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East End, Calle Principal Old Bank, Isla Bastimentos 0101 Panama
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Traveler (145)
Room & Suite (31)
Dining (11)


#8 of 22 B&Bs / Inns in Isla Bastimentos
GreenLeaders Gold level
The Sea Monkey -- a boutique over water bungalow lodge, bar, and restaurant -- is situated just outside of the authentic Caribbean village of Old Bank on Isla Bastimentos, just far enough from the center to give a feeling of seclusion but still close enough to allow easy access to local shops, bars, and restaurants. Guests can easily reach destinations throughout the islands via water taxis directly from our dock. Each bungalow features a spacious luxury bathroom with hot water shower, a romantic king-size four-poster bed with mosquito net and unobstructed sea views via a collapsible 12 foot window wall, and a huge open-air deck with 180 degree views of the Caribbean and neighboring islands. The restaurant and bar feature international cuisine and tropical drinks with an emphasis on fresh, local, and organic ingredients. We get a lot of our produce from our neighbors just a few hundred meters from the lodge!
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Full view
Property amenities
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Free breakfast
Non-smoking hotel
Room features
Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Good to know
85Reviews4Q+A13Room tips
Traveler rating
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Popular mentions
Joey wrote a review Jan 2020
Bucharest, Romania190 contributions20 helpful votes
I’ve been there for no more than 24 hours, cause the room I’ve booked using booking.com was far from the pictures on the site. It was the lodge on the hill, which is not on their site anymore, since it was rented from the locals, with some people living there. The problems started as we arrived, the room was full of bugs, spiders ( we were expeting that since it’s a jungle all around), mold and dirty linen on both beds. A dirty fan wasn’t able to change the smell in the room. No bathroom window, so no ventilation. We end up sleeping on the porch since the room was unsuable! In the morning, when it started to rain, the hole room was full of water ...from the walls. The water pomps/tanks for the restaurant and water bungalows were next to our window making an infernal sound. Internet was not working up the hill. When we decided to leave and told the owner about the problems, she didn’t looked suprised at all!!! She charged the whole amount with 3 month in advance and when asking to reimbuse, she said she will give us half back. We were supposed to spent 4 nights there, including Christmas, and end up spending one night on the porch! What a Christmas! I leave pictures here just to make sure other don’t fall for false advertising!!!!
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Date of stay: December 2019Trip type: Traveled with friends
2 Helpful votes
Response from Sea M, Owner at The Sea Monkey
Responded Jan 19, 2020
Hi Ioanna, We apologize for the fact that you had a bad experience. The room you booked is in a multi-unit building, but it is not rented from anyone, though there are people in the other rooms. I inspected the linens myself and they were not "moldy" or "dirty." We do not use dirty linens here. There is, in fact, a window in the bathroom located in the shower. The water pump you referenced is only used for that structure and is located right below the bathroom window. I did not charge the whole stay in advance. We charge a 50% deposit at the time of booking and the balance on arrival for all of our reservations. I refunded you far more than half of what you paid. We did have a crazy storm during Christmas, and I saw that there was water in the room, but it did not come from the walls but rather the windows. The storm was the reason the wifi was not working; I had to have the provider come to fix our satellite receiver when it ended. Our other four overwater rooms are brand new constructions and do not have the issues that come with an older building, so I would like to note that this review does not reflect on the rooms we currently rent at the Sea Monkey; we decided to stop renting that room because the building is older and not suited for everyone. Again, I'm sorry that your vacation was negatively affected, which we never want to happen.
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senaUk wrote a review Dec 2019
UK245 contributions93 helpful votes
The overwater bungalows have a lovely setting, and sitting on the deck staring over the sea is incredibly peaceful (even with some music drifting over the water from the town) in both rain and clear weather. As others have observed, the water isn't really clean enough to swim right off the deck and boats zip by pretty close as well which would also make me nervous. I did see a little turtle swim under the deck though, and was happy hanging around watching pelicans and frigate birds fishing. The owners weren't around when I was there, and had left the place in the hands of a couple of long term traveller guests. I wasn't totally sure they were expecting me (despite my having confirmed my arrival time a couple of days before), and unfortunately they didn't really know much about the island or the area, so I felt the lack of all the enthusiasm and affection for Bastimentos and Bocas that comes across on the website. The room was clean-ish, but again I wasn't sure if it had really been prepped for my stay. The shower was a big problem for me - when turning on the hot you get a dribble that turns into a scalding hot blast (quite dangerously) and then dies off after about 90 seconds. I took to turning the water on and off several times per shower to make the most of the brief periods of reasonable temperature water to wash shampoo out of my hair etc, and lived with it cold for the rest of the time. Apparently that's just how things are, but I didn't encounter any others that operated like that in my Panama trip, and if that's how it always goes I'm surprised that none of the other reviewers have commented. There's no safe in the room, and although I didn't have a problem, I never felt it was totally secure. Locals hang out on the walkway to the room drinking and fishing in the evening, and I had a couple of people come and bang on the door early morning (I'm not sure for what, I didn't answer, but I confirmed that it was no one to do with Sea Monkey trying to get hold of me) and I definitely wouldn't have felt comfortable just leaving the door unlocked as suggested when someone was going to look at the shower while I was out. The restaurant was good, which was fortunate as Old Bank didn't really seem to have anywhere else to go to eat - several restaurants, but all seemed pretty resolutely closed. It may have been due to my arrival on a Sunday, as when I walked through town early evening on the Tuesday one restaurant did seem to be opening up. The restaurant isn't open during the day and is unstaffed for most of the time, but there was a steady stream of people turning up, sitting for a bit, sometimes grabbing a beer, and then moving on during the afternoons anyway.
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Date of stay: November 2019
1 Helpful vote
Enid P wrote a review Jul 2019
Retranchement, The Netherlands29 contributions3 helpful votes
We went as a couple for a unique experience at The Sea Monkey. We booked 1 of the Bungalows over seas and it was everything and more we expected. Very nice bungalow, spacious and clean with a million dollar view over seas. The deck is really big so you enjoy the outdoor area to the maximum! We saw dolphins passing by from our deck and saw thunder and lightning as if it was included in the price! :)) The sea wasn't bright blue as we expected but this has probably to do with the weather in stead of the venue or location. Not too much to do in Isla Bastimentos but great place to chill and explore the beautiful nature. Keith and Franny welcomed us as true hosts, showing us around and were always available. Try the beerfish if you have dinner there. Thanks again for the nice welcome!
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Date of stay: July 2019
Sleep Quality
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Room Tip: Bungalow is best view
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Mattias Gillis Winge Rudh wrote a review Jul 2019
Asker Municipality, Norway32 contributions11 helpful votes
We, family with two kids 12 and 9, stayed at the Sea Monkey in one if the overwater bungalows for two nights and had dinner at the restaurant one night. The location looks stunning on the photos, but what they don't show is all the trash in the water. After we saw feces floating by we stopped swimming here. This is no fault of Sea Monkey though as the entire bay where old banks is located is unfortunately full of trash. After all there are some 1500 people living here, many houses are on pillars in the sea. The cabin is ok, allthough a bit worn down and the shower and bathroom is "one" space which is maybe fine for couples but not ideal for a family. The food in the restaurant was typical Panamanian, allthough the courses had fancy names that would indicate fusion food. Also we found they seemed to be out of a lot of ingredients and several items on the menu were not available. It is an ok place to use as a base for exploring the area, but if you look for a place were you can take a swim from the deck don't book here.
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Date of stay: July 2019Trip type: Traveled with family
2 Helpful votes
Steve S wrote a review Jul 2019
4 contributions
Absolutely the best vacation I've had. Keith was amazing and helped us to feel like we were staying with family as opposed to just travelling. The views were incredible and in all directions! Believe all the pics. It really is that beautiful! The food at the restaurant was equally as impressive and the breakfasts (included with the room) were beyond words. Gotta try the coconut french toast! The rooms were very spacious. We were travelling as three adult friends and we had plenty of room. I loved "Island Time" and hated to leave, but know I will be back!
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Date of stay: June 2019
$55 - $74 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
PanamaBocas del Toro ProvinceIsla Bastimentos
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Frequently Asked Questions about The Sea Monkey
Which popular attractions are close to The Sea Monkey?
Nearby attractions include Red Frog Beach (1.9 miles), Gypsy Travel Panama (2.5 miles), and Up In The Hill (0.8 miles).
What are some of the property amenities at The Sea Monkey?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, free breakfast, and a concierge.
What food & drink options are available at The Sea Monkey?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast during their stay.
What are some restaurants close to The Sea Monkey?
Conveniently located restaurants include The View at Oasis, Leaf Eaters Cafe, and Azul Restaurant.