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“Had A Great Time!”
Review of Koko Resort

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Koko Resort
Ranked #6 of 20 Hotels in Isla Colon
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 1, 2013

This is the place to stay if you want to get a real flavor of Bocas. Yes, it can be a little noisy during the day, there are stray (friendly) dogs and some trash but the locals are also very friendly and the food and drink is inexpensive. There were four adults in our party and we stayed in the Island Suite (2 bedrooms with each having its own bathroom/shower). Jack, the owner/breakfast cook/travel guide knows everyone in and around town. Just ask him what you want to do and he will arrange it. We enjoyed each of his recommended restaurants and excursions. The staff was also very helpful. Turtle and Red Frog beaches should not be missed!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Car_Guy57_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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132 - 138 of 324 reviews

Reviewed November 6, 2013

The website warns that it is in a local neighborhood and may not be suitable for all travelers. At first we were a little taken aback at the area which is a busy local area with children running around playing and dogs running loose and garbage washing up on the shore. But we soon got used to it and the views out over the water were beautiful and the water bungalow we had was huge for the two of us. It had everything we needed, plenty of outdoor space as well to relax and read or enjoy the views or have cocktails. We even had friends over and it was still spacious. Jack was great and offered lots of advice and witty conversation and help. The breakfast was good. The little restaurant down the street he recommended as having the best fish tacos in the world we loved! We walked to town several times and it was a pleasant walk. We even found this tiny food shack down the street that served great take out pizza, nachos, and POUTINE! The last couple days we rented bikes which made it very easy getting around. We loved the place and walked around all hours of the day and night and felt very safe. Highly recommend.

Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Kendra M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2013

I've been meaning to write a review for a while now, and i have to say, it's been a torture not being able to find the time. It's as if someone saved your life and you forgot to say thank you.

I could fill this to capacity with all the wonderful things here, but for those people who will skim, i will simply lay out the facts, and address the concerns I had when considering this hotel. I stayed at the Starfish Cabin.

BEST PERKS OF THIS PLACE:
1) Jack and Lee. Both are charming, accommodating, give you privacy, address any issues immediately and with a smile, and they're REAL, INTELLIGENT, PEOPLE with common sense.

2) Jack's breakfast. OH. EM. GEE. Jack, if Lee wasn't so awesome, I'd ask you to marry me. I stayed here about a week, and experienced wonderful new things.. still, Jack's breakfast was the highlight of every day. For both myself, my sister, and my very picky 9yr old daughter. Good portions, made fresh as you chat them up in their house, over coffee.. just perfect.

3) Unlike the rest of the island, I didn't get a single mosquito bite here. Apparently there are bats in the area (i didnt see any) and they keep the population down.

4) Jack and Lee know the area extremely well and will save you TONS of money. example: i went on a trip to Isla Estrella and paid THREE TIMES the price Jack's contact charged me. Same with Zapatilla and Red Frog. Not only that, but they also gave me directions on how to go by bus, like the locals do. the knowledge they've accumulated and are willing to share, their contacts, their negotiating skills made the hotel stay an absolute bargain..

5) The rooms are GORGEOUS. they are breezy, beautiful, calm. wonderfully decorated and homely. Perfectly equipped to cook a meal (fridge, stove, pots, pans, dishes, utensils) if you want to just stay in and stare at the ocean. they even have books if what you want to do is sit and read. you can literally jump in the water (kinda deep at the clearer points, but swimmable) and you will be surrounded by the GENUINE Panama, not the Tourist traps.

6) There is a NICE grocery store nearby, which saved us a ton of money... after a week in the tropics, you learn to miss certain things. For me, it was apples, cold cuts i could trust, milk. The grocery store nearby made my day. even the walk there (about two blocks) is pleasant.. watching the kids play in the street, the locals go about their business.

there are many more great things, but i'll address the concerns you may have (some of which i've read on here, some which i had too, before going)

1) "It's not near the beach". - Well.. guess what? Nothing in this price range ($100-300 USD) is. Not with a dock, a kitchen, and the ability to fit more than one person. Before going to Koko, I stayed in a hostel near the beach.$40 per night for 2 pple. Great atmosphere, relatively closer to the town center, and the beach was beautiful...but not swimmable! (sandfleas butchered me), the dock was full of weed, and creepy Rays were all over. And guess why i decided to bump up my price range? well.. generally, they don't let you use AC in Hostels until 10pm at night, and the rooms are unbearable. so you HAVE to be outside all day. and when you're outside, you are on the menu for sandfleas. Unless your absolute priority is meeting hot surfers, its reaaally not worth it. The water is not pristine 100% of the time at Koko, but it's still better than the alternatives.

2) "But it's not at the town center". - I guess it depends on what kind of tourist you are. if you are there to smoke pot (not judging.. i been there), wake up at a random guy's (or gal's) bunk bed, and wipe the vomit off your face and your teeth off the sidewalk every morning, this isn't the place. If you are there to socialize in your pajamas with a group of 19yr olds over free coffee, you wont care how far the beach is. so by all means, go to the town center. However, if you're an adult interested in the culture, the people, the scenery, and are NOT spending your daddy's money, Koko is SO worth the 4 minute, $1 cab ride to the town center when you want to dine out or check stuff out at the town square. do yourself a favor.. when you get off the boat from wherever you came, go to the town square and hail a cab. tell them you want to go to Jack's place.

3) "The area is dirty, so many locals make me feel unsafe"...-___-.......kill yourself... This is not America. Not only do people not mess with Jack (he's a big dude), but traveling to another country is supposed to make you feel off-balance. There is no learning without discomfort. Isla Colon is NOT the right destination to act all prissy. Grow a pair!!

In conclusion. what you will get here is personal attention, a beautiful private space that will feel like home (if home had a gorgeous view of the ocean), and a HUGE Value. the money you will save in tours alone, pays for the stay. CANNOT GO WRONG.

Room Tip: I stayed at the Starfish room. but all the cabins looked great.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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10  Thank Saida A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2013

We stayed at Koko 2 years ago and just stayed there again. We could not have loved it more! Jack and Lee are the best hosts and basically scheduled all our trips and gave us advise where to eat. We stayed in Starfish cabin and our friends were in Orchid cabin. We all thought it was wonderful! It was an amazing trip and we loved everything about it. We hope to go back soon. And yes, Jack's breakfast really are as good as people say!

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank TNors
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2013

I stayed back in August 2013 and I had a family emergency. The hosts were really accommodating and helped with the situation.

The cabins are great, especially the two closest to the water. You can really just jump out into the water and watch the sunset unobstructedly from the hammock outside the door. The rooms are cool especially when the windows are open. I had an AC in the room and never used it once.

The beers are cheap and the hosts are nice and friendly to talk to. I highly recommend this place and I would definitely go again.

Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
2  Thank medivhfx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

The cabins are beautifully done and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in this comfortable and warm-hearted place.
Lee and Jack are very nice, the breakfast is great and their tips of things to do excellent.
On arrival the area looked a bit dirty but their place is spotless and really nicely done as per pictures.There were a few little things not working but Jack sorted them out immediately. We had a wonderful time and will be back soon. We highly recommend this place for any relaxed traveller and best for a romantic get-away

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Andrea C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

We stayed in the Dolphin cabin and loved every second of it. I know that this place is marketed as something not everyone would love, but I honestly don't understand how you couldn't enjoy this spectacular resort.

We arrived early in the morning on the overnight bus from Panama City. We were exhausted, hungry, and in dire need of showers, and our cabin was still occupied. Jack and Lee were so sweet to us and our two daughters. They took us in, made us breakfast, let us use their restroom, and relax with them until our cabin was ready. Once we were able to check in (which was way earlier than check in time should've been), we found our cabin to be spotlessly clean and stocked with almost everything we could need. The dophin cabin is one of the cabins in the middle, we were worried this would impede our view with other cabins out further than us. But the way each cabin is angled made our view perfect. And the sea breeze was so nice we never used the AC the whole time we were there.

Thank goodness we didn't book any excursions ahead of arriving at Koko Resort. Jack and Lee are so well connected and so well liked by the local community that we were able to get an excellent price on a boat trip with the best captain (we love you Cristobal!). We easily would have paid 4x the price if we booked the same trip in town.

We had to leave early in the morning and Jack and Lee got up and made us a bag breakfast to take with us. Jack had set up the taxi the previous night to pick us up, but he even called again in the morning to make sure he was coming. Lee even did two loads of laundry for us. It was all this and more. Honestly it felt like staying with family. We even hugged them goodbye when we left. I mean, really, how often does that happen at other hotels?

My kids are saving their allowance money to take another trip to Bocas and stay at Koko Resort. To us it was heaven.

If you go, make sure around dusk that you look in the water under the cabins for the spotted eagle ray. It's absolutely breathtaking to watch this graceful creature glide around and eat. And feed the little calico kitty, my girls are afraid no one is. :)

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank karissa6802
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $80 - $500 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 
Also Known As:
Koko Hotel Isla Colon
Koko Resort Panama/Bocas Del Toro - Isla Colon

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