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“Lovely time” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Free Spirit Inn

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Free Spirit Inn
Old Bank, Isla Bastimentos 00190, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Berlin, Germany
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Lovely time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2014

We enjoyed staying in Calvin's place a lot. We slept in the garden hut. Calvin was very helpful and the breakfast was outstanding. Due to the fact that he also traveled a lot we had quite some stories to exchange. The place is far enough from town and also not too far away. It's just a short walk down the hill where you'll find several very good restaurants. Calvin tried them all and will guide you. Our best to Calvin and vielen DANK.

Stayed March 2014, 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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47 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    34
    10
    1
    1
    1
See reviews for
5
26
1
Business
0
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 (8)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2014

At less than 5 mins walk from the dock, excellent room and nice view of the bay. Calvin make me feel immediately at home and was really helpful with any kind of recommendation. Despite of a water shortage on the island he manage to have running water and hot shower. I'll be back!

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014

I'm completely confused about the high rating of this place. This is really basic accommodation and for $65 a night I guess you don't get much!
Firstly it's fair to say that we were there over carnival and pretty much every hotel was booked out so we did not really have a choice but to stay here.
Location wise it is up a big hill and not all paved so in 30+ degree heat was extremely hard work pushing a suit case up and carrying over certain parts, we were dripping in sweat by the time we got there.
Accomodation is very very basic. It was boiling hot and there is no air con or ceiling fans. There were however two old small table fans but just blows round hot air. There was no hot water and as it hadn't rained for a while we were asked to limit showers to 2 minutes which was easy considering the state of the bathrooms. While we were there it did rain and the roof of the hut is thatched and it of course leaked! Although the owner said it only leaked in really heavy rain it started dripping within a few minutes. Luckily the rain only lasts short periods of time and the bed dried very quickly! There was a spare bed in an upstairs annex that was not under the thatching that I thought would be better to sleep on, unfortunately when I went to get in the bed the sheets were covered in mould...might want to change those! We were told new sheets had just been put on the beds downstairs though (bright orange!) but they were cheap polyester and in that heat it's probably the worst thing you can lie on!
Calvin the owner sits opposite on his deck all day 'watching' the property but instead you always feel like you are being watched and 'asked' to do things...like turning the lights off we accidentally left on.
Breakfast is again basic, toast or cereal and juice. I didn't drink my juice one day and he had a go at who hadn't drunk their juice!?
If you want to run a B&B and charge people to stay then you can't lay down rules like a parent and expect guests to have a good time. It's difficult to relax when the over controlling acting extremely friendly host is always there and watching.
Loved the Island and will return but are better places to stay I think even on a budget!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calvin C, Owner at Free Spirit Inn, responded to this review, March 15, 2014
I'm so sorry that you waited until the end of your stay to voice your concerns. Its disappointing that your concerns were aired on a public profile since I am available at all times at address guests needs and would have discussed each of these issues immediately (not after the fact). I make it known that this is an accommodation for nature lovers and those looking for a relaxed rustic jungle styled experience. I apologize for any of the inconveniences you experienced. We are located on a small island with occassional water shortage during dry season. This is an accommodation that requires consciousness regarding the environment and limitations of this location. Perhaps the cleanliness of the suite was not to your standard - however our standard of cleanliness and organization is consistent and has garnered positive guest reviews. Perhaps your expectations were not realistic for this location- I would encourage you to read the details in our listing again. Best of luck to you.
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London
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2014

We had great 5 days at Free Spirit Inn. The Inn is located a nice walk from central park, which is not really a park despite being called this way. It's also has a nice route to "Up on the hill" coffee and chocolate shop which is amazing place that deserves separate review.

The Free Spirit Inn is really nicely decorated and all in all a great place to chill at any time during a day or night if you don't feel like exploring the rest of the island. It has a nice little hammock area and a meditation area which was refurbished during our stay.

Calvin is a long time traveller and therefore has a lot of live experience and open mind which is reflected in the looks of his place. He also sets up great little complimentary breakfast in the morning with fresh fruit smoothies. He is there if you need him and not there if you want to chill in quiet.

Bastimentos all in all is great island, where to get to most places, like coffee shop or beach, requires you to do a proper hike through the jungle seeing beautiful birds, animals and plants. At the same time it's just 7minutes away on a boat to Bocas center where you can find more of a traditional holiday attractions like clubs and bigger restaurants.

Would come again without hesitation

  • Stayed February 2014, 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Den haag
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2014 via mobile

We spend 5 nights in this beautiful place. We enjoyed every second of it. The room is great and the host Calvin is a really nice host. He has great stories and is willing to help you with everything. Every morning he made us nice smooties, we felt very welcome. Calvin; thanks for the amazing time.

Stayed February 2014, 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.
Montreal, Canada
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2014

The moment we entered the gate of Free Spirit Inn we understood that’s the place we wanted to be. Beautifully created place where you can relax and enjoy after the day filled with extraordinary activities. By the way, everything we’ve done was advised by our wonderful host Calvin. It’s so nice to have somebody taking care of you. If you want to dive into panamien culture and, at the same time, comfort is not unimportant to you – that’s the place to choose. Thank you Calvin!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

As we speak we are about to enjoy our last breakfast at Calvin's, before leaving after a 5-night stay. We loved being here, Calvin is a great host who takes care of his guests in the best way he can and ensures everyone is comfortable, has their questions answered and daytrips planned. He created his own little paradise with Free Spirit Inn and lets you become part of his home in the middle of the community of Bastimentos. It was a great experience to see how the locals live and see what island life is like for them in the middle of the jungle. If there are any activities you would like to plan make sure to ask Calvin about it, he knows everyone in the area (and all locals know him) and has quite some connections to arrange things for you! We had a lot of fun with Calvin, including a nice Christmas dinner with wine and candles. Our stay felt like staying with a friend.

As for the rooms: great beds, beautifull decorations, great seating areas, lots of trees, flowers, birds and a good, healthy breakfast. We stayed 4 nights in the yellow room, we had the pleasure to be the first to spend our last night in Calvin's new 'glamcamp' hut with a bunkbed and separate bathroom with shower. It was great - from inside the hut you can see the trees and plants around, also the shower has a window out. It really feels like camping in nature only with very comfortable beds and and a watertight roof!

Stayed December 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.
Calvin C, Owner at Free Spirit Inn, responded to this review, December 28, 2013
Season Greeting,! I just completed my first (1) year as owner developer of
Free Spirit Inn , I would like to thank everyone who help me see this special project come life . Trying to say I'm finish is a joke because I'm always seeing something that need to be done, or added or adjustments
So now I can say that it here , not on the way I see it in the Now ! Happy Holiday.
I will show pictures very soon of my new Glamping Hut room w bath and private deck which is available now, thanks for all the support and reviews it been a great year for me starting and sharing this new business. Blessings
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Free Spirit Inn

Address: Old Bank, Isla Bastimentos 00190, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 15 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 
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Also Known As:
Free Spirit Inn Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro

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