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.
Playa Bluff Hotel
Nearby Hotels
Oasis Bluff Beach(Bluff Beach)
$90
Expedia.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Tesoro Escondido(Bluff Beach)(Great Value!)
$42
Expedia.com
View Deal
  • Free Parking
  • Beachfront
Villa Sevilla(Isla Colon)(Great Value!)
$90
Priceline
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
$134
$115
Expedia.com
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
$350
Booking.com
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Breakfast included
  • Beachfront
Koko Resort(Isla Colon)
$105
Booking.com
View Deal
  • Free Wifi
  • Breakfast included
Turtle Beach House(Bluff Beach)
TripAdvisor
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
The Hummingbird(Bluff Beach)
TripAdvisor
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Free Parking
Bluff Beach Retreat(Bluff Beach)
TripAdvisor
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Breakfast included
Island Plantation(Bluff Beach)
TripAdvisor
View Deal
Certificate of Excellence
  • Free Wifi
  • Breakfast included
Reviews (238)
Filter reviews
238 results
Traveler rating
173
39
9
12
5
Traveler type
Time of year
LanguageAll languages
More languages
173
39
9
12
5
Show reviews that mention
All reviewsbeautiful gardenplaya bluffpoison dart frogsyour doorstepspacious roomstarfish beachisland plantationwildlifeslothsridepanamaroadtownbocastimetablerainforestsurfers
Filter
Updating list...
133 - 138 of 238 reviews
Reviewed August 22, 2010

Based on the overwhelming feedback on tripadvisor, we made reservations for four nights in Playa Bluff Lodge. It would be our last destination during our trip through Costa Rica and Panama and we wanted to end it with a splurge.

First of all the rooms were spacious and clean. Downside: there is no A/C, during some hot and humid nights this could be quite inconvenient. Another major disadvantage would be the fact that the rooms are quite noicy. You could literaly hear every word the owners (living in the house upstairs) said. We assumed this would also work vice versa, so we needed to whisper when we wanted to discuss something private.

Breakfast was good, dinner not so much. There was no choice of dinner, you just had to go with what the owners had that day. Also the time of dinner was inflexible. The owners let us know they would go to bed at 8pm, so dinner should be finished before that.

The service everyone is so positive about, was quite disappointing. Sure you could get a ride to the town if you wanted, but only on certain times: the times that were convenient for the owners. This would be when they had to drive their kids to and from school. So in weekends there wouldn't even be any of that service.

Finally the location. The garden is beautiful, with a lot of nice animals. The beach is also pristine, however you cannot swim in the water. One more thing: people should know that the lodge is located far from the village. Only a dirt road leads to the lodge. In the village you can take a taxi to the lodge (20-25 minutes), but drivers are reluctant to go through the dirt and prices vary from 15 to 20 dollars for a one way trip.

All in all the hotel wasn't worth the $95 we paid per night. For this amount of money you can do a lot better in Panama.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank MvDijk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PlayaBluffLodge, Owner at Playa Bluff Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded September 4, 2010

After reading this review and comparing it with what these guests have written in our guestbook, we don’t understand why they are so negative. This guestbook review will follow at the end of this manager comment.
The guests complain in this review about the noise and the fact that they can hear everything. The lodge is a concrete building. Because we are open for any comments we did a test with other guests and there is no sound at all and guests have all their privacy.
At the time these guests were here we just had a seriously car accident with our dog.
We were sometimes on the phone with the vet outside on the front porch which is close to their room. The only thing we can think of is that they were irritated with that.

About dinners: Guests have the choice to have dinner at the lodge, in town or at 2 nearby restaurants. We bring and get our guests back from the restaurant for free. They can also use our bikes or walk. To get back from town at night guests can order a taxi.
We have different options for dinners at the lodge but we do not have a la-carte restaurant.
Dinner at the lodge is at the time which is convenient for the guests. Their comment in this review is simply not true. We never go to bed at 8 p.m. We always show the night life in our garden if guests like this. Red eyed and other tree frogs, snakes, opossums and more.

Our free shuttle service to town is 8.30 a.m. and back 15.00 p.m. Sometimes later depending when guests arrive from their day trip.
Most tours in town start at 9.30 a.m. so this gives guests the time to buy some snacks or drinks before the tours leave.
This has nothing to do with bringing our kids to school. School starts at 8 a.m.
They cannot expect from us to pick them up in town in the evening. We don’t provide free taxi service on demand.
Taxi ride from town takes 15 min and costs between 12 and 15 $.

At last the location: You can see at our website at the Google Earth link the exact location and the distance to town.
The last mile of the road is a bit bumpy but the rest is ok. They just paved the first part.

This couple wrote lovely words in our guestbook and afterwards they give us this negative review full with comments that are not true.
If they just told us their problem at that time, we could do something about it. But this couple was so extremely positive about everything, very happy, that gave us the feeling that they were satisfied. We have no problem with looking for a different accommodation if guests are not happy. But tell us at the moment.

The following is the text this couple wrote in our guestbook.

Dear Reinier and Helene, After 3 weeks of travelling we have found our relaxation in Bocas del Toro. Our stay in your lodge was very pleasant and relaxed. We really enjoyed your lovely garden, the very nice dinners and your company. Thanks to you we have seen the best of Bocas! Because of this we can look back with a fantastic feeling to our trip through Panama. Thanks for everything and all the best in the future.
Greetings, M. and F. van Dijk (Rotterdam)

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2010

We absolutely loved our stay here. it only takes a 20 minute ride from the town to get into paradise. Helene and Reinier are perfect hosts, always ready to give you advise on aything you want to do or to hang the hammocks for a lazy day on the beach. If you want peace and quiet and stunning scenery, this is the ideal spot. You can eat lovely meals there for a very reasonable price if you don't want to go into town and enjoy the sounds of the toads and frogs and watch the cute sloth climbing the terrace while you are eating. Reinier and Helene love to walk you round the garden at night with a flashligh to point out all the creatures great and small that live there.
We had a lovely time there and hope we can return some day...

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Evy66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2010

I travel a lot but this place was more than I expected.
fantastic beach, a lot of wildlife around the place, sweet owners and a fantastic service.
Free transport to town and the owners will organize all the trips you like.

Many Thanks

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Bashendrickx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2010

We spent 5 days at Playa bluff lodge.
Never saw more nature ever before. The big rooms are clean, the food very nice.

This is the best place if you like beach direct at the rainforrest.
We hope that we can come back with some friend one day.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank laura_v_best
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2010

We came to Panama on a last minute, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants trip, did research on what to do and where to go and be once we got there. We came across Playa Bluff Lodge by browsing the internet, liked what we read in the reviews and the description, and called them up to see if they had room for us. I immediately knew this was the place for us to go when a warm, welcoming voice answered the phone and excitedly assured us they had room for us. No questions were asked, other than "what time will you be here tomorrow? We'll be there to pick you up!" And they were.

We were driven around the quaint little town, then had a beautiful drive out along the ocean road to a little paradise right where the jungle meets the sea. Rainier and Helena have an absolutely beautiful property, teeming with wildlife right in their own backyard. I can't recall when I have been so enthralled at simply watching a frog or a dragonfly -or a sloth! -for a complete hour and being surprised an hour had passed! There is so much to see in their yard and within the easily accessible miles of coast and rainforest immediately out their door.

We took an all day hike up the beach and into the rainforest and ended at a beautiful freshwater creek. We lounged on the beach in hammocks and played in the surf. We ate simple, but wonderful meals out on their back patio while watching a sloth have her own dinner and slow exercise climbing around the perimeter of the cabana we ate under. Rainier is a fisherman and brought home fresh catches of snapper that we were lucky enough to enjoy for dinner with a nice bottle of wine. It doesn't get much better, in our opinion.

The rooms were clean, well cared for, and had all we needed. Plan to enjoy your vacation out there with no hair dryer. It's more remote, so they are on solar and rain catchment systems for their water. They have it down to a science and it's GREAT, you just need to be aware of the fact that water and electricity are not abundantly available for you to use to your heart's content. We personally really enjoyed having a really good experience of living off the grid. They've set it up very well.

This is the year to see the leatherback turtles come up on land to lay their eggs, and one of their nesting beaches is right here, outside their door. Rainier took us on a great night hike along the beach to see if we could spot some turtles. We missed the ones that came up that night, and just saw their tracks, but he also caught a cayman (small alligator) and showed it to us, as well as just a lot of great education about the flora and fauna of the region. He is truly educated about the area and it's so fun to hear all their stories about living there.

The only thing we regret was that we didn't have more time to spend there and take advantage of the 5 minute boat ride to world class snorkeling and dolphin viewing. We will look very forward to returning to Panama to finish the adventures we still want to explore, and we will definitely come back to Playa Bluff Lodge to stay.

Thank you, Rainier and Helene! We very much appreciate you getting us in at the last minute and making us feel so welcome!

Mike and Lisa Ray
Flagstaff, AZ, USA

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank LRay999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
View more reviews