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“Cool atmosphere but dirty”

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Casa Verde Hostel & Guesthouse
Munich, Germany
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Cool atmosphere but dirty”
Reviewed September 26, 2012

I really enjoyed my stay at Casa Verde. The atmosphere and the people there were awesome. It's a really cool place and the location is amazing. It was quiet at night, too and you could also get some rest in the daytime swinging along in one of the hammocks. There are a lot of tours to choose from, not one boring minute and the staff was really friendly.
What I didn't like were the dirty showers, the smell of pee in the kitchen and the trash in front of the entrance. It's a pity, because those are things that are easy to control and taken care of. The place has great potential, just put a little bit more effort in it. Also: Please do something about the lock to the entrance gate. We had to climb over the fence two times at night, because we weren't able to open it... No, we weren't too drunk :)

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Einhornprinzessin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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186 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Seattle
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 17, 2012

I stayed at Casa Verde for 2 weeks and was happy with my overal experience. The facilities are primitive, specially the shared bathrooms and showers, but this was compensated for by the liveliness of the place and the price (about $30 for a private room with AC per night). The deck area above the water is a pleasant place to have a beer, work on the computer (free but slow Wifi), meet interesting people and have an occasional party. Yes, it can be noisy but running the AC takes care of that. The dorms are REALLY CRAMPED, be warned.
They only have sheets in the bedrooms (I prefer some kind of cover) and you have to bring your own towel, but you can't expect much in a budget hostel.
The staff is friendly and helpful but the office/bar closes between 10 pm and 7 am. There is a security guard, which seems to be more and more a necessity in Bocas.
They had some water problems. Apparently the city water is unreliable so they have rain water catchment tanks which need to be switched over when one of them is empty. There is nobody to do that during the night so at that point, there is no water in the hostel. I would think that can easily be fixed by teaching the security guard to do that. A larger problem happens when the tanks run out AND the city water isn't working. This happened once for about 2 hours - no fun because noone knows when there will be water again: when it rains. City water is a problem everywhere in Bocas, of course.
I would return for the atmosphere.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank jrseattle2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2012

i stayed here for three weeks in april whilst doing a language school and i would say that although it was by no means perfect, it was definitely a really special little place.

Upsides
1. live music on the dock most nights- absolutely incredible. one of the highlights of my trip
2. lovely and calm during the mornings, beautiful right on the water, easy to lose yourself in the hammocks
3. good food, decent bar, not a crazy party place but definitely lively enough for young people

downsides
1. kitchen was usually a bit dirty, not too awful
2. dorms not great and privates quite overpriced- you could definitely find cheaper on the island, although you pay more for the atmosphere

for me the major problem was the overlap between the hostel and the bar. basically, the hostel is set up so as the whole communual area is shared between the two. what really annoyed me quite a lot whilst i was there is that often hostel guests were edged out by the regulars using the bar. there were only two tables specifically allocated to hostel guests and the rest were to be in use for the bar. it was frustrating because often people who weren't even staying at the hostel would sort of 'take over'- they'd use the only two hammocks and you'd feel kind of uncomfortable even though you were staying there.

the other problem was that there were a few regulars at the bar who were older and sailors, and they tended to hang out there pretty much everyday. there wasn't ever anything rude said by them but as a solo female traveller i was really conscious of the fact that they created quite an intimidating vibe at the hostel and would often 'check you out' or make comments about your appearance and things like that. this is also something that was commented on by other female travellers. to be fair, when i mentioned it to the bar manager, the lovely anna, she did make an effort to talk to the guys involved and tell them to sort it out.

in spite of all this though, casa verde really is a beautiful hostel with a special, chilled out carribean vibe, and i would still go back.

Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank gapyahgirl5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CVBocas, Manager at Casa Verde Hostel & Guesthouse, responded to this review, August 25, 2012
Thanks for writing a review, we're so glad that you enjoyed the three weeks that you stayed with us at Casa Verde! Your review gives us the perfect opportunity to announce some recent changes that we have made at the hostel.

After nearly 2 great years with our bar, La Mama Loca, we’ve decided to change directions. We had a blast with the bar and live music but in the end the toll it was taking on the reputation of the hostel was too much. Basically, we are trying to get back to our roots as a quiet, artsy, laid back spot where you can get a good night’s sleep and enjoy staying in a great location on the water. We want to focus more on our hostel guests because like you said, the bar was really becoming a local hangout and it was very difficult to keep everyone happy. The reasons you've cited were a large influence in our decision to switch things up because in the end, we are a hostel first and want to keep our guests comfortable and happy!

Even though we have closed "La Mama Loca" we still have food and drinks! We are still serving up cold beers & cuba libres from 7 am (if you please) to 10 pm and will be operating the restaurant under the new name, The Greenhouse Café. More info on the food in days to come but we are keeping many LML favorites like the AMAZING wings & burgers but will also be adding some exciting new additions to the menu like Paninis! ☺ We really want to give Bocas a fantastic waterfront lunch option where you can come eat, drink, swim etc

-We’re setting up a comprehensive tour & rentals desk in the bar area with daily group tours like the Oreba Cacao Tour, Bastimentos Bat Caves, Zapatillas, Bird Island & Soropta Canal and much more. Reception is moved to the back bar area and we will soon be renting bikes out of the front. Kayaks and stand up paddleboards are on their way and Casa Verde guests will get a discount on all rentals.

-Every Thursday night when the restaurant is closed we will host a community potluck dinner and acoustic jam session. All are welcome to come and join, bring your instruments & some food to share!

We are really excited about the new changes and hope you will all swing by to check it out!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 24, 2012

Great ambience. Basic clean rooms, but inaginatively decorated. Great deck with bar, music and the water round the hostel's jetty teeming with fantastic coral, fish and marine life to gaze at. Nikelda juggled the rooms so that we could stay another day in a double (a perk of being "elderly"). She gave us good advice on local attractions. The chocolate farm trip is a must, as well as well as the more obvious boat and snorkelling trips.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rosie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2012

This hostel has the best location in Boca Town. The rooms were relatively clean, and you could swim in the ocean right off the patio. The dorm room was cramped to say the least (esp if you're on the bottom bunk), but they are air-conditioned...a rarity. The service wasn't as friendly as it should be, however. Nor was the owner likeable...

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Patrick N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sidney, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2012

When I first got there, I thought I'd rent a room for a couple of nights and then see if I could find a cheaper place to stay. Well, I stayed there the entire 11 days I was in Bocas because not only is the hostel in a prime location (right on the water) but the staff is absolutely wonderful. They are personable, helpful, kind and extraordinary, I felt like (and was taken care of) I was family, not just a customer. And I was in three Central American countries for 2 months and the food at this hostel was honestly the best (and the cheapest) I had in those 2 months, you gotta try their chicken wings, omfg. I want to put a special shout out to Enaida, one of the bartenders, she is magnificent and being one myself, I know these things. I wished I missed Canada (and my friends here) as much as I miss Casa Verde and their amazing staff; Hola Sherlyn and Magnolia!! This is the BEST place to stay bar none. 5 stars all around, for everyone and everything. Thank you for being completely and absolutely wonderful, can't wait to see you all again. Your Friend Cryss XOXOXO

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Cryss g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2012

So I'm not 21 anymore but still love the chill vibe here. It's on the water with great views, hammocks, and a deck. There is often live music in the evenings which is nice.. not too loud if you are tired.. and it ends at 11. The service from the front office is fantastic.. polite, courteous, and helpful. I stayed in a private room and loved it.I wouldn't stay anywhere else. I was here for 2 weeks when taking Spanish classes.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Laurie423
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Verde Hostel & Guesthouse

Property: Casa Verde Hostel & Guesthouse
Address: Avenida Sur, Bocas Town, Isla Colon 507, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon > Bocas Town
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 40 Specialty Lodging in Bocas Town
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Are you looking for a laid back community atmosphere where it's easy to rest & relax? Among all the great places to stay in Bocas, Casa Verde truly is your best value community house in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Come enjoy life on the water at Casa Verde! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Verde Hostel And Guesthouse
Casa Verde Hostel & Guesthouse Hotel Bocas Town
Casa Verde Hostel & Guesthouse Bocas Del Toro, Panama - Bocas Town

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