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“Very basic not so great place saved only by two hospitable managers” 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
Panama City, Panama
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Very basic not so great place saved only by two hospitable managers”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2014

While checking out Hostels in the Bocas area we also took the water taxi to Bastimentos to visit the Bocas bound Hostel..This was previously a workers accommodation site for the guys building the fancy villas inland..this was evident in the cave we were put in (no window and 10x10 with used sheets I had to change myself) ..True there was no-one else in the building (3 rooms with one as a double twin and then a double then a dorm bunk set-up) and we had the showers and toilets to ourselves..BUT one shower dribbled and the other toilet had no seat so we really only had one of each. (good thing there was only us and the other rooms weren't filled)..Share kitchen area was generally unkempt with no -one policing the clean-up and therefore some people didn't do the right thing...well that part could be remedied BUT the sewer smell probably not, as these facilities are under the big lodge area where the staff can be found playing on the ping pong or playing pool...To be fair some of them seemed okay but most had no clue.....You have to beg for attention even if they are sitting there and the reception closes at 5.oopm (so make sure you have your laundry and key deposit returned before if you are leaving early in the morning) so anyway give up on them and find Tom or Richard as they can expedite almost anything..These guys are the saving grace of this place...Food is okay fair US prices although the Nachos gave my husband some grief for a few days...bar service better (tip well)....I was overcharged and my deposit was not credited to the bill..Red Frog beach is probably a better deal if you can book at the tent resort Palmar..same money and closer to the beaches....Call ahead if you need a ride up to this Hostel with your bags as the walk although pleasant isn't any fun with drag alongs.....Priced too high when registering with Hostel brokers and it took them a while to find our registration...This place needs to give more control to the guys that are on the ball (Tom, Richard) and it might have a better chance....

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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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164 reviews from our community

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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
Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2013

I stayed here for three nights at the end of November 2013. We paid about $35 dollars a night for a double bedroom with some air conditioning (it was shared with the other rooms in the little block, but kept it cool). We shared a big bathroom that was very clean and well equipped. I can´t really complain about the room at all.

There is a big restaurant area to eat in and the food prices are high but not ridiculous and the food is actually pretty good. The breakfast is big and that was what we ate most of there anyway. The staff are pretty useless and don´t seem to know anything about the place they live and work, they are lazy and a little stupid in my opinion, but as long as you don´t expect too much from them, then it´s fine and they do their job satisfactorily. I would give this place four stars if the staff were a little better.

You can walk to the Red Frog beach through the jungle in about 10 minutes from the back of the rooms, this beach is one of the best on the island and it is easy to spend a whole day here soaking up the sun and swimming in the lovely water. There are waves here so you can have some fun in the water..

Bastimentos island is so beautiful and there are loads of really nice beaches here to chill out on and have a swim. I highly recommend this place, it is much better than Bocas Town. My recommendation is to come straight to Bastimentos and miss out Bocas Town entirely.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Montreal
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2013

Stayed at Bocas Bound a month and a half ago and had a great time! Tom who manages the restaurant is a true gem, he went out of his way to provide us with everything we needed (and he always has great music playing in the common area!). The dorms were clean and comfortable, and had AC to top it off! I forgot my camera on a table one night and although I thought I'd never see it again, the staff had brought it to the lost and found desk. Great hostel all around!

Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
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Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2013 via mobile

It's not the easiest place to get to (water taxi, then 15 minute walk), and if you've made the choice to take some time to stop over here, then it's such a shame to be ignored from the outset (by every staff member I might add!), and when you do grab someone's attention, it is as if you have ruined their Internet time by wanting to stay there. The manager himself tried his best in the evening, and was much friendlier, but it still turned a 3 night planned stay, into 1 (I hot footed it back to Bocas on the first water taxi the next day).

I stayed in a private room, in a block that was away from the main communal area (where the staff spend their days playing pool). It was small, with just enough room for a double bed (shared showers, which were pretty clean) and a fan, but that was fine. The kitchen area was outside and pretty rank.

If you're going to make the effort to go over to red frog beach for more than a day trip, then I'd suggest the Palmer Tent Lodge which was on the beach, and seemed to have a nice atmosphere to it

Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
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Salem, Oregon
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2013 via mobile

I had made a reservation for one of the villas, but found it wasn't available. The staff offered up the hostel, Bocus Bound 2, which was substantially lower in cost. I found it was comfortable, had hot showers and the amenities at the resort are amazing. The staff was very friendly and I ended up staying 4 nights instead of two. It was a wonderful experience and I would not hesitate to do it again!

  • Stayed November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Lima, Peru
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013

My wife and I spent Friday October 11 to Monday October 14 at Bocas Bound Hostel. I could give numerous examples of how the service is anything but decent. I am not hard to please, but the staff at Bocas Bound were not great.

The beach was amazing. The hamburger at the restaurant on the beach was great.

The air condition was nice and cold, however, it leaked really, really bad. I put a trash can under the leak and it had overflowed by the morning.

There was mildew on the doors going into the bathroom.

The bed was comfortable, sheets were okay.

It is about a 15 minute walk to the beach.

Keep in mind, that if you plan on heading to Bocas Town, it's $5 during the day and $10 at night each way.

Overall, it was a very lack-luster experience as far as the Hostel and its staff is concerned.

The beach was quite amazing though.

If you are any sort of picky, DON'T STAY HERE. If you don't mind a few quirks, it will be okay.

breakfast is NOT included in the price.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2013

We stayed in a dorm which has aircon and lockers and seemed clean.
After the first night we discovered the room had bedbugs (as we woke up with bites all over us).
Although it is not the hostel's fault, usually people are apologetic after an encounter with bedbugs but not this one.
They made us feel as if we were lying about it. They told us that is is impossible because they have metal bed frames (which isn't true).
We were able to wash all of our things in hot water and change rooms but they were not happy about it.
Food was good but a little expensive.
They have a kitchen but no supermarket so bring what you want from Bocas Town.
They have a good pool table and ping pong table, a good social area and an excellent jungle walk to the beach (we saw sloths and monkeys about 30 metres down the track).
Overall the hostel was good but one particular staff member made it one to forget.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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 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 #14 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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