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“Spectacular 30th Anniversary”
Review of Koko Resort

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Koko Resort
Ranked #6 of 20 Hotels in Isla Colon
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 November 2016

First, let me start out by saying, "READ THE INFORMATION ON THE KOKO WEBSITE." This is not a typical resort and is not based in an area dedicated to tourists. While this is what attracted us to Koko, I can see why this would not be for everyone. The cabins are in a neighborhood of local residents and Bocas Town is intermingled with tourists, expats and both Latino and Jamaican locals. This made for an excellent experience and we really felt as though we got to understand the culture.

Jack and Lee are excellent hosts and know all of the best contacts for for whatever you might like to do during your stay. They set up a beach trip, snorkeling, sailing, a message, and an anniversary dinner for us. Each one was an excellent experience. Their recommendation on the right chocolate tour brought us to a rain-forest jungle hike through an indigenous village; a highlight of our trip.

The views from our cabin were great and we had virtually no mosquito. We kept the windows open during the night and never needed the air conditioning. Sitting on the front porch was relaxing both day and night. The cabin was sparse, but clean and adequate. I used the coffee maker every day and loved the local standard brand. Jack cooks breakfast every day and it was awesome. He is extremely fussy about the ingredients he uses and the fruit was so ripe and flavorful every morning. If you like spicy, ask for some of the picante salsa the Jack has made special.

There was music every evening that we could hear coming from the town. On Saturday night it kept us up a bit, but the other evenings it stopped pretty early. The area is in the tropics, so I expected bugs, but there were next to none. We saw one in the shower and a couple of spiders. Termites are a problem and there was quite a bit of dust evidence. They don't bother anyone. It's just unfortunate. The local people are in the process of learning not to litter or to throuw trash into the ocean; there was some trash in the water at the shore near the cabins and along the public ways.

If you are looking for an experience where you are not isolated in a sanitized tourist district, and want to experience local culture with tropical relaxing flavor, Bocas del Toros and Koko is for you. If you want an "over the water" stay at a reasonable cost, this is for you.

Room Tip: All the cabins are good. The two further out are the best.
Stayed: October 2016, travelled as a couple
Thank Dan H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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21 - 27 of 324 reviews

Reviewed 18 October 2016

The owners know EVERYONE so getting info on what you need/want to do is easy.
We got picked up at the airport by a taxi friend of theirs, and rode the short distance to the resort. After a quick check-in we were shown our room. Their description on their site is dead on. Nothing fancy but everything you need. If you want 5-star, go elsewhere.
Short walk to the grocery store, quick cab rides to everything else, or take a nice walk.
Views are great with a dock to hang out on over the water.

I'm going back!

  • Stayed: November 2015, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank ericpikeflorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2016

Let me start off by saying the owners Jack and Lee are very nice and cook you breakfast every morning something different everyday and will schedule you any excursions you want which is great because you get your own personal water taxi with Chris or Gabrial your captain who are wonderful all to yourselves verses going into town and booking one with at least 20 people per boat. They will also call you a taxi anytime you want to go into town and that is only 1 dollar per person so very reasonable. We started off with the Palm cabin which was nice inside but it is in the very back and right next to the locals house which would have been ok but we kept hearing there boats bump up against each other all night and by 6am them and all their kids are awake. The second day we asked if the 2 front cabins which are the dolphin and the orchid were available and for a little more we were able to move to the orchid cabin. The view and breeze here was awesome but unfortunately the cabin was not so great the air barely works and being in the sun all day you want air but it did get a little cooler late at night plus you have a fan right over your headboard. The next issue we had which is awful is the whole cabin was infested with termites every morning the furniture and the walls had a huge mess of dust where they had chewed all night, and there were cob webs and small spiders which we killed at least 4 of those. If the termite situation is not fixed soon this cabin will be destroyed in a years time, other then that the cabin was really cute and cozy after talking to other guest theirs was fine. These bungalows are located right in the heart of the locals but like everyone said they are super nice and the kids are so cute we actually brought a bag of twizzlers and handed some out everyday to the little ones and they loved it so that's something to keep in mind. When we got there, there was a lot of trash all around the neighbors homes and the water by there houses but the last couple days we were there they cleaned all of it up and it looked really nice. The whole resort does need major updating the deck to the cabins is in really bad shape and needs new wood and the bungalows could use new paint. They replace your towels everyday and change your sheets every 3 days, there is no safe in the rooms so make sure you lock your doors when you leave and at night we had no problems but because there is no safe we made sure it was all locked up. The cleaning guy is a local young male who does ok but not like a female would we noticed the drawers in the kitchen were dirty the floors under the furniture were really dusty and the whole time we were there I never saw them use a mop in any of the cabins when they checked out. I am not trying to give this place a bad rap but I am letting you know it is NOT a five star so if you expect that you need to go someplace else. Would we stay here again not sure only because it needs so many updates. Ok now to recommend some tours that are a must while there, 1) star fish beach, bird island and snorkeling at drago. 2) monkey island was wonderful you go to her island and she has 3 different types of monkeys and out of those 3 breeds she lets each type out one at a time to play with you and that was great. 3) The bat cave and tour through the mangroves to see the sloths which we saw a lot on this tour this excursion is only if you don't mind water or mud and you definitely need tennis shoes but its a great tour. 4) deep sea fishing. In town is restaurants and stores and there is a small grocery store right by the resort and in town are bigger ones. We highly recommend the El Limbo seafood restaurant and the India next door which is beautiful with local panama menu. We also went to a bar in town called Toro Loco which is great. Just so you know the beers are only $1.25 to 2.00 anywhere in town so great price. Last but most important if you go in September to this resort ask if the carnival will be there if so DO NOT book then they blast the music till 4am and its right by the resort and it is LOUD. P.S. stay in Panama at least 2 days so you can see the canal and Casco Viejo beautiful town. I hope this helps you.

Room Tip: Cabins in front the Dolphin and Orchid best breeze and view
  • Stayed: September 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Travelingfools0618
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2016

Koko Resort does an excellent job of telling you what NOT to expect - and that is beauty of what you experience. Jack and Lee level set with you before you even book. This is not a Hyatt or W and that is what makes it so imperfectly perfect. If you are the kind of person who loves to really ground yourself in the local atmosphere then this is the place for you!

I travel the globe and often stay in really high-end hotels with VIP treatment because my husband travels for work frequently so I was nervous about this experience would be like. I am so happy to report that it was, to date, my favorite vacation I've ever been on. We will definitely be back because it was that perfect. The weather didn't always cooperate but Jack and Lee are seriously the best in the business. From great food at breakfast to the ultimate arranged excursions with their local contacts, you won't be treated better anywhere.

Definitely visit The Blue Coconut which is a spectacular bar/restaurant on the water where you can borrow snorkel gear and hit a really cool reef. You'll need to take a boat but Jack and Lee can get it all arranged for you. Also visit Starfish Beach - plan to spend at least four hours just relaxing, having a little lunch and exploring the crystal clear water.

We stayed at one of the bungalows closest to the water and in my opinion from what I could tell it was the best view and worth finding dates that those two bungalows are open. Rooms are adequate but again not fancy. The hammocks on the porch let you just swing in the breeze without a care in the world.

I could go on and on and on. If you are thinking about going to Bocas - stay here. Be adventurous and just book it. You will not regret it. I can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: I almost hate to share it but the Starfish Cabin is perfect!
  • Stayed: November 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank jhaley673
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2016

We recently spent 6 nights in the Gecko cabin, and liked it very much. The cabin was simple and basic, but perfect for our needs. We didn't use the air conditioning much, preferring to open the windows and turn on the little fan over the bed in the loft. There are no screens because there are no bugs. It's different over on Isla Careneros, more on that in another review.

As others have mentioned, the breakfasts terrific and the hosts a font of local knowledge. If you like snorkeling, the most colorful coral I've every seen anywhere in the world a short boat ride away. The sea kayaks will take you to another world in 15 minutes. And, while perhaps not for everyone, the Bat Cave was just about the coolest thing we've ever done on a vacation.

That's the good, here's the bad. The neighborhood is safe and friendly, but desperately poor. A shantytown really. If that's going to Bum your Wah, you don't belong here. Or pretty much anywhere on Isla Colon.

And Koko's might not be long for this world. Between the humid climate, the sketchy maintenance, a termite invasion, the rotting pier that connects it all together, and the sketchy pilings that support everything, if it lasts ten more years, I'll be amazed.

Personally, we'd like to go back while it's still there.

  • Stayed: June 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank milburnski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 July 2016 via mobile

After a bad experience at another place I tried to find another last minute and stumbled upon Kokos.... What a wonderful stumble!

Nestled in a quaint local neighborhood, Koko's offers an unparalleled homely atmosphere, with lovely and genuinely friendly hosts. The one night I spent there was marked by wonderful conversations with Jack and Lee, great restaurant recommendations, and impeccable hospitality.

My stay here was one of the best I've had anywhere - I would recommend Koko's to anyone in a heartbeat. They are very clear on their website about what they offer so that no one comes there expecting something different from the wonderful experience that is Koko's.

Stayed: July 2016, travelled solo
1  Thank Hassy1432
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2016

Lee & Jack are wonderful hosts. Jack cooks breakfast everyday, which is included. He adds local fruits that are out of this world. We used his recommended boat taxi for private tour of all the islands. Chris picks you up right at the dock of Bahia Del Sol . We relocated to KOKO after staying at Caribbean Colors house and we were robbed during the night while we slept!. The Koko offered us a peace of mind and Lee reassured us that she never has had a problem. We enjoyed our stay tremendously and wished we could have stayed longer. Highly recommended!

Room Tip: any chalet is beautiful
  • Stayed: July 2016, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Lisa W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Koko Resort

Address: Las Cabanas, Isla Colon, Panama
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Colon
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Isla Colon
Price Range: $98 - $614 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Like a picture postcard. Cabins built over the water of a beautiful bay. Various size houses. Steps from the beach. 5 Minutes to town. Fantastic sunsets from the dock and lit up fish viewing at night. Full kitchens, AC, fans, maid and laundry service. Full time security, Safety boxes in rooms. Wireless Internet. Kayaks, bikes, snorkel masks free. Grocery delivery. We speak English and Spanish and will help you with arrangements for a perfect vacation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Koko Hotel Isla Colon
Koko Resort Panama/Bocas Del Toro - Isla Colon

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