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“excellent service. great down to earth people” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hostal Refugio del Rio

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Hostal Refugio del Rio
Certificate of Excellence
Panama City, Panama
2 reviews
“excellent service. great down to earth people”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 13, 2013

i had the greatest time at el refugio del rio. I stayed with my mom and sister for four days and i wish i could have stayed longer. the staff is extremely helpful, kind, funny, sincere! they definately take pride in their work and have lots of fun at the same time. The weekly bbq is great! the owner luchini was a delight, i loved his hostel so much that i'm going to volunteer over the summer. refugio del rio is better than a top notch hotel, you can not beat the price, the people and especially the location. your able to enjoy a nice jacuzzi listen to the peacefulness of the river while you chill out on the hammock. its a shame we only stayed four days because they truly made us feel welcome and like we were part of their family from the start. i have nothing to complain about, its a must to stay here if you are in boquete.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank karla_cadavid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luchini L, Owner at Hostal Refugio del Rio, responded to this review, April 17, 2013
Thank you for the positive review. We hope to see you again in the summer.

PS: Thank your mother for the great Sancocho that she made.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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444 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Mal Pais, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Refugio for over 2 weeks not only because we loved Boquete, but also because we loved the hostel so much. The staff is incredibly helpful and friendly, and we felt like family upon arrival. The staff goes out of their way to make your stay enjoyable, and are very dedicated to maintaining cleanliness. After checking out 7 hostels with comparable (if not more expensive!) rooms, it was a no brainier staying at Refugio. The grounds are also awesome, with a river right in the yard.....there is also a freshwater jacuzzi!! The owner, Luchini, goes out of his way to make sure his guests are happy and well taken care of (AWESOME weekly BBQ!), and we miss him dearly! I highly recommend staying here if you're traveling to Boquete.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JadeAndTrav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013

We stayed in a private cabin by the river, and were pleasantly surprised at the amenities and cleanliness given the price (aprox 28 dollars for 2 people!). Hostel prices, but mid-range hotel quality. The location was excellent, the common areas were clean, coffee and internet were free. Definitely worth staying here. We stayed at a more expensive hotel the night before and were much happier in Refugio del Rio.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LKCHICAGO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cologne, Germany
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2013

One of the best hostels I staid at in Panama. Has a really great atmosphere. The kitchen is massive and really good equipped, perfect to cook with other travellers and enjoy your meal together at the large dining table. Afterwards chilling out in the hot tub by the river. Dorm is also special, as there are single beds instead of only bunk beds. Everything is really clean!
Also the staff was really friendly and eager to help with any problem. Like the owner, who was always available and taking great personal interest to make your stay enjoyable and special.
Free BBQ a couple of nights is another extra „Plus“. A great feast and perfect opportunity having a great night with all the other travellers staying at the hostel!
I'm sure I would go back to this place!!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mariposa_86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2013

3 words to descirbe this place: Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

A colonial house with a huge backyard and beautiful river that passes through the property...Amazing!

Very clean and very well located.

Room Tip: Dorms are large and very clean.
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank mazzidinapoli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Espoo, Finland
Level Contributor
63 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2013

I had booked this place in advance so I had one of the very few private rooms with its own shower. At this time the cost was like 35 dollars a night... Can you beat that?
The location is a few blocks away from the main square but the river (as the name suggests) and it truly is a wonderful experience. The staff is helpful and arranges you tours, if needed, etc. There was at least one guy who spoke decent English. The gardens are pure pleasure to relax in after a day of sightseeing.
The room was somewhat basic and the bed very short indeed. Did I expect hot water from the shower? Not really. But it was sort of lukewarm and that was OK.
This being a hostel, there is no restaurant as such. For the budget-minded, there is a small kitchen where you can prepare your own meals etc. This being the coffee country, there is always coffee free of charge.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jukka1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Providence, Rhode Island
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 28, 2013

Don't be put off by the unfriendly reception lady who checks you in... she will be the only unpleasant part of your experience... (and I can speak Spanish so it wasn't a language barrier!)

They didn't have a private so our first night was spent in a dorm which was cramped but you get what you pay for - I'm not a dorm person. We were moved the next day to a private with ensuite for $27 and worth every penny. It had a TV (we didn't watch it) and was right off the kitchen but was still quiet. There are other beautiful options for slightly more money so I really think that there's something for everyone here.

The kitchen is the best kitchen you will encounter as a backpacker. Clean, new and well equipped. Free coffee every morning. Great dining table or you can eat outdoors at one of the many places there is to sit. Be as social or anti-social as you desire.... it's all possible.

The hostel is located on a river and if you camp you are lulled to sleep by the sound of the water swooshing by (and then harshly awakened by the roosters at 3am! haha) It's a great spot to read, journal or just contemplate.

BBQ's on Saturday night where the hostel provide the meat, you just bring a dish... you eat late so be prepared. There's a hot tub which is regularly cleaned and all in all the cleanliness everywhere was very impressive. It came highly recommended to us and we were not disappointed.

To cap it all off as we were leaving the owner saw us and ran out to his car and gave us a ride to the bus station which wasn't far away at all. Just a great experience... you need to go here!

Room Tip: Stretching the budget is worth it for a room on the river.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank BritOpinion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hostal Refugio del Rio

Property: Hostal Refugio del Rio
Address: Ave. B Oeste, Boquete 0413, Panama
Location: Panama > Chiriqui Province > Boquete
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 48 Specialty Lodging in Boquete
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Hostal Refugio del Rio 2*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Known in town as the “luxurious” hostel for backpackers, you are always surprised to discover that such a beautiful house has been transformed into a hostel. Our place has been carefully furnished and decorated and also has 9 private all of which have private bathrooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hostal Refugio Del Rio Hotel Boquete

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