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“2 weeks of bliss” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Casa Selva del Mar

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Casa Selva del Mar
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Frente Mar (On the Water) | Isla Cristobal, Isla San Cristobal, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Lac La Biche, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“2 weeks of bliss”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

Nov.1 - 15 - My wife and I were at Selva Del Mar for two weeks - we had a great time during our stay and were able to explore the area via kayak,snorkel, hike and fish. The breakfasts provided were very generous and delicious (especially susans banana bread and muffins). We cooked most of our other meals in our great kitchen and shopped in Bocas when Izzy and Susan (our great hosts) went into town. There was a warm welcome feel to the place and the staff of Sonia and Jose made it great by answering our many questions and encouraging our sad attempts at spanish.This is a not a place to go if you like an all inclusive /AC environment but if you want to relax, see some great wildlife, and have an adventure a little off the beaten path then this is the place to go.

  • Stayed November 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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30 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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
Boquete, Panama
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

Two girlfriends and I drove from Boquete to Almirante last week, where we were met by Izzy for the short boat ride to Isla Cristobal and Casa Selva del Mar. From beginning to end, we thoroughly enjoyed our tranquil, homey three-day stay. The accommodations were comfortable, the villas well-equipped with everything we needed. The breakfasts of fruit, juice, yogurt, cereal, and homebaked goodies were welcoming and filling, and the three dinners we enjoyed with Susan and Izzy were delicious. They warm, friendly, and stimulating hosts, whose friendship we will treasure. We took jungle walks, swam off the dock, snorkled the nearby reef, and relaxed on the spacious porch and deck of our villa. All in all, it was a perfect getaway.

  • Stayed October 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cookeville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 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
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Bristol, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 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
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Georgia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 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
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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 2
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 2 Specialty Lodging in Isla San Cristobal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 2
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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