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“Bed bug-infested bro zone” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Mondo Taitu

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Mondo Taitu
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Bocas Town, Isla Colon, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
New York, NY
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Bed bug-infested bro zone”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2012

If I were a 20-year-old American college student I would say Mondo Taitu was so #swag - fun party atmosphere, helpful staff, free pancakes and coffee, awesome vibe. People chillin in common areas swappin stories. 80s night was the best and you can't beat 50 cent beers!

Unfortunately I am a curmudgeonly working twenty-something.

Mondo Taitu resembles a frat house or Berkeley co-op. It is run by three Princeton dudebros. The walls are covered with amateur art, juvenile drawings, and asinine quotes that reveal the youth of travelers in limbo who have obviously never experienced adulthood.

But I love frat and co-op parties, you say. Think again. Would you really want to LIVE in a frat house? Mondo Taitu is FILTHY and that's the prime reason for this 1-star review. The rank bathrooms resemble the worst of public beach bathrooms and the whole shower/bathroom area floods 3 inches deep when it rains. As for rooms, I was lucky enough to have a four-bed room (which I'll admit was sufficiently dark, cool and quiet to sleep in), but my friend's 8-bed mixed dorm smelled of urine, sweat and other festering odors. Moreover, I am pretty sure my bed had BED BUGS or another biting parasite. Before you think of staying here, imagine paying hundreds of dollars for exterminators when you return home. Bacterial infections are also not an impossibility.

The atmosphere truly was fun and friendly, some of the people actually awesome, and their Tuesday night 80s night party really was fun. But be warned that if you are in Panama on vacation, i.e. away from your home country, it will not feel like one when you are surrounded by college aged Americans who are all like, SPRING BREAK!!! If Bocas del Toro is the poor man's Cancun (+stoners and surfers!) then this hostel typifies that sort of crappy beer fueled party experience. Expect to hear the word "epic" and witness some sloppy hook-ups.

By the time I woke up after the first night I wanted to move hostels but we had already paid 3 nights, and for the rest of our time in Bocas I dreaded coming back to Mondo Taitu because it was so un-relaxing. Moreover, BED BUGS.

If you are coming to the archipelago I recommend you stay on Isla Bastimentos or elsewhere near beaches rather than in Bocas town. If you must stay in the town, avoid Mondo Taitu unless you are a college student traveling alone.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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103 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Oakland, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2012

I think it was very "bro" heavy. I stayed in the 8 person dorm. 90% sure there were bed bugs. At one point the entire bathroom flooded (I hope this was rain water). The place was by far the dirtiest hostel I've ever stayed at (Rest of Panama, Peru + Mexico included). I definitely would not stay here again. Stay at one of the hostel's on the main street. Better quality, cleanliness, and people for the same price.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 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.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2012

...bed bugs! watch out these little mofos will ruin your vacation, come back to your home with you, and cost you a bunch of money to get rid of. i came with several people and 3/4 of us got bitten. this place is worth stopping by for a drink but i wouldn't stay there again.

Stayed March 2012, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wales, UK
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2012

In 2010 we had two friends who stayed at Mondo's and absolutely swore that it was the best place in the world. So on a recent trip to Bocas there was nowhere else that we were going to stay. Mondo's does look like it's falling apart from the inside out but I guess this also gives the place a bit of atmosphere. We stayed in the air conditioned dorm room which was next door to the main building with it's own little garden (bench and trees), kitchen area, bathroom and friendly neighbour, Larry. Larry was actually great for random info (e.g. which beaches to go to, how to get there and also he has a great knowledge of star constellations and planets!) and also for helping when the water went off (which was a problem on the island at the time and not something directly to do with Mondo's).

The air conditioned dorm was fine, a bit small for 8 beds but absolutely fine and you can't expect much for the cheap price. Most of the time however when the room was full, the temperature didn't really drop and it might have been better with just fans and not the air con unit. The rooms are cool with writing everywhere and are quiet too.

Anyway, breakfast was free and there's a nice big table to sit at in reception. The bar in Mondo's is also very cool but very mellow. The walls are plastered with flyers of previous party nights held at the hostel with loads of different themes, but this doesn't seem to happen anymore. One night the bar did have an awesome DJ which was fun but still the attitude was mellow and the bar was almost empty by 12.

The staff were kind of useful and kind of friendly sometimes. Sometimes they were good fun and good to talk to, but other times they were a bit stand off-ish and not the kind of people you thought you could bother with questions. I think if you visit Mondo's and get in with the staff, you could have an awesome time. Otherwise you're left half the time thinking they're potentially a bit arrogant.

I almost don't want to say anything too negative in the review for this place because I imagine that it once was amazing and with a bit more effort, could be amazing again. If I went to Bocas again I imagine I'd either stay here, or check out one of the other hostels on the main street.

Room Tip: A room with a fan might be better than the one with air con.
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  • Stayed February 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.
United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2012

A great place to start your night or escape the madness of the nearby disco's

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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.
San Francisco, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2012

I spent a week at Mondo in Bocas and had the time of my life. There is not much to say other than this place is awesome and was the basis for MANY very fond memories.

This place is not the Ritz, if you want that you are more than welcome to pay for it. Mondo is a hostel that that provides endless amounts of fun and I for one would never stay anywhere else. The staff are all awesome people that will go out of their way to make sure you are having fun, not that you will need any help with that. The bar is awesome and has crazy theme nights every single night of the week.

I stayed in the treehouse room and it was a solid accommodation.

Overall I have and will continue to recommend Mondo to anyone I know. Hopefully I can get myself back there sometime in the near future - especially for one of their Casa Animal parties that I kept hearing about.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2012

A guy who had lived in Bocas recommended this hostel to us, and we just loved it!
The vibe is amazing! it’s just one block away from the main street so it’s really quiet during the day, and there’s a bar that closes around midnight, so it’s not noisy after that time. The bar, by the way, is the best in town!
The staff was great, nice and fun to hang with. They’re also really helpful, and tell you a lot about where to go and what to do around Bocas.
The rooms and toilets were clean, and everything is filled with quotes and art the people who stay there leave on the walls, which makes the place even cooler!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mondo Taitu

Address: Bocas Town, Isla Colon, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon > Bocas Town
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 31 Specialty Lodging in Bocas Town
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Mondo Taitu Hotel Bocas Del Toro Province
Mondo Taitu Bocas Del Toro, Panama - Bocas Town

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