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“Just as expected :)” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Koko Resort

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Koko Resort
Las Cabanas | Bocas Del Toro, Isla Colon, Panama   |  
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 24 hotels in Isla Colon
Baltimore, Maryland
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
72 helpful votes 72 helpful votes
“Just as expected :)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014

If you stumbled across this place because of their rating on Tripadvisor and saw the word "resort"... pause... go to their website and check out the "Must Read FAQ"... they have taken great care to make sure guests know exactly what to expect. If the description appeals to you then you will LOVE Koko Resort. If it doesn't... you should maybe reconsider whether Bocas is right for you at all.

Jack and Lee are delightful. You feel like you are staying with old friends rather than paying as guests. They will provide you with good breakfast, great conversation, and as much helpful information about the islands as you need. They helped us arrange an awesome boat tour and land transfer to our next destination... both worked out smoothly.

The cabins are spacious, homey, and perfectly situated to relax and watch the sunset. FYI: the bedding and curtains have been updated since the photos on the website were originally taken and are much more attractive now as you can see in the "traveler photos" here on tripadvisor.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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197 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    137
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 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 (47)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Santa Cruz, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2014

Koko Resort Review
Just so you know I am 11 years old. I thought it would be helpful to review this resort from a kid’s perspective. I highly recommend Koko Resort. It is a family friendly place where you can enjoy the ocean. The hosts Jack and Lea were amazingly helpful. They are full of good information.
There are a lot of things for kids to do at the Koko Resort. You will never get bored. Koko Resort supplies kayaks so you can paddle out and look at all the houses and mangroves. That was one of my favorite things to do on a hot day. You can also go swimming right outside your door by jumping off the dock. We jumped off the dock at least 3 times a day. If you are a swimmer or a snorkeling fan this is the place for you! Jack and Lee supply fins but you have to bring your own snorkel or goggles. There are all different color fish and coral around the dock. We saw tiger fish, angel fish, baby barracudas and much more. Kids will also never be lonely at the Koko Resort. If you step on the sidewalk you will see boys playing baseball and girls playing together. Koko Resort is within biking range of town and groceries. There are a lot of beaches nearby. Those are just some of the things to do for kids at the Koko Resort.
We liked it so much, we extended our stay and got to stay in two different cabins. We enjoyed both. All of the cabins have kitchens that are equipped with utensils and a huge fridge. After a long hot day you just want to lay down on a comfortable bed and cool down with the air conditioning on full blast. The Koko Resort can give you that! Our family needed space to do homework and the deck and table was a perfect workspace. All of the cabins have an incredible view of Saigon Bay. Each day your room gets organized. Also there are hammocks overlooking the sea to read and relax in. Most importantly there is wifi.
Koko Resort is located on the outskirts of town. It was very calm and quiet. It is a 10-minute bike ride to town. If you are interested in staying at a typical resort, this is not for you. It is located in a neighborhood so you get to see how the locals live. The ocean is spectacular at the Koko Resort. There is a little bit of colorful coral growing off the dock so it attracts all different fishes. The water is toasty warm and calm. Most of the hotels in town are not on or near the water. Even if they are you cannot swim in town because the water is polluted by boat traffic.
Overall our favorite part was definitely the hosts Jack and Lee. Every morning Jack cooks up a wonderful breakfast. When I went swimming on the other side of the island I ran into a jellyfish that stung me. Jack put vinegar and shaving cream on my leg and it took the sting right out. They are so sweet. Lee even had her helpers do our laundry. Our family was new to Bocas del Toro so Jack and Lee got us boat rides, tours and cabs. They also tell you where and where not to go.
Overall Koko Resort was the perfect place for our family. It is located in a great and a kid friendly area. The cabins were perfectly comfortable. I highly recommend Koko Resort. A special thanks goes to Jack and Lea for being such great hosts. I hope this review was helpful.

Room Tip: Best cabins are farthest from land
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bluetitus
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2014

Just got home after 6 wonderful days at Bocas. All the reviews are right on - this place is really special and probably the best place to stay on Bocas. Having said that - there are 2 types of people who should not come: 1.) People who afraid of the water and or are not able-bodied. You have to walk out onto a dock to get to your cabin and there are not any guard rails, etc. Furthermore, the stairs to the top floors in the cabins are steep and difficult to navigate. 2.) People who want to distance themselves from the impoverished locals and are seeking a high-luxury resort. You will drive and walk through broken down houses and see garbage in the neighborhood.
Ok - but here are the benefits: Wonderful swimming every moment right in front of your cabin. Awesome hosts that make the island come alive and set you up with everything!! (Jelly fish sting - fixed expertly, last minute dinner reservations - done, clothes washed - easy, excursions - right from the dock with zero effort and best prices!) This side of the island also has virtually no bugs!
The cabins are really fun and beautiful to stay in and with the air conditioning you can hang out on the hottest days/nights. The kitchens are not great - but enough is there to cook lunch and dinner. No need for breakfast, as walking next door to Jack's free daily breakfast is one of the best parts.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melville, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2014 via mobile

We spent four nights at Lee and Jack's place in February 2014. As a family of four who had never been to Panama, we had no idea what to expect. From the minute we arrived, we felt like we were home. Lee picked up the cab fare from the airport and Jack quickly whipped us up breakfast - we've never had that on arrival day at a B&B before. After breakfast, Lee made sure our room was ready, so we could change for a private boat tour Jack had arranged for us and some of the other guests. If you stay at Koko Resort or Bahia del Sol, I'd strongly recommend you ask Jack to schedule the boat tour for you - we saw dolphins, went snorkeling, hit red frog beach, saw sloths and ate lunch on the water, all with a private guide.
The rest of the week was just as fun, Jack acts as concierge, arranging cabs, dinners and tours for all of the guests, so there's nothing to worry about.
We stayed in the Gecko cabin, right on the water. We were able to swim and kayak right outside of our room.
Every morning Jack cooks up a delicious, fresh breakfast for all of the guests. He even made pancakes and waffles one day, because our daughter requested it. I can't say enough about about all the fun we had at Koko resort and Lee and Jack's fine hospitality.

Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edinburgh
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014

Girlfriend&I stayed in on of the waterfront cabin for 9 days over Christmas 2013. We had a great time. The things to do around the archipelago are super easy to access from there. Downtown Bocas is a 2-minute, $1/p.P. cab ride or a 15-minute walk away, so one's got access to nightlife and restaurants without the noise. We rented bikes in town to go up the island, and hosts Jack and Lee got us and some other guests a water taxi+guide so we could explore the surroundings for a day.

Easy island living. The cabin had all the basics we needed or thought we needed: a/c, fridge, stove, smallish bed upstairs plus couch/daybed downstairs, a view overlooking the bay towards the mainland (and Costa Rica). Koko is located in a residential neighborhood, so you're surrounded by, well, shacks where local fishermen and workers live with their families. Pretty save and peaceful - they were quite nice. Firecrackers and the local bar were noisy, at times, but I'd say that was a seasonal issue (Xmas). Amenities in the cabin were cabin-like (not Hilton-like), and cozy [I don't care to stay at yet another business hotel] It was memorable in the most positive sense. There is internet - works best near the main house though. In sum... I think Panama can be called a third-world country or a banana republic, so in relation to that, the resort and the island were really, really good. I don't think we could've had a relaxed, relatively quiet, safe place like this in town.

The hosts were amazing. Jack makes a mean breakfast, and the fact that they invite you essentially to their kitchen and living room says something. Lee and Jack have great stories to tell and can hook you up with local tour-guides etc.

Favorite place: hammock in front of cabin, by the water.

Recommend staying there for 4-8 days. Bocas is easy to get to from Panama City, but when traveling internationally, it seems two overnight stays in the city are needed for logistics. There's a small plane (Nature Air?) from Costa Rico - maybe that is easier.

Room Tip: I would take a cabin - it's quieter.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Lincoln, NE
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2014

Jack and Lee and created a unique paradise on the outskirts of Bocas Town. Read all about it on their humorous, informative website. Lee makes you feel very welcome. Jack challenges your assumptions on any topic you bring up--and cooks the best breakfasts we had in our two weeks in Panama. Jack and Lee are as much a treat as the Koko cabins!

Oh, and count on Jack to guide you to the best restaurants, set up tours, call a cab. Whatever you need, Jack has the connections. He made it very easy for us to explore the islands, go snorkling, and have great dining experiences.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
    • 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.
Warrington, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2014

Koko resort is a special place and the host Jack & Lee try very hard to make your stay a wonderful experience but that being said the place is not for everyone. If you do your homework and embrace the experience you will have a fabulous time, we certainly did.
I loved the location just out of the hustle of town and in a quiet local neighborhood. I read a few reviews about noise, we experienced very little other than a dog barking once in a while and we slept with the windows opened all night long.
There was a nice breeze and the sound of the water lapping against the rocks behind the cabin was very peaceful.
Jack & Lee live at the B & B Bahia del Sol, which is where breakfast is served each morning. The breakfast is made by Jack and it is a meal.We even had homemade waffles one day.
They open their home everyday from 7:00am until 9:00pm for everyone staying at either place. It becomes a bit of gathering place for many people.
It is also nice to get to know the other guest, share stories, and make new friends.
Part of traveling to a new place is also about the culture and the people living there. To be in a neighborhood living among the locals gives you a real taste of life in Bocas. I found all the neighbors friendly, happy people. When was the last time you walked down a street in town and said good morning or hello to everyone you see without them thinking you were nuts? Here in Bocas everyone greets everyone and with eye contact and a smile.
Lee keeps a few of the neighbors employed doing jobs around the cabins which was nice to see.
Overall I would not hesitate to return to Koko and hope one day to come back.
Thank you Jack & Lee for making our stay a wonderful experience.

Room Tip: Get use of Kayak's - Best Breakfast!!! Sun sets!
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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 Koko Resort

Address: Las Cabanas | Bocas Del Toro, Isla Colon, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Isla Colon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Like a picture postcard. Cabins built over the water of a beautiful bay. Various size houses. Steps from the beach. 5 Minutes to town. Fantastic sunsets from the dock and lit up fish viewing at night. Full kitchens, AC, fans, maid and laundry service. Full time security, Safety boxes in rooms. Wireless Internet. Kayaks, bikes, snorkel masks free. Grocery delivery. We speak English and Spanish and will help you with arrangements for a perfect vacation. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Koko Hotel Isla Colon
Koko Resort Panama/Bocas Del Toro - Isla Colon

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