El Otro Lado

Bahia Portobelo, Panama

Set amid the mangrove swamps, coastal lagoons, and stretches of coral reef in Portobelo National Park, this Design Hotels property features just five colorful villas. The “houses” range from a small, one-bedroom retreat nestled near a waterfall, to an over 8,000-square-foot residence spread over two floors. The whole property is awash in a kaleidoscope of vibrant hues, from the bright interiors with their boldly patterned tiles, decorative fabrics, and local artwork, to the multi-colored lounge chairs surrounding the infinity pool, which seems to merge seamlessly with the turquoise Portobelo Bay. Those seeking adventure can take a deep-sea dive to explore the wreck of a C-45 airplane, while guests looking to relax can book an outdoor massage on the hotel’s century-old barge.

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