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“Nice trips and delicious food” 4 of 5 stars
Review of TioToms Guesthouse

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TioToms Guesthouse
Main Street | Old Bank, Isla Bastimentos, Panama (Formerly Pension Tio Tom)   |  
Hotel amenities
Berlin, Germany
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Nice trips and delicious food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2014

Tio Toms guesthouse is located on isla bastimentos. It was really easy to get there by watertaxi and the island is much calmer than isla colon. There are no cars or other motorised vehicles on the island, beside the water taxis. The guesthouse rooms are simple but clean and every room has its own bathroom. It can get loud because of the water taxis, which arrive and depart next to the guesthouse. The owners Chris and Tom are nice and the dinner they offered us was delicious . Chris has got very good connections to boat tour guides. Our guide (Roberto) was very nice, patient and explained a lot during our trip to some of the smaller islands close to isla bastimentos. We really enjoyed hanging out in the hammocks at the end of the day.

  • Stayed August 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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118 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    68
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10
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Antigua, Guatemala
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

Really laidback atmosphere, with a nice hammock area right above the water. They're working on an artificial beach, which was nearly finished (in August 2014, they were waiting for the delivery of the top layer of sand). There are some negative reviews about the owners, but appearantly the place has been taken over recently by 2 Germans, Chris and (a 'new') Tom. They are where very relaxed, nice, welcoming and helpful, in our experience.
Dinner is really good and cheap ($ 8 for lobster, fish) and served family style.
The place itself and the rooms are kinda basic, and set next to the docks. There's no beach nearby, but you can jump right of the hammock area to cool off.
The owners can arrange trips with local guide Roberto, who knows a lot about the islands and animals.

Tip for Chris & Tom: you might want to switch off the tv in the common area sometimes, or even better, remove it. It's not really helping create the carribbean vibe guests are looking for. Cook & cleaning lady Dami does however, she's really cool.

Stayed August 2014
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Hamburg, Germany
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2014

I stayed there with my friend and we had a really good time there. We were the only ones staying at the guesthouse and enjoyed the atmosphere. It was very relaxed and quiet. The hammocks were right over the water and one of the highlights. The other highlight was the food. We had the family dinner twice> the best fish and lobster we ever had on our trip. Tom and Chris were both very friendly and helpful. You can reach the Red Frog Beach by boat which is always available at the guesthouse.
We can definitely recommend staying there. Have fun!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2014

The guesthouse is so cool! It's standing on pillars in the water and you truly get the "on-the-ocean feeling" in the rooms, which btw was very clean. The hammock deck is great for rainy days witg a book. However, as the guesthouse is situated in Old Bank, there is no beach or places to take a dip. Thus, you need to take daytrips or engage in hours of hiking in order to reach beaches and snorkling opportunities. You can easily hire locals to take you on these trips and they can also get you rides to Bocas Town, if you want to have a beer or two. This option is much better than staying in Bocas Town!!

The owner is a little bit quarky, but he is very nice and accomodating.

Stayed July 2014
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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

We stayed here for three nights in March, and we will not ever be back.
Pros:
Interesting location--you are in the town of Old Bank so you can actually see how people live, which you will not experience at the Red Frog Resort
The hammock deck is nice. Breakfast is decent, and the clientele was pleasant.
The German owner (I can't remember his name) was cool.

Cons:
Tom was an awful host. From what I understand this is not 'Tio Tom" but another Tom that works there now. We could go on and on about his lack of people skills and his surly demeanor, but that would take a very long time. He was essentially the reason we will never be back.

When we stepped off the boat Tom said "there's no water." So there was a water shortage on the island, which is clearly not the hostal's fault, but we should not have been charged the full rate. We were out of water the entire stay, except for the one time our shower leaked and Tom shouted at us like we were children for leaving it "on" (even though there wasn't any water). I got very sick right after this portion of our trip and I believe it is partially due to the fact that a hostel continued to serve food when there was no running water. I realize that we aren't in the US, and there are different standards, but unfortunately the water shortage and Tom's terrible customer service really sullied this portion of the trip for us.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Melbourne, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2014

One of the coolest places we stayed on our 4 month trip. Chris was a wonderful host - nothing was ever too much trouble. He live streamed the Australian game of the World Cup soccer for us when it wasn't on TV and also helps you catch any boat you might need including pickup and drop off for surfers.

beers were cheap and breakfast options were great.

The basic double room was nice and we had a fan. The location is very handy and the hammock deck over the water was a great chill out spot.

We originally read some negative reviews recently about a rude staff member called Tom. It turns out he has since moved on. All of the staff were great.

Try Alvin's fried chicken up the road.

  • Stayed June 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2014

If you want a perfect location, impeccable service, and exquisite style this is the correct choice. The view here is a breath taking. From check-in to check-out, the staff could not be friendlier or more helpful. Would very much recommend to anyone looking for an unobtrusive and relaxed holidays...
Kamal(London)

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about TioToms Guesthouse

Address: Main Street | Old Bank, Isla Bastimentos, Panama (Formerly Pension Tio Tom)
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
You are looking for a nice place at the Caribbean? Our family-guesthouse is builded over the water of the lagoon and located in the centre of the village Bastimentos on the same named island in the north of Panama at the archipelago Bocas del Toro. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pension Tio Tom Hotel Isla Bastimentos
TioToms Guesthouse Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro

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