Chapter 14: If We Build It, They Will Come?

Theme song: Luke Bryan’s “Crash My Party”

It’s one thing to build a spectacular over-the-water resort; it’s another to convince guests to stay there. We are now taking reservations for a soft opening of Bocas Bali Luxury Water Villas in Bocas Del Toro, Panama, scheduled for July 1, 2020. This is only two and a half months away, and the phone hasn’t exactly been ringing off the hook.

Since we don’t have any guests yet, I made one up. It seems like Tiffany is a good name for a luxury traveler, so let’s go with that.

Tiffany and Noah

Tiffany is engaged to marry Noah, her high school sweetheart, at the end of August 2020. In addition to the wedding costs, her parents have generously offered to pay $6,000 toward a honeymoon. Tiffany and Noah are madly in love and have good jobs, but the couple is cash poor, strapped with college debt. Since Tiffany was a little girl, she’s dreamed of a honeymoon at a magical over-the-water resort like the ones she’s seen on TV and in travel magazines. Her goal is to make her dream come true but stay within a $6,000 budget and seven-day window.

She googles “over the water bungalows” finding Fiji, Bora Bora, and the Maldives. Tiffany discovers that there are only 200 over-the-water resorts in the world — a surprisingly low number. Tiffany lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, so she used to search for flights from Grand Rapids to the Maldives for September 12–19. Kayak shows that the “best” and “cheapest” flight is $7,403 per ticket. To get there and back takes about 32 hours each way. After picking herself up from the floor, she moves onto Tahiti where Kayak’s “best” is almost 20 hours each way and $1,685 per ticket. This is much better but not workable given the cost and time constraints.

Tiffany is in the dumps for the next few days and Noah is feeling the brunt of it. One night, as they’re having dinner on the couch watching The Bachelor, a Sandals commercial appears for overwater bungalows in Jamaica. Tiffany perks up and quick searches for flights to Jamaica on her phone. Kayak’s “best” is only $727 per person and you can get to Jamaica in about six hours! Then, she checks the over-the-water room price for two at the Sandals Royal Caribbean on her dates—$16,196! In complete despair, Tiffany drops the pizza box on Noah’s lap and weeps.

All is not lost. A day later a friend tells her about a local blog,, featuring some crazy guy building an over-the-water luxury resort in Bocas Del Toro, Panama. Tiffany prepares herself for disappointment but decides to visit the new website at

She goes directly to Pricing & Packages, discovering a seven-night sample package, “The Ultimate Panama.” It includes two nights in Bocas Town, four nights at Bocas Bali in the overwater bungalows, and one night in Panama City’s Casco Viejo all for $3,650 per two people. Keeping her fingers and toes crossed, Tiffany discovers that flight costs are less than $1,000 per person roundtrip!

The Ultimate Panama | 7-Night Package | $3,650 per couple

All Bocas Bali packages are customized based on your wishes.

Lively Bocas Town

2 Nights
Lodging + Breakfast

Imagine Key West in the 1960s with live music, fabulous food, 120-year-old architecture, and Caribbean charm.

Serene Bocas Bali

4 Nights
Premium All-Inclusive

Indulge in stunning overwater accommodations, premium hospitality, and luxury dining in a relaxed island setting.

Historic Casco Viejo

1 Night
Lodging + Breakfast

Experience the best of Panama City with rooftop bars, shopping, historical ruins, and contemporary restaurants.

This all seemed too good to be true, so Tiffany contacted the resort as the Bocas Bali website directed. The listed price of $3,650 was exactly as quoted. Even after adding airfare the price was within their budget.

Tiffany and Noah reserved their honeymoon at Bocas Bali and will certainly live happily ever after.

How to get the word out

Please send your friends and family links to and We would love to have you as guests—just not all at once!

A line in Luke Bryan’s song may explain it best: “If you wanna call me, call me, call me you don’t have to worry ’bout it, baby.”

Deeply Discounted Bocas Bali Voucher Sale (Taxes Included)

Vouchers are valid for 3 years

We understand the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus and want to offer you an exotic vacation, honeymoon, or anniversary to look forward to at a heavily discounted price.

The Ultimate Panama Bocas Bali Vacation Package for Two (Best Deal)

  • 7 nights – 4 Bocas Bali, 2 Bocas Town, and 1 Casco Viejo for $3,250 including tax (Normally $4,000)

Bocas Bali Only All Inclusive for Two

  • 3 all-inclusive nights at Bocas Bali for $2,040 including tax (Normally $3,113)
  • 5 all-inclusive nights at Bocas Bali for $3,400 including tax (Normally $5,189)
  • 7 all-inclusive nights at Bocas Bali for $4,760 including tax (Normally $7,265)

Voucher Rules

  • 50% of the voucher cost is due at purchase. The remainder is due at check in.
  • The vouchers are valid for three years from September 2020 through September 2023
  • All nights at Bocas Bali are all-inclusive
  • All taxes are included.
  • With the Bocas Bali only vouchers, only the transportation from Bocas Town to and from our island is included.
  • With the multiple location package, the nights in Bocas Town and Casco Viejo include breakfast only.
  • All ground transportation included in with the multiple location package
  • Your air transportation internationally and regionally is not included.
  • The vouchers are nonrefundable
  • The vouchers are transferrable

Bocas Bali will assist all guests with no-charge premium planning services by phone and email. To purchase your voucher contact Dan Behm in the U.S. at 616-443-1219 or [email protected].

Do you have a creative idea to motivate guests to come to Bocas Bali?

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