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“Good value for what you get and great location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Limbo on the Sea Hotel

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El Limbo on the Sea Hotel
Bocas town, Isla Colon, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #12 of 24 hotels in Isla Colon
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
76 hotel reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
“Good value for what you get and great location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2012

So this is the type of hotel that's best booked on arrival when you can negotiate the rate (which they are very amenable to). It's right in the center of Bocas town, on the water. Most of the rooms don't face the main street, so they're pretty quiet. The rooms with balconies facing the water are more expensive and worth it if they fit your budget. All rooms have flat screen TVs (with CNN, E! etc), hot water showers with good pressure, A/Cs, full length mirrors and mini fridges. There is WiFi in the lobby and rooms. Rooms are cleaned daily. The waterfront patio is one of the best ones in town.

We checked out about 10 places when we arrived into town and this was by far the best deal for what you get. We were easily able to negotiate $10 off per night and probably could have gotten an even better deal if we tried.

Yes, the breakfast is awful. I've never had suck overcooked eggs in my life and we tried both scrambled and over-easy (not easy at all) and it was pointless. The coffee is watery. The orange "juice" is basically Sunny D or something like that. For good breakfast, skip this and simply go to Johnny's Bakery down the street.

WiFi doesn't always work properly. TVs may need some adjusting. But for $65 per night that we paid, it wasn't a huge deal. We slept well, the A/C was always working, etc.

Bottom line -- good value for what you get if you can negotiate a rate.

Room Tip: Don't get a room facing the street if you like peace and quiet. If you can stretch the budget, g...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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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74 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Venice, Italy
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2012

We spent 3 nights at Limbo in Jan.The hotel has great location in the center of Bocas town overlooking the sea. However, the service is rather poor and the staff not very friendly. On average you wait 1h to get the breakfast and the guys serving it do not look very happy doing this job. Our first room for 2 nights was quite nice with a balcony but due to the overbooking we had to change to a smaller room in the first floor for the last night. That was quite a horrible experience when my girlfriend went to a bathroom in the middle of the night and there were 3 big cockroachers waiting there. I told that reception the next morning and they did not even apologise for that. In the end the manager offered a 6!!! USD discount on the price of 75 USD per night.
Regarding the fact that we were paying 100 USD per night on our first 2 nights I would definitely expect a better service and accommodation.

Room Tip: Don't take the rooms in the first floor as it doesnt smell good and there is a lot of noise from...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2011

Great location! Take the rooms with seaview! Breakfast is ok, staff is ok, rooms are clean.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Utrecht, The Netherlands
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2010

Slept in the stardard room for two nights. Was staying at an other hotel before, but prefered this one for location and atmosphere. We have checked other sea-side hotels in Bocas, and from what I have seen, this one was the best value for money option in my opinion. Although 'down town' no problems with street-noise and conveniently close to just about everything.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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Maseru, Lesotho
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2010

What can I say? this was actually part of a package deal arranged through a travel agency. I don't think i will stay here again, for the following reasons:

-really poor service - I was basically stared and gawked at when I requested help for the room safe, and you need to allow an hour for breakfast - even though it is scrambled eggs with a piece of cheese on top, tang instead of orange juice, and toast that was probably in the toaster for 5 seconds. coffee con leche - not bad.

- room seemed clean enough, but I'm sure I would have found all kinds of things if I looked - I choose not to look too closely. Really, we just needed a place to lay our heads for the night, but it did kind of smell - mildew? or was it just that it is a hotel over the ocean? it did have AC - so that, aided by ear plugs, and I was good to go for sleeping.

-overall, the place needs a lot of work, is rather dark, and the staff cannot be bothered to help you/offer any kind of customer service.

-I can't believe it was $130/ night.

-if you just need a place to lay your head, you can get similar conditions in Bocas, but for probably less money (try a hostel)

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
NYC
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2010

Haggle your butt off to get a great rate. Cause you're not going to get much out of this place, except for a decent room, with a very powerful air conditioner! The hotel is clean, the rooms quiet, but the patio, where you have breakfast smells like barf. No joke. It's pretty horrid. Additionally the butter and jam we were served was rotten. The butter smelled and tasted like fish, and the jam had mold on it...and this was one of those individual serving jams in plastic! They don't get the concept of refrigeration and they don't speak english.

I tried to show them how to make the eggs so they weren't over cooked...forget it. So seriously, I would try to get the room for as little as possible and eat elsewhere.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, CA
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2010

We asked to see the rooms at the hotel before deciding to stay and were shown a standard room, a city view room and an ocean view room. Far and away, the only one worth considering is the ocean view. The other rooms are cramped and drab with an incredibly musty and unpleasant smell. The ocean view, however, was nice and airy, big and had a great balcony overlooking the water and with a great view of the action below. One evening, we were pleasantly serenaded by a busker performing for a group at a restaurant below.

Before taking this room, we compared it with the highly recommended Hotel Bocas del Toro next door and found the El Limbo to be much better value (a comparable room next door was almost double the price and while the communal areas of the Hotel Bocas are nicer, the actual room at the El Limbo was much nicer than the one at Hotel Bocas).

A good tip is to bargain, especially if you haven't made an advance reservation. We easily got $10 knocked off the price and probably could have gotten it down even more if we had tried.

Probably not the best value in Bocas Town, but a good option.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
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Additional Information about El Limbo on the Sea Hotel

Address: Bocas town, Isla Colon, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 24 hotels in Isla Colon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
El Limbo On The Sea Hotel Panama/Bocas Del Toro - Isla Colon

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