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Old 06-27-2009, 10:04 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Aqua Lounge - Bocas del Toro, Panama

I stayed at this hostel for all of the 8 days that I was in Bocas. It's not on the main island (Isla Colon) but a smaller island right across from it called Isla Carenero. This hostel is lime green and sits on the water. It doesn't look like the nicest place ever but I really enjoyed my stay there.

There are definite pros and cons to this depending on your personality and how high maintenance you are, you may love or hate this place. I'll just make a list to make it easier to read..

-Staff. The friendliest (and most attractive :P ) I've met. The owner's name is Christian and he's a middle-aged man from France. There are others who work there on and off, from all over the world, who all speak great English. They are very helpful and even allowed me to work for a free night when I was having money issues. They also kicked out a creepy local dude who wouldn't leave me alone.

-Free breakfast and internet

-Bar and restaurant, cheaper than the main island's food and pretty good quality. Kitchen with lots of utensils.

-Swimming pool. This is actually just a large oval hole cut in the deck so you're swimming in the sea water that is also surrounding the place. It's a good idea and this is the only hostel in Bocas that has its own swimming area. There are swings and a diving board as well. Oh yeah, and they have hammocks and tables to chill in.

-Laundry service. Cheaper than in town, and they fold it all for you and everything.

-Clean beds, clean bathrooms

-Personal fans for each bed

-Smell. The rooms sometimes have a strange a mix of sea water and sweat. The place is on the water, so you gotta deal with that. Plus it's so f'ing hot that everyone is sweating and things don't dry very quickly all. After being there a couple days I got used to it. It's not unbearable.

-Water shortage. The day after the parties, there is no running water in the bathrooms. They have a water tank which empties when so many people are there, so they have to wait until the people at the main island give them more. This sucks, but you gotta learn to take a shower before the party. Toilets always work during this time, though. Hmm..

-Loud music and people. This place is open to the public as far as the bar and restaurant go. The staff likes to play their own music starting at about 10:30 until dark. Sometimes they play it pretty loud, depending on the person. They all have varied and good taste in music, this may not be a problem. Young local boys (like 6-14 years old) hang out here to fish and play dominos but they are rarely a problem. I enjoyed having locals hanging out, though.

-Parties. Aqua Lounge holds two parties weekly. One on Wednesday night and one on Saturday night. They both offer free drinks for ladies until around 11 or midnight, and the party always lasts til 2 or 3 am. If you want to get some sleep these nights..forget about it. Join the party or go somewhere else. They have a DJ and everyone from the main island comes over. They hold the best parties, they really are fun. This hostel plays a lot of electronica & dance-pop, some rap and other stuff thrown in.

-Location. It costs $1 US to take a 20-second boat ride to the main island. The cost is what sucks the most considering it takes hardly any time to get there. You are not where all the main action is but there are things on Isla Carenero to get you by - a grocery store, cafe, nice beach, another hotel with a bar and restaurant. However it is kinda nice being away from all the noise of the main island when you just want to chill for the night.

I had a great time at this place, I would totally go back and I really think the staff has a lot to do with it. They are great people and again, they hold the best party!
"Are you the guy thats telling me to beware cause i'll tell you where to be!"
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Old 06-28-2009, 05:36 PM   #2
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This place sounds pretty happening, aside from the No Agua Thursdays and Sundays. That kinda blows, man.

And whoever's running that boat is making a killing.

Thank you for all of these hostel reviews.
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