We had the double room which was very simple with old-ish furniture and AC that worked most of the time. Not much insulation so the noise was there - from other guests and from the street mostly. However, it was a great start of our trip in Panama, as it was in a safe rich neighbourhood and had a very welcoming vibe. The breakfast was tasty and a nice experience, given that you have to make it yourself :) It's a bit further from the old town but with Uber everything was a couple of dollars away. And it was very close to Cinta Costera beachwalk.
I gave 5 stars to this very charming location but note this is not a five-stars resort, hostel or hotel. All in all we spent 5 lovely days in Panama City starting all of our activities in Casa Areka. It was our first trip to Panama and our stay here definitely helped us a lot. Jesús (the owner) and Matthias are exceptionally friendly and hospitably. They provided a lot of information, background info and advices what to do and not to do in the city and in Panama. Among other tours and activities they facilitate (note: they do not execute by themselves but help to organise) one could join a tour to the Guna Yala (~160€/day and person, ask Jesús and Matthias for latest info). Casa Areka provides free Wi-fi. The hostel also offers free breakfast from 8-10 a.m. with pancakes, bananas and free coffee. Typical for hostels, breakfast has to be prepared by yourself and also dishes must be cleaned by the guests after use. Kitchen is spacious, reasonably equipped and can be used by all guests. We had lunch and dinner outside but we saw many people preparing their lunch and dinner in the hostel. Cooking together offers anyway a great chance to exchange information and experiences with other guests. Rooms/dorms are functional, tidy and clean. Some (at least those which we used) equipped with Air Condition, TV (never used though 🙈) and fridge. The mattresses were a bit worn out but ok for four nights. Bathrooms (all) were clean and functional and regularly cleaned. Common rooms are also charming, offering place to linger, play pool-billiard/snooker or use the swimming pool.…
Very comfortable and simple hostel which has just what you need for a few nights in Panama City. The kitchen is a perfect place to meet other travelers and everyone is very friendly and helpful - including the staff members! The breakfast pancakes are delicious. The kitchen was a little limited and didn’t feel the cleanest but you could still cook decent meals there. Overall we’re very happy with our stay!
I reserved the private room with private bathroom and although the sink and the A/C were not working properly, it was completely fixed 3 days after. Great choice for an area that is known for expensive lodging. Facilities are comfortable and staff is very serviceable. Place only takes cash, just to keep it in mind.
Stayed for much longer than anticipated, great atmosphere, great staff, thoroughly enjoyed my time there. All round, an excellent place when in Panama city, staff were really helpful and knowlegable. Facilities regularly cleaned. Well situated to be able to access everywhere easily
Can not fault this place, facilities great, it is a beautiful comfortable outdoor oasis with swimming pool, BBQ, seating area and hammock space, well equipped kitchen, SUPER clean, hot showers, the beds soooo comfortable and the bed linen changed regularly, room cleaned every other day if you want it. Very tranquil considering it's smack bang in the centre of bustling Panama City, there are quite rooms available if city noise bothers you, so request when booking, they are very accommodating here. All of the staff are so kind, fun... in a word... AMAZING!!! It's a wonderful vibe here, exceded our expectations. HIGHLY recommend. 5*
I have travelled and stayed in so many hostals around the world, and for me, Casa Areka has the biggest and warmest heart. The facilities themselves are very good, there are same sex and mixed dorms available, vulnerable travelers can feel safe and their needs support here. There are private rooms also. The beds are super comfortable, with cotton bed linen and good pillows. The rooms are cleaned and bedding changed regularly. There are plenty of bathroom facilities, shared and private, with hot water showers, and clean fluffy towels. We had a family room as we have a young son, with air con and a very comfortable bed. From a family perspective, our stay here was super special, and they treated our son like family, gave him attention and were genuinely interested in his jokes, his projects, it warmed my heart to watch them laughing, playing, chilling together, my son so happy after all the Covid related inaction and isolation. Joy is contagious, and many others were touched by the happy vibes, we all made many deep lasting relationships here with other travellers too, still thriving even after waving goodbye and going our seperate ways. Many happy moments and memories were made here, sharing food, having BBQ's, which is rare to find given these interesting but fear filled times we find ourselves travelling in. As a busy mum, I was able to fully rest, relax, release, restore knowing all was well in our happy Casa Areka bubble, lol. There is a lot to keep you entertained, the SWIMMING POOL obviously (yes, you can actually use it unlike many places), they have good WiFi, lots of games, a pool table in the spacious lounge, a TV for movies, books to share and a VERY nice patio by the pool, hammock area, tables and chairs, a BBQ, all fully functional and available which is a relief during this pandemia. Often, in my quiet moments in the hammock I was visited by many varieties of birds, even hummingbirds which always feels magical... even as i write this review there is a beautiful red headed woodpecker just feet away from me searching for food on the palm trunk next to my hammock. This patio really is a surprisingly delightful pretty palm fringed oasis in the middle of a bustling city. The kitchen, the bathrooms, the common areas... are SPOTLESSLY clean and cleaned with care and regularity. I have actually never experienced a hostel like it for its dedication to health and hygiene, whilst still remaining relaxed and comfortable. The kitchen for me is super important as I cook, and like to cook, a LOT! The kitchen is well stocked and easy to navigate, with cold potable water and secure spaces for your food items and a large communal fridge. Breakfast is also included with american style pancakes, fruit and syrup, tea and coffee... its a hearty start to the day and is available from 8am - 10am. There is a same day laundry service also available - washed, dried, folded and returned, a very affordable and excellent service. Every city convenience is super close by, which was awesome and Ubers are plentiful and cheap to visit the many points of interest Panama City has to offer. Regardless of all the plus points so far... and there are many... what makes Casa Areka SUPER special is the STAFF. The staff are truly, big capital letters AMAZING!!... so warm, friendly, fun, kind and thoughtful, they really make you feel like you have arrived home, because for them, Casa Areka is their home.... and it doesn't take long at all to feel like family. I remember, when I first arrived, and discovered the hammock, I fell into it so exhausted after our long and epic journey. A few minutes later, JESUS the manager, with his big beautiful smile, offered me a soft pillow for my head... so sweet, so thoughtful.... Jesus really is the cherry on the cake of this place, his authenticy, love, enthusiasm and energy is VERY special indeed. JESUS, JUAN, MERCEDES and SARA, we LOVE you, you made our stays here the best we've ever experienced. Thank you, so much. You have a very special place in our hearts ❤ we will see you again. Thank you Casa Areka 🌈 La Familiar Speer 💕…
I enjoyed my stay at casa Areka. The staff (Jesús) was really fun and the hostel has everything it needs to have: an outside area, shared bathrooms but also bathrooms in your room, a pool billard, etc. Absolutely recommendable!
And there was Jesus - quite literally. After travelling in a freezer van for 8+ hours (aka an overnight bus), we stumbled into this urban Panamanian oasis. Greeted by the one and only, Jesus. Who was surprisingly chirpy for 4.30am. Jesus showed us through to the welcoming communal area, equipped with a pool table, lounge seating and a fully stocked beer fridge. With an ice cold Balboa firmly in our paws, we were able to dump our bags, freshen up and lay back around the pool until our room was ready. Jesus and his trusty sidekick Nala (a cat not a lion) hospitality was outstanding!! They even made us banana pancakes and coffee every morning!! We highly recommend this hostel to anyone staying in Panama City!!! And heres more free advice - ohhh boy, does Jesus love tripple ripple chocolate donuts. Crickey!! We bought a 6 pack as a thank you. As we were leaving, we found Nala and him wrestling for the last donut, chocolate all over their fur and whiskers. …
Jesus and the gang are really cool. The outside space is nice and the people there are generally friendly. I love the location with walking distance to the Mall and Grocery. They organize tours, have breakfast and great coffee. It's clean and the AC works fine. I highly recommend this hostel.