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Hotel Palma Royale 3.0

Bocas Town, Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro Province

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Modern property in quiet but central area across from the waterfront
  • Walking distance to gourmet grocery store, restaurants, and shops
  • Rooms have coffee grinders, mini-fridges, and terraces
  • Suites with full kitchens and nice marble bathrooms 
  • Free breakfast includes fresh fruit and hot items
  • Restaurant and bar on-site (but not always serving all meals)
  • Hotel can arrange local tours and excursions
  • Free Wi-Fi 

Cons

  • No gym, spa, or pool
  • Restaurant not always open for all meals
  • Guests must leave keys with front desk whenever leaving property 

Bottom Line

Hotel Palma Royale is a mid-range property located across the street from the waterfront in Bocas Town and walking distance to restaurants and shops. The 15 rooms and suites are modern, clean, and brightly colored, with nice touches like coffee grinders, furnished terraces/balconies, and rainfall showers. Some suites have full-size kitchens -- Jimmy Buffett is reportedly a fan of the two-bedroom Penthouse option. Free breakfast is served daily and includes fresh-squeezed juice and cooked-to-order items, but other than the restaurant/bar there aren't any features here. Staff can arrange for excursions such as surfing trips, horseback riding, and tours of cacao plantations. For a comparably priced property right on the water, the boutique Hotel Bocas del Toro could be a good fit. 

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Scene

Modern, relaxed property for couples and friends exploring Bocas Town

The Hotel Palma Royale is in a somewhat quiet area in central Bocas Town, although it doesn't feel at all isolated. Other small businesses flank the four-story clay-colored hotel building and the sea is visible from the property entrance. A gigantic palm tree and friendly sign for the hotel's cafe make for a welcoming arrival. Inside the small reception room, there's a warm feeling thanks to peach-colored walls, wood ceilings, and stone tile floors. Panama maps decorate the walls and a pair of simple black-leather chairs are set beside floor-to-ceiling windows, so guests can relax while waiting to check in. The cafe has a similar palette of warm browns and tans, accented with colorful photographs of coral on the walls. An outdoor patio surrounded by tropical plants is available for dining, but it's right on the street and feels a little cramped. Otherwise, there's no common space at the hotel, which is within easy walking distance of everything travelers -- mostly couples and friends -- need in terms of dining, activity, and socializing. Celebrities, including Jimmy Buffett, sometimes stay here. 

Location

Quiet but central in Bocas Town

Situated in a quiet spot on the main street of Bocas Town, the property is ideal for travelers looking to explore on foot. Shops, restaurants, and bars are all in short walking distance -- within 10 minutes in most cases -- and the hotel is just across the street from the waterfront. A boat tour company is also across the street from the property and can arrange for boat excursions and water-taxi rides to surrounding islands. Also next door to the property is a gourmet grocery store and deli -- a nice convenience given all rooms have mini-fridges or full-size kitchens. The Finca Los Monos botanical garden -- with howler monkeys and sloths -- is a 20-minute drive north, and the hotel can arrange for guided garden tours and birdwatching retreats there. Bocas del Toro Isla Colon International Airport is only a six-minute drive (or 25-minute walk) from the hotel. 

Rooms

Modern rooms with coffee grinders and outdoor space

Rooms range from Economy to a Penthouse on the top floor. All options are done in a natural, elegant style with marble or coral tile, bamboo flooring, and cedar beds (with pillow-top mattresses) and doors. Tropical-themed accents include coral graphic high-definition artwork, and each room has a desk and leather chair. Standard Rooms have patios overlooking the garden, while suites have balconies (some with sea views), and the Penthouse offers a wraparound balcony with panoramic sea views. Luxury and Penthouse Suites have more space, including living rooms with stylish wicker furniture and dining tables, and kitchens with full-size refrigerators and electric range tops (no ovens). 

All rooms have mini-fridges stocked with free bottled water, and coffee grinders and coffeemakers along with whole bean coffee from the mountains of Boquete, Panama. Air-conditioning, 32-inch flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi come standard. All rooms have safes, but guests have noted that these are not bolted. Standard bathrooms are done in marble and have walk-in showers with rainfall showerheads and free toiletries. The Penthouse offers two bedrooms and two bathrooms (one with a hot tub), and a 50-inch flat-screen. Tropical flowers and Bocas chocolates on arrival are a nice touch in all rooms. 

Features

Fresh-squeezed juice for breakfast and trip planning -- but not much else

The Hotel Palma Royale serves a free daily breakfast for all guests that includes fresh-squeezed orange juice, fresh fruit in a pineapple bowl, cooked-to-order eggs, crepes, pancakes, and more. The restaurant and bar, Under the Palm Cafe, is not always open for all meals, according to some guests, and limited room service is available. There aren't any extra features here -- no gym, spa, or pool. However, the hotel can arrange for spa services as well as active tours, including snorkeling, trips to cacao plantations, surfing trips, horseback riding, and more. Wi-Fi is free. 

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Address

Calle 3, A lado de ferry, Bocas Town, Bocas del Toro Province, Panama

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