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“Stop Looking Now. This is IT.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Loma Jungle Lodge and Chocolate Farm

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La Loma Jungle Lodge and Chocolate Farm
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Bahia Honda, Isla Bastimentos, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Stop Looking Now. This is IT.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

From the first moment we landed in Bocas and Henry met us at the airport, we knew this would be a special trip. The boat ride to La Loma and Bastimentos only confirmed it. We had just spent 4 nights in the hustle and bustle of Panama City, a place with a lot to offer but one that is growing rapidly and can try a bit hard at times. La Loma is the opposite. Everything about it oozes effortless grace. The incredible open air ranchos (rooms), the insanely good food (we ate at THE nicest restaurants in Panama City and none compared to the food at La Loma. Seriously), the super-friendly but not overbearing service, everything. The setting is one in a million, perched on a hillside in the beautiful Bahia Honda where wildlife abounds. We saw capuchin monkeys, birds of every color and description, lizards, the famous local red frogs (and yellow and orange ones as well) as small as your fingernail, sloths, and more. While the location is certainly world-class, the real highlight of the place is its amazingly positive and relaxed vibe. Once you meet the owner/operator Henry, you'll understand why. During a good part of our stay, we were the only guests so we took our meals along with Henry each night. This is really the part of our stay we enjoyed the most. We simply hung out chatted about our families and just life in general. By the end of our stay, we truly regarded Henry as a friend and even keep in touch to this day. He is also a seriously good bartender, spinning up a creative and delicious specialty cocktail each evening (do not pass on these). La Loma's remote location lends itself equally to quality chill time as well as being active. For additional fees, the resort provides plenty of options for excursions including snorkeling, deserted island beach trips, wildlife cruises, bat cave tours and a complimentary tour of the chocolate farm on-site. We did all this and each of them were amazing and staffed by incredibly knowledgeable and friendly locals like the amazing Mr. Kelly. Even though we were pretty active we still had a good amount of time to hang out and read in the hammocks. If you're worried about bugs in the jungle and whatnot, don't. Also, the value cannot be beat since the price includes your (as already stated, amazing) meals. Basically, I could go on forever, but I'll sum it all up by saying, if you're coming to Panama you would be out of your skull if you didn't stay here. End of story. I just hope the next time i want to go, it's not totally booked up or to fill demand, it hasn't gotten to big and lost some of it's charm. I'm sure Henry won't let that happen though!

  • Stayed June 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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217 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (49)
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English first
Boston
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

We arrived at La Loma 3 days after our wedding expecting unparalleled beauty, rest and good food. We got all that and so much more. This place is absolutely priceless in every way. From its remoteness guarding us from noise and pollution, to the lush vegetation rustling in the breeze, to our gorgeously built wooden cabin, and natural stone flooring in the shower under the open air. While the evening noise of the cicadas and the bullfrogs barking and hooting at night kept us curious, the beautiful tropical rain bombarded our roof and lulled us to sleep in the early morning. We caught a glimpse of a sloth snoozing in a tree. We saw dozens of poison arrow frogs, no special tour required. But before you say to me that... "well, it's the jungle, lady, of course it's beautiful and lush anywhere you go", let me tell you something else this place has... It has class. Every detail in your cabin has been scrupulously deliberated over the years by your hosts, Henry and Margaret and their crew. Every detail is there to serve either your aesthetic pleasure, your passion for eco-friendly living, or plain gravity, as in the case of the water catchment system and the plumbing. And then there is the food. The best food I've had in ages. I have eaten at 3, 4 and 5 star restaurants in Europe, US, and the Caribbean. This is better, far better. So much detail goes into each course, into each sauce, side dish and even cocktail. The beauty of it all is that often the ingredients that make up these dishes and cocktails grow just a few feet away from the main lodge, where we dined. And then there was the company, the people, their stories, discussions, laughter, philosophies. You’ll be amazed by Mr. Kelly, the lodge's 1st hand man and a jungle renaissance man of sorts, so spend some time with him. You’ll love Bolivia’s cooking and wish you had the presence of mind to watch a little closer how she makes that food magic happen. You’ll love chatting with Henry into the night at dinner or anytime of the day about anything and everything local and international. You’ll love Margaret’s warmth and intelligence. Both your hosts are bursting with stories, ideas, and thoughts about the surrounding ecology, people, and wildlife. You’ll love their golden-locked son, Lucho, and his fearless approach to nature and his surrounding world. You’ll love Goose, the most adventurous dog you’ve ever met. And most importantly you’ll smugly love yourself for having come.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY, NY
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

We stayed at La Loma for four nights during our honeymoon and it was one of the most magical places we've been. We're a moderately adventurous couple, but I dislike camping and felt comfortable all the time in our spacious cabin. The food was incredible, and I especially appreciated the early-morning coffee and muffin delivery. Karen and Steve (friends of the owners) were fabulous hosts, and we enjoyed every minute of our stay - even the rainy bits! We'd love to come back to La Loma and relax more, which is just about the only thing we didn't find time to do!

  • Stayed August 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

We spend two awesome nights at La Loma and were stoked by the beauty of the place. in the middle of the rainforest 4 beatiful cabins offer an adventurous and beautiful place to stay. Nothing for light sleepers - the rainforest gets pretty lound - but the best for everyone who loves nature. You can forget about the outside world! Steve and Karin made the stay super easy and nice, the food was great. Everything at this place is made with love.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2012

We loved this place and are so glad we came. So beautiful, unique, and relaxing. We only stayed two nights, and would have stayed longer if we could have. Everything was just perfect and we enjoyed every minute-- even though we contended with some rainy days! We can't wait to come back! It's amazing how they've managed to create such a comfortable, luxurious place while minimizing it's ecological footprint and benefiting the community around it. It's a treasure of a place.

  • Stayed August 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san diego
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2012

This "lodge," which is really an amazing adventure-luxury retreat in the jungle, is a must see. Owned by two very inspiring eco-friendly individuals who have merged amazing food, beautiful, sustainable accommodations with an up close and intimate interaction with the jungle and waterways, La Loma seems to have it all.

My boyfriend and I are adventurous and we really wanted an experience where we felt like we were immersed in the jungle with nature. We also wanted to support lodgings that promote sustainable living and charities. La Loma does all of this, while at the same time has the luxuries of amazing vegan meals (per our request), coffee and homemade muffins brought to your door in the morning, the use of kayaks, planned tours upon request and the guidance of the knowledgeable hosts.

La Loma exceeded my expectations. Kudos Henry and Margaret for being an inspiring example of promoting environmental conservation and helping the local community (we found La Loma when we bid on a night at a Charity event to support the local school on the island) with a wonderful vacation experience.

-Tamara Cross

Room Tip: Please note, the rooms are luxury tree houses- you are surrounded by nature/jungle in your room and...
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  • Stayed July 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

We stayed at La Loma Jungle Lodge (family of four -- kids 6 and 8) and LOVED it. Henry and Margaret are lovely, the setting is breathtaking, the cabins are magical and the food is delicious. Our only regret is that we were there two nights, not three. We'll be back to Panama and La Loma will be top of our list for accommodations.

Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Loma Jungle Lodge and Chocolate Farm

Address: Bahia Honda, Isla Bastimentos, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 14 B&Bs / Inns in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience something a little different. La Loma is a working cacao farm that also accepts a small number of overnight guests.If you want to escape everyday life, relax in comfort in a hillside rancho overlooking a secluded bay, participate in tropical farm life or engage in a range of activities designed to bring you closer to the natural environment and local communities of this spectacular island, La Loma is for you. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
La Loma Jungle Lodge And Chocolate Farm Hotel Isla Bastimentos
La Loma Jungle Lodge And Chocolate Farm Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro

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