If sun, surf, and socializing are part of your vacation agenda, then put Casa Comunal at the top of your list for places to visit. Situated on an idyllic Caribbean shoreline on Isla Colon, the largest and northernmost island in the Bocas del Toro archipelago in Panama, the modern vacation house enjoys a private beachfront with ample access to the outdoors. From incredible surf breaks, to hiking trails through the tropical understory, to learning retreats covering programs like yoga, music production, and photography, there is no shortage of things to do. "It was important to me to unite travelers, the locals, and nature, and that was the triumvirate behind Casa Comunal," says Jordan Christopher, the surfer, traveler, and self-taught architect who rallied a team of co-designers and friends to realize the project. "The goal was to create a greater sense of connection and eco-consciousness." Having just opened its doors in early December, Casa Comunal can be rented in its entirety, accommodating up to 14 guests, or be reconfigured into two separate units that sleep nine or five, respectively.
Built of steel, glass, and concrete with spacious covered decks, the structure is designed to both withstand and open up to the surrounding environment. Christopher challenged the team to source everything as locally as possible, using fallen laurel wood for furniture. "Nothing was shipped in via container as many builders do here," he explains. "Everything was carried in my luggage from multiple flights. I even flew all the way here with a corner-style kitchen sink because no store in the country sold them at the time." A sloped roof catches rainwater, which has supplied the house so far, and there is a greywater filtration and irrigation system on site.
"It was important to me to unite travelers, the locals, and nature...to create a greater sense of connection and eco-consciousness." - Jordan Christopher
The vacation rental hosts single travelers, families, and corporate groups. "For me, the most important thing is the concept of bringing people together with shared ideas and shared learning," says Christopher, who names the development of the learning retreats as the next phase of the project. "Casa Comunal is the culmination of my passions: nature, culture, art, and people."
The introductory rate starts at $200 a night for Casa Sur and $270 a night for Casa Norte. To learn more or book a stay, visit Casa Comunal online.
Thank you to Daniel Fink for the tip! If you know of a property that should be featured on Dwell, email email@example.com.
Get the Dwell Travel Newsletter
Start exploring far-flung design destinations, the newest boutique hotels, and well-designed bars and restaurants perfect for the modern jetsetter.