For the first leg of our honeymoon trip to Panama, we were looking for a place that was luxurious and in a beautiful place, but not an all-inclusive or package deal. We didn't want it to be overwhelmed with tourists, which is why we chose to go in May and take our chances with the weather. Well, we definitely found the right place with Red Frog Beach Resort. We got married in Brooklyn New York, and three days later found ourselves in another world, being greeted on the docks of Red Frog Beach Resort and shown the way to our villa at the top of the hill. It felt brand new, and a two-bedroom with two decks and a private pool for under $200 / night? Crazy. Coming from Brooklyn, we're not used to half that much space, or the dishwasher, central air, pool, etc. We did rent a golf cart to get around which helped a lot in the end - the walking would have been a bit much. They gave us a discounted day rate for the cart, probably because we were basically the only people there staying in the villas.
Over the course of 5 days we had to wonder who the target audience is for this place. It seems that they want to attract a somewhat elite clientele to stay in the villas, ride horses, and hit up the spa. Not to mention the gorgeous landscape and beaches. And to pay the big overheads that hostel-dwellers simply never will. But the hostel and lodge, and the daily influx of Bocas Town tourists heading for the beach there, are decidedly not upscale. But hey, we were happy to get our little bit of bohemian, drinking Panamas and eating tasty plates of local food at the Kayukos lodge, with Bob Marley never far down the iPod list (for better or worse) and also some deluxe quiet time, staying in an isolated private villa with its own pool and cruising around on a golf cart. Having been there at a very low tourist point, it's hard to guess exactly who comes to the resort during peak times.
I'm really not sure what the resort will look like in 5 years or what the owners have in their minds' eyes. That said, we would totally go back, maybe with friends next time. If you're going to Bocas del Toro, don't stay in Bocas Town - spend the extra bit and stay at Red Frog Beach Resort. The staff was all super friendly, it's easy to find your way around, and the accommodations are hard to argue with. Recommend!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Red Frog Beach offers upscale villas, rooms and Jungle Lodges to rent with private pools and so much adventure to enjoy on Isla Bastimentos. If you like nice beaches and exploring jungle. Awarded at Panama's most beautiful beach and resort. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com and TripOnline SA so you can book your Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Red Frog Beach Hotel Isla Bastimentos