We did a two tank dive on one day, and returned later as a group for three more dives with an overnight stay.
The Diving: Portobelo had some interesting dive sites and the water was warm and clear. Lito is everything you could want in a dive master, and the boat captain (forget his name) was excellent as well. The equipment is top notch and in good condition. The boat they had running (the other was out of commission due to a recent storm) was fast and comfortable for our small group, it might get a bit crowded with more than 8 or so divers, but it is a purpose built dive boat. I would dive with these guys again in a heartbeat.
The Octopus Garden Hotel: You can describe it as quaint, and lets be honest, at first glance it looks run down. However, once you get settled in, you realize its a very relaxing place to be and though it needs some work it is kept very clean. If you are staying the night, there are several rooms each with their own bathroom. They are very much no frills but do the job, the beds are comfortable.
The upper deck area is where everyone hangs out though, around the central bar. The people (Diego, Danielle, etc) are really friendly and helpful, and they serve the best Pina Coladas and other drinks made with fresh fruit. The food is unassuming, but delicious. All the seafood options where great, as was the breakfast. The real surprise was the fried chicken!
The staff are very cool, and helped us with everything from arranging transportation to/from Panama City, to securing a surprise birthday cake for one of our group.
This is not a 5 star resort with limousine service. Imagine it as going to stay at a friend's seaside cottage, where you can really relax and have fun with great people. We loved the experience and would return again.
A heads up though: you really do want to use Whatsapp if possible to contact them, any other means of contact can be spotty at best, so if you can't use Whatsapp, leave your self more time to make and confirm arrangements.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.