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“Back Again”

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Panama Big Game Fishing Club
Southampton, New York
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Back Again”
Reviewed February 7, 2014

Just returned from our 2nd visit to Panama Big Game Fishing Club. Had a great time again!! Mr. C is continuing to make improvements to the property to accomodate guests needs. It really is paradise! It was nice to see his entire family, as well as seeing Victor & his Mom again.Just a friendly staff who really care about attending to your wishes. We really enjoyed the pampering we got from Ray!! Had a Marlin on which cut the line as well as seeing a few more.Caught a huge sailfish, some Mahi Mahi's & monster Snappers!! Enjoyed fish caught for dinner each night as well as other guests sharing the 200lb. tuna they caught.The club attracts great people & it is enjoyable to swap fish stories during happy hour, pool side. Was expecting to catch more fish, as other boats did better than us. Unfortunately on our last day the seas didn't cooperate. Had some big waves last day out which kinda put a damper on our spirits, but that's fishing when you go after the big ones!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Mary M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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145 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
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English first
Hong Kong, China
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2014

PBGFC is outstanding in all the ways that matter to me when choosing a fishing lodge destination halfway around the world . Fishing -- good boats , captains , mates and gear plus a good variety of species within reasonable running distance -- matters most to me ; but quality of accommodation , service and food are also very important . This place has it all , plus a hospitable comraderie and "can do" attitude among the staff . Captain Tati and Mate Narcisso are world class , fun to dish with , and we had no language problems (I don't speak Spanish) . They helped me land the club's first marlin on a fly rod (300 lb. blue) .

I've fished destinations all around the world and would rank PBGFC right up there among the best . It is a long journey from my home in Hong Kong , but worth it .

Tom G , Hong Kong

Room Tip: I stayed in "Tuna 1" , which is closest to the pool and restaurant . Very nicely appointed...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tom_G300Bluemarlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 24, 2014

Lots of work to be done to be a first rate fishing destination. Started as soon as we arrived at airport no representative from lodge to meet and greet and expedite through customs and immigration. Van broke down from airport to hotel, had to change vans. Flew to David on Sunday late afternoon and did not arrive at lodge until 7:30pm. We were in limbo for about 20 minutes. No real greeting or direction. Fortunately the 3 other guys I was with new the routine since they had been there previously. Dinner food was pretty good. But you never knew what time you were going to be served. One night we were not served dinner until 10pm. Breakfast was sub par and slow. Lunches while fishing were terrible, salami with cheese and a sub roll. There was good fruit at lunch. The fish bite was not great but there is no control over that. On day 1 I was on a boat that had an inexperienced captain and mate. Nothing caught that day. The owner is going to credit our group one day. The lodge itself is beautiful, the room/cabins were very nice as well. The grounds and pool, with swim up bar was beautiful. Lodge needs a lot of work on overall guest service, especially bar service and dinner service.

Helpful?
9 Thank Bill K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2014

I was here for 3 nights at the beginning of December and I have to say, this is one of the few places that lives up to the hype. I work in the sport fishing tourism business so I had heard a lot about this property and it's 70K likes on Facebook. I have been living and working in Costa Rica for 8+ yrs so I've stayed at a lot of nice hotels and fished on a lot of nice boats, but I had butterflies the day before we arrived here I was so excited. From the moment we got there I knew everything was going to be amazing during our time there.

We were greeted with a welcome drink at the clubhouse upon arrival, then the bartender Kenny suggested we go up top to the observatory to take in the sunset. Pretty stunning 360 degree views of the mountains behind you and the Pacific in front of you. The food at the lodge was absolutely amazing. The chef, Zavier, is Panamanian but has spent years in Europe and the Middle East so he has broad horizons in the kitchen. The first night we had three giant Pacific lobsters in a curry sauce, the next night he prepared the snapper we caught earlier in the day, and the third night he made us a pasta of our choice. That wasn't even the highlight though, his appetizers were Four Seasons quality. We had BBQ chicken wings, fresh fish fingers, chips & homemade salsa, roasted peppers with feta cheese, and even fresh caviar! I could not believe the quality of the food served, most all inclusive lodges serve local food or all seafood from the day's catch, but this was amazing. By Day 3 we literally had to tell him to stop making so much food because there was only two of us and we never felt hungry.

The hotel it self is luxurious in every detail. It almost is misleading to refer to it as a 'lodge' as that implies basic accommodations and a "guys only" atmosphere, this place is anything but. All 4 cabinas come with AC, wifi, 55" smart TVs, stocked mini bar (no extra charge), huge bathroom, and beds on either side of the bathroom. The beds can be customized to have king beds for couples for twin beds for singles. The clubhouse is where all meals are served and they have a nice bar and another 60" smart TV in there to watch movies or big games. They also have a nice pool with swim up bar and beautiful views out over the island, and they put up a TV so guests can connect their cameras at the end of the day and share pictures while having a drink. They even have a heated jacuzzi!

Last but not least, we went there for one reason - to fish. This lodge is perfectly located in Isla Boca Brava so it is easy to get to from David and it's close to world famous fishing spots like Isla Coiba, Hannibal Banks, and Isla Montousa. On any given day you can fish the various islands for huge snapper and roosterfish or head off-shore to search for giant marlin and their legendary 'cow' tuna. They have 5 main boats for the off-shore fishing, all of them identical in amenities and built for serious sport fishing. Here in Costa Rica most boats are loaded with 25W & 30W and carry one 50W for a marlin, on those boats they are all 50Ws because the fish are so big. All boats come with tuna tubes, lives wells, outriggers, downriggers, fighting chairs, air conditioning, and popping stations on the bow so a giant tuna doesn't drag you overboard. To give you an idea of how luxurious this property is from top to bottom, the boats even have Shimano Stella spinning reels - which felt heavenly when pulling up big snapper from the bottom of the ocean.

All in all - from the service you get pre-arrival to the quality of the food to the luxurious accommodations to the world class fishing there isn't much you'd change about this place. It has won numerous awards for excellence in 2013 and I can see why, the new owner takes a lot of pride in being the best and I can't imagine too many places that could outdo the PBGFC.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Chris A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Islamorada, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 15, 2013

Throughout my life I have always chosen an "Adventure" vacation trip over a cruise ship trip or destination that makes all of your decisions. PBGFC is the ultimate destination "Adventure Fishing Experience" and will be recommending this treasure island to our big game friends.
Right from the beginning of our arrival....., from the water taxi to the trolley, to the lodge, room accommodations to the pool and patio..........simply the coolest island resort experience! *******stars. Accomodations are top class with all the latest technology. If you didn't get something....it's because you did not ask. The staff provides EVERYTHING.
Victor and his entire staff were attentive to all our needs and always with a smile. From drivers, bartenders, chef, to hospitality staff and the marina crew....everyone was kind, caring and very professional. Our charter captain and mate were absolutely awesome. Nothing but the best in fishing equipment and boat choice (31" Bertram) I have been on many charters in my life and this rivaled the best.

Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank Tarponguy2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City, Panama
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 1, 2013

We decided to take the long way to the Hotel (6h from Panama City by car) and as soon as we arrive we were treated like kings!
Rooms are big and nice also a big bathroom
The food was delicious from breakfast to dinner everything is good, but the best in having dessert in the pool!
The staff of panama big game make you feel as part of the family.
And off course...the fishing was amazing! With the best captains and mates of the region. All experience and very responsible.
Top class fishing gear
And world class fishing

Definitely one of the best fishing lodges in the world!!

Thanks to Our captain TAti the first mate Narciso, the chef Xavier, the Barman Kenneth Alvarez and our host and friend Victor.

You guys are amazing!!!

Regards

JFP

  • Stayed November 2013
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jfpoll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2013

I spent a week at PBGFC travelling all the way from Australia and I was blown away by the whole experience. The service provided by the staff was impeccable, from the office people in the booking process to the staff at the lodge. The monster fish that are on offer in these waters are just one of the luxuries at PBGFC. From the time you touch down at Panama airport to the time you leave you are treated like a king and your every need is taken care of. The lodge itself is 5 star with an amazing infinity pool with swim up bar, perfect after a long days fishing! The private cabins as accommodation are very spacious with a mini bar, air con, wifi and plasma TVs.

PBGFC worked hard to cater for any personal requests both on and off the boat, ensuring I got exactly what I wanted during my stay. If your looking for a VIP style fishing trip of a life time look no further than PBGFC. Cant wait to return!

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank jason e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Panama Big Game Fishing Club

Property: Panama Big Game Fishing Club
Address: Isla Boca Brava | Near Boca Chica, Isla Boca Brava, Panama
Location: Panama > Chiriqui Province > Isla Boca Brava
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Isla Boca Brava
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Panama Big Game Fishing Club 3.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Awarded a Certificate of Excellence 2012,2013,2014,2015,2016 and 2017 by Tripadvisor, the first and only fishing resort ever to be honoured with this award. Our upscale waterfront jungle location is abundant with wildlife. These natural wonders help make this sport fishing lodge equalled by few places left on the planet. We are able to provide dream vacations where you can fish the big game fish, relax in a tropical setting and enjoy gourmet dining. The Club is located on the Island of Boca Brava and has proximity to the famous fishing grounds of Hannibal Bank, Isla Coiba, Montuosa and many other islands dotted throughout this area. Fishing is good year round with a lot of that due to the many sea mounds and banks that bring the bottom up from a Thousand Meters to less than Forty Meters. These areas hold a lot of baitfish. Inshore and offshore fish species include: black marlin, blue marlin, tuna, sailfish, wahoo, mahi mahi, cubera snapper, rock snapper, mullet snapper, yellow snapper, rooster fish, amberjack, crevalle jack, blue jack, horse-eye jack, sierra mackerel. Our sportfishing packages are all inclusive: accommodations, fine dining, open bar, Infinity pool with swim-up bar and Spa and local air and land transfers. The resort has undergone a multi-million dollar upgrade completed in May 2012. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Panama Big Game Fishing Club Isla Boca Brava

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