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“An awesome stay in Coronado, Panama”
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Very good
110 reviews
yes, that could be YOUR pool!!
Newly upgraded bathroom in Gaviota
Guests enjoying a BBQ we had for a birthday
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Overview
Condo/Apartment -
1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, Sleeps 2
Playa Coronado, Cocle Province

Reviews from our community

Very good - based on 110 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
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Bernie S
Thunder Bay, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“An awesome stay in Coronado, Panama”
Reviewed March 3, 2016 for a stay in February 2016

From the moment we arrived at the Casitas, Sarah and her staff made us feel as welcome as if we were family. Whether relaxing in one of the hammocks, swimming in the pool or having our morning coffee out in the beautiful garden, there was always a warm and friendly greeting from the staff. Any questions we had regarding things to do or see in the area or questions on restaurants or general interest were answered by Sarah and her very knowledgeable staff.

The casitas have a fully functional kitchenette with all the utensils and there are also a couple of barbeques and outside eating area that are made available to the guests.

The Casitas are located close to shops and restaurants. The beautiful beach is within walking distance.

Our only regret is that we did not stay longer than a week and we certainly look forward to our next stay.

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Liked best: The relaxing atmosphere of the place
Liked least: One week was not enough time there
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Families with young children
People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
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  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
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Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jim_Patri...
Langhorne, PA
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Love Coronado & Sarah's”
Reviewed February 13, 2016 for a stay in February 2016
2
people found this review helpful

My wife and I just spent a wonderful week (1-31-16 / 2-7-16) in Casita Toucan at Panama Sarah’s in Coronado. This was our 4th visit to Panama & Coronado since 2011. We know “the Panama experience”. I also lived in the former Canal Zone for a year and half before it was repatriated to Panama in 1999. We have always stayed at B&B’s in Panama (in Europe and the U.S. too), and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Sarah’s. Being with Sarah. Jimmy, and Scott made the experience more like being a house guest with friends, than being a customer.
Sarah’s prices are in line with our previous accomodations in the Pacific beach areas of Chame and Cocle. We loved the yard and pool, and especially our morning coffee in the always-breezy breezeway between the main house and Toucan. It was the perfect location (closest to the pool) for my early morning swim, too.
The unit itself is not a sterile room at “Residence Inn by Marriott” in Key West. It’s a well used guest cottage in Panama, that we found comfortable and adequately appointed. The AC, fans, coffee pot, refrigerator, etc. all worked adequately for our needs. We don’t go Panama in the winter to stay indoors. Anything we lacked, was quickly provided by our hosts upon request.
We received an unexpected, and wonderful surprise, when we found out our Casita rental came with a pass, good for our entire stay, for the Coronado Golf and Beach resort, located about 2 blocks from Sarah’s. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g1022784-d305475-Reviews-BlueBay_Coronado_Golf_Beach_Resort-Playa_Coronado_Cocle_Province.html This place DID HAVE facilities worthy of a Marriott! I love Marriott, by the way, and I am a lifetime “Platinum” Marriott Rewards member.
The golf club features a large, newly renovated swimming pool, multiple bars and restaurents (indoor, outdoor, terrace, swim up…), and a free shuttle to their private beach club. The beach club also has multiple bars, a restaurant, beach bohios & umbrellas, and shaded pool overlooking a lovely, clean beach. We had breakfast and several lunches there. The food was good, beautifully presented, and, while not cheap by local standards, cost less than comparable U.S. meals. I cannot comment on the actual golf course since I am not a golfer.
“It’s Panama”, as the saying goes…. a different country and a different culture. The unexpected does happen. During our week, the electric went off during the night. Sarah had bottled drinking water out immediately when we awoke & Jimmy had a bucket of water outside our door to use for flushing. As is usually the case in Panama, the service interuption was brief, so we required neither.
I recommend Panama, Coronado, and Sarah’s whole heartedly, and we will likely be back again.

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Liked best: Pool, yard, Golf / Beach resort access
Liked least: Leaving
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katherine...
Minneapolis, Minnesota
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Not as expected, overpriced at $100/ nite, misrepresented”
Reviewed February 7, 2016 for a stay in January 2016
4
people found this review helpful

We stayed in Casita Toucan for 3 weeks in January to get away for part of the winter. Sarah reserved a 4th week at Bahia Balboa in Panama City for us. Toucan is attached to other 2 other "casitas" so, be aware there is only 1 free standing casita. It resembles a strip motel. Toucan is very tiny for a few weeks stay. The room is dark. The bed is very old and soft if you changed positions the other person would bounce up and down. There were no chairs other than the tiny wood slatted kitchen chairs to sit on so, we had to use the bed to sit on. The mattress would slide off the box spring about 12 inches several times a day from us sitting or lying on it.
There is no hot water in the kitchen or bathroom sink but there is in the shower. This is not a battery problem, batteries are for the shower, there just is no hot water. The stove/oven is propane and no markings to determine the temp of the oven except for the lowest temp of'170. It started to get very low at the end of our stay and it took a few tries to light the burner. I informed Jimmy who is Sarah's new resident assistance and he said they would have to get a spare in case it runs out, there was no spare on site. There was 1 cookie sheet, no other oven pans to use. There was enough pots and pans but very little counter space so not conducive to preparing, cooking food. When removing the garbage from under the sink I noticed a very large plastic container filled with water leaking from the elbow joint. I informed Jimmy and he had Scotty (Sarah's) boyfriend fix it within a day. The elbow joint was cracked. Obviously this was known since that bucket was placed there to collect the water from the kitchen drain. There are no storage containers, foil or plastic wraps to use after cooking. You will have to supply everything. There was some salt, pepper and soy sauce. Sarah arranged for Pedro to pick us up at the airport and after a very long day with a few plane delays we arrived about 3 1/2 hours late and were told that we need to stop at the grocery store to pick up coffee and food for breakfast. I was very surprised that coffee was not included in the price. Sarah did give me some that she took out of our neighbor's room the next day but we already bought it. There was a 4 cup Mr Coffee which needed to be descaled and took a long time to make which essentially is 2 cups of coffee. Note that all of the grocery stores have armed guards which was the first thing I saw in Panama. Our neighbor's gave us there kitchen chairs for better back support. There is a new apt size fridge and new upper cupboards.
The bathroom is old and tired but a nice size walk in shower. There are a lot of glass shelves on the walls and chrome shelving over the toilet. The faucet is old and
not easy to look clean anymore, the chrome is crumbly and covered with lime scale. Hand soap is not provided.
The walk to the beach is about 10-15 minutes, the streets are dirt rutted roads. The ruts are filled in with old construction debri like broken up tiles. There is some garbage strewn around on Sarah's street but gets less closer to the beach. There are some nice homes on the way but high walls and barbed wire on top of the walls or fences. It is rare to see another human being. The sun is very strong starting about 9am and chairs with umbrellas are not provided by Sarah so you cannot sit on the beach. The beach is all private homes with a small access path that is about 4-5 feet wide with tall cement walls. The path is dark, damp mud with some garbage thrown about. There is not one beach front cantina as stated in the description!
We rented a car for 2 weeks for $500 so we could get off the property and explore. We spent several days in El Valle and up in the jungle. It was a nice experience and we had to really search for things to do. You can do almost everything in El Valle in a day or two. We went to several beaches along the Pan American Hwy but it was hard to find access paths and there was so much garbage along the roads and at the beaches outside of Coronado. All of the beaches are pretty much empty.
The yard is gated with many plants and flowers. The pool is nice but small. Do not be deceived by the photos. There is a water fountain that is not working, the outdoor shower finally was working after 2 weeks. The outdoor furniture is old and worn and mismatched with the exception of a couple of lounge chairs.
The communal living area is actually off of Sarah's main house and she rents it out to guests who seem to stay for only a few days and I was not too comfortable to be in that space when she had people renting it. Some of the photos are of her house which can lead one to believe that these "casitas" are bigger than they are. The pictures are deceiving.
We needed to ask for the weekly cleaning that is supposed to be included in the price weekly. It was very dusty and dirty from some remodeling that was going on in a room attached to the main house. This went on for about 2 weeks and we needed to ask th have walkway between the casitas and the main house cleaned of the dust and dirt. This remodel was not on any of the rental casitas but a room for her new resident assistant Jimmy.
I was very happy to leave Toucan and was hoping the condo in Bahia Balboa would be better. That was not the case! It was dirty and poorly maintained. I asked for new pillows because they were covered with yellow stains and new pillows did come the next day. Sarah had forgot to charge us for that condo when we booked back in 7/2015 and when she asked us for $750 for the week we offered $500 and she accepted that. The mistake I made was not seeing it first before we paid her.
In conclusion, I agree with another reviewer that I don't know how these casitas get 4-5 star rating. The pet phrase at the property in Coronado is "it's Panama" when anything broke or went wrong. I did not find it comical but an excuse not to fix or take care of things. It felt like North America prices for what they call "it's Panama". Another mistake I made was believing what I read in International Living, trip advisor reviews and the pictures. I stayed too long, there was very little to do unless you really searched for things and are willing to pay for rental cars, tours etc. Please note that the prices on trip advisor and Airbnb are not what she charges. Sarah says that she is full most of the time and with prices like $100 nite I don't think it is too much to ask for complimentary hand soap, coffee or at least an 8 cup Mr Coffee that is descaled, a better mattress, hot water in the kitchen and bathroom sink. Overall this is poorly managed.

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Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 50-64
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Apr 7, 2016
Thank you for taking the time to share your opinions regarding your experience at my property. Needless to say I am extremely disappointed that you held such a negative opinion of the accommodation and am personally shocked that you felt so poorly about your stay. Please rest assured that when any incident regarding property maintenance or cleanliness is raised to myself, I take pride in ensuring complete rectification of the issue and that you remain completely satisfied with the outcome. It is evident on this occasion that you did not feel matters were rectified (which was difficult to do, as the feedback was provided after the fact, in this forum) and that the accommodation and service failed to meet your expected standard for which the entire property team are regretful.

I urge guests to provide feedback, positive and negative, especially when they are onsite. If a matter is not brought to my attention, it’s challenge to rectify a situation that is unknown and not communicated. There were in fact a few maintenance items that have since been resolved completely. Things do happen, yet, I feel it’s the prompt response and attitude of the owner to rectify that really matters. I was not given this opportunity until after the fact, in this situation. It’s all about communication. I am an extremely approachable person and my #1 goal is my guests’ comfort and satisfaction.

I’m sorry that Panama was not for you. 99% of guests who book at my casitas, want to experience the real Panama, a homey setting and personal experience. Others may prefer a more sterile environment, like a chain hotel and perfect streets. There are always a great deal of positives, and I am sad to see that you have not mentioned one of them, particularly after constantly telling us all was fine, while you were onsite.

On a super positive note, I would like to add that I am deeply grateful to your husband who unexpectedly and generously, offered his time, effort and expense to take the most beautiful professional photos of our property and team, as a thank you for his awesome stay. I proudly post these on my facebook page and website. Really lovely, I will never forget his adventurous spirit, kindness and generosity!

Again, I appreciate your valuable feedback and opinions which have been taken on board by all here for future guest satisfaction.

Sincerely, Sarah
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
horsecoun...
100 Mile House, Canada
1 review
“Beautiful casita and pool and close to a spectacular beach!”
Reviewed February 5, 2016 for a stay in December 2015

Our stay at Sarah's place in Coronado was fantastic. We very much enjoyed a welcoming barbecue in the backyard on the first day we arrived. Glenn helped Sarah's boyfriend Scotty with the barbecue and they became very good friends during our stay. Sarah had invited many expat friends to come over and we had a wonderful time getting to know them and hearing their personal stories of how they moved to Panama. Her backyard is very private and well landscaped around a beautiful pool which we enjoyed frequently. Sarah was very friendly and helpful in getting us settled in and oriented to all that the area has to offer. We had a very nicely decorated, quiet room with a kitchen and air conditioning. The room was of high finishing standards with a very comfortable queen sized bed. The kitchen was well equipped for cooking, which we took great advantage of. Her place is in a great location, very close to the beach!The beaches were quiet at Christmas season. In town you can find absolutely everything you need quickly and cheaply. We felt very comfortable, relaxed and well taken care of the entire stay. Sarah is a very gracious host who truly wants you to have the best experience possible. She is well connected in the real estate market and the the area and showed us several places and referred us to a couple of top notch real estate agents.We will definitely be back!

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How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: Meeting Sarah and Scotty,meeting other expats,the air conditioned casita with well equipped kitchen and beautiful beached with shimmering white and black sand.
Liked least: Leaving so soon!
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Your age range 50-64
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway People with disabilities
Older travelers Families with young children
Large groups People with pets
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Feb 6, 2016
Thank you so much for your kind testimonial. We thoroughly enjoyed having you in Coronado and were always anticipating your frequent updates while you traversed the whole country afterwards. What an adventure you had!! . Scotty looks forward to hanging out with your awesome hubby and discussing further opportunities to help everyone make the transition to Panama full time. Exciting times for you all with the business opportunities and re-invention, and so nice for me at the same time to help in any way I can and witness it all evolve. . I'm glad my colleagues were able to help you with your quest for a long term rental.. and you know when you are ready to buy, that is my area of specialty, we will find your special paradise!
I hope you will come "home" soon, we miss you!!! Sarah, Scotty and Jimmy
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
k2cale
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Hospitality Supreme”
Reviewed February 2, 2016 for a stay in December 2015

Though Sarah wasn't really ready to rent the work-in-process upgraded Casa Gaviota in late December, she graciously accepted our reservation and made it work. Yes, there was construction going on and as it was holiday season, the work was slower than ideal. Details aside, what resulted was a wonderful stay and the foundation for our decision to settle in the Coronado area for the long-term. The people we met through staying with Sarah and her inspired love for Panama life were contagious. Do meet her, stay on her property, and see what evolves. You will not regret the experience.

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Feb 6, 2016
Hola K and K! Thanks so much for taking the time to review your stay with me, I truly appreciate it. IT's true the casita was not quite finished (as I explained up front when you inquired for a reservation) but I am so glad you insisted to stay anyway as I believe you took away some wonderful memories from your stay, and was indeed a pleasure to host you. The best part is.. you are staying on full time .YAY! So happy to have you as our new neighbours, you are certainly a wonderful and welcome addition to our growing community of happy expats who realize Panama is not perfect, but has its charms, advantages and beautiful local people who are so kind and patient with us. I'm sure we'll see you weekly at the local Happy Hour and please pop in and say hi whenever you are in the neighbourhood. Cheers! Sarah, Scotty and Jim :)
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LABS1086
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Adult hostel at hi rise price”
Reviewed January 30, 2016 for a stay in January 2016
2
people found this review helpful

I preface this review by stating that we have stayed in 3 other casita accommodations in both Costa Rica and Belize in past months and found them to be excellent. Not this one!
We stayed in tortuga for 3 weeks. First impressions are not great when entering parking area especially when there is construction debris everywhere. Cozy casita is a euphemism for very tiny studio motel style room of 195 sq ft. Kitchen is attached but separate tiny 100 sq ft ill equipped and not air conditioned (2 small plates, no steak knives or storage containers, dull knives, no prep area) . The door from kitchen to outside has openings which allowed in construction dust from the room across ( which lasted almost all 3 weeks and woke to saws every a.m.). The bed is small,creaky and uncomfortable with a old egg crate topper. The table and chairs would have to be pulled out against bed in order to dine so we sat on bed to eat. Had to ask for included cleaning as there was no schedule or organization. Some guests arrived with no one to check them in. The pool is nice but there was confusion over pool chemical treatment and what chairs there are, were mostly old and a safety hazard. Overall feeling of neglect and unprofessional organization. Outdoor shower was out of commission for 2/wks and there is an empty fountain at the back. We fixed umbrellas, our sink and the cold water input to the washer which seem like pretty basic maintenance issues. Also cleaned a/c filter. The common area floors and furniture don't seem to be cleaned at all. There were guests in owners pad as she stayed off site so no one felt we could use the outdoor living/kitchen area without disturbing them.
If you like very cramped, run down, hostel/dorm room type accommodation this could work for you but otherwise spend less and get a 2/bed Hi rise condo on the beach in Gorgona for less money.

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Overall condition of the property Bedding & mattresses
Kitchen & utensils Bathroom cleanliness
Other facilities & amenities Service
Liked best: Guest pass to Coronado golf and beach club
Liked least: Size of living area and "ensuite" kitchen
Traveling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   No.
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management Response
Feb 2, 2016
Thanks for taking the time to write a review of Sarah's casitas.

In truth, we do consider the experience here to be different from a resort condo or high-rise hotel—that’s by design. The casitas are a low-key​ and personalized​ basecamp for exploring the Pacific Coast Beach area and El Vallee…a place where guests can meet fellow travelers around the pool or for a BBQ in the backyard. Fully equipped casitas with private rooms and kitchens, plus the intimate shared pool, and our 4.8 star ratings (over 50 of them here online) show that most guests are very happy with their decision to stay here.

We enjoyed having these folks as guests for 3 weeks, and took note of their many positive suggestions during their stay. When feedback was relayed (as I always ask guests to please provide feedback ​"during" the stay as I cannot help address the issues directly when they write about it ​"after" their stay) . The points that were brought to our attention were addressed immediately (new knives, more thorough housekeeping to remedy construction dust, etc etc.).

We also provided perks that a typical high-rise condo would not, like ​in the case of these guests, a​ ride to the grocery store immediately after check-in, mail retrieval organized from the country they were previously in, and a trip to the clinic following a medical emergency​ with a lengthy wait to ensure they were ok, and offer translation services between the cashier, doctor, and pharmacy​. This is just what we do here. We don’t expect a pat on the back, by any means, but we think these services warrant a mention.

About the construction: I am constantly upgrading my properties to offer a quality experience to guests…and unfortunately, there is never a "perfect" time to do it, as for the most part, I am fully booked, or very close to it year round. We sincerely apologize that past guests were inconvenienced for the sake of future guests, who will enjoy the fruits of all that work.

We tried to lessen the impact as much as possible, but this is Panama, where even painstaking plans go astray. Holidays come into play, workers are tardy.. a job is delayed.. it's part of it, and while we would love to have things work seamlessly as they would in North America, it's not always the case here in Latin America.

One final thought: Panama is not Costa Rica or Belize…and we like it that way! ​Over the years, we have compiled a long list of why Panama is​, in so many ways, ​ bette​r.. ​based on feedback from renters and friends who have moved here from those ​other countries.

And it’s true that rentals are less expensive in the nearby town of Gorgona. But Coronado is a gated community with very little crime, and a collection of grocery stores, restaurants, pubs and other modern facilities (like the full service hospital these guests were taken too and cared for in less than 5 minutes) catering to the large community of happy ex-pats who live here. Any traveler who prefers the high-rise oceanfront experience is welcome to try that instead (I too have a selection of oceanfront condos for rent in Coronado!).

What we offer at the casitas is very personal, and a bit different, and for the right travelers, they’re just right.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mikael650...
Chicago, Illinois
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Pleasant and conveniently located property.”
Reviewed January 24, 2016 for a stay in January 2016
1
person found this review helpful

The property consists in several casitas and a back area with garden and pool. It is well maintained thanks to an attentive and friendly staff residing on the property itself.
It is well located near the beach, shops, restaurants and the main highway to Panama city.
I was 'upgraded' to the main casita consisting in a 1 bedroom which was simple, clean and with everything necessary. The summary booklet in the casita with local addresses and things to do is very helpful. The Wi-Fi signal power was impressively strong and there was even a few foreign channels on the TV to catch up with European broadcasted news (French) ! Nice.
Unfortunately, only the bedroom in this casita had A/C which made it difficult for me to remain in the other rooms given the Panamanian hammering heat. So evaluate your cooling needs before booking.
I recommend this pleasant property to anyone traveling in the area.

Traveling group: Solo
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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