One of the oldest hotels in Bocas and full of charm, Gran Hotel Bahia is a must-stay when visiting Bocas Town, in Bocas del Toro, Panama. I stayed for 8 nights and felt relaxed and completely at home.
The hotel sits facing the waterfront docks full of bars, restaurants and shops so when you walk outside there’s not shortage of things to do. It was quite a change of pace after staying on the nearly secluded Red Frog Beach Beach Resort on Bastimentos, which I appreciated. With every step on the main street of Bocas I heard lively music, locals laughing and the sounds of island life. I loved it.
A few highlights:
- Ownership. Jose is 82 years old and purchased the hotel decades ago. He is the most friendly and welcoming man. He told me about his life working all over Panama, including time spent on the canal. It was fascinated to hear about this man’s history and the history of the hotel. Which leads me to the next highlight…
- History. Gran Hotel Bahia used to be the Chiquita (bananas) headquarters years ago. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had many a Chiquita before so it was interesting to see the place where so much of their work was done.
- Comfortable rooms. The rooms are all equipped with airconditioning, which is extremely important in the Panama heat, hot water showers (also a treat on an island) and cozy beds.
- Breakfast included (with lots of coffee). You know me, coffee is an imperative!
- Location. Right on the waterfront, surrounded with shops and restaurants. There were so many awesome eats and drinks, I made a whole YouTube episode about it! What more do you need in a location? A beach with a good cocktail in hand? Well that’s in walking distance. 😉