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The Lunas Receptionist

Monday, August 29th, 2011

The only thing clear about your plan up to this moment is that you want to have a good time with no strings attached.  Its your vacation, the trip of a lifetime, the adventure after military service, or perhaps either your first or last stop in central America.

All kinds of questions pop into your head… you need someone to give you a little push, you look around and there they are, sitting behind the reception desk.  They like to travel just like you, they welcomed you in, and now they are going to help you resolve any pending details about your stay in Panama.  The Luna’s Castle Receptionist, a walking book.

Even in a castle the receptionists try to have a response to any possible question you might have.  Here in panama the answers generally have to be reinvented on a daily basis.  No other city in Central America changes constantly like ours does, at least not at the same rate as the last 10 years.

Even though the city continuously grows, as Panamanians, we maintain a few traditions; something remarkable for example is that our addresses are always based on points of reference: A building (which may or may not still exist), a store, a tree, or even a particular incident that occurred in the location your trying to explain.  Very few streets are marked with signs.  Thus, don’t be surprised when the directions to our nearest supermarket also mention three other places before arriving at your destination (while completely excluding all building numbers and street names).

In addition, even though the climate has some consistancies in the city, it changes, and can even be a bit deceiving.  For that reason, a weather related question is one of the most difficult for us to answer.

“I’m Going to San Blas.  How will the weather be?”

Its been more than once that we look the weather up on the internet only to find something entirely different than reality.

“When does the bus leave for the airport?”

“Weeeellll… the city bus routes have no schedule but there should be one passing every 40 minutes or so.”

“What nightclub is good to go to on a Tuesday night?”

“Besides our very own Relic Bar? Well, you could walk along Calle Uruguay to see what you find”

Panamanian nightlife is just as unpredictable as the weather, with the exception being the days surrounding payday.

So while on occasion we won’t have all the answers to what seem like simple and reasonable questions. We will always be happy to help you decipher the secret codes of our city.  And of course we will always give you that extra piece of advice (warning, map, note, etc.) that can complete your adventure.


Lunas Castle in the New York Times!!!

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Lunas Castle Guests got talent….

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Click here to experience the harmony

The Aussies at it again in Luna’s Castle

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

A classic Luna’s Castle meets Australia tale…

Getting plugged

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

Lunas Castle recently featured in the Daily Candy Panama best list.  Follow this link to read the whole article…

Happy Australia Day!

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

The Aussies in the hostel are celebrating Australia Day by doing the following: they bought green and yellow gym shorts, a green and yellow table cloth, painted stripes on their face with green and yellow face paint, and are now downing copious amounts of varying types of alcohol in the terrace downstairs. Their shouts of success and merriment echo into the dinning room, shenanigans have started and it’s only 3 in the afternoon. Happy Australia Day!

Panamanian Jail and the 7’oclock News

Sunday, July 12th, 2009

An old, wise man once whispered the adage, “all press is good press.” In the vast majority of cases,  I’m a serious believer. Britney Spears gets busted for drunk driving. What happens the next day? Her disc sales soar to levels not seen in months. Oh, so you’re the girl caught on camera sleeping with the married Senator? Allow us to punish you with a six figure offer to pose as a Playboy centerfold.  Let’s just hope the same rings true with hostels and their more “adventurous” guests. Recently, The Panama America placed our own  in the limelight. Who knows, maybe we’ll see a spike in bookings and he’ll get his first book deal. Read below:

Panama AmericaIn an evident state of drunkenness a man of French nationality was arrested by units of the National Police when he tried to jump from the roof of the old Hotel Central in Casco Viejo. At the time of his arrest the Frenchman said he just wanted to see the sunrise, but he became aggressive towards journalists, cameramen, and photographers who were in the area. The man was arrested and taken to the headquarters of the Tourist Police in San Felipe.

Ping Pong Pangs

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Losing sucks. Always has. Always will. Twenty-two did tonight. One didn’t. Luna’s Castle Ping Pong Championships 2009. Needless to say, we’re not the most intelligent bunch. We spent as much time trying to create a workable bracket for the ping-pong tourney as we did actually playing the matches. Nevertheless, we took a typical, dull Wednesday night and kicked it in the ass. It might as well have been a Friday – ping pong balls whizzing at high velocity in every direction, sore losers rolling around on the floor, victory dances on the tabletops. It’s cool to see something created out of nothing. No expectations. No preparations. I suppose that’s the essence of a hostel…unexpected events at unexpected times. Cheers to Wednesday night and a tiny white ball.

A bit of Press

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Patrizia Pinzon of Arco Properties and the author of a very popular Casco Viejo blog  put in a kind plug for us on her site!

New Bar in Town! Luna´s Castle opens underground bar at historic vault

Luna´s Castle has “expanded” its business. They just opened one of the nicest bars in town, at one of the historic vaults that the building hides at its base. The “castle” (meaning, the original house) was built over the original stone wall that surrounded Casco Viejo to protect it from attacks. When the city moved from its original settlement in Panama Viejo it brought with it traumas of pirate attacks, the last one being from Pirate Henry Morgan who basically destroyed what was left of the city at that moment.

This huge wall was built around the new city (San Felipe) and the Casa Ehrman (former name of the building) was built eventually, once the wall was taken down, on one of its sides. As a result, it has a beautiful patio in the back, and going even further down, you have an interesting vault that is now a very nice bar.

So don´t be shy! check it out… my photos are horrible, but I can assure you it´s worth the trip.

Lunas%20Castle%20bar - A bit of Press

4th of July BBQ

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

The first annual Luna’s Castle 4th of July BBQ was a smashing success. There was no space on the table for burgers and hotdogs. As usual, executive chef and hostel owner Sme made the decision to replace the traditional with the gourmet. His vision placed three of us in the kitchen for two hours laboriously hand pulling 70 pounds of pork – and  it was worth every minute of it. A true vegan’s nightmare, we shredding mountains of meat at a feverish pace, desperate to get the food on the plates at a reasonable hour. The menu featured Daniel’s legendary pulled pork sandwiches smeared in his granny’s secret sauce, hot cornbread, down home style slaw, spicy baked beans, and Ghirardelli brownies. Needless to say, it was an all-you-could-eat extravaganza. Screw seconds – we were coming up for third, even fourth servings. There were even enough leftovers to feed  a phalanx of Casco Viejo Presidential Guards working the night shift down the street!  We’ve hosted hostel dinners in the past, but this was the first time that we put the outdoor patio to the test. It was a special scene – over 100 backpackers gathered together filling their bellies to the brim.