Precios Económicos de Habitaciones de Hotel y Cómo Encontrarlos!

En este blog hablaremos sobre cómo encontrar o negociar precios de habitación de hotel económicos para su próximo viaje.

Cuando la mayoría de las personas hacen un viaje de vacaciones o negocios, necesitan realizar una reserva en un hotel para quedarse mientras están fuera. La forma más fácil de hacerlo es encontrar un OTA (Agente de viajes en línea) como Booking.com, Expedia.com o uno de los muchos OTA para reservar una habitación.

Algunas personas llegan incluso a buscar hoteles, bed & breakfast o algún otro tipo de alojamiento en un sitio como Tripadvisor.com antes de realizar la reserva para ver imágenes reales de las habitaciones, instalaciones ya sean piscinas u otras, servicios ofrecidos y demás antes de tomar una decisión sobre dónde alojarse. Es muy prudente hacer todo esto, pero antes de presionar el botón de reserva para arrendar su habitación, hay una manera menos costosa de viajar.

Por favor, permítame unos minutos para explicar la mejor manera de ir!

Cuando los hoteles están enlistados en las OTA, el propietario del hotel tiene un costo por hacer esto y el costo del negocio del propietario del hotel es bastante alto. Verá, Booking.com cobra una comisión al propietario del hotel del 18% del total de la venta por el derecho a incluir su propiedad en el sitio de reservas. Del mismo modo, Expedia.com, Hotels.com y otras OTA cobran más del 15% del total de la venta al propietario del hotel por el derecho de enumerar la propiedad del hotel para los vacacionistas y otros para reservar habitaciones en sus sitios. Números bastante asombrosos, sí lo digo yo mismo, y debido a esto, los dueños del hotel deben subir sus precios para obtener una ganancia.

Teniendo en mente esta valiosa información, ahora le diré cómo puede ahorrar en su próximo viaje. En primer lugar, use Tripadvisor.com para investigar dónde le gustaría quedarse. Cuando haya tomado una decisión sobre la ubicación de sus sueños, escríbala en el motor de búsqueda Google.com y busque el sitio web de su alojamiento deseado, o incluso simplemente su número de teléfono de contacto y llámelos directamente (no reserve a través de su sitio web como usted usualmente haría, tendrá que hablar con alguien del alojamiento directamente para obtener un mejor precio).

Al reservar directamente en el alojamiento deseado, sabiendo cuánto tendrían que pagar a las OTA por comisión, encontrará que puede negociar un buen ahorro de 10% o menos para usted,  menos de lo que pagaría en el sitio de OTA. Incluso puede descubrir que el hotel que está mirando tiene una promoción o un especial mensual que le ahorrará aún más, pero nunca lo habría descubierto si hubiese reservado en una OTA. ¡Esto también le dará al propietario del hotel un ahorro del 5-8%! Estarás contento con los ahorros y el propietario del hotel también estará contento de no tener que pagar las comisiones. ¡Esto es un “gane y gane” para ambos lados! ¡Se dará cuenta que el descuento puede ser un ahorro suficiente para pagar una comida en la ciudad para usted y su familia mientras está de viaje!

En Casa de Montana Bed & Breakfast siempre tenemos especiales y recompensamos a nuestros huéspedes por reservar directamente con nosotros. Visite nuestro sitio web en www.casademontana.com o llámenos directamente entre las 8 am y las 8 pm todos los días al (+507) 730-9427 (Panamá) o 952-931-9770 en los EE. UU. para ver cuánto puede ahorrar con nosotros en su próxima visita a Boquete, Panamá.

Sé que le costará un poco de trabajo reservar su próxima habitación de esta manera, pero creo que el ahorro que obtendrán les provocará sonrisas a usted y a los demás, ¡incluso antes de comenzar su viaje!

“Pruébalo… te gustará!”

 

Ed Crupar- Co-propietario de Casa de Montana Bed & Breakfast 

Traducido por: Generoso Guerra.

 

 

 

Affordable Hotel Room Prices and How to Find Them!

In this blog we will talk about how to find or negotiate affordable hotel room prices for your next trip.

When most people take a trip for vacation or business they need to arrange for a hotel to stay in while they are out and about. The easy way to do this is to find an OTA (Online Travel Agent) such as Booking.com or Expedia.com or one of many other OTAs to reserve a room.

Some people even go as far as research hotels, bed & breakfasts, etc. on a site like Tripadvisor.com prior to booking to see actual pictures of rooms, facilities like pools, amenities offered and the like, before making their decision on where to stay. All this is very wise to do, but before you press the reservation button to purchase your room, there is a less expensive way to travel.

Please allow me a few minutes to explain the better way to go!

When hotels list on the OTAs there is a cost to the hotel owner for doing this and it is quite a sizeable cost of doing business for the hotel owner. You see, Booking.com charges a commission to the hotel owner of 18% of the total sale for the right to list their property on the Booking site. Likewise, Expedia.com, Hotels.com and other OTAs charge upwards of 15% of the total sale to the hotel owner for the right to list the hotel property for vacationers and others to book rooms from on their sites. Pretty staggering numbers, if I do say so myself, and because of this the hotel owners must pad their prices to realize a profit.

Keeping this costly info in mind I will now tell you how you can save on your next trip. First, please use Tripadvisor.com to do your research on where you would like to stay. When you have come to a decision on your dream location, type it into the Google.com search engine and find your location’s website, or even just their contact phone number and give them a call directly (do not book through their web site as you will need to talk to someone directly to get a better price).

Reserving directly with the location, and knowing how much they would have to pay to the OTAs for commission, you will find that you can negotiate a nice savings of 10% to you, or so, less than what you would pay at the OTA site. You may even find that the hotel that you are looking at is running a Special Monthly Promotion that will save you even more, but you would never have found this out if you booked on an OTA. This will also give the hotel owner a savings of 5-8%, too! You will be happy with the savings and the hotel owner will also be happy not to have to pay the commissions. This is a “Win-Win” for both sides! The discount that you will realize may even be enough of a savings to pay for a meal out on the town for you and your family while you are on your trip!

At Casa de Montana Bed & Breakfast we are always running Specials and rewarding our guests for directly booking with us. Please check out our Website at www.casademontana.com or call us directly between 8AM and 8PM daily at (507) 730-9427 (Panama) or 952-931-9770 in the US to see how much you can save with us on your next visit to Boquete, Panama.

I know that this will take a little work for you to book your next room this way but I feel that the savings will give you and the others with you smiles, even before you start your trip!

“Try it… you’ll like it!”

 

By: Ed Crupar – Co-Owner of Casa de Montaña

 

 

 

Macho, Macho Men: A tale of two men in Boquete, Panama.

Blog by Terry Richmeier

Here at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast we have met people from all over the world! We meet all of these people while they are at their happiest time in their life -they are on vacation!

And what about the locals? What do tourist run into when they arrive in Panama and especially in Boquete?

They will find kind and caring locals and if you try to speak Spanish at all, Boquetenians will greet you with a great big smile! Panamanians and especially Boquetenians, love to show tourists their country and their world!

With the world having so many different personalities, you can pretty much be assured you will recognize some familiar personalities when you are touring Boquete, Panama. From arrogance, to a presence of all-encompassing love!

One short story from a friend of ours, Joyce Kinnear talks about two men she recognized as good and not so good! In this story, Joyce talks about a foundation that Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast supports through donations.

A tale of two men:

This week I met the stereotypical macho, Latin American man for the first time in the years we’ve been visiting and now living in Central America. He was everything I dislike about the stereotype–macho, dominant, totally inconsiderate of others, especially women and poor workers. All of this was done with a wink and an attitude where he seemed to think this all made him the sexiest thing alive (as opposed to reality where most of the women on the bus wanted to puke)

The second man I met today at an event for the foundation, which provides therapy, skills and socializing for handicapped children and adults, as well as help for the caretakers. At this event, one man stood out. He guided his son, who appeared to have cerebral palsy and some brain function issues, carefully to his chair, dancing with his son and making sure the boy had a lovely time. I found out that the boy’s mother and man’s wife died in a car accident a couple of years ago. This man has been caring for his son and clearly adores the boy.

I want to point out that while I have met one example of the first man, there have been many of the second type around me in Panama. Perhaps the tired old stereotype of the Latin American man needs a major overhaul to that of a view of a man who loves his family and children, works hard and yet still dances with them to ensure they live happy and full lives, no matter the child’s abilities.

So, come down to Boquete, Panama! Stay with us at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast. Let us help you set up some time to visit the foundation, or other different volunteer groups here in Boquete. Spend some time seeing the different personalities of the Panamanian and especially the Boquetenians people! You won’t regret it a bit.

 

Panama Relocation versus Living elsewhere: What do we miss?

blog by Terry Richmeier

If you are thinking about relocating to Boquete, Panama, then you will have to think about what you may miss about living in your own country. We here at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast have experienced this ourselves! When you are here in Boquete, you do miss things from your previous home, and when you fly back to see family and friends, you miss things from Boquete. And so have other expats. Here is recent transplants Joyce and Scott’s thoughts:

We have been on a trip back to the Western part of the US for a couple of weeks and will be headed back to Panama soon. So, the question—what have we missed from the US (besides family and friends and our amazing conversations we’ve had the past couple of weeks), and what are we missing now from Panama?

Well, I have missed dry weather. It’s wet season now in Panama, but hot and dry in the Western US. I love hot and dry weather, and I’ve been soaking up the sun. Also, it’s cherry, sweet corn and stone fruit season here, and I’ve been eating as much corn, cherries, peaches, nectarines and especially apricots as I can fit inside for

the drought that we will have when we return to Panama.

It’s been nice to go to a Michael’s arts and crafts store, too. For someone as interested in yarn and painting as I am, having a specialty store in every town is nice. Of course, we have missed San Francisco, the Sierra Nevada mountains, the summer flowers in the US and so much more.

What are we really looking forward to when we get back to Panama? Of course, the people are the most important thing, and we have a number of friends we are looking forward to seeing.

Food also is near the top of this list. We were at Safeway just yesterday and saw super, super green pineapples for $3 each. They didn’t smell like pineapple at all and looked tasteless. I will be glad to see the vendors and their $1 pineapples when we return. The constantly good coffee will be wonderful to return to, as well. We’ve had some nasty stuff at hotels and buffets here (not from our friends, of course!), and I am so looking forward to consistently wonderful coffee every morning—especially when served with the hojaldras downtown (they’re like sopaipillas for you New Mexicans).

It will be lovely to do all of this just after a hike through the green and beautiful mountains filled with hibiscuses and other flowers in and around Boquete.

Life is what you make it, and every place in the world is special and beautiful. The more you travel, the more you feel at home everywhere, but miss other parts of the world that you have grown to love.

We couldn’t have said it better or any differently! For us at Casa de Montaña, we miss family and friends the most! And the only way to solve that problem is for you to come and visit your family and friends here in Boquete, Panama. Give us a look, come and stay with us at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast. Surprise your loved ones with a visit and take care of that special place in the hearts of your loved ones that only you can fill!

 

105 years of Boquete, Panama: An Incredible Anniversary Celebration!

Blog by Maria Isabel Zapata

Having lived only two months and a half here in Boquete, it was a joy for us to be at the celebration of the 105 years foundation of the district of Boquete.medellin

When I found out there was going to be a horse parade I got really exited! I grew up in Medellin Colombia, and we also have a horse parade there every year  for  “ La feria de las Flores”.( I think I will have to talk about that in another blog. ) So obviously I love horses and I love parades, it’s a tradition for me, and since we don’t live in Medellin, it was wonderful for me to be able to show  my kids a little bit of my traditions in another country!

 

First I would like to share with you about the foundation of Boquete!  In Spanish, the word Boquete means ‘gap or opening’. It was through this gap that curious gold seekers trekked, looking for a cheaper and quicker way to the Pacific. Farmers began settling in the region near the end of the nineteenth Century. By the early twentieth century, several villages had been populated: Lino, Quiel, Bajo Mono, Los Naranjos, and Bajo Boquete, which now is the town center of the district.

boquete viejo

Boquete was founded on April 11, 1911. Initially, the head of the district was Lino, but it was moved soon after to Bajo Boquete. For many years, the district had three “corregimientos” (townships): Bajo Boquete, Caldera, and Palmira. In 1998, the “corregimientos” of Alto Boquete, Jaramillo, and Los Naranjos were created.

The creation of the District of Boquete was decreed by the Law 20, dated January 17, 1911. This law was sanctioned by Pablo Grosemena, then President of Panama. The first municipal authorities settled on April 11, 1911 and their names were:

  • Felipe Gonzales (Mayor)
  • Maximo Santamaria (Magistrate)
  • Camilo Castillo ( President of the Council)
  • Domingo Turner ( Secretary)
  • Paulino Ruiz (Treasurer)

In addition to tourism, Boquete’s main industry remains agriculture, especially the growing of coffee beans. Boquete is well known for its coffee, judged to be among the finest in the world, which I love too, I mean, do you know any Colombian who doesn’t love coffee?!

So now, on April 11, 2016 we celebrated the foundation of this beautiful town.

reina abanderarotraje de fantasia

The celebration lasted for three days, starting on Friday with the election of the beauty queen, where the girls showed to the public beautiful fantasy dresses. The election of “el abanderado” and a wonderful folklore dance where the women were dressed with “la pollerapollera”. La pollera is the costume typical of Panama. It consists of a long skirt, sometimes with a colorful and beautiful embroidery that pairs with a blouse of the same color as the skirt, “las peinetas” which is a golden hair accessory and “tembleques” which were originally made of fish scales and pearls.

 

 

On Saturday morning the little kids in town had a lot of fun with a “cabalgata’ on their own with toy horses. It was both really cute and funny to see them walking on their little toy horses.  They also had games and “pinta caritas” (girls painting the kids faces) for them.

cabalgata niños

And so it was time for the big cabalgata! I was so excited and also worried I wasn’t going to make it to the cabalgata in time to watch it. All the signs said they would start at 1 pm. It was getting closer to 3 pm and I was still at home trying to make all my family to jump in the car and get going. Try to do that with two babies and two dogs!

When we got there I saw all the horses near their trunks and I thought I had missed it. My husband kept telling me that the parade wasn’t going to be at 1 pm and I didn’t want to believe him – I really am a kid when it comes to horses!IMG_2712

So we walked around town and we saw these little cute ponies and my son immediately fell in love with it and wanted to ride it. Oh it’s times like these I wish I was a kid too so I could ride it as well!  He was so happy he could ride the pony that I am pretty sure he wanted to take the pony home with us (I kind of did too!)

 

There were so many things at the fair, from food, drinks, popcorn and “raspao” which is a traditional treat. It’s a cold beverage made out of ice, liquid flavor and condensed milk, not so healthy but so good for those hot days! We stopped and had some at the kiosk of a very nice gentleman who gave me extra condensed milk because I took a picture of him.  IMG_2717 IMG_2715

 

The people started to gather on the sides of the streets and got ready to see the horses pass by.  I heard some familiar music that made me think about my dad and I started looking toward where it was coming from. I saw this guy playing an Andean flute, so off course it was familiar to me – my dad loves that music and I grew up with it.

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As I listened the music, in the background the horses started to appear and I was starting to get excited! The parade started with the “abanderado” or representative of the celebration, followed by the rest of the horses and some cars with music bands. God were they pretty!

IMG_2765 cabalgata

 

The horses looked so healthy, beautiful and the riders looked so proud!  I would be very proud too! I specially loved the paso fino horses since some of them were even dancing to the music and they looked so gorgeous.  I was so amazed by the fact that several kids were riding their own big horses like a professional!

The parade lasted for three hours and it was so worth watching! Every time they passed by they would be doing something different, between dancing to the music or showing their beautiful pasos finos.  I was so in love. One of the horses lost a shoe in the middle of the street and so my husband insisted on taking the shoe. So I took the shoe and brought it home with me, it was a memento for me. My husband says it brings good luck.  I just hope it would bring a horse too!

 

What I really loved about the fair is that they did a great job in including everyone in the family to enjoy the celebration. There was dancing and traditional music presentations, the kids parade, the big horse parade and they even had a disco!  On Sunday they had a special morning for the furry members of the house. They had a dog and cat parade, custom competition and a lot of games. My two little furry babies were so happy to make new friends!

IMG_2684 pets day

It was time to celebrate and give thanks to God for the foundation of the town. The people of Boquete attended a thanksgiving mass where they prayed for Boquete and celebrated the anniversary.

church day

The experience of the fair was really magical for me and my family. We could see how proud the Boqueteños are of their culture and even the expats looked proud.  It made me proud too of belonging here now. I just wish there would be more fairs like this one!

Come and stay with us at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast and enjoy the beauty of Boquete – our people, horses, coffee, flowers and birds!

 

A local family moves to Boquete

Blog by. Maria Isabel Zapata

 

panama. aptm mariaWhen my husband first told me he was thinking about moving to Boquete my first reaction was: What in the world are we going to do there? I thought of Boquete as a small village with nothing to do. I had different plans for us in the city, and even though I wanted a change, I never thought of Boquete as that great change. We were living in a small apartment, my father in law, my husband, my two kids, my two dogs and me! Beautiful view of the city but too expensive for what we could pay and not enough space.IMG_1436

So my husband decided I should come and stay for a few days in Boquete. We arranged to come for Christmas and spend it with his partner, so I could meet him and see where my husband was going to be spending most of the time.

It was a long 7 hour drive with the kids, I would have preferred to come by air. We arrived late in the night so all we wanted was to sleep. It was so nice and different to wake up with the twittering birds and a nice cup of coffee.

My expectations were not high but as soon as I got to Boquete, everything in me changed. Everything was so calm and people were nice and polite. The weather was perfect, and my kids were so happy. Just driving around town and seeing the beautiful gardens of Boquete made me feel at peace.

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IMG_1446The berries! Oh I love berries! It was a little difficult to find fresh berries in the city. So it was a great thing for me to be able to have fresh ones. I specially loved the strawberry and cream tarts from a German bakery. The owner makes the cream fresh and by hand. I have to confess that every now and then I can’t resist the temptation and I have to have one.IMG_1465

I met Debra on this trip and spent Christmas with her, Pascal and friends. I have to say that they made me feel like at home, and my kids were so incredible happy. My husband so calm, that I just didn’t want to leave. Trust me when I say, that’s how you will feel here at Casa de Montaña.

We went back to Panama City and decided to definitely move to Boquete. It was a sweet and sour decision for me. I loved Boquete and couldn’t wait to move, but I sure was going to miss my girlfriends and it was hard for us to leave my father in law, since he didn’t want to move with us. I decided to see my friends for one last time since we were moving soon

chicas.

We already knew where we were going to live, since we were taking Pascal’s old house. If you decide to move here and don’t know where yet, here at Casa de Montaña we have an over view tour of Boquete, in which you can see the different neighborhoods. We can also help you set up an appointment with a realty company here in Boquete.

I was really excited about moving, but there was something else I wanted to do, which was to find some volunteer work to get me out the IMG_1804house and spending a few hours a day with adults. I’ve been a full time mom for the past 3 years and now as my children would be in school it would be the perfect time to do something on my own. That’s how I found out that Manzar and Terry where looking for someone to volunteer in the office part-time.   Debra suggested it would be a good opportunity for me to gain some new skills in the tourism industry. How amazing was that! I felt like everything was in the right path and went ahead and set up a skype interview with Manzar and Debra.

So now it was time to pack, and let me tell you… you never know what you have until you have to move! It was a kind of stressful moment, but even though my kids were wondering why everybody was packing their toys and what were we doing, they behaved so well they even helped us pack!

You might wonder what made us take the decision to move here. We wanted a change of life. Better quality for less cost. We really got tired of the city and small apartment. We wanted a nice house with a garden where our dogs and kids could play, and not have to worry about the cars passing by. Being here on Christmas made us realize this was the place.

IMG_2361Finding school for our kids wasn’t too difficult either. We wanted a place near Casa de Montaña, so that I could go pick them up after work. We found this little place called Aprendizaje Divertido, just a few blocks from here. The teacher was lovely and the kids there looked happy. We didn’t look for anything else and decided right away. Since my little baby is only one year old and has always (and only) been breastfeeding, it was a hard adjustment for her not to be with me for half a day. The teachers were so lovely and understanding of her feelings, it helped her feel better and now she is very happy. IMG_1874

Moving here was the best decision we could have made for our family. We now live in a house with a garden and fruit trees. My dogs can be free and they even have little furry friends around the neighborhood they visit (without our permission!)

We have breakfast outside every Sunday morning, and there is so many things to discover here that we never get bored. So far we have visited Volcan, Janson’s Coffee farm and Cerro Punta. We go for walks around town every time we can. We love visiting the gardens, being able to have a cup of coffee with a beautiful view, but most of all we love the great quality of life our kids are having here.

Come and stay with us at Casa de Montaña! I assure you, you won’t want to leave!

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