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“Decoration and service” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Otro Lado

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El Otro Lado
Bahia de Portobelo, Portobelo, Panama   |  
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Hotel amenities
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30% off room rate
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Portobelo
Panama City, Panama
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Decoration and service”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

We spent a week-end in El Otro Lado, with our two year old daughter. This is probably the most beautifully decorated hotel in Panama. Each room is decorated with taste and a sum of small details that make you feel like home.
The food was excellent, with local flavours. The limited number of rooms (each in a separated house) made the service very personalized.
If the beach in front of the hotel is not usable, the pool is big enough and there are trips to nearby beaches (which we didn't try).
The only drawbacks were that we couldn't put a crib in the room, and the price that is really high (compared to the other high end hotels in Panama).

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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47 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Lafayette, Louisiana
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

We have traveled to dozens of destinations throughout the Caribbean and Central America but El Otro Lado is truly one of a kind. The accommodations, service and food are first rate but the amazing thing to us is the investment that the owners and management are making in the local community. Their commitment to cultural preservation is exemplary. The investment they are making in sustainable skill development for local workers--artisans, craftspeople and service people alike--is truly thoughtful. It is the essence of a multi-dimensional unique experience. We look forward to many return visits.

  • Stayed June 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lausanne, Switzerland
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

We spent unfortunately only two days at El Otro Lado but nevertheless highly enjoyed the magical setting, beautiful design and wonderful amenities of this remote place on Panama's Atlantic coast. That there is no beach at the property is not a drawback as the hotel takes one to nice beaches in the surrounding national park by boat. On top, food was delicious and service warm and friendly. Highly recommended...

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

Last weekend we went to El Otro Lado, an exclusive resort on the other side of the bay from the historic town of Portobelo, Panama. There are just 5 bungalows. Every detail is beautifully considered and all the decor comes from the hands of local artisans or carpenters. The culture here is very different and unique to Panama. We did a tour of Portobelo with a young member of the hotel staff. It was fascinating and the stories incredible. The Customs House has been renovated and serves a the focal point of the town. The nearby church is the busiest place in town, still very much used and cared for by the community. This is where the Black Christ statue is revered. The food at the resort is excellent - I would call it "practical gourmet." All of the ceviches were out of this world and the breakfast omelette with mushrooms was delicious. There are 3 beaches to be explored and a great kayaking trip worth doing. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami Beach, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2013

My husband and I were looking for a place to get away from everything, relax and enjoy some time together. Some friends had recommended El Otro Lado as an amazing boutique hotel, so we booked our vacation there. It was a great choice!

Its incredibly secluded and calm, with an amazing pool area overlooking the Portobello bay, perfect to soak in the sun, read a book and enjoy.

The rooms and common areas are decorated with really good taste, the rooms are very spacious and cozy and ours had a private terrace.

The food is absolutely delicious and fresh, cocktails are a must have (especially recommend the passion fruit mojito!) and staff is at all times incredibly nice and helpful.

There are several activities that you can do if you want to explore around Portobello a bit, like going to nearby beaches, kayaking or cruising on a boat through the river ( i think there are others but these are the ones we did).

In short, a truly amazing and highly recommended vacation place.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2013

El Otro Lado is truly a hidden gem. We had high expectations and it beat them all.

The hotel is amazingly decorated, very warm and comforting; it feels like you are in a museum but it's warmth makes you feel at home.

The location, Portobello a small fishing town, is beautiful and secluded with plenty of marine life, flowers and birds.

Beyond this, El Otro Lado is a project that is helping the economy and culture of Portobello to flourish in sustainable and special way. This isn't something you usually experience when attending a boutique hotel. This relationship between the hotel and the town makes the customer service from the locals very pleasant one.

Highly recommended to everyone.

  • Stayed March 2013, 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

I just cant play it cool with El Otro Lado.It's impossible for the jaw not not to drop as calm,urbane,dry but amazingly helpful Jim gently ushers you round the fabulously designed houses and restaurant/bar shortly after the short boat ride from Portobelo.
The retreat nestles discretely at the waters edge and although there is considerable flair and audacity in the design of the place this is not at the expense of a tranquil atmosphere where everything works and you go at your own speed(often slothful in my case)
So much care and attention has gone into every detail-every day something new will surprise you(in a good way)
Occasionally a drinks order may get misunderstood-but the solution to that is learn Spanish
kayaking on the lake and a walk to the top of the neighbouring fort are recommended as are the passion fruit mojitos which,at their best,were savagely addictive

  • Stayed April 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about El Otro Lado

Address: Bahia de Portobelo, Portobelo, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Colon Province > Portobelo
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Portobelo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El Otro Lado is a private retreat situated in an exceptional enclave of Portobelo Bay, mixing design, culture, nature and luxury in a unique manner in order to offer its guests authentic, exclusive and custom-made experiences.Situated just over an hour from Panama City, and surrounded by the National Park of Portobelo, El Otro Lado is the perfect place to relax and disconnect while contemplating the exuberant vegetation. With views of the sea, its four exclusive houses of eclectic tropical design integrate simple details with traditional handicraft of the Atlantic Coast.A streak of truly unforgettable experiences, El Otro Lado will take you to a harmonious and dreamlike place which is equipped with all the comforts of modern life. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Otro Lado Hotel Portobelo
El Otro Lado Panama/Portobelo

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