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9 - 14 of 45 reviews
Reviewed 17 February 2014

After extensive reading,and research on where to stay, we opted for El por Venir, which was on of the options on the package we got in panama city. The serenity of the place, and just relax is the whole reason of going to san blas. The service from the lady in charge, can be confrontational at times. Most of the other staff, were willing to help out in any way they could. Food is ok, dont expect anything great. The island is located close to another island which is the major town, and some crafts can be purchased, and cheap lobster at $6 per lb. Choose your dinner, and bring it back to the hotel, they will cook it up for you (remind them NOT to overcook it..!). No lights, a generator provides electricity from say 4pm to 9pm. After of which, they leave one light on in the dining area, for those hanging around having drinks, socializing etc. Theres an airport landing on the island, so a flight or two might come in daily. The rooms have there dividing walls, but the roof area at the top is a shared connected space, so a cough and other affairs can be heard from afar. But then we really don't know which room its coming from anywayz. I heard of several people over paying for similar service/level hotels in the area. seems like a safer bet here. In the daytime you can go on tours, and visit other islands as well. My overall ratings is in comparison to other hotels in the area, considering, otherwise all would be poor. The islands are beautiful, and worth the experience. After we went to cartagena, colombia, and boy i wish i spent MORE time in san blas :(

Date of stay: December 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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8  Thank bigone2k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2013

I stayed at hotel Porvenier for 3 days, booked it through the Happy Landing Travel agency in Panama City. We knew that things are very different from our lifestyle,it`s the land of the Kuna people.
We arrived out of the season so no noise from neighbours or planes. Everyday we made boatrides to very very beautiful islands, on some we were the only ones (with a Kuna family) and others with more tourists.
2 times we visited a Kuna village which was very interesting. The food was very good -3 homecooked meals with fresh fish. The room was o.k. not dirty but very rustic. Private cold water showers and toilet, bring a moskito net for the bed. Electricity is there at night.
Backpacker of well-rounded traveller will apreciate this accomondation.
We drove with a car (only 4 wheel drive cars with experienced drivers) from Panama City and had to wait for a boatride to the hotel, it seems not very organized but somehow the Kuna people manage it to get you there.

Date of stay: July 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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6  Thank Brigitte G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 February 2013

 The hotel boat transported more  people than there were life jackets on board.  All baggage is placed under a plastic tarp and be warned that if sea is rough or the tide is high you will get wet and those on the sides and in the front will be drenched.   We were shocked with the poor conditions of the place.  There was a washed up boat refrigerator near the landing and discarded plastic bottles.  There are different bed arrangements in the rooms and though the rooms are not very clean and the bathroom shower head is a pipe of cold water there are private bathrooms.  The walls are 3/4 brick with braided palms on the upper which does not filter the light or noise from adjoining rooms.  Try to get an end room if possible therefore you have only 1 neighbor.  The sheets are very old and do not stay on the mattress.  There is no way to lock the bedroom doors so I chose to carry my camera and wallet.  The menu is the same every meal but the ingredients are fresh and we were served cabbage slaw, rice, fish, chicken, or octopus.   The hotel boat takes you to a different island everyday for swimming.  There is a nice swimming area and the runway is not being used and a great place to walk at night and enjoy the stars.  The owner speaks English and the Kuna extended family live on site.  Everyone is very friendly and the ladies can share their knowledge of needlework and beading.  The generator runs from 4pm to 10 am.  In summary this is a very primitive living condition and it is as close to living in a Kuna village as you can get.

Room tip: Rooms face common court yard and wing with back to dock have back doors and clothes line. Around 3:30pm. keep an eye open for the power cord to appear on the floor next to bar as everyone wants to charge electronic devices. No Internet service
Date of stay: January 2013
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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2  Thank bettyIllinois
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2013

Having sailed from Cartagena and arrived on the morning of 31st Dec with no accommodation booked, we were left with no option but to stay at Hotel El Porvenir it seemed. Our yacht captain booked us and our four fellow sailing companions (2 Dutch ladies and a German couple) into a bungalow each.

Bungalow is a generous description of a room akin to a prison cell with 3 beds (admittedly 2 of which had mosquito nets) and a "bathroom" in the corner which was effectively a battered sink, a rickety toilet and high mounted cold water tap in one section of the room with only a shutter separating it from the sleeping area - if you don't know your travelling partner intimately, you soon will!

But the real slap in the face was the service, or lack thereof, from the Kuna owner. We might have thought he had something against us personally or just didn't like the British but within 90 minutes of arriving on his property, he had offended not only us but also our Dutch and German companions! He was rude, offhand, unfriendly and generally deeply unhelpful at every turn.

Fortunately we wandered over to the other side of the island and found the cabanas which regrettably were fully booked (we would have merrilly written off our $40 payment to Hotel Porvenir and paid again to stay in the cabanas which were nicer, cleaner, better situated and better equipped while still basic) but introduced us to the lady who ran the establishment who went out of her way to help us at every turn. We subsequently booked our island tours through her, our return transfer to the mainland and spent new year's eve at their party....and yes, you guessed it, Scrooge Kuna at the Hotel El Porvenir had organised absolutely nothing to celebrate the coming of 2013 with the whole place shut up in darkness by 11pm.

If you have to stay on Porvenir (and there is no real reason to) then be sure to pick the Cabanas over Hotel El Porvenir....

Room tip: all rooms the same
Date of stay: December 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Hackney13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2012

The first thing you have to remember about San Blas is that it is expensive! At this place, we paid USD50 per night, per person. This included 3 meals a day, accomodation, and transport to a random island for the day.

Food: was fine for one day - but then you realise that it is the SAME dish for every meal. So if you are planning on spending more than 2 days here, maybe go smowhere else. The food is acceptable; nothing more. (I think you might be able to pay more to get a lobster dinner - if you like lobster, definitely do this!). It surpised me that beers and wine were no more expensive than they were in Panama City.

Accomodation: was a much lower standard than a lot of places we've been to throughout central america. But it was clean, and comfortable.

Day trips: were fairly random - noone seemed to know where we might end up for the day, but that didn't matter. A lot of the islands were amazing (we really liked Pelican Island - but get there early before the ice-cooler brigade turn up!). Chici was a briilant boatsman/guide/host!

When we stayed, they were building the new runway, so it was NOISY from about 6am.

There are probably better islands to stay on than this one, but if you end up here it's not the end of the world.

Date of stay: July 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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6  Thank PLPKN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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