We rented the orange house, front of the sea. It was the first time in Bocas del Toro, and we found the opinions on tripadvisor conflicting, so we opted to spend more money on a place with a lot of good reviews, this one. There was not exactly a nice idea.
You need to know how things works in Bocas del Toro: there is no public transport and there are two common ways of moving: taxis or collective transports. The prices depends on your face, if you're a tourist they try to make you spend more. Anyway moving in Bocas town costs 1 dollars with a taxi, going to a good beach like the Boca del Drago or playa de las estrellas costs 2.5 dollars and the same to go back. For the playa buff you need to spend more and more with a taxi because there is not a paved road, but you can (hardly) go there with a bicycle.
In any case the point is that everything originates in the center of Bocas, where is the public park. There, you find the collective buses to go to the nice beaches or the renting service for the bikes or even the water taxi or the organized tours.
This house on the contrary is in a slum called "Saigon" far from the center of the town, the houses of the property are nice, but the surroundings are a nightmare: the shack on the left it is like a dump: everything has been thrown into the water, trash, plastic bottles, bags, everything, not talking about the open connection of the sewers, just hope to be lucky that the wind doesn't blow in the wrong direction or you have to close the windows. The water in the front of the house is clean, but it is just inches away so we didn't even think to have a bath there. So "minutes to the beach" it says... And here we go: the nearest beach is on the isthmus, you will find only few people there because there is trash everywere... So take a taxi and go to the town, then go somewhere else.
We arrived at the local airport, and host was there waiting us, the transportation was organized by her with a collective transport, so after a large tour for the other people on the bus, we arrived at the house (that is near the airport...) and suffered the "tourist rate" of 4 dollars, note that with a taxi we would have spent exactly the half (this is what we did when we left). We stood in the house 9 days (for about 960 dollars) and in the house there was a soap bar and two rolls of toilet paper, we should have asked to the host for the change of the sheets and the towels. There was the necessary to cook but nothing for washing and ironing the clothes, if not a cord on the balcony for hanging them for drying.
We think to have spent a lot of money there, in any case the hosts (that lives just nearby in the house to the right) didn't have any problem of making a great variety of loud noises in the morning (on 8 a.m. ...) cutting woods and beginning to restore their boat just when we were there, and I repeat, spending a lot of money for the pleasure, this meant cutting woods, scraping, making noise and then that good smell of fresh paint that forces you to close all the windows with the heat of the carribbeans incumpent, that was just bad. We chose the house thinking of some tranquility, this was not what we had.
The last four days the hosts just left, so we had no one to ask if we need something, and they just said nothing. We left a message the last day on their phone to say that we were leaving, no reply, so we left leaving the keys on the table. That was just strange...
Ok, synthetically: a place in Bocas Town centre is just better, you've to go there anyway to move to a good place (if you don't want to swim in the trash) or, if you want a more quiet place, go over the isthmus.
The place here is highly overpriced for the place where it is and for what you will have.