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“Hidden gem. Perfect for romantic getaway.”

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Dolphin Bay Hideaway
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Orange, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Hidden gem. Perfect for romantic getaway.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2013

Dolphin Bay Hideaway was the best part of our trip to Panama. It is a charming, romantic, peaceful B&B. Very clean rooms and bathrooms. Wonderful views. Delicious food. The owners are very friendly and went out of their way to help us plan the next leg of our trip (to Boquete). We highly recommend this B&B if you want to stay in Bocas del Toro, but away from Bocas town.

Room Tip: Rooms on the bottom floor are quieter because they are not near the kitchen or deck where guests han...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SW66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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335 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
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English first
Regina, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2013

Charming, warm, friendly, accomodating, clean, peaceful....the list goes on and on. We recently spent a few days with Ericka, Jose and their wonderful extended family at this relaxing, family oriented eco-resort. We can not say enough about how well we were treated and how much we enjoyed getting to know the family who put their heart and soul into this property.

The evening dinners were not only healthy and delicious meals, but afforded a chance to get to know the other guests. We were fortunate enough to meet some amazing people and forge some good friendships that we hope to continue. There were any number of outings and amusements available and Jose and Ericka made sure that their guests were busy and happy. We took advantage of several of these along with the other guests and had a fantastic time. The rest of our time was spent relaxing, which is a very easy thing to do here.

If you are looking for excitement and nightlife, you would be better off in Bocas town at a hotel or hostel. If you are looking for some peace and relaxation, this is the perfect place to be.

Thanks so much Ericka and Jose for everything you did for us during our stay, we hope to be back to see you soon!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Scott E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Olympia, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 12, 2013

I just returned home after 2 1/2 weeks in Costa Rica and Panama, and of all the places I visited, Dolphin Bay Hideaway, and Bocas del Toro, was my favorite. If you want to feel like you're being welcomed into the home of a local family who wants to share everything they love about where they live - and be pampered and cared for in the process - then this is the place. Great food, interesting and diverse choices for things to do, reasonable prices, and great company from Erika and the guests that you sit down to breakfast and dinner with every day all added up to a visit I'll never forget. I really admire that Erika built this place herself, and love that it's off the grid, sustainable, and luxurious all at the same time. I also found it very refreshing and really enjoyed being able to get to know someone who worked very hard to make a dream happen; this place so obviously has been - and continues to be - a labor of love for Erika. This fact comes across in all the gorgeous details in décor, a beautiful garden that I'm sure will continue to evolve for years to come, and in Erika's interest in the local community and ecosystem. I really can't say enough good things about this place or give it a stronger recommendation. If you visit Panama, don't miss Dolphin Bay Hideaway!

Highlights:
Bioluminescent algae right off the end of the dock: Magical.
Bahia Honda, the Bat Cave and Mangrove tour with Ngobe guides
Zapatilla II
Snorkeling at "the secret spot"
The Chocolate Tour
Seeing a Toucan for the first time (even if it was way off in the distance...)

Thanks, Erika, for taking such good care of me (and especially for the Aloe!). I hope to come back some day for a return visit.

Cheryl
Olympia, WA, USA

Room Tip: I stayed in the Garden Room, which I loved. Beautiful décor, very comfortable, and a nice view of th...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Cheryl B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
47 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2013 via mobile

When Erika, the owner was young, she dreamt about living in a tropical place. After a vacation to Panama, she decided to buy land and build a b and b. Wow, such fortitude from start to finish for a single woman in a foreign land. The best part being that Erika now shares her dream with her visitors.
Erika, warmly met us at the airport and when I told her about my concern over a major amount of sand flea bites (souvenirs from another location), she graciously accompanied us to the pharmacy and helped us communicate with the pharmacist.
We spent 4 lovely nights at Dolphin Bay and enjoyed the largest room on the lower level with a lovely view of the garden and the bay. We loved being able to jump off the dock for a swim in the bay. Erika told us to look for jelly fish before we jump but assured us that their sting is not dangerous and short lived. Good to know! There is not a beach, but knowing that sand fleas find me tasty, I was just fine with that. The yummy, fresh breakfasts with several choices and the fresh seafood dinners with up to 3 complimentary glasses of wine or bottles of beer (included in the daily rate) were a real treat. If you have any food allergies or special requests, Erika will do her best to accomodate you. I requested plantains for dinner one night and was also able to have a little cooking demo in the kitchen. We also enjoyed our evening conversations with others guests and consequently made some great new friends.
Yes, this is a secluded location but we preferred it over the scene in Bocas Town. With 2 launches, Erika made it easy to accomodate us on our tour choices and the prices were very reasonable. Don't miss the chocolate tour and the snorkel tours with a stop at Zapatillos Island. Also, if Erika or someone from her staff is heading over to Bocas Town, you can hitch a free ride.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travelwithrelish
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
57 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2013

This is not a place to have wild and crazy parties, which is good.
Enjoyed a four night stay at the Dolphin Bay Hideaway to slow down from the fast-pace of daily life in the city.
The name of the inn is cute, but it should be called Erica's Hideaway, because she is the mastermind and creator of this little gem.
A salute to strong and adventures woman, it your heart out male chauvinist.
Comfortable rooms and a communal area with views of the bay are part of the main building.
A boat house with comfortable chairs and hammocks will get you closer to the water. No turquoise water and sandy beach here, the bottom of the bay has dark sand and grasses, but the swimming in clean, calm, warm water is excellent.
Two boats are available to go on day trips and the staff will be very helpful to choose your desired activity.
Prices for day trips are very reasonable, if you choose to stay at the Inn you will have a relaxing day with all the creature comforts.
Dinner at the communal table with fellow travelers is a must! Here you can exchange stories and enjoy the contact with people from different countries and cultures, if you make an effort, language barriers will not be an issue.
A leisurely start in the morning, maybe a quick swim to get going, good coffee, delicious pancakes, fresh fruit and homemade pineapple syrup, contemplating the activities for the day. If this appeals to you, this is your destination.


Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank M M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katy, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2013

I am Panamanian and wanted to show friends coming from the U.S. why I was so excited in coming back to Panama for visits every year. They wanted to stay in a place with great water for snorkeling and swimming, so I thought that Bocas would fit the bill. We came here for 5 nights - it was just the ticket. Our group is very interested in nature and being sustainable. This is precisely what The Dolphin Bay specializes in - from the gorgeously maintained grounds, to the solar panels, to the architecture and decorations of the rooms - the emphasis is on a harmony with nature that is very soothing.

We are a large group ranging from teens to octogenarian, and the staff was able to accommodate us with grace and efficiency. They emphasized safety, which was appreciated. We went on excursions to various snorkeling/diving spots, the cocoa farm, the bat cave, zip-lining - always with an eye out for the weather. The staff's knowledge on biology, geography and history of the area is encyclopedic. The meals were wonderful, foods native to Panama prepared with a gourmet touch.

The best part? watching the hummingbirds zoom around the deck nonstop from sunrise to sunset. And yes, we did see dolphins...

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MGarcia2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brielle, Netherlands
Level Contributor
59 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2013

We stayed here for three nights and we really liked it. We went on two excursions, Zapatilla Island with snorkling and a chocoalte farm which we both liked. We went to the garden of a neighbour too to see a sloth, sitting in a tree. That was nice.

Our room was small but it looked really nice and was very clean. Outside there was a place where you could sit and read a book. The common area is nice with hammocks and some relaxing chairs. There's a common area near the water too from which you can jump in the water and swim around.

We enjoyed diners with the other guests, sharing a table, a bottle of wine and enjoying each others company. The owner, Erika, is very friendly and can tell you a lot about the local culture and environment. The food is nice too.

The only thing for improvement maybe is time management. We understand that the Carribean is 'seriously easy going'. But well, we are from a different part of the world and when we agreed to do something at a certain time we'll make sure we're ready. And than, when we leave an hour or so later, we get confused and stressed.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Pepper1978
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dolphin Bay Hideaway

Property: Dolphin Bay Hideaway
Address: Avenida Sur | Dolphin Bay, Isla San Cristobal 888 888, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla San Cristobal
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Isla San Cristobal
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Private, peaceful hideout surrounded by the beauty of nature ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Dolphin Bay Hideaway Hotel Isla San Cristobal
Dolphin Bay Hideaway Panama/Bocas Del Toro - Isla San Cristobal

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