; you decided to live in paradise. How fortunate for us, you are willing to open it to others, who will push through the hassles of a long journey to experience this wonder.

Eventually, as the sun rose, the nature sounds died down somewhat, and we made our way outside to join Gina and her three resort ambassador dogs, Nita, Sombra, and Mona for a tour of her very personal Shangri La. As we strolled down a beautiful long road of cobblestones set into concrete, lined with all manner of colorful blooming trees and shrubs, we saw her happy grazing cows and long haired sheep, and the beautiful horses being saddled and readied for guests wanting to explore the countryside in this manner. We poked around in the free-range chicken coops and greenhouses of glorious organically farmed vegetables and herbs used by Chef Miller in his daily inspirations. The ponds on one side of the road were home to all kinds of tropical birds, and frogs that made the most interesting sound something like the pop of a champagne cork when it releases. At the end of the drive we turned to start the long climb back to the resort and the view looking back up the mountain was one of beautiful villas, built so as to nestle unobtrusively into the natural beauty of the countryside, the main house where you will find the gorgeous infinity pool, and the resort restaurant, Madre Tierra, the delights of which we will not soon forget. A yoga studio, currently under construction, was our final part of the tour. From this open pavilion with incredible mountainside views from all four sides, we learned of Gina’s vision for a space of inspiration, tranquility, spiritual renewal, but also of an imagined gathering space for the sharing of information and ideas. Stunning, magnificent, awed, does not even begin to describe what we saw and felt there.

Lunch poolside was our next treat of the day. Chef Craig is one of those rare people who intuitively understands what cannot be taught when it comes to combining flavors and textures and all sorts of creative combinations, which delight the palate. We were amazed to hear him remark that by one PM, he had not yet begun to dream of our evening meals, because what we then later enjoyed for our dinner was even more remarkable than the delicious variety of luncheon treats had been. It would serve no purpose to describe our meals in detail because they are never the same twice, but suffice it to say, rarely have I enjoyed food more artfully prepared in any city of the world, than by this humble artist, Craig Miller.

Though we were only able to spend four short days at Rancho de Caldera, there was some wonderful activity each day to delight and inspire, whether it was the dog-guided hikes my son trekked through jungle and mountainside paths, or the beautiful, restorative massages we enjoyed in our rooms from the local masseuse. My kids delighted in riding the gentle horses through a rainstorm, Sombra and Nita splashing happily along behind. We even reluctantly left Chef Craig and Madre Tierra behind one evening to explore the lovely adjacent town of Boquete for the orchid festival and dinner in one of the many fun, colorful local restaurants there.

Gina, kudos to you for what you have carved into the side of your beautiful mist covered mountain. It is indeed a Shangri La, a mystical mountain paradise, where you could imagine never growing old, or at least never growing tired of feeling so close to Paradise.

Xoxoxo

Cindy

When we missed our original flight into Panama City, Gina saved the day by putting us up for the night in a fun part of the city called Casco Viejo
http://cascoviejo.com/ego-and-narciso/
where we stayed the night in a lovely apartment complex, Tulipanes, http://www.loscuatrotulipanes.com/,
operated flawlessly , and with great hospitality by a team of local women and two young American expats . I can recommend it without reservation.
If you need the best travel agent and local guide for your stay in Panama City or for help in negotiating the frustrations of travel within Panama, please contact Jose Saenz, http://www.goldenfrog.net/index.htm,
our savior in more ways than one. Ask him to show you the Panama Canal, and also the best seafood restaurant only he knows where to find!
And please remember to bring Jose a bag of Trader Joe’s peanut butter filled pretzels because he loves them so!

Room Tip: All have incredible sunrise views, but rooms # 7, 8, and 9 are closer to the pool.
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  • Stayed April 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hastings on hudson
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

Tranquility, mountain vistas,great hosts, inventive food and night sky= heaven on earth

Room Tip: go for deluxe
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 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.
Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

Beautiful views, great staff, fun dogs, many adventures to be had, and is run by one of the coolest people you'll meet. Check it out!

  • Stayed April 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David, Republic of Panama
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2012

My son and young family flew to Panama from Brisbane for a month's visit. To provide both a place to recoup from their long journey and to serve as an introduction to Panama, I booked three adjoining cottages at Rancho Caldera for a week. It was one of the best decisions of my lifetime! Perfection in every aspect. My daughter in law, whose approval I don't always earn, blessed me throughout. With so much to do at the Ranch and in the surrounds, there was never a dull moment. Our only regret was that the week was soon over and it was time to move on.

Room Tip: The three adjoining cottages close to the restaurant are perfect for a family.
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  • Stayed December 2011, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rancho de Caldera Eco-Resort & Hotel

Address: Calderita, Caldera | Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama, Caldera, Panama
Location: Panama > Chiriqui Province > Caldera
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Caldera
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Favorite destination in Boquete and west Panama for affordable, luxurious, nature friendly Green Globe tropical eco-vacations in a beautiful small boutique eco-resort running on solar, water and wind. Guests love the family atmosphere and rave about our gourmet cuisine, provided by internationally acclaimed Chef Craig Miller. Our on-site restaurant Madre Tierra offers one of Panama's finest gourmet cuisines in a beautiful ambiance overlooking the green hills of Boquete. Please take a look at what guests are saying and see for yourself. Relax, go horseback riding to the hot springs or swim in our beautiful crystal clear 'infinity' pool - solar powered and chlorine free. Spacious terraced villa suites with bamboo floors provide everything you need to be comfortable, including automatic Cuisinart coffee brewers, iPod docking stations, a/c, fans, refrigerators, wall to wall panorama windows and free WiFi. Yoga fans, clubs and workshop leaders appreciate our cozy meeting rooms. Soon you can use our beautiful new outdoor pavilion as well. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rancho De Caldera Eco Hotel Caldera
Rancho De Caldera Eco-Resort And Hotel

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