Dreamcatcher Hotel & Restauarant
Dreamcatcher is right on the main sidewalk, just meters from the second smaller dock. (If visiting, ask your boat taxi to drop you off at this dock.)
I had seen photos of Dreamcatcher online and knew in advance to only expect a backpackers hotel, so no surprise when this is what we got. This is what you can expect - a clean room, with clean towels and sheets. Painted concrete floors and walls. A pretty crummy mattress, but a fan in the room. Only cold water in the shower, but this is a bit a relief in the hot weather. Friendly staff, but inconsistent service. However, this is the norm. When we asked our friend about everyone's laid-back attitude about service, he responded, "it's Panama, man." That sort of became our go-to phrase the rest of our vacation. But the rooms are cheap! The same price you would pay in shared room/shared bathroom hostel, but at Dreamcatcher both are private. Just remember, you get what you pay for.
The reason I am really writing this review though, is because of the food. Tosh, the owner/operator/chef, cooked the very best food we had of our entire two week vacation. And to clarify, we stayed in 3 different big hotels in San Jose, Costa Rica, we stayed at another resort in Bocas del Toro, and we also spent time in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. In all these places we ate at different restaurants of varying price ranges. We did not have a single meal anywhere, paying any price, that came close to the taste of Tosh's food.
On our first evening I had his bruschetta, something I make myself all the time. It is the best I have ever had. I had a second order right away, and I ordered it again on our second night there. My husband had fried fish. The kind of fish was lost in translation; Tosh speaks English very well, but some words like names of fish are tough. Didn't matter though, my husband literally raved about it. And we're from the Vancouver, BC area, we know seafood! He raved about it so much, I had Tosh's fish the next night, and I NEVER eat unknown fish! But I had to agree with my husband - it was delicious. It was a white fillet, pan fried with some sort of topping... not even sure what was in it, but it was the perfect compliment to the fish. I almost licked my plate but restrained myself.
We also had breakfast made by Tosh, and the man really knows how to make an omelet. Darn good cup of coffee too. Another bonus, the front deck where the restaurant is located is just a great place to hang out. Inside information tells me they have added more electrical outlets so you can charge your stuff. So pop in during the day for a cold smoothie or a hot coffee, or drop in for an outstanding dinner. But be warned - you might not always get what you are looking for - it's Panama, man!