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“A nice place to stay in the former Canal Zone”
Review of The Balboa Inn

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The Balboa Inn
Ranked #4 of 80 Panama City B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 6, 2013

Bill and Mieke have tremendous knowledge about local restaurants, tours and sightseeing, and are terrific hosts and interesting to talk to. They are smokers, and our room was right above the smoking porch, and we like to leave the windows open. They were very accomodating when we mentioned it. The rooms are good and clean, common area is nice, and the yard is nice, including the occasional toucans. Yes, there are neighborhood dogs that bark, but this is Panama, and that's part of the experience.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Tom C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 - 105 of 421 reviews

Reviewed January 30, 2013

Bill and Mieke are terrific hosts. We stayed for three nights with our two small dogs, and will return shortly. We were given great advice regarding restaurants, self-service laundry, etc. The common area is a lovely place to meet other guests, check the computer, and watch the wildlife that is so nicely sustained in the yard. Breakfasts are ample and good. The neighborhood is very nice for walking; very secure. Best of all, they loved our dogs!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Caroline E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

We stayed at the Balboa Inn over New Year's. I don't think it deserves the rating of average that I gave it, but I also don't think it deserves a rating of very good. Good is how I would rate it. The directions to meet the driver at the airport were perfect. We arrived at the Inn late, around 11:30, to be met by Bill, who seemed in a hurry to just tell us the basics so he could get back to bed. Hey, I know it was late, but it was his choice to own a bed and breakfast! The Inn is in an upper middle class type neighborhood and is one half of a duplex. The downstairs is spacious, nicely decorated, and opens onto a garden with lots of birds and the occasional agouti (garden is almost an exact duplicate of a Hilo, Hawaii backyard). We had an upstairs room (#5) which was average - nothing great, except the wall paintings were very nice. It overlooked rooftops and the street. I was a bit grossed out by the dead soap with hair on it in the shower. We had no glasses in the room and had to request them. Bed was fine, room basically clean. Towel rack in bathroom fell off the wall. We stayed 3 nights and it seemed as though the room was attended to only once. Room also had 2 nightstands with cool touch lamps, and a closet. The breakfast was also average - 3 cereal choices, eggs and bacon (on request), a few different breads, peanut butter and jam, liquid yogurt, cut up fruit, juices and icky coffee. A dog barked at night which made it difficult to fall asleep. Both Mieke and Bill are smokers and they have part of their outside patio reserved for smokers. Mieke was quite helpful with questions; I found Bill more reserved. Over New Years, restaurants closed early, and Mieke had called around to find out which ones were open, which was very helpful (we had to make reservations at 3 PM!).

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Anne W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2013

Bill and mieke are so helpful from transfers to tours to restaurant recommendations. The rooms are clean and this place would score higher if it wasn't for those dogs going all night. The breakfast is nice with eggs served and the garden is a nice touch. Bring earplugs and if you have a problem getting a cab back to their place say nikos cafe, the cabbies know where that is!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Snipersdream
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Balboa Inn for a total of 4 nights in December 2012. The hosts Mieke and Bill helped to make our visit to Panama City very memorable. They helped with transportation and offered great ideas for what to see and do during our visit. The Inn itself was very comfortable and clean.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Janis204
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2013

We traveled to Panama City for the first time in December of 2012. We found the Balboa Inn on TripAdvisor after ruling out downtown Panama City (too Miami-esque), Casco Viejo (tourist trap, much?) and realizing there weren't many other places to stay. We liked that the neighborhood felt like a neighborhood, and the big hill (Cerro Ancon) was a lovely hour and a half walk through dense forest.

The reality of Panama City is that you will go NOWHERE except by cab. No. Where. With that in mind, you may as well plant yourself in a lovely B&B where your hosts will take superb care of you and then worry about getting to your hotspots during the day by cab. This is what makes the Balboa Inn a gem.

Bill and Mieke, your hosts at the Balboa Inn, know Panama City like long-time residents, but are English and Dutch respectively. As such, their English is as impeccable as their hospitality. From cooked breakfasts with fresh bread from the market to customized itineraries to dinner recommendations to printed cards telling taxi drivers how to get you home to a list of prices that help you beat Panamanian cab drivers at their game to waking up at 400 am to make sure you get your cab to the airport, there could be no better hosts for a stay in Panama City.

A word of advice: take their offered ride from the airport for $35. Their asking price is honest and the driver Samuel is a great fellow.

Do the right thing. Give Bill and Mieke a call.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank ahdrules
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2013

We paid $95.00 US for this room that should really be $50.00 at best. Shabby dirty and depressing. Facilities in disrepair. Could not wait to leave this run down establishment. We stayed here as we were getting the ferry to Contadora the next day, so, it was close by. A mistake.

Room Tip: If you want a hotel by Panama Canal don't stay here.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank l28mmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Balboa Inn

Address: Cruces 2311A | Balboa, Ancon, Panama City, Panama
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 80 B&Bs / Inns in Panama City
Price Range: $79 - $102 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Balboa Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Balboa Inn is a small Bed & Breakfast at the foot of Panama's main landmark, Ancon Hill (Cerro Ancon) in Balboa. Conveniently located between the downtown area, Amador Causeway and just minutes away from the domestic Albrook Airport, Casco Viejo, and the Panama Canal you are away from the city noise yet have access to all its services. The Balboa Inn: a great location, personal service, a real breakfast. Simply good value. Why settle for less? ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Balboa Hotel Panama City
The Balboa Inn Panama/Panama City

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