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“Still an almost excellent product but what's going on??”
Review of Crater Valley

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Crater Valley
Reviewed August 24, 2011

This time stayed at the Pilón because the rest of my preferred rooms Cariguana, Gaital, Manigordo, Coatimundi were all occupied or in renovation. The room is a bit small but nice as my last stay more than 2 years ago.

Reception: No change as seen last time. But this time we arrived to the hotel under a copious rain and there were several buckets with rain water dripping from the roof and wet all the reception (was worried about the rooms but seems that the roof in room areas are better or double covered)

Room: Rustic style with tv, nice large bathroom with shower and toiletries (but no fixed hairdryer, have to ask them); cleaned sheets/towels. Access to the back terrace by climbing the large window. As per my last review is still nice sitting at the rocking couch of the back terrace (they took away the hammock) to read or relax (check the photo that I enclosed with this review).

Meals: Are still being served by this terrace after the reception and close by the bar.
Breakfast: No change as remembered from the last stay. Served in a small buffet coffee, tea, cereals, milk, juice, fresh fruit (mangoes from their trees!), warm breads, marmalades, butter, classic continental breakfast.
Lunch/Dinner: No restaurant service because they sent the cook on holidays (June). To lunch or dinner is necessary to go somewhere away and not short walking distance from here (this time we came with no car so we spend almost 1 hour walking to town!). I think that the menu is still limited.

Outdoor areas:
Close to the reception there is a climbing wall, obstacle course, small canopy because the hotel manages also an adventure tour company which is easy to arrange.
Pool areas: Still there is the large pool, bar pool and the hot tub. This time we used a lot the hot tub which is really nice during the cool afternoons and we could see hummingbirds flying around.
Green areas: Paths, fruit trees, bridges, ponds will be nicer if better cared. Asked the staff about the toads because during my last stay have seen a lot of them but apparently a disease have exterminated them, but still can hear some croaking frogs..
Spa: We never use these services (but still there is the “spa cottage”) but some guests comment to us that they had problems by booking a massage session because the “spa experts” are not inhouse but outside persons because of their schedules etc. and it was easier to go their real “spa workplaces”.

Staff:
Now there are like 4-5 people working there (1 manager, 1 gardener, the rest housemaids/handymen). The manager explained to me that the owners change administration/staff since a year and half ago. Just OK.

Maybe because of the current financial crisis that the hotel stopped to invest for major maintenance (roof) and the 2nd floors, and also got some news that they are planning to sell it. Looks more like a boutique bed & breakfast rather than resort/spa as they advertised. Pity, because like I said, is an almost excellent product but what's going on??

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Tualie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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30 - 36 of 84 reviews

Reviewed March 5, 2011

Stayed two nights and loved it. Gardens were beautiful, pool was amazing. Favorite pool of the entire month we spent in Panama and Costa Rica....per my 10 and 14yo sons. They also had a great time on the obstacle course and found fireflies at night.

Lunch and dinner menu were basic, fish or chicken with rice. Breakfast buffet was nice and loved the fresh baked bread.

Room was clean bed comfy.......the buildings was quiet and peaceful even though I am pretty sure it was ful when we were there. Which is just what we needed after a week of pretty hectic travel.

Good value and would definitly stay again.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Lieschan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2010

My family and I stayed 3 nights at the Crater Valley and enjoyed our stay.

The place is clean and comfortable. The pools and spa are great. We could see the mountains around and the gardens at the hotel are just beautiful

We were there in the low season, so it was very quiet and had good service.

However, i would appreciate a more copious breakfast.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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Thank LucQuebec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 8, 2010

This hidden gem is in a secluded section of the beautiful valley. Even the front driveway is serene, and your entire stay will be filled with lush tranquility.

It is amazing that this is not the most popular hotel in the Valley. It must be that few people know of its existence.

There is a small but friendly staff serving an even smaller number of guests. There is a romantic fireplace, well-appointed rooms (one one with air conditioning but they valley's year-round spring-like climate does not often require a/c) and there is even an organic herb garden filled with basil and rosemary and other wonderfully aromatic herbs.

Not all of the services are available at all times because of the limited staff. But this is by far the most romantic hotel in the valley. (And there is another spa on the main street where I practiced yoga for free and had a fabulous massage.)

I wholeheartedly recommend Crater Valley Hotel for couples, families and for personal retreats. You will be happy with this choice!

  • Stayed: May 2010, traveled on business
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Thank yogilover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2010

We only stayed here one night, on our way From Panama City to Boquete. What a hidden gem! Staff told us this used to be a private hacienda, home to one of Panama's elite families. This place is beyond gorgeous, sort of an 'old money' colonial style. The grounds are stunning, gorgeous pool, hot tub and cabanas. Amazing breakfast, the rooms are large, comfortable and elegantly styled. If i didn't know better, i'd guess that Frank Lloyd Wright (or one of his proteges) had stayed here as the place manages to evoke both his style and traditional Central American colonial architecture.

We ventured out for dinner (Casa de Lourdes: fantastic four course dinner, not cheap but worth it), but had a very nice breakfast, which was included in the price.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with friends
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1  Thank los_capcity_smiths
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 5, 2009

Arrived to this hotel as walk-in. Originally we were thinking of staying at any of the other more known hotels (Campestre, Los Capitanes, Casa de Lourdes but this one too expensive for our budget!) on the road heading El Valle we saw the sign of this hotel so we decided to follow to see how it was. Since there were rooms available and when we arrived (tired after 2 hours driving from Panama City) it was already dark so we decided to stay there at whatever cost (secretly hoping that room rates were not so high)... well, for 84.00 dollars (more or less) we decided to spent it and see how it was the overnight experience. Has its own parking place (good) but close to a climbing wall (better park the car a bit far from the wall when there are people climbing) reception good, lots of young guests (teenagers) in the surroundings (we were a bit worried if we could sleep in the night since they were making a lot of noise but fortunately they were only using the hotel camping facilities not overnighting)

We were offered room "India Dormida" rustic but nice, we liked but it had a problem: the water from the shower never stopped dripping even with the bathroom door closed we could hear the incessant water dripping. We pointed the problem to the reception who solved us by changing to another room and this one "Cariguana" we liked more since larger and have access to the back terrace. We didn't had dinner so we asked if they could serve dinner and they do have restaurant service. They call it dining room but in reality is a terrace with chairs and tables with adjoining bar and pool and a pond with goldfish so is kind of open-air but covered. Lets say not like a real restaurant (menu is limited) but they can serve a decent meal which I found it satisfied (we had green salad, steak, potatoes and soup) if not too demanding...

In the morning when woke up went to check how it was the back terrace and we've encountered a pond with water lillies, lotuses, pond plants with chirping birds and croaking frogs, a really nice terrace with lounge and rocking chairs and hammocks. Even we saw hummingbirds flying around. For breakfast we were served at the same dining terrace, warm breads, milk, coffee, tea, marmalades, classic continental breakfast.

After breakfast we toured ourselves the property, has a long pool (not Olympic size) with Greek pillars and relaxing beds and a bar pool. Has also a small spa, well in reality is just a small cottage in the middle of a garden with a room with a massagge bed and found oils and candles aside (it was empty so I could wander freely!) a very small almost like homemade hairdressing room and also a small manicure/pedicure room. There are also paths that runs different ways around the premises with bridges, other ponds, fruit trees, kids playground, obstacle course, some areas completely uncared (to resemble a rainforest, maybe) Just mind your steps specially in the green areas since there are toads around (I know they are inofensive animals but I'm scared of their aspect!)

Pluses: free internet use, activities desk (the same that works for the kids summer camp) bicycle rental, climbing wall, pool.

Staff: There is a one-man do-it-all (he checked us in , tried to fix the shower, took our bags from the car, cook for us, served our tables, coordinated the kids when were in the premises, also saw him cleaning the rooms the next day) I complained (jokingly) to the manager how they can abuse him but we were treated so well that we have no particular complaints regarding service. The manager is very welcoming person, always caring the guests and had a nice chat with him.

Overall: I would say they have an excellent product (hotel) but if they could stress the screws on service and maintenance like reparing broken tiles, some fixing, more maintenance in green areas it would be perfect and up to all standards.

Next time if back, I'll choose to stay again in this room "Cariguana" which had the terrace or any of the following rooms Gaital, Manigordo and Caracol.

Stayed: January 2009, traveled with family
1  Thank Tualie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: March 2017, traveled as a couple
Thank Karina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotcv, Director General at Crater Valley, responded to this reviewResponded March 15, 2017
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Additional Information about Crater Valley

Address: Calle Ranita de Oro | Capirita, El Valle de Anton, Panama
Location: Panama > Cocle Province > El Valle de Anton
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in El Valle de Anton
Price Range: $165 - $253 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Crater Valley 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This well-known 8-bedroom Family Estate established by Avelina "Bilo" Gonzalez-Revilla, is one of the most breath-taking properties in all of El Valle. Recently converted to a Bed and Breakfast Resort, its expansive grounds allows for guests to wander the gardens and enjoy the unique collection of Flora. Its serenity intices you to basque by the swimming pool, bird watch, or nap in one of the many hammocks. Expansive RENOVATIONS were completed in April 2013. Each of the Guest Rooms have been standardized and equipped with Air Conditioners, ceiling fans, deluxe linens, down pillows, and duvets. Our staff is available to organize Adventure Tours in the valley, on-site Massages, visit the town's Zoo, world-famous Sunday Market, etc. All you need to do is ask. We are here to pamper you - this is your Home away from Home.... ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crater Valley Hotel El Valle De Anton
Crater Valley Panama/El Valle De Anton

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