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All reviews eco lodge private beach the owner in town playa bluff waves crashing an amazing place solar power cabinas dogs hammocks nature road taxi bocas cooler panama
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Reviewed 17 November 2015

I had the chance to stay there for 2 weeks. Me and my girlfriend absolutely loved it! No there is no refrigerator, the water is not really hot and they ask you friendly to be cautious about your electricity use. But this is part of the whole experience. We wanted to be completely secluded from the civilisation and this is the place to go. Jogging on Bluff beach every morning with practically no one. The sound of the waves from the balcony of our room. Also they have a second kitchen downstairs for the guests. We cooked there pretty much every day and we saved a lot of money this way and actually ate healthier food. Jane and Maxime who were taking care of the place gave us a warm welcome and were always there to give us the best tips about the Island. The restaurant serves excellent food and great drinks! They also have a happy hour were all the guests gather around and I had some really interesting conversation with people all over the world. I would recommend a way to go in town to get groceries. We ended up renting a quad to have the freedom to move around.

Room Tip: Desert Beach
  • Stayed: April 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Muinarc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2015

We stayed for two nights at the Tesoro Escondido hostel/cabin/lodge. The location by Playa Bluff and the view on the sea from the deck were very nice. The facilities are rustic but they have their charm. And the food was good even though the portions were on the small side. Here were for the positive aspects.

First problem : The only tour we booked though this hostel-cabin was canceled without prior notice.
We booked a tour of the jungle (recommended by the staff) for the morning after our arrival. We got up early, walked 15 min to the meeting point and there we learned that the tour had been cancelled and that someone at the hostel/cabin/lodge had been informed. The staff member who had taken care of the reservation of the tour could not give us any explanation. We never knew who did not pass on the info. More surprising, they never offered to book the same tour again (they said they would not recommend trying to make another reservation with the same tour organization) or to book another tour. Being situated in a remote area of the island, you think they would be able to provide you with plenty of activities. But the staff did not seem properly trained to advise any other activity beside walking on the beach and calling you a taxi to go to the town.

Conclusion : Don’t rely on Tesoro Escondido to organise any activity for you.

Second problem : The taxi for the airport we had ordered was 20 minutes late because someone (a staff member or Monique, the owner, who never showed up during our stay) had asked the driver to pick up some merchandise for her/him, apparently at the last minute. We only thought at first that the driver they had called was not reliable (as the tour organization they recommended did not seem reliable), but we understood when we saw the driver unloading a bunch of goods including gas cylinders. The driver was in a rush as he knew he was late, he backed up without checking behind and almost ran over my wife. We were very upset and let the staff member who was waiting for the cab with us (to get the goods) know. Finally, the driver did not take our money for the ride to the airport. He had someone on the phone during the transport, and we assume it must have been a staff member or the owner. My wife could have gotten injured by an angry taxi driver, we had not enough time for the shopping we had planned at the town/airport and the hostel/cabin/lodge was expecting to hitchhike our ride for free.

Conclusion : Don’t rely on Tesoro Escondido for anything.

Not only the service was completely unprofessional but this last incident shows a complete lack of respect for the guests on the part of the management. They should have been more careful with us after the cancelled tour incident, but no, they did not care or maybe more alarmingly they are just plain incompetent.

Post-scriptum : We received an email of apologies from Monique, the owner.

Stayed: October 2015
4  Thank Alexandre L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bocasbluff, Owner at Tesoro Escondido, responded to this reviewResponded 7 November 2015

Hello Alexander
First of course, thanks for staying with us and i extend, again, my deepest apologies for what happened, but while i can, and do, accept responsibility for many things that can go wrong, these two were absolutely and squarely out of our control.
I am pretty much going to rehash my email to you here and here is the explanation:
The taxi snafu:
The day you arrived i got bit by the eye by an insect, and it swelled up and i had to make another trip to the hospital the next day, the day you left.
Because i could not drive, i took a taxi and purchased some groceries, and then he left me at the hospital. he came back at 2pm and it was not clear how long i was going to be there so i told him to go up early.... the road to hell paved with good intention.
Because he had extra time he went to drive someone up the road to Bocas del drago, and i am not sure what happened but he got stuck, and he was in of those cell reception hole and could not call me.
After i received the frantic call from our staff, i tried and tried and actually called another and as soon as i did this he reached to say he was on his way....
I guess he was not quite on his way since i still received another messaged from staff stating you were very displeased. Totally understandable. By then i was nearly as frantic as you i can assure you.
By the time i reached him again he was apparently climbing the driveway, and i told him to please not charge you, i would pay for it, because really, it may not seem like it for you, but we do try hard to make it a good experience. rustic but good.
I also called the airport to make sure you had plenty of time to make your flight which i was told you did..

The turtle group tour snafu:
This is a hard one for us. Because we sure try to help that group out. They are from the same community that used to hunt turtles and get turtle meat and eggs. Many years ago we got some environmental groups together and this group was formed. The little cabanas built and it has been growing but they have a hard time retaining people there. One of our staff, Mary, spent 6 months volunteering her time to teach them english, and we send a lot of people to them during turtle season, and help with donations and what not. When its not turtle season they needed something to do and we helped formulate the jungle tours and went on them and offered feedback etc etc. They are not the most proficient, but usually they try hard, and its important to keep the momentum going that conservation is good and can bring a little income, and turtle meat selling and turtle egg selling is bad.

We are in the third world, on a remote island, on the very much less developed side of the country. And "stuff" here can often happen as you can imagine. If you look at other reviews, while we have our little flaws, we do try to "keep it together". I cannot excuse that none of the turtle conservancy guys texted me, Mary or maxi or jane.... and while i am VERY disappointed, I cannot take responsibility for it either. They did not follow through and then make us look bad on top of it.... The taxi situation, not good either, but i want to point out no one has ever missed a flight or bus due to a tardy taxi. As mentioned above, we do try and stay on top of it.

we know vacation time is a special time, people save to go on vacation, and with our small offering here, we want people to have a good time and certainly enjoy it here. So when its not the case, it is truly disheartening. And I mean that sincerely, because i built this from scratch, and it is important guests have a relatively good experience.
I hope you will forgive us, and i also hope you had some good memories here that will outweigh the jungle tour snafu and the stress the late taxi caused you. I am. overall, very sorry you felt these two incidents reflected on us personally.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2015 via mobile

My daughter and I spent four glorious days in this beautiful and gracious resort. Our secluded and private cove was irresistible and I must say lazy afternoons in a hammock were completely relaxing. All staff was friendly and so accommodating
Monique has gem here, indeed.
Five stars!

Stayed: October 2015, travelled with family
Thank Ruth Ann R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 September 2015

Monique is really very helpful, giving us oodles of info before we arrived.
The place, however, is in need of some basic cleaning (bio cleaning products are a really good option, but they have to be used :)

  • Stayed: December 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank CarmPhilips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 August 2015 via mobile

We stayed at Tesoro for three nights and accommodation-wise it was the highlight of our three week travel through Panama and Costa Rica. The owners were like our substitute parents when one of us got very sick :) They really take good care of you. It's also a good place for dog lovers since there have a bunch of really cute dogs.

Stayed: September 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank Sherida P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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