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“Rip off jail” 2 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
canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Rip off jail”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

This place is a waste of your money. Way too much hype for this place. $33 for a semi private room which literally the double bed barley fits in. I am 5 foot 10 and when laying on the bed I can barley fit. My head and feet touching either wall. There is really no character/atmosphere to the place either. It felt like I was in a jail cell.
There was a pool table with some rips in the fabric and a computer that worked pretty good. The coffee in the morning was $1, and there is no free breakfast anymore. The kitchen near the lodging has no bowls or cups and you have to eat your food in the kitchen not in the restaurant which really disconnects you from any sort of socialization.
Theres quite a few bugs in the restaurant area. One night was enough here.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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159 people have reviewed this hotel

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
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English first
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012 via mobile

To be clear, the place is clean and new, which is great compared to a lot of hostels.

The problem is the location and activity center. They tend to run slow (or not run at all). My experience was poor because the front counter staff seemed unwilling to do anything. I came here from a different country to see this beautiful area and I wasted priceless hours shuffling around trying to get answers & service.

While this hostal is on beautiful Isla Bastimentos, it is located behind a large, ugly maintenance area filled with tractors & equipment sitting around. (Not exactly the jungle experience I was expecting)

A side note - Red Frog Beach was far from pristine. Trash everywhere.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Boston, MA
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

Bocas Bound is everything you could ask for an a hostel. Great people (literally the friendliest patrons I've met while traveling), awesome and friendly staff and clean, clean, clean. The dorm sleeps 12, but is set up so that you feel like you are in a room of 4. Very clean bathrooms, nice kitchen and a gorgeous walk to a gorgeous beach.

Just come a little prepared. Despite what the website says, breakfast is not included. In Red Frog Beach there are only 2 restaurants (with limited menus) and no super markets. I wished I had gone grocery shopping before coming to the island. The prices are what you would expect for being on an island ($4-6 for breakfast, $10 for dinner).

If you are looking to side step the party Bocas Town, this is the PERFECT alternative and there is still plenty of action to keep you occupied. Wished I had stayed longer

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Santa Cruz, Costa Rica
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

The good:
Everything was super clean, and the kitchen was huge. Dorms are a great option for the budget traveller. The common area in the restaurant was very relaxing, and they have a reasonably priced happy hour(s). It's maybe a 5 min walk to Red Frog beach, which is probably one of the nicest beaches in Central America. The staff were very friendly and helpful.

The bad:
We had to ask about the air conditioning on the 2nd day, which they promptly came and turned on. The room did get pretty cold after that though. No cups or glasses in the kitchen. Although not completely related to the hostel, the on site restaurant is WAY overpriced, and the food wasn't very good.

Bottom line:
A very clean and relaxing place on Isla Bastimentos, at a great price. We will definitely be back.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Montreal, Canada
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

We were very pleased to find this place with nice staff, air'co, clean, free computer and free breakfast and a kitchen all that for 22$ per night. Had a really great time exploring the beaches and taking it easy. Nice atmosphear, defenetely the best accomodation we found in Panama.

  • Stayed August 2012, 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
    • 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.
Port au Prince
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

I truly enjoyed this place. I found the dorms very clean and giving a lot of privacy. I had an excellent sleep here. Bathrooms are clean and they have enough toilets and showers so that there is one free most of the times.

The location is also very good. Red Frog beach is only 5-10 minutes away from the hostel through a path through the jungle. Isla Bastimentos is much more quiet and beatiful.

The lounge area and the restaurant were also pretty nice. Good food and friendly people.

The only downside was that as I was travelling alone it was difficult to book tours. They were either very expensive or I was dependent on other people signing up. Luckily they arranged with a company from Isla Colon to come and pick me up from the island so I could join their tour to dolphin bay and coral key. Very beatiful and had a nice time on the tour.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 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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Utrecht, The Netherlands
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2012

It's a nice place to stay if you're in Bocas del Toro. Isla Bastimentos has great beaches and is a lot quieter than the main island.
The restaurant and lounge area is nice, the food is fairly priced and tastes good the service good be a bit better. You can use the shared kitchen but it lacks kooking supplies.
The dorms have a lots of beds, which make the bathroom (cold water showers) go filthy in a second on an busy day. But they take care of it immediately if you tell them.
To bad they close the bar early. There are not a lot of other options in the neighborhood to have a drink. So after the bar closes you're on your own.

But overall a decent place to stay.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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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 ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 14 Specialty lodging in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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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