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“A nature lover's paradise”

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La Montana y el Valle Coffee Estate Inn
Ranked #4 of 28 Boquete B&B and Inns
A TripAdvisor Member
“A nature lover's paradise”
Reviewed May 20, 2006

The birds stay for free but they sing for their supper all day. The Coffee Estate Inn is a little paradise where you can pretend that the real world does not exist anymore. A 6.5 acre paradise created by Barry Robbins and Jane Walker, not just for the joy of their clients but also for nature. Originally a small coffee and orange farm they have lovingly created a profusion of flowers, shrubs and trees whilst maintaining the coffee and orange all in amazing harmony which nature has fully appreciated, and many birds and small mammals have taken up residence.
The three bungalows are extremely private and are very comfortable with superb beds and astounding views of Vulcan Baru. A birder’s delight with early morning coffee (daily roasted) on the patio balcony, with only yourselves the birds and the uninterrupted view.
The Coffee Estate Inn exemplifies all that is best in a boutique type hotel with highly attentive but not intrusive hosts who are a fund of knowledge when it is needed. They helped us with so much advice when we stayed, from doctors and specialists to where we were certain of seeing Quetzals (which we did several times), and provided us with the necessary contact to ship our car to Ecuador when our arrangements went wobbly.
The food is to die for and a candle lit table on the patio with a lovely bowl of flowers is definitely about as romantic as you can get. And you never hear another person or see the other bungalows; you can really pretend you’re the only ones here.
The bungalows are kept scrupulously clean and the various bowls of flowers are freshened daily. A basket of oranges outside your door allows you to freshly squeeze your orange juice in the morning. And everywhere the birds are singing and Vulcan Baru is broodingly present. An absolutely delightful experience and one that we will repeat.

  • Stayed May 2006
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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8 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Boston
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2006

We just came back from an 11-day trip to Panama. We traveled with another couple, all of us are in our mid-30s, from the USA and this was our first time in Panama. We flew in to Panama City and the next morning we took an aeroperlas flight to David and rented an SUV for the 1 hour drive to the mountain rainforest town of Bocquette. We spent 4 days and 3 nights at the Coffee Estate Inn after which we went on to Bocas del Toro.

The entire trip was amazing, but of all the places we stayed, the standout was the coffee estate inn (also called la montana y la valle). The lodging consists of one bedroom bungalows perched on the side of a mountain with breathtaking views of Volcano Baru and the rainforest jungle in the valley below. It is run by a Canadian couple (Barry and Jane), who have lived on the property for many years running a small coffee farm and the pride they take in showing you their home is evident in all the little details that you don't normally consider but made all the difference. Some examples - 4-star resort luxury matresses, sheets and towels, juicer in every room and fresh oranges outside our door every morning, fresh roasted coffee that was among the best I've ever tasted (I used to be a barista in Seattle!!), high-pressure hot showers, a bird-feeder loaded with fresh fruit to lure all sorts of exotic birds into camera range, fresh flowers from their garden in the rooms, baking us cookies and home-made bread to send us off the last morning, the list goes on.

We stumbled on this place surfing the internet and mentioned it to some friends that were traveling to bocquette a few months ahead of us so we had some idea that they loved it, but from our first contact with Barry and Jane we were glad we found them. After booking our reservation, Jane sent us an information packet on their place that was like an insiders guide to traveling in Panama - it was filled with tips from past guests and their own travels, restaurant recommendations, business contacts they trust, cautionary tales of things to avoid and procedures for everything like booking in-country flights and rental cars, etc (the 25lb baggage limit on Aeroperlas was tough to handle!). When we had a mix-up with our flight to Bocas del Toro on Aeroperlas, Barry was quick to intervene, proactively calling their contact at the airline to help sort out the issue and ultimately arranging for a bi-lingual driver to take us on the beautiful drive to Almirante to catch a water taxi to Bocas - a much better option that the aeroperlas flight. When I mentioned that I have a severe allergy to fish and my friend is a vegitarian they made sure that the restaurants where we ate would accommodate these dietary restrictions. Even after we left, I arrived in Bocas to find a message at our hotel front desk, as well as an email from Barry and Jane informing me that I left my camera battery and charger at the coffee estate and when they found it, they had immediately arranged for another of their guests who was traveling to Bocas to leave it for me to pick up at a nearby hotel the next day. Most places probably would have waited for me to notice my battery was missing, stored it in a lost and found box and wait for me to call to request that it be sent to me in the states. But because Barry and Jane thought enough to get the battery back to me a day later in Bocas this saved us from having no photos of the second half of our trip.

There were too many little details like this to recount fully, but we left feeling like we had visited relatives rather than stayed at a boutique resort. This place is special.

If you stay there, among the don't-miss highlights, *DEFINITELY* have them cook you dinner. Barry and Jane are unbelievable cooks and they offer a candlelight dinner on the porch (we had to eat inside since it was raining, but Jane dressed up the table with fresh flowers and linens) that was hands-down the best meal we ate in all of Panama. The smoked pork was outrageous (wish we had ordered 2 of these), but it was all fantastic. They also offer a tour of the coffee farm and roasting process that you shouldn't miss. If you do nothing else in Bocquette but sit on your porch and read, make time to do these two things (and be sure to drive the loops/hike around on the sendoros - see below).

Among our regrets, we didn't bring home near enough of their coffee, we didn't have enough time to explore the quetzal sendoro (the quetzal trail) and surrounding areas. Although we hired a guide to look for quetzals, we only saw a couple of them briefly and the zip-line canapy adventour tour was cool, but not spectacular. When we drove over to the other hiking areas on our last evening in Bocquette, we quickly realized we missed out. Jane had been encouraging us to drive over to these places, but we didn't find the time until it was too late. If I went back I would also try to fit in some river rafting (which I hear is amazing there) and possibly a little golf at the valle escondido but we didn't have the time on this trip.

The other places we stayed in Panama City and Bocas del Toro were both nice too, but the coffee estate was A+. If you stay in Panama City I would recommend the place we stayed - Casa Mar Alta. The place we stayed in Bocas (El Limbo by the Sea) was reasonably clean and (when we eventually got into the room we had reserved) has nice porches looking over the bay, we had a mix up when they double-booked our room and I think if I went back there, I would look to stay somewhere other than bocas town. We heard a lot of good things from fellow travelers about the Au Natural resort on Bastimentos but weren't able to go see it.

Helpful?
21 Thank ltfuzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washington, dc
Level 6 Contributor
115 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
Reviewed February 17, 2006

Not much more we can do but further confirm all the wonderful reviews already posted! We only wish we could have stayed longer. We took advantage of the wonderful in cabin dinner, complete with gorgeous flowers and candle light. It's pretty near perfect here. We really enjoyed Barry's coffee tour! And Jane was a fabulous resource for the area. The info she provided from our first email contact was so useful. The work and attention to detail that these two have invested in their property really make it a stand out. The grounds are beautiful, the valley view from the cabins breathtaking. I guess I could fault them for not providing a rainbow while we were there . . . they'll have to work on that.

Stayed February 2006
Helpful?
8 Thank glover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waterford,Connecticut
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2006

We have just returned from our first visit to Boquete, Panama. After reading all the positive comments on trip advisor about The Coffee Estate Inn we decided to make reservations to stay there. We are so glad we did. If you are looking for a place to stay that is quiet, impeccably clean, relaxing, and serves excellent dinners, look no further than The Coffee Estate Inn with its beautiful grounds and fabulous views of the surrounding mountains.
Our cottage was provided with fresh roasted coffee, a coffee pot, a basket of freshly picked oranges, and an electric juicer. Delicious muffins were available on request. We found our bed to be very comfortable, the linens crisp, and our showers hot, with great water pressure. We especially enjoyed having dinner served in the privacy of our cottage and found the food, which was prepared by the owners, to be the best in Boquete. Our table was set with fresh linens and a beautiful arrangement of candles and flowers.
We enjoyed walking the lovely grounds with its coffee and orange trees and so many gorgeous flowers. If you are into birding, you are in for a treat. All you have to do is keep your eyes on the large feeder which is filled with oranges and bananas and you will be rewarded. Motmots, flame colored tanagers, red-legged honey creepers, just to mention a few.
Jane and Barry, the owners, certainly have a talent for making there guests feel welcome and very pampered. We vacationed in Panama for 8 days and our three nights here was the highlight of our trip. We can't wait to go back.

Helpful?
6 Thank KAnd19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
83 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2006

We have just returned from a 9-day trip to Panama (our first time), and our 4 days at La Montana y El Valle were the high point in a wonderful trip. We had high expectations for our stay at La Montana, since we had read the rave reviews in Trip Advisor, but Jane and Barry delivered even beyond our expectations. Their hospitality started with Jane’s invaluable counsel and connections several months ago in planning the other segments of our Panama trip. When we arrived in Boquete their graciousness just got better—they made sure our bungalow was just right—flowers, temperature, candles, music, coffee—and helped us with hiking, guides, restaurants, and books to read...not to mention Barry’s great tour of the coffee estate and a romantic candlelit gourmet dinner in our bungalow. Beyond the hosts, the setting of La Montana is just stunning. We had not expected such refined, lovely, cozy surroundings in the highlands of Central America. All in all, it is a perfect spot for independent travelers who like active days of hiking or birding or rafting (there is lots to do in the Boquete area), but evenings with a bit of luxury—superb food, lovely surroundings, and caring, gracious hosts.

  • Stayed January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Dhuds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2006

My husband and I spent the first three nights of our honeymoon at La Montana y el Valle. We couldn't have dreamed of a more perfect place. Our bungalow was clean and quaint with all of the amenities of home (except for a TV, which was just how we wanted it!). There was a never ending supply of superbly roasted coffee and milk and the most delicious oranges I’ve ever tasted – but maybe that was just because we picked them from the tree hanging over our veranda! As young (twenty-something) honeymooners, we chose Panama to spend some time in an unspoiled natural paradise without having to dole out our freshly-gotten nest egg. Jane and Barry made that paradise a reality for us. From their help during the planning of our trip, to their heavenly prepared and displayed meals, to burning photo CDs of our digital photos when our memory cards filled up, we were absolutely treated like newly-wed royals! Whenever we have had too much of our cold Chicago winters, we just imagine the sights and sounds and smells of our first days as a married couple at La Montana y el Valle and we dream about one lucky anniversary when we get to reconnect the magic that lives there with the magic it's left in our hearts.

  • Stayed July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank lubertam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about La Montana y el Valle Coffee Estate Inn

Property: La Montana y el Valle Coffee Estate Inn
Address: Jaramillo Arriba | Diagonal El Explorador, Boquete 0413, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Chiriqui Province > Boquete
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 28 B&Bs / Inns in Boquete
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — La Montana y el Valle Coffee Estate Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Coffee Estate Inn is Boquete's original mountainside inn featuring personalized attention, privacy and deluxe accommodations with delicious food and coffee. Our six acre (2 1/2 hectare) private estate allows ample privacy for all of our guests during their stay, and our attentive staff are sure to make it an escape to remember. All of our bungalows have magnificent views of the towering Baru Volcano, surrounding mountains and the Boquete valley below. Learn about coffee cultivation with us, participate in the roasting process and finally enjoy the flavor of our freshly roasted estate coffee. Nature trails wind through our lush private estate, and numerous species of exotic flowers, birds and mammals are easily viewed from the spacious deck of your private bungalow. Our goal today is the same as it has been since day one. That is to provide you with an opportunity to experience the beauty of Panama that we have the great fortune of enjoying every day. We take great pride in our Inn and great care of our guests. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Montana y El Valle Coffee Estate Hotel Boquete

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