Austin Hess 2020-11-12 01:37:04
“Honey…. We bought a resort”, said Steve to Joan, enthusiastically, when he returned from his visit to Bocas Del Toro in 2005. “We…. What?!?!?!” 3 months later, we packed the essentials and our 2-year-old twins and moved our lives to this waterfront jungle paradise. Excited and naïve, we began to wield our way through the intricate legalities and many challenges of building a new life in Bocas.
It was a surreal time, growing to love and call this exquisite Caribbean paradise “home”, creating a business, making new friends, watching our little ones grow and play in a natural environment surrounded by water, gorgeous beaches, unique plants, animals and sea life, while ending each long day with spectacular sunsets.
It was also…. A LOT OF WORK! We were on a fast ride in a slow-paced town and had to adjust our expectations to “Bocas Time”. With determination, we built, stumbled, got up again and made changes and improvements. By the end of 2006, the 4 original cabins were remodeled, the open-air restaurant was converted to a grand family rental apartment, the original “bodega” and laundry room were converted to cozy cute mini cabins. We also built our home over the Gift shop, Cosmic Crab Treasures and the new Cosmic Crab Café over the water.
Over the years, the resort has grown up to 15 air-conditioned cabins, including 6 over water cabins for 1-2 people and 9 Garden Cabins that can accommodate up to 7 people each, which are artfully painted and decorated with tropical themes.
Steve’s brilliant engineering knowledge helped with all construction planning and problem solving while Joan’s artistic vision and culinary talents combined to create a lovely, welcoming restaurant with enchanting Caribbean colors and handcrafted mosaic tables. With offerings of the sea delivered almost daily by local fisherman, the Cosmic Crab is known to have the best selection of Fish and Seafood in the area, great drinks, and is considered one of the best restaurants in Bocas.
Cosmic Crab favorites include: Lobster with Passionfruit Butter, Caribbean King Crab Claws, Creamy Lobster, Crab or Shrimp Bisque, Fried Coconut Shrimp or Grouper Fingers. Crab & Lobster Cakes are served with Spicy dressing or the Sesame Seared Yellowfin Tuna with homemade Sweet Pickled Ginger. Also, it is the only restaurant in Bocas with Lionfish on the menu to experience this tasty delicacy and support eradicating their invasive presence from the Caribbean.
Any of these dishes can be paired with a refreshing glass of “Pipa” water which is a treat on a hot afternoon, especially when shaken with Abuelo, Malibu Rum and a splash of sweet Coconut Cream, a homemade cocktail called Pipatini!
After all these years, this entrepreneur couple watched their children and friends grew to teens. They are all good kids, multilingual, conscious and respectful of nature, wildlife and aware of their responsibility to protect the environment. It has not always been easy, but it has certainly been a unique, interesting and soul filling journey living in this paradise call home, Bocas del Toro.