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“Nicest dorm on our four week Central America trip” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pukalani Hostal

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Pukalani Hostal
Playa Mango, Bocas Town, Isla Colon, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Nicest dorm on our four week Central America trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

HostelWorld review (500 character limit):

Nicest dorm on our 4 week CA trip: only 6 beds, *AC*, bathroom, *hot* shower, second sink and counter area, closet. Hostel: shared kitchen, on the ocean, *nice* pool table, hammocks, bar with food. Re "rude" staff reviews: Juan and family were always nice. E.g. 1st day we arrived late and hungry: they reopened the kitchen and made us burgers! So, go to the Hilton if you want the staff to kiss your as*. But, if you want to stay on the ocean with *real* people for $15/night, stay here.

More details:

I think the problem some people have with this place (the "rude" staff reviews) is that the facilities are actually too nice. For example, the dorm rooms have AC, warm showers, and sliding windows with screens, whereas cinder blocks are a typical Central American window! So, maybe some people arrive and notice that it looks like a $200/night resort, forget that they paid $15, and expect to have their as* kissed like they were staying at said $200/night resort. Just relax, treat Juan and his family with the same respect you expect, and I think you'll find like I did that they're great, *genuine* people. But, yes, if you expect Stepford Wives-esque groveling hospitality robots it's possible you'll be disappointed.

  • Stayed December 2012, 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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104 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 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
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English first
Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

Very nice, friendly and helpful people! I cound not stop being amazed by their hospitality. In addition, the hostel was very clean. They changed my sheets once(I stayed for 4 nights) and even put in order my clothes once. I could not expect more for a 15$ a night hostel.
It's a little far away from the main town but taxis are cheap and the hostel has a free shuttle several times a day. I would go there again if I could!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
1 review
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

The location is OK even if it is far away from the center, you will have to take an expensive taxi.
The staff is not friendly unless you are a surfer. The room is to expensive for the value and inside it you have a long list of what is not allowed to do but nothing about the checkout, so be ready at 11am for leaving otherwise they will charge you an extra night as they did to me with my poor 15 minutes late.....!!!! Well you are business man or not I guess !

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 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.
JuanCaraballo, Owner at Pukalani Hostal, responded to this review, June 18, 2013
Thank you for your input and sorry that you did not have a great experience here. Just to address some of the things mentioned in your review
1. Taxi price- taxis are just $2 per person from our location, sometimes taxis will try to charge tourists more money, however we are happy to call a taxi for you that we know will stick to the standard rate
2. My son and I are surfers and are enthusiastic to talk about the sport with anyone, however we are happy to talk to all of our guests about anything they want to know about Bocas, or anything else!
3. There is a paper with the hostals simple rules in each room because I believe it is important that guests are informed. Check out time is listed on the card you sign when you check in and on the front wall by the door.
Again, sorry that you had a bad experience. We will continue to strive to make sure each guest has a good experience.
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Dublin Ireland
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

I stayed here because my hostel in Bocas was double booked and it was not what I expected for the price. The rooms were good and the beds were okay if you got a fat mattredd, otherwise the mattresses were thin and you could feel the latts underneath. It is siuated right on the water edge and great for an early morning swim. It is siuated about 1 hour walk from Bocas center. The owner will ring a taxi for you or you can pick one up on the road. There is a shuttle service here but in essense it doesnt exist. The kitchen is a laugh, 3 knives 4 forks 6 plates and three cups, thats it folks. The owner here has to learn not to talk down to his customers and get rid of his attitude.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nelson, Canada
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

This was one of our favorite places to stay in all of Panama. Very clean, beautiful spot and good prices.

The owner and other staff went out of their way to help us out and share their local knowledge.

If you want to surf this is definitely the best place to stay in Bocas as there are several world class surf breaks a short walk or bike ride away.

The kitchen to prepare your own food was a little small and minimally equipped but functional.

Many other hostels in downtown Bocas were very noisy and crowded so we enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere at Pukalani, while still being a bike ride away from downtown.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2012

so glad we decided to go out of the way and stay at Pukalani! The owners were amazing people, the rooms were good and the pool rocked! pool table out on the doc, free kayaks and shuttles into town which is just 5 minutes away!!!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pukalani H, Propietario at Pukalani Hostal, responded to this review, November 4, 2012
thank you very much for your comment, people like you make this job easier .
hope you come back.....
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
City of Durango, Mexico
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

pukalani is the best place to stay in bocas del toro, the owners are so kind, nice and lovely people, honestly i want to go back. if u are looking for a place to chill, to stay in the beack, to do some kayaking, cicling, you should defenitly stay there. I ve read some coments of it and almost all of them are real, it is the best place to stay. the people over there are going to guide you, and treat u like if u were someone in their family.

  • Stayed August 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
    • 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 Pukalani Hostal

Address: Playa Mango, Bocas Town, Isla Colon, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon > Bocas Town
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 29 Specialty lodging in Bocas Town
Also Known As:
Pukalani Hostal Bocas Del Toro, Panama - Bocas Town

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