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“Does Not Deserve it's Rating” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort

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Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   Isla Colon, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 22 Hotels in Isla Colon
Tambor, Costa Rica
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Does Not Deserve it's Rating”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

The front desk and Airport Pick Up was very good. The overall condition of the hotel, service staff, and restaurant are definately lacking. Rooms are tired. property is not well maintained and restaurant menu is poor. They say they have two restaurants, yet only one menu and it is a pub style menu. Location is a little far from town, but do able. I found bar prices quite high for Panama. No mini bar in room as advertised, no spa services, and overall very unattentive staff. Would not return.

Room Tip: Pick another Hotel
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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453 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
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Tucson, Arizona, United States
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

Booked this place as a getaway while visiting Panama. A bit detached from central Bocastown, will be a long walk, short bike ride, or shorter taxi to town.

This is the luxury resort on Isla Colon. By local standards, that's true. If from North America, compare accommodations to a really nice Courtyard. Large bed, clean and cool-looking bathroom.

Decent bar food, though not spectacular. Cheap drinks and long happy hour.

Close to beach, but you're better off visiting Starfish Beach or another local beach if you want to see beauty. Close to nature though, each night here we saw crabs walking with us in hotel's exterior corridors.

Only complaint, room a bit musty, smelled of mildew . . . common in tropics. Hotel staff brought an ozone machine promptly and left it with us for the entire time.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2012

Very nice hotel, very clean, kind staff, big american style breakfast. It has own pier that allow the boats catch you to do the day trips. Big and very confortable beds. Big room. Travel agency inside is very overpriced. Back for sure. Recomended.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012

Even tough it was not an exclusive resort We had such a great time there. You can swim in the pool or beach or get in the free shuttle and go to Bocas Downtown at night. You can also get a 25 $ tour that can take you to the other islands all day.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

This is a private location, you'll need a bus, taxi or rent a bike to get anywhere- but why? There is a nice restaurant on site a small beach and pool area and breakfasts are included in the cost. The rooms are nice but were confusing at first- leave your key in the slotted box next to the door for electricity. 2 AC units- one in the suite and one in the bedroom keep things cool. Internet was absent in the room- better in lobby, best by the pool.

Would
I stay here again? Yes.

Room Tip: 3rd floor has the largest rooms.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barcelona, Spain
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

We stayed at this Hotel three nights and we enjoyed every minute we spent there. Beforehand we thought that maybe it would be too big, but it was very peaceful and relaxing. The rooms are big and well equipped, with a small terrace facing the Bay. Town is 5 minutes away and the Hotel has a shuttle service running 5 times a day. Avery recommendable option to avoid the bussy town.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

Playa Tortuga is bit rundown, but it has a nice location, a beautiful pool and a fairly nice beach. It is not a typical hotel for Bocas del Toro and it is a bit removed from town, but they run a shuttle into town at least a couple of times a day.

The internet was down, the bathrooms off the lobby were out of service, and they were doing work on the reception desk when we arrived, so reception was a row of banquet tables. I never saw an elevator, but the property is only two stories. The fitness room was also out of service during our stay.

We arrived on the early flight from Panama City and got to the hotel about 9:00 AM while check-in begins at 3:00 PM. Reception suggested that we take the shuttle into town and book a full-day excursion. They allowed us to use the out-of-service ladies room to change into swimsuits and stored our luggage. There were 3 of us plus two additional couples and we were directed to tour company in town where we boarded a boat for a full day of motoring around the islands and waters of Bocas for $25 per person. We had time to purchase water and some minimal snacks. It was a good way to spend the day while waiting for our room. Since this must happen all the time with the early flight, it would have been nice to have more information before we set out. Fortunately, we had cash for our purchases, lunch and the access fee we were charged at Red Frog Beach. Snorkel equipment consisted of mask and snorkel only, no flippers.

Our room was ready when we got back to the hotel and the room was nice enough and clean enough. As others have mentioned, air conditioning is only run when the room is occupied, so the rooms are musty. Bathrooms are fine, but only have a shower. There isn't a minibar, but rather a mini refrigerator which actually suited us better. Also, there was only one restaurant, the bar over the water at the end of the pier. We had dinner there our first night and the food was awful and the service worse. It's such a lovely spot, it's a shame that the food and service were so bad.

After the bad dinner experience, we were pleasantly surprised by the breakfast buffet which was quite good. It was all self-service, so service was not an issue and the selection was broad.

The next day we wanted to take book a tour to Zapatillas, but it was more expensive than we wanted to pay for just the three of us, so we stayed at the beach and pool all day hoping that others would want to join our threesome for the excursion to Zapatillas. We had a little lunch on property and remained disappointed by the food and service. The pool was very nice and it was a relaxing day. That evening we caught the free shuttle into town and had a nice dinner at El Limbo. The shuttle returned on schedule to pick everyone up and return us to the hotel.

Our third day, we still hoped that others would join us for an excursion to Zapatillas, but when no one else showed up at the tour desk, we bit the bullet and paid the cost for a private excursion for just the three of us. No one bothered to tell us that there would also be a park service fee for the beach at Zapatillas and we had to borrow $5 from our boat captain because the ranger couldn't make change for a $20.

It wan't a bad stay, but the staff could certainly use some professional training and the hotel would benefit from some TLC. Playa Tortuga could be a very nice property, but it's not quite there.

Room Tip: All rooms face the water and seem to be identical except for king vs. two queens, so book the lowest...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort

Address: Isla Colon, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Isla Colon
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Colon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 117
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tropical Caribbean Beach Resort on the crystal clear waters of Bocas del Toro, Panama.Playa Tortuga offers 117 stylish room accommodations, each with a balcony and spectacular ocean view. Guests may choose from standard rooms, junior suites and large grand suites, all offering a contemporary décor, modern amenities and a soothing tropical atmosphere.Relax in the hotel’s sea view pool, or sunbathe in our water mirrors while enjoying your favorite beverage from the nearby bar area. Little ones will enjoy the children’s pool. Other modern and convenient amenities include free WIFI and a state of the art Fitness Center featuring a private massage area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Tortuga Hotel And Beach Resort
Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Isla Colon
Playa Tortuga Resort Beach
Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort Panama/Bocas Del Toro - Isla Colon

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