Boxes that need ticking for our next escape: wild nature , sunny, Caribbean waters, off-the-grid and with a dose of culture. It’s a tall order, but one that El Otro Lado in mellow Panama fills – oh, and for less than you’d expect right now, too.
STYLE Native arts and culture
SETTING Placid Portobelo Bay
WHY THIS WEEK?
This whole post-summer back-to-the-grind thing is really overrated. Don’t you agree? Not to worry, this Panamanian paradise hidden away in the jungle is the perfect spot to drop out for a bit. What’s more, with 20 per cent off rooms when you book before 5 November, 2015, the decision to go right now is one that’s easily made.
OUR FAVOURITE BITS
El Otro Lado translates to ‘the other side’, a nod to the hotel’s location just a zippy boat ride across the bay from the port town of Portobelo. It’s also a fitting moniker for the overall otherworldly sense of this tropical compound with just four cottages and three suites. Each of which is styled with a gallery’s worth of colourful folk art, photography and hand carved sculptures from local artists. See something you like? Swing by the on-site carpentry shop where you can watch the artisans at work and pick up a decorative carved iguana or piece of furniture crafted by hand right there.
MR & MRS SMITH SAY… ‘We all need that friend – you know, the one with the private waterfront estate nestled on hundreds of wild, jungle-clad acres, where every room is effortlessly accented with only the most intriguing and exotic finds from her travels near and far. Which is why we were so glad to have met the owner of El Otro Lado, a Spaniard who fell in love with Panama, and converted her private home into a rustic, yet luxe, retreat. ‘ Read the full Mr & Mrs Smith hotel review…