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“Rain forest and the most beautiful beaches” 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   |  
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Free breakfast with your stay
Gharb, Malta
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Rain forest and the most beautiful beaches”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2014

As soon as you enter the resort, you feel that you are in a different world!
It has everything you can imagine, except luxury!! But you do not need that here.
You can do every day something else.. depends on what you want. The villas
are one of a kind... Imagine in a rain forrest!! Blue water and white beaches!!!
to good to be true!!

Room Tip: Choose a villa with some views of the Caribbean Sea and privacy! High on the hills is always good...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2013, 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.
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246 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
    4.5 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 (55)
Date | Rating
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English first
Florida
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014

I think if you have the right expectations about staying at Red Frog Beach Resort, you will not be disappointed. It is more like renting a home at a Nature Preserve. A really beautiful home. If you have ever been on a tropical island and loved hiking through the rainforest, exploring deserted beaches, roughing it during the day, but wanted to go back to a luxury villa at night, then this is perfect. You truly are in the jungle. I have tips that will make your visit more enjoyable:
1. A Golf Cart is an absolute must with your stay. Confirm that you can get one before you arrive. All the villas are very high up the hills and you do not want to have to hike 30-40 minutes every time you want to leave to go to the beach, to eat, or go on a tour. It can be slippery if it rains and it is pitch black at night, which makes walking a bit scary.
2. Bring Deep Woods Off with 25% deet in it. I wore this every day and it really worked. I had brought the Deep Woods Off with 100% deet just in case, but never needed it. I live in Florida and am very used to mosquitos, no seeums, biting flies, and bees (just not all in one place!!!). There was only about 30 minutes when I did not put it on after getting out of the water, and I got about 7 bites on me.
3. Nothing is predictable. There are challenges on the island so service is not always what you expect. All of the staff were extremely accommodating but they have to rely on others for transportation, or supplies, or tours. They frequently run out of certain menu items at the restaurants, change hours that they are open, or boat transportation may show up late...it just depends. We tried to always have a plan B.
4. Other than zip lining, every other tour is a boat ride in a Panga boat (think Mexico) (and sometimes a long bumpy one). Some of the drivers we used (separate from the resort) loved to speed very fast across the waters, and it was brutal at times. Ask the resort activity host how long the boat ride is when making arrangements.
5. Please know that housekeeping service is not included in the room cost. They will replace the towels mid week at no additional charge upon request. You can also get housekeeping everyday for an additional charge.

We did a private snorkel tour to Coral Key and ate lunch at an overwater restaurant there and it was a great experience. We also walked the beach down to North Beach (15-20 min walk) and snorkeled there. The beach was gorgeous but the coral was very limited and it was hard to find a calm day for good visibility. Everyone that hiked by us was going to Polo beach, which required some rainforest hiking, but a couple of people said it really wasn't worth it and the guy (Polo) was not there as they had hoped. I also had a massage at the Spa. It was up in the rainforest in a hut and was open-air. You could hear monkeys and birds, it was wonderful. The therapist that did my massage was going back to the states and they were having a different therapist come in after the new year.

Everything considered, we loved our stay and will definitely go back.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

Our family of 4 almost booked Villa 38 through VRBO, but at the last minute the owners told us someone else had booked their villa so we contacted the resort itself and Bertha was wonderful to work with and booked us in Villa 28 instead. Villa 28 (the pool is the main photo at the top of the main Tripadvisor Red Frog Resort page) is the exact same layout and view as Villa 38. I found the resort to be much more reliable to work with.
The layout is perfect and the villa perfectly clean, modern and gorgeous with breathtaking views.
Having to take a golf cart everywhere was a hassle, although we were aware of this before we booked. If half the family leaves for the beach or restaurants, the rest of the family is stuck at the villa unless the want to start walking about 15 minutes each way, uphill one way. If you want to enjoy the nightlife of Bocas town you need to arrange for water taxis both ways which can be challenging and very costly after dusk. Our family of 4 was charged $55 round trip, and that was after negotiating. We didn't leave the island the last 2 nights. It was a little dull. The food at Kayukos was basic cafeteria but Punta Lava was better. At least the prices weren't too high.
It rained or was cloudy 3 out of 4 days which was a downer.
We arranged tours with independent tour operators since they were much less costly than the resort's tours. Our 2 favorite were the all day private snorkel tour with Luis Grimas (luisgrimas@hotmail.com) and, while on the tour, we stopped at an island and did the Greenacres Chocolate Farm tour (greenacresfarm@hotmail.com). These 2 tours blew us away. Luis is a native of Bocas and the most intelligent, articulate, and fabulously interesting tour guide you could want. He handed us starfish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers to feel and put back in the water. We went to Dolphin Bay and then to an overwater restaurant lunch after excellent snorkeling. At the island with Greenacres Farm, we had the MOST fascinating tour of the rainforest (Robert showed us walking palm trees and ate termites like the Survivor show!) and then ate raw cacao beans and learned how chocolate was made. My 2 sons in their 20's were fascinated and I thought they'd hate it! We tasted fresh brownies and homemade chocolate liquor to die for after the tour. Julie sent us off with bananas and chocolate nibs and was the consummate hostess. Robert gave the most fascinating tour-even my jaded husband loved it! These tours really saved us from the dullness of the resort. Of course, if chilling out is for you, it's perfect for that. The zip line tour was excellent and the guides are beyond fun!!
It was stressful to always be thinking about electric usage as the resort charges you if you use more than 30KWH/day. The owner of our rental villa actually plugged his golf cart in at the house while we were renting (he was elsewhere on the island) and we had to hassle with addressing this with the resort so we weren't charged for the owners usage.
The biggest downside was the fact that the cell phone network doesn't always work and it's the ONLY way to communicate with the resort. If you need a water taxi booked, a restaurant or tour reservation made, have any issues to be resolved, and the there's no reception, you actually have to get in your golf cart and drive 10 minutes to the office and hope to find someone or start driving around the resort to find help. We wanted to change the time of our zip line tour from 10am to 2pm and it was a super stressful morning as the cells weren't working and I didn't know if I could let everyone sleep in (had no idea if the 2:00 was open or booked). I made everyone get up and turns out we could have gone at 2:00.
Also, everyone was wonderfully helpful (if you could contact or find them) except our villa host Marlon. He was miserable.
Our golf cart died in the middle of our stay despite being charged every night. The staff worker who was there when it happened couldn't get it to restart either so we got another one. Another time we left ours by parked by the office and when we returned, found that someone had taken ours and left theirs with a dead battery. We had to get a ride to the main lot and we given yet another one. The keys are universal apparently.
The beach is nice. Didn't see any trash. The beach chairs are $10 to rent and are hard plastic.
We stayed in Panama city for 2 nights prior and loved it there. Stayed in the old city and would highly recommend doing that prior to Bocas.

Room Tip: Villa 28 was gorgeous and had breathtaking views. The pool is in the brochure's main picture so...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Duluth, Minnesota
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 10, 2014

We stayed in villa 38 and were absolutely overwhelmed by the views and beauty. We enjoyed breakfast on the large covered patio. Rent a golf cart it makes for easier commuting to the beach, marina and restaurants. The owners of villa 38 were so helpful prior to us arriving and were spot on when they told us they had one of the best views of the Caribbean. Our kids loved the turtle shaped pool too. Beaches are semi private and you can rent boogie boards. We are hoping to get back soon.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Ventura, California
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

I recently went on a trip with my cousin and her husband and friend. They planned the trip and I was lucky enough to tag along on this amazing adventure. They had an employee escort me from the airport to a taxi to the water taxi over to the island. I was amazed at how easy and accommodating they make the whole process! We stayed for 3 days and I definitely wish we had more time! We explored the island and all its nooks. We thoroughly enjoyed the hike to Wizard beach and laying on turtle beach all by ourselves. We had fabulous food from Punta Lava and a great time with the courteous staff all over the island. We also had a blast zip lining! The tour guides are over and above 5 star. They did a great job making the trip fun and even showed us slots and local wildlife! If you every go to the Boca del Toro Island chain, I highly recommend staying at the Red Frog Villas. Say Hi to Rich and Christina at Punta Lava!

  • Stayed December 2013, 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reutlingen, Germany
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

Take the jungle lodge - classic! One of the nicest places during our travels in Panama.

The island itself and the beach are absolutely fantastic. We reccommend Punta Lava Grill too, delicious food and drinks. Enjoy!

  • Stayed December 2013, 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
    • 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2014

Red Frog Beach is a great little gem tucked away from Bocas del Toro. The villas are high end, clean and comfortable. It is definitely necessary to rent a golf cart to get to the beaches and restaurants. Plan for some rain, as the rainy season lasts 9 months but be prepared for wonderful quietness, no crowds and serene beaches. The zip lining was super fun. There are two restaurants on the resort - we preferred Punta Lava as it has a great view - try to Coconut surprise drink and whatever they are serving for dinnner - it's all delicious.

IF you are looking for entertainment and variety head to Bocas del Toro, we spent a few nights there and had a blast.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 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
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 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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