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“Amazing Vacation!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa

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Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Villa   |   Bocas del Toro, Isla Bastimentos, Panama   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Offer
Private Chef Service
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Roslyn, New York
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Amazing Vacation!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

We are just back from 5 glorious days at Red Frog Beach Resort. We stayed in villa 5. Fabulous! The villas are absolutely gorgeous, and felt quite luxurious. Large modern kitchen, great living room, 3 patios, 4 bedrooms, and a private pool. We had a golf cart to get around, which was quite a lot of fun!

The beach is stunningly gorgeous! Absolute heaven! There's plenty of excursions and adventures that can be booked at Red Frog. But we were quite content to relax at the beach, and take an occasional water taxi to Bocas.

We had the most lovely time dining down at Punta Lava Beach Bar. During the holiday week, there was a wonderful dinner buffet served there nightly. The manager, Hans, was amazingly accommodating as several of us are vegetarians. Lunch and cocktails during the day were great there too! (I recommend the fish tacos!) We also ate a few meals at Kayukos, which was terrific - casual, inexpensive and great food. And, Hans was incredible there as well, when he came out with a specially baked birthday cake for my husband on Christmas Day.

It was an amazing vacation at Red Frog. Would love to go back there again!!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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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287 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (64)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

We stayed in Villa 9 (shared villa) in one of the queen bedrooms in November 2012.

The villa definitely exceeded our expectations. The private pool was a great spot to have a dip after a day at red frog beach and the villa was spacious and great to relax in. The kitchen was more than large enough and the laundry machine was useful. Everything was clean and we really couldn't think of any complaints. As it was a shared villa, we were concerned of the noise from other guests, but after our 6 night stay we were never bothered once due to noise.

Red frog beach was beautiful and was never too crowded when we were there. I imagine the beach does get busier December onwards. Isla Bastiementos was a great place to get away and a good escape away from the business of Bocas Town. We were careful with our stuff on the beach but didn't feel like there was any threat to our belongings. There are sometimes local kids that come around with the "red frogs". Worth a $1 just to snap a picture.

We found the food to be at Kayukos and and Punta Lava great. Kayukos is more dinner fare, whereas Punta Lava is more burgers, nachos, etc. And local beer is cheap - $2/beer at Punta Lava! Panama, Atlas, Balboa are all very tasty. I personally enjoy eating local food while on vacation and Kayukos catered to my tastes. While we were there, Hans, the Resort Manager hosted an "Italian Night" at Punta Lava. We had an amazing time and couldn't believe that Hans actually sang (I swear that we actually thought it was a CD at first, but it was actually him!). We also found it very easy to go to Bocas Town for dinner. There are a few great dining options there for a change of pace. Pick up some food at the grocery store prior to coming over to cook some meals in the villa.

There is a "red frog taxi" at designated times, but essentially a lot of water taxis stop by the red frog dock so you can take any taxi. I believe the standard rate is $5 each one way, and then after 10pm it is $10 pp for all the taxis. We never had to wait for more than 5 mins for a taxi. Maybe could get it less with more people. If going at night, make sure the taxi has a pilot light as it gets quite dark. Taxi to bocas town from red frog is about 10 minutes.

For the comments about construction, Villa 9 is located in an area where the construction is primarily complete, and it was not a bother at all. From what we saw, much of the construction is in specific areas - perhaps inquire beforehand to see if villas getting constructed are nearby.

There is constantly resort staff cleaning around the villas (trimming shrubs, adding chlorine to the pool, etc.) and the condition of the villa was great.

Our one knock on the resort is that unfortunately the spa wasn't open when we were there. From what I understood it would be open sometime soon - best to check if this is something you are looking forward to do. The roads are unpaved but wasn't any hassle in our golf cart. We recommend getting a golf cart, but we are of the lazy type.

Lastly, I just wanted to say that Hans, the Resort Manager, helped make our experience one of the best vacations we have had thus far. He has tons of interesting stores and if you're lucky enough to be able to run into him at Kayukos or Punta Lava definitely try to have a chat! His hospitality is phenomenal and went above and beyond to make our stay wonderful. We had an early morning flight at 8am to Costa Rica and had to leave red frog by 6am. Hans woke up and was at the dock at 6am making sure that we were able to get a water taxi that early.

We really can't wait to come back to Red Frog sometime in the future!!

Room Tip: Villa 9 is the shared villa. The queen bedrooms in Villa 9 are well appointed, but the king room is...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmette, Illinois
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2013

We enjoyed our trip but did not expect to feel so isolated. The villa was nice and there was a small pool. We used the golf cart which is a must as there is still a lot of construction and some of the villas are far away. The kids found the golf carts to be a lot of fun though and it made the trip feel more adventurous, but be prepared for potholes. The beach is very beautiful and the surf was very strong, my kids had a lot of fun playing in the water. The people working there are VERY friendly, especially the Manager and the hosts and the people working at the restaurants. But there are limited dining options and if you are there for a bit you will get tired of it. (very good pizza). It is a bit of a backpacker atmosphere but we felt that lent some charm to the place. We liked to hang out there, have coffee, play ping pong etc. The food was reasonably priced and of a decent quality. We enjoyed a few of the themed dinners at the restaurant by the beach which is generally only open at lunch (hamburgers etc) There were a lot of hard panamanian partiers at the beach during a few of our days, drinking a lot and out of control which was disappointing. (it was holiday time and I guess they all go to that beach in particular) We also felt that there is little concern for the environmental impact of this place. There was visible garbage scattered and the beach definitely had garbage laying around. There is a bit of a feeling that the panamanians just don't care what they are doing to the world and are looking to make a quick buck. The restaurant there was allowing styrofoam for take out from the restaurant. Not sure where those were going to go. You will see a lot of garbage as well in Bocas town. We felt the zipline was the best activity we did- my kids loved it and we felt it was fairly priced. We unfortunately felt we were taken for a ride with some of the other activities. The Red Frog needs to do a better job of controlling their vendors for the activities from the outside which are not cheap and are CASH only. Be prepared that it is expensive to go back and forth from the Red Frog resort to Bocas Town, but it is the only way to get food and money. Overall a good place but just stay for 3-4 days, have cash and be a little bit flexible on the food options.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Bastimentos, Manager at Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa, responded to this review, February 28, 2013
Dear Guest:
Thank you for coming during the holidays with your family! We think Red Frog Beach is an ideal place for families that want a beautiful peaceful setting with things to do and experience.
Glad you liked the zipline and enjoyed our friendly staff. Red Frog is a 10 or 15 minute water taxi ride away from Bocas town. Getting to Bocas during the day is $7 round trip on Jampan (sometimes less if you have more people). If you want to go at night, the water taxi boat driver will charge more.
Our staff and management care very much about the environmental impact on Isla Bastimentos. The resort has allowed for the reforestation of the island and has one of the best water treatment facilities in Central America. We can find suitable substitutes for recyclable materials and we keep our beaches clean. Note that the surf can range from larger waves to no waves at all during the year - check with our staff ahead of time if you are interested how the waves look during certain times of the year.
There are several food options at Red Frog. Villa guests can order food directly to their villa or have a private chef come and cook them an authentic meal. Punta Lava on the beach has a typical lunch menu with occasional theme night dinners and Kayukos offers many inexpensive options as well as some nicer dishes.
The geography of the island is very spread-out which makes it unique. We do have regular events at Punta Lava on the beach as a gathering spot for guests – You need to check with resort staff before arriving to know about the schedule for these events.
Thank you for coming – we hope you will come back again after our Grand Opening in 2013 and see all the improvements.
Thank you
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

Having just spent eight days at Red Frog Beach in Villa #13 (which is the best two bedroom unit available), I leave with mixed feelings. While the villa was everything we had hoped for, there were some other negatives worth considering before you plan a stay at Red Frog Beach.

Having researched the property extensively online, I knew that the dining options on the island were limited, however, I had anticipated that we would go "off island" and try some other places in Bocas for dinner. We arrived from the airport in a rainstorm, and I can assure anyone that we were completely soaked despite wearing rainwear and taking a large water taxi with a rain/sun canopy. While the time of our travel was during the supposed "dry" season, it rained everyday and was overcast approximately 70% of the time. Since the rains were rather intense, it was virtually impossible to leave the island without getting completely soaking wet which would have made for a rather miserable dinner. As such, we did not leave the island (although we would have liked to) for the entire week. While the food at the restaurants on the island was reasonable (sometimes good, other times not very good at all), it became repetitive over time. Fortunately, we had stocked up on food and drinks upon our arrival at Bocas town, but this was not really sufficient to round out all of our meals.
I also realized that the roads are under development as are some of the villas, but it would seem to me that the gravel roads could be grated to smooth out the rather extensive potholes. I will add that you should definitely rent a golf cart as the distances from the villas to the beach and dock are significant.
I was positively impressed with the Manager and the staff at the property, but felt that they were short staffed, especially for the peak season between Christmas and New Year's. At the beach bar, Punta Lava, there was typically only one server at the bar who had to do the work of at least 3 or 4 people, taking orders, making drinks and saving food all at once. While it may not make sense to have that many staff all season, it would make sense to hire some additional people to cover the peak holiday season.
The zip line tour was a great experience, however, we did not go snorkeling or fishing given the poor weather/visibility. When we did our zip line tour, it was pouring rain, but that did not detract from the experience and even made it a little more exciting/interesting.
All in all we had a relaxing trip and loved our villa. I can't fault the place for the poor weather, but potential visitors should be aware that rain can negatively impact their experience as it negates the ability to take a water taxi (unless you don't mind arriving to your destination soaking wet). My suggestion would be to plan your trip in late January or February to mitigate the chances of rain negatively impacting your holiday.

Room Tip: Villa 13 has great views and a nice plunge pool
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Gatineau, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

After travelling with our sailboat for 3 winter seasons in the caraibeen form the BVI we really loved the island. We decided to stay at the marina on our sailboat... After inviting to many friends to join us we decided to rent a villa for extra special time. Well, with vast space, magical view, access to internet my husband and I decided to have our second home on the island. It's been a year of pur pleasure, we go back to our villa as many time we can (every 6-8 weeks). Any time is great, the lush forest, the sound of the nature, the smell of the flowers is just pure paradis! We have 3 bedrooms, 2 washrooms and a 3 level infinity pool with a amazing view. The staff is very respecfull and always smilling. We love going at bocas town for fresh fruits and veggies. We also enjoye teasty seafood. Ir's been so pleasent that our sailboat is going for sail since we never bern back in it since we have the villa. Down side the flights... Air panama web booking is a pain... But with time more ootions to get to bocas will be provided i am certain of this.

Gillianne and family from villa mariposa

Room Tip: The villas are luxerious...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gatineau, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

I visited the Resort with friends in spring 2012. It consists of bungalows scattered on the island's hills. Ours was villa 26 which is one of the highest with a splendid view of the ocean. It was very roomy, clean and has all amenities and is decorated with gusto. It has a beautiful veranda where you can lounge and read while looking at the sea. It is situated where the zip line starts, it is recommended to use a cart especially when bringing shopping back. You need to organize food as you arrive on the main island to take with you to Red Frog as there are no shops on the island itself except a small convenience store. If you have forgotten, the local boats wait for you at the marina or you can book them and they show up on time even very early in the morning to take you to the main island. The main island has all types of shops for all tastes and is very pleasant, we did numerous trips back and forth between both islands. The Red Frog island has a small beach restaurant where you can eat excellent fish tacos at lunch with great cold beers and you can have a very tasty dinner by candlelight. The beaches are spotless and surfers love their waves. It is safer to swim on the side with a lifeguard as there are strong currents. We booked a snorkelling trip, saw dolphins and beautiful unspoilt and protected corals and ate great tasting langoustes. All in all, it was a very good and relaxing trip where you can stay at the villa and enjoy a day at the pool or go out and visit the surrounding islands and shop or just go to the beach. The local Panamanian people are very welcoming and willing to let you try your spanish without laughing too much, I'd go back anytime.

  • Stayed February 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
    • 4 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.
Peapack, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

This was my fourth trip to Red Frog Beach Resort and my second trip to the Jungle Lodge in the to-be-deveoped "Jungle Village." The Lodge now has a number of "homey" touches, to include a newly installed television. It appears the Village swimming pool will be installed soon. The anticipated date is March 2013...being Panama, we will see if this comes about! The Lodge is NOT one of the wonderful villas. Rather it is a wonderfully unique experience. But, not to fret, It has a completely outfitted kitchen and bathroom, as well as a sleeping loft. It also has two very adequately air conditioned bedrooms with the additional living space wonderfully cooled by constant hill-top breezes and a ceiling fan. The view, overlooking the Caribbean, is absolutely stunning. As it sits atop a hill, the Lodge's deck permits great bird-watching opportunities. I saw a Harpy Eagle perched on a tree just several yards from the deck! (It looked like it was waiting for a small morsel for lunch!) Can't wait for Trip Number Five!

Room Tip: Both bedrooms are great. The Lodge has 360 degree views of the Caribbean and surrounding jungle.
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  • Stayed December 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
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa

Address: Bocas del Toro, Isla Bastimentos, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Red Frog Beach offers upscale villas to rent with private pools and so much adventure to enjoy on Isla Bastimentos. If you like nice beaches and exploring jungle--this is the perfect place. Two restaurants, 4 beaches, Zipline, surfing, snorkeling, hiking, sailing and famous cave tour. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Red Frog Beach Hotel Isla Bastimentos
Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro

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