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“good lodging just outside national park”

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Los Quetzales Lodge & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
55 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“good lodging just outside national park”
Reviewed April 1, 2013

My husband and I, along with our two children (ages 14 and 11) stayed at Los Quetzales for two nights at the end of March. We stayed in a junior suite, which was roomy and comfortable. Although the room was generally clean, it was not totally up to standard.
Unlike some reviewers who had poor experiences at the restaurant, we had nothing but positive experiences there. The food was tasty and the service was good. It is definitely not a gourmet or high end restaurant, but each of our meals was well prepared.
The manager, Michael, is a highlight of Los Quetzales. He is knowlegeable and accommodating. He'll go out of his way to make your stay comfortable.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank luvtravel123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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265 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (79)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
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  • Spanish first
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English first
Espoo, Finland
Level Contributor
62 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2013

If/when you check their web pages, you do get the impression that the lodge is in the middle of the cloud forest. Therefore it is quite a surprise to realize that in real life it is located in the middle of the village.
I had booked a larger normal room at the lodge and that turned out to be very nice indeed, if a bit pricey. The price does include a breakfast and a daily guided walk up there in the national park where the guests are transported to with "the most expensive tractor" (as a fellow guest commented it) in the area. And it sure is a steep uphill/downhill! Once there, you are in the clouds, meaning basically that it is very wet. The lodge provides rubber boots and they are very much necessary for all walks. There are two options for a hike, easy and hard. Our group chose the easy one and if that was easy, I wonder what the hard one is like... But it was kind of magical to walk in the deep rain forest and end up at a beautiful falls.
One thing which disappointed me is the fact that the guide did not speak a word of English.
If you really want to invest money for the stay, they do have cabins (looked like huge houses to me) deep in the forest/national park. I would sort of think that it is somewhat lonely (and wet) out there and as the food is brought to you, I wonder how much fun that actually is.
The lodge itself has several feeding stations for local hummingbirds and there must be hundreds of them flying around them like bullets.
The village is at 2200 metres and the walk at even higher altitude so it is not that easy going.
When it comes to food, I found the breakfast to be excellent in choice. There were the usual fresh fruits, scrambled eggs and even hot porridge (when we did the hike, it was +10 degrees C so you can all stop laughing about this!).
I skipped the lunch and concentrated on the dinner. And here seems to be the problem for some people. I found the selection OK but, then again, I am not a very demanding customer when it comes to food. The menu seemed to be the same (or with minor changes only) every night. Considering the cost, I thought the dinners were pretty much OK, too. But they could improve on this front for sure.
There is a very pleasant and comfortable bar/lounge area just next to the restaurant.
3,5 stars....Would I go back? Hmm.. Don't know...

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Jukka1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2013

This place has a few things going for it - nice walks in the forest and the rooms like really nice - but it is massively overpriced. For $95 some of you might expect basic things like the room being made up (did not happen once in 4 nights), an edible breakfast, and a restaurant which does not serve up poorly reheated food (and is full of flies). We spent our 4 nights feeling nauseous - we put this down to the restaurant. Unfortunately, if you do not have a car, you are stuck with the restaurant as it is just about the only place in town.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Zedward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
96 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed March 16, 2013

Frommers 2012 has two reviews of this hotel, the in-depth and negative one reflects my experience. our agent booked a full board standard room, which I then upgraded to a bed and breakfast only Junior Suite
1. Our travel agent has had email confirmation of a junior suite, however the hotel has denied this.
2. We agreed to take an overpriced (95 dollar) room with King bed, bath repaired with plaster, thin curtains and several lights shining through the window, not in the same league as the standard room on the website - on condition they honoured pour previous agreement, not even full board, but bed breakfast and evening meal.
3. on our second night we realised 2 things were going on,
a.) the meals on the printed menu we were given were at least $4 dollars cheaper than the same meals listed as'specials' on the black board, perhaps this is what Frommers mean when they tactfully say the meals are arbitrarily fixed? I know they were the same because we ate them!
b) we were sat on the end of a table laid for over twenty people and hustled out of the restaurant before we wanted to go
4 Having eaten by 8.30 pm an early night was on the cards by 9.30, time difference etc, we were sound asleep. At around 9pm 70, yes 70, school children were running around happy to be let out of a coach after 10 hours long trip. They stayed happy and excited in a room next to ours until midnight and were very happy and excited again at 6 am in the morning.

The owner: Yes, you are the only other guests. You can leave your bed (it was 10.45pm ) and stay in a $240 house in the village on an asphalt road- thats what I can offer you. They come from one of the best schools in Panama. ( Translated into real terms: you can pack your things and drive through unlit roads or, we can drive you and you can wait half the morning for us to collect you and bring you back tomorrow and pack then) to an unaired house with a damp bed thats over 20 minutes drive away that your car will not access because the road ends 10 minutes walk from the house which is not in a village but in a field . We tried it the next morning
The school: 'we only booked the rooms we needed'. Ok so you treat the hotel like a hotel
'We paid for this so we can be as noisy as we liked' this attitude supported by the owner, I had to ask the supervisors at midnight to stop the teenagers from yelling.
I have booked numerous school trips in my life and I have never asked members of the general public paying fill price for a HOTEL room to live with a group of of 70 school children.

Our agents agreed to move us, for our third night and yes we have money refunded, but the fudging by the owner was disgraceful, and it really is not just about money when we had such high hopes for our time there. To add insult to injury Quetzales refused to honour our original booking as agreed with Michael and we had to pay them on top for our food, so they won both ways round, overpriced meal first night as we had 'specials', rather than identical dishes off the menu, payment for suite when we had a standard room. Incidentally this room was dirty and the blankets on the bed sticky and unpleasant, I moved a chair and was disconcerted by the dirty carpet

Room Tip: go tto Casa Grande down the road at Bambito. its a beautiful hotel with lovely bathrooms, lovely gar...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank brillandhen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
des moines
Level Contributor
104 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed March 15, 2013

Everything was great, but Michael the manager at the desk was fantastic. He was a tireless fount of information. They should give him a pay raise. Always ready and willing to help, I can say that he really enjoys his work which is extremely rare these days.
The price of a junior suite at the Lodge was about $115 U.S. but is really quite good because it includes a big buffet breakfast for two plus a guided hike every day at 8:30 a.m. and that's where we saw a quetzal. (One day we took a taxi over to Bajo Grande for a long hike and heard quetzales all over the place but could not see one.) On the Lodge hike they take you by a tractor drawn wagon to cabins 8 & 9 which has hummingbird feeders and we saw 10 or more different kinds right there. The Junior suite had a mini-fridge and a fireplace and a lot of wood, plus a desk and sofa. Really was excellent.
The reason I did not give 5 stars is the restaurant itself. They really need to get one person who knows what they are doing there. The best waiter is there in the mornings but not in the evenings and it is the only restaurant that has beer and wine in town. So, in the lounge there is never anyone there to get you get a drink, then go look for someone if you want another. The eggs in the morning are very cold, I mean they could find some way to keep them warm. The yogurt is homemade, the carrot juice comes from there own organic gardens, it is just waiting for one person to put it all together.
My wife went for the massage and facial and LOVED it.
We had the most perfect weather for hiking imaginable, the whole thing was a great experience.

Room Tip: Splurge on the junior suite and stay at least three nights. The cabins are isolated but looked grea...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank treeshaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milton, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 7, 2013

Stayed at the lodge in a suite for 2 nights and that was not really our thing although they are spacious and clean but we came to get away so it was off to the forest! The cabanas are down a very bumpy road and are really special. While moving in a Quetzal flew by with its beautiful tail floating behind it. I'm not a birder but that is a special bird so every time we saw one we felt like we were getting a special treat. We had a package that provided us with a guide and meals. Our guide Able was fantastic! He loves the birds and the forest so although his English was not very good and our Spanish was worse he made the trip and the hikes a delight. The rain forest itself is very similar to the rain forest in southeast Alaska with different birds and no bears. Just beautiful.
Michael who runs the front desk is wonderful and really made our stay enjoyable. Each day we would order what we wanted for dinner and Able would appear out of the clouds each evening with our order and usually stay to make sure we have fire wood and that we got the fire going. Then he would reappear the next morning and we were off on that days adventure.
The food was good not gourmet but good. The sauces were okay for a diversion but after a while we just asked for everything to be grilled. All produce seemed really fresh.
As others noted fellow travelers are generally very nice and thee are folks from all over there.
The hikes were nice. I wish we had done more to figure out what hikes were available. Some seemed too easy and we were told some were very difficult and we were advised against them. If we go back we will be the Quetzales Trail from Volcan Baru to Boquete.
We bought bug repentant but didn't use it. We brought down sweater/coats and they were great for the evening and early morning. The climate changes with the altitude so lots of light layers. Bring good sunglasses for touring around (coffee plantation etc.). lots of mud on some trails but they give you rubber boots, so no problem.

Room Tip: If you stay in the lodge suites try and get the top floor. If you go to the cabanas we stayed in 8...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Greg_and_Maria2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sechelt, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2013

We absolutely loved our stay at Los Quetzales Eco-Lodge. It is run by a really nice man named Carlos, who is one of Panama's leading conservationists.The facilities are excellent - like a ski lodge, complete with two fires that add to the ambiance. The restaurant serves very good food at prices that are a little above average but worth it. The rooms are outside of the main lodge. We stayed in a clean and comfortable dorm with hot water for $18 per night. For just $7 more we received an excellent breakfast buffet as well as a guided trip up to the rainforest by the cabins that can be rented in the hills, about 4 km away. The grounds and landscaped lawn at the lodge are beautiful and filled with birds such as the Long Tailed Silky Flycatcher. The feeders which can be watched from a balcony attract up to ten species of hummingbirds and many other species of birds lurk in the nearby bushes. This was definitely one of the highlights of our 6 week trip to Panama. I look forward to going back some day.

Room Tip: The surrounding countryside is beautiful - terraced hillsides with lots of agricultural activity. W...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank hodomaniacs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Los Quetzales Lodge & Spa

Property: Los Quetzales Lodge & Spa
Address: Parque International la Amistad | PO Box 55-0039, Guadalupe, Panama
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Guadalupe
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Guadalupe
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Los Quetzales Lodge & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 22
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Also Known As:
Los Quetzales Lodge And Spa
Los Quetzales Hotel Guadalupe
Los Quetzales Lodge & Spa Panama/Guadalupe

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