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“Wonderful stay”
Review of La Buena Vida

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La Buena Vida
Certificate of Excellence
Cleveland, Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Wonderful stay”
Reviewed August 5, 2011

Just got home from a trip to Panama, and La Buena Vida was certainly our favorite place we stayed. It has an incredibly warm "family" vibe to it, where I felt like an actual guest versus a customer. Mike & Michele were both very warm & welcoming, with plenty of small talk and advice for seeing the town. You can tell they're in love with Santa Catalina and that this small inn is as much a labor of love.
We stayed in the Gecko Villa and were supremely comfortable with a/c & hot water, which is far more than many of the other places in Sta. Catalina offer. This is not to say that there wasn't some grittiness to it. It's important to understand when you come to Sta. Catalina & La Buena Vida, that you are visiting a place that is still somewhat off the grid. We did lose power our first night, along with the entire town, and at times we did encounter "critters" (mostly geckos) in our room. For me, that was part of the adventure and didn't do anything to lessen my enjoyment of the hotel or the town.

Room Tip: book in advance, they are small and will fill up quickly
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lchap717
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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146 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boquete, Panama
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed June 16, 2011

Micheal and Michelle made us feel very welcome and the room was quite beautiful. Everything worked, food was great, the price was very reasonable and Michelle gives a great massage! Both of them are awesome artists.
We'll be back.

Room Tip: Go in the off season and hope the power stays on!
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank grandessolar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 26, 2011

I love La Buena Vida. After staying elsewhere on our latest trip to Santa Catalina, I just appreciate LBV that much more. It's great to have air conditioning (at least when the power in town is on :) ), and the food and service are unbeatable. The owners are fantastic, and everything is so well taken care of and beautifully decorated. Their hearts are really in it, and it shows. That's not to say Santa Catalina is for everyone...this is the jungle and there WILL BE cockroaches and other fun bugs, the power IS likely to go out, and it IS going to be really really really hot. None of that has anything to do with the inn, though, and they provide a great place to stay in this very natural environment. Enjoy!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Diana K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Marcos, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2009

After driving 5 hours or so to get to Santa Catalina from Boca Chica, it was very nice to have a comfortable room to sleep in. After briefly seeing the rest of Santa Catalina, this must be the nicest accomodation in town. My wife was especially happy that I sprung for the extra couple bucks to stay here (still probably the cheapest accomodation we stayed at in Panama). The other places in town didn't look very impressive, at least from the outside. Also, you can walk to the main part of town from here. Definitely recommend it. We did not think much of Santa Catalina, by the way. Good thing we were only passing through on our way to Coiba.

Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank aculjat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
79 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2009

Beautiful mosaic work adds a cheery touch but hard to appriciate while smoldering in the heat with broken AC that we were still paying for. We switched from the new lizard hut to the bird villa for working AC then the power went out for the rest of our stay. To be fair it was the whole town. Ants decided to carry their eggs into by pack and make a new nest. The restaurant on the premisis we had heard so much about and were looking forward to is apparently seasonal and is closed for many months of the year. Owners Mike and Michelle were very nice. All in all we had a good time but just seems over priced for what you get.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank teamlove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
1 review
Reviewed November 16, 2008

Mike and Michelle speak English or Spanish- run a clean pleasant restaurant and motel. They offered help finding a variety of activities in the area.

Stayed June 2008
Helpful?
Thank Bucky23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pinkday95
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 8, 2008

OK the first few nights WE stayed in the SURFERS HAVEN,,,, 14 girls, 3 bedrooms, people sleeping on the floor, 10 crabs found in the house ( including in the shower) , no AC in 110 degrees , all twin beds ( 2 people on a twin bed) , and unclean. A few people got sick so they moved us next store to a Room with an AC nice queen sized beds, really clean, just wonderful the last few days!!!!! the owners are so nice and tend to your every needs.

  • Liked — The AC
  • Disliked — How there were crabs everywere in are room
  • Stayed June 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank pinkday95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Buena Vida

Property: La Buena Vida
Address: Main Street (in front of school) | 600 Meters From the Beach, Santa Catalina 60745, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Veraguas Province > Santa Catalina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Catalina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Comfortable, Artistic Hotel in the heart of Santa Catalina, Panama. All private villas have hot water, A/C and a mini frige. Beautiful garden restaurant (6 a.M. - 2 P.M.) And tree top yoga studio ... more   less 
Also Known As:
La Buena Vida Panama/Santa Catalina

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