To say staying here was a wonderful and astonishing experience is an understatement. The Lodge and the landscaping are beautiful and very relaxing but it is the hosts, Nancy, Mike and Melissa who are the Stars of the Coconut Lodge.
This was my first trip to Panama and I was keen to see many of the sights close to Panama City and so was planning to stay at 3 different B & B's and Hotels in the area. Coconut Lodge was my first choice and also the first place that I stayed at with a friend for 5 nights on our arrival. I had checked their website and saw that besides being a B & B they could arrange a few tours that we wanted to take. I also saw that they could make arrangements for a taxi to pick us up at the airport on arrival and take us to the B & B for a flat fee which made our arrival so much easier. We were met outside the customs hall with a driver holding the Coconut Lodge sign and although he didn't speak English and my Spanish is nonexistent we were able to communicate and when we got to the Lodge we were met at the gate by Nancy who welcomed us and immediately made us feel comfortable. Our luggage was taken to our room, Casa Bambu, which turned out to be not a room but a separate stand alone casita which was quite large, with 2 Queen beds, a double sink in the bathroom, and a huge shower with a "rainforest"shower head, lots of fluffy towels and larger towels for pool use.
Nancy offered us something cooling and refreshing to drink as soon as were settled and then explained dinner options and also when breakfast would be served. Mike is a wonderful cook and self trained chef and the meals he served are lovingly prepared with the freshest food. Breakfast, unless you are leaving on a very early morning tour, is always prepared to order, eggs any way, French Toast, sometimes pancakes and always fruit. If you are on an AM tour, items for a continental breakfast are either laid out and Nancy will show you where to find milk and butter in the fridge. Since there are no restaurants within walking distance Mike makes a full 4 course dinner for the amazing price of $18.00 and what a meal. It is always different and also delicious. On Saturdays Mike and Nancy treat themselves and go out to dinner but the Saturday night that we were there she made reservations for my friend and me and also the other guests to have dinner at a Panamanian restaurant about 10 minutes away by car. One couple had a rental car and they drove all of us there and it was such a pleasant evening with good food, not as good as Mike's however, and good company with folks from other countries. On Sunday night Mike has a barbecue dinner and because I don't eat meat or chicken he would have either grilled fish or a vegetarian entree for me. He is an amazing cook, always creative and the meals were exceptional.
Nancy also told us about the tour that we had requested and booked for us with Capt Carl to Monkey Island. We also asked about other tours and later made arrangements with her for us to go with Melissa early one morning to the Rainforest Discovery Center with their own Canopy Tower and then a 1/2 day city with Nancy in her car to see a few of the city sights. The tours with Melissa and Nancy were so descriptive. When we got to the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center with Melissa at the Visitor Center there were Hummingbird feeders which the birds would zip into and out of drinking the nectar in them and where, unsuccessfully, I tried to photograph them in flight. Then it was short walk to the Tower which we climbed, fortunately there were landings along the way to stop and catch your breath, 174 steps up, 100 feet or 82 metres high. We there just before sunrise and to see the sun come up over the canopy forest is a sight not to be missed especially when the birds wake up and start flying. There was a naturalist with us from the Discovery Center who had a scope and she was able to see birds that to us were just specks in a tree and then set up the scope for us to catch a glimpse of the bird. We stayed there for the longest time with many other birders who were also able to point out some that landed closer to us in the trees, after that it was a short walk from the Tower to lake Calamita which had a few birds but was just a very serene place to sit, there were benches, and have a light snack. Then Melissa drove back to Panama and before returning to the Lodge she drove us to the Bahia Temple which sits on a hill with a view of the Panama City skyline. it was a lovely ending to a really delightful tour with good company.
The 1/2 city tour we took with Nancy was taken after we left the Coconut Lodge and were staying on the Causeway. We wanted to do a tour where we didn't have to get on a mini bus with many other folks and on a set tour which might not go to where we wanted to go. Nancy picked us up and we were off, we have said we wanted to see the view from Ancon Hill, see modern Panama City but we also wanted to see Panama La Vieja, the old city that was burned by Capt Morgan after he plundered it in 1671. We did drive through modern Panama City with its many high rise
office and apartment buildings to get to the old city. We didn't stop at the museum,that will be for another time when I return, but I did get out of the car to walk amongst the ruins and to take photos where it looks as though some of the buildings are undergoing restoration. Then it was time to return back to the Causeway and where we were staying. Nancy drove back and dropped us off and then left, right after that I realized I had dropped my camera case and I was sure that it somehow had fallen in her car. I sent her an email asking if she had found it and she replied that she had and would leave it at our hotel the next day. Melissa dropped it off with a note as promised the next day and it was waiting for me when I returned from another tour. I couldn't believe my luck, that it had dropped on the floor of her car and that they took the time out to make a special trip to return it to me. They truly exemplify what the term "Customer Service". means.
The friendliness and warmth of Nancy, Mike and Melissa was the most memorable part of this trip, they made me feel like family and there were many hugs before I checked out.
I cannot stress enough what a beautiful place Coconut Lodge is and how generous and caring they were. I hope to return again to Panama and I know that Coconut Lodge will be the first place I'll be staying at.
Casa Bambu was the best, I did look at 2 of the other rooms and they were lovely but it felt very sp...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.