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“Best combination ever: yoga and Bluff Beach Retreat!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Bluff Beach Retreat

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Bluff Beach Retreat
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Playa Bluff, Isla Colon, Panama   |  
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Guided Horseback Riding
Ranked #1 of 34 Isla Colon B&B and Inns
Panama
1 review
“Best combination ever: yoga and Bluff Beach Retreat!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2009

We had a wonderful vacation in Bluff Beach Retreat combined with an amazing yoga retreat! The accomodation was beautiful, surrounded by trees, flowers,sea, ... nature. Ron and Christine were the perfect hosts, we felt we were visiting family/friends. The yoga retreat was great, as Christine is a very good and experienced yoga instructor in Toronto. It was the perfect combination to be ONE with the universe. OM!

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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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166 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ohio
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2009

If you are looking for relaxation in a quiet,tropical paradise on a secluded beach then Bluff Retreat is highly recommended. From the moment we arrived Ron took care of everything for us and was an extremely gracious host. The house far exceeded our expectations and was perfect in every way,from the amazing woodwork and furnishings to the ever-smiling girls who helped to cook and clean. Cassius,the resident boxer and coconut chaser, is quite a character! The ride out to Bluff Beach is rough but 110% worth it! Best bet is to bring along a decent amount of food as there aren't many places close to eat,LaCarolina restaurant is great but a pretty good trek on foot or bike.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alaska
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2009

We had a very positive experience at Bluff Beach Retreat. It was more than we expected, a beautiful setting and accommodations, a gorgeous beach, great staff, and a friendly puppy. Ron is a great host. He drove us to restaurants, took us on a hike to show us his farm, loaned us bicycles and boggy boards. All in all, it was a wonderful experience. It is off the beaten track, which is what we like. If you are looking for q quiet place to get away from it all, I would highly recommend Bluff Beach Retreat.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Turrialba
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2009

Bluff Beach Retreat is the perfect place for those looking to escape to a tropical paradise! Located on the most picturesque beach in Bocas del Toro, this Bed and Breakfast offers a standard of luxury complimented by a feel-at-home atmosphere. My boyfriend and I visited Bluff beach in September 2009 and stayed 5 nights - we were originally going to stay 4 but extended our trip once we saw the place!
In a nut-shell, these are the reasons I would recommend Bluff Beach Retreat:

• Pristine beach, clean ocean-front and crystal waters
• Quiet and secluded
• Property surrounded by lush green forest and beautifully landscaped
• Wildlife (we saw a baby sloth with her mother and many birds on-site)
• Friendly owner and staff and lovable on-site dog Cassius
• Quality accommodations

Our stay at Bluff Beach Retreat was not our first visit to Bocas del Toro. We had visited Bocas del Toro in October 2008 and fell in love with the archipelago; the tropical marine landscape is a must-see. Our friends and I agreed that if the opportunity presented itself, we would always choose to go to Bocas del Toro over going to Puerto Viejo in Costa Rica (something for those who are travelling through Costa Rica to consider). The scenery is priceless and the experience unparalleled.

This time around, however, we decided we would not stay in town again as a) there is no beach front, b) the water is polluted/not swimmable and c) the hotels are mediocre and over-priced. Eating out is fairly pricey and is generally the only option when staying in town. At Bluff Beach, however, we were able to cook delicious, healthy meals while watching the sunset over the beach. Of course, eating out is also an option, but it may cost you a $30 taxi ride each way to and from town! While there is nice restaurant a couple kilometers from Bluff Beach Retreat, I wouldn’t recommend attempting to walk or bike back to Bluff Beach Retreat after dark.

We didn’t feel the need to do any organized tours while at Bluff Beach. We did go on the horseback riding tour offered by Bluff Beach Retreat which takes tourists to the secluded “piscina” (pool) – the serene water is a perfect place for a dip, especially when the water is rough at Bluff.

We also got a couple of the bikes at Bluff Beach Retreat in working order and took them into town (about 1 hour), rented sea kayaks from Aqua Sports and returned by bike later that afternoon. The bike ride is tiring under the beating sun but a nice way to get to know the area.

Bluff Beach Retreat is definitely the place to go if you want a sun-beach vacation! It is the perfect place to relax, to sleep peacefully and wake-up to the beautiful sound of the waves. Spend at least 4 nights and more if you can – there is so much to do and discover!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Austin, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2009

My wife and I went with my two teenage daughters (17 & 15), my 17 year old brought a friend and her boyfriend, my 15 year old brought one friend. In all My wife and I and 5 teenagers. Amazing place, beatiful beach and beatiful place. Ron and his crew were great hosts. My daughters wanted to spend one more night but we already reservations in Panama city for another function, otherwise we would definitely stayed another night.


We are definitely going back.

Art, Sandi, Ashley and Cristina
Austin, Texas

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
UK
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2009

One our best stays in Panama. You must come here. The location is outstanding, so unspoiled that a TV company was filming "Surivivor" near by when we stayed!

We stayed for 4 nights as part of our 10 day trip from the UK to Panama and our first time in Bocas del Toro. Our party consisted of myself with my 5 children, 3 in their 20s and the 10 year old twins who adored Ron's dog who is always around and ready to play. We had lots of space in the house with lovely rooms and high standard of accommodation - lovely to go somewhere where the standard of accommodation is as good as at home and we have space to relax.

Wifi worked very well which was essential for work purposes but we were here to relax and we certainly did. The beach is right by the house, one of the cleanest we have seen and with virtually no one on it, just what we wanted.

We enjoyed a morning on horseback and would also recommend the day outing to Bastimentos National Park by boat with snorkelling and then visit to a Cocoa farm.

The house is wonderful, very clean. The maid is there every morning to clean up. We chose to buy food and eat in and Ron our host helpfully took us to the supermarket on the way to the house but Ron will also take visitors to the local restaurants on request.

We would definitely recommend the house for a family holiday. The twins shared a bed room which had 3 single beds in it. Our son had one double bed in another room. My daughters had single beds in another room upstairs and I had the master bedroom - lovely double bed with my own en suite bathroom to myself upstairs off the living room. The children enjoyed watching the DVDs, playing with the boxer dog and of course playing in the surf.

It is very secluded and on a long drive from the town on a bumpy road but that is part of its charm.

Ron was a very good host. My daughter's words "exceptionalloy helpful and friendly without being inrustive" .

Highly recommended.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Burlington, VT
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2009

We just spent 4 days at Bluff Beach at the end of a fantastic family trip to Panama. Bluff Beach is this isolated, gorgeous stretch of beach on Isla Colon in Bocas del Toro. We were in the 4-person guest house, which has two bedrooms, a living area, a kitchen (very good equipment), and a great covered porch with hammock/lounge chairs/dining table/chairs. The rooms were very comfortable, and had ceiling fans to maintain a nice temperature for sleeping. You really feel like you are in a treehouse in the jungle. You are 'off the grid', but there is solar electricity generation/storage so that you can run a refrigerator, lights, fans, etc. There is wireless internet (which we did not use, we wanted to be disconnected!!!) and small flatscreen TVs with a DVD library available. Plenty of books/games in the shared library. Bicycles and BoogieBoards available for free use as well. Every morning included an outstanding breakfast featuring loads of fresh tropical fruit, maybe some eggs, pancakes, toast, fresh juice/smoothies, excellent Panamanian coffee, and on and on. Definitely a great start to the day!

The host (Ron) is extremely accomodating and helpful in getting his guests situated with buying food in town, transportation, and activities. He clearly cares a great deal about his guests, wants them to be comfortable and wants them to enjoy themselves.

Must-do activities include dinner at nearby La Coralina restaurant, and coral reef diving in Bastimentos natl. park. Lounging on the beautiful beach is an even higher rated activity!

The only downsides were:
1) there is a backup generator that ended up running ~2hrs for 3 of the 4 days we were there to charge the house batteries fully. I think Ron recognizes this as a (small) problem and has some mitigation possible (could be an inefficient fridge in one of the houses, or it could be that load balancing needs to be improved between the houses).
2) the surf at playa bluff can be strong enough so that it is not swimmable on some days. The break happens very late and hits almost directly on the sand during these times. I am an excellent ocean swimmer, and I could get out by timing the swells and getting out beyond them to swim, but most people would have to stay at 'knee level' in the water. We basically had ~1.5 days out of 4 where the surf was this type of intensity.

Overall, these are nits. We had a fantastic time and would recommend this to anyone who loves the ocean, loves getting away from the rat race, loves getting out into a beautiful natural area, and still have many/most all of the comforts of home!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 Bluff Beach Retreat

Address: Playa Bluff, Isla Colon, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 34 B&Bs / Inns in Isla Colon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to Bluff Beach Retreat. Our 4 acre property is located directly on Bluff Beach, Isla Colon, in the Bocas del Toro archipelago of Panama, Panama - with miles of secluded sandy beach for you to enjoy. It is a short walk from the steps of our three homes - the Beach House - Las Palmas & La Pina Casitas to spectacular Bluff Beach. Our new 65 foot Pool & Terraza is now completed. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bluff Beach Retreat Hotel Bocas Town
Bluff Beach Retreat Panama/Bocas Del Toro - Isla Colon

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