We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Idyllic setting and great service”
Review of Coral Lodge

Best prices for -
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 2 more sites!
Coral Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Santa Isabel
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Idyllic setting and great service”
Reviewed April 7, 2012

We spent 5 night at Coral Lodge, from late March to early April 2012. We LOVED every minute of it. The grounds are gorgous, the lodging is simple but nice, the staff attentive, and the food tasty and hearty. We spent most of our time swimming in the warm Caribbean waters, snorkeling and marveling at our luck at having found this magical place. We'd go back in a heartbeat.

Getting there is not all that easy. We flew into Panama City and spent the night there (recommended) and then the hotel had arranged transport to the lodge. Coral Lodge is only accessible by water (no roads service it), and getting to the port where you pick up the boat is 2+ hours in itself. The boat ride is upwards of an hour, and depending on the seas, can be pleasant or somewhat dicey. The captain is VERY good, and we felt safe. My advice would be to bring along Dramamine and "Seabands" (wrist accupressure for seasickness, at Target) just in case. I am not telling you this to dissuade you---just full disclosure.

Once you get there, it's totally worth it. What a beach paradise, which excellent caring staff, great food, and lovely warm waters. We lucked out and got placed in Casita #7, their newest addition, which is quite different from the other casitas which are nice, but plainer. Ours was 2-story, had two beds, 2 bathrooms, and TONS of windows. It also had a spacious deck and two lounge chairs looking at at nothing but blue waters and mangroves. The other casitas, about 5 years old, are spacious room but not quite as nice as the newer version.

The service was excellent. Henry, the Czech Republic manager, is fluent in multiple languages, gregarious, high-energy and outgoing. He has genuine passion about his job and Coral Lodge, and does a great job paying attention to the guest experience.

Before we left on this trip, I read the Trip Advisor reviews and some were somewhat negative. Our experience was superb, and I will say that there a positive changes underway there that sound exciting. One relatively recent change is the chef---excellent. You are served breakfast, lunch and dinner there----a fixed menu----and we found the meals to be flavorful, diverse and hearty. Lots of fish, beans, veggies and rice---simple but very good. The service was attentive and careful.

The grounds are beautiful and showcase the beauty of the sea and coral reefs. The beach on the grounds is kep quite clean---no small task given the amount of trash coming in from the rest of the world (heartbreaking). The hotel does a great job, but outside the bounds of the property is referred to as "plastic beach." The hotel cannot be blamed for this---it would be a full-time and never-ending task. Very sad, though.

The staff is great. Special thanks to Henry, Jullian and Camille for making us feel so attended to. It is a small, young and professional staff, and their English is excellent.

I would recommend this hotel with no hesitation. It was a gorgeous, secluded, place where you feel connected to the sea. It was a privilege to be there. After speaking to the owner and the manager, it sounds like they have exciting plans for the future, such as helicopter transport instead of boat. I can't imagine it getting any better than it was. I'd give our time there an A+.

Room Tip: We lucked out and got put into Casita #7, which is their newest. It is quite different from the oth...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Gardens1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

151 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    90
    25
    10
    13
    13
See reviews for
22
91
5
2
Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Miami, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 3, 2012

My husband and I went to Coral Lodge in search of a close place to enjoy the overwater breezes of an overwater bungalow in the Caribbean. Coral Lodge was much more than we expected.
We soon realized that the remoteness of this place made it all the more special. The fact that everything in this resort has to be gathered, fished, grown, improvised, or brought in by boat or helicopter made everything that much more amazing. I was astonished at how great the food, service, amenities, furniture and even waste management system is in the resort.
Unfortunately Mother Nature did not cooperate and we were not able to swim or kayak much, but the resort made up for it by helicoptering us in and apologizing profusely for the inconvenience that is not even within their control.
The beaches outside of the resort were filled with garbage (as read in other reviews). We learned after visiting the Kuna Village the garbage is because the ocean is the dump site of the Kuna people. That is very sad, yet seeing all that garbage made me appreciate how clean the resort maintained the beach and actually got rid of the garbage on the resort property by responsibly boating it back to the mainland.
The Kuna Yala village tour was very educational and I recommend it. The hospitality of the staff and their continuous attentiveness and desire to please our every desire was remarkable. I loved that they have pigs to eat food waste, and chickens for our morning eggs, and a garden for vegetables that they used for our food. For the 1st couple of days, I saw someone diligently fishing and netting shrimp. I later realized that it was the chef who was catching our food. Everything was fresh, sustainably maintained, and amazingly challenging to accomplish. Yet everything was DELICIOUS and as explained by the chef, everything is just whipped up with whatever is on hand! All my expectations were easily surpassed.
If you travel to Coral Lodge and think of these things and enjoy the simple life, I am sure you too will really appreciate, enjoy and find this place to be a very special.
Thank you to everyone that made our stay so great. We really appreciate what you are doing to bring this remote and amazingly beautiful setting to others.

Lisset & Michael M.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lisset M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cuna_de_Vida, Owner at Coral Lodge, responded to this review, April 8, 2012
Many Thanks for your detailed comments, the best reward one can have on our business of Hospitality are the ones like yours and the others of course including the ones that have constructive criticism. The Management and Staff appreciates your comments and will strive to keep improving the services and the environment of Coral Lodge.
We hope to see you back and possibly visit our new Property in Las Perlas Archipelago
Again Thank you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City, Panama
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2012

Just two hours from Panama, you take a 40 minutes trip by boat to Coral Lodge. We felt like in "Fantasy Island" The service is so good and the place is a Paradise. I like to sleep in tha "Palafitos" over the caribean sea and also have a nice beach to relax.
The Coral is not the best to see water fauna. But Ist a very nice place to go in Panamá!

Room Tip: All rooms are very good!
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pepeven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2012

My husband came to Coral Lodge for our honeymoon and it was excellent. We were here during the off-season, so it was very quiet. There over-water bungalows were beautiful, tastefully decorated and simply perfect. We enjoyed snorkeling around the lagoon right from the little drop-down latter on our patio. The location is incredible and remote, we loved listening to the howler monkeys in the morning. The food and service were excellent- loved the chilled coconut water in the afternoons.

The only con was the sand fleas on the beach. Otherwise, a great stay. We'd definitely come back.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Katie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
184 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed March 4, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Coral Lodge for 3 nights to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. Although we had a rough boat ride in, the captain and crew were excellent and we felt very safe. The food was average to very good. The daily homemade ice cream was fantastic. The massage therapist is outstanding. I loved getting a massage out in the open over the water! The beach on the resort was impeccable and cleaned every morning before we went to breakfast. The beach outside of the resort does have a lot of garbage - heartbreaking! But it would not be possible for the resort to maintain it. The staff was incredibly accommodating at all times of day. They even set up a lunch for us on the beach for our anniversary with champagne and a cake. We got exactly what we expected due to the remote location. This was a very beautiful setting and so relaxing! I cannot say enough about the staff and how responsive there were to any of our requests. I would suggest bringing your own wine as the selection is limited and there are small refrigerators in the bungalows.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TwoNCTravelingFools
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 29, 2012

We visited Coral Lodge in Dec/11 and loved it. The staff was extremely helpful and friendly and very caring. After a few day we felt like famiy. The food was amazing to say the least and was very well presented. The huts were roomy, comfortable and clean. Being surrounded only by jungle and ocean in this isolated eco-lodge makes it a very relaxing and romantic vacation. During our stay a new larger hut was being built and the owner and staff were very concerned with any noise caused. They really cared about the quality of our stay. It is a very casual and friendly place and I would love to go there again. The only downside would be the long van ride from Panama City, next time I would consider using the helicopter service. Also, due to poor weather we were unable to go to the San Blas which I really wanted to visit. I guess that just gives me a good reason to go back.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Deb R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Greenwich, Rhode Island
1 review
Reviewed February 26, 2012

My wife,daughter and I just returned from a trip to Panama, during which we stayed at the Coral Lodge eco resort. Suffice it to say that the experience was amazing. Somehow the Coral Lodge
is able to combine the pristine,remote ecolodge experience with first-
rate food,accommodations,and service.Jindrich and his staff were extraordinarily pleasant and
professional. They made sure that we had everything we needed for the truly perfect vacation.
The food was outstanding ,with excellent variety. The bungalows were spacious,clean and very comfortable. The beauty of the surroundings is breathtaking. The boat ride from Mirinmar to Coral Lodge was an adventure ,as one would expect in order to reach such a remote and unspoiled paradise. The 40 minute ride was a bit choppy-fun for us,but not for
the faint of heart. Jindrich (the manager) was personally involved in every aspect of the service, and Camille and the wonderful guys on the boat were so warm,personable and attentive.Our day trip to Kuna Yala was the highlight of our trip-a must see.This is probably not the place for very young children,but our 16 year old was in heaven. Needless to say,we would return to Coral Lodge without hesitation and hope to have the chance in the future.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank steve f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Santa Isabel
13.0 mi away
Hotel El Porvenir
Hotel El Porvenir
#2 of 2 in San Blas Islands
40 reviews
20.9 mi away
Cabanas Naranjo Chico
Cabanas Naranjo Chico
#2 of 3 in San Blas Islands
44 reviews
15.2 mi away
Cabanas Coco Blanco
Cabanas Coco Blanco
#8 of 28 in San Blas Islands
76 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
21.4 mi away
Dolphin Lodge Uaguinega
Dolphin Lodge Uaguinega
#14 of 28 in San Blas Islands
26 reviews
0.0 mi away
Cabanas Demar Achudup
Cabanas Demar Achudup
#1 of 1 in Masargantupo
9 reviews
0.0 mi away
Macondo Hostel Isla Grande
Macondo Hostel Isla Grande
#1 of 3 in Isla Grande
40 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Coral Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Coral Lodge

Property: Coral Lodge
Address: Escribano Bay, Santa Isabel, Panama
Location: Panama > Colon Province > Santa Isabel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Santa Isabel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Coral Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Coral Lodge. A quintessential eco-adventure lodge set in a pristine natural habitat. An isolated totally sustainable lodge that offers a variety of nature related adventures and a place to get away from it all. You will enjoy a diversity of natural environments, our charming over the water bungalows, a friendly low key service and our proximity to San Blas archipelago with its beautiful unspoiled islands and cultural heritage of the Kuna Indians.Diving, Reef Fishing, Snorkeling, Hobie Cat Sailing, Trekking, Kayaking, Horseback riding and relax are the activities. ... more   less 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Orbitz, Travelocity and Cheap Tickets so you can book your Coral Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Coral Hotel Santa Isabel
Coral Resort Santa Isabel
Coral Lodge Panama/Santa Isabel

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing