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“Too much hype, not ideal place to stay.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Bocas Island Lodge

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Bocas Island Lodge
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On A Hill Above Red Frog Beach | 15 min water taxi from Bocas Town, Isla Bastimentos, Panama (Formerly Bocas Bound Hostel)   |  
Hotel amenities
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
88 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Too much hype, not ideal place to stay.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2012

To be clear, the place is clean and new, which is great compared to a lot of hostels.

The problem is the location and activity center. They tend to run slow (or not run at all). My experience was poor because the front counter staff seemed unwilling to do anything. I came here from a different country to see this beautiful area and I wasted priceless hours shuffling around trying to get answers & service.

While this hostal is on beautiful Isla Bastimentos, it is located behind a large, ugly maintenance area filled with tractors & equipment sitting around. (Not exactly the jungle experience I was expecting)

A side note - Red Frog Beach was far from pristine. Trash everywhere.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank PLRUS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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168 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    73
    32
    27
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    17
See reviews for
12
48
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (16)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2012

Bocas Bound is everything you could ask for an a hostel. Great people (literally the friendliest patrons I've met while traveling), awesome and friendly staff and clean, clean, clean. The dorm sleeps 12, but is set up so that you feel like you are in a room of 4. Very clean bathrooms, nice kitchen and a gorgeous walk to a gorgeous beach.

Just come a little prepared. Despite what the website says, breakfast is not included. In Red Frog Beach there are only 2 restaurants (with limited menus) and no super markets. I wished I had gone grocery shopping before coming to the island. The prices are what you would expect for being on an island ($4-6 for breakfast, $10 for dinner).

If you are looking to side step the party Bocas Town, this is the PERFECT alternative and there is still plenty of action to keep you occupied. Wished I had stayed longer

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank chara810
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

The good:
Everything was super clean, and the kitchen was huge. Dorms are a great option for the budget traveller. The common area in the restaurant was very relaxing, and they have a reasonably priced happy hour(s). It's maybe a 5 min walk to Red Frog beach, which is probably one of the nicest beaches in Central America. The staff were very friendly and helpful.

The bad:
We had to ask about the air conditioning on the 2nd day, which they promptly came and turned on. The room did get pretty cold after that though. No cups or glasses in the kitchen. Although not completely related to the hostel, the on site restaurant is WAY overpriced, and the food wasn't very good.

Bottom line:
A very clean and relaxing place on Isla Bastimentos, at a great price. We will definitely be back.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jordan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
48 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

We were very pleased to find this place with nice staff, air'co, clean, free computer and free breakfast and a kitchen all that for 22$ per night. Had a really great time exploring the beaches and taking it easy. Nice atmosphear, defenetely the best accomodation we found in Panama.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Grigouillon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port au Prince
Level Contributor
180 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2012

I truly enjoyed this place. I found the dorms very clean and giving a lot of privacy. I had an excellent sleep here. Bathrooms are clean and they have enough toilets and showers so that there is one free most of the times.

The location is also very good. Red Frog beach is only 5-10 minutes away from the hostel through a path through the jungle. Isla Bastimentos is much more quiet and beatiful.

The lounge area and the restaurant were also pretty nice. Good food and friendly people.

The only downside was that as I was travelling alone it was difficult to book tours. They were either very expensive or I was dependent on other people signing up. Luckily they arranged with a company from Isla Colon to come and pick me up from the island so I could join their tour to dolphin bay and coral key. Very beatiful and had a nice time on the tour.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ellisveen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Utrecht, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2012

It's a nice place to stay if you're in Bocas del Toro. Isla Bastimentos has great beaches and is a lot quieter than the main island.
The restaurant and lounge area is nice, the food is fairly priced and tastes good the service good be a bit better. You can use the shared kitchen but it lacks kooking supplies.
The dorms have a lots of beds, which make the bathroom (cold water showers) go filthy in a second on an busy day. But they take care of it immediately if you tell them.
To bad they close the bar early. There are not a lot of other options in the neighborhood to have a drink. So after the bar closes you're on your own.

But overall a decent place to stay.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Ivo W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
26 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2012

The best budget option if you do not like camping.
Rooms comfortably and reasonable value, can be noisy depending on your neighbours.
The resort is a concrete abomination however. Sterile and no atmosphere or real communal area for the guests to mix. Broken computer and ripped pool table. Drinks and food are expensive.
I spent all my evenings at Palmar.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank notmiles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bocas Island Lodge

Property: Bocas Island Lodge
Address: On A Hill Above Red Frog Beach | 15 min water taxi from Bocas Town, Isla Bastimentos, Panama (Formerly Bocas Bound Hostel)
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in a living rainforest, on a Caribbean island, Bocas Bound is the place to stay and visit in Bocas del Toro. Bocas Bound provides immediate access to surfing, rain forest hikes, kayaking, and beautiful beaches. Bocas Bound is an exotic destination in Bocas del Toro that attracts back-packers, surfers, and cost-conscious families looking for a place that is extraordinarily different from a typical Bocas hotel. Trails from your doorstep lead you through dense jungle to breathtaking beaches and hidden coves. The nightly chorus of nature will cause you to truly appreciate Isla Bastimentos.* 8 min walk to Red Frog Beach * Beach Activity Center* Hiking Trails and Canopy Zipline* 15 minute water taxi to Bocas Town* Air-conditioned rooms* Full Restaurant Bar and Lounge * Community kitchen * Free Breakfast & Coffee. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bocas Bound Hotel Isla Bastimentos
Bocas Island Lodge Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro

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