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“Great value - a nice place to relax” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Bocas Bound Hostel

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Bocas Bound Hostel
On A Hill Above Red Frog Beach | 15 min water taxi from Bocas Town, Isla Bastimentos, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Great value - a nice place to relax”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 26, 2012

My boyfriend and I stayed at Bocas Bound after spending a few days at Bocas Town and not being overly impressed.The place is super-cheap by Panamanian standards - they have special deals where every third night is discounted or you getting a cheaper price for extended stays.

Our private double room but was basic but clean and fine. There was no window to the outside so it was a little dark but we saw that before we agreed to stay so it wasn't a problem. We honestly only used the room to sleep in as the huge open air common area was perfect for chilling out in - it had comfy couches, a ping pong table, lots of board games and a decent book exchange. One night they played a decent movie on a big projecter which was great.

The provided breakfast was fine - often I paid a dollar or two extra to have some eggs added to it to make it more substantial. The rest of the food from the restaurant was simple but tasty and not too badly priced.

I enjoyed the 5/10 minute walk to the beach - although it got a little muddy! Basically this place is perfect if you just want some chilled out beach time - it's not a party place if that's what you're looking for.

My only qualm was with the service. There were one or two people working there who were helpful and absolute gems - however some of the other members of staff were extremely unhelpful and unfriendly. Several times I would go to the counter to order some food and be blatantly ignored by them for 5 minutes. When they would finally come over they would glare at me and were very abrupt. It made me feel bad each time I ordered some food! I understand that lots of the staff are volunteers and they could get overwhelmed by lots of guest during the busy season - but it was pretty quiet when we were there. And really - it costs nothing to smile occassionally!

I met a few travelers after we left the place who had also stayed there and said the exact same thing. Bocas Bound - great, cheap place - just a shame about a few of the staff. It's still definitely worth a stay though!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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161 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (15)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Oz
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2012

Hey, had an awes 4 nights here, friendly reception and sweet free breakfast in morning. Was pretty quiet at night, so heading to cute beach bar down road , no dramas. Cheap dorms, willing to cut price down if u stay longer. Best beaches of bocas on this island. Outdoor kitchen is a bit [--] re: enough pots, equipment...but, other option is to pay for way overpriced restaurant food. So makes u get bit creative , def wod return here!

Room Tip: Dorms are for 12,but partitioned for bit of privacy. Lots of room in showers
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2012

This place is good for one thing only, it's the only affordable hostel to stay at near red frog beach. The beds are comfortable but you have to pay 5$ to get your sheets changed. The private double room is tiny. They also have air conditioning which you can't control and is freezing. It goes through 3 rooms that are all open at the top (to share the air con) so you can hear your neighbors clear as day. They include breakfast (2 pieces of toast and some overly ripe bananas cut up). I'm allergic to wheat which they couldn't care less about and did nothing to accommodate to this allergy. The rest of the food was like eating at a hospital. Every time I asked for something or ordered something, it felt like I was a huge pain and was annoying to the staff. There was one staff member from Argentina who was new and very nice and the rest you'd be lucky to get a smile out of them. They have a kitchen for guests to use which includes one knife, 2 frying pans, one pot, and 2 mixing bowels that people use when cooking in the oven. There are 4 tiny burners for the smallest oven in the world which means that if you want to use it you have to either start cooking at 4:30pm or wait until after 9:30pm due to the traffic of guests in the kitchen. Bathrooms seemed to be cleaned every other day if that. I hate this place and the only reason I stayed here is because it's near the beach. They did offer ping pong, and pool and played good music which was the up side to this place.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Raven55, Manager at Bocas Bound Hostel, responded to this review, May 17, 2012
Dear Guest,

Appreciate your comments on your short stay here at Bocas Bound. This is great information for us to be aware of all the different types of guest that travel through here. It seems you may be new to traveling in Panama or TA. Majority of our guest have reservations, plan, and prepare before arrival. We tend to see guest (walk-ins) not enjoy their self quite as much compared to guest who are ready to unplug and live the island life.
Let us address your complaints so travelers have a fair idea on what to expect.
Hostels do no change sheets daily, if you request this, there is a $4 charge. We gladly do this for free every 7 nights when our guest request. (hostels cant be profitable to change sheets daily for free.)
Our Semi-Private Doubles have a great special now for $22 a night which includes a personal fan, circulating A/C air, hot water, free breakfast, and a 8 minute walk from the famous Red Frog Beach. $11 a person is a great value which separates ourselves from other hostels. Especially our short distance to the multiple pristine beaches is a big plus. The independent restaurant Kayukos can't afford to accommodate everyone personal request. You have other breakfast options you can purchase if your not a fan of the free breakfast.
The good feedback you gave for the Argentina staff member is of Bocas Bound. The other staff at the Restaurant is not supervised or controlled by Bocas Bound. I'll pass on the feedback to the restaurant, but we are confused when guest let a different business organization influence their review of their experience at Bocas Bound Hostel?
We are aware of the space improvements we need in our free community kitchen and we are working on relocating the kitchen to handle more bodies. (keep in mind we can hold over 130 backpackers). We have all the basic kitchen utensils to cook a full breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It's challenging to have controls on these utensils when guest typically take these items to their rooms (even though its not allowed).
We are confident that you did not have the opportunity to stay in any other accommodations in Bocas Del Toro, for then you would understand the great value you were receiving for your stay. Thank you for your personal feedback, but we are sure your "lack of service" does not paint a fair picture for a 1-2 star ranking? We hope your experience didn’t get in the way of enjoying the beautiful island of Isla Bastimetnos!

Bocas Bound Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2012 via mobile

The bad things:
We rented a suite for 6 people which is big enough but the beds were too small, any person taller than 1,75m won't fit on it because the bed is placed between two walls so you can't even leave your feet out of it.

Also we found a cleanliness problem, there were fungus/mold over different places in the room such as the nightstand, the curtains placed as doors and the bedhead board, and that's so bad for health, even more for allergic people.

The good things:
The place is very nice and has a friendly environment and is very close to the beach. It has a full equipped kitchen (must bring your food before get to Bastimentos island, there's no supermarket around the hostel), there are two restaurants that are ok, common places to stay and entertaiments such ping pong table, pool table, yoga lessons and canopy. In general, the service is good enough, the price is fair and the restaurants are so much faster than every other place in Bocas del Toro (in most places it takes really long time to take your order and do it, you have to wait about 45 min for a sandwich...)

Extra info:
You have to know, as well, that the AC is centralized, so it's turn on 24/7 and you cannot control the temperature in your room.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Raven55, Manager at Bocas Bound Hostel, responded to this review, April 28, 2012
Dear guest,

Appreciate the good feedback. Our housekeeping supervisor has been informed of the feedback and they will take the necessary actions to double check cleanliness. We typically get good marks on our standard of cleanliness, so we will work hard to maintain this. This could of easily been looked at and dealt with if we were alerted on site. Majority of times we hear this feedback after the departure.
We always inform our guest that we have no Bank or Grocery store on our island, so grab these items before arriving. Guest who do not book directly with us, tend to come the least prepared. We are happy that you think the same about our value at our Bocas Bound Island Hostel!
Room Tip: 24C/74F permanent A/C setting - Majority of Hostels do not provide AC accommodations.


Bocas Bound Team
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London
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2012

Came there after not liking Bocas town at all. I enjoyed the lovely beach (within easy walking distance) and the completely deserted beach as well, the walk through green with parrots flying around in the area and being safe when walking on your own as island in this area not a town. The sitting area is nice too, very relaxing.
The kitchen is ok but as soon as one or two people are cooking you'll have to wait until there is room. Kitchen not too well equipped. And bring foof from Bocas town as more pricey in little shop at hostal.
Dorm 12 beds and aircon rather cool (but staff can be convinced to turn it down). Beds ok and for each a locker that fits your whole luggage. only little negative thing was that Bathroom was wet rest of day and night as wet floor didn't get wiped after it got wet after some people had a shower.
Would def. stay there again, nice, quiet, relaxing

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Raven55, Manager at Bocas Bound Hostel, responded to this review, April 28, 2012
Dear Guest,

We hear this time and time again, guest leaving Boca Town wanting to unplug and relax. This is the right place to do it. We are different from the typical party hostels in the town of Bocas. If you like island adventures and deserted beaches, we are in prime location for this. We hope you come and visit again!

Bocas Bound Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milano
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2012

This hostel has EVERYTHING you need for a really good price - the first night was $6, subsequent nights $13 for a comfortable bed in air conditioned dorm room with nice ensuite bathroom. Plus free (basic) breakfast.
The common area is huge, with bar/restaurant, sofas, free pool table, ping pong, table football, internet, books... Every member of hostel staff we spoke to was incredibly friendly and helpful.

The only down side to the hostel is that the bar/restaurant is pretty overpriced and really not anything special, but it's the only place to eat and drink unless you want to walk some way, which isn't so fun if it's raining and/or really muddy (which is quite often). If you're on a budget, bring groceries and drinks with you from Bocas Town and use the kitchen.

  • Stayed March 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raven55, Manager at Bocas Bound Hostel, responded to this review, March 17, 2012
Dear guest,

We highly appreciate the great feedback. We strive to provide EVERYTHING for our guest to be comfortable and have fun for we know the best thing about our hostel is the location, but it's sometimes surprising to guest that we have unique obstacles to overcome with service because of our isolation here on the island. The independent Kayukos restaurant has no association with Bocas Bound Hostel management. This average meal price is $6 at the Kayukos restaurant. They tend to run every other day specials and the beach bar Punta Lava has special dinning options twice a week (15 walk).
Room Tip: We can't be repetitive enough…bring groceries from Bocas for there is no grocery stores on our island.

Bocas Bound Team
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2012 via mobile

Great location, best common area I've stayed in, games, can relax, can party, whatever you want. It's basic, but it's good basic if you know what I mean.

  • Stayed March 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 Bocas Bound Hostel

Address: On A Hill Above Red Frog Beach | 15 min water taxi from Bocas Town, Isla Bastimentos, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( Wi-Fi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in a living rainforest, on a Caribbean island, Bocas Bound is the place to stay and visit in Bocas del Toro. Bocas Bound provides immediate access to surfing, rain forest hikes, kayaking, and beautiful beaches. Bocas Bound is an exotic destination in Bocas del Toro that attracts back-packers, surfers, and cost-conscious families looking for a place that is extraordinarily different from a typical Bocas hotel. Trails from your doorstep lead you through dense jungle to breathtaking beaches and hidden coves. The nightly chorus of nature will cause you to truly appreciate Isla Bastimentos.* 8 min walk to Red Frog Beach * Beach Activity Center* Hiking Trails and Canopy Zipline* 15 minute water taxi to Bocas Town* Air-conditioned rooms* Full Restaurant Bar and Lounge * Community kitchen * Free Breakfast & Coffee. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bocas Bound Hotel Isla Bastimentos
Bocas Bound Hostel Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro

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