We stayed at this hotel, Hotelito Del Mar, and it worked out very well. At first I thought of staying in a hostel, but Bocas is known as a party town. I made arrangements through Habla Ya, my Spanish school, and they advised that we might be happier in a hotel where we wouldn’t have to worry about other people having fun well into the night.
They were right. We heard about some noise the next day, but we didn’t hear a bit of it ourselves. The hotel is built with solid walls and sturdy windows, and it was very quiet and we slept well. Our bed was comfortable. We had no trouble with electricity, water, or internet, and there was an air conditioner. We appreciated a breakfast every morning of really good coffee, fresh fruit, muffins, and juice. I also loved the murals! The owner said they were painted by one of the same artists who paints the Diablo Rojos, the colorful buses in Panama City.
The town isn’t that big so it’s easy to get everywhere, but the hotel is centrally located close to the water, the city park, and many shops and restaurants. It was nice to go just a half block away to get a water taxi (Taxi 25) especially when carrying luggage.
We were lucky because Sally, the owner, was there every day and she is a wealth of information about the town, the area, the culture, what to do, where to eat, and anything else you might want to know. She is from the US so there is no language problem, but she has been in Bocas long enough to know all sorts of interesting things.
And, if you ever dream of having a business in Bocas, the hotel is for sale! The owner is planning for retirement back in the US. She says the hotel has an excellent reputation (including a TripAdvisor award) so the new owner will have a well established and reliable business. She is also selling a nice home in the Changuinola area with a good amount of land, and an island in Dolphin Bay. Wouldn’t that be something, to own your own island! If you are seriously considering any of these, click on the link at the beginning of this post and you will find her contact information on the hotel website.
Of course whatever I talk about usually comes with pictures, and this is no exception.