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“A nice hostel at a great rate” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Luna's Castle Hostel

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Luna's Castle Hostel
Calle 9 | Casco Viejo, Panama City 328, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
San Francisco, California
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“A nice hostel at a great rate”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2011

This is a great deal for accommodations in Panama City. The room was only $13 and included breakfast and internet access (I am not sure it classifies as high speed in the US but it was good for Panama). The staff there were very helpful in setting up tours and visits to local attractions and had extensive knowledge of the local restaurant scene.

The guests here were a little cliquey but it was still possible to meet friends and people to do things with.

If I came back to Panama on a budget, I would definitely return here.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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236 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2011

I have traveled to Panama twice in the past year (Jun 2010 and April 2011). On both trips I had the pleasure of spending some time at Luna's Castle in the Cosco Viejo section of Panama City. It was without a doubt one of the very best hostel experiences I have ever had. Everything from the obvious attention to cleanliness to the well trained and enthusiastic staff, to the complimentary pancake breakfasts, to the extraordinary view and vibe, made Luna's an exceptionally unique and wonderful experience. The Relic bar, on the ground floor of Luna's Castle, made a fabulous stay even better. We had the opportunity to mingle with locals and tourists alike, for a little nightlife, Panamanian style. To anyone traveling to Panama City, I would urge you not to miss this pearl of Panama. It is not just a place to stay. In my view, it is a destination. Neal Gordon- Sherman Oaks, CA.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2011

This is actually a pretty sweet spot. Make no mistake: its a hostel, and for sure, its not a 5-star hotel. But its affordable, with plenty of space and lots of free commodities: free pancakes, coffee and ice water, a movie theater with 3 daily movies, free wi-fi and computers. The rooms are 10-13$US, with high ceilings, tall bunks to give you some privacy and high-powered fans that drown out any noise and ensure you sleep well. The bathrooms have soap and hot water, and are regularly cleaned. There is almost never a wait.

The staff are really great. They all speak English and Spanish fluently, and are very knowledgeable. They will give you the inside tips on where to go and what to see on whatever your budget / time constraints are. When I only had 4 hours to visit the Canal, Caroline told me where to go (Escondida Miraflores) and how much to pay ($7 cab). Not only did I make it with enough time to see everything, I didn't get ripped off by the first cabbie who wanted $18.

The location is amazing too. Located in the historic part of town (Casco Viejo), you're literally steps away from the presidential palace, several museums, beautiful plazas and sweeping views of the city skyline. Make sure you spend a half-day walking around this area, you won't be disappointed. And don't forget your camera. The fish market is also just a 2-3 minute walk away, where you can buy fresh fish (the restaurant upstairs will cook it any style you want) and some of the best ceviche I've ever had. Seriously, this is an excellent food experience.

The bar downstairs (Relic) is pretty cool, air conditioning and DJ inside, also plenty of seating and mingling outside. You will see both locals and travelers there, pretty much every night. I would also recommend Ron Abuelo, the local rum. Its famous, and for a good reason.

Lastly, there is the atmosphere. If you are an avid traveler who likes to meet other fellow travelers with their stories and experiences, this will be perfect. I met people from Israel, Germany, Costa Rica, the US and of course Panama here. Everybody had an amazing attitude; kind, sharing people who seek out their happiness by visiting new places and living out new experiences. I made some great friends there. I should also mention that the staff are fun to hang out with as well. On my last night there, one of the staff (Tony) invited me and some other travelers to a local bar for karaoke. It turned out to be the best night of my whole trip.

Hope to go back again soon!

Room Tip: Try to reserve early, rooms in front have a view
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2011 via mobile

I have stayed in hostels all over the world and have never been to such an awful place. You will not be able to sleep here. It's full of drunken morons, staff who keep the music playing until 4am and inconsiderate guests screaming like animals. If you have a shred of sense avoid this place like the plague. If you are a drunken frat boy with not a single brain cell come along and join the circus

  • Stayed April 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rehovot, Israel
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2011

the hostel was pretty clean. they charge 13$ for a dorm. it's located in a great location, right next to the presidential palace...
they have free wi-fi, and breakfast(pancakes). also there is a really cool bar located under the hostel(Relic's Bar) and they have a happy hour(all drinks at 0.50$)
the staff was o.k. also the hostel can arrange trips to San Blas islands(highly recommended) and boats to Colombia and more...

Stayed January 2011, traveled solo
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Miami Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2011

I have travelled all over the world and generally feel safe where I am but unfortunately I did not feel safe in the location where Luna's is. Had this hostel been in a different neighborhood I may have given it a higher rating. The actual hostel set-up itself is pretty cool. They make good use of the space and most people I met there were pretty chill and friendly. The movie room is pretty awesome too. Being near Casco Viejo was awesome but the other surrounding area was pretty sketchy and gross. If you are a female traveling alone, I would recommend staying in a different location.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Coloma, California
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2011

this place sucked for sleep. pancake thin mattress, super hot rooms, people going up and down the creaky stairs, people going in and out of the dorm, the bar next door w a thumping baseline. i dont think i slept more than 3 hrs.

but it is a cool looking place, lots of good art, pancakes, good staff.

that said i wish i would have stayed at mamallena again w AC and more quiet atmosphere.

i would not recommend this place for sleep, but for mtg cool nice people yes

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 Luna's Castle Hostel

Address: Calle 9 | Casco Viejo, Panama City 328, Panama
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 69 Specialty lodging in Panama City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in a Spanish colonial mansion built upon the water’s edge. Luna’s Castle Hostel attracts those who seek the ideal Panama City backpacking experience. Following Captain Morgan’s plunder of Panama Vieja in 1671, stones from the ruins were used to construct the massive walls of Casco Viejo. Luna’s Castle, built in 1905, rests upon these original city walls. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Luna`s Castle Hotel Panama City
Luna's Castle Hostel Panama/Panama City

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