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“Isolation is a mixed bag!”

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Villa Tavida Lodge & Spa
Ranked #1 of 5 Penonome B&B and Inns
Reviewed February 11, 2012

Absolutely exquisite setting and the grounds and facilities were well attuned to the mountainous lush area. For spa lovers who seek peace and it is. Perfect serene place. Rooms were well appointed (the wifi worked in our corner room mostly) without TV and that kind of thing. The hammock (so Panamanian) in our balcony with a great view ) was fabulous. We got a ride to the waterfall and had. Very restful, low keyed escape from the modern world. Food was indifferent at best (I got sick and never do). Staff very responsive and helpful except in the restaurant where service was limited. We were grateful to be there given that we were unable to go to our first destination due ro roadblocks by Indian protesters!

  • Stayed: February 2012
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4  Thank Passportalwaysready
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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18 - 24 of 61 reviews

Reviewed January 30, 2012

As we headed into the lush, green hills above Penonome, we had great expectations for our 4-night stay at this “eco hotel.” The website and some TripAdvisor reviews lead us to believe that this would be a highlight of our Panamanian trip. Yes, the Posada offers a lush tropical setting filled with beautiful flowers, birds, and butterflies. Yes, the Posada’s views are quite wonderful. But for us, that’s as far as it went. When we arrived, the receptionist checked us in and pointed to a small cottage at the bottom of the hill. She didn’t offer to show us our accommodations or help us with our luggage. Like a budget US motel, the very basic room featured a king-sized bed, 2 night tables with lamps, and a bamboo structure with two shelves to hold our shoes and clothes. There were no drawers and only two hangers. When we asked for more, the receptionist sneered. The best part of the room was the view from the balcony with its one hammock. For dinner, we considered our options. There were none. The Posada was very isolated and there were no other places to eat. In the enclosed dining room, there was only one other couple. The wait staff consisted of one person and when she took our order and served our meal, it was if she were doing us a favor.

The next morning, during the included breakfast, we discussed our activity options. Without a pool, without horses, without driving 50 minutes to the nearest town with a market, there was only one thing to do: hike. We looked over the Posada’s menu of hikes. Every one featured a fee for a guide as stated on the Posada’s website: Tavida Waterfall - $25.00/person and Cerro La Vieja Hiking - $20.00/person. We’ve hiked all over the world without guides and without charges and so we asked the receptionist if there were any maps of the area. She gave us one and showed us where the trails were. We drove for about 20 minutes and parked the car at the bottom of a steep, rocky hill. From there, we made our way up the hill in search of the trailhead. When we arrived, there was a high, chain-link fence with a giant padlock on the gate. A sign read: Solo Para Huespedes de Cerro la Vieja (for Sole Use of Guests of Cerro la Vieja). We were guests, but we were not allowed to hike without paying for a guide. With that, we marched down the hill, drove back to the Posada, and immediately checked out.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Winger2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2011

The Cerro Las Brujas Ecological Hotel, is situaded in a high mountain in the Penonome city in Panama. The hotel has tiny houses, with an spectacular view of the mountain, but, that's all it has to offer, is boring, the owner spend all day walking around the premises, trying to get the customers to spend their money in massages provided by a person with no licence, to buy drinks, wich is all you have to look forward, you can not smoke in premises, and music is not allowed. He locks the compound early in the evening and you find yourself wondering what to do or thinking about leaving early in the morning. He never has a smile and constanly watches people. The hotel advitases water falls wich you have to drive at least 45 min throuh the mountain and later walk anothe 30 in order to find it, and the horses that they speak so loud about, dosen't exist.

Room Tip: Try a Resort or another hotel
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  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Itzel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2011

Having read the reviews here i would agree with 98% of them, This is a retreat for adults, i don't advise bringing children really, it is quiet, beautiful, tranquil and lush, no tv's , no blaring radios, just the sound of nature. The staff are wonderful as is the owner. Yes there is a charge of $3.00 regarding the waterfall but it is not for viewing the falls it is for the maintanence of the bridge and the hammocks that you use whilst being in this wonderful place. $3.00 is nothing, and with regard to one particular reviewer , it is clearly noted your station in life, re public defenders, teachers etc, yeah yeah we get it , your important. Perhaps your arrogant attitude is what stopped you all, in having a most wonderful experience. No red carpet for you ? As i said , it is not the place for children and especially those that are running around unsupervised touching antiques etc belonging to the retreat. They are there to view and to add ambience not to play with. Please remember this is a spa/retreat, so people are getting massages, doing yoga, being peaceful, so yes you would be restricted at times as to where you go on the retreat when these events are taking place. CONSIDERATION is a word some people need to understand and obviously dont. This place is magical, so calming, so peaceful, a secluded slice of heaven here in Panama. The staff are wonderful and very accomodating and helpful. The prices are very fair and dont be afraid to venture outside of the retreat as penonome is a wonderful place to explore. If you need something, just ask, if you want to know something, just ask, dont expect 5 star cooking, you wont get it, but you will get great food and great service. We will be heading back there in the coming months.

Room Tip: They are all great
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  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank WellHeeledAussie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2011

We visited this lovely eco-spa twice in March with guests and family from the U.S. (We are residents of Panama City.) Beginning with the reservation, the service was wonderful, especially that in the spa itself. Staff knocked themselves out to be helpful. Our rooms, while simply furnished, provided spectacular views of mountains and nature. The setting is perfect--nestled in the mountains and surrounded by gorgeous vegetation with wildlife and birds galore. Spa services, especially massages by Jose Antonio, were great. The food, with ingredients grown organically in the hotel's own gardens, was delicious and healthy. We plan to visit the Posada many times in the future, not just with guests, but by ourselves, whenever we need a quiet, relaxing, blissful experience. It's a winner!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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3  Thank PanamaCityCurtimom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 29, 2011

This place is a gem. Breathtakingly beautiful place, warm and friendly staff, delicious food, comfortable accommodations - all at an incredibly reasonable price.

This was the best place I stayed at during my Panama trip. The rooms are extremely comfortable with air conditioning that really works well and a shower with plenty of hot water.

My day at the waterfall was my favorite day of my entire trip. It was so incredible that I stayed a little too long and wound up with a sunburn. But the awesome Yazmina came to my rescue with some aloe lotion. True hospitality at its finest!

The food was fresh and delicious. I especially enjoyed the fresh pineapple smoothies they made!

Topping off my stay was a very needed and truly fabulous massage from Juan. I emerged totally relaxed and renewed.

I would recommend that you schedule your stay during the week if possible as this place can get very busy. I arrived during the crazy Easter weekend, and it was a bit noisy with children then, but once the crowds left, it was heaven on earth.

Although there is much more in Panama I would like to see, I would jump at the chance to go back to this extraordinary place!

Stayed: April 2011, traveled solo
3  Thank Marciphoto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2011

How about a yoga retreat but instead of it being by the ocean it being in beautiful mountains of Panama? Initially, I was quite suspicious of the location but in the end absolutely loved it! Our small group of yogis stayed for 5 nights at Posada Ecologica Cerro la Vieja where we enjoyed yoga, spa, bird watching, local trips and surrounding beauty.
If you are looking for a combination of peacefulness and adventure Cerro la Vieja is the place to visit.
Peacefulness: The resort itself was great: clean, spacious, quiet, and enjoyable for the eye as it’s surrounded by mountains and greens. Apparently, the place is very popular among bird watchers and nature photographers. The owner of the resort, Don Alfonso has an organic farm and all the food was prepared using that produce - very healthy and delicious.
Yoga and adventure: We had a morning and a night yoga classes (on a platform built specially for yogis) and travelled around during the day. Our group was quite adventurous. After kicking the days with an intense yoga class we were travelling everywhere that was within a reasonable driving distance of 1-2 hours. We visited a gorgeous waterfall, petroglyphs, a local crafts fair, organic farm where the growers showed to us how they get organic black and white pepper and manually pollinate vanilla trees and of course the Pacific ocean beach. The drive around was mostly on a rural road among the houses of indigenous people which chickens, cows, dogs crossing the roads and people walking up and down in between the villages. After a busy day, a relaxing restorative yoga and a healthy meal were rewarding.
Thank you to Cerro la Vieja for hosting our yoga group and offering us great opportunities of exploring this naturally beautiful country!

  • Stayed: April 2011
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1  Thank MarSmir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Villa Tavida Lodge & Spa

Address: Chiguiri Arriba | Urbanización Tavidal, Penonome 0229, Panama (Formerly Posada Ecologica Cerro la Vieja)
Location: Panama > Cocle Province > Penonome
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Penonome
Price Range: $162 - $192 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Villa Tavida is a nature reserve, protected by its owners for 25 years. We are a unique hostel with 7 comfortable rooms overlooking the waterfall Tavida. Our Spa offers the visitor varied options to achieve well-being, incorporating new methods that work in the human body in an integral way. Our services are oriented to promote environmental, cultural, and economic well-being. Villa Tavida Lodge is located in the mountains of Penonomé, in the province of Coclé. The accommodations have air conditioning, flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a private bathroom with toiletries. Some have a balcony and / or patio. We have free private parking. There is also a restaurant. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Posada Ecologica Cerro La Vieja Hotel Penonome
Villa Tavida Lodge & Spa Panama/Penonome

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