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Reviewed 7 September 2015 via mobile

Showed up, and the keeper had no idea that anyone had a reservation. At least once he called the owner and handed the phone to me I sorted it out. Room is sparse at best, and seems unclean. Have to go to a specific sink to get water that's safe to drink. Had to order dinner from the kitchen since the rest of the island apparently shut down. All they have is fish and chicken filets, despite a menu with many other options. Well, my wife is a VEGETARIAN. So no, this is not looking to be a great place for us to stay. But we'll make due. At least there's a roof.

Date of stay: September 2015
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank Jeffrey M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RanchitoCerrito, Owner at Cerrito Tropical Eco Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 8 September 2015

Thank you for your review.
We do appreciate all comments and wish you had spoken to us with your concerns.

Hope you are still enjoying quiet Taboga and the garden, view from the balcony and the beach. There is some good hiking available also. It is a small beach fishing community of about 700 people.

We do apologize for our property manager calling us but he was confirming everything which is normally what they do. He passed the phone to us since it seemed to him you did not speak Spanish and wanted to offer you English service. On Taboga most people speak Spanish as is in all small rural areas of Panama.

It is clear on the information you received before you reserved that I am not on site all the time and that you would be received by our property manager.

We do not have a vegetarian menu unless we receive a previous request (we did not) - when we know we have vegetarians coming we are very pleased to offer a special menu; vegetarian food is not widely available on the island. In our beach restaurant Calaloo we do have a variety of vegetarian options there, it was open one of the days you were on the island.

We have no control over the other small business on Taboga as to when they are open or not. Often during low season some close during the weekdays.

You rented a Bed and Breakfast room which comes with a private bathroom with hotwater, a queen size bed and split airconditioning, and includes breakfast. A large communal balcony outside with a garden with many tropical birds in the morning and late afternoon. The balcony has a nice oceanview where sometimes whales can be seen. The rooms are cleaned daily by our maids; I can assure you that your room was recently cleaned since people checked out in the morning and they cleaned it at once.

As far as potable water, water on the island is scarce, sometimes comes from a system of wells, sometimes desalinated (plant not running the days you were there) and runs through a system of pipes to get to us. We prefer to offer our guests the options of bottled water or free water from a special filter on your floor (just outside your room) since we want our guests to have the best water available.

Our rates are the most budget friendly on Taboga Island for the room you rented with breakfast included. We had other rooms available had you wished to have something different you could have requested an upgrade. However we did not hear from you about your issues.

Again we apologize for your issues during your stay and hope you enjoyed the tranquility and nature of Taboga of which Cerrito Tropical is surrounded as we are close to the tropical forest, but still offer the oceanview from our balcony.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2015

Today 08/05/15, tried to make a reservation through the phone. They told me that I had to pay 50% of the amount with my visa. I told them I wont give my visa number by the phone. The lady was very insulting and rude. So, I told her nicely to cancel everything. I call Vereda Tropical hotel, and got all the info and reservation without any problem or hassle. Later, I got a call from B & B, and I told them thanks but I already had my reservation somewhere else.

Room tip: Don't be rude. This people need classes.
Date of stay: August 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Service
Thank fixnplanes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RanchitoCerrito, Owner at Cerrito Tropical Eco Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2015

Dear Sir,
We appreciate your comments and apologize for you feeling that the phone service was not acceptable to you.

Please allow us to explain; as in most hotels or bed and breakfast operations, we have a rule of a confirmation deposit to block your room. You can give us your credit card by phone, as hotels all over the world request, or if you are not comfortable with giving the information on the phone we would appreciate an email so we can send you a payment link which you can pay yourself by credit card, or you have the option for a bank deposit. Most recently in North American hotels when I have booked directly myself (not through a service online), I have been asked for full payment to confirm reservations. It appears you were not comfortable with giving details on the phone but you can always ask for our other options.

It has been our experience that when we do not have a deposit that people may not show up when we have cleaned the room, when we have sent our staff to the pier to greet our guests, or when we have booked transport to wait for our guests. We then lose the night, which we could have rented to someone else, and incur the expense of preparing for a guest who made other plans. That is the reason for the deposit.

I apologize for how you felt the lady spoke to you on the phone and she will be made aware. We are fortunate to have her as she is bi-lingual and an expert on the island and Panama in general. This is the first time anyone has ever made a comment about her, normally people love her service. I know that she made a follow up call to you when we had not heard back to see if you wished to continue with the reservation and she was told you would stay elsewhere.

We sincerely hope you enjoy your time on Taboga Island. Check out our restaurant CALALOO which is by the beach near the school.

Have a wonderful vacation.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 February 2015

When you imagine what a B&B on a simple island off the coast of Panama would look like, this is pretty much it. As some others have noted, the beds/linens/towels aren't world class, but they are hardly a disaster. They are simple, and we had zero issue with the accommodations. The upstairs two bedroom has amazing hammocks to sit and and read, and the smaller apartments/rooms are nice as well (we were there with my 18 month old and my parents, so I got a good look at all the rooms). We were extremely pleased with the location and the building itself. In terms of service, it was either fantastic or terrible, with not a lot in between. We were welcomed by a friend of the owner, had great conversation with a couple who had been there for a week, and were assured that on our last day there that our daughter could be placed in one of the rooms for her afternoon nap. The next day we got good directions to a store and the beach, and our dinner that night was incredible (get the garlic fish, you'll thank me later). They even moved us from a one bedroom to a two bedroom and didn't charge us anything for the upgrade. That's the good side. On the flip side, the day we switched rooms they couldn't get ours clean until well after our daughter needed to take her nap, though they had assured us this wouldn't be an issue. There was no hot water pretty much the whole time we were there. The day we were supposed to leave the rooms were all booked, and the person who had promised us at the very worst we could use her room decided it was too messy and told us to talk to the staff since she didn't speak Spanish. The staff did not seem pleased that our child wanted somewhere to sleep, and she ended up in the lobby. The staff decided to speak loudly to us and others throughout the time our child was asleep when it was entirely unnecessary to do so (for the record, I have no issue with them doing their job while she slept, but when the only people you are talking to are my wife and me, I'm pretty sure you can whisper). Our sense was they wanted us to leave so they could clean the area we were sitting in and hoped that if they made enough noise she would wake up and we'd just go. If you don't have any special requests and are looking for a laid back place to stay on a beautiful island, this is a great choice. If you were hoping for anything outside of the ordinary or desire anything upscale, this is not the place for you.

Room tip: Upstairs two bedroom with the hammocks
Date of stay: February 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Chris H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RanchitoCerrito, Owner at Cerrito Tropical Eco Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 25 February 2015

Thank you very much for your review. We appreciate reviews with constructive criticism so that we can help our staff improve.

It was Carnival and we were completely full and the girls did their best under the circumstances to get the rooms cleaned for you, our staff are humble people from Taboga and have no international experience, we do our best to train them and guide them however there are some things that are not in their own culture such as efficiency. It was an upgrade without charge to a much larger two bedroom apartment which takes time. We sincerely apologize for the delay.

The day you left we were also fully booked due to Carnival and could not offer you a late check out to accommodate your daughter's nap, under different circumstances during normal weekends we would have been happy to have been able to offer you that. We are happy she was able to nap on the couch. The cleaning ladies do tend to speak loudly as is the culture of Panamanians in general, although I wasnt there I imagine they spoke that way without considering the circumstances.

Regarding the hot water, all the rooms have an on demand propane gas system which works well after you let the water run a bit, and the heater is new. I dont know if you asked our man Aristides to check it but they were working and have not had a problem. We will check the system. Thank you for letting us know.

We hope you visit us again soon.

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Reviewed 24 December 2014

We stayed there at the end of October and had a lovely time. The owner took us up the hill (which, if you walked up and down it certainly would be good exercise) on the golf cart and they were very friendly and helpful.

I had to change the date several times and Cynthia was very accomodating with our schedule. There was lots of communication between the two of us until we arrived. The rooms were of a nice beach decor and the whole place had a nice beach feeling.

Lynn, a friend of Cynthia's was very helpful and took us on a walking tour of Taboga. We wanted to just relax and this we did. I'm glad it was on the left side of the ferry and not on the right. We liked the quiet of that side of the island.

Their restaurant, Calaloo, was right on the beach and great food. Felt like you were friends from the moment you walked in. I've been back several times with girlfriends because it was: 1) across from the beach and you could rent umbrellas and chairs; 2) a restaurant and bar with good food; 3) bathroom facilities; and last but not least: 4) Cynthia and her staff.

Well done!

Date of stay: October 2014
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank phyzzzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2014

We stayed in the upper level 2 bedroom apartment.
It's furnished with bad thrift store finds. It's clear no money was put into this property. The A/C unit barely in the bedroom barely put out any cold air in the tiny bedroom.
The day we arrived, the kitchen staff had the day off. The manager on duty failed to mention this fact. Another guest told us this info.
The food on the premises is sub par. For breakfast, we received 2 pancakes, 1 egg and a cup of coffee. The server recommended the corvina which wasn't seasoned or tasty.
If you're not a beach baby, there really isn't much to do on this island. Restaurants are in short supply and not very good.
The only saving grace was the internet or we would have been even more bored beyond belief.
You could not pay me to return to Taboga island or B&B Hotel Cerrito.

Date of stay: September 2014
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank SunPrincess2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RanchitoCerrito, Owner at Cerrito Tropical Eco Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 24 September 2014

Dear SunPrincess,
We always appreciate both positive and negative comments because they help us improve.
However it always appreciated to hear these things during the stays of guests so issues can be addressed at that time.
Upon request we would have gladly had the chef come in on his day off and prepare meals for you to your taste. We serve our corvina fresh (caught by the fishermen of Taboga) and offer 2 types of sauce, creole and garlic, both of which are usually very well received.
Regarding the air conditioning not cooling enough, immediately on hearing from the next guest about it they were offered another room and a technician was called and serviced the unit. Had we known your master room was not cool enough, we could have moved you to the second room.
As for the decor, it is a beach accommodation and meant to be airy, spacious, relaxed and family friendly; we hear from many guests that their favorite aspects of the 2 bedroom apartment are the balcony with its hammocks and with the panoramic view of the ships waiting to enter the Panama Canal plus the view of Morro Island and Taboguilla, the harbour, village, the jungle, and the beach.
Regarding the local entertainment on Taboga Island, it is a small, typical village island which people enjoy for the tranquility, the beach, the hiking, the fishing, historic sites. There are watersports available now and a zipline will be coming soon.
We are sorry you did not enjoy Taboga; it is very well described on the internet as being a laid back, very simple, fishing village island with a couple of beaches. Under an hour from Panama City and a great place for tourists to experience local culture.

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