We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great service and amazing food!”
Review of La Buena Vida

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Santa Catalina
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
La Buena Vida
Certificate of Excellence
Panama
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
“Great service and amazing food!”
Reviewed March 31, 2013

My husband and I went together to Santa Catalina to spend eastern. We wanted to try as many restaurants as we can but this one: La Buena Vida was our favorite one for Lunch (they only open for breakfast and Lunch). It´s a shame that we coudnt try the breakfast but next time we will do so.

The owners are very nice and open to talk to the people and a lovely girl from Alaska was serving us with a nice smile.

I notice that they offer in the menu very nice things...Healthy food and unique food...I tried a Pinneapple & ginger popsicle (all natural) and it was AMAZING! and I will come back for a "Lemonade with coconut and ginger"....Pasta Salad is very yummi...

They also sale nice souvenirs :) Love this place!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank panamalove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

147 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    109
    25
    8
    1
    4
See reviews for
19
64
18
3
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
Panama City
Level Contributor
14 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2013

We stayed elsewhere but I want to say the breakfasts served at La Buena Vida are great. Service and food quality can't be beat. You are greeted immediately by a waitress or Michele or Michael, and water and coffee are next. We enjoyed our breakfasts there and would visit again.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank yknot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Level Contributor
126 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2013

The staff were amazing and helpful with all aspects of our vacation. The rooms were comfy and unique. The gecko room was so cute - and with AC and a fridge it really met our needs.

The restaurant was great :)

We had a great time !

Room Tip: Artistic rooms - very unique!
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Linda K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2013

For a place that is literally at the end of the road in Panama, we were pleasantly surprised with this boutique hotel in Santa Catalina. As others have stated, each 'villa' is unique and artfully done by the owners. We stayed in the Gecko villa that was so cute with a/c, a fridge, ceiling fan a little deck with two hammocks and an OK bed. Michelle worked very hard to make our stay pleasant. You will get personal service here. Michelle speaks fluent Spanish and knows the local people very well. I went to one of her yoga classes and loved it. My husband went scuba diving every day and he loved diving Isla Coiba.
It takes a good 6 hours to drive here from Panama City. Even when you've reached Santiago, it still takes a couple of hours down to Santa Catalina. If you're looking for scuba or surfing, this is the place to be. If you want to know the local culture in Panama and not just be behind resort walls, I would recommend this little village and hotel.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank redhead_librarian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level Contributor
35 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed February 20, 2013

We stayed here for two nights. Both Michelle and Mike were very helpful with local information and other destinations we planned to visit next. The food was fantastic and good sized portions for a reasonable price. The rooms were clean and had a mini fridge for us to keep some snacks and drinks in. The location was central to everything in town, and only a 20 min walk to Estero beach for swimming and surfing for beginners.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JGG112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
Reviewed February 8, 2013

Mike was totally helpful and laid back. Loved our self contained cabaña! Awesome shower and bathroom - nice tiles and mosaics. We had a great front verandah with a hammock, and a back porch upstairs with a barfridge to boot. We had great sleeps (thanks in part to the ac!).
The cafe is amazing - great food, great staff. A great environment right streetside and steps from the bay. All in all thumbs up for sure.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
155 reviews
54 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2013

My wife and I stayed at La Buena Vida in august 2012 - the off season for Santa Catalina when it rains more and sunshine isn't guaranteed. Though I should point out that we had sun everyday but at this time of year it tends to cloud over around 3pm most days followed by some big downpours. We spent a couple of weeks in Santa Catalina and stayed at a few places but this place was by far the best. Michelle and mike have built the 4 units from scratch and the attention to detail shows. The beds are very comfortable, each room has air conditioning, some have overhead fans, mini fridge,the bathrooms are clean and michelle has tiled each one with a different design. Some have partially outdoor/ but private showers. Always hot water (even when the power goes out which is still fairly common in santa catalina) because gas heaters are used. The hotel is not on the beach (few in Catalina are) but it is a 5 minute walk to the main beach and a 15-20 minute walk to estero beach where everyone swims and non expert surfers surf. "The point" where experts surf (at high tide) is 15-20 minutes. It was nice to be in the little village rather than isolated in an out of the way lot. For example Sol y Mar is another hotel which is about another 5 minutes up the road away from the beach and the village. While bit has some nice views you have a large hill to climb from the road to get to your room. Mike surfs the point regularly and is a great source of insider info for the point and other breaks in the area. We loved the yoga classes given by michelle on a platform on the property up the hill in the tree tops. A very tranquil and beautiful setting and a very welcoming environment for all levels. I also have to mention the restaurant which is among the best in Catalina. Certainly the best breakfast options and a very healthy menu. Only open from 6 am to 2pm it offers breakfast and lunch. Only complaint we had, and I heard this from others, is that they did not open for dinner. Great natural fruit juices, orange, passion fruit, something called chai vanilla iced tea. Strong coffee. Shakes made from frozen fruit, little sugar - no need for it. Try the "papaya dream" which has a touch of cinnamon. The pancakes (2) with fruit and yogurt on top were huge and we often observed many people unable to finish theirs. Greek omelets, fruit and granola with yogurt, and their version of huevos rancheros named the "ranchito". Also the restaurant has a laid back feel and a couch area to chill and enjoy the eclectic tunes and the book exchange as well as various board games, etc. Challenge mike to a game of chess - or if you are up to it a game of pickup basketball across the street at the school - his competitiveness is infectious. Mike and michelle do their best to keep the WiFi working but Santa Catalina is such that connectivity is through a cell phone hookup - so signal strength is weak and as noted power goes out often. So enjoy Catalina as an opportunity to get away from it all and let the Facebook sit idle for a couple of weeks. This is an beautiful but isolated beach town at the end of the road. As a last example there is no bank machine so bring cash - the nearest ATM is an hour plus bus ride away in Sona. Buena Vida does accept credit cards.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank djdgs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Santa Catalina
0.0 mi away
Hotel Santa Catalina Panama
Hotel Santa Catalina Panama
#1 of 3 in Santa Catalina
413 reviews
0.0 mi away
Cabanas Time Out
Cabanas Time Out
#2 of 3 in Santa Catalina
180 reviews
0.0 mi away
Hotel Hibiscus Garden
Hotel Hibiscus Garden
#1 of 1 in Lagartero
200 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
0.0 mi away
Coibahouse
Coibahouse
#2 of 9 in Santa Catalina
66 reviews
0.0 mi away
Deseo Bamboo Panama  EcoLodge-Bungalows
Deseo Bamboo Panama EcoLodge-Bu...
#1 of 23 in Santa Catalina
113 reviews
0.0 mi away
Hotel Sol y Mar
Hotel Sol y Mar
#3 of 9 in Santa Catalina
208 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to La Buena Vida? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing