Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Boquete Paradise

Where to stay in Boquete? An excellent option is ‘Boquete Paradise’ which is like saying ‘Paradise Paradise’. Travelers accustomed to unique inns that delight the senses will be thrilled with the setting of this boutique hotel in Palo Alto, five picturesque minutes from downtown. The rooms and suites are comfortable and well-appointed, but the setting is truly paradise, for many reasons:

· A river runs through it;
· The gardens must be seen to be believed;
· The morning symphony of birds is divine;
· Vistas include coffee plantations and mountains, including Volcan Baru; and,
· A gazebo beckons guests to BBQ and sip wine while enjoying all of the above.

Each suite has two bedrooms with full-size beds and a private, enclosed balcony overlooking this idyllic scene and a kitchenette, for preparing that BBQ in paradise. Upper floor suites #9 and # 11 have vaulted ceilings with loft sleeping quarters (3rd bedrooms) for families with children. Suite #10 is the one ground floor suite and it has private parking very near the entry.

The inn also has seven standard rooms with full-sized beds, for half the price of a suite, and one with twin beds. Each set of two rooms share an enclosed balcony. Instead of kitchenettes found in the suites, rooms include a coffee maker, refrigerator, extra sink, toaster and microwave. Other amenities include satellite tv, dvd/cd players, and wireless internet. The best view rooms are #’s 5, 6, 7 & 8.

Rates include breakfast and the café serves coffee all day, along with beer and soft drinks. This property provides one of the best values in Boquete given its spectacular riverside setting. There are many overpriced lodging options in Boquete, and more expensive options that can justify the expense. There is not, however, a better value for upscale travelers that prefer staying twice as long to paying twice as much per night.

Finally, the manager is a partner in the property, so the service is excellent. Ask for Maky at + 011 (507) 720-2278 or write

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hostal Boquete

Hostal Boquete is “a charming inn on the river where the world meets”, according to its innkeeper. In a single day I’ve heard Dutch, French, German, Italian, English, and Spanish spoken here, so this description rings true. This inn spins on its own axis with patios, terraces, balconies, hammocks on the river, couches and music in the lobby – all inviting visitors and locals to unwind in a relaxed atmosphere.

Charming? Definitely! Hostal Boquete has been my favorite WiFi hotspot until Internet gets to my new office. I’ve been charmed by Innkeepers Dave, Cristina, Haydee, Josue, Eibar, Yahaira, Katherine & Nemisis. This team runs a comfortable, clean, and fun inn with an excellent café and outdoor bar with the best location in Boquete.

In the past five years, I’ve checked out every lodging, working, and café option in this pueblo. Survey says… this is the best hostel in Boquete, a place where guests join forces in hiking, white water rafting, zip lines, hot springs, and moped touring in the “Valley of Eternal Spring”. Guest’s lodging choices range from shared dorm rooms to private rooms with private baths, in a central downtown location.

It is heartening to watch so many cultures come together in such a special place. The photo above is taken from the bar on the inn’s riverfront "Baricci Café". The menu includes regional favorites along with Italian cuisine, beer and wine, all at good prices. The soothing sound of the Rio Caldera makes this café a river refuge where guests gather and linger to enjoy stunning views. I always leave Hostal Boquete with a smile on my face.

If you find better economy lodging in Boquete, your drinks are on me (local cell 6696.2691). If you agree that Hostal Boquete rocks, hook me up with a sweet spot in a place you know well?

See you here… Paz!