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“Great place to stay” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hostal Refugio del Rio

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Hostal Refugio del Rio
Ave. B Oeste, Boquete, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Great place to stay”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013

My two teenage kids and I stayed here for a week. Absolutely wonderful staff and owner who go out of their way to be friendly and helpful. The staff work hard to foster a friendly, comfortable, and engaging place for guests to gather and meet. They even offer communal dinners a couple of times a week that are very tasty and affordable. Staff can arrange tours and transportation that is frequently cheaper and more convenient then other places offer.

The public space is lovely, with a large, well equipped kitchen, spacious dining area with large table that easily seats 10, comfy indoor lounge with couches, flat screen tv, computers, games and information. There is frequently free food from the garden and other guests. The outdoor area has a garden, covered area with rocking chairs, and table, and a bar area, a powerful jacuzzi, hammocks and a babbling river running through it.

There are private rooms with private bathrooms in addition to dorm rooms that are more like hotel rooms then hostels. We stayed in the Colibri which had two enormous walls of windows looking out at the river and garden, a queen bed, a king bed and a twin bed with private bathroom and tv. We enjoyed the common areas so much I never sat and watched tv in the room in the week we were there. The only down side in the room was that the twin bed mattress was hard as a rock and uncomfortable, but I was so happy at the hostel that I didn't care. The other mattresses were much more comfortable, but were on the floor because the frames had broken and had not yet been replaced. I'm sure they will be replaced soon because the owner clearly takes pride in his property and works hard to maintain it and upgrades were in progress while we there (new fridge and stove, etc.)

The rooms and public areas are kept very clean. The communal areas can be lively, but even our room right off the lounge was never too noisy to relax or sleep in and guests were respectful of not making noise after 11 pm. The wifi didn't work very well in our room, but did work better in the communal area, although it was inconsistent. However, we found this to be true of every place we stayed in Panama and more the fault of wifi service in general then the hostel.

The location is great, close enough to be literally a three minute walk to the center of town but off a side street so there is little noise. They even drove us and our luggage the 2 blocks to the bus when I was having trouble with my knees. There are great places to eat such as cafe and cacao and sugar and spice only a couple of blocks away. Always felt safe walking to and from the hostel.

We were three weeks in Panama and stayed at four other hotels that were all at least 3-4 star with pools (and no other hostels) and my kids say hands down this was their favorite place to stay in all of Panama. Overall, we really loved this place and I recommend it not just for the typical backpacker looking for a cheap place to stay, but for families, and other older travelers as well.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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301 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 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
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013 via mobile

I absolutely loved this hostel. I was very impressed by the friendliness of the staff, the beauty of the location, and the state of relaxation I achieved there. Meant to stay two days, ended up staying eight!

The dorm room has plenty of space, although not quite enough bathroom availability for all. The private rooms are awesome! Ask for the riverfront cabin.

The hot tub wasn't too bad either!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013 via mobile

I stayed in a private room, so can't comment on the dorms, but this place is more than your average hostel. Beautiful grounds on the river, attentive staff, 3 minute walk to downtown make this place the best budget option in Boquete. Less of a party scene than some other hostels, but this is the place to be during their Thursday night BBQs! This is one of the places you will likely spend more time than planned!

Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013 via mobile

This hostel was simply amazing. Looks incredible, like a hotel. The rooms are great, kitchen is nice, got nice jacuzzi.
The staff was very nice and helpful.
Paid 33$ for an amazing room with bathroom (hot water) and TV.
They had a nice BBQ night when we were there and the food was good.
The Internet though barely works.
This hostel was amazing, would recommend staying there as much as possible! But stay away from the "treehouse" room, it's lovely and looks good but you'll get ridiculous noise from the river.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013 via mobile

We made a reservion for the hostel and we liked the price (33 dolars for a private room). When we saw the hostel we were surprised, the hostel looks like hotel. The location is amazing, on the river. We got the "treehouse" - room on the river thats made of wood. The staff is very nice and helpful. The kitchen is big and full of tools. Everthing is clean and cozy! Go there, you won't disapointed!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Littleton, Colorado, United States
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2013

This is hands down the nicest hostel I have ever stayed in. The area by the river is so peaceful and the hot tub is great. The rooms are clean, cosy, and comfortable. The kitchen is clean and really well stocked with everything that you need. The owners and staff are very nice and will fix anything that is not working. The veggie buffets on tuesday are amazing.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 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.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2013

This hostel is located just next to to a little river. Arriving in boquete by bus you have to walk down the road in the direction of David. Right before the gas station you take a right and pass a bridge after 100 meters. Take a right again after passing and you will shortly walk into the hostel.

The hostel itself is really beautiful, clean and a friendly vibe going. There are large common areas and a well equipped kitchen. It has a jacuzi out at the river! :)

The staff is really nice and has been a blast to hang out with them.

I highly suggest staying at this hostel as it has been the highlight of my trip so far.

11$ for a dorm bed are a steal for this location.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Hostal Refugio del Rio

Address: Ave. B Oeste, Boquete, Panama
Location: Panama > Chiriqui Province > Boquete
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 37 Specialty Lodging in Boquete
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Known in town as the “luxurious” hostel for backpackers, you are always surprised to discover that such a beautiful house has been transformed into a hostel. Our place has been carefully furnished and decorated and also has 9 private all of which have private bathrooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostal Refugio Del Rio Hotel Boquete

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