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“great atmosphere and good hangout”

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Luna's Castle Hostel
Certificate of Excellence
Discovery Bay, Jamaica
Level Contributor
3 reviews
“great atmosphere and good hangout”
Reviewed August 24, 2010

If you are looking for a place to kick back and meet some interesting travelers this is the place. I was really tired when i arrived in Panama and I wanted somewhere to chill and collect myself. The hostel has a great lounge which always full of people, one of the best book exchanges I have ever seen, good breakfast included and helpful staff. It was also very secure... everywhere in Panama City is just next to a bad area and I liked how safety conscious they were!

I would suggest getting a room at the front though (dorms), They have a view over the Panama skyline and it can get very hot unless the breeze comes in through the big open windows!

Stayed March 2010, traveled solo
Helpful?
Thank laranchera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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562 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (96)
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san juan del sur
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2010

We arrived with high expectations but after 2 nights of absolutely no sleep we had enough and moved to mamallena hostel here we ran into a bunch of people who had also fled the cook house. Our private room was small and had no ventilation except for a fixed wall fan & ceiling fan which made the sauna feel more like a fan forced oven, to add insult to injury music was thumping away all night, the mattresses were thin & the communal showers were not the cleanest I have experienced. You could tell by everyones attitude everyone was lacking sleep I dont know where all the good reviews have come from as we have only heard bad things from fellow travellers. On the upside though the rooms were clean enough & the staff were friendly & helpful, great location, impressive cinema & good resources (wifi, books, info etc) Many better options are available for the same price.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank freeloader_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed August 7, 2010

This was actually our second or third choice, as it seemed to be in a bad area. That may have been true a few years ago, but no longer: the area is perfectly safe, well-lit and covered by police, day and night.

The hostel has large communal areas, and it's easy to meet other travellers. The staff are wonderful, patient, helpful, generous and friendly. After finding us a room, pretty much the next thing they did was give me a old guitar case for my Cuban Tres, which was boxed up. Nice one guys.

The hostel is a party hostel, with a bar/nightclub in the basement, and regular live gigs in their back garden. There's a cinema-style video room too, or you can simply empty the beer fridge in the main reception. Do take ear plugs.

The only minor annoyance was a ostensible feud with their neighbours, who clearly objected to the noise from the hostel, and took revenge with a, 36 hour (I think) marathon session of non-stop typical Panamanian music, on full blast. LOUD. And I really have come to hate "tipico" Panamanian music now. But I did chuckle at the whole affair. They did shut up eventually, and I felt sorry for the folks who were sleeping in the streets and alleyways, who never get a break, it seems.

The surrounding area is fabulous to walk around, with restaurants I would happily welcome in London, and an exciting vibe about it. It's up-and-coming and if I had the cash, I'd buy a property and come live here. Luna's Castle is a top place in a top location.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank londonskater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 3, 2010

Absolutely loved Luna's Castle. They offered transportation to San Blas and a tour of the Panama Canal. Rooms were a bit cramped and very hot, but definitely livable. Everyone that stayed there was friendly and sociable. And of course, the free pancake breakfast can't be beat. The location is fabulous (right in the middle of Casco Viejo), the staff really know their stuff and the bar downstairs is hopping pretty much every night. The rooms are high up enough that the music doesn't disturb you if you want to turn in early.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank leahchaia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saskatchewan
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2010

This place rocks! The staff are friendly and make sure to let you know you can stay as long as you like. There is free internet. Relic Bar in the basement, closed Sunday and Monday. A movie room. Free pancake/banana breakie everyday till noon (if you are gonna be there more than a couple of days buy something to spruce up the cakes, I recommend peanut butter). Free tea and coffee all day. Good book exchange. Kitchen/fridge available for everyone to use. Beer and drinks available to buy from reception.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank anjelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, PA
Level Contributor
88 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2010

When we flew into Panama City Luna's was worth it due to the money we saved. They do have amazing resources- you can book trips to the San Blas, store excess luggage, and do other travel booking through them. However, at night the place turns into a bar with $.50 drinks. That appeals to a lot of folks, obviously! However, my husband and I are in our late twenties, early to bed, early to rise types, and we don't drink so it wasn't really our scene. Trying to sleep in a windowless (private) room in Panama City heat was not cool. We heard all the pick-ups going on downstairs, and more than we would ever want to hear of the aftermath in the adjoining rooms.

We did store luggage at Luna's (for free!) while in the San Blas and we booked a jeep trip through them to get there. That was all helpful. Plus, Casco VIejo is beautiful and a wonderful place to spend time. The neighborhood didn't always feel safe at night, but you have to exercise the same caution and awareness you should anywhere else. Luna's had a bouncer/guard at the door who was a cool guy.

Breakfast is make your own pancakes and bananas. Not the best but there were also discounts for eating at other local eateries. If you want to party and hook up with other traveller's, definitely stay at Luna's. Otherwise, it certainly is one of the cheapest spots in town, but you pay for it with lack of sleep.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Maiga_Milbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2010

We stayed here on 2 occasions and enjoyed it both times. The hostel is in a lovely buidling in the old district of Panama. This area is bordered by a big slum but if you follow the staff's advice and don't wander round at night you'll be fine. It also means you are in walking distance of some great bars and restaurants.

The Hostel has a great vibe and the rooms are tidy and clean. We stayed in both dorm and a private double. The dorm we stayed in was quite big and could get a bit noisy so I would try and get a private or stay in one of the 4 person dorms instead. The price we paid also included breakfast of yummy pancakes that you make yourself.

The staff are the best part about Luna's they have a really good knowledge of Panama city and the best way to get to the attractions, they also organised our tip out to the San Blas Islands (Highly recommended) and told us everything we needed to know about what to take and expect out there, if we hadn't know we probably would have had an awful time.

Great place - stay there!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Claire_45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Luna's Castle Hostel

Property: Luna's Castle Hostel
Address: Calle 9na Este 3-28 | Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 105 Specialty Lodging in Panama City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in a Spanish colonial mansion built upon the water’s edge. Luna’s Castle Hostel attracts those who seek the ideal Panama City backpacking experience. Following Captain Morgan’s plunder of Panama Vieja in 1671, stones from the ruins were used to construct the massive walls of Casco Viejo. Luna’s Castle, built in 1905, rests upon these original city walls. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Luna`s Castle Hotel Panama City
Luna's Castle Hostel Panama/Panama City

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