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“High expectations”

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Popa Paradise Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Isla Popa
Certificate of Excellence
Almere, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
134 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“High expectations”
Reviewed January 3, 2014

After reading all excellent reviews we decided to go to Popa Paradise. We spent 4 nights in a casita. The casita was spacious, clean and comfortable. No beach view, however as we spent most of our time near the lovely pool it didn´t matter. Staff is great, especially the guy from Argentina (sorry I don't know your name). It is a wonderful place to spend a few lazy days, The food was fresh and tasty, although choice of ingredients (corvina, chicken and beef) was rather limited. Wraps and salads are nice and I don't expect Michelin star quality, however a rate of 400 Usd per night we expected a little more. The first day we inquired if it was possible to serve lobster, as we both are very fond of it. We were told that due to the rain at the second day this was not possible. How disappointing (and tactless) when we heard that the day of our departure there was a beach barbecue with lobster.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank JAB2405
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 4, 2014
Many thanks for your review. We are pleased you had a relaxing and comfortable stay with us. In regards to you comments about our food - the wraps and salads you mention is off our lunch menu, because its normally hot during the day the lunch menu is designed to be light in in keeping with the weather. We do have many other options on the lunch menu also. Regarding the lobster - our Lobster is fished off our reefs by local fishermen. When we have high seas and bad weather this creates low visibility in the water and they can't fish on the reef. During your stay this was the case and I kept asking the fishermen to get some lobster for you as soon as possible. Unfortunately this was not possible during your stay, I look forward to presenting you with huge, fresh lobsters on your next sat with us.
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267 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Cumbria
Level Contributor
30 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 1, 2014

Spent an idyllic 5 days here in early December when the hotel was nearly empty. Had exceptional service from the very friendly staff. Food was freshly prepared, tasty and plentiful. Nothing was too much trouble for anyone. Stayed on the beach in the mornings as it caught the morning sun and a pleasant breeze blew off the sea. The trees gave much needed shaded. The water was warm and access was a gentle slope. In the afternoons we lounged around the pool which we often had totally to ourselves. It is a lovely C-shaped pool with a swim-up bar. Meals were served on the terrace overlooking the pool. The place feels very remote as it takes at least 30 minutes by water taxi (an exciting ride through the islands) to get there but in fact it is very close to the mainland but the only access point is way to the north. Varied habitats in the grounds were great for birdwatching and there were many interesting, colourful birds to find and identify. We chose to be lazy as we had been exploring Panama but there are plenty of opportunities for activities on and off the island. We appreciated the quietness because of the low number of guests but this may not be normal. Our lodge was spacious and well fitted with a wonderful balcony. There was no view but we liked the tree tops for viewing birdlife. Disappointed in the poor shower which could not mix water so cold showers were safer than being scalded.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank bobi80
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 4, 2014
Many thanks for your great review. We are so pleased you had a relaxing stay with us and enjoyed the resort. We have resolved the shower issue you had in your casita.
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South Padre Island, Texas
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 18, 2013

Popa Paradise Beach Resort is truly a hidden gem! From leisure travel to Destination Weddings, you will find a crew of eager staff ready to make your stay in Popa an unforgettable experience. We arrived on Isla Popa, aboard the Ingwe Spirit Catamaran and were instantly taken back by all of the Beauty! Clear blue water and a white sandy beach welcomed us at the dock, along with Rosie, Amber and Crew. The Resort is breath taking, a little piece of Heaven on a private island. We arrived at our Suites and instantly noticed the amount of details put together for our arrival. A bottle of champagne, welcome note, a cute towel swan on our bed and flower accents everywhere! And the View from our Suite....WOW!! I figured it couldn't get much better, but it did! Dylan and Darion greeted us at The Clubhouse and showed us to our seats for dinner. Let me start by saying, Never pass up any soup served at Popa Paradise! Absolutely Delicious!! My stomach was thrilled will all of the Fresh Ingredients used in their delicious meals! We spent our days working on wedding duties and exploring! Our exploring lead us on a excursion to Zapatilla Island. Being a scuba diver, I fell in love with all of the life under the clear blue Caribbean water. Popa Paradise provides convenient excursions for you and your guests to enjoy. The night life in Popa is just as fun!! During your stay at the Resort, especially if you are there for a Destination Wedding, plan a night on the Beach at Rosie's Beach Bar. Have a seat on one of the Bar Swings, order a tropical drink and be prepared to have a relaxing, fun night! Another must see thing at Popa Paradise Beach Resort is, the incredible Fire Show!! No one warned us, that we would be wowed by the Talented Crew at Popa! Dinner entertainment at its best! The talent didn't end at the Fire Show, it continued to the Wedding Reception, where guests were treated to a beautiful design by the one and only Darion. He did a fantastic job and I am anxious to work with him again. Popa Paradise is filled will an obvious tranquil beauty, that can be seen in all pictures taken there. Though, there is one thing you will have to visit in order to experience and that is the top notch service and hospitality you will encounter from all of the resort staff and owners. We are looking forward to our next trip and highly recommend Popa Paradise Beach Resort for a Destination Wedding or getaway!

Thank you for the incredible experience!

Janelle Allen
David Pezzat

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Janelle A
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, December 19, 2013
Wow what a great review, thanks do much! As you have said there is so much to see and do during the day and at night at Popa Paradise or you could just be relaxing under a palm tree on the beach with a tall cocktail.
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Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2013

We stayed on Popa in November for 4 nights as part of our honeymoon. It was perfect! We wanted for nothing! The food was incredible and never disappointed to amaze our taste buds. Every single member of staff was so welcoming and friendly yet they also let you be to enjoy your holiday. The casistas are beautiful. Loved the pool side bar and gorgeous cocktails!!

We relaxed but also did a couple of day trips which we would highly recommend. Go snorkelling on the Zapatilla Islands. Stunning! Tip: were lots of sunscreen or a t-shirt when snorkelling! We took went on a long day trip on the catamaran Ingwe Spirit. This was a highlight of our whole honeymoon. Beautiful boat, exceptionally comfortable. We were on a beach all by ourselves, met some local Panamians. There were even cows on the beach!

While we were there they were having a photoshoot to promote their weddings - this would be a wonderful place to get married and celebrate with your family and friends. We might have to go back in afew years to renew our wedding vows! We also got to see a fire show - fantastic!!!

Popa Paradise is a family owned resort and you can feel and see this influence throughout your stay. If you are lucky enough you will get to meet Vincent and Bernice. The managers, Dyllan and Darian, are true professionals and will ensure that you have everything you need and more during your stay at Popa.

We would highly recommend Popa, we have very happy memories for our stay.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank irishtigger
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, December 19, 2013
Many thanks for your great review! It was our pleasure having you here for your honeymoon and we look forward to seeing you back here to celebrate many happy anniversaries.
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Hatfield, Pennsylvania
1 review
Reviewed December 10, 2013

We stayed at Popa Paradise for 5 nights in November. It was the most beautiful resort we've ever stayed at! The property was beautiful, and it just happened to work out that between people checking out and checking in, for the majority of our stay we were the only two people staying at the resort! Our room was amazing, we fell asleep every night to the sound of the ocean outside our door. Housekeeping was excellent, the food was amazing as well; nothing like you would expect from an all-inclusive. The staff was so friendly, they are one big family of sorts, but one that functions well together. The beaches have a very "untouched" feeling to them, you have your pick of a beautiful place to spend the day. The pool was amazing as well, the swim up bar is always a great addition to a pool. It's also under cover, should you catch a stray rain storm. it really was the most beautiful place we've ever seen, we wish we could have stayed longer!! We've never felt so relaxed after a vacation :-)

Room Tip: ask for a casita that's more secluded
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank joyous76
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, December 19, 2013
Many thanks for your great review! Falling asleep to the sound of the waves at Popa Paradise is one of life's simple pleasures. We are so pleased you found the relaxation you were looking for and hope you cam make it back to us soon.
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Aliso Viejo, CA
2 reviews
Reviewed December 6, 2013

This was a last minute trip coordinated by my girlfriend's brother. We had absolutely no idea what to expect. Upon our arrival, we were met in Bocas Del Toro by Matt, who accompanied us on our 40 minute boat ride at sunset to heaven on earth. This place is visually stunning! The pictures and website do no justice to this resort...it's amazing.

As we walked the path from the boat dock at the resort, we were speechless. We approached the club house/ front office and were greeted by Dyllan and three fresh coconut water drinks straight from a fresh coconut. We immediately knew this was something special. We stayed in the Luxury Suite from 11-22-13 to 11-26-13 and experienced what can only be described as true paradise with an adopted family we met that consisted of staff members and guests. We were truly treated like family and celebrities at the same time.

I'll start with the suite...WOW!!!! What a view from the wrap around deck. We felt like we were standing in a painting. The accommodations couldn't have been better. We had a private beach and enjoyed every moment of it. Having said all of this, it was truly the staff that made this vacation magic! The food Darian prepared was amazing and sitting at the pool bar enjoying cocktails prepared by Manuel, Amber, Matt and Nico was also amazing as well.

I can go on and on but the bottom line here is the fact that you absolutely have to pay this place a visit. There's a ton of things to do and plenty of relaxing as well. I promise you'll make multiple trips back...ENJOY your trip!

Room Tip: Let Dyllan recommend activities. His excursions are amazing and the knowledge that he has regarding...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RKCAlisoViejo_CA
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, December 19, 2013
Saying you had the best vacation ever at Popa Paradise, and coming from a world traveller like yourself is a true compliment, thanks so much! We are so pleased you have a great time here and I know we will see you soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Costa Mesa, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviewed December 3, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Popa Paradise for 7 nights in late November and had the time of our lives! The resort is a beautiful 40 minute boat ride from Bocas Town which makes it remote but in a very good way. The resort itself is in excellent condition; clean, great decor and very well kept grounds for being located in such a dense jungle! The food was consistently delicious, huge props to Darian, Matty, Amber and the cooking crew! Breakfast, lunch and dinner all had lots of options that were all fresh and cooked perfectly!

We spent a ton of time at the swim up bar, using the kayaks, playing ping pong and billiards, snorkeling and hanging out on the beach. Our casita was clean, comfortable and in a gorgeous/secluded location. We could sit on our patio and listen to the waves and occasional rain storm.

We took two trips out on the resort catamaran the Ingwe Spirit which is captained by Handre. This was by far the best aspect of our trip! We did the Zapatillas day trip as well as the Bluefields trip, both were fantastic! Handre, Bev, Matty, Amber and Nash made the experience unforgettable!

Overall, I would go back today if I could! This place is truly a hidden gem and we will never forget the time we spent there. Thanks again to Dyllan, Darian, Matty, Amber, Handre, Bev and the whole Popa Staff! We miss you guys already!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank MegG1986
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, December 19, 2013
Many thanks for the great review! We are so pleased you enjoyed your stay with us and the excisions we have to offer. It was a pleasure meeting you and we hope you can make it back here soon.
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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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