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“Lovely vistas and a welcoming spot to relax”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of B&B Hotel Cerrito

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B&B Hotel Cerrito
Ranked #1 of 2 Isla Taboga B&B and Inns
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Lovely vistas and a welcoming spot to relax”
Reviewed February 18, 2012

The B&B is located at the top of a big hill, surrounded by trees and beautiful flowers. Our suite had a partial view of the ocean and the breezes were refreshing and we had a lot of privacy. The accommodations were well equipped though basic. The bathroom was in a bit of disrepair but otherwise, the room was comfortable.

The staff seemed fairly helpful and friendly. Breakfast was a generous helping of fresh eggs (I think I saw the hens running around the yard), fruit, toast, juice and coffee. My partner is vegan and they forgot to accommodate him the first day but the second day they improvised with black beans and a veggie patty and a plateful of fruit, so we left pretty satisfied.

Room Tip: We chose the slightly more expensive room with the partial ocean view and shared balcony. I would re...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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105 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    5
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
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English first
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
48 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2012

We cut our trip to Taboga Island and Cerrito Tropical short after we got there. The island, while full of potential, is pretty trashy, with lots of glass on the beaches. The hotel was very clean but a bit run down. The owners were not there during our stay, and the people who run it for them (who do not speak ANY English) were friendly enough but did not seem to know what was going on. We left early and went back to Panama City. Taboga might make a nice day trip, but it is not worth spending several nights there, and certainly not for the price this hotel charges.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank TeaSip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RanchitoCerrito, Owner at B&B Hotel Cerrito, responded to this review, February 25, 2012
Thank you for your review. We appreciate all input, and even more appreciate input when you are staying at Cerrito so that we can improve your experience at the time to try to meet your expectations. We support sustainable tourism, therefore offer a truly local experience.

We always send complete information to all our guests offering options and letting guests know we are often in the city to run the business since there are no supply stores, banks or supermarkets on Taboga.

Taboga Island is a simple island, near the city. Many people come to Taboga Island especially to collect sea-glass which is a popular hobby nowadays. Taboga has sea glass dating back 500 years. Taboga is a fishing village, beach town in Panama, and not a wealthy resort town. Panama City sends little money to assist the village and island infrastructure. Its people are simple and fish for a living or rent beach umbrellas.

Taboga Island is the perfect place to have a local experience. It is the perfect place to really relax, enjoy the jungle hikes and the 2 simple beaches. It offers historic hikes, fishing, great photo opportunities, and more. For tours to more enjoy your visit, our guests only need to ask.

Cerrito Tropical has local staff, we support sustainable tourism. They are always learning and are not perfect. We have a new staff member who is trying to learn English. If visitors speak no Spanish we are a phone call away to translate, or we are there. However, very often mid week we are in the city buying supplies and manning the office there (and guests are notified of this).

As for our rates, we include taxes, a full breakfast with fresh fruit, eggs and unlimited Panama coffee, air conditioning and private bathrooms which most other places do not. Our rates are in the range and cheaper than some on Taboga Island. Our accommodation runs from $70 and upwards per night depending on when you go and what you choose.

Please note that all accommodations on islands including Taboga are more costly due to the cost of the transport - from the beginning - from building with cement blocks to shipping the coffee for breakfast. Panama itself is experiencing a steep rise in food costs due to inflation. Therefore a milk which cost $.75 cents when we started some 6 years ago now costs $1.25 more than a 50% increase.

As we noted previously, we are supporting sustainable tourism which means we support the local people and the local market. It is not always easy to see the immediate benefits to this but when we see a child having new shoes to attend school, or getting better medical attention on Taboga, it is worth every moment. Taboga is improving, and we at Cerrito are doing our part to allow visitors to enjoy a beautiful local experience. For many of our guests that is why they travel.

Again thank you for your review, it will help us and our staff to improve experience for our guests.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2011

So - the positives first. The outside of this hotel is lovely. I like the hammock and I like the sitting area. The views down to the water are spectacular. The staff is quite friendly, and the meals are good. The staff is accommodating and will cook when you want to eat (even if it isn't the designated meal times). Inside, the common area is nice - and the games and TV w/ videos are a nice touch. Also, if you book online, the hotel sends an email asking if you want someone to pick you up at the ferry, which is nice - b/c the hill up to the hotel is brutal (sadly for us, I didn't get this email until after I got back to the States... but, that wasn't their fault). Also - overall, the island itself is laid-back and a relaxing place to spend some time.

The not-so-positive aspects of the hotel: I understand that Panama is a 3rd world country - and I know that I visited during rainy season, and chose to stay in the least expensive room... thus, what I'm about to say should be taken w/ a grain of salt -- however, the room we stayed in (room 5, I believe) had a VERY strong smell of mold... so much so that I feared we might get sick after staying there for a night. The room itself is okay, albeit somewhat bare-bones - which isn't a problem. I'm a pretty laid back traveller - and I also understand that I paid for the cheapest room, and I had read the reviews - thus, I wasn't expecting warm water in the room and I wasn't concerned about the lack of amneities. I was not expecting the pervasive smell of mold. I suspect that the suites that cost a bit more money must be better -- because the overall reviews on here are very good -- but, that led to my being more surprised when I got there. However, all in all it was a nice enough trip to Toboga. Tobogo is relaxing - and, in the end - we didn't get sick... so...maybe I was just paranoid... but, if I had to do it over again -- I would likely make the trip to Toboga a day trip -- and come back to Panama City in the evening.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jfoster101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RanchitoCerrito, Owner at B&B Hotel Cerrito, responded to this review, February 25, 2012
Thank you for your positive and honest review.
We always appreciate reviews especially like yours which give us the chance to respond and improve.

Yes, in rainy season it is hard to keep the smell of mold down on the lower ground level). You can find this in practically every hotel in Panama - I have experienced it too. The upstairs rooms have never this problem. In the future, we simply need to know and will either try to find a better room or fix the problem.

We do appreciate if guests let us know any concerns on arrival so we can make the experience better for you. Thank you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2011

The hotel was great - amazing views, lovely staff, and very close to center of town. Walk up the hill is quite the workout!!!! Food was great - a little slow - but that is because it's not a restaurant. Great variety of food. Staff very ready to assist with travel arrangements and local tours etc....

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank fcarter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2011

If you have ample free time to spend in Panama, I'd stay over night here. If you are only here for a few days, make it a day trip. If you decided on a day trip, come on the weekend because of the boat schedule. If you come during the week, you are stuck ALL day.

We went to Taboga Island for a day trip. We walked to this hotel after reading all of the reviews. It was more of a B&B. When you get off the boat, go up the ramp, make a right and walk about 7 minutes until you see their sign. You will make another right and walk up a steep hill. It's a really nice place with lots of charm. When we arrived, no one there spoke English. A local called Cynthia the owner and we were able to communicate with her. She was very pleasant to speak with. We were looking for a room to rent for the day but but decided not to rent. They were going to charge us $44 for 3 people. We inquired about lunch and the charge for a day room and a full coarse lunch would be $118 for 3 people. (Not a bad price) We decided against the offer and just stayed for lunch and spent $52 for three people including tip. Renting a room for a day would have been a good idea, but for the time we were there, I felt like it would have been a waste of money. If you go to the island during the week, the boat gets there at 9:30 and leaves at 4:30. We arrived to the hotel around 10:30 and waited to have lunch at 12. I just couldn't justify spending $44 for a place that we wouldn't spend much time in.

The lunch was ok. We ordered shrimp and pork chops and it was over cooked. However, the people were extremely nice even though they didn't speak English. Our order was wrong but it was because we don't know Spanish and there was a language barrier. They offered to replace our food, but we decided to keep what we had because we wanted to go to the beach.

Although we didn't spend the night, we could tell that the placed was very well kept, clean and neat. The staff was really nice, but didn't speak English. I think that the people would really go out of their way to help you.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tiffany1103
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mt Vernon
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 12, 2011

I just returned to the city from Taboga and stayed in an apartment at Cerrito for 3 days. I added an extra day so that my camera and I had enough time. The food was very good and the price was great from the perspective of a United States citizen. Cynthia was a wonderful multilingual host and a handful of interesting travelers graced the B&B. The staff is very honest and helpful. I never had to worry about where to get a meal and the menu is quite diverse. I offer many compliments to chef who is on hand daily to prepare the meals. I don’t drink alcohol but it is available for a fair price and the nonalcoholic drinks I had were made with fresh local ingredients.
Cerrito is on an island that is still quite well preserved and not over developed. This is what gives the island of Taboga so much charm. This also makes it necessary to be somewhat conservative regarding energy and water. There is bottled and filtered water on hand all the time though and I never missed a shower. The energy issue does not affect the quality of living at all. I was able to use all of my camera equipment, wireless internet (provided free of charge) to post my pictures and speak to my family.
I walked a rugged but wonderful hike to the cross and beyond in a couple of hours. I recommend bringing plenty of water, walking stick I found easily and a camera. The second day I spent on and amazing beach that has clear waters for snorkeling and taking pictures. It is a strip of sand with the ocean on both sides. The amazing thing is that the whole strip is filled with water at night. Two other beaches are available to enjoy in the evening as well. I think it would be a great place for couples and I intend to bring my girlfriend back with me sometime in the near future.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Alec1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 5, 2011

We stayed here a few days to relax and do nothing. That worked out although the Cerrito Tropical where we stayed is overpriced (82 dollars for a rather dark room, plastic furniture and no hot water). The room had AC but use during day time hours is charged with an extra 10 dollars. The staff is friendly but in contrast to some positive reviews we found the food both qualititively and quantitatively disappointing.


Taboga Island: Make it a daytrip (or not)

Taboga Island is on its best 200 meters before the ferry reaches the pier. From that distance the village looks welcoming and the white plastered little church picturesque. Once on the island it all looks very run-down. The beach is nothing special and contains various sewer pipes. Although Taboga has a rich history it doesn't have much to show for. The ferry ride offers a great view of all the boats that wait to enter the Panama Canal,   so a day trip seems OK

  • Stayed March 2011
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Mercedesje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RanchitoCerrito, Owner at B&B Hotel Cerrito, responded to this review, March 11, 2011
Since I had met the guests and been there during their stay it would have been very nice to hear their concerns at that time, since I asked how everything was during their stay.

We never charge the $10, from time to time we get people who abuse the AC which can break down so it is there as a safety measure. Since it is not possible to repair them on the island. We did not charge this guest. Electricity is very costly in Panama and more costly in Taboga than the mainland.

Regarding the food, it is certainly the best on the island and some guests say it is the best they have had in Panama. Everyone has different tastes.

Regarding the room furnishings, the Queen bed is cast iron and hand made in Panama and has a quality orthopedic mattress. All the bedding and pillows are new late 2010. The drawers the guest mentioned are from Japan made from plastic to avoid termites and humidity problems which is a great problem, near the beach. There is nothing else plastic in the room.

We offer rooms with a balcony, which have full glass doors and this guest was offered that option, the larger apt. does have a kitchen and hot water and rental is more costly. They chose the room on the first floor. Many guests like the room on the first floor (which has a window to the jungle) especially for the darkness for sleeping, relaxing and it is quieter, plus after a day in the bright sunlight on the beach, snorkeling, fishing, boating or hiking many appreciate it.

We have many guests who have come for days and even one for 3 months who have been very happy and loved Taboga and our staff who are very welcoming and do their best.

Everyone has different expectations especially for a developing country. Sorry this guest did not find Isla Taboga to their liking.
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Additional Information about B&B Hotel Cerrito

Property: B&B Hotel Cerrito
Address: Via Pizarro and Via Congresso, Isla Taboga 0832-2565, Panama
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Isla Taboga
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Isla Taboga
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
30 - 45 minutes from Panama City by scenic ferry.Quiet Hillside B&B Hotel and Restaurant with an ocean view plus tropical garden at the edge of historic Taboga village, 3 minute walk down to the shore and 10 minute walk from beach. Property backed by a tropical forest - great for bird watching. Offering the best of both worlds! ocean view from the exterior balconies (some rooms have exterior shared balconies, one suite has ocean view from the living area and dining nook also). Small relaxed Bed and Breakfast hotel, comfortable air conditioned room accommodation as well as vacation apartments on a laid back Pacific island under one hour from Panama by ferry. Restaurant offering delicious food by local chef, full international menu, friendly local staff; ideal quiet vacation spot to relax for 1 day to 1 month. Day packages available. Beach, boat trips, fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, hiking, Tours, weekend massage. Visit us and truly relax with the Cerrito family. Cerrito Tropical Bed and Breakfast Hotel & Restaurant, Taboga Island, Panama. ... more   less 
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