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“Paradise in the Jungle. The Best Bed & Breakfast in Panama.”

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Monkey Lodge Panama
Ranked #2 of 79 Panama City B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
USA
Level 4 Contributor
22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Paradise in the Jungle. The Best Bed & Breakfast in Panama.”
Reviewed 28 June 2012

My wife and I ended our 2 week trip to Panama with 3 nights at The Monkey Lodge. The most relaxing time we had in Panama. Owned and operated by Fabrice & Sabrina you will feel like this is your own personal resort. Sabrina will try to get you fat with her wonderful home cooking with more than generous portions. Fabrice will take you on a boat tour of The Panama Canal that is beautiful and very informative. A true jungle explorer, Fabrice will teach you everything there is to know about Panama and take you on an amazing journey that you will soon not forget. Water, ships, monkeys, birds, crocodiles. Wonderful time. There are many other tours available from Fabrice, as well. All well worth the cost. The bungalows are basic but that is part of the charm. Hot water in the shower and air conditioning that works well. There is a mini bar in the room. The beer, sodas, & waters cost less than any bar or restaurant. The monkeys are adorable. You will meet the curious howler monkey baby, Babu, when you arrive, as well as Zook, the dog. There is also the cutest hairless dog named Rosa. Be informed that you are in an isolated area where it is not practical to travel on your own. For the ultimate in relaxation and tours this is the place. Take the tours. Relax around the pool. Enjoy the kindness and hospitality offered by your new friends, Sabrina and Fabrice.

Room Tip: Get one of the bungalows with the air conditioning.
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  • Stayed June 2012, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank Michael E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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209 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
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  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Pender Island, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 May 2012

We stayed at Monkey Lodge in Panama during the last week of April, this year. (It was our second visit to Panama and the lodge -- we were also there in February of 2011).

This year we opted to spend our entire time booked into the lodge, but went on three different excursions, organized entirely through the lodge (including 2 days in the San Blas islands).

We were well taken care of by all of the family throughout our stay.

The accommodations are clean and comfortable, the grounds and pool very private and lovely. We were well fed (more food than I could eat!)

Excursions to various areas in Panama are well organized. Pick up from and to the airport can be arranged also.

Travel into the city from the lodge can be lengthy due to some heavy traffic congestion, but my own feeling is that a day in Panama City itself is enough -- there are far better things to do in Panama than spending time in the city.

Rates are reasonable at the lodge, and the excursions are effortless to arrange on the part of the traveller staying there (I'm quite certain that arranging these excursions on ones own would be onerous and likely far more costly).

Lastly, but of course always important, the hosts at the lodge (the entire family and those who work with them) make one feel comfortable. They are friendly, kind and warm.

Trish Graham (Pender Island, British Columbia

Room Tip: All cabins are in the same locale, and do not differ.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank kilsbyt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Panama City, Panama
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 May 2012

So this unique French family find some land and within four years have it turned into a lovely and idiosyncratic combination of jungle & hotel. Starting with just fir trees, Sabine has added palms and blossoms that attract hummingbirds, butterflies and lizards alike. She's redesigned the house and added a pool and the cabins, which are quite delightful and fully equipped with fridge, safe and whatever else you might need to be comfortable. It's a fairly lengthy drive from the heart of the city and I was picked up by mother Sabine & son Max within an hour of the agreed time. The fee approximated with what you'd pay to be picked up from the airport. When we got to the property, I was introduced to the monkeys and the family just happened to be assisting a local vet with a baby squirrel who'd lost its' parents. Seeing the smallest monkey, Babou, playing with the little foundling was an animal lover's delight. I was already hooked and ready to relax into this 'other' world.
With hot water in the shower (wow, this IS Panama, after all - it's not always available) and a spacious mosquito netted double bed in your fantasy hut, you can wander between it and the family home in relaxed ease.
I slept wonderfully to be woken by a birder's fantasy chorus. I sat outside in my robe and watched wild monkeys play outside of Monkey Lodge and their delightful games were a lovely way to start decompressing. As I was the only guest, I was served brunch. Being a vegetarian caused a few problems, but Sabine did her best to accommodate me with toast, crepes & omelette. Really good au lait coffee was also much appreciated. As I'd already done most of the trips they offered, I decided just to unwind and chill. Incoming visitors were equally laid-back and the pool was a delightful magnet in the late afternoon when humidity was at its' worst.
I would not particularly recommend this as an excursion source (prices were a little high), and if you're a partier, you'll feel rather isolated if you don't have your own car and agenda, but for a little luxury and a break from backpacking, well... I felt in heaven. Not for those with animal allergies, but a true delight for the remainder of us.
I only met Fabrice briefly, but Sabine & Max were most friendly. Max is very mature for his age and helped me find my final destination with unflagging charm despite having an important rugby match in which to participate.
He's learning the hard way, business first.
While not expensive (it is more so when you add in the $30 each way for the drive - you're about half way between Colon & Panama City), this is not an option for those with a slim pocket book.

Room Tip: My cabin did not have a/c, as I understand the rooms in the main house do. However the overhead fan...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank HawaiianArtWorks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
seattle
Level 6 Contributor
331 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 291 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 April 2012

The location is quite near Panama City, about 20 minutes drive. It is in a peaceful green setting, in the jungle, and very comfortable. The bungalow we stayed in was very clean and from the window with could see the monkeys playing in their spacious free area. The pool is refreshing and the French home made meals are very good. The owners are truly great people and they made us feel like family. They love the monkeys they rescue and they take care of them with genuine care. We were allowed to comb a small monkey who loves to be combed and that was a memorable experience. The owner also organizes tours for his guests and with him we saw a lot in one day: Gatun Lake, the canal, monkey island feeding bananas to the monkeys spontaneously coming by the boat, kayaking along the river, a swim at the base of a remote waterfall, a visit to the Embera Indians. His organization and his care are top quality. We would like to go there again.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank laurapoint
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orangeville, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
336 reviews
126 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 191 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 March 2012

We stayed here for 3 nights. Arrival from the ferry - were met, as planned by Max, the son of the owners who drove us (for a price) to the Lodge.

The little cabins are lovely...nicer than we expected. We had hot water in shower, comfortable bed and fridge/safe. The grounds are really nice...clean pool with nice lounge chairs. There is also a covered area with hammocks and chairs as well.

Breakfasts were delicious and more than ample.

We had two dinners at the lodge. Both were delicious and about the same price as dinner/drinks in Panama City at a nice restaurant.
The only problem was Dinner #2 was served really late...we were told 7:30 but we did not eat until after 8:30 and only after we asked when dinner might be coming.

Some previous reviews indicated that guests feel like they are visiting someone's home. I can see how this might be true. When we were there, a group of 4 from France were certainly made to feel that way but the other guests, including us, felt like outsiders.

We went on two of the expensive tours that overall, we would not recommend.
After the first one, we should have cancelled Day 2 and just hung out at the lodge.

1. The first one was pretty good...although more than we usually pay ($110.00 each) for day trips and we have travelled pretty extensively. We were driven to the boat launch, taken on a boat trip, saw and fed monkeys (which we have mixed feelings about - fun & good pictures, but not recommended by eco-tourists or Lonely Planet - we wish we had not done so after reading more about it afterward). We went to a little hut in the lake, lounged, had a delicious lunch, some people swam and we then went on a kayak trip for a few hours - ending at a little waterfall where you can swim if you are brave. We then went to visit an Embera Village where there were some handicrafts for sale.

The problem with the tour is that there was really not much information provided, about the canal, the flora/fauna and especially about the village (ok, nothing there). We had really hoped to learn more about all of these areas and were disappointed.
We were also not told to bring money for the handicrafts. And, we gave candy to the children which is also not recommended...I don't think they see a dentist much.
The pace was also really, really slow. A lot of just hanging out which we can do for free on our own time. The other annoying thing was that Fabrice and the French family really kept playing slapstick humour and as a result, there was a lot of noise all the time, which prevented us from seeing many birds or wildlife.

2. Second tour was even more expensive $150.00 each.

First, we had to ask all the questions about what time, what to bring etc...because the hosts seemed too busy entertaining the other guests to remember to inform us of anything.
We had to wait for breakfast in the morning, after getting up early and it was not as ample as on previous days.
We were driven to the train which was a nice journey (but you can do independently).
Picked up in Colon and driven around a bit...but hardly any information provided.
Driven to Portobella which is really interesting and some information given but we had to read a lot more later to really understand the history. Definietly see the video IF Fabrice offers - it is helpful.
Then, we went for lunch in another village. We arrived at 11:45 but did not eat until after 1pm. We round out later that the kitchen was not ready that day because of construction but instead of doing an alternate activity or eating elsewhere...we just hung around and hung around...on a beach littered with garbage (at least if it was nice, we could have walked and swam).

After lunch, we went on a boat. First, we went to the mangroves, where we learned we were swimming (no information...we called it the mystery tour).
The water was nice and clear.
Then, back in the boat to another dock. We think we are getting out but what for? My partner asks does she need shoes or her shorts? Fabrice says maybe...depends on her feet. Turns out we are going to a little bar? Why?
No information.

Back in the boat. Now we go to the Isla Grande...for what...another bar (we had thought we might be exploring it or swimming or learning the history???). Good grief. I ask how long we are going to be here so we can at least walk and see the island. Fabrice tells us 30 - 35 minutes and we arrive back exactly at this time, after walking the little strip which was a bit interesting (lots of work to do on this island...lots of garbage and junky houses).
When we arrive back, Fabrice informs us he is going with the French family to look at a house for sale. What??? It is already past the time we are supposed to be back at the lodge. We are not invited. 40 minutes pass before they return. We could not even walk anywhere else because we had NO idea when they might return. We were really, really annoyed by this point. What a waste of money.

We take the boat back to the van where it still takes ages to get going anywhere.
It is a long ride back to the lodge - we even have to stop to go to the bathroom again because we are now traveling in traffic time.

By the time we get back, we were hoping dinner was ready (it was after 7:30) so we could eat and then crash in the cabin. Nope...dinner was not even started...we were told 9PM and then 8:30 when we looked peeved. We declined and had some snacks in our room.

We had also asked Fabrice to stop at an ATM as they only take cash...but he did not so we had to take a taxi there the next day.

We think the Fabrice rests on his supposed charm more than actual knowledge.
We would not recommend the tours.

Enough venting...my recommendation would be to either stay here for a relaxing time only at the lodge OR pay more to stay at Gamboa Resort which includes tours.

Room Tip: Pick a cabin for sure. They are nice. However, the air conditioner was REALLY loud so bring ear plug...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank TLAOrangeville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Monkey Lodge Panama

Property: Monkey Lodge Panama
Address: Carretera Madden | Puente Roque, Panama City 0857, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 79 B&Bs / Inns in Panama City
Price range (per night): ₹ 7,577 - ₹ 8,540
Hotel Class:3 star — Monkey Lodge Panama 3*
Number of rooms: 3
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Monkey Lodge is an authentic paradise, located at 20 minutes from Panama City Center, and 10 minutes from the Panama Chanel and neighbor to Soberania National Park.Monkey Lodge is a Bed & Breakfast with four cabins with all the amenities and comfort (refrigerators with drinks, safety box, privet bathroom and air condition on three of them). Furthermore, one of our cabins is located inside the monkey habitat, therefore all monkey lovers will be in close contact with these friendly and funny animals.While in Monkey Lodge, if you want it, you could be as close to monkey life as your will ever dream to spend unforgettable moments, knowing each monkey's personality, and their lifestyle.We also have a magnificent rainforest tropical garden, with an unmatched vegetation full of a enormous variety of flowers and birds, all located nearby our beautiful pool where you can rest and refresh all surround of these amazing place.In order to wake up your senses, we serve a delicious food in front of the garden and poolMonkey Lodge is not only a Bed & Breakfast, we are a travel agency and truism operator, therefore we are completely qualified to arrange, guide and make you holiday and tour as an exclusively experience, and warranty you an unforgettable vacation . We offer different travel offers so you can choose the one or ones that match your requirement. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Monkey Lodge Panama Hotel Panama City
Monkey Lodge Panama Panama City

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