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“Hit and miss” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort

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Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort
Ranked #8 of 22 Hotels in Isla Colon
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
319 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
“Hit and miss”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2012

The good:

Its a really nice room, very cushy beds, very clean, nice bathroom and shower, nice balcony overlooking the ocean...the AC blows super cold which is nice when its 95 degrees outside and you've been out walking or something. The pool area is very picturesque and relaxing too and the bar makes delicious drinks for chilling by the pool. Its also away from the main town and on its own so its quiet and private. If you're just looking for a nice resort-like hotel with all the amenities you would expect in America or Europe then this will be a good choice for you

The bad:

I'm not sure what the deal was with the staff but they were very surly and unhappy much of the time, like they weren't happy to be there, it was positively palpable during our stay with most of the staff that we dealt with. It wasn't a big deal but that's never a good thing to have in the service industry. The hotel was 'supposed' to have amenities like kayaks and the ability to book various excursions or trips but the poolside hut that was designated for this purpose was never once manned the entire time of our stay so we were unable to explore the amenities the hotel claimed to offer. The other big problem we had was the dock was completely non-functional when we arrived...90% of all travel in Bocas is by boat so this was kind of absurd to be honest. Finally we found the hotel was really loud at odd times...and stupid stuff too, like rolling big heavy carts down the hallway late at night or frequently dropping things on the tile that would clang and crash

In conclusion, its very much a hit or miss place...if they improve some of the negatives it could be a nice resort

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank snoogle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fernando_Machado, Director of Operations at Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 28 April 2012
Dear Snoogle,

Many thanks for taking the time to share your comments!

We are glad you enjoyed our large comfortable beds and our rooms with balcony and view to the ocean.

Thank you for mentioning our pool area and the refreshing drink service provided by our bars.

We have taken note of the opportunities for improvement mentioned. If you would like to share additional information please contact me so that we can learn more about your experience in our hotel.

Warm regards,

Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort
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694 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (72)
Date | Rating
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English first
Quogue, New York
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 April 2012

Once at the Playa Tortuga we were shown 2 adjacent rooms with an overbearing smell of Pine Sol disinfectant and fresh Paint in the hall permeating into the room with a door lock on one room that was inoperable. When we requested another room we were told that we would have to wait for another set of rooms to be available. After one hour they showed us the second pair of rooms directly above the first that smelled of mold and fresh paint near the hallway, they were painting at the time! Apparently over the mold!

The upgraded rooms had hair in the shower on the walls and filthy tile floors. And a smell of mold in a hot room that didn't have AC on when they showed it to us and we were left to carry our own bags from the first room to the second room to the third rooms on the third floor without any elevators!
After several hours the rooms cooled down and then the AC units froze and shut down after dinner. When the units melted they came back on after 1 hour and blew water into the beds and floor which I had to climb up and cover the units with towels and dry the floors to prevent our children from slipping on. The following were not available or closed: Gift shop, concierge, computer kiosk and printer for guests, bellman, activities desk,pamphlets or maps of things to do. When they loaned us a laptop to use to print our Boarding passes for our return to NY we were told that we would have to email our Web check in with Copa airlines and that they would print our Boarding passes as a "favor" and were told that these things cost money.  In the middle of this a large party arrived and we were told we would have to wait until they were all checked in since they had travelled from Mexico and were up all night. 30 minutes later she printed our boarding passes wasting our time.
The breakfast was poor for example the French toast was uncooked in the center, the milk was spoiled and there were no options for anything a la carte.  The front desk would treat us like second class clients because we didn't speak Spanish and when Roberto Duran and his entourage showed up the staff completely changed to accommodate his party and photographers and military escorts.
They couldn't make change of $100 bills for tips,taxis etc. and there was only one van with limited seating and times of shuttle to town. The hotel would make you sign up with room # and how many for shuttle at a certain time but would then take people on a first come first serve basis. There was no vending machines or minibar or complementary water, no elevator,some bulbs didn't work and a floor switch for a lamp had exposed wires. The dock was in disrepair and closed with a dangerous concrete peer that was falling into the sea near the unswimmable beach. There were no umbrellas for the lounge chairs poolside or on their rocky muddy beach. Only umbrellas were at tables.
The resort looks every bit as old is it was approximately 25 years. Lobby is shabby with dim lights and no AC.
We are extremely disappointed in this property. Doesn't qualify to be advertised as a resort. The pool and view are the only good points.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Garykim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fernando_Machado, Director of Operations at Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 28 April 2012
Dear Guest,

Many thanks for taking the time to share your comments.

Our staff strives to offer the best service possible so you can enjoy the beauty of Bocas del Toro and its islands.

I would really appreciate if you contact me so that we can find out more details about your stay at our resort.

Warm regards,

Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Isla Colon hotels

albany
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 April 2012

This was a nice location but you do have to take a taxi to get into town. The pool and beach area were very lovely. They no longer offer a water taxi to town. The rooms do smell moldy. The AC works great, but the mold smell never really went away. The rooms were large enough for our family of 4 to feel comfortable. The beds and linens were nice. There is a mini fridge in the room. Breakfast buffet was average, but good enough that all found something they liked to eat. The restaurant that sits over the water was a fun experience and we found the food to be better than expected.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank melinda s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fernando_Machado, Director of Operations at Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 10 April 2012
Dear Guest,

Many thanks for your preference and for taking the time to share your family vacation!

We are glad your kids enjoyed our large pool area and that your family had an opportunity to experience the food and ambiance of our restaurant that sits at the end of our pier, over the ocean.

People in Bocas del Toro are very friendly and our staff strives to offer our guest warm and attentive service. We will share your kind comments with our associates.

Warm regards,

Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago
Level Contributor
53 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2012

We stayed for four nights. It was a good location (about 3 miles from town with free shuttle available) but my friend and I rented bikes and did excessive walking - which we both enjoy. The pool area is beautiful, the room was good, the beds were comfortable, the bathroom was just ok. Unfortunately, in a tropical climate, it is difficult to maintain rooms without a mildewy, musty smell. We added to the issue by turning off the fan (blowing directly on one of us), although we should have kept it on to dry things out. The staff was friendly and the breakfast buffet has a variety of dishes from which to choose. All in all, a good launching pad for your visit to Bocas.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank freetobe50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fernando_Machado, Director of Operations at Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 10 April 2012
Dear Guest,

Many thanks for taking the time to share your experience!

We are glad you enjoyed our beautiful pool area, the variety of our breakfast buffet service, our spacious rooms and comfortable beds.

Indeed, there are many things to see and do in Bocas del Toro. The Tour Desk located in the lobby of the hotel aids our guests in planning how to better enjoy this tropical paradise.

People in Bocas del Toro are very friendly and our staff strives to offer our guest warm and attentive service. We will share your kind comments with our associates.

Warm regards,

Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
91 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2012

The experience began when the hotel van met us at the small airport with bottles of water and rolled up wet wash cloths so we could wipe the grime off of us. Not a bad start.

The property is away from the main town, which at first bugged me a bit, but within a day I was glad to be away from "hostel row" and the grittiness of the main street. At Playa Tortuga you feel like you're the only property on the island.

The breakfast was average and if there's a crowd in the morning, the staff didn't seem to be able to keep up with getting the food out.

Loved having the free wi-fi, though after the island had an electrical outage, the hotel didn't seem to get the wi-fi up and running for a couple of days. (I suppose in the end it's a good thing to really be unplugged on vacation.)

The dinner at the restaurant was okay with a limited menu, but it kept us nourished.

Beds were comfortable and we enjoyed the pool and the sea views. Staff was very friendly, though be prepared for limited English-speaking staff.

You can easily catch a taxi into town for $4 if you don't want to wait on the hotel's shuttle that also goes into town regularly.

Room Tip: No elevator lift, but 2nd and 3rd floors have better views.
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MsBoice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fernando_Machado, Director of Operations at Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 14 April 2012
Dear Guest,

Many thanks for your preference and for sharing your kind comments in detail!

We are glad you enjoyed our pool facing the ocean, the room with balcony and sea view, and our large and comfortable beds.

Thanks also for mentioning the free WiFi service. Many travelers find this complimentary internet service of value.

There are many things to see and do in Bocas del Toro. To help our guests plan their trips well in this tropical paradise we have a tour desk in the lobby of the hotel.

There are many things to see and do in Bocas del Toro. To help our guest plan enjoy this tropical paradise we have now a tour desk on site. Guests can take the tours departing from our private pier.

Our associates strive to offer guests like you a nice experience. We will share your positive comments with them.

Warm regards,

Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort

Property: Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort
Address: Isla Colon, Panama
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Colon
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Isla Colon
Price range (per night): ₹ 7,398 - ₹ 10,606
Hotel Class:4 star — Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 117
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tropical Caribbean Beach Resort on the crystal clear waters of Bocas del Toro, Panama.Playa Tortuga offers 117 stylish room accommodations, each with a balcony and spectacular ocean view. Guests may choose from standard rooms, junior suites and large grand suites, all offering a contemporary décor, modern amenities and a soothing tropical atmosphere.Relax in the hotel’s sea view pool, or sunbathe in our water mirrors while enjoying your favorite beverage from the nearby bar area. Little ones will enjoy the children’s pool. Other modern and convenient amenities include free WIFI and a state of the art Fitness Center featuring a private massage area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Isla Colon
Playa Tortuga Hotel And Beach Resort
Playa Tortuga Resort Beach
Playa Tortuga Hotel & Beach Resort Isla Colon, Panama - Bocas Del Toro

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