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Isla Palenque Panama

The Resort at Isla Palenque Review

The Resort at Isla Palenque is a unique 5 Star Eco-resort on its own 400-acre island in the Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama. Development is still in its early stages, offering a chance for a completely different island getaway and an opportunity to own your own little piece of paradise.

Why here, what’s so different?

Visitors could think that they had landed on Swiss Family Robinson’s desert island. Its twelve deserted beaches are lapped by the Pacific and fringed by dense jungle, here howler monkeys, anteaters, hawks, egrets & iguanas roam. Surrounded by the islands natural beauty, you can experience all the outdoor adventure you want–without the hardships–think luxury accommodation, gourmet food, excellent service and soon a spa.

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Rooms/Accommodations

In May 2012 the resort was still in its first stage of development. This six-room boutique hotel, built to blend into the natural surroundings features wood clad buildings connected by a series of wooden walkways. Each room has comfortable beds, crisp linens and furnishings created from the forests fallen giants.

The centre of the hotel is a large comfortable “great room” located next to the small but elegant infinity pool. Down a level is the dining area, the perfect place to relax as you listen to the cascading water that feeds the wading pool and the ocean crashing below.

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We stayed in all three of the room types offered.

Garden Rooms

There is a whole lot of luxury packed into this 240 sq. ft. room. It includes a plush queen-sized bed, small seating area and a very cool outdoor shower suspended among the jungle trees. It is great for those who love their creature comforts but prefer to be out exploring, if you plan to spend anytime indoors it could be a little claustrophobic. However, there is always the “great” room.

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Jungle rooms

Floor-to-ceiling windows in this 300 sq. ft. room provide jungle views and from the balcony a partial view of the ocean. A queen-sized bed and cozy sitting area provide a perfect place for chilling after a day of island adventure, watching a movie on a rainy day or catching up with your emails.

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Ocean Suites

These 500 sq. ft. suites include a huge balcony with sweeping views of the Pacific and surrounding jungle. Doors can be opened wide to create an indoor/outdoor lounge. It has a king-sized bed, driftwood desk, comfortable dining area, “his and hers” sinks, rain-head shower, and our favorite, a giant soaking tub! This one was tough to leave!

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Dining

The restaurant “Eden” lives up to its name. Meals are Panamanian inspired using as many local ingredients as possible, including produce from the islands organic garden. The menu changes daily, offering two or three options for each course for lunch and dinner. We were fortunate enough to have been there when the chef put on his “taster” menu, seven courses and all divine.

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Facilities

The resort has WiFi throughout, a small infinity pool, wading pool, sun loungers, viewing decks, on site restaurant, bar service, boot-cleaning service, laundry service (additional charge), and complimentary transfers to and from the island.

You will not find telephones or TV’s here; instead, each room comes with its own iPad pre-loaded with gorgeous photos of the island, ready for you to share with all your friends. (Great way to make them jealous) and you can even watch the movie “Swiss Family Robinson” on it.

They also provide stainless steel water bottles, insect repellant and any other toiletries items you may have forgotten.

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Activities

Whether on land or sea, there are many activities to choose. Upon arrival, you will receive a list of all the tours and activities scheduled for the coming week—these vary, dependant on tides, weather and guests—they include kayaking, bird watching, tree climbing (worth doing), visiting the blow hole, or exploring & snorkelling the nearby islets.

Trips to the mainland include a coffee plantation tour, zip lining or visiting an indigenous community.

Alternatively, slip on the boots and head off to do your own exploring on the miles of trails that cross the island.

What’s to love?

The combination of an almost deserted island, all the luxury you could want and all the adventure you want. The staff were a delight, friendly, warm, courteous, efficient and charming.

What’s not to love?

It is the jungle, there are bugs! The mosquitoes could be thick in places, so be prepared, bug repellant and a switch cut from the side of the trail helps a lot.

Practical details

To get to Isla Palenque, fly into Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, then take a short connecting flight to Enrique Malek Airport in David, Panama (on average, a 45-minute flight), where they  will pick you up and bring you to Isla Palenque by boat (up to 1 hour).

Note:  At the time of writing there were rumours that international flights would be landing in David.

Panama: 777-9260

US & Canada: 855-777-9260

info@islapalenque.com

Or for bookings

We were guests at The Resort at Isla Palenque in May 2012, as always our review and opinions are completely are own.