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“Visiting Bocas del Toro, Hotel Playa Tortuga” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort

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Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort
Ranked #7 of 22 Hotels in Isla Colon
Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Visiting Bocas del Toro, Hotel Playa Tortuga”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

Taking in account this Panama area, for me Playa Tortuga best choice in Bocas, since the hotel has good promises, maybe the best in town, with comfortable rooms, all located in front of the see, good beds, clean, Wifi every where, close to the town by taxi, bus or bike, good surroundings. Situated in Isla Colon where are many for dining to choose. In general, the services are good, but still the hotel needs to improve the food and the tour services. The best beaches are in the keys. My favorite is Isla Zapatilla where you can go from the hotel or less expensive from public boat transportation. I recommend bring you drinks and sandwiches of course solar protection. There is nothing there. In others keys are places to eat but some of them look terrible. As soon as I can I will be back! Enjoy your trip!

Room Tip: Rooms have 2 queen beds and have panoramic sea views. The hotel has NOT elevator is better to ask fo...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Trinaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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630 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (65)
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Avignon, France
Level Contributor
47 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

Playa Tortuga is a perfect hotel for families looking for a hotel with a good variety of amenities: kayaks, swimming pool, gym, bar, restaurant, etc.They also offer tours departing from the hotel, with boats and guides of the hotel. The rooms are nice, with balcony and comfortable bed.The only thing that I didn´t quite like was the buffet and the defective shower.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank AlexisB1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Bay
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

Stayed at this hotel for 1 night and the front desk staff was great. They have a free shuttle to take you back and forth to town.. We enjoyed the room, comfortable bed and great view . They have a wonderful pool. Only negative is be wary of the prices of alcoholic beverage at the bar over the water. $10.70 for a mixed drink

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank DebGen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

I went to Playa Tortuga with a group of friends, there were 10 of us.

The bus was there to pick us up at the Bocas Airport - we checked in pretty efficiently and they allowed us an early check in. (Our flight arrived at 7:30am from Panama City). Those both surprised me. The views from our room were simply amazing. We overlooked the ocean and a hut bar.

We ate breakfast at the buffet (Breakfast buffet is free to guests, but we came early, was not included - $17)

We arranged tours through the front desk. That flowed very well. There was a dock on the back of the hotel for the water taxis to arrange transportation.

Now our hotel seemed very clean, but it was old - and run down, there was moisture in the rooms as well. So if you think this is a fine resort - you will be disappointed. It is serviceable and I was pleased.

The hotel staff was not equipped to handle issues (such as bees overtaking the breakfast buffet), extra towels, arranging a shuttle to go to town, bars staying open after 11pm, slow response from the front desk - these are things that I've grown accustomed to in Panama after living here for 2 1/2 years. So I was not surprised - had I come from the US without having that knowledge, I would have been severely annoyed.

Playa Tortuga did have a nice pool area, the view was absolutely amazing, you could listen to the ocean at night from your room. The beds were comfortable. The lobby area provided space for meeting up with groups.

Another small drawback is you are away from Bocas Town - however there is a free shuttle that runs and a taxi will charge $2 (per person / before midnight / each way), or you can arrange water taxis - but it's fairly accessible.

Room Tip: Room 112 had an amazing view - and if you opened the door, you could hear the ocean.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Desula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Stayed at this hotel for 3 nights and the front desk staff was great. They have a free shuttle to take you back and forth to town which we used a lot. We enjoyed the room. It was clean and the housekeeping was great. They have a wonderful pool and great view.

We didn't include the breakfast on two of the nights so brought back pastries from the bakery in town which were great with the coffee the hotel serves. The one night our stay included breakfast it sure wasn't hot and the selection was on par with most other places we stayed. The food was good but just not hot at all.

The only problem we encountered was trying to go on tours from the hotel. The man that does the tours was away our first day so the girl at the front desk arranged it for us. We have to give her a lot of credit as she made a lot of phone calls but did get us to Starfish Beach. The next day we wanted to go to Red Frog Beach and got up early so we could arrange it for that day as he started at 8. The guy said he would get it arranged and call our room as the tours leave about 9:45 and as soon as he could arrange it he would call our room. We waited until 9:30 and after no call went into town and went to Red Frog Beach on our own. We saw a tour leaving the hotel and while we were at Red Frog Beach we saw them arrive but when we got back to our room that afternoon there had still be no call. I don't even know why he is there as we talked to other people that had problems trying to do tours from the hotel. We watched him for awhile after we had asked him to arrange for us and he never once picked up the phone and spent the next 15 minutes playing on the internet. If you want to do anything from the hotel your best bet is to go into town and arrange your tours with the companies directly.

The rest of the staff was wonderful from the minute we arrived we were made to feel welcome. The shuttle back and forth has the best driver who is quite helpful.

All in all we were happy with the hotel but found it a little over priced for location and condition.

Room Tip: We were on the first floor and like the walkout patio and being able to walk from our room to the po...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank HeatherHoban
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Level Contributor
74 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

Let me be clear, if you are expecting a luxurious resort, this is NOT it. The hotel is very run down, I would say it is a Motel 6 equivalent...from 2000. The rooms and bathrooms show A LOT of wear and tear and are in dire need of renovation. The food served at the restaurant is not great, but edible and the service in the restaurant is poor. Despite this, I still am willing to give this hotel a good review for these reasons.

Location: I liked that it was removed from the hustle and bustle, yet its just a few minutes from town. You could walk, but I would NOT recommend it. The cabbies drive like mad men there!
Free Shuttle: The hotel offers scheduled shuttle drop offs and pick ups to downtown. The shuttle driver even took us a couple times off schedule which was greatly appreciated.
Tour Desk: They have a tour desk where you can arrange all your tours. We arranged a tour the day of and had a water taxi headed to pick up within 5 minutes. It's very handy.
Staff: There are a lot of staff at Playa Tortuga and they all do a really good job of keeping the facility clean and orderly. The front desk staff were also very nice and helpful. The only service that was lacking was the service at the bar/restaurant on the pier.
Pool: The pool is not huge but its nice and clean and while we didn't spend a lot of time there, it did seem like a good place to relax.

While Playa Tortuga didn't knock my socks off, I think it was the best possible option for Bocas Del Toro and I would stay again if I returned to Bocas.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Cinnam0n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

Stayed at Playa Tortuga for 4 nights in 2009 and LOVED it! It's accessible to all of the local attractions, either by a bumpy cab ride or by boat (one night we chartered a boat from a floating bar...wish I could remember the name!) The food was ok, if a little expensive to eat / drink in house for an evening but it was OK to bring our own food and alcohol in from the local businesses. The pools were clean and beautiful, the breeze floating in from the ocean was like a dream. All the rooms are ocean view and extremely clean and comfortable. I seem to recall some issues with our air conditioner but otherwise no trouble at all. Looking forward to another trip.

Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Laura H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort

Property: Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort
Address: Isla Colon, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Colon
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Isla Colon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 117
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tropical Caribbean Beach Resort on the crystal clear waters of Bocas del Toro, Panama.Playa Tortuga offers 117 stylish room accommodations, each with a balcony and spectacular ocean view. Guests may choose from standard rooms, junior suites and large grand suites, all offering a contemporary décor, modern amenities and a soothing tropical atmosphere.Relax in the hotel’s sea view pool, or sunbathe in our water mirrors while enjoying your favorite beverage from the nearby bar area. Little ones will enjoy the children’s pool. Other modern and convenient amenities include free WIFI and a state of the art Fitness Center featuring a private massage area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Isla Colon
Playa Tortuga Hotel And Beach Resort
Playa Tortuga Resort Beach
Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort Panama/Bocas Del Toro - Isla Colon

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