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“Fantastic Stay at Tio Tom's!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of TioToms Guesthouse

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TioToms Guesthouse
Main Street | Old Bank, Isla Bastimentos, Panama (Formerly Pension Tio Tom)   |  
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Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Dublin
1 review
“Fantastic Stay at Tio Tom's!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2010

Staying in Tio Tom's really is so relaxing and straight away i felt it was a home away from home. Very welcoming and friendly couple running the guesthouse, who couldn't do enough to ensure we got the most out of our visit to Bastimentos and the surrounding area. Very good knowledge about the area, informative and offered great reccommendations for restaurants and tours. Restaurant food at Tio Tom's was superb and great value. I would strongly recommend any travellers to the Bocas to visit Tio Tom's for at least a few nights, as our stay here was definitely one of the highlights of our trip around Central America.

  • Stayed July 2010, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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130 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    74
    29
    5
    8
    14
See reviews for
10
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Business
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Jena, Germany
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2010

Tio Tom's was the perfect place for our entire family (couple with a fourteen year old daughter) to relax and start some activities in the Caribbean. Our hosts, Debbie and Roberto from the Netherlands, were very friendly. They were almost 24 hours per day available and made our stay there as convenient as possible. They prepared drinks and meals, recommended trips, beaches, restaurants etc. and organized everything for us. We felt like home -actually much better - so that we stayed there 5 instead of 2 nights.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Dallas, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2010

Having traveled to nearly every country in Central America, Misty and I decided that this might just be the best hostel we have ever stayed at. When we arrived we were greeted, given the tour of available rooms, relayed vast amounts of information about the island, and given the immediate opportunity to relax in a hammock.

Rob and Deb were the nicest couple. They answered all our questions, helped arrange travel, and provided great conversations! Dinner that night was great and the cerveza was ice cold!

When we are in Panama again, you can bet that we will catch a water taxi to Tio Tom's!

  • Stayed July 2010, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TX
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2010

Originally, my wife and I were planning on staying in bocas town while in bocas del toro. however, at the urging of a friend, we stayed instead at Tio Tom's on isla bastiamentos. We couldn't be happier that we did. The guest houses are built over the water, and we were staying in a separate room off to the side with our own covered porch. Quaint and charming would be the best way to describe it. the accomdations were simple, but more than adequate. Roberto and Deb, the dutch couple who are running the place, were exceptional with their friendliness and advice on the local area. Everymorning, we had breakfast at Tio Tom's and then took a trip that Roberto helped arrange. We even rented their kayak to a prime snorkeling spot. At night, we would frequent the local restaurants (again, recommended by Roberto and deb) and then end our night with drinks on the deck of Tio Tom's. Why would anyone ever stay in the town of Bocas???? We had a magical 3 nights. Go visit bastiamentos and Tio toms before the secret is out.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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austin, tx
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 14, 2010

Tio Tom is a fantastic guesthouse built on the water on the beautiful island of Bastimentos. Both Roberto and Debbie are brilliant hosts that simply cannot do enough for you. They are extremely helpful and give great advice about what to do on the island. The food is great, and very reasonable. There are hamocks that you can laze in while looking at the humming birds feeding. The rooms are spacious and very comfortable. We came for two nights and stayed five!!

  • Stayed July 2010, 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
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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 July 8, 2010

My husband and I had the good fortune to stay at Tio Toms this last June and it was wonderful. Beautiful location, warm and informative caretakers and oh so relaxing. I would highly recommend this hostel. There are a number of activities on and around the island and we had full support in organizing any activity we wanted to do from spectacular cave tours to renting the kayak available to snorkel in Hospital Point. They also know how to blend up a mean Pina Colada!

  • Stayed June 2010, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
41 hotel reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2010

It is with a mixed feeling that we left the Tio Tom hostal yesterday.
On one side, the place is really beautiful, in front of the sea and the rooms are nice.
On the other side, we were extremely disapointed by the behaviour of the dutch couple who manages the pension. Charming at the beginning they were really antipathic at the end. Some examples:
• When we arrived we said that we would like to buy our own breakfast and so it would be nice to have 2 plates. The morning when we asked the 2 plates, we also asked two spoons (always better to eat...) and the guy answered angrily : “you begin to ask 2 plates and now 2 spoons and then what else???”
• I was using Internet and there was a connection problem and the guy said in dutch (bad luck I speak dutch) that he has had enough of all those people doing bad things with the laptop. I believe I did nothing wrong and I really said that it it was not a way to speak to customers
• When we left the hostal we had a bus travel of 8 hours ahead and we took the half a roll of toilet paper which was in our room (you never know). And suddenly, we saw the woman running to us to ask where the toilet paper was.
And then I even don’t mention the fact that they didn’t speak with us and how bad and strange the atsmosphere was.
We have spoken about this with other guests and they shared the same feeling...
Maybe a place to avoid till the owners are back, in November 2010... We do not want your stay on this beautiful and quiet island is ruined of by this dreadful couple!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
robendeb, Manager at TioToms Guesthouse, responded to this review, July 7, 2010
I would very much like to respond to the review of this customer.
First of all, yes, he is right about what he writes. However some details are (conveniently) left out.
The customer first came to see our hostal and liked the place very much. But he still wanted to check out other hostals on the island. Of course this is no problem, so we offered himto leave his backpacks with us, so he could move freely and without carrying his load. The customers left their backpacks and left. About half an hour later they came back having decided to stay with us, because the place was the best deal for them.
His first point: the plates (and spoons). Yes, the customer did ask us if he could have 2 plates in the morning to eat his own breakfast. We told him, sorry, but we do not have a communal kitchen and he could not have the plates and that there were other hostals on the island with a kitchen for use. He again said he liked the place very much and the only thing he needed was 2 plates, so as a favour and a service we said, OK you can have the plates. Next morning it was the plates and the spoons.....
Internet: We have free use of internet in our hostal. So that everybody has a chance of using this internet we have one hour for free use. On the day of his arrival, something went wrong with the internet. During the time this customer was using the net, the computer for some reason was disconected from the net and could not log on anymore, (I don´t know what happened, but it did not work anymore) I was also not able to establish connection as my computer skills are not very high. Next day with the help of an expert we got the computer running again. The customer went back online and after an hour and a half I advised him that he could use the internet computer for free for one hour only. His (angry) response was "I did not get a chance to use the computer yesterday because it did not work" (I would saý, all the more reason to keep your use as limited as possible, because other guests also could not use the computer yesterday!!) and in fact there were other guest waiting for the computer.
Toilet paper: Of course toilet paper was in the room when he checked in and during his stay he received new rolls every time he asked. Also on the morning they would leave he asked for a new toilet roll and half an hour later they are leaving taking this "half" a roll with them. It is no problem to provide toilet paper, it comes with the room. All we ask is if you are leaving, leave the toilet paper in the room for the next customer.
This customer thinks we are dreadfull, but to be honest, we were very disappointed by his behaviour as well.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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)
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 15 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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