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“Pacific Bay Eco Lodge”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Pacific Bay Resort

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Pacific Bay Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Punta Bejuco
madison ct
Level Contributor
57 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Pacific Bay Eco Lodge”
Reviewed March 22, 2013

We are a family of 5, kids ages 10-16 and we had a very mixed experience here. Everything people have written before us is true, the good and the bad! Yes, it is absolutely astoundingly gorgeous, where else can you be alone on a beach with palm trees, warm water and coconuts in a hammock snorkeling in your birthday suit?! That close to the USA! The wildlife is out of this world, who eats lunch with monkeys and who feeds deer out of their hands? This place is surreal!
But, we were hungry, very very hot (no fan b/c solar power broke), and climbing that hill from our house to the restaurant almost killed us every meal, and even though Frank the owner is a great guy, sometimes we didn't want to eat dinner with him (sorry family vacation). So we decided to rename the spot the Eco Lodge because It is Ecologically very earth friendly, it is also very economically run (I mean frank told us he doesn't let the chef throw out tomato cores, he has to use them in salsa!)and it is a lodge, not a resort- the little houses have 1950's bathrooms with no ventilation so the towels never dry (and the towels are thin), and resort implies luxury which is lacking, "roughing it" is the name of the game here!

Go here, try it if you are wildlife loving, extremely fit (lots of hills), don't care about food, beach loving, hiker who wants to sit in a hammock read and listen to Frank regale you with his stories of yesteryear! It is simply gorgeous scenery

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank antonia j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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61 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Saint Thomas, Canada
Level Contributor
67 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed February 24, 2013

My Rating: 3.9 (but could easily be better)
Highlights: Being the only couple on a secluded beach relaxing in hammocks and enjoying a cooling breeze. Life does not get much better!
Lowlights: Decor
Arranged to get picked up at 3 in afternoon with Frank the owner. Boat was on time and Frank met us in the boat. Kind of confusing which boat is for the resort. About a 30-45 minute ride to resort. We made a beach landing out of the boat so be prepared but a lot of fun. The resort has some very steep climbs so be prepared. Our room was somewhat dated and needed a good cleaning and some repairs. I was surprised to hear that the place was built in the 90’s. Thought it seemed more like the 70’s. The resort itself is secluded and uncrowded. Only 1 or 2 other couples here the 4 days that we stayed. Frank was handy all the times. Food was excellent and varied every day. Lots of fresh fruit. Beer and wine was more expensive than we found elsewhere. No liquor price menu so keep this in mind. Frank is a very interesting person and made our stay far more enjoyable with his humor and hospitality . Think he even gave me a hug when we left and was very kind to us during our stay as we both had been fighting severe colds. Pacific Bay resort is good if you are interested in off grid vacation or into an holistic lifestyle. Some small things could make this resort exceptional. Rooms\decor need to be modernized. Some minor maintenance issues. Could use drinking water in the rooms every day.
We spent a few days on a beautiful beach in a private cove reading and swinging in hammocks with no one else in sight, ever. Not many places that you can do this.
Probably the best deal\value in Panama. Could easily be a 5 rating.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Greg C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Uden, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2013

At the end of December 2012 we stayed a couple of days at the PBR. It is the 3th time we visited Panama and we have visited several places in the last 5 years. The Pacific Bay Resort has become our favourite place to be. The beautiful nature, space, quitness, and very friendly staff made that we felled in love with this little place of beauty in the Pacific.
We certainly will come back!

Jolanda
The Netherlands

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank 353Jolanda353
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, OR
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 17, 2013

Just wanted to add our review that we really enjoyed our stay at Pacific Bay Resort earlier this month. Frank was a gracious and very helpful host, even when our travel plans were thrown off and we had to change our stay somewhat. We really appreciate his dedication to the animals and natural environment on the property, and it is clear that he is not running the resort to become rich, but rather to provide guests with an enjoyable stay while preserving the natural habitat here. The beaches are beautiful and were our first (and best) introduction to the tropical Panama idyll. We saw more animals in two nights here than anywhere else on our trip, and enjoyed swimming and kayaking the area. The staff were great and the food was some of the best that we were lucky enough to try on our entire trip.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Dave_Gr99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, Missouri
1 review
Reviewed December 10, 2012

The Pacific Bay Resort experience is truly amazing. It is more than a hotel or resort, it is truly a unique vacation all by itself.

It all starts with getting there. You truly feel like you a going to the end of the world- the final leg of the journey being a 20 minute boat taxi which drops you off at PBR. It kind of feels like you've arrived on Gilligans Island. No cars, no electricity, no TVs. I was there about 20 minutes when I first heard the unsettling sound of howler monkeys in the distance- as if I didn't already feel like I was isolated enough!

Shortly after arriving my friends and I got a tour of the place. The cabins are surprising nice. Maybe I was expecting to rough it more since I knew their was no electricity and stuff, but the rooms are neat and clean. The solar setup works great and the bathrooms have all the modern conveniences. After settling in we went up and checked out the dining room/bar area. It is a bit of a hike up the hill, but the reward at the top is a spectacular view. You can see the mainland, mountians in the distance, and one of PBRs private beaches up closer.

The biggest surprise of the place is the food. I don't eat meat and had some other dietary requests and was honestly expecting to eat a lot of my protein bar stash. Special diets and remote deserted tropical places usually don't go together. I was totally wrong- the food was truly spectacular. Gourmet cooking. I don't often get out my camera and photograph my food but I did twice in 3 days at PBR. And I can't even tell you what I ate! One of the best dishes I ever had was a vegetable I've never had before (looked similar to cucumber) that was hollowed out and filled with amazing stuffing. It wasn't until I had been there a couple days that I discovered the owner of PBR had previously owned a restaurant in Boston.

My favorite part of the place is the south beach- a park like area with a beautiful white sand beach, hammocks between all the palms by the water, just true paradise. When you get tired of utter relaxation you can explore and see all kinds of beautiful plants and animals. This place is truly unspoiled. I had deer taking bites of apple from my hand, having never dealt with roads and traffic and city people.

By the time I left I felt that the owner- Frank- was a treasured friend and plan to return every year. This place isn't for everybody- it isn't an all inclusive resort with all the amenities. Your hair dryer isn't going to work. Thankfully you won't care though- It is one of the last truly remote off-grid places to get away from all that.

Room Tip: I gave the fitness an excellent rating, even though there isn't one. I think you will agree aft...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank Blake H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City, Panama, Panama
2 reviews
Reviewed November 27, 2012

Its difficult to write this after our first visit over 2 years ago. This time I travelled with my girlfriend. By the time we left after only 2 days there, we left with the feeling that we cannot go back there. Sure we knew there was no TV, aircon, internet.. none of that was a problem, even that the accomodation was embarassingly dated and in urgent need of renovation. You put up with it given that the location is so remote. We are talking basic things;

1. The food - everyone raves about this. Super ordinary experience here, and worst of all not enough of anything. For the time we were there, both of us woke up HUNGRY! Breakfast is too basic and too little, so by the time you make the trek back up to the restaurant at lunchtime, you need a 3 course meal. If you are paying 150 dollars a night, then you dont expect to be hungry at the end of a meal, and when you ask politely (albeit uncomfortably) for more.. you are given a luke warm sancocho which he gave to his staff. Also inedible.

2. The service - our 2nd breakfast. We were greeted by the owner coming to our table at 8.30am to smoke a cigarette next to us while we were trying to eat toast!!!!

3. Drinking water - dont drink it despite what they say! take a closer look at the water through
a transparent glass. Its not clean enough to drink. Probably a big reason why both of us left the place with bad stomachs.

4. Sand Flies - November is a humid month, so they are even worse than normal. Go prepared with a lot of repellent, otherwise you will get eaten alive day and night!!!

5. The owners behaviour towards my partner left us questioning his dignity and self-respect.

I think if you know what to expect, and you catch the owner with a different vibe on a different day, where he cared about service and not about getting your partner into bed with him, then you might have a better time than we did.

In conclusion, the place has fallen from glory in a big way. There are now lots of places in Panama that charge 150 dollars a night, and many of them will leave you far more satisfied than this one.

Before going back for the second time, I was raving about the place and very excited to go back. All I can say is, having been there again, I will not be going back or taking friends or even family there again.

Room Tip: chiriqui or veraguas.. otherwise you'll need a long and very steep walk to get to anywhere..
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank mango1860
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
1 review
Reviewed August 7, 2012 via mobile

Spent two weeks traveling around Panama with my wife and two boys ages 17 and 15. We had a great time exploring the Panama Canal zone, Lago Gatun, the Boca Chica region, Boquete and Bocas del Toro, however we all enjoyed our stay at the Pacific Bay Resort (PBR) the most. We probably saw and did more at PBR in two days than we did anywhere else 
It had a great balance of natural scenic beauty, invigorating activities, relaxation, amazing wildlife and solitude. Early one morning sipping some excellent coffee, I observed a group of howler monkeys making their way from tree to tree around the main lodge, whilst taking in spectacular views of Volcan Baru and nearby island beaches dotting the serene Pacific waters.
One afternoon, while my wife was reading on a swaying hammock strung between coconut palms on her own private beach, and while my boys were catching nice waves on boogie boards at the adjacent beach, I decided to explore the other side of the bay. Walking along the soft yet firm sand, climbing a few rocks, peering into small caves and crossing a shallow sandbar at low tide, I came across some fascinating geological formations where there were about 7 different colored parallel plates of rock jutting out of the sea. I wanted to explore the interior of Frank's daughter's jungle island but felt that would be better left for another time. So, I had to settle for collecting some beautiful sea shells and swimming in the warm ocean waters. 
Frank led us on a private guided tour around the "island" perimeter searching the tide pools for octopi or crabs. Later we kayaked in the calm open ocean amongst sea turtles and we wanted to kayak into the mouth of the river and venture upstream searching for small caiman and sloths but the tide was too low. We had hoped to snorkel at nearby Isla Seca or dive for a lobster dinner, but just did not have enough time. 
Late one evening on our cottage porch we viewed directly overhead both northern and southern hemisphere constellations, while simultaneously enjoying a spectacular lightening storm over the distant Chiriqui highlands, the combination which was uniquely breathtaking.
Despite what I have written, this place is not for everyone. These are not five star accommodations although very clean, spacious and comfortable. Thankfully there is no TV or internet. My biggest complaint would be the slippery cart paths one has to negotiate to get around the property. However, if you are somewhat able-bodied and are not too pampered, if you enjoy natural scenic beauty and a little adventure this may be just the spot for you. Frank is a delightful character of innumerable talents who passion is to ensure that you enjoy this island playland as much as he does. We certainly did and we all hope to be back someday!

Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Richard S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pacific Bay Resort

Property: Pacific Bay Resort
Address: Punta Bejuco, Panama
Location: Panama > Chiriqui Province > Punta Bejuco
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Punta Bejuco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 11
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Also Known As:
Pacific Bay Hotel Punta Bejuco
Pacific Bay Resort Panama/Punta Bejuco

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