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“GREAT PLACE”

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Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“GREAT PLACE”
Reviewed August 17, 2011

Went in with low expectations since our family just traveled to the Galapogos Islands last spring break - But we were happilly surprised by the Villas - Beaches - Fun Food -I agree that a higher quality restaurant is need but the development is new and I am sure someone will build one. The zipline/obstacle course rivaled Costa Rica's Zips and the owners were very friendly and helpfull. Tours were easily set up and the guides were great. We are planning on going back to Red Frog beach, possibly to purchase a villa.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank JerryP315
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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497 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 (110)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
87 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2011

Stayed at villa #9, which was huge, very comfortable and a little secluded. Nice terrass and swimming pool. You definitely need a golf cart to travel the Island. Canopy-Tour and renting a boat for a day was fun (snorkeling, spotting dolphins). Winston, at the entree-desk, was a great help arranging boats. Bocas town and Old town on Bastimentos were fun to go to for lunch and dinner.
Bad experiences were the beaches. Not only because of the sandflies, but the laid-back backpacker-atmosphere did not fit with the luxury of the villa. Kayukos is a poor restaurant, on the quality of the food, but especially on service, which was below any level. Too bad you can't buy anything to eat on the island.
All together, no regrets, but we will not be back here.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Diederik_G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BocasBound, Manager at Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 19, 2011
Dear Guest:
Thank you for your visit to Red Frog Beach. We appreciate your feedback and we apologize that we did not exceed your expectations. We do take your concerns very seriously and appreciate your comments.

There are 5 beaches on Isla Bastimentos. Red Frog Beach proper has a reputation for being one of the top beaches in Panama so on a given day there will be 50 to 400 people there. However, the other 4 beaches on Bastimentos are equally as beautiful and have far fewer visitors. In fact, Turtle Beach which is located right below the Villa accommodations has much less traffic than Red Frog Beach even though it is only a 10 minute walk to Red Frog Beach.

We have recently welcomed to our Red Frog team a very experienced restaurant manager who is in the process of improving Red Frog’s food options. Kayukos is meant to be an affordable food option and fun atmosphere for guests. In addition to the two restaurants at Red Frog we also offer a Private Chef Service to cook and serve a personal meal in your villa.

We also do appreciate your kind, positive comments on your stay and hope to welcome you back at some point.
Sincerely,
The Red Frog Team…
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bowie, Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2011

My family and I stayed 3 days at the red frog villas in july. I had a ton of questions...not knowing exactly what i was getting into. Katie from customer service led me through the entire process..answering questions and making me feel more at ease. Getting to the island is an adventure in itself with the water taxis. Sherryl our villa host was great..she met us and took us to our fabulous villa..and showed us around. We toured, we ziplined, we body surfed in the great waves, we hung out at the lodge. Fun experience!!
Things to know/additional costs: the villas charge extra for electricity over a certain kilowatts..being on light patrol can be somewhat of a bummer on vacation..especially with kids watching tv etc..satellite tv has majority spanish channels, there is no housekeeping services during your stay, villa deposit if damage occurs is $1000 usd, golf cart rentals are expensive ($40/day) but the walking can be extreme with luggage and/or children as roads are unpaved and unlit, beach can be very rough with strong currents ..be careful, going back and forth to Bocas island can be expensive ($6-10/person)..activity center will help arrange tours and restaurant has tasty and well priced food..the zipline rocks! Hail out to Alex, Kas, Jesus and Rouseu!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank oneglobehopper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale
Level Contributor
54 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed July 28, 2011

Red Frog beach is spectacular and well worth the visit. We rented a villa which itself was an excruciatingly painful exercise in incompetence involving multiple attempts to fax contracts and having to sign on blank forms of questionable value. We were told that we would be received at the airport by a host/hostess and accompanied to the property via taxi and boat. We expected that this was going to be a major exercise because we were charged 120 USD for this pick-up. It turns out that if we had done it ourselves, it would have cost 22 USD based on prevailing prices, so we began with a rip-off. Warning 1: Do not use the Red Frog service. Taxis are plentiful and the ride to the dock takes 2 minutes. Boats are plentiful at the dock and cost a few bucks to ferry you to Red Frog. People are very kind and helpful so no worries.

When we arrived at Red Frog, we were met by a staff person. The place does not have a conventional lobby or reception area. The only way you can get around the property is on golf carts. Walking is an option for some villas but generally difficult especially during monsoons. They fleece you for the golf carts too by charging 35 USD per day (although the hostess mentioned a price of 25USD which was subsequently changed by her bosses who conveniently drained the extra cash from our credit card without telling us. There is almost no real dining option on the island but for a small shack that passes for the cafeteria, rec room, and coordination point for tours. The villa itself was superb with well appointed facilities that were top of the line. Service was fine when we called for more towels, laundry soap and such but the only way to get in touch with these folks or anyone else is via cell phone. They provide you one with 15 mins loaded and that runs out very quickly so you have to buy more minutes from them!!! Yes, more money. We were told that the power we use is scarce and hence rationed. If we exceeded that limit we would have to incur additional charges. We diligently kept track of our use via the electric meter but despite our best efforts, we we were still charged over 100 USD additionally because it was alleged that we used more than what we thought we did. This charge again was conveniently billed to the credit card and siphoned off without recourse. When questioned, we were shown the original contacts we had signed where the blank spaces for meter reading had now been filled in thus making us look like fools because we had signed those blank contracts anyway. Warning 2: Go over the fine print very carefully because you will pay a big price. Assume that these folks are out to take you for a ride and you will not be surprised. Although the property has many villas, most seem unoccupied. When we were there, we only ran into three or four villa renters. Thus, the place gets quite dark and without road lights, you are pretty much shut in when the sun goes down. This is not a problem, even enjoyable, if you like the peace and quiet listening to the waves.

Now for the good stuff. Beaches....very rough, rip tides common but spectacular to visit and view. Wildlife plentiful with good trails and hiking paths. Well maintained all through the island. The bar on site by the beach makes really good drinks although it is flooded with teenagers and boisterous youth who want the world to see their amorous conquests....sort of Florida during Spring breaks. They also live in the cheap hostel on the island so expect to share your peace and quiet with them. Day trippers are also welcomed here and they are delivered by boats constantly every day and ferried to the bar via jeeps so you can be assured that you will find a lot of them around.

The place offers some EXCELLENT excursions. We went to Dolphin Bay. Astounding place with so many dolphins frolicking around. We also went to Starfish Beach - again a great place to see. Both trips were easily organized via boats from the property. It is best to negotiate directly with the boat captains who hang around the docks. They seem to be quite reasonable.

In balance, it is a nice place to visit. If they can clean up their practices a bit, it would make it even better.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank luv2trvl2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
BocasBound, Manager at Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa, responded to this review, August 19, 2011
Dear Guest:
Thank you for your positive feedback regarding your stay at Red Frog Beach.
Because this island location is new, our staff makes a concerted effort to ensure that guests have appropriate expectations before their arrival.
We apologize if there was a miscommunication regarding any of the pricing issues you mention. In this instance, we communicated pricing information to the spouse, who seemed to clearly understand our electric conservation pricing. We also discussed with the spouse that our airport pick-up service is more expensive than if guests navigate their own way to Isla Bastimentos (Red Frog Beach) from Bocas airport. The spouse understood these two transportation options and preferred to pay the additional amount for the check-in convenience from the airport. The price of our golf carts at $35/day was clearly stated on three (3) separate documents that are sent prior to the guest’s arrival at Red Frog.

The Red Frog Villas are extremely reasonably priced, partly because the resort is not totally finished. Similar villas in the Caribbean rent for twice or three times as much, and so we feel that our operation is a very good value for our guests.

Thank you again for your visit, your positive feedback and your valuable opinion about our operations. We take our guests’ feedback very seriously and do everything we can to ensure we have a top-notch vacation destination for our guests. Sincerely, The Red Frog Team…
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sniersbach
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed June 1, 2011

For the first leg of our honeymoon trip to Panama, we were looking for a place that was luxurious and in a beautiful place, but not an all-inclusive or package deal. We didn't want it to be overwhelmed with tourists, which is why we chose to go in May and take our chances with the weather. Well, we definitely found the right place with Red Frog Beach Resort. We got married in Brooklyn New York, and three days later found ourselves in another world, being greeted on the docks of Red Frog Beach Resort and shown the way to our villa at the top of the hill. It felt brand new, and a two-bedroom with two decks and a private pool for under $200 / night? Crazy. Coming from Brooklyn, we're not used to half that much space, or the dishwasher, central air, pool, etc. We did rent a golf cart to get around which helped a lot in the end - the walking would have been a bit much. They gave us a discounted day rate for the cart, probably because we were basically the only people there staying in the villas.

Over the course of 5 days we had to wonder who the target audience is for this place. It seems that they want to attract a somewhat elite clientele to stay in the villas, ride horses, and hit up the spa. Not to mention the gorgeous landscape and beaches. And to pay the big overheads that hostel-dwellers simply never will. But the hostel and lodge, and the daily influx of Bocas Town tourists heading for the beach there, are decidedly not upscale. But hey, we were happy to get our little bit of bohemian, drinking Panamas and eating tasty plates of local food at the Kayukos lodge, with Bob Marley never far down the iPod list (for better or worse) and also some deluxe quiet time, staying in an isolated private villa with its own pool and cruising around on a golf cart. Having been there at a very low tourist point, it's hard to guess exactly who comes to the resort during peak times.

I'm really not sure what the resort will look like in 5 years or what the owners have in their minds' eyes. That said, we would totally go back, maybe with friends next time. If you're going to Bocas del Toro, don't stay in Bocas Town - spend the extra bit and stay at Red Frog Beach Resort. The staff was all super friendly, it's easy to find your way around, and the accommodations are hard to argue with. Recommend!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sniersbach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 15, 2011

Red Frog Beach Resort has everything you could want Excellant views,Beaches that are
quiet,nice surf, good fishing,Punta Lava beach Bar is great,Golf carts made it easy to get around.Must do the zip line("Fly the Sky")Activity center has all the stuff for a day at the beach.They have Wi Fi,And satellite tv too.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gumby69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peapack-Gladstone, New Jersey
Level Contributor
32 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2011

Having been around and 'bout Central America, including multiple trips to multiple locations in Costa Rica, I must say that this trip exceeded all my expectations in every respect. While evidence of ongoing construction was very apparent, it did not impact any aspect of our stay. The villa (#54) sits aside a hill overlooking Red Frog and Turtle Beaches. It was wonderfully equiped and fabulously furnished. Nothing more, aside from food and drink to dilute the monotony of excellent restaurants (in Bocas Town and Old Bank/Bastimentos), is required for your stay. The staff are wonderfully attentive and go to great lengths to ensure your stay is perfect. (Shout out to the folks at Kayukos and Punta Lava!) Using boats for getting around, even late at night and at high speeds, is a great change from cars and never-ending traffic. (Shout out to Elio and Tino!) I can't get the place out of my head....and have spent the last two days since my return plotting a means of return. Incredible. Fantastic.

Room Tip: They're all stupendous.
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RFTGJS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa

Property: Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa
Address: Bocas del Toro, Isla Bastimentos, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Red Frog Beach offers upscale villas to rent with private pools and so much adventure to enjoy on Isla Bastimentos. If you like nice beaches and exploring jungle--this is the perfect place. Two restaurants, 4 beaches, Zipline, surfing, snorkeling, hiking, sailing and famous cave tour. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Red Frog Beach Hotel Isla Bastimentos
Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro

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