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“Motel 6 (an old one) with a NICE pool”

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Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort
Ranked #10 of 20 Hotels in Isla Colon
USA
Level Contributor
74 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“Motel 6 (an old one) with a NICE pool”
Reviewed February 10, 2014

Not what was hoping for as it was motel 6 (an old one) with a good bed/linens and a nice pool.
Not much of a beach to swim on or anything but it has a nice pool. Service was ok at best. Beds were nice with good linens but the rooms left a lot to be desired...unless you like a more dark/dingy feeling with mold in a few places as well as mismatched tiles that had been replaced and overall a "dirty/dingy" feeling. The pool is what keeps people coming here and an ok breakfast buffet.
It is a $2 per person cab rid to town or about 45 minute walk each way.

Room Tip: Jr suites do not add much unless you just want a king bed and a door to close from the other TV or f...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank EATandTRAVELisFUN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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711 reviews from our community

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  • Location
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (74)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
waterloo, ontario
Level Contributor
35 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2014

The hotel is located about 15 minutes by car from Bocas town. After spending one night in town, we wanted a quieter atmosphere, which this hotel did offer. There's a large pool and a small beach where we watched only a few tourists venture in for a swim. We couldn't decide if the ocean was polluted here so we didn't attempt it ourselves.
The rooms were a decent size with a balcony, tv, fridge and fairly comfortable beds. The hotel was dirty and felt rather seedy, the decor was non-existent. There were always lots of staff around but they appeared to spend more time chatting on their cells or with each other than actually working. Really unfortunate, because with proper management, the hotel could be quite lovely.
Our biggest complaint was with the restaurant. The breakfast buffet was limited and barely edible and the only dinner we ordered was overpriced and unappetizing
My advice would be to take the free hotel shuttle to Bocas town for dinner. We had several great dinners there. Tons of choices, some with entertainment as well.
Another word of advice.....English is not widely spoken at this hotel, so our minimal Spanish presented quite a challenge at times. The hotel seems to cater to Spanish-speaking Panamanians who overwhelmingly out-numbered us gringos!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank laurWaterloo_Ontario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bergen, Norway
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 2, 2014

The hotel is almost perfect, but a number of things were not as should be. Several rude and lazy front workers, many with no english understanding. Food was average (good burger). Taxis take you to town or a nearby beach for 2-3 $.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank brbasso
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Amersfoort, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 30, 2014

A few things of this hotel are great and other things are disappointing. The swimming pools and the views from the rooms are absolutely beautiful!! But the food isn't really good and really expensive, have breakfast and diner at local restaurants! The rooms are spacious, clean and all you need is there. But it's not the Western luxury you might expect for the price. Our room pass (key) wasn't working very well so we had to go back to the reception a few times to get it fixed. Staff isn't focused on giving you the best time, but just doing their jobs. Cool place to stay, love the free shuttle bus to Bocas Town, but it's not a great hotel. We had a good time, but I wouldn't go back.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank jonggezinmetkind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2014

I recently spent 3 nights at the Playa Tortuga - Jan 7 - 10. We stayed in Ocean front rooms on the main floor. 2 coupled, two rooms. We had a fridge in our room, so we bought ice and beverages in town and had a fun party on the beach with great access to our rooms. The food was good at the restaurant - only ate there twice for lunch. The location of the restaurant is built on stilts over the water - very nice. It cost us $2 per person for a taxi ride into town and taxi's were usually easy to get.

Took the colectivo bus over to Bocas del Drago and walked to star beach - Lots of locals out as it was a holiday - very enjoyable adventure. Cost $5.00 per person for round trip transportation.

Bocas del Toro is a cool town. Lots of young travellers. Always felt safe. Lots of good bars and restaurants. Locals are friendly.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank RalphMalf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Puerto Aventuras, Mexico
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2014

There's no internet in most rooms and it is very slow. The food is not good. I will post pictures of the disgusting conditions in the rooms, including mold, mildew and dirt. At least the beds were remotely clean and comfortable. The food sucks here...Not much of a choice or options. You are also on the outskirts of town with a staff that can't get you a taxi (and none come by). The free shuttle is a cluster where you wait and then can't get a ride because everyone barges in and takes all the seats. The staff chooses to understand English when it is convenient for them. They play dumb at every turn when things are wrong. We switched rooms due to no internet and then we couldn't even get CNN on the TV in the second room...OH, DO NOT PAY FOR A JUNIOR Suite! The "LIVING ROOM" is a run down little room with an old TV and no windows! I was embarrassed for the hotel...The gym is nothing like the photos OR the hotel itself...It's a bit run down...The complaint book on the front desk is full ! The owner is hopefully reading this and looking at the photos....TRAIN YOUR STAFF.....You get what you pay for at this hotel...It's inexpensive (CHEAP) and is CHEAP in many ways.

Room Tip: Don't waste your money on a junior suite..>The "LIVING ROOM" is dark, dirty, not co...
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Jonathans123456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Isla Colon hotels

Trondheim, Norway
Level Contributor
26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2014

The nicest view we've ever had from a hotel-balcony! And the worst service we've ever experienced in a resort!
Maybe this is one of those if-it-wasn't-for-the-guests-it-would-be-a-nice-place-to-work-hotels? Very sad, because Playa Tortuga Hotel and Beach Resort has a great potential. The pool-area is beautiful (you can even take a sunbathe in the water-mirror), the lobby interior is nice (only place for wi-fi when we stayed there), there is as hotel-shuttlebus to town (pick-up-spot in town may change) and there is access for wheelchairs. But the guest-service is far from acceptable.
I'm not very picky, and I don't mind if a hotel is far from perfect, if the staff is helpful and friendly.
When we came from the airport late in the evening, my husband had very high fever and needed water. The minibar was empty (every day), the bar was closed and there was no shop nearby, so I asked the front desk where I could get some water. I was told to take a taxi to town! Bocas is several kilometers away. Finally the lady gave me some bottles from the shuttlebus. The only glimps of helpfulness during our stay, in addition to the guy at the tourdesk.
Spacy room and comfortable beds, but the "pillows" were peculiar, flat and hard. Long, dark hair were laying on the bathroom floor when we checked in - still there after five days. We're blond - it wasn't our's. Wet, dirty towels on the floor wasn't changed for three days. Bad hairdryer - it sucked my hair in the fan.
No coffee-maker or water-boiler in the room. During daytime the bar near the pool was closed. Someone in the bar told us to go to the Bar Baula restaurant at the end of the pier to buy coffee. We did, but Bar Baula had no coffee-maker. One of the waiters had to walk from the pier and around the hotel-area looking for someone who was competente to operate the coffee-machine at the pool-bar! After dinner in the Naguas restaurant we also ordered coffee - it took one hour. Every meal was caotic, dispite very few guests when we were there. Either the food was cold, or we didn't get what we ordered.
We don't blame the staff - it must be lack of training, missing routines or totally absence of management.
This is also a don't-do-this-and-don't-do-that-hotel. Prohibido-signs are everywhere: It's forbidden to spit in the pool! It's forbidden to enter the pool after you have been to the toilet - unless you have taken a hot shower with soap! (Bad cleansing-system?) It's forbidden by law to smoke on the property! And so on ... a long list, very detailed. Even in the room there was a prohibido-list. Only in spanish, so I don't know what was forbidden there. The smoking-area is amongst the flies near the litterbin at the parking-area.
When we checked out, I paid and asked for my receipts. The ladies at the front desk couldn't find them. I was told someone had thrown the receipts away!
This resort isn't worth spending neither time nor money on, if the management expect the guests to obey all their rules, but carry on with their own laissez-faire-attitude towards their guests.

Room Tip: Most of the rooms have sea- or.pool-view, i think. Ask for second floor or higher if you want some p...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank arie53
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:
#3 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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