El Otro LadoPortobelo, Panama
El Otro Lado (‘The Other Side’ in Spanish) is a complete get-away from the everyday world, yet less than two hours from Panama City.
Offering a unique cocktail of striking design, local culture and unspoiled nature this private retreat is only accessible by a 10-minute boat journey from the small town of Portobelo and is set in a 110-hectare private natural estate.
The maximalist ‘Gazebo’, which is the bar-dining-lounge area, features an exquisite mix of patterned tile floors, white and pink sofas, Kuna Indian artworks, hand-painted wooden furniture, African masks and stunning black-and-white photographs taken by the owner. It could have been a design disaster, but it works!
The four casita suites set around the infinity pool were designed with the different colour palettes in each room inspired by the surrounding nature. The rooms in the main house, which is located a short walk up the hill above the casitas, are of a more traditional design but also filled with fascinating artefacts and artworks.
A number of activities are offered including a boat trip to the beach, snorkelling, kayaking, art tours, wildlife tours along the mangroves, rainforest walking tours, fishing, climbing the nearby colonial fortifications and more.
We fell in love with the three resident black Labradors and resident parrot. Don’t be surprised if the dogs want to accompany you to the beach!