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“Amazing value, great people, so relaxing.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Blue Marlin Resort

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Blue Marlin Resort
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Isla Carenero, Isla Colon, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #20 of 24 Hotels in Isla Colon
Devon, UK
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
“Amazing value, great people, so relaxing.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2010

We just happened to stumble upon this place when we visited The Pickled Parrot for a beer on a Sunday afternoon and ended up leaving our hostel the next day and stayed here for 5 nights!

We met George and immediately liked him, he mentioned he had 2 suites and 50 metres from the bar and we ended up staying there for 5 nights. The suites are great value, my girlfriend and I had the bedroom with a super king sized mattress and a mate had the bed in the front room. Both beds were extremely comfortable, our bed was the best bed we've stayed in in our trip (we've been away for 7 months so far).

the bar is beautiful, the best view of Isla Carenero by far. We loved it there, fishing at night from the bar and watching the nurse sharks scavenge for leftovers in the clear turquoise waters below. If there is a more relaxing place in Central America, we've yet to find it.

We only planned to stay there for 2 nights but we just couldn't leave such was the hospitality and kindness showed by George and his wife. Another review mentions Georges son, Jorge... What a cool little guy!

All in all we had a sensational time there and we'd definitely stay there again if we're back in this part of the world. We've told a few friends to head out to Bocas and relax for a week or two just to escape the hustle and bustle of the mainland.

Zapatilla Island has the best beach we've seen outside of Thailand so far (we're off to the San Blas Islands in a few days so that might change!). There's a very nice beach only 200 metres from the bar.

All in all you cannot fault this place, George let us run up a bar tab and as we're English we had quite a large bar bill! Oh, and he only sells fish/lobster if he gets it fresh, ask him what he's got and if it's fresh he'll tell you. We had stunning lobster dishes there that were so fresh and tasty.

10/10. Thanks George and Yessica for making us feel so welcome. If anyone wants any more info, feel free to message me.

  • Stayed July 2010, 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
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21 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Portland, OR
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2008

What can I say about the Blue Marlin. Maybe it was the time of year we chose to go there. We arrived on Bocas and took a water taxi to Blue Marlin at 8:00 a.m. We were supposed to be picked up at the airport by Yessica who it turned out was on the SAME flight we were on yet made no effort to try and locate us and transport us to the island. We walked the 3 or 4 blocks from the airport to town, found a water taxi and made our way to Carenero. We were met by George, Yessica's husband, who was friendly enough but was in trouble with his wife because the rooms were not made up for us. We waited in the bar area while Yessica cleaned the room for us, all the while being bitten by the sand fleas or no seeums. George did give us some spray concoction he had which helped. After we were shown to our room, which was modest at best, we put our bags away and took a walk up the beach area toward what we thought was a town. We discovered that there were no roads at all on the island and that all transport was by water taxi or walking, and told to not take the path that cuts across the island through the indians village because they had dogs that would attack us. Needless to say we decided that this was not the place for us to spend our 5 days and took a water taxi into Bocas town to try and l find a place to stay. We ran upon Hotel del Mar which had several rooms. We selected a second floor room with balcony overlooking the water from across the street. It was very nice, clean and they had tv service and breakfast. Blue Marlin was very basic. The bed was okay but we only had ONE lightbulb in the bedroom area, no lamps by the bed to read by (we knew there was no tv) but thought we would be able to at least read at night. The bathroom had only one light bulb as the others were burned out. We asked about that but they were never replaced. There is not much to do on this island and the best place to stay by far would have been Dona Mara down the beach. We had some food there and the people running it were very nice. Sometimes when planning a trip using the internet you make a mistake. Blue Marlin may be good for some travelers but not us. It is way too remote, buggy, no amenities in the room and just plain nothing to do. Stay on the main island of Colon in Bocas town. We highly recommend the hotel del mar. It's reasonable and nice. Maybe it's our age showing that Blue Marlin didn't suit us. Just beware if you stay here. We even thought about the Buccaneer next door but when walknig the beach did not see a single traveler staying there either.

  • Liked — Not really much. The bed was okay. THat is about it
  • Disliked — Location. Way too remote. Nothing to do.
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SLC, UT
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2008

I can only say good things about the Blue Marlin. We stayed only 2 nites and wished it would have been more.
The Blue Marlin is small and very private. The owners are so warm to welcome and help with anything that you could possibly need on your stay. .."Thank you George and Yessaca"
The Pickeled Parrot has some really great food and drinks located in a fantastic setting out on the water.

As I said at the start, This is just the right place to enjoy a vacation.

  • Liked — On the beach
  • Stayed June 2008
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Uvita, Costa Rica
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2008

My husband, myself and our 11 year old daughter stayed here and had a great time. We had been staying at a place down the beach which costed us twice as much. We literally stumbled onto this place and stayed. The food was awesome we loved the Thai Soup and whole snapper cooked in garlic butter, YUM! We were going to have dinner on the main island but decided to stay in at the Pickled Parrot and have the soup again and of course several more of George's special Jimmy Buffet Margaritas. Yeah, the bugs were bad but "Hello " we were in the Caribbean surrounded by mangroves, the bugs are bad all over the Bocas Islands even at a 5-star expensive resorts. We just brought our super backwoods bugspray and didn't complain. Swimming in that warm beautiful Caribbean water was well worth every bite. I highly recommend this resort for families it is quiet and has good safe swimming and kayaks for use. We stayed in a room with a king bed in a separate bedroom and then a single bed in the living area. They have an additional room which attaches to this for a bigger family.

  • Liked — food and drinks
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, CO
Top Contributor
85 reviews 85 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2008

Our family of 5 (with kids aged 9,6 and 3) stayed March 2007 (with 3 kids it is tough to get these reviews done). Bocas is an awesome area with tons to do. George and Yessica know lots about the area and can point you to tours, etc.
For the price, definitely above average accommodations. large 2-room 'suite' for lack of a better description. Plenty of room for our family. Noise from the family above was minimal, though the common wall with the other downstairs apartment was a bit thin-wear yourself out having fun during the day and you'll have no problem sleeping.
The Pickled Parrot was great for the price, the beer and sodas were always cold and the owners have great stories to share. A testament to the food is the fact that our 6-year old ordered the same thing every night-seafood green curry-prepared very well with the fresh seafood delivered that day-yes-a boat pulls up and the chef gets his pick of fish caught just hours before.
The beach area had chitras/sand fleas, but mild when we were there (light compared to many other places I have been in CA). Using the kayaks and snorkeling around a small reef a kayak ride away were good times (not great snorkeling, but fun adventures).
The kids living nearby were quick to make friends with our kids, play baseball, play in the water, etc. The real metric is whether we would go back again-if we were going to stay in either Bocas Town or on Isla Carneros, definitely, but I think if we went back to the Bocas area we would also try a different island to do somehting different.l

  • Liked — The pickled Parrot Restaurant
  • Disliked — The Sand Fleas
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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boston, ma
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2008

Not sure where many of the previous reviewers stayed but I have to say I don;t agree with all the rave reviews. There are two apts under the family floor above. The apts are older with a very moldy bathroom and the apt is very musty. The view is gorgeous but that is the norm in this area. The nearby beach is OK, lots of bugs we couldnt; sit for long and it was a small beach. Isla carneros is right across from bocas and has LOTS of bugs, lots of no see ums and mosquitos- i would not stay on this island again. We got really attacked by the bugs. The pickled parrot is a great place to hang and have some drinks and the food is really mediocre. Some times there was no one around to call us a water taxi and that is when my cell phone came in handy. You are stuck if there is no one around esp early in the am before the bar opens. The owners of the this business are friendly but this is a really hit or miss type of place. If you really need something good luck getting it! Bocas is a 2 min water taxi ride away and I have to say that this part of panama is stunning but I would NOT go back to the Blue Marline "Resort". I have traveled all over the world and I am not expecting a lot more as it is inexpensive but I believe they don;t represent themselves well by the website nor do these reviews do it. I have to say I was shocked to see this place was ranked so high on tripadvisor which I trust after seeing all the other nicer places to stay.
Overall this place is way overrated and would not recommend to stay there but would recc;d to go to the pickled parrot for a delicious pina colada!

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — rooms
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2008

I just return from staying at the Blue Marlin last week....a few "corrections" need to be made to these reviews. First, Bocas is beautiful and my friends and I had the time of our lives, but: the Blue Marlin is someone's house and is like staying with a family....it is NOT a resort...Every morning I could hear the babies upstairs....the bugs and bites on Carneros are bad, very bad.... the room was clean but very musty and there was mold in the bathroom, which didn't smell that great... the towels were old and stained...the sink in the front room was clogged...the Pickled Parrot does have awesome pina coladas and everyone was very very nice, just know what you are getting yourself into when you stay there...it isn't a resort, it's someone's house. We enjoyed staying outside of Bocas Town, but we did see comparable hotels in town which were cleaner and a lot newer. I would ABSOLUTELY go back for a drink, but will pass up staying there another night

  • Liked — the view and off the beaten track
  • Disliked — room was musty and old
  • Stayed April 2008, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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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Additional Information about Blue Marlin Resort

Address: Isla Carenero, Isla Colon, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon
Amenities:
Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Isla Colon
Number of rooms: 15
Also Known As:
Blue Marlin Hotel
Blue Marlin Resort Panama/Bocas Del Toro - Isla Colon

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