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“Wish I was there now!”
Review of La Buena Vida

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La Buena Vida
Ranked #2 of 10 Santa Catalina B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 January 2017

My husband, 2 teenagers and I stayed in the Butterfly Villa for 4 nights in December. It was big enough for all of us and we loved the outdoor shower. I chose this one because the boys would have their own beds, but the patio is quite small. Michelle, Michael and all the staff (shout out to Melissa and Ian) were friendly, helpful, and accommodating. They have worked hard to make La Buena Vida homey, environmentally friendly, warm and inviting. We ate several yummy meals there, including a take away picnic lunch for our day at Coiba, had a massage, swung in the hammock, and marveled at Michelle and Mike's beautiful artwork (mosaics, ironwork and construction). I also loved the attention to detail such as the binder full of information about the hotel, the area, and how to make the most of your time in Santa Catalina. The location is perfect for walking to "town" and all the activities. We went diving at Coiba as well as on a snorkeling and birding tour of Coiba (thanks for the recommendation) and they were both highlights of our 2 week trip to Panama. Thanks guys! I hope to see you again one day soon!

Room Tip: The Butterfly Villa only has room for 1 hammock.
  • Stayed: December 2016, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank yonherboyz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michelle M, Owner at La Buena Vida, responded to this reviewResponded 1 March 2017

Thank you guys for noticing :)! I'll be sure to tell Ian and Melissa that all their efforts are being appreciated as well. HOORAY! Coiba! A MUST SEE while here... and yes we still are... so come back again, stay and recommend us to friends!

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Reviews (151)
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8 - 12 of 151 reviews

Reviewed 21 November 2016 via mobile

We enjoyed our stay here. It was exactly what I was hoping for... Quiet, quaint, organic. The only issue we had was with the comfort. It rains a lot there and we really liked sitting on the porch listening to the sounds and unwinding. But neither the bed nor the wooden chairs were comfortable at all. We couldn't sit in one spot for very long. There's no real "bars" to go to and everything shuts down early do it was a little hard to totally relax. The owners were very friendly and willing to help with anything. We drive our car over to Hibiscus Garden one afternoon and that was magical. We also went on a diving excursion with Steam Diving which was well worth the cost.

Stayed: November 2016, travelled as a couple
Thank cactusgirl2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Michelle M, Owner at La Buena Vida, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2017

Thanks Cactus Girl for four stars! We'll have to see what we can do to make those chairs more comfortable. Now that the rain has stopped, everyone is hanging in the hammocks once again which is the perfect place for some R & R.

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Reviewed 11 August 2016

Thanks for a great stay in Santa Catalina!

Feeling home is definitely easy with Michelle and Mike.
Great place to start activities like snorkeling, surfing or just hanging out in the hammock and read a good book.

Breakfast is definitely top-notch!;-)

  • Stayed: July 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Stefanie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2016 via mobile

We had a great time in santa catalina at the lovely small hotel buena vida. The small houses are nicely decorated with mosaic in all colors. The room of the birdhouse is suitable for a family of 4. The room had a patio downstairs and a balcony with fridge upstairs . The staff in very helpfull with information and even gave us a lift when we missed the bus (highly appriciated). You can join yoga classes . We strongly recommand this small creative hotel.

Stayed: August 2016, travelled with family
Thank trudys867
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shogs1, Owner at La Buena Vida, responded to this reviewResponded 11 August 2016

Trudy,
It was a pleasure having you and your family here, such nice people! I heard Mike had to chase the bus down for you! Too funny!
Hope you enjoyed the rest of your holiday and our suggestions.
-Michelle

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Reviewed 12 July 2016

Eight of us, four adults and four kids, stayed at La Buena Vida for two nights in July and fell in love with it. We rented the Casa Del Mar which is a big open-plan bungalow with two double beds, a futon, and a bunk bed. The whole place is custom built by owners Mike and Michelle and the mosaic bathrooms and outdoor shower (whale shark and mermaid!) were out-of-this-world awesome! The full kitchen allows us to cook when we wanted, and the blender allowed for some wonderful impromptu fresh fruit smoothies (with Abuelo rum for the adults!). Whatever we lacked, Mike quickly provided to us from the restaurant which is attached to the back patio area (ice, some plastic reusable storage containers, additional cooking utensils, etc.). You couldn't ask for two more excellent hosts - both Mike and Michelle bend over backwards for their guests. Mike arranged a snorkel trip for us with a local guide that was better priced than anything we could find on our own. Michelle teaches yoga in the Birds Eye Yoga Studio each day, only a few meters up the hill behind the apartment and an exquisite location!

The restaurant serves up wonderful fruit drinks and meals (the fish tacos were awesome), and both Mike and Michelle have great suggestions for eating and drinking around town. You can't lose with this great duo!

  • Stayed: July 2016, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Woodcreeper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shogs1, Owner at La Buena Vida, responded to this reviewResponded 3 August 2016

Thanks so much for this Woodcreeper! Happy guests like you make it easy to host. We were glad to have you, your friends and beautiful daughters! Send more great people our way and maybe we will see you again someday!! Saludos a todos!!!
-M y M

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Additional Information about La Buena Vida

Address: Main Street | 600 Meters From the Beach, Santa Catalina 60745, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: Panama > Veraguas Province > Santa Catalina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 B&Bs / Inns in Santa Catalina
Price Range: ₹ 3,225 - ₹ 7,095 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Comfortable, Artistic Hotel in the heart of Santa Catalina, Panama. All private villas have hot water, A/C and a mini frige. Beautiful garden restaurant (6 a.M. - 2 P.M.) And tree top yoga studio ... more   less 

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