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“Not just a resort - an experience”

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Popa Paradise Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Isla Popa
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Not just a resort - an experience”
Reviewed January 8, 2013

If you are looking for a slick 5* operation, all mod-cons, and loads of superficiality then don’t come here. Actually, do come here and experience what authentic hospitality is really all about.

Popa Paradise is big in heart and personality. If you like hosts with charisma, an easy going ambiance and captivating atmosphere then this is the place for you.
Everything else has been said in detail by other visitors so there is no need here to further embellish the glowing reports about food, transportation, trips and overall comfort - all of which we endorse.

We have never before felt so relaxed and content in a hotel and never so melancholy when leaving. Tears were wept – truly. Our two young children (3 & 8) are still talking about Popa Paradise –which is the best possible endorsement.

We thank the charming Dyllan for his cool and unflappable management style, the inimitable Ty for his consistent courtesy and yummy cocktails, and the phenomenal Darion – top chef,
yogo-meister and liver of life. We miss you.

Room Tip: No 6 - very close to the sea
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Beverley L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dyllan M, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Many thanks for your wonderful review! It was a pleasure meeting your family and we are so pleased you enjoyed your stay with us.
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267 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
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English first
Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Life in Bocas is amazing and full of rewards. The best of which, is our favorite island retreat, Popa Paradise. When we can get away from our crazy party bar, we head up to Popa. Dyllan, Darion and Ty are the most gracious hosts, and they know exactly how to treat their clientele. Even if it is only friends visiting on their day off. This 55 acre masterpiece of manicured perfection in the middle of nowhere, is simply perfection. It was built from the ground up, hand designed for comfort and breathtakingly relaxation. The casitas are amazing and the penthouse is to die for. The swim up bar in their incredible pool will keep you busy for hours, never mind the tours to neighboring islands like the Zapatillas. If you take one vacation in your life, take it here. The entire staff goes way beyond the call of duty to provide their guests with the finest aspects of luxury. Between Dyllan's attention to function and form, from Darion's amazing chef and story telling skills to Ty's delicious cocktails and hilarious host nature, you are sure to be delighted with your trip to Popa Paradise. Thank you so much for everything boys, you never fail to deliver and we are eternally grateful.

Room Tip: Go Penthouse.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Aqua S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dyllan M, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Many thanks for your great review and kind words!
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San Diego, California
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Our family just returned from an absolutely amazing visit to Popa Paradise. It is so off the beaten path, and yet everything works so perfectly. Even getting there was part of the fun experience. Dyllan went out of his way to make us feel most welcome from the start and even though we were only there for 3 nights (way too short) we were able to truly relax and unwind. It felt more like a visit with old friends. We stayed in one of the lovely casitas which are beautifully decorated and private. Our children (5 & 8) were thrilled to explore the beaches (which were stunningly beautiful and so private, water perfect for swimming), have fun in the pool and explore the grounds. They are also still raving about their special day out on the catamaran with Handre & Bev. Darien is an amazing chef and everything was so fresh and of the highest quality, and Ty makes some pretty fabulous drinks too! We cannot recommend Popa Paradise highly enough for a truly unique and blissful experience. There is so much to do there, or simply relax, it is a truly special place. We only wish that we had more time there, but we will no doubt return some day.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank ehmcl12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dyllan M, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Thank you for your kind words and great review. It was such a pleasure having you family here and we as so pleased you had a great time. Hope to see you soon again at Popa Paradise!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Encinitas, California, United States
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed December 25, 2012

My boyfriend and I went to Bocas for Thanksgiving week. I was so excited for this trip and bragged about it to about anyone who would listen. My coworkers were all jealous that I was going to come back to start the winter with a great tan. Well... I guess with all my bragging I deserved what we got- rain everyday! I think out of the 8 days we were in Bocas del Toro we maybe saw the sun for a total of 2 hours. Every source I had read about Bocas beforehand said that the rainy season started in December but I guess this year it came a little early. The beginning of our trip we stayed in Bocas Town and Red Frog Beach and they seemed great and all but the rain really put a damper on things. We then braved the 45 minute trek out to Isla Popa in the pouring rain and rough seas. I just felt completely defeated while on the boat ride out there. All of the money and time off we had saved up for this trip and here it was raining, windy and ruining the vibe. That all changed when our boat pulled up to the dock of Popa Paradise though. The beach and resort grounds were breathtaking- and this was in the pouring rain mind you. We were soaked to the bone from the boat ride and when we got to the reception desk there was Dyllan and Darion with warm towels for us to dry off with. They were kind and perfect hosts from the very start of our stay. We were then taken down to our ocean front casita. My boyfriend and I were absolutely speechless. I don't do a whole lot of luxury travel but I honestly could not have imagined a better room. Our view was spectacular and being that this island is so remote it is baffling to me that they were able to get all of the large and beautiful pieces of furniture out there. Since we were also celebrating my birthday on the trip, Dyllan and Darion had left a bottle of champagne in our room to toast with which was a very nice touch. One minute we were soaked and cold in the rain and the next we were dry and cheersing each other with full champagne flukes on our very spectacular ocean view balcony.
The pool was AWESOME!!! The food was great and I really dug the ambiance they set with dinner- music and beautiful lighting. We never got to go to Zapatillas, Crawl Cay, or Starfish beach (all 3 I really wanted to see) because the weather was too unpredictable but we had plenty of other things to do on Popa. Dyllan organized an island rainforest hike with an indigenous guide for us and it was an absolute highlight of our trip. We had these big rubber boots on that they lent us and we tromped through mud and untamed forest. We brought a beer on the way to make it an official "jungle stumble." :) We loved it. There was a lot of great scenery and private beaches nearby to kayak to and we saw two of my all time favorite animal while on one of our kayak adventures- sloths! We were there for Thanksgiving night and even though we were the only people at the resort from the U.S., Darion cooked up an AMAZING turkey with all the fixings. So good! Thanksgiving dinner was followed by a fireshow which was quite impressive! They really went out of their way to assure a great and memorable stay. If we hadn't stayed at Popa we would have come back with a very different impression of Bocas. The rain and cloudy skies would have left us feeling glum and possibly regretful for using up the money we have saved for this trip. Popa Paradise truly saved our trip though and I left Panama with a smile on my face. I may not have come back with that tan I had bragged about beforehand but I did come back relaxed, well fed, and with some beautiful memories. A very genuine thank you to Dyllan, Darion, and all the other kind people who worked at the resort.

Room Tip: Ocean Front Casitas all the way!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Megan D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vroes, Owner at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this review, December 29, 2012
Megan,
Dyllan and his staff are extremely busy just now, with the resort completely booked over the Christmas / New Year period, so I thought I would respond on his behalf. It was very generous of you to post your excellent review, despite the uncooperative weather. You were unlucky - even during the wettest times of year we usually see the sun for a few hours from time to time. I am so happy to hear they were able to make your stay a success nonetheless.

We would really like to see you back, so you can see our local attractions, and depart with the much sought after tan next time! In appreciation for your great attitude, kind words and business I would like to offer you a complementary night with a two night paid reservation - just let Dyllan know when you will be returning.

All the best,

Vince Roes (owner), on behalf of Dyllan, Darion and the whole team at Popa
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Weott
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2012

No need to repeat every great review...
If you like a little off the usual beaten path, or water... You will love this island, resort, retreat, whatever you would like to call it. Just go and experience it...
Fantastic...
I was traveling with my daughter and her boyfriend and we were in the Penthouse (balcony around the whole place, just up from the beach). It was so so cool... So much fun and Oh, the peace... Enough room so none of us got in each others space.
Thank you for Jazzy's extra special 24th Birthday. Cake, lobster etc.
Thank you Dyllan, Darien, Handre, Bev, Ty, and also Dalllas (aka John). Also please thank the rest of your staff. Enrique, maids, grounds staff (no loud noise at all) , and Oscar, who found us in Bocas town.
One other comment, so reasonably priced...
Best wishes to all and many thanks again.

Room Tip: Where we stayed was so amazing. But I think all the rooms or Casitas are good... Did not go check e...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Judy G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vroes, Owner at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this review, December 29, 2012
Many thanks for your visit and kind words! We hope to see you again soon.

Vince Roes (owner), for Dyllan, Darion, Bev, Handre, Ty and the whole team
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Fort Collins, Colorado
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2012

It’s hard to put into words the wonderfulness of this place. The setting, gentle and warm hospitality, and overall relaxed vibe of Popa Paradise is indescribable. You will leave a piece of your heart there – as I did.

My husband and I spent four nights at Popa Paradise to celebrate our 20th anniversary. After spending a day in Bocas Town, we took a 30-minute water taxi ride to Isla Popa. The resort is so well-blended into the jungle environment that it was hardly visible from the water. We were warmly greeted by Dyllan who is the consummate host. He showed us around the property and took us to our amazing casita which was situated directly on the beach. A bottle of champagne awaited us as well as an abundance of beautiful jungle flowers. The casita was spacious and very comfortable – lovely linens, a sitting area, mini-frige, AC, hot showers (with fabulous handmade soaps), and TV (which we never turned on). BUT, the deck…oh that magnificent deck!!! We spent many hours sitting there reading, drinking wine, watching the ocean, and listening to the waves.

Our meals were fantastic. Darion - the resident chef, yoga instructor and masseuse – served delicious, HUGE, fresh meals. Breakfasts and lunches were made to order and always included a fresh fish option and lots of vegetables.

There was a plethora of optional excursions and originally we planned to take a few, but frankly, we were so content and completely overjoyed just “being” at the resort that we didn’t want to leave even for a minute! We did kayak around the island a bit and enjoyed snorkeling at the coral reef in front of the resort. I also enjoyed walking the beaches and around the jungle. For an extra special treat, I had a massage by Darion in the resort’s new tranquil massage space beautifully tucked into the jungle (see photo!). Delightful!!!

One of the most amazing things is that Popa Paradise is completely off-grid. They are stewards of their environment and take great care to lessen the resort’s impact. If you have the great fortune to visit this marvelous place, skip the bottled water and drink the collected water. Also, bring a head-lamp or flashlight as the walkways are wonderfully dark at night

Thank you to Dyllan, Darion, and the resident beagles, Leah and Luka for an unforgettable visit. You made us feel a part of your family and we can’t wait to return!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Catherine K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sasailor, General Manager at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 31, 2012
Many thanks for your wonderful review and your kind words! We are so pleased you enjoyed Popa Paradise and look forward to seeing you again soon. You were our first guest to get a massage on our new jungle massage pavilion, together with our day spa and new yoga studio are all now looking great and ready for guests to relax and unwind in paradise.
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Austin, Texas
1 review
Reviewed October 26, 2012

My husband and I had a fantastic visit to Isla Popa and Popa Paradise Beach Resort! We loved the resort itself - beautiful surroundings, wonderful food, amazingly hospitable staff - and we had so much fun on a catamaran cruise and snorkeling trips to neighboring islands. Culture, comfort and casual elegance mix with ease at Popa, largely based on the hard work and vision of the managing hosts. For travelers looking for a true tropical paradise, we most definitely recommend Popa!
Thanks for a wonderful vacation! Laurel and Mike

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Laurel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vroes, Owner at Popa Paradise Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 28, 2012
Mike and Laurel,
It was such a pleasure hosting your stay at Popa, and thank you so much for your review. Your words "culture, comfort and casual elegance" capture exactly the experience that we are striving to create at Popa Paradise. Hope to see you again soon - with the kids next time!

Vince, on behalf of Dyllan, Darion, Handre, Bev and all the staff
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Popa Paradise Beach Resort

Property: Popa Paradise Beach Resort
Address: Punta Laurel | Bocas del Toro, Isla Popa, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Popa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Isla Popa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Popa Paradise Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Popa Paradise is an Adults-Only (18+) beach hotel located on a stunning island called Isla Popa in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, off the Panamanian coast in the Caribbean Sea. We are located about 30 minutes away from Bocas del Toro by boat. Stay with us for an unforgettable vacation where you can relax, snorkel in beautiful clear water and visit the amazing outer islands. Our chef creates a spectacular, tasty, unique and healthy menu and can cater to vegetarians and vegans, which is all included in our all inclusive rate. We have a large range of activities and excursions from diving, fishing, zip lines to the spectacular Zapatilla islands marine park or simply relax by our swimming pool and enjoy a Popa Paradise cocktail at our swim up bar, enjoy a massage in the spa or take a walk on one of our stunning beaches. Our new beach bar and restaurant "Rosie's" is great for cool drinks on the beach all day and at night beach BBQs, bonfires, and occasionally live music under the stars. Our dedicated team of professionals will take care of your every need and ensure you have a memorable stay at our boutique resort. We look forward to meeting you at Popa Paradise - barefoot luxury! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Popa Paradise Beach Hotel Isla Popa
Popa Paradise Beach Isla

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