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“Dream get-a-way. Most Relaxing place I've ever been!”
Review of Al Natural Resort

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Al Natural Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Dream get-a-way. Most Relaxing place I've ever been!”
Reviewed October 18, 2012

Al Natural Resort ended up being so much better than we expected! It was like we were in a magazine on top destinations or something. The rooms on the water were fantastic. We stayed in the 'Natural House' and did the all inclusive with food and alcohol. Vincent, the manager, was so helpful and friendly and the food was absolutely amazing! I'm talking three and four course meals (mostly seafood). I would highly recommend this place to anyone who wants to feel like you are secluded in the wilderness with an ocean view. Listening to the waves and monkeys at night while falling asleep was so surreal. Great for a honeymoon!

Room Tip: Natural House is the best room, in my opinion.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Whitney S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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331 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 9, 2012

We spent 4 great days there. All the staff is excellent and really professional. The location and the resort is really beautiful and we have a good surprise with the excellent food they prepare for dinner.

The cabins are good enough for this kind of ecoresorts and it's really amazing the sea view from the rooms (that are opened if you want).

Alse we did some good dives there, beautiful coral reefs (but it's a pity that there are no big fishes on that area)

Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank Gloria y Victor C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berlin, Germany
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2012

If you are looking for the perfect place to relax and come down from everyday life, this is it. Cabins right at the beach, equipped with everything you need, don't expect luxury extras, it's basic but beautiful. You don't need TV if you can watch dragonflies, pelicans and bats hunt right in front of your face!
It is remote but you don't miss anything. Food is exellent, the people are great. We will surely go back.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Nadine W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2012

My husband stumbled upon Al Natural while searching the internet for a honeymoon dive destination - Al Natural appealed to us because of the unique eco adventure style, the beauty and privacy of the resort, available excursions and the snorkelling and diving! The trip from Panama city was interesting, Bocas Town was great! Don't buy things like suntan lotion or bug spray in Panama City wait to Bocas where the shops are plentiful, prices are low and the people are friendly! Al Natural provides transportation from the airport to their main office. We were greeted at the airport by Cesar who was friendly and helpful. Transportation to the island of Bastimentos is a gorgeous boat ride with PLENTY of photo opportunites and a friendly Captain who will point out areas of interest,.

At the resort we were greeted by Martin who is incredibly welcoming and will take you immediately to your private bungalow - be warned! These bunglaows are open air style, the idea of the resort is to enjoy nature fully! There is a bathroom with running water and HOT showers, there is no electricity other than solar power - it was truly an eco experience! The bungalows are amazing! Fresh flowers on a comfortable bed and you wake up to the most amazing water view you can imagine! Nature is everywhere!

The dive instructor Nicole is engaging and experienced! We dove a ten mintue boat ride away at a stunning rock wall - we saw big fish and little fish and incredible coral! It was an amazing dive experience!

The food! The food is gourmet! All meals are served at the same time - everyone eats together at one long table in the dining bungalow that is completely open to the elements. You have to experience dinner in a tropical setting with candles and music and waves and breezes and a group of like minded travellers all coming together to appreciate nature at it's best at least once in your life and AL NATURAL is definitely the place to make that happen!

This resort takes all the elements of a perfect vacation getaway and puts them together in a bundle of sunshine, water, islands, nature, exploration and serenity that will work for the single traveller, the couple, the family and all will find what they need in this one well run and amazingly pulled together resort!

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Trish L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Belgium
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2012

We went there several years ago (i think it was 2007), it is located on e remote island, so you need to take a flight into the main island, and then a watertaxi for another 40minutes.
It is really a great place to be, nice lodges, great food, wonderfull hosts, a paradice to relax.
The food was great, a combination of European quisine mixed with some local ingredients ! I loved it !
At the evening everyone comes together, eat dinner, start talking and getting to know one and other over a glass of local Rum.

But ! a couple of suggestions
- don't take to much luggage, there is not much space to store your baggage.
- be aware that there is no mobile network available (maybe now there is)
- be aware that there can be some nasty bugs like shitras ! the bites itch 100x more then a moskito
- there is a limited amout of electricity, so you can't use a hairdryer (sorry ladies)
- no AC ! so if you can't stand the moist heat, stay away !

Other then that, you will have a great relaxing time ! Some day I will surely go there again.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Stefke_be
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 3, 2012

This is a gorgeous place but is truly exposed to the elements, so keep an open mind. It's a bit of a trek (1 hr flight from Panama City, short taxi ride from airport to boat, 40 minute boat ride) to Isla Bastimentos, but I felt the stress melt away during our 40 minute boat ride through the pristine waters. There are no major resorts there--there appear to be handful of private properties, each with their own dock.

NO internet, electricity through solar panels, water source from rain water--it is bare essentials living. No air conditioning. The bungalows have 3 walls and the 4th side is exposed to the Caribbean sea, with canvas curtains available if you need to close up. Not perfectly private if that's what you're looking for. There is a small patio with 2 chairs, a hammock and mosquito netting on the bed. Shower and sink in adjoining room, but toilet is down the stairs.

The first night and part of the next day was super windy and rainy--rain and leaves did get into our bungalow of course. It was a bit crazy (waking up in the middle of the night to bind the canvas curtains) but a fun story to tell. The host of Al Natural had never experienced this before, and neither did our friends who came before us--so this appears to be a rare event. The next day was soooo beautiful, peaceful and serene that we basically forgot about that first night. There is a jungle to hike and see fiddler crabs, red frogs, birds (at night, timid noctural monkeys). The sand is a narrow strip, calm expansive blue lagoon to swim, relax, sunbathe and read. There are kayaks and snorkel gear for free. A few local excursions easily arranged by the staff. All 3 meals and tea/snack at a communal table, included per day. Dinner is 3 courses, with wine. The food was great--typically a variation of fish.

It is definitely price-y (over $200/night) compared to similar rustic paradise bungalows in other countries. Nonetheless, a true retreat away from it all, if this is what you're looking for.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank wheatthins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Beaconsfield
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2012

My husband, three daughters (ages 7y, 7y and 1 yr) and I, after much researching, chose Al Natural Resort as our vacation place from the 16th to the 20th of April past. A little outta the way (a cab ride, after we'd landed in Panama City-Tocumen airport, and another plane ride out of , then a 30 minute water taxi ride), but it was exactly what we had hoped and more!! I can't even express how accommodating everyone involved was!! "They" are a well oiled machine that specializes in incredible hospitality, friendliness and accommodation. They just made the vacation easy where challenges could have been.
From the time that Cesar picked us up at the Bocas airport with a sign with our name on it (very smooth transition), to Vincent-the-friendly-smiling-giant picking us up at the end of the dock, to the impeccable "cabina" adorned with lovely local flowers on the beds, to the exquisite meals three times a day...it was truly a divine stay! Nothing was a problem: Vincent or Michel always had a perfect solution, and great advice. Michel (the co-owner with Vincent) was not present during our stay, but we dealt with him over the phone. He inspired confidence that we would get great service from the start. For example, I was shocked to hear him suggest that I NOT take the all-inclusive package as it would not be worth it, with such a young family. This was not to his financial gain to tell me this. I admired his honesty, was thankful for it and as a result, I felt that these people would truly take care of me and my family. And they did! Every employee was professional, very friendly, accommodating and warm. On the first night, we sat down to the first of our gourmet meals, with 2 young children and an over-the-top tired baby. One of the ladies emerged from the kitchen to hold the baby so I/we could eat (with both hands free!). Every dinner after that, Vincent- the chef, and other ladies from the kitchen would take a few minutes to hold and play with Baby Sarah so we could have a few minutes to ourselves. It was lovely, they did it out of the kindness of their hearts, and seemed to enjoy it as much as we did!
The older girls and I went dolphin watching with Javier, our very capable water taxi driver. On the way back we went snorkelling on a beautiful reef. For both activities, Javier was very patient and waited for us to say when we were ready to move on. On another day we went native village called Salt Creek, right on the same island as us. The normal route was closed off due to a tree falling or something. This is the only activity I wouldn't see the point in repeating. The regular guide was not there, which perhaps would have made the difference, I don't know. A contributing factor may also be that I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth...I lost my husband's sunglasses ( a pair of Bollé glasses which had survived 20 years, including a climb up Killimanjaro). To add insult to injury, one of my daughters and another fellow-visitor saw them in the ditch but didn't say anything. So if anyone found them...feel free to let me know so I can undo the self-inflicted guilt-noose around my neck that will probably never leave me! :( But I digress!
Before going I was worried about having enough to do with the kids until I realized they were quite happy playing in the sand/on the beach, exploring and swimming on our own little private beach. They even learned how to kayak and snorkel while there- all stuff that was brilliantly included in the package! We all loved the sounds of the waves and the jungle as we fell asleep, and looked forward to dinner time when we would see the phytoplankton light up, and feeding the 3 monkeys that came to a little man-made monkey look-out. We also loved having dinner with the other visitors who were from all over the world and were so friendly. In short, I can't say enough to emphasize that we loved our stay at Al Natural, we highly recommend it, and we all look forward to returning to our new-found paradise!! Thank you Vincent, Michel and staff!!

Room Tip: While I was looking to get the cheapest cabina possible, Michel suggested the "Natural Superio...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kelly D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Al Natural Resort

Property: Al Natural Resort
Address: Old Point, Isla Bastimentos, Panama
Location: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Shuttle Bus service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 19 B&Bs / Inns in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Al Natural Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 9
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Also Known As:
Al Natural Hotel Isla Bastimentos
Al Natural Resort Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro

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