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“Hotel Boca Brava - great escape”
Review of Hotel Boca Brava

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Hotel Boca Brava
Reviewed January 5, 2012

My friend I left Bocas del Toro on a morning with no real plans, ended up heading to Boca Brava based on some advice from a random traveler while hiking Volcan Baru overnight (thats a whole other story). We ended up being dropped off on a beach, wondered through until we got to this hotel, ate lunch and decided to stay.

I'm not sure what is up with the the reviewers here. You dont go to Panama for the most luxurious experience. This was place was great, so what it takes a little long for food - enjoy the hammocks, cocktails, and view AND stop worrying!. The food was great, the rooms are worth the very affordable price and the staff is very friendly. We got kayaks and took them out for a few hours just before sunset - awesome!

Would def recommend this for people who want a relaxing, friendly, and affordable place. It was great for the 1 day that we needed. Its a place where you would need to make the most of it if you stayed for a longer period of time.

Gracias -

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank bestadviceever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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149 - 155 of 248 reviews

Reviewed January 5, 2012

It's an interesting scenario with Isla Boca Brava and the Hotel Boca Brava. Your finding a place to stay on an island close to the mainland with a variety of price ranges for accommodations. I will concur on the hikes not being very good on the island and those beaches are only so so. But, the views and setup of the Hotel, the restaurant and the room we stayed in for 8 nights was great. Access to a fun snorkel trip to Isla Bolanos & Isla Gamez and gorgeous beaches there is a must. And yes, the restaurant has timings, service challenges and after day 2 the music was incredibly annoying. Sometimes I wonder whether if they had their act together and the place were perfect, then the price would have to be more expensive and thus wouldn't have the charm of being a good value. There are trade offs to all places, but we enjoyed our stay nonetheless and got a discount for a longer stay. If you're up for a real adventure try to find a boat that can take you on an overnight to Isla Secas (but not the expensive dive shop option) - that's where the waters and reef get spectacular.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank integraltraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2011

this is a wonderful find. three days on the island were 2 too many, but if it weren't raining constantly, it would have been perfect. unfortunately, one meal (lobster) left me with stomach problems. Food tasted terrific. A unique place, gracious staff and owner. My experience there was spoiled at the end. I was told they would accept travellers checks, adding $5 per check as the bank charges them that amount. After I countersigned three $100 checks, the owners girlfriend refused to accept one. I had to give a fourth and now was stuck with a check no one would accept as it was already countersigned. Kelly's demeanor was upsetting. Further, she was the only one in Panama who beefed me about the retired discount. So it is ok for a gringo to benefit from Panama laws when opening an hotel, but not ok for one of your guests to request the benefit of Panama law? Very unfortunate incident and I will not be visiting them again.

Room Tip: the fitted sheet on my bed wouldn't stay on. Woke to a bare matress three nights running. abso...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled solo
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3  Thank david l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2011

Very cool hotel with gorgeous views from the dining room. Owner gave us bad info on getting to the island at night, but we still got there, and the hikes are not very good, but the island views are truly beautiful. Nice place to stay for a few days.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank David J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2011

I stayed at hotel boca brava at the beginning of July... I went there alone and met really nice people. Since it was low season the staff had plenty of time to explain things to my new friend and me....I have to say that they have been really nice and patient! I have been living and working with tourism quite a while in central america found the staff to be comptent... The reastaurant wasn't overwhelming but pretty good....and yes it takes its time for the food to get to your table, but it is quite common it panama if you want fresh food...the owners however were absoultely great! Brad & Kelly made our stay unforgettable and were always there to help us out in whatever they could...The offered trips were also amazing, nice snorkeling, kayaks, etc.... What i really liked were the room options...From a $8 hammock to pretty expensive rooms, you find what you are looking for....maybe the dorm could be improved a little and more common showers would do it too...
I would definitely stay there again and i'm looking forward to go back!

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank Giudy_r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2011

The other reviews have more or less summed it up. This place could be amazing. It could be. It's not. The bar/restaurant sits like the prow of a ship out over the end of the island. The views are great and there's a lovely constant breeze. The food in the restaurant is OK and I thought prices were reasonable based upon what I'd seen elsewhere in Panama. The rooms are adequate. You can walk to two beaches on the island and also arrange trips to other islands with better beaches, snorkeling, etc. Here's the downside... you get the distinct sense that the owners need some fundamental training in customer service and hotel management so they can in turn train their staff. Food takes FOREVER in the restaurant, if it comes. And, frankly, when it comes, it's pretty hit or miss. How is it possible to ruin fresh fish? Bring it here. The staff themselves are pretty nice, if you can get them to warm up. And that takes a lot of effort. No one there will share any information unless you pry it out of them, same for a smile or any good customer service. And frankly, you got the distinct feeling that while no one was unfriendly, they really didn't care if you were there or not. And my room, while yes adequate, clearly hadn't been cleaned in quite a while. So yeah, set your expectations low and it will be lovely... Sure, I'd stay again but that has more to do with the price of the other options in the area.

Stayed: May 2011, traveled solo
3  Thank omburke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2011

We stayed in Hotel Boca Brava for four nights while touring Panamá.
The hotel is perched on a cliff overlooking the Chiriquí national marine sanctuary and the views from most of the rooms and especially from the bar and restaurant are stunning!!!
Our room was a two room suite connected by a balcony overlooking the bay of Chiriquí with views out to the outer islands. The suite was perfect for a family with two kids.
Beds, aircon and baths where great (the bath in the master bedroom has a jacuzzi bath)
The restaurant has good food at reasonable prices and is a great place to hang out have a cold beer and enjoy the company of the hosts and other guests or just use the wifi.
We especially enjoyed the birds and bands of howler monkeys that would come down to the hotel in the mornings and hang out in the trees right off of our balcony.
The staff are friendly and altho we speak spanish we noted that most non-spanish speaking guests had no problem with communication and the staff go out of thier way to be of help to the guests.
The american owners, Brad and Kelly, are great hosts and a wealth of knowledge about the area.
The excusions they offer to other islands and snorkeling are not to be missed!!!
While in the north of Panamá don´t miss Hotel Boca Brava and experience the Chiriquí national park.
Thanks to Brad, Kelly and crew for a great time!!!!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled with family
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Thank info_posadamargarita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Boca Brava

Address: Boca Chica | Boca Brava Gulfo de Chirique, Isla Boca Brava, Panama
Location: Panama > Chiriqui Province > Isla Boca Brava
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Isla Boca Brava
Price Range: $53 - $100 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Boca Brava 2.5*
Number of rooms: 14
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Also Known As:
Hotel Boca Brava Panama/Isla Boca Brava

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