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“5 Stars--And keep in mind- I'm a Four Seasons kind of gal”
Review of Koko Resort

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Koko Resort
Ranked #5 of 20 Hotels in Isla Colon
Certificate of Excellence
Porto Heli, Greece
Level Contributor
49 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“5 Stars--And keep in mind- I'm a Four Seasons kind of gal”
Reviewed September 2, 2012

Okay- I must admit that I booked this place because I thought that my partner would love it--and I totally planned to suffer through it. Surprise- We arrived here and I found that KoKo is SO relaxing, quite comfy and downright beautiful. The location is fabulous- about 15 minutes walk to the busy main street. The cabin is on the water- wonderful breezes, lovely views, and the cabin very clean. As for the owners- They are cordial and friendly. It is obvious that they are truly professional about running this establishment, and further, they seem to be genuinely nice/helpful folks. If we are ever back to Bocas, we'll stay here again.

Room Tip: Get a cabin on the water!!!!!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank eurosandbaht
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bosstone, Owner at Koko Resort, responded to this review, October 6, 2012
Thank you for the great review. We do our best to help all our guests enjoy Bocas to the max BUT we also want to stress that we strongly recommend you do your research before making a reservation with us as we are not a Four Seasons style property and Bocas is not the place we would recommend for a person looking for "luxury" travel.

We love our property and love Bocas but know its not for everyone so make sure it's the type of vacation your looking for before booking and if you do book we hope you book with us.
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324 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (75)
Date | Rating
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English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 31, 2012

More than a review I'd really like to thank Jack and his wife for the excellent treatment, I stayed there for a week and I did not want to go back home. The place is full with everything you need : hot water, air conditioner, full kitchen kit, fridge, oven, wireless and the security is exc. Follow their suggestions about what to do and where to go, they know about the best places there and dont miss the breakfast, which is a big plus in the whole trip. Cant wait to return!!!!!! Thank you for everything

  • Stayed August 2012
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jatniel1722
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2012

Having traveled to Bocas del Toro before, I was familiar with the variety of places on the island(s) to stay. Although there are great places in the center of town, these hotels or hostels are sometimes next to clubs, bars, or restaurants (all great places in their own right) but open late and thus a bit loud.  Koko resort is on the other side of the island where most of the local islanders live ( only a short walk to town or a 60 cent cab ride). Quiet, beautiful, and safe the cabins sit out on the calm, warm, clear waters of Saigon bay complete with curious fish and the random orange starfish inching its way under the dock. The loudest noises you are likely to hear while staying in the cabins on the water are the local kids playing or the clacking of tiles from the nightly game of dominos that the local men play. The cabins are clean and well stocked and come equipped with cold and hot water, AC, and a full kitchen AND reliable wireless Internet. The staff is efficient and quiet, replacing towels and cleaning everyday. Jack and Lee, the wonderful couple that run Koko resort and Bahia del Sol, are incredibly easy to get along with and have fantastic rapport with the local people. Jack cooks a fabulous  breakfast every morning, you don't want to miss it, and has incredible knowledge of the island.  Both Lee and Jack can set up anything one might want to do on an island vacation; from getting a scuba certification to a day trip of beach time and snorkeling complete with a private guide to get you to all the best spots. 
Don't feel like walking to town? They will call you a cab. Don't know where to eat? Lee and Jack can recommend the best places to eat on the island(s). Don't know where the party is at on a Wednesday night? Again, all one needs to do is ask. 

Koko resort might not be for everyone but my friend and I were more than happy with our experience there and are already planning another trip back. Many happy hours were spent relaxing in and around our cabin each being equipped with a hammock by the water. 
I would not recommend this resort to people who are looking for fast paced high energy place to stay. Koko resort is  a laid back, set your own pace type of place. Absolutely perfect for some but not others.  This place is great if you are a traveler who isn't afraid to rub shoulders with the locals. Can't wait to get back. 

  • Stayed August 2012
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Helpful?
1 Thank Wynteria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City, Panama
2 reviews
Reviewed August 23, 2012

I went to Koko Resort this last weekend with a big group of 20 people. I can tell you that I had a great vacation, Isla Colon and others around are really a place to discover: it´s beautiful and incredible nature, and the interesting culture of the local people. Jack and Lee are great hosts that will help you discover the place, giving you advices, helping you with tours and helping you with every little posible detail. The hotel is really beautfiul with cabins on the sea, and with a sunset view that really touches your sensibility. The rooms are clean, confortable and have hot water, which is precious in town. Can´t wait to go back!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank CArlos Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2012

I wanted to love Koko Resort. I really did. It has been on our radar for a couple of years, ever since we first began considering Bocas del Toro as a vacation destination. And, as you can see from reading the other reviews, clearly a great many guests do love Koko. In fact, there is much to appreciate. Lee and Jack are colourful, engaging and informed hosts. Ask for their recommendations and take them. Not only will you be pleased with their suggestions but they will make all the necessary arrangements for you. Enjoy Jack's hearty, home cooked breakfasts with a tropical accent. Laze in a hammock. Take the kayaks out and explore the area from the water. Admire the lovely night time lighting along the docks.
As the website makes clear, Koko Resort is located in a local neighborhood. This offers some pleasant, but also some less welcome, surprises. Take a minute to watch the young boys playing baseball. Their skill will amaze you. You'll likely catch a glimpse of lumber workers doing their job 'old school', just like the lady standing outside hand washing her laundry. While we were there we were also lucky enough to hear the happy sounds of a child's birthday party spilling out of one of the houses. What I didn't anticipate, even with fore knowledge that this was a local community, was the trash filled shoreline, the very loud and relentless music from a nearby bar (though I understand that this is primarily confined to weekends) or that the local beach (a short walk away) was directly on a busy thoroughfare and, in any case, is not the beach you will have traveled to Bocas to enjoy. In fairness, as Jack and Lee have pointed out in response to previous reviews mentioning these concerns, they have limited or no ability to control these factors. However, for those travelers who, like me, might not 'read between the lines' I wanted to point out that the local neighborhood comes with both charm and a few features that you might not find so attractive.
What the owners can control, however, is the value for money that they offer their guests and herein lies my disappointment. We stayed in 6 different vacation properties during our 2 week stay in Panama and Costa Rica (including one that was significantly more remote and less accessible than Bocas). In each case I booked accommodation with very similar features 'on paper' and all were within a similar price range, give or take about $20/night. With the exception of a hotel in Panama City, all were smaller, privately owned guesthouses/lodges/inns, none were recently built and all were in or very near a local community. Sadly, it was very clear that Koko Resort did not afford the same value as the other properties. It is an older property and is, unfortunately, showing its age especially in the interior. Personally, I enjoy rustic, eclectic, vintage - however you would describe, for example, unpainted wooden floors, mismatched cutlery, dishes, etc, and well used furniture. But to work (especially if you plan on charging above the low end rates), at least for me, it must be very obviously meticulously clean and critter free. A tall order in the tropics, I know, but not impossible and unfortunately Koko fell short on both counts. I don't doubt that the cabins/rooms are cleaned regularly but staff need to go that extra mile - for example, cleaning the inside of drawers, the coffeemaker, sinks and faucets, all glassware, dishes and cutlery before new guests arrive, etc. And, frankly, there are some kinds of pests that no guest expects to discover no matter how difficult those pests may be to control.
Overall I would say that Koko Resort has 'great bones'. There is no question that it can be restored and upgraded to more contemporary standards. At the moment, however, travelers will need to decide how they derive value for money. If you value the chance to stay in a cabin over the water, nestled in a local community and a short distance from town more than you value conventional hotel style comforts, then this is the place for you. On the other hand, if you expect to see the rate you pay reflected in the furnishing, maintenance and amenities of the room itself, then you might consider doing further research. As for me, I want a little of both and sadly Koko Resort just didn't provide the right balance for us.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
12 Thank muse_312
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bosstone, Owner at Koko Resort, responded to this review, August 7, 2012
There are a few things I would like to point out in this review. In all of Panama or Costa Rica outside of hostels where you sleep in a dormitory room with 20 other people or a hammok I have no idea where you can get a private room let alone a 700+ square foot cabin with a kitchen and AC and hoteater over the water for $20? We spend about that much in electricity and gas for each booked cabin. If you prefer to get the modern hotel atmosphere this is limited but available in Bocas at a few properties all costing over $150 a night. All our cabins come in below this price and offer double balconies, over the water, full kitchens, multiple beds etc. We know this is a good value.

Our cabins are kept in very good shape and painted and maintained throughout the year by a great staff. We also have tile floors in the cabins not wooden floors so not sure what wooden floors you were talking about that were not painted?

This guest was very needy throughout her stay even as we bent over backwards to help her even going as far as to get a personal friend to pick her up on the mainland and drive her to her next destination in Panama. She found problems with every little thing and is the EXACT kind of person we try to prevent from staying with us by having a very clear FAQ on our website that we ask all to read before making a booking. There is no reading between the lines it is outlined very clearly so please do not be like this guest and read our FAQ before booking.

We offer the best customer service possible and the best value for anyone wanting a private cabin in Bocas. We are not a modern hotel and we are located on a very rustic island off the coast of Panama. Please research into where you are going before you make your reservations with us or any hotel in Bocas Del Toro.

Read any of our 90+ reviews and you will be very clear what we offer and what type of traveler will enjoy Koko and BocasDelToro.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 31, 2012

We stayed in the pink house (there were 6 of us). It was comfortable and on the sea. It has an amazing balcony on the water with a seated area and hammock. It included breakfast (you just have to walk to the main house) which was delicious. The owners really took care of their guests and can help you plan some trips (boat trips, jungle trips etc...).
They kindly washed our clothes for free and were always there to help in any way they could.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank London_Girl2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mount Pleasant, North Carolina
1 review
Reviewed July 29, 2012

Our first trip to Bocas and our stay at Koko Resort, will never be forgotten. First of all, thanks to Jack and Lee for being such wonderful hosts. They were both available to accomodate all of our needs. Jack cooks up a mean breakfast every morning and my teenage boys enjoyed all his stories. The cabins are very comfortable, spacious and clean with breathtaking views and at very affordable rates. Jack and Lee helped us arrange day tours and negotiated rates for us. My boys enjoyed swimming right off the property and the use of the kayaks. We will most definitely return and highly recommend Koko Resort to everyone.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank allchrismi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Koko Resort

Property: Koko Resort
Address: Las Cabanas, Isla Colon, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Isla Colon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Like a picture postcard. Cabins built over the water of a beautiful bay. Various size houses. Steps from the beach. 5 Minutes to town. Fantastic sunsets from the dock and lit up fish viewing at night. Full kitchens, AC, fans, maid and laundry service. Full time security, Safety boxes in rooms. Wireless Internet. Kayaks, bikes, snorkel masks free. Grocery delivery. We speak English and Spanish and will help you with arrangements for a perfect vacation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Koko Hotel Isla Colon
Koko Resort Panama/Bocas Del Toro - Isla Colon

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