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Reviewed May 17, 2013

Our stay at Popa was excellent! From the moment you are picked up on the main island, to the time you leave the dock to go back, was magical.

We were upgraded to the junior suites from the casita's , which were excellent. The rooms are big, and airy. We were with another couple so having the big porch area was great. The view was incredible. We would have happy hour there before dinner. The staff was always kind enough to bring us a bottle of wine on ice for happy hour, we didn't even have to ask, they overheard us talking about it.

The staff was excellent, friendly, helpful, going out of their way to make us happy. The pool is the center of everything, a great place to hang out and relax. Swim up bar had premium drinks and fun ones too. Towels were always out by the pool, contrary to a previous post. If they weren't, whenever someone came to the pool one of the staff was right there to hand them a towel. Dylan, is an excellent manager in every detail. Darian, We LOVE Darian, he is part of the whole experience. He is a great cook and entertainer. Ty, super nice and makes excellent drinks. Give him a flavor and he will make a drink out of it.

The grounds are wonderful, if you understand how fast the jungle will take back the grounds then you can appreciate all the hard work that goes on there. We walked to beach #3, nice short walk, nice beach. We couldn't do the jungle stumble because of too much rain they had.

The Beach party they threw one night was a highlight! From the NEW lights that Texas put up to the fire show.

My only mild complaint, if you can call it one, is the beach area. The sports equipment was lacking a bit. We could only find 2 paddles for the kayaks. One short and one long. So all four of us couldn't go out together. The party raft had sprung a leak the week before and it was in the process of getting fixed.

We chose not to do the all day sailboat excursion with snorkeling, we decided instead to do a half day with one of the local workers. He took us over to Zapatera for snorkeling and then we walked around the island. The hotel made us sandwiches before we left. It was a half day trip so we could come back and float in the pool. We had such a short time there, 3 nights was not enough.
Something to bring-- itch cream. The bugs on the beach are bad at night, we all had bug spray on, but were still covered with bites. On day three of itching I finally took a benedryl and the bites/itching went away. You CANNOT miss the beach party so put on bug spray and put on the benedryl if you need it.

Date of stay: April 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
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Thank kathyD2274
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 reviewResponded June 2, 2013

Many thanks for your great review, it was a great pleasure meeting you and your friends. We are so pleased you enjoyed the beach BBQ, its has become a firm favorite here. We hope to see you back at Popa Paradise soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013 via mobile

We used a travel agent whose description of this hotel was "luxurious."
This is a very rustic hotel in need of major updating. The management was very kind, but the facilities need major work.

We stayed in the rooms close to the pool, not the cabanas. Our bathroom reminded me of what a cheap motel in Miami would look like- pink toilet and pink sink, coordinated with khaki and dark brown cracked tile. We had mildew in the upper corner of our shower. We had several dead roaches under our bedside table. Our towels were frayed.

We have been to some VERY remote hotels- in the middle of the Amazon jungle - and that hotel in the Amazon jungle was superb. So the remoteness of the island is not an excuse.

We had difficulties getting towels at the pool or at the beach. You had to ask at the front desk. When there was a special guest one day at the hotel, then towels were available on the chairs- but this was the only occasion they were easily available. The lounge chairs were in need of repair- they

Date of stay: March 2013
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5  Thank KatherineW582
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 reviewResponded April 26, 2013

Many thanks for your review of our hotel, all reviews and welcome and we appreciate your opinions . Your travel agent booked you into our Lodge rooms which are our most basic accommodations designed for guests who would like to experience the resort on a budget, your travel agent is well aware of this and booked you on our least expensive option. Even if you do choose to stay in the Lodge rooms you still have all the resorts top notch luxury public facilities available to you and we do also have our luxury Casitas and super luxury suites available for more upmarket accommodations. The resort is located in a jungle so we do fumigate all the time for your comfort, there is no excuse for a dead insect under your bedside table and I will make sure this does not happen again. Regarding our pool towels, they are available from reception which is a few feet away from the pool, on sunny days we put them out on the loungers for your use. On rainy days we do not put them out but they are still available from reception at any time. Once again we appreciate you comments.

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Reviewed April 23, 2013

Our family of 5 spent 5 days at Popa Paradise over Spring break and it was incredible. After just a few hours the staff were like family. They took extra care to make sure that our kids were happy and having a great time. Dyllan is and amazing manager and makes sure that everything is comfortable for the guests. From Darian the chef to Ty the bartender/kick boxing teacher/ in house musician to Handre and his wife, Beverly, who captain the catamaran everyone was friendly, helpful and knowledgable. The resort grounds are cared for by all the staff and it shows that this is truly their home. We would go back in a heartbeat!

Room tip: There are various types of lodging depending on your goal. Private casitas away from the main area or rooms very close to the pool and beach.
Date of stay: March 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
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1  Thank Burns5
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 reviewResponded April 26, 2013

Many thanks for your great review! It was a pleasure meeting you family and enjoyed spending some time with you all. We are all so pleased you had a great vacation at Popa Paradise.

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Reviewed April 18, 2013

Popa Paradise isn't just a place to stay; it's an experience. Whether to celebrate a special occasion or get away from everyday stress, this is the perfect destination. The staff is outstanding in every way, from excellent service to enjoyable and entertaining company. Our casita was comfortable and "island chic" and the scenery spectacular. We were happily surprised how delicious and the food was--some of the tastiest and freshest dishes we've tasted anywhere, let alone on a jungle island! The energy at Popa Paradise is so positive, and we will always cherish our memories of cocktails at the pool bar, wake boarding, chatting with the friendly staff, sampling new foods, kayaking in the turquoise sea, snorkeling by the reef, exploring the breathtaking beaches, and doing some serious relaxing. We hope to be back, and in the meantime, will recommend Popa Paradise to our friends and family.

Date of stay: April 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Thank Wendy T
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 reviewResponded April 26, 2013

Many thanks for you great review and your kind words. It was a great It was a great pleasure meeting you and look forward to seeing you back at Popa Paradise!

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Reviewed April 12, 2013

What a phenomenal time to be had at Popa Paradise! I visited Popa with 2 close friends as a part of a 2 week, three destination Panama adventure. We went from Gamboa to Popa to Panama City. If we were to do it all again, we all agreed, we would stay at Popa for longer than 4 nights and sacrifice days elsewhere. The staff is friendly and wonderfully accommodating which only makes sense since Popa's management partners 1. Dyllan has an exceptional background in hospitality services and truly understand how to cater to guests and 2. Darian....how to describe Darian...simply put, an absolute original character with fantastic culinary skills. Together (along with their incredible cross continent tales and fire dancing skills) are a fabulous combination for those looking for an all inclusive relaxing, entertaining, and laugh inducing experience.

Tips....1. Take the day long catamaran experience with Handre and Bev...can you say private beach with local Indians? Have you ever watched a yacht crew catch a big beautiful tuna then turn it into the freshest sashimi appetizer you will ever experience an hour later? What about then having a lovely lady (Bev) whip up a healthy dish of chicken, quinoa and asparagus and serve as a lunch entree (cooked on the catamaran)? You can at Popa! 2. Every meal at the resort is fresh and spectacular.. dinner is always a delicious surprise from ribs falling off the bone to garlic escargot. Get the sea bass for lunch...best I have ever had. 3. Let Tye use local fruits to mix up a delectable cocktail any time of day...also, ask him about Air Bud 5.

In sum, I have traveled to Costa, Nica, Belize, Guate and now Panama. I have not yet previously encountered such a unique destination/experience as discovered at Popa Paradise. In the first 24 hours, I was thinking of when I might be able to return.

GO - you will be happy you did.

Thank you again Popa P!

Room tip: Loved Casita 4...closest to pool/dining and accesses wifi
Date of stay: March 2013
  • Trip type: Traveled with friends
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2  Thank CSabs
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 reviewResponded April 15, 2013

Many thanks for your great review, we are so pleased you enjoyed all we have to offer here. Our ocean view Casitas ( Casitas 2.3.& 4) now all have in room wi fi for those who like to spend time on their deck with their iPads. It was a pleasure meeting you and look forward to seeing you back here soon!

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