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“A short boat ride to paradise....” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Selva del Mar

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Casa Selva del Mar
Frente Mar (On the Water) | Isla Cristobal, Isla San Cristobal, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Montreal, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“A short boat ride to paradise....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012

Dear Trip advisor friends,

As I always write in my reviews, we are a couple in their early 30's and that want to be quiet and peaceful in our trips. We both work in high stressed jobs and want to get away from it all.

After three days spent in Panama city we drove to David to spend one night before heading up to Casa Selva Del Mar. We drove to meet Izzy at a private dock with arrangements made easy by Susan (Izzy and Susan both owner of the property).

We were greeted by Izzy at the dock with his boat and parking arrangements for our car had already been made. Once that was done we loaded our groceries in the boat towards the villa.

WOW!!!!!! WOW!!!! & RE-WOW!!!!

We have both traveled extensively and are quite used to renting places all over the world but Casa Selva Del Mar has a unique charm. Situated right across the town of Almirante and west of the main island of Bocas Del Toro this place is paradise....

Have you ever thought that Tom Hanks would have been in paradise in the movie Cast Away only if he had electricity, food, loved ones and a way to come and go..... This is the place where you will be charmed by a Cast Away feel but in 5-star accommodations.

From beginning to end we couldn't stop wondering how this place was possible... Solar power, water from the sky, and yet paradise every day.... Reading, cooking, watching DVD'S (thank you Susan) and if you want adventure in front of the villa; Sea Kayaks, Snorkeling in the reef, shopping in Bocas and more....


Really TripAdvisor friends..... This place is paradise..... If you want to party and be wild.... NO.

If you are a people who want a great retreat away from it all and be fascinated by the jungle, the sea and more while being in a 5-star house...... GO!!!!

The hosts are wonderful and we will definitely be back!!!!


I write this and it's been three weeks we've been back,,,,, It took me 3 weeks to get back in a city mode..... HAHAHAHA!

THank you Izzy & Susan!!!

David & Julie

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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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28 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 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
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cookeville, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

I have to second what other reviewers have said. Susan and Izzy have created a wonderful place by the sea. We truly marveled at what it took to build what they have on an island with no infrastructure. We loved every minute and could certainly have stayed longer. They are wonderful hosts. One or our favorite memories is of Izzy and Susan taking us and the guests from the other villa by boat on Sunday to a restaurant - only accessable by boat - for lunch. The place was packed - the food was great - and it was a really fun time. If you like to kick back, snorkel, kayak, fish and photograph, this is your kind of place.

  • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2012

We've never stayed anywhere quite like this place, with a large villa on the edge of the jungle overlooking palm-fringed waters, packed with amenities - full kitchen, large bedroom, hammocks on the balcony, TV and DVD player, free access to kayaks and snorkel gear to explore the reefs close to shore. Susan and Izzy did us a delicious and great value meal for our first night and were fun and friendly hosts, pointing out wildlife, helping us with the kayaks and Izzy even took us out on his sailboat for a few hours of relaxation and snorkeling! Just be aware that if you want to go to Bocas town you need to give your hosts plenty of warning as the only way back to the main island is in their boat (we thought we could get a water taxi but apparently it would have cost us hundreds of dollars). On arrival they'll take you to a great little deli so stock up on enough treats to see you through your stay and then just chill out and enjoy the island lifestyle!

  • Stayed September 2011, 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.
Georgia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2011

This is an awesome, relaxing and comfortable place to stay. Susan and Izzy have attended to every detail to create a perfect Villa overlooking the sea. Prior to arrival Susan sent a very informative and helpful email about what to bring, how to get to Almirante, where to safely park the car, etc. Her advice to bring bills no higher that 20.00 was especially helpful throughout our trip. Besides snorkeling Izzy took us out on his sail boat which made for a serene afternoon. Susan cooked both of our evening meals, each was delicious and generous. There is a lap top in the room. The well equipped kitchen had breakfast things; fresh fruit, juices, milk, banana bread, granola...everything that we could possibly need. This is a spot I can imagine returning to someday for a much longer stay. We could have taken a boat over to Bocas town for 'more action' but we were looking for quiet and peace which Casa Selva del Mar has in abundance. Thanks for a wonderful stay.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2011

My spouse, my mother and myself spent 2 nights and 3 days at this beautiful location. Wonderful ocean views from all rooms. The rooms were well appointed and spacious. The queen size bed was super comfortable and the netting around the bed was very cozy and romantic.
Continental breakfast was provided, yogurt, cereal, fresh tropical fruits, several fruit juices, bread, butter, jam, milk, coffee and tea. Fully stocked kitchen.
The bathroom was very spacious with double sinks.
Wonderful breezes and ocean views. Access to the water. Beautiful reef directly in front of the dock. Wonderfully warm water and almost total seclusion.
Owners very friendly and helpful. Susan and Izzy provided a lovely meal on our second night there. Beautiful table settings and wonderful conversation.
Our hosts took us sailing and we spent many ours just swimming and snorkeling in the calm ocean.

  • Stayed May 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.
Los Molinos Boquete
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2011

What a beautiful island, totally away from the hussle and off by yourself. If you want a place to really get away this is it! Susan and Izzy are very hospitable, picking you up in their boat to whisk you away to their paradise. There are water sports, swimming, FOX news, movies, and anything you could want to relax on the beautiful Caribbean, yet no one else on the entire island, except for Susan and Izzy. Breakfast is more than you could imagine with fresh fruits, breads, yogurt, cereal, milk, coffee, juice, etc. right in your own "casita". The only drawback we found was no air conditioning, but lots of ceiling fans. We did get a little warm, but for you people from up north, warm is always wonderful!

  • Stayed May 2011, 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.
San Francisco, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2011

Casa Selva del Mar was just right for us as we wanted to be out of the fray but near enough to interesting things to do.

It's even better than the website suggests!

Izzie and Susan have created beautiful, relaxing and comfortable villas away from it all but with all of the necessities. They were very accommodating, yet we had plenty of privacy. The villa was clean, the morning muffins were yummy and the surroundings very high quality with every attention to detail.

They picked us up at the airport, we went shopping for groceries ,and hopped on their boat to head over to Cristobal Island. As we approached their place, I knew we had made the right choice.

We had dinner prepared by them the first night which was excellent and we cooked our groceries, happily in our villa on other evenings. The kitchens were well stocked with everything needed.

The beds were comfortable, the fans cooling and the TV and Internet were a lovely way of touching base while still removed from the bustle of home. The hammocks on the Lanai were a favorite place to read.

They arranged two excursions for us which were excellent. One to a chocolate farm and great restaurant and another snorkeling and to Dolphin Bay Hideaway and Red Frog Beach. We felt we saw a lot and from the best vantage point as the water taxi and tours were pre screened. Anything we needed they were very helpful with and we enjoyed their company.

Bonus: We saw a sloth behind the villa happily chilling in the crotch of a tree.

This is highly recommended for people who want to be quiet in a beautiful setting. If you like a party atmosphere this is not right for you. If you want to feel quietly away from it all but with knowledgeable access to all that Boca has to offer this place is worth considering.

Room Tip: Both villas are excellent.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Casa Selva del Mar

Address: Frente Mar (On the Water) | Isla Cristobal, Isla San Cristobal, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla San Cristobal
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty lodging in Isla San Cristobal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A private villa bed-and-breakfast on a rainforested island overlooking the sea. Located on Isla San Cristobal in the Bocas del Toro archipelago of Panama, 15 minutes from Bocas Town by boat. Two 1-bedroom solar-powered villas each with kitchen, luxurious furnishings, satellite TV, wireless internet. Each perfect for a couple, but can sleep up to 4. Coral reef 150 feet from shore, free use of snorkels, fins, kayaks. Owner lives on site nearby, service 24/7. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Selva Del Mar Panama/Bocas Del Toro - Isla San Cristobal

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