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“Pleasantly surprised!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hostal Refugio del Rio

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Hostal Refugio del Rio
Ave. B Oeste, Boquete, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Phoenix, Arizona
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Pleasantly surprised!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2014

Having never stayed in a hostel before, I was hesitant to try Refugio but decided to take a risk based on all the great reviews. We stayed for 4 nights over Thanksgiving week and I must say that I was surprised at how much I liked the place. We had 2 rooms, each with their own private bath. Our room was down on the river front and it was amazing as far as location goes. I loved sitting out on the private deck and listening to the sounds of the river. The room itself was sparse but adequate. I wish they had a few more places to either hang your things or counter space to sit things on but the small sofa like table did do the trick. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise as the room stayed pretty neat without a lot of places to stack stuff.

The bed was comfortable, I think it was a double as it didn't feel big enough to be a queen. I slept very well although I would have preferred a bed with a mattress pad as I don't really like sleeping on just sheets as they usually come off and then you are sleeping directly on the mattress which is what happened several nights. Even so, we still slept very well. My only other nit pick and this is probably just us, I like to sleep with more than 1 pillow and the 1 pillow we each had was very flat. I'll probably just stop at Conway in David the next time before we arrive and pick up a couple of pillows.

Our room did not have very good water pressure in the shower either. But the shower itself was quite pretty and if we would have showered at a time other than the most popular times - in the AM - it may have been better. Our daughter had a private room in the main house and she said her pressure was excellent. So next time we stay, we will still pick a river front room but then just shower in our daughter's room.

So as you can see, I had several things i disliked but in the end I overcame those hindrances as I felt that the pros far outweighed the cons. Also, we did spend time in the hot tub which we agree with everyone else is great. And yes, they do clean it every day so it is spotless. The wifi did not work for us in the rooms however, it worked great down in the common area and that gave us a chance to get out and meet some of the other guests.

The location of the Refugio is excellent as it is within walking distance of downtown Boquete. If you are not an early riser and it's during the school year, be aware that the school is right across the river and you definitely can hear them as they start their day. We are early risers so we were not bothered. Our late sleeping teenager who stayed in the main house did not hear them at all.

In conclusion, we will definitely return (we are in Boquete at least 1 to 2 times a year) and the value for what you get is amazing.

Room Tip: The 4 rooms along the river seem more private. The 2 closest to the main building have smaller outd...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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301 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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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
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English first
sucre
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2013

Im working in tourism and been in many hostels around the world but Refugio Rio is one thats high on my list.
The location is GREAT, relax, prices are good and the staff is really helpful.
If your looking for a good hostel with a hot Jacuzzi? go here!

Room Tip: The private bungalows are really nice.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 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.
Cardiff, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2013

Lovely hostel, very clean and spacious rooms. The staff were really helpful as well. We really enjoyed the Jacuzzi outside by the river. Went out in it in the rain too which was fun! Lot's of good things to do around Boquete too!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
San Diego, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2013

Refugio del Rio (Refuge by the River) is a great hotel/hostel. The best part is the hot tub that overlooks the little river. We stayed in a private room with en suite bath, and thoroughly enjoyed hearing the sounds of the river. This hotel is very reasonably priced and is in easy walking distance into the town of Boquete. There are also nearby Panamanian restaurants. We would not hesitate to stay there again!

Room Tip: Try to get one of the rooms near the river.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2013

As far as hostels go, this place was really nice, stayed with my 9 year old and it had a good mix of independent travelers and a family friendly atmosphere. It has a common kitchen and a hot tub by the river and a sit out to connect with other travelers. We stayed in the private rooms so we don't know how the dorms are. Overall it is a good place with a bunch of friendly folks. There can be music from clubs nearby late into the night, but i am a sound sleeper so that didn't trouble me.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2013 via mobile

Can't beat the location right on the raging river and the whole property is a beautiful refuge. Views from the quad room were excellent and the service was too. Our only complaint was that the bathroom and carpet could have used a good scrubbing but for a hostal the over all value was very good. I would return just for the experience of sitting in the (impecably clean) hot tub over looking the river. The sound is glorious!

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Panama City, Panama
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

I spent 2 weeks in this wonderful hostal, and I can say that this is simply the best experience that I had during my journey in Panama. The hostal is super clean, the staff is extremely friendly and helpful, they assist you with whatever you need. The kitchen is really well equipped, you will find everything there. The tours that the place offers are really cool, should try some of those for sure. Make sure to spend some time in the jakuzzi (which is situated right next to the river) during your stay, you will not regret it. To sum up, if you love the nature, and you want to have a great experience in a super clean and super friendly place, do not go elsewhere!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • 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 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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