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“wonderful place” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Yandup Island Lodge

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Yandup Island Lodge
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3.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Playon Chico | Kuna Yala, 0838, Panama   |  
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“wonderful place”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2011

I stayed one night at the Yandup Lodge in a cabana over the water. The cabana was very spacious and cool with lots of breezes from the ocean. The room was clean with hot showers, electricity and clean linens. The huge balcony had beautiful views of the ocean and the nearby islands. There was no TV or airconditioning, but these were not needed because it is cool at night and it so peaceful and beautiful and relaxing to read or lounge in the balcony or the beach.

The staff was very nice and professional. The food was okay, but defintiely not bad. Meals were sufficient. The owner was also a very friendly nice older man and interesting to talk to.

I enjoyed visiting the indigenous village in Playon Chico island. The snorkeling on the beach at Yandup was also good. I would recommend this hotel and stay there again. The people are very pleasant and provide good service.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled solo
    • 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
    • 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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271 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 (51)
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
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English first
Cincinnati, Ohio
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2011

What a perfect stay in paradise!
The service was impeccable- the Kuna are very warm and generous people and this was directly reflected in the service at the lodge. The meals were wonderful and beautifully presented. Fresh fish, clams, lobster, and shrimp were served in a variety of fashions. The fruit was the best I've ever had! One must like seafood & not be a picky eater, however. Also, do not expect foo-foo umbrella drinks- beer ($2), wine ($12/bottle), and rum & coke are your alcohol options. I truly enjoyed the fact that all of the lodge guests came together for meals.
The room was unbeatable. Though authentic and rustic in appearance, the cabanas are extremely comfortable. Fans, lights, a shower, and flush toilet are provided. We found showering in the afternoon made the lack of heated water a non-issue. The beds were extremely comfortable and mosquito netting is provided. The setting is absolutely amazing with the wrap-around porch and hammocks. Even the gorgeous pictures on this site do not do it justice.
You are on an island. Bring what you need. The trip to the village is extremely interesting and colorful, but do not expect to pick up any necessities 'in town.' The tours are simple, but great. The day is perfectly paced- a trip to a beach in the morning (9:00/9:30-ish), return to the lodge for lunch, relax (with a Balboa beer), second tour at 4:00 to return for dinner. At tour & meal times you are summond by conch. The guest at the lodge set the evening atmosphere. Some nights were quiet, with people retiring to their cabanas shortly after dinner. Others, we sat around and talked until late. You will find the other travelers to be very interesting people.
This is not something everyone gets to do! (and is not necessarily for everyone.) It is a very special experience. A once in a life-timer! The warmth of the sun and the beauty of the beaches are only surpassed by the warmth and beauty of the Kuna people.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silex
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2011

Last week we spent 2 nights here and hated having to leave. The staff were so friendly and helpful, especially Louisio and Jocelyn. They picked us up at the airport in Playon Chico and took us by boat to the island. We had reserved one of the bungalows over the water, which turned out to be so comfortable and relaxing. One day, when I wasn't feeling well, the chef made me fresh lemon grass tea to take with me to the bungalow. Although the meals are preset, they offer options if you're not feeling well or are allergic to certain foods. I had read on this site that they meals are skimpy. Well, that is not the case! They served eggs, toast, bacon and juice for breakfast; soup or salad, main dish, vegetables and fruit for lunch and again for dinner. The portions were almost more than you could eat and very tasty. The only negative thing was that we were not impressed with the area where we went snorkeling. But, this would not keep me from returning. They took us on a farm tour, mangrove tour and a visit to the village in Playon Chico where we were able to purchase beautiful Molas.If you're looking for a romantic, or quiet and relaxing island - this is the place!

  • Stayed March 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.
Winnipeg, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2011

my only regret is that my wife and i only statyed for 2 nights. We are determined to go back to Panama next year and it will include a 4 or 5 night repeat of Yandup. being "prairie people" makes the location as exotic as you can get. The host grou[p was very accomodating and the Kuna people are wonderful. This experience is one of the best i (we) have ever had. I cannot understand how some people could complain and not be satisfied. To those few who were expecting something diffrerent i say "stay at your all inclusive Cancun resorts"....See you next January Yandup!!

Johnny Rocker

  • Stayed January 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lima, Peru
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2011

We spent five nights at Yandup (couple and twins of 6), including New Years' Eve. We have had the most wonderful and relaxing time, sharing with people from the community and enjoying the sea and the breeze (noisy at night!). Accomodation was good, clean and airy; food was honest, although portions are normally small. The hotel owners and staff, nice and friendly, especially with our daugthers, queens of the island. Good snorkelling close to the coral reef, as well. What we enjoyed the most was the contact with the Kuna people, adults and children. We have already recommended Yandup to friends and will continue to to so. Muchísimas gracias por todo, amigos y amigas de Yandup, y especialmente por lo bien que lo pasaron Ella y Zoe (un saludo especial para Jocelyn).

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2011

We stayed here four four nights and really enjoyed our time. The staff there were very friendly and made us fee welcome through out our stay. The food was simple but very good fresh sea food for lunch and dinner and eggs with toast for breakfast. I have noticed a few reviews that mention there was not enough food which I didn't feel was the case & I eat a lot. The aslo staff made it clear through out the stay that if we had not had enough to eat at meal times we were welcome to ask for more. The only issue I had was that it is not possible to snack between meals as I usually do so it may be a good idea to take a few things with you.

The weather was not great when we were there so we didn't go on all the excursions that were on offer but it was still nice just to relax in total peace and quiet on the balcony of the hut and just disconnect from the out side world. When the sun did break through it really showed the islands in their true light which was stunning!!!!

One final point, we made a mistake with the booking and checked out a night earlier than expected which was kindley refunded to us.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, BC
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2011

I recently spent 4 nights at Yundup with 3 other friends. The staff was very hospitable and helpful. Our bungalow over the water was clean & rustic.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Yandup Island Lodge

Address: Playon Chico | Kuna Yala, 0838, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Guna Yala Region > San Blas Islands
Amenities:
Beach Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 17 Specialty Lodging in San Blas Islands
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Yandup Island Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yandup Island Lodge is the perfect getaway in the Caribbean of the Kuna Indians, in the San Blas Archipelago. Perfect place to relax in a hammock, enjoy the sea breeze and the sound of the waves and birds. In this private island with coconut palms, surrounded by coral reefs and a small beach you will be treated as kings and queens in one of our six lovely and comfortable cabins in front of the sea. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Yandup Island Hotel San Blas Islands

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