We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A delightful home” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Starfish Reef Resort

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Bocas del Toro Province
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Starfish Reef Resort
Save
You added Starfish Reef Resort to your Saves list
Starfish Reef | Shepherd Island, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Glencoe, IL
1 review
“A delightful home”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2012

Jack and Kelly have created a fabulous small group of villas, with ocean views, modern conveniences and plenty of room. This place has a wonderful mix of jungle, ocean access and just the right balance of solitude and community. The review by Bill P, below, put it well.

Our family of 6 was very comfortable in the three bedroom villa. The views from the balcony and porch are spectacular. Imagine waking up to the sound of birds, the view of the water below and tranquility. We love to cook, and the kitchen was remarkably well outfitted for its remote location.

We spent some days at home -- swimming and snorkeling off the dock, reading on the beach or on our porch, or making tasty meals (often incorporating what we could collect on the property, including bananas, mangos and coconuts). Some days, Kelly would arrange a boat driver for us for the day, who took us to Dolphin Bay, to Krawl Kay for lunch and snorkeling, to Zapatillos Cays for great beaches, to Red Frog Beach for body surfing, and into town.

Jack and Kelly could not have been more hospitable -- available to help, schlepping our groceries from the dock up to the house, or giving advice on local sites, but never intrusive.

We ended our time with a fire on the beach, a pot luck New Years Eve dinner and Kelly's Sangria. My only advice: don't wait until your last day to ask Jack to tell you some stories. Or maybe that requires a booking over New Years.

  • Stayed December 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

27 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    17
    8
    0
    2
    0
See reviews for
16
4
3
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 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 (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2011

The villas at Starfish reef are beautifully designed and built. The things that need to be "like home" are that. That is, the two washrooms in each villa are modern, large, clean and well laid out. In the kitchen, the appliances are top grade, with lots of cooking area. Small appliances like coffee makers and mixers are supplied. You do not have to worry about the basics.

The villas have a nice "local" flavor with lots of wood and tile, and the beds are comfortable (in the master bedroom, there is a queen size, with two single beds and a bunk in the second bedroom and a double bed on the main floor). The setting is beautiful, with the jungle coming up to the villas that are set up on the hill with breathtaking views of the ocean from the main floor balcony and the upper floor balcony. We founds bananas in the jungle, and the kids drank coconut milk that they picked from the trees. There is a beach were one can relax and the ocean is warm at all times of year for swimming. One night, the family was on the upper balcony, counting shooting stars with the sounds of jungle nightlife in the background. At night, you can sleep with the windows open and the sounds and smells of the jungle coming through the screens. It does not get better than that.

Jack and Kelly are wonderful. They cooked Christmas dinner for the families. Their natural warmth creates a really nice atmosphere. We met the other two families staying at the villas and this sense of small community added to the place. There are lots of day trips one can take to the different sights. However, this is the best place to call "home base".

Room Tip: All the villas are identical and offer good views.
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2011

This place is a nature lovers delight-just what the doctor ordered. The views are gorgeous, the sounds are bird and frog songs, you can put your fins on and start snorkeling right from the beach. The snorkeling is very colorful and there are a lot of fish. It was very relaxing and we had fresh papaya and bananas. We got to try the cacao beans which are very tasty. Our villa had great views from every room and it was quite spacious with comfortable beds.

Thanks Jack and Kelly for a wonderful vacation!

  • Stayed November 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mobile, Alabama
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2011

We enjoyed our stay with Jack and Kelly for 4 nights. The villas were nice and comfortable with a beautiful view. We enjoyed snorkeling and hanging out the 1st day and did a few tours with a guide the rest of the time. It is very relaxing, quiet, and remote. But it is quite a boat ride to make it anywhere. Would reccomend for relaxation and peaceful surrondings with good hosts. But not if you want to hang around the city.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
San Antonio, Texas
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2011

If you are looking for a place to get away from everything and everyone, this is the place to stay. Great place to enjoy a nice book, hearing the parrots flying by the island in the morning, pick up some fresh mangos and coconuts and go down to sit by the calm waters. However, if you are looking for some adventure, go to the beach or go party every night, take in count that all other islands are kind of far and you'll need a boat ride to get anywhere.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Winston Salem, North Carolina
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2011

We (4 of us) spent 3 days/nights at Starfish Reef Resort. The space was large and comfortable. Great quiet sleeping with comfortable beds. Nice bonus to have good snorkeling right off the beach in front of resort. It is quite a hike up to the resort so be prepared. Jack and Kelly were friendly and very helpful in answering questions and arranging transportation for our day trip to Crawl Cay.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Amelia Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2011

This was not my first visit to Starfish Reef so I anxiously awaited this trip. The weather was gorgeous with the exception of 1/2 day of rain. Jack and Kelly are incredible hosts who seem to think of everything right down to the basics like rum punch and bug spray! We went with other guests to a local restaurant, snorkeled their beautiful reef, had a beach party, ate a LOT of good meals made with fresh local food. If you want to get away from it all in a tranquil environment this is the place to go. The flora and fauna (not to mention waterfall) abound. you can bird watch, check out beautiful flowers all over the property or just swim all day. I did it all with a lot more time on the beach than anything else. If you are looking for malls or disco's then maybe it's not the place for you but it brought back my sanity after a stressful few months at home in the US working. Night life is playing games with others and having a good old fashioned party. I will add beach party pictures shortly. (When someone shows me how to get them off my camera on to this site!)

  • Stayed February 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay
Hotels you might also like...
Travelers also viewed these Bocas del Toro Province hotels
0.0 mi away
Hotel Bocas del Toro
Hotel Bocas del Toro
#3 of 12 in Bocas Town
4.5 of 5 stars 276 reviews
0.0 mi away
Hotel Oasis
Hotel Oasis
#1 of 2 in Carenero Island
4.5 of 5 stars 169 reviews
0.0 mi away
Tropical Suites
Tropical Suites
#1 of 12 in Bocas Town
4.5 of 5 stars 305 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort
0.0 mi away
Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge
Punta Caracol Acqua Lodge
#6 of 22 in Isla Colon
4.0 of 5 stars 236 reviews
0.0 mi away
Koko Resort
Koko Resort
#2 of 22 in Isla Colon
4.5 of 5 stars 250 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Starfish Reef Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Starfish Reef Resort

Address: Starfish Reef | Shepherd Island, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province
Hotel Style:
Ranked #41 of 75 Specialty Lodging in Bocas del Toro Province
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Starfish Reef, a Small Caribbean Island Resort and beautiful bature retreat, claims beautiful ocean & mountain views from all 10 hillside Villa rooms, Jungle hiking trails in hill & valley topography, a colorful coral reef, a palm fringed white sand beach, and sand bar rimmed salt water swimming lagoon. All of this amidst a working Cacao (chocolate) plantation interspersed with many mango, coconut, papaya + trees. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Starfish Reef Hotel Bocas Del Toro Province

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Starfish Reef Resort, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.