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“Best Place in Bocas” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tropical Suites

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Tropical Suites
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Calle Primera, Bocas Town, Isla Colon, Panama   |  
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Ranked #1 of 14 hotels in Bocas Town
Palm Springs, California
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Best Place in Bocas”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2014

My family and I stayed for 4 nites in the summer. We opted for the city views and it was always fun to watch. After seeing the ocean in every other place we stayed we found it interesting and not noisy on the city side. Very clean rooms. nicely decorated and helpful staff. Very nice owners. I would highly recommend this hotel especially for first timers to Bocas as its location is great and no need for cars Highly recommended.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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233 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (52)
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English first
New York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2014

First I want to cover Bocas del Toro and Panama City.

It can be a complicated place to get in and out (and around) of and has many choices for activities and accommodations.

Typically it is best to fly a major airline into Panama City, Panama - Tocumen Intl. (PTY), then drive across town in a taxi ($40) to Albrook Airport (PAC) and fly Panama Air to Bocas Town (BOC).

Panama City sits right on the Canal on the Pacific side of Panama. It is an amazing town much more modern than you can imagine and the infrastructure is amazing, Subways, Buses, Private Buses, Multiple Airports. Panama City downtown is very modern with great hotels, casinos, and every international bank.

Having travelled extensively around Panama, mostly in West Side like David, I was looking forward to Bocas del Toro.

Getting to Bocas was very smooth on Air Panama, we looked at all of the main Islands: Colon, Cristobal, Pastores, Popa, and Cayo de Agua and of course Bocas town. Even though we were told by all to stay at Red Frog Beach we decided to to stay in Bocas Town.

The airport is five minutes from Bocas Town and it is a classic emerging Central American City. Almost every building is built along the gorgeous waterfront facing the Pacific. I would recommend staying on the Red Frog or Popa.

I hope this helps.

To the Review:

The Great:

1. Tropical Suites was located right off the main strip in a very raw, relatively undeveloped town.
There are several hotels all of varying qualities and lots of retail stores (no chains) with great shopping.

2. Bocas town is where all of the activities take place for the most part. It is packed with surfers, divers, and sun seekers. Plus there are lots of great restaurants and bars.

3. The Back of Tropical Suites overlooks the Pacific and all of the gorgeous Islands and vistas in the bay.

4. We read a lot of reviews and selected Tropical Suites which demanded payment upfront no AMEX before we booked, we were then planning to leave and spend a few days on some other islands and head to Costa Rica.

THE GOOD:

1. Close to good restaurants, huge rooms.

2. The Hotel is relatively new and has a nice buildout.

3. Otherwise not much.

THE BAD:

1. Where to begin...

2. Tropical Suites asked us to pay up front and we accommodated. They said we had to pay upfront due to the holiday/demand and if we canceled we had to pay half. So, we booked a waterfront room for the trip after reading a lot of reviews, and paid upfront.

3. As we went to reserve our room, we entered our credit card and it said AMEX was not accepted only VISA or Mastercard. As we went to finish out booking we printed out our page, but reentered our Credit Card Info.We have a printout that shows waterfront, but oddly the email they sent us had city view. I tried to call and received nothing back. Then called my credit card to cancel it. Finally, I was told it would be worked out at the hotel.

3. We arrived at the hotel to horrible service and an extremely cold greeting by the receptionist.

4. We were then told where our room was and went up to a spacious, but city view room,

5. We went down to the receptionist (the only person working who was on her cellphone speaking to her friend, and ignored us), but she said all the ocean view rooms were sold out and they wouldn't have anything for the length of our stay.

6. We were hungry so we decided to eat and come back and try and work out the situation.

7. While eating at a fantastic restaurant a few buildings down, we found out the entire story on the Hotel. It was owned by a great, service oriented owner, and then given to his daughter or relative as a wedding present. The new owners were from California and basically let the property and service deteriorate significantly. The restaurant manager told us it was THE place to stay, but they had heard lots of complaints.

8. After returning to the hotel the receptionist said it wasn't her problem and the manager would be there in the morning.

9. The "City View Room" was horrible and loud. it faced the city, and all of the noise from the Bocas Town partiers and bars.

10. The next day I went to speak to the manager again and once again, no one responded. We were tired of the noise, bad service, and a who cares attitude. Plus reserving a room and having a print out, but then paying and getting another room "bait and switch" was unconscionable. We decided to check out. The Receptionist didn't care, and said we would be charged no matter what. So, after being lied to and manipulated we decided to leave.

11. Suddenly a new receptionist said oh we have lots of water front rooms we can move you right now. So, it went from, bait and switch, to apathy, to rude, to lying, to suddenly now that we are literally walking out with our bags there are rooms.

It was not only disappointing, but sad. They are liars here, and don't care about the patrons, and we heard it from others in Bocas Town. They ruined the first 2 days of our trip and now magically had rooms after they were "fully booked for the duration of our stay".

What was even worse was NO manager and higher level tried to help us, but didn't mind charging us $2,000 for a room we didn't book. I never got an apology or the chance to show someone our paperwork.

This place is untrustworthy, dishonorable, and still charged us.

If I could give them Zero Circles I would. THEY DO NOT CARE.

Do not stay here.

Actually stay on Red Frog Beach all of my friends went there and had a great time and loved their hotels.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Carlsbad, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2014

We stayed at Tropical Suites last year and loved it so we stayed there this year during our Bocas del Toro visit. This is the place to stay at in Isla Colon. The ocean view suites are worth the price. This time around I got to experience the hotel's great service. We experienced a blackout which I guess is not exactly uncommon there. The staff gave us candles and fortunately the electricity came back at 8pm. On my check out day, I decided at 10am to move ahead my 5pm flight back to Panama City. The only earlier flight available was at 11am. I give the staff member who helped me (I wish I remembered her name) all the credit in getting us on that flight. She had the Panama Air rep hold the seats for us and called God knows how many taxi companies to get one to pick us up quickly.Given the slow pace of Bocas I was just shocked at how she hustled to make it happen. You could tell that she sincerely wanted to help us. I now know that if there were some kind of emergency while we were there, the staff would take good care of us. And that is good to know in a place where the electricity is bound to go out.

  • Stayed March 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2014

The airconditioning in room 7 did not work properly. As such, we got little sleep. We complained to the front desk. They did nothing to fix the AC but just argued that it was working fine. It did not work fine and nothing was done to correct the matter.

Room Tip: The AC in room 6 worked fine.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
tropicalsuites, Owner at Tropical Suites, responded to this review, April 6, 2014
Hello Bill C,

We appreciate your feedback and would like to express our sincere apologies for the inconvenience that you experienced. It is unacceptable this matter was not promptly rectified. Our staff strive to deliver the highest service standards and an exceptional guest experience. This matter was discussed with the appropriate staff member and we are confident such a situation will not reoccur. We are also undergoing a check of all rooms to ensure all air conditioners are functioning properly.

Sincerely,

The Tropical Suites Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stamford, Connecticut
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

We just returned from 6 nights at this hotel with our 12 and 14 year old children. While expensive by Bocas standards, it wasn't by US standards! We had the top floor Executive Suite which included 2 bedrooms and a big kitchen and living room. Best of all, a huge terrace overlooks the water but none of the bedrooms overlook the street so it was quiet - except for a party boat docked right below us. The boat featured drunken adults making spectacles of themselves (jumping clothed into the water from the boat's roof, dancing with cigs and beers in hand) etc. It was not really a problem for us since the boat left the dock before we wanted to go to sleep anyway. I would have enjoyed watching the partiers more if I had not been doing it with our impressionable kids! Front desk people couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. We loved the 3 breakfast choices and most often paid the $2/each to order the night before and had our breakfast delivered overlooking the water on our terrace. The location of the hotel is perfect. The room is surprisingly decorated in black and red leather - not exactly what you would expect. We would recommend this place to anyone!

Room Tip: We heard several guests complain about street noise. try to get a room over the water and not on the...
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  • Stayed March 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2014

Just returned from a four night stay in Bocas at Tropical Suites. Everything was perfect. From the time of check in until we left. It was clean and well maintained. The front desk had the most pleasant ladies who helped with everything from taxis to reservations. I will return here again.

Room Tip: The water view rooms are perfect.
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  • Stayed March 2014, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boynton Beach, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2014

From start to finish this hotel property has been a blessing.
Our continued contact with the Owner and his staff made our trip one to remember.
The room was impeccably kept at all times.
What ever we needed was there for us.
The breakfast vouchers each day gave us a choice of places to eat.
The stay was one we will look forward to doing again.
Bill and NIna

Room Tip: All the room are good, we stayed with a view of the water. Balcony view.
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  • Stayed March 2014, 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
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 Tropical Suites

Address: Calle Primera, Bocas Town, Isla Colon, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon > Bocas Town
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Casino and Gambling Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Bocas Town
#2 Family Hotel in Bocas Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Tropical Suites 3.5*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Tropical Hotel Bocas Town
Tropical Suites Bocas Del Toro, Panama - Bocas Town

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