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Bocas Villas
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Reviews (71)
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Reviewed 1 March 2012

We (2 couples) stayed here Feb 25-28/12 and thoughly enjoyed it. We found Philip to be a great and nonintrusive host. He was available for any questions and is very informative. The location is very quiet so you can lay back and relax while you feel the stress leave your body. Snorkling and swimming when you want and as often as you want, we had our own gear. Thanks to Brown, we had access to town twice a day if we desired for meals and shopping. the kitchens were adequately supplied for cooking your own meals including a coffee press. The villas are layed out nicely and very comfortable, no more than seven steps to whatever you need - bed, kitchen, shower or ocean. Thanks Phillip, Brown and crew. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. the only minor issue we had is the owners of puna caracol live close by and have a bunch( about 8) of noisy dogs that seem to do a lot of barking. We are dog owners ourselves and found this to be a bit of a bother. Phillip is working to sovle this problem.
Water taxi to bocas del toro - $4.00
Cerveza - $0.53
Bocas Villas - priceless

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank 1Cubralibre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2012

We are puzzled by some of the comments made by visitors to Bocas Villas. Our experience was anything but unpleasant. We stayed at Bocas Villas over Christmas week and it was our first visit to Panama. We came to Panama for a family member's wedding and we chose to stay in a different location than the rest of the guests because we wanted peace, quiet, tranquility, beauty, and relaxation. Also, we wanted to spend some time with each other because we don't get to do enough of that during our busy everyday lives. Bocas Villas was just what we were looking for. From the moment we arrived we were able to begin winding down. On our first boat ride from town we were amazed by the beauty and simplicity of our environment. Brown, our "captain" and guide, dropped us off right onto our little dock. We stepped into our own, private oasis and could just feel the stress melting away. If you are looking for a spot where you can just relax and get away from it all, this is the place. We left only to go into town for breakfast (we loved Lilli's cafe) and to have dinner and stroll around town at night. It should be mentioned that Philip was very accommodating when it came to transportation into town. The times were flexible and we could come and go when we wanted. Considering that the boat was the only means of transport, this never proved to be a problem for us at all. Brown is a treasure - although we don't speak Spanish and he speaks little English, we never had a problem communicating and he was always there to pick us up whatever time we asked him to. One afternoon he even took us to Star Beach and waited while we spent some time there (at an additional cost).The house was clean and comfortable. We chose not to cook but instead enjoyed the delicious local food in town each night. It's true that cooking supplies are limited, but Philip provided a coffee press for us and we had a refrigerator to keep our snacks and beverages cold. Philip was even kind enough to pick us up a case of beer (Balboa) when he went into town ($10 a case - I mean, how could you go wrong?) The only bugs that we were bitten by were the "no see-ums" that came out only at dusk. A little Skin-so-soft would take care of that problem. During the night we left the windows open and we weren't bitten or uncomfortable in the heat. We did use the ceiling fans and the floor fan a couple of nights but never felt like we needed AC. Philip did ask us to try and conserve electricity but never mentioned it more than once. It was no problem for us to turn out the lights when we weren't in a room, but we do that at home - we don't understand why this would be a problem for anyone. Philip's demands were in no way unreasonable. We loved just hanging out on the outside porch all day. We read, swam, snorkeled, napped - and as an added bonus Philip has wi-fi that easily kept us in touch with the person who was watching our pets at home. True, you are not going to have maid service or crisp, new sheets every day but we knew that going in and we were happy to have the privacy and the solitude that Bocas Villas offered. We stayed in the house next to Philip's and he was never intrusive and never showed up in our house unannounced but was around if we needed to ask a question or needed help with something. We would definitely come back to stay here again and highly recommend Bocas Villas to anyone who wants to spend some time away from all the pressures of the real world. And one more thing - the boat ride back from town at night, around 9:00, is AMAZING! There are so many stars in the sky that you will think you are in a planetarium. This is a beautiful place and worth visiting. Hurry up before it is discovered by the rest of America.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Bill H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2012

My girlfriend and I stayed here for three nights over Christmas last year.

The location and houses themselves are just wonderful. Reading some of the reviews it seems odd to nme that people were diappointed that they weren't getting a "hotel experience". The reason we chose Bocas Villas was becuase it wasn't a hotel. There are four houses that can only be reached by boat and the houses are large and comfortable. Sure, they could benefit from an additional towel and a couple of extra pieces of silverware but I would see the whole point of Bocas Villas as being somewhere to hide away for a few days. It was perfect for my girlfriend and I to have some time together away from our usual busy schedules with very few other people around to bother us! When we did need Philip for anything, he was usually around and able to help and were shuttled back and forth to Bocas Town whenever we needed anything.

In terms of cost, I'm still trying to get to grips with just how much of a bargain the place was. We spent 15 days in total in Panama and stayed at various places ranging from a $20 a night hostel to the Panamonte Inn which is renowned as one of the country's best hotels (and was more than twice teh price of Bocas Villas). Bocas Villa's was definitely the best value for money and the house and amenities aside, money can't buy a sunset like the one we watched from our deck on Christmas Day!

If you're looking for a place to escape and enjoy spending time with your travel companion(s) then in my opinion Bocas Villa's is perfect and good value for money. It may not be the Waldorf Astoria but why go to Panama if that's what you want?

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank David S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 January 2012

The villa was truly beyond any of our expectations. Without a doubt this stay made the trip unforgettable. The location enabled us to take in the town of bocas del toro while providing us our own space from the crowds. The views from throughout the villa were breathtaking. The owner was great, helpful with recommendations, and really down to earth. Just as the s

  • Stayed: January 2012
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Thank TWRLR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2012

We just got back from 4 nights at Bocas Villa in December.
This place is not 'luxury' as stated on the website. Its more like camping for $180/night if that's your thing. You'll get one towel for the week and there isn't much else inside each hut.
There are AC units in each hut ,but you are forbidden (he hides the remotes) to use them because of the owner's energy concerns. He should remove the AC units from each hut.
Don't plan on a 'hotel like' experience if you plan to visit and if you are susceptible to bug bites at night, look for another place, as you'll have to keep windows open at night to attempt to stay cool, and the bugs will get you.
The owner is a young kid who doesn't really have a concept about running a hospitality property and anything remotely customer service related. He'd be better of selling the place to someone who knows how to run a business.



Per the web site (NOT!):
Bocas Villas provide luxury and comfort using renewable resources.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
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5  Thank rms9004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bocasvillas, Owner at Bocas Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 25 January 2012

Despite my age I have an almost savant-like ability to describe our vacation rentals and services: “this is a rental villa with an open floor plan, built over the water along a Caribbean reef with great views over the bay of the mainland mountains and beautiful sunsets. We include airport pick-up and a roundtrip shuttle to town twice per day.”

I have looked over our vrbo.com listing and our own website to check for anything misleading. Nowhere do I say this is a hotel with full service, I don’t say that there is a/c available with the rentals, and I don’t say that there is maid service. We provide linens, a set of towels and a set of beach towels, kitchenware, some bath and dish soap, and toilet paper. The a/c remotes are not hidden; anyone is welcome to look at them whenever they want. Whether the a/c units are installed or not, they are not available during the rental because they are unsustainable with solar electricity and the rental is a solar powered house.

If anyone is here for more then a few days I expect that they will need new linens and towels and that is available upon request when they are needed. There is no maid service so I did not ask these two guys daily what they needed washed. If someone has communication issues its no big deal. An effective example prompt would be to say: “good morning, we could use some new towels and linens because ours have gotten a little dirty” (explanation optional). A typical response will be: “no problem, if you don’t mind I will wash yours now and hang them up and they will be dry in a couple of hours.”

This is a rental house for you and your loved ones to come and share a quiet vacation, we provide needed services to get you here (airport pick-up) and get you to and from town (included daily trips). I am here onsite to make sure the utilities are functioning because we supply all water and electricity (which is why usage is always a concern, do your best), and to make sure the promised services are provided. I am happy to help any guest with requests, if they need any advice or logistical help. There are not many frills or fancy decorations in the house, the attraction here is the great view, the quiet, access to clean swimming water, and a living reef to snorkel onsite.

If you prefer a/c to a cool ocean breeze, this rental is probably not for you. If you prefer a hotel room to an over the water rental villa, then you should probably book at a hotel. If you think that a tent is the same thing as an over the water rental villa, then I think you are confused about what a tent is or vice versa.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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