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“For young people who want to party” 3 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
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“For young people who want to party”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here in April for 2 nights. Wasn't really sold on staying here but there isn't much choice for budget backpackers in Casco Viejo. Room (private) was okay, common areas and bathrooms were relatively clean, and staff were helpful. Seemed like most other guests were there to get drunk (expect late night partying) and spent much of the following days moping about the hostel. Overall, fine for 2 nights but wouldn't want to stay any longer.,

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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
Lausanne, Switzerland
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013

The place to be when you're in Panamy city, especially if you are backpacking! They let you check in whatever time you are arriving; and if the room is not available, you can still stay an enjoy the commodities.

Located in the old part of the city, the neighborhood is very safe and calm.

The hostal is clean, has all the amenities you dream of for an hostel. Staff is young and very helpful. It helps you organizing your trip to the San Blas island, and is full of information (bars, clubs, excursions...)

Breakfast (pancake, coffee) is available and unlimited; same for the water (convenient when you dont want to use tap water). There is also a bar and a small and friendly dj/ dancing area, plus a movie theater!

They also offer laundry service for 5usd; a luxury when you're backpacking!

I definitely recommend the palce, whether you're staying one or more nights!

  • Stayed May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 30, 2013

...is a hub of traveler/local partying. Luna's is pretty massive, and for a building that does indeed feel a bit like a castle, with many stories and balconies overlooking all of urban downtown Panama City, the ocean, and the antiquated Casco Viejo, it can feel quite like you're lounging in the breeze surveying your kingdom. The dungeon bar also helps.

Panama City is at its roots a crossroads, and Luna's does feel a bit like a port. As far as hostels go it's on the bigger side, and it's always bustling and often manic. People are booking boats to Colombia, coming off boats from Colombia, catching international flights back to Europe, and domestic buses to the beach. The kitchen is always 1000 degrees and knots of new found friends are cranking out all kinds of concoctions all hours of the day and night.

The happy hours at the beer case in the hostel common room and the bar downstairs make Luna's a true watering hole. Since the Casco is the go-to going out zone for swanky locals, on weekend late nights there are just as many bearded backpackers as Panamanian 20something girls in heels at the (beautiful) courtyard of the hostel's downstairs Relic Bar.

By any standards Luna's is clean, and given its size and sheer volume of occupants, this is no small feat. The $13 for a dorm bed is fair given the prime location at the entrance to the city's prettiest and most walkable neighborhood (and walking distance from the Mercado de Mariscos, home to the world's best ceviches). The degrading factors to sleep quality are the heat and the noise. If you happen to get a bed near one of the industrial fans you might be able to sleep covered only in a small pool of sweat, but if you're away from a direct air flow it's pretty stifling. The vivaciousness of the neighborhood (and the hostel itself, and the outdoor bar courtyard that one side of the hostel's rooms faces, and the incessant taxi noise of the street the other half of the rooms face) can seem intoxicating at first, but can get old if you want to get some sleep before your early day. You'll sleep best at Luna's if you've taken full advantage of those 50 cent beers and dollar cocktails.

And then you can feed your hangover with PANCAKES!!! A vat of batter and a sweltering griddle await you every morning. If you want to be culinary you can add bananas. "Breakfast" does go til noon, and several days I took advantage of free 'cakes for TWO meals. They also keep the coffee coming, which you'll need to deal with the fact that you're surrounded by so many people all the time.

Not the best place for skype calls home, but an excellent place to meet new people to split a cab to the Canal or venture out to booze at another neighborhood bar.

Luna's has its quirks (like that you're supposed to wear a yellow wristband at all times, contributing to the sensation that you might actually be inside some sort of amusement part or rave rather than a mere hostel and that there's a "movie theater" with a bunch of cushioned bleachers that people crash on when all the real beds are sold), but it also sells the best damn pulled pork sandwiches all night long for only $3.

Luna's can become the Island of the Lotus eaters if you're not careful, and you might loose a few days of your trip (life?) there, but the place is beautiful and filled with art, the staff is cool, the sheets are clean, and the massive wooden dining room table (watch out for the wobbly/seatless chairs!) is the perfect place to swap travel tales.

Room Tip: I liked being in a dorm with street facing balconies on the upper floors...felt bad for the people i...
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

Luna's castle is one of those hostels everyone talks about. And I know why, it's a very vibrant and cool place in de old town (caso viejo). You have an amazing view over the new part, skyline. And you are near all the good restaurants and bars. Furthermore, rooms a clean and downstairs is a bar and and outside terrace where you can have a party until about 3 am. Don't forget you earplugs if you have a room downstairs, otherwise you are more than ok.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 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
    • 3 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.
San Jerónimo, Masaya, Nicaragua
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2013 via mobile

I loved the location of Luna's... But staying there kind of stressed me out. Trying to set up anything with the front desk was a nightmare as they were constantly swamped with people and were sometimes rude due to the stress. While its a cool atmosphere and location, I'm not sure I would stay here again.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

For a private triple room with NO windows, no sink, no toilet...just two beds (one single, one double stacked as bunkbeds), they get away with charging $39. For that, you could probably get a hotel room and have much more comfort. The room was VERY hot. The last night, we had to move to the dorm for some sort of circulation.

Now, positives: breakfast was pancakes and bananas (yummy and cheap for them), free coffee, helpful staff, great book selection, decent wifi, fantastic happy hour, great location.

I would recommend this, but I think it is way to pricey (as are all the hostels in Panama City).

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Prague
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

This is one of the best backpacker hostels I have been so far with great laidback atmosphere, friendly and helpful staff, great and safe location in Casco Viejo in real colonial mansion. I arrived at wee hours and was heartily welcomed and was let to sleep on the on sofa to rest a bit and than invited to have self made pancakes and coffee. I was lucky to book the A/C dorm which was windowless which was great as on the main road they currently run complete renovation of the road and we were not disturb as the people in rooms with window. I strongly recommend to you to spend 2$ dollars and stay in A/C room. And it can be really noisy but this is not the hostel fault. The rooms, toilets, bathrooms, kitchen and common rooms are clean. I also appreciate the safe boxes by the reception; just bring your own lock. The hostel offer cheap taxi to the airport for 20$ but it is not problem to share the taxi wit other travelers so you can share the costs. There is vibrant bar with dirty cheap beer during happy hours from 9 -10 PM for 0,50$ or 1$ for the mixed drink. This is the hostel which you will remember for long time and where you feel at home

I have to negative comments in the evening the kitchen is too busy, as the cleaning ladies and staff are busy preparing their food and the internet on PC/WIFI is to sloooow!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 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.

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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 #15 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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Luna`s Castle Hotel Panama City
Luna's Castle Hostel Panama/Panama City

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