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“Glad we went but won't go back”

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Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 March 2012

Pluses

-Beautiful
-Friendly staff
-Rented two bedroom home w/pool was very nice
-Beautiful beach
-Excellent beach bar with friendly bar tender. Left my wallet on the bar one evening. He kept it safe until I returned the next morning
-Catamaran sunset dinner cruise with David Green & wife, Elizabeth, was great fun
-Canopy zip line was a lot of fun. Take the bypass option they will offer you at the second or third platform if you are not up to the challenge of a semi-obstacle course to reach the following platforms (repelling, suspended bamboo pole bridge, loosely suspended slatted board bridge, sagging rope bridge). All fun, safe, but will be scary to those afraid of heights.
- Water taxi service is good but be prepared to get wet if it's raining. Hey, it's the tropics.

Minuses

-Don't leave anything unattended on the beach
-Hang on tight to handbags and shopping bags if you spend time in the nearby town. Witnessed a street robbery where a bag was snatched from the shoulder of a young guy. He and a friend unsuccessfully gave chase. The locals cheered the thief. Spoke with another couple who stayed in a hotel in the town. Their room was cleaned out, dirty laundry and all, while they were out of the room. The hotel manager would not even call the police.
-A golf cart is a must at the resort
-Not much to do unless you travel to some of the other islands
-Surf at beach is pretty rough. Good for surfers.
-Food is very bland. We have found this to be common in many Central American countries.
-Take bug spray if prone to bites though they do regularly fog the resort for bugs. Hey, it's the tropics.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Mike B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
BocasBound, Manager at Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 25 May 2012

Dear Mike:

Thanks again for coming. We enjoyed having you here.

For the benefit of those reading this review it is important to note that the robbery scene mentioned happened in Bocas town. Red Frog Beach is a very safe environment and it is an ideal place to stay if you have any concern about safety in Central America.

Also, keep in mind that the surf swells vary throughout the year. You mentioned big surf swells in your review; if you were to come back two months later you would hardly see a wave at all (beaches become crystal clear gorgeous).

Finally, your comment about nothing to do at Red Frog Beach - We respectfully disagree! There are few places in Bocas (or Panama for that matter) than can offer the amount of tours and activities found here. Between the 5 beaches on Isla Bastimentos and all the Rainforest you can access just about anything you want to do: zipline canopy tour (a must!), hike, explore, catamaran sailing tour, two restaurants, private chef dinners, massage, yoga, beach dinners, snorkel, cave tour, bird watching and access all the tours offered throughout Bocas del Toro. Just visit our Activity Center desk once you arrive and plan your adventure. If you like adventure, beautiful beaches and abundant rainforest - you will not be disappointed staying at Red Frog Beach.

Thanks again for coming - We appreciate our guests!

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367 - 373 of 536 reviews

Reviewed 3 March 2012

The villas themselves are nice but the vibe of the resort as a whole is a bit odd. The villas seem to belong in an upscale, first class resort, but the resort itself is not first class, due, I believe to the conflict between the developers and the construction workers. We learned from people at the resort that there had been a strike a while back, causing the construction to come to a stand still, leaving many villas unfinished, left to rot and fall apart, as well as a lack of landscaping through out the property. Golf carts are used to get around the property, which would be fine if all the roads were finished with “pavers” as it appears was the original intent. Most however are very rough and rocky. They do charge for excess electricity use however we stayed a week and charged a cart the whole time and did not go over the allotted usage. I am pretty adventurous when it comes to food, however the food is seriously lacking!. One restaurant has more of a snack bar feel, maybe catering to the hostel crowd more than villa renters. We stayed for a full week and after trying both dining options at red frog ate in Bocas town the rest of the trip. I would not recommend staying on Bastimentos Island for an entire week. The beaches on the island are worth a visit, but I think there are other cool islands to see and Bocas town has some nice places to stay as well, plus the water taxi gets expensive. We had issues with our villa when we first arrived, the cable did not work and we wanted to watch the super bowl, however we arrived on Thursday and they had us in a new villa by sat afternoon, and gave us four free zip line passes for the trouble. The zip line here is amazing, blew away the one we did in Costa Rica! Although they try to make you wear a plastic bracelet when you are staying in the villas, We took them off right away and it did not seem to matter. We paid 13 us dollars a person each way for transportation to and from the resort. This is about double what it cost to simply get a cab and boat on your own. To avoid disappointment, on the Red Frog web page it should be made clear that though the villas are quite nice, the resort seems geared more towards the backpacker and adventure traveler.

Room Tip: they seemed to have developed the villas closer to beach first therefore they do not have as many un...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank sunluv561
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bastimentos, Manager at Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 28 February 2013

Dear Guest:
Thank you for coming and your feedback is important to us.
There have been many changes and improvements at Red Frog Beach since your review. Everything has been improved from the zipline, food menus and options as well as the amount of activities to enjoy.
I believe the odd vibe you experienced was that the resort was that it was not yet finished. If you were to come back now you would see how beautiful the grounds are. There was a labor strike a long time ago (2008) along with the resort being taken over by new owners who significantly downsized the project and emphasized natural amenities like ziplines and nature paths rather than a golf course. The new ownership believes we have a very talented group of diligent Panamanian workers who add to our guests experience staying in Bocas del Toro.
Many of our guests feel that they are able to save money by staying their full week on Bastimentos. Since there are so many natural amenities here you can limit the amount of water taxi rides you would need to pay for to get to a beach if you were staying in Bocas Town for instance (i.e. there is not beach in Bocas Town). There are more dining options in Bocas town but hard to compare as they are very different when it comes to the kind of accommodations and the scenery you want to experience during your vacation.
We hope you will give us another chance in the future – thank you for coming and providing us feedback that we use to improve.
Thank you

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Reviewed 1 March 2012

My husband, sister and I just came back from an incredible week at Red Frog Beach Resort. From the moment we were picked up at the airport until our departure we were treated like VIP guests! We were greeted at the Marina dock by the ever charming and competent Jermaine who promptly loaded our bags and showed us to our personal golf cart and up the hill to our villa. He gave us all the instructions we needed to enjoy or stay and get the most out of the services provided.
The villa (#9) was like something out of lifestyles of the rich and famous with stunning tile, granite countertops, beautiful artisan furniture pieces, and perfectly appointed rooms. Our kitchen was stocked with everything we needed including some extras we were pleased to find. The linens were exceptional and we all enjoyed our best nights sleep while on the island! We enjoyed plenty of time in our personal fresh dipping pool, and really relished the evening noises of the rainforest!
We had a few meals at Kayukos near the cute hostel Bocas Bound, and everyone really enjoyed their dishes. Thai Curry, coconut shrimp, and a chicken wrap were some of our favorites while sipping on ice cold Panamanian beer, the Bocas Breeze and great red wine! Red Frog's 2nd restaurant, Punta Lava is in the most idyllic setting on the famous Red Frog Beach. Sunset dinner with a delicious chicken dish, perfect beans and rice, and the most amazing coconut flan was our best night of the trip!
The staff was wonderful at every encounter, and really made us feel like they were happy to see us wherever we showed up. When visiting you must tour around the beautiful property in your golf cart to see all the villas, go on the zipline tour, and for those not faint of heart, the bat cave was a one-of-a-kind experience!
My sister and I also indulged in spa services and were very impressed with the peaceful setting and wonderful talent of the women there!
We really can't say enough about all the overall excellent service! We were truly amazed at the paradise you are able to offer. You have received much praise and recommendations from us to other travelers along the way. We look forward to our next trip to RFBR as you have made it clear that it is THE place to be in Bocas Del Toro.

Room Tip: For those wanted to travel on a more limited budget, the on site hostel Bocas Bound has very nice ro...
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Trinitysweetpea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2012

This place is absolutely awesome!!! February is the perfect time of the year... Cool breezes from the ocean!!! No rain! :-) but little sprinkles in the morning are awesome!! Snorkeling, canopy tour, the views, the awesome beach offering crystalline calm waters as well and very fun surf waves, The Villas were fantastic. Can't describe how beautiful they are inserted in the rain forest but with views of the ocean. They are huge and with all the amenities you could ask for. You can see tons of birds ... I went for a run thru the island which has hills.. just great workouts.. the massages were also incredible.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled with family
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Thank mariar244
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2012

My husband and I planned on spending the last week of a three week trip here at The Red Frog Villas. We hated it and left! After having a wonderful two weeks we arrived here and it was one disappointment after another.
Upon arrival we were given bright green wristbands that we were all expected to keep on our wrists for the week. We all took them off immediately. For the price, I felt like I was getting ripped off. Going in and understanding that we would have to pay for electricity was one thing, but then the $35.00 a day for a golf cart that has to recharged at night off of your electricity that you a paying for, the five dollars for a beach chair, the ridiculously expensive transportation to and from the airport seems a little ridiculous when paying $399.00 a night. I do not mind spending money on vacation, just hate feeling like I am getting fleeced!
The cable did not work in the villa nor did the internet. There was little attempt to fix this issue while I was still present. My friend who stayed informed me that she had to call and complain for two days before the cable issue was resolved. They were given a new villa. There were two football fans on the trip and it was the weekend of the Superbowl, so cable was a must for them.
Red Frog boasts on their website as having a "perfectly tranquil setting". Well, they are under construction that has been abandoned due to a labor strike. It makes for a depressing view off your patio or out your window. Unfinished villas with mold and jungle taking over are most of what you will see. This state is apparently due to a labor strike. We figured this out after being flipped off by a truckload of local workers while sitting on the patio. They call Kayukos a restaurant and lounge. It felt more like a cafeteria with the sarong covered florescent lights. The food was horrible. My meal tasted like canned stew, not curry and the pizzas ordered tasted like frozen pizza. From the website we all got the impression there would be a good dining option at Red Frog. We were all disappointed.
My general feeling of the place upon arrival went from bad to worse in a very short period of time. We all felt that there was something just not right about this place. Leaving and returning to Costa Rica was the best decision I made.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Lindsaybrink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bastimentos, Manager at Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded 28 February 2013

Dear Guest:
Thank you for coming and we apologize for the challenges you experienced while visiting here. Guests should realize that Red Frog Beach will be finishing construction on the hillside beach homes in 2013; until then, some construction will be visible in certain locations around the resort depending on what home or room you decide to rent. We have not had many problems with internet and cable but we admit that when something is not working right with the internet we do not claim we can fix it within the hour. 98% of the time cable and internet work great which is good considering the exotic location.
We also apologize for not meeting your expectations with food. We have enhanced our food options at Red Frog Beach in 2012 with new menus and increased options. Here are a few options for eating at Red Frog Beach 1) Chef Services in your private villa: chef comes to villa, cooks and serves authentic food, several courses – must make advanced reservations. 2) Punta Lava Beach Grill located on Red Frog Beach: Lunch daily – typical beach fare – burgers, sandwiches, nachos; scheduled dinner events at Punta Lava weekly in high season. 3) Villa Delivery Services – we deliver some menu items directly to your villa (panamanian pizza is the popular choice among guests) 4)Kayukos Island Lounge – funky atmosphere with new menu in 2013, Caribbean/international based menu.
Thank you for the feedback we will try to improve. We care very much about our guest’s experiences here in Bocas del Toro.

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Reviewed 27 January 2012

We just came back from staying at this place. We were 2 adults and 2 children. The villa where we stayed at was absolutely lovely and with everything to make you feel comfortable. The kitchen is a complete kitchen with everything you need. The rooms were of a very good size and the showers in the toilets were of excellent quality.
Our children loved the private pool at our villa which they like to plunge in after spending some time in our of our two nearby beaches. We found that the one called Turtle Beach was great for the children. We rented our own golf cart which allowed us some freedom to move around the resort. You can arrange for different types of tours. As we were with two young children we merely did the ones that were more suitable for them, for example, we visited Playa Estrella which is absolutely beautiful, went to Dolphin Bay (and were able to see the dolphins swimming nearby our boat), went snorkeling in the coral banks (our children loved to look at the fish swimming just under a few feet under us in the corals). We also had the experience to eat fish at local floating restaurants in other islands. We would surely recommend this place to other people. I would suggest to stop reading and just go there!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Difniq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2012

Wow! Just got back from an amazing 5 night stay that went too fast at Red Frog Beach Villas. It was our first trip to Bocas del Toro and we can't say enough about the villas and the area.

This part of Panama islands is very special. Red Frog Beach has over 1500 acres of property, beautiful beaches, a zipline, 2 restaurants, and each villa is very nice (to American standards).

Our villa #9 had amazing ocean and jungle views. Waking up to this view is a real treat every day on vacation. The beaches at Red Frog beach are just as equally stunning. Red Frog Beach is great but Turtle Beach by far was our favorite. The ocean waves were big and we walked about 1 mile down the beach where trees grow out straight to the ocean.

I can't say enough about the staff, food and experience that Red Frog gave us. The staff is friendly, warm and welcoming. Once we arrived a guy named Jermaine gave us the golf cart tour. We definitely recommend getting the golf cart because the distance from our villa was about a 5 minute golf cart ride. It was well worth it. The golf cart rides in themself are like an adventure as its a little bit of a downhill ride, but fun.

If you are an adventure seeker who wants nice beach and jungle, Red Frog offers one of the most unique and fun experiences.

We can't wait to go back and bring friends with us to show them how awesome Red Frog is.

-Definitely recommend nearby:

*The Zipline tour
*Do a snorkel trip
* Go to Zapatilla Cays islands - they are beautiful
* Go to Bocas Town and explore
* Go to Starfish Beach - the starfish are beautiful and we saw sting rays
* Go to Guari Guari in Bocas town for a unique 5 course dining experience for $25
* Get the chicken wings at Kayukos, they are amazing!
* Walk Turtle Beach
* Catch a sunset at the Red Frog Marina
* Go to the cave on Isla Colon that's on the way to Starfish Beach

I probably forgot other things but those are the big ones. We can't wait to come back to this place. The experience was so memorable and special!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank AmandaGil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa

Address: Bocas del Toro, Isla Bastimentos, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: Panama > Bocas del Toro Province > Isla Bastimentos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Isla Bastimentos
Price Range: $210 - $508 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 50
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 
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Also Known As:
Red Frog Beach Hotel Isla Bastimentos
Red Frog Beach Island Resort & Spa Panama/Isla Bastimentos, Bocas Del Toro

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