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“Total Relax”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Coral Lodge

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Coral Lodge
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Santa Isabel
Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
59 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Total Relax”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2012

Just two hours from Panama, you take a 40 minutes trip by boat to Coral Lodge. We felt like in "Fantasy Island" The service is so good and the place is a Paradise. I like to sleep in tha "Palafitos" over the caribean sea and also have a nice beach to relax.
The Coral is not the best to see water fauna. But Ist a very nice place to go in Panamá!

Room Tip: All rooms are very good!
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Pepeven
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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151 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 March 2012

My husband came to Coral Lodge for our honeymoon and it was excellent. We were here during the off-season, so it was very quiet. There over-water bungalows were beautiful, tastefully decorated and simply perfect. We enjoyed snorkeling around the lagoon right from the little drop-down latter on our patio. The location is incredible and remote, we loved listening to the howler monkeys in the morning. The food and service were excellent- loved the chilled coconut water in the afternoons.

The only con was the sand fleas on the beach. Otherwise, a great stay. We'd definitely come back.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Katie R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
180 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2012

My husband and I stayed at the Coral Lodge for 3 nights to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. Although we had a rough boat ride in, the captain and crew were excellent and we felt very safe. The food was average to very good. The daily homemade ice cream was fantastic. The massage therapist is outstanding. I loved getting a massage out in the open over the water! The beach on the resort was impeccable and cleaned every morning before we went to breakfast. The beach outside of the resort does have a lot of garbage - heartbreaking! But it would not be possible for the resort to maintain it. The staff was incredibly accommodating at all times of day. They even set up a lunch for us on the beach for our anniversary with champagne and a cake. We got exactly what we expected due to the remote location. This was a very beautiful setting and so relaxing! I cannot say enough about the staff and how responsive there were to any of our requests. I would suggest bringing your own wine as the selection is limited and there are small refrigerators in the bungalows.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TwoNCTravelingFools
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 February 2012

We visited Coral Lodge in Dec/11 and loved it. The staff was extremely helpful and friendly and very caring. After a few day we felt like famiy. The food was amazing to say the least and was very well presented. The huts were roomy, comfortable and clean. Being surrounded only by jungle and ocean in this isolated eco-lodge makes it a very relaxing and romantic vacation. During our stay a new larger hut was being built and the owner and staff were very concerned with any noise caused. They really cared about the quality of our stay. It is a very casual and friendly place and I would love to go there again. The only downside would be the long van ride from Panama City, next time I would consider using the helicopter service. Also, due to poor weather we were unable to go to the San Blas which I really wanted to visit. I guess that just gives me a good reason to go back.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Deb R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Greenwich, Rhode Island
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 February 2012

My wife,daughter and I just returned from a trip to Panama, during which we stayed at the Coral Lodge eco resort. Suffice it to say that the experience was amazing. Somehow the Coral Lodge
is able to combine the pristine,remote ecolodge experience with first-
rate food,accommodations,and service.Jindrich and his staff were extraordinarily pleasant and
professional. They made sure that we had everything we needed for the truly perfect vacation.
The food was outstanding ,with excellent variety. The bungalows were spacious,clean and very comfortable. The beauty of the surroundings is breathtaking. The boat ride from Mirinmar to Coral Lodge was an adventure ,as one would expect in order to reach such a remote and unspoiled paradise. The 40 minute ride was a bit choppy-fun for us,but not for
the faint of heart. Jindrich (the manager) was personally involved in every aspect of the service, and Camille and the wonderful guys on the boat were so warm,personable and attentive.Our day trip to Kuna Yala was the highlight of our trip-a must see.This is probably not the place for very young children,but our 16 year old was in heaven. Needless to say,we would return to Coral Lodge without hesitation and hope to have the chance in the future.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank steve f
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 February 2012

I have to agree with some of the recent reviews on this resort. While a beautiful location – remote and tranquil – the resort itself fell short of expectations, despite the efforts of their staff to do their best. This resort was selected based on previous reviews (August 2011 and prior) that highlighted the food, service and quality of resort. Our experience did not deliver on the food, the quality, and although the staff seemed very genuine and eager to help, it seemed to be on very limited resources. The drive from Panama City was alittle longer than expected, but the boat ride was one of the worst experiences I have ever had. It was advertised as 20-30 minutes, but ended up being an hour due to the extremely rough seas. We ended up paying substantially extra to book a helicopter for the ride back, as we could not imagine experiencing the return trip. The resort itself is in a lovely remote location, and the tranquility did go along way. We spent several afternoons on the deck of the casita just enjoying the waves and seeing the stars from the hammock. At night, it was amazing to see a beautiful starfilled sky. Unfortunately the water was too rough to snorkel off the casita. As another review mentioned, the resort is laid back, but could use some upgrades in the amenities department. Meals were the biggest disappointment. While they did their best with what was available, and presentation was lovely, the quantity was lacking and it was obvious there wasn’t a lot of availability of ingredients due to the weather. Thankfully we brought our own wine and snacks, as there was not a selection of either at the property. It was also disappointing not to dine outdoors, or to be able to visit the neighbouring San Blas due to the rough seas. One guest review mentioned burgers and sandwiches, those weren’t even presented to us as an option. In summary, the staff really tried to make it as good as possible, and there is amazing potential due to the location but I wouldn’t recommend the resort based on my stay.

Room Tip: We had room 2, which had a nice location and vantage point.
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MASToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cuna_de_Vida, Owner at Coral Lodge, responded to this review, 25 February 2012
Dear Madam,
Many Thanks for your review,
I am a little surprised that we did not meet your expectation especially on the food, the condition of the Ocean is unfortunately at this time a year sometimes very rough and unfortunately other than adding a more cost effective helicopter option we have to hope for calmer weather,From April and especially may the ocean turn to a picture perfect beauty.
With regards to to food you mention that the food was not of the standard, having spoken to the chef and the manager they are both surprised as we try our up-most best to have the requests on the preference sheet available for our guests, the personalized service we offer the manager keeps on asking if there is anything be can do better and in addition the Chef comes out to the guest every evening and he was very surprised at your comment, he would have been happy and able to prepare the meal to your liking, we pride ourselves on the service and should be not deliver any of the service and food quality expectations we are more than happy to change our style to suit your need and desires.
We are getting ready to open another small property in the Pacific that will allow us to have combined packages and with occupancy permitting when the weather does not co operate often on coast is better than the other and we can change the days of a guest stay to allow the better weather location for more days.
I hope we have the chance to serve you again in the near future,
You noted you would change your stay maybe a San Blas staying on a more rustic Kuna Bungalow there and combine with our with the full services, ac, and your personalized food on our Pacific property.
But even if you are a traveler that does not return to the same destination multiple times. we thank you for your comments and most importantly thank you for spending your precious time with us at Coral Lodge.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cameron Park, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 February 2012

We were at Coral Lodge January 2012
I am writing this review because I have read several of the recent reviews, and I can’t believe others are writing about the same resort. This is my third outstanding visit to Coral Lodge and I will go again. Yes, it is neither cheap nor easy to get to but worth it. With each trip I have noticed improvements, which I would expect from a well managed resort. Many of the improvements I have noticed came from guest comments. The helicopter transportation is in my opinion a great improvement and environmentally friendly.
Coral Lodge is very much an Eco-friendly resort. It is isolated; there are no other resorts nearby. Nothing like Cancun, Zihuatanejo-Ixtapa, or Marbella Spain which are great places if you like crowds. There are no roads to the resort; the staff has told me that all building material is from the jungle or brought in by boat. On our jungle tour, the guide took us by the lodge’s methane gas source. Several pigs. The pigs are fed left over kitchen products, which creates ‘pig poop’ (don’t worry it is very downwind from the resort). The pig waste is converted to methane gas which is consumed by the resort. If that is not Eco, I don’t know what is?
My positive comments are regarding the following areas:
Plastic
Water
Scuba
San Blaz
Plastic on beach
The beach at coral lodge is very clean; the beach was cleaned at least twice a day while we were there. We kayaked several miles to view the local area. The beaches away from the lodge were littered with plastic bottles of every kind. I have seen this phenomenon before on this side of the Caribbean; closer inspection reveals products made in various parts of the world. I have seen beaches where you can’t walk because of the plastic on the beach. There is an area known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, West of California in the mid-pacific. There are several others around the World. The small amount of plastic that shows up on the local beach is removed everyday by the staff at Coral Lodge. Plus the plastic is disposed of properly.
Water pressure
There was a minor problem with the water in our unit which I reported to the staff while at lunch. By the time, we returned to our unit after lunch, the staff had fixed the problem.
Scuba diving
Just as the web site said, the weather in December through January is marginal. The diving was available but the visibility was average. However, that made it more romantic as we got to spend more time together.
San Blaz
The side trip was interesting; however, the Kuna’s have made their village what it is today. The museum at the custom island is interesting and original. The village also reflexes this model. Many of the building have dirt floors; however, the abundance of television antenna and cell phones is a distraction. Typical of most Latin American countries when you negotiate or as you are leaving, the price comes down on everything. We purchased fresh lobster (which the chef at Coral Lodge exquisitely prepared for us at dinner) mojos and jewelry. The eventual purchase price was considerably less than the original asking price.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank david s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Coral Lodge

Property: Coral Lodge
Address: Escribano Bay, Santa Isabel, Panama
Region: Panama > Colon Province > Santa Isabel
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Santa Isabel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Coral Lodge 3*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Coral Lodge. A quintessential eco-adventure lodge set in a pristine natural habitat. An isolated totally sustainable lodge that offers a variety of nature related adventures and a place to get away from it all. You will enjoy a diversity of natural environments, our charming over the water bungalows, a friendly low key service and our proximity to San Blas archipelago with its beautiful unspoiled islands and cultural heritage of the Kuna Indians.Diving, Reef Fishing, Snorkeling, Hobie Cat Sailing, Trekking, Kayaking, Horseback riding and relax are the activities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Coral Hotel Santa Isabel
Coral Resort Santa Isabel
Coral Lodge Panama/Santa Isabel

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