Playa Ismito, Isla ColonVery good 79%
This is a nice room in a quiet, convenient location near a beach and restaurants. The grounds, with a tower you can climb and rest in a hammock are beautiful, and the woman who checked us in was very friendly and helpful. The only thing is we had to pay $1 for towels.. not much, but it usually comes with the room, and we never found soap. Still, good experience on the whole, and there was a mother cat with kittens.
The Cabanas Estefany is 30 minutes drive from Bocas De Toro town, its located between two beautiful beaches in particular Playa Estrella were you can enjoy the sun, great swim, fresh food and happy music from local people, Paradise ! The Cabanas Estefany is the only public accommodation in the area and has a good structure, Unfortunately, our stay has been spoiled by the staff management as the place run out of cold water, light, toilet paper, internet connection, food options... but, most of all: the staff didn't seems to care... ...and the local people were to be blame for their negligence. Chance the management! !the hostel could offer ten times better!
"Spanish by the Sea" has two properties. One where the school is based and has lots of corners where lessons are taken. I, myself, didn't take any lessons and I guess that is why I was given a room in the other property. The people running the hostel are friendy and helpful, the rooms, kitchen areas and bathrooms are cleaned daily. I did stay in the school part for the first night and I would say that the building is older and therefore the bathroom (shared) is decidedly less comfortable than the shared bathroom in the other building. Everything is a bit older and more tired. However, I think there is a better atmosphere in the old part. Well, there is an atmosphere and there is none in the new building. It felt like a shared house rather than a hostel but one where you don't necessarily see your house mates. There also doesn't appear to be much of a social focus. Of course, I understand that it is also up to the individual to socialise but because the office is at the old part there is more activity there qnd it is there that there are posters put up about tours etc. People are more encouraged to congregate and meet. I rarely ran into people in the new building. Physically the new building is nicer, without doubt. THere are lovely balconies with hammocks, the kitchen is clean and well equipped. THere are only 4 rooms. There is a sitting and dining area. It is a really nice building. Very near the airport so the planes can feel a bit close occasionally but I didn't find the noise a problem at all. If you are with friends or in a couple it is probably perfect. If you want to meet people it isn't so easy. But maybe I should have stayed in a dormitory and maybe it was just the week I was there. Position-wise both are in good positions. About 10-15 walk from eachother but Bocas is tiny and both are 5-10 minute walk from the main square. Far enough away from what hustle and bustle there is to be able to get a quiet night's sleep but a very easy walk home after going out for the evening. Perfect positions. Overall I would stay there again. The rates were incredibly reasonable. There are not many places you get a clean and comfortable room with a clean shared bathroom (cold water) for just $18/£11 a night.
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