El Otro Lado

Across bay from town, Bocas del Toro, Panama

This private retreat across the bay from Portobelo offers a splendid mix of ocean views, tropical nature, abundant art, friendly service, and fine dining. Accommodations are in four small houses with colorful decor that includes the work of local artisans, as well as such modern amenities as an LCD TV, iPod dock, and Wi-Fi. The houses surround a pool and a bright gazebo that serves as restaurant, gallery, and lounge. The cuisine is a fusion of Caribbean and Continental flavors, with a menu that changes daily, and accommodates guest needs. Large families, or small groups desiring privacy can rent the Casa Grande, up the hill, which has three suites, a full kitchen, and a dining–living room. Basic spa services are available, as are excursions to nearby beaches or colonial fortresses, and fishing, kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Folk dancing performances can be arranged, as can the chance to sculpt or paint with a local artisan; the property's wood workshop makes beautiful furniture for the hotel as well as to sell. The restaurant is open to the public for lunch (with reservations only) and day passes are available for nonguests ($120).


  • gorgeous atmosphere
  • intimate
  • great service


  • expensive


Phones: 507-202–0111


3 suites, 4 houses
Rate Includes: Breakfast