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“Let the Stress melt away....” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Free Spirit Inn

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Free Spirit Inn
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Old Bank, Isla Bastimentos 00190, Panama   |  
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Free Breakfast Included
San Antonio, Texas
1 review
“Let the Stress melt away....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2013

What an unbelievable experience. Unfortunately We took the long way there...A five hour flight and an 11 hour bus ride that was nothing but exhausting and stressful. But as soon as our water taxi dropped us off at the dock and we met Calvin, instantly, and I mean instantly, all the stress and fatigue melted away like it never happened. Calvin brings a vibe that makes you feel at home and as if you've known him your whole life. Before you do anything with you bags, it's sit and enjoy a fresh picked coconut, top popped off and a straw for sipping. All this while sitting out on the patio, looking out, through a tropical jungle above the Caribean sea. Words can't explain the view and what you feel while you relax and take this all in. The island is amazing, one thing to take into consideration when choosing an island in Bocas, most of the islands are surrounded by mangroves, which breed a nasty insect called chichas (or something like that) which when they bite, they leave nasty irritated blisters. So....you'll have to always wear smelly bug spray. But not on Calvin's Island. Bastimentos is one of the only islands that has no mangroves on this particular side of the island, so no chichas. As a matter of fact, I don't believe I was even bitten by a mosquito. Plus the island has two small grocery stores, which means, no water taxi to the main island for beer, wine and snakes (like the other islands) :0. At breakfast, Calvin whips up the most delicious frozen Banana, mango papaya smoothies along with gourmet coffee. When Calvin gives advise on tours and places to see and eat, take his advice. He knows the islands and everyone nows calvin. when you catch a water taxi, just tell them your going to Calvin's and they know exactly what island and where to drop you.

Calvin, I just want to thank you. It was by chance we ended up there, but I can tell you it won't be the last. See ya soon my friend, I'm still dreaming of this place that so few know about. I almost hate to let such a secret out to the world. Cheers!!!!!

  • Stayed September 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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43 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (7)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

My boyfriend and I stayed at free spirit inn for 4 nights the month of September. Honestly, it was better then we expected. Calvin welcome us with open Arms and always a smile.. Ohh fresh coconut when you arrive.
( Very nice gesture) Great breakfast.. He provided continental breakfast for us ( better then continental ) He made us the best fresh juice I've ever had every morning , made w mango, banana , and papaya (So yummy ).. What a gesture. Iberio the nice young man working there had the place spotless and beautiful and very genuinely friendly. It was just
such a great vacation. Great conversation w Calvin. He was such great help w directions and maps and advise as to what to do. He knows, if you visit you must take his advise ;). restaurants, beach , tours, anything you need to know ) I definitely recommended and if I get a chance to get back ? Will definitely visit and stay at spirit inn again. Thank you Calvin !!!!

  • Stayed September 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013 via mobile

We had a wonderful welcome and stay with Calvin on Bastimentos Island. My children (aged 9 & 11) felt safe and comfortable for our entire stay.

We enjoyed the quiet, the closeness to nature and the lovely room (Ebony Suite). They were happy to still have access to the outside world via wifi, so we were able to have a rustic experience with the right notes of modernity.

The town has some delicious restaurants and everything is walking distance as there are no cars on the island, another plus when travelling with children, seeing another way of life in the Caribbean.

We hope to visit again soon

Stayed September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

Arriving at the teeming little port in Bocas Del Toro (Mouth of the Bull) in the Gulf of Mexico - we caught a small motor boat over to the Island of Bastimentos. Bastimentos is part nature reserve and part unspoilt and natural village and jungle. Free Spirit Inn is situated up the hill of Old Bank with an uninterrupted view across the bay, Arriving at the quayside, dressed as City slickers, (a look we very soon discarded) we were met by our host Calvin who took us up the hill to his delightful B & B.where we were staying in a beautiful double room with a balcony that overlooked the bay, a voluminous bed and an en suite bathroom.

The Island has no cars and you travel everywhere by boat. There is so much to do, both if you just want to soak up the peace and tranquility or if you want something more adventurous. Confront yourself by going on the cave trip - wading through water up to your chin - fully clothed with a helmet and light - being lead by your intrepid guide Hunky. The bats are sweet and add another dimension!!
The local restaurants serve wonderful food, the beaches and swimming are glorious, the people friendly. The local Church on Sunday was a special treat where we joined in the joyous singing and clapping of the happy Island people. The sunsets are magnificent.

It was indeed a holiday to remember. Don't forget to take your camera!

Room Tip: All the rooms are really excellent - individually designed and furnished with beautiful furniture an...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dania Beach
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

My sister and I went to Bocas del Toro for relaxation and adventure, we found both. Free Spirit Inn up on the hill of Old Bank on Bestimentos, is charming,serene, surrounded by trees, with a beautiful view of the Caribbean from the rooms balcony. Calvin the host met us at the dock in the rain. He had given precise instructions for the passage from the airport in Bocos to the dock at Old Bank Park on the Island, including how best to find a water taxi. He walked us up the hill to a charming B&B built in the local indian style,with thatched roof, hammocks and all things necessary for comfort. He gave us an introduction to the Island, and suggested sightseeing trips, beaches, local restaurants and other things of interest. The cave trip is not for the faint of heart, Hunky, our guide knew every rock and step. At his command we swum and ducked, while wadeing through water with only the light from our helmets. It was very exciting and exilherating, Calvin seems to know the best guides for every trip. Everywhere we went the food was good, and though it was out of season we had several glorious days of sunshine.

  • Stayed July 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

My Fiancee and I spent a few days at the Free Spirit in for the first leg of our 9 day Bocas del Toro tour. We met Calvin at the main dock and he took us just a bit up the hill to his very charming and beautiful B & B. We were greeted with a some coconuts and given the lay out. It was raining the first day so Calvin asked us if we wanted him to order us food from a local spot and he would arrange for someone to pick it up and drop it off for us. The food was cheap and great ( I forgot the name but I had the coconut curry). Calvin was a pretty amazing guy and was as accomadating as possible. Case in point excursions. Obviously if you are coming here you're here for adventure or maybe some nature, well Calvin Hooked it up. My Fiancee and I went out the first day with Antonio, who came to meet us at Calvins house and tell asked us what we wanted to see. We said we wanted to see some Dolphins, do some snorkling, and grab lunch. For $30 each we got just that. Everyone will say they have a secret spot to see Dolphins but this seemed to be it. We saw like 10 DOlphins who actually played with the boat and allowed us to capture awesome pics. He also showed us a bunch of sloths. We actually told him we were ready to leave as we had seen enough dolphins lol. Then we went to Coral Cay and theres a little restuarant out there. We Ordered and came back an hour later after some snorkling...Great Tour! We also went for a hike in a bat Cave with Alvaro who was knowledgeable and had helmets for us (bring head lamps to Bocas). I could write all day about Calvin and the beautiful lodge. We liked Calvin so much that we called him to go out to dinner the last day we were in Bocas, he took us to Firefly which was like the rest of the experience.... Amazing

p.s Bocas tip: Bring some packets of tide laundry detergent & plastic bags as everything gets wet. Also be sure to tip properly, these people work for tips and I promise you that your trip Karma will be superb.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2013

We came to Free Spirit Inn yesterday after a long trip from Costa Rica. Arriving at Calvin's place was like walking into a calm and serene garden. He greeted us promptly and gave us coconut water while we relaxed on the porch overlooking the sea. Calvin is a very gracious host and his passion for his work and home is evident! We stayed in the purple room; it was well appointed and very comfortable. As I sit here on the porch with a cup of coffee, I am sorry that I don't have more time to spend here on the island and at Calvin's Free Spirit Inn. For those of you who are looking for a personal and more intimate experience, this is the place for you. I recommend Calvin highly, as his kind of hospitality is what I enjoy so much about traveling and getting to know others.

Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
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 Free Spirit Inn

Address: Old Bank, Isla Bastimentos 00190, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our New Eco Friendly Inn offers a relaxed and lazy getaway with a splash of tropical adventure with local Caribbean music in the background with a beautiful island bay view, plus local restaurant ,bars with music and food stores two minutes away. Free Spirit Inn has comfortable private suites, with dreamy beds, private bathrooms with hot showers and stone massage floors. Each suite has a balcony view of the Caribbean and other islands in the bay, and a decorated sleeping loft for 1 to 2 extra guests.There is a outdoor seating area and hammock to enjoy quiet reflection, a garden area , outdoor open air shower ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Free Spirit Inn Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro

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