Emerald Monkey in Bali, ooops I mean Bocas

emerald monkey villa

This left me scratching my head for a moment…. in fact as I am writing this I am still very confused.

First. Emerald Monkey Eco-luxe Resort and Residences, claims to be the first 5-star zero-carbon resort in the world…..ummmm sure.  It is very hard to believe this.  Maybe there aren’t any existing 5-star zero-carbon resorts, but I highly doubt the claim that the Emerald Monkey will in fact be zero-carbon.  I will list reasons later.

Second. Emerald Monkey is designing a resort inspired by Bali in PANAMA!  Why?  What connections do Bali and Panama have?  The developers even came up with this really weird story about a Balinese emerald sculptor , Captain Morgan chasing a bishop, and a hidden Buddhist temple in Bocas del Toro.  What is wrong with Panama?  Why not be inspired by the culture of the natives of Bocas del Toro?  I can remember my first trip to Bocas and every island was a different, beautiful culture, the indigenous on Cristobal who first greeted Christopher Colombus, as well as the afro-carribean culture of Bastimento.  For some odd reason the developers thought that tourists would be attracted to a pseudo-Bali resort rather than embracing the culture of Panama.  bad choice!

Read on for more commentary on this criminal resort…..


Greenwash to the nth degree

Emerald Monkey makes the claim that they are “a leader in environmental responsibility”, and here is why they claim it….

  • Sustainable building materials by Balinese craftsmen
  • energy supplied from the country’s largest hydro-electric power plants
  • biomass septic systems
  • potable water gravity fed from fresh natural springs in the Panamanian mountains
  • solar powered golf carts for on island transportation
  • lightly filtered saltwater community pools (not individual villa pools)

YEAH! Thats it!!  are you confused as well?

  • How much carbon is used in shipping Balinese craftsmen to work in Bocas?  Also this is unsustainable from a community aspect because income is being taken away from local craftsmen
  • According to the marketing staff at Emerald Monkey, the majority of Panama is energy neutral because they are powered by a hydro-electric dam.  Since when were dams good for the natural environment?
  • Biomass septic system is good 🙂
  • Potable water gravity fed from fresh natural springs in the Panamanian Mountains….and then put onto a gas guzzling boat and shipped over to Isla Pastor.  Why not collect the abundant rain waters on site?
  • Solar Powered golf carts…on paved roads.  And the transportation to the island? Is that by sail boat?  Where is the carbon off-set for that?  Why golf-carts which will kill the little critters running around and create constant annoying whirring sounds from the motors?  Why not bikes??? What happens to the golf carts at night???
  • saltwater community pools….. heavily chlorinated freshwater private pools for individual villas.

That my friends is the definition of Greenwash! “Emerald Monkey, a carbon neautral resort because we get our power from a dam and our golf carts are solar powered!” I thought that carbon neutral had stricter requirements than this.

Balinese Architecture in Panama

Bali is cool, that is understood.  Is it that cool that it must be transported to Panama?  The developers seem to go through so much effort in replicating Bali..why not build the resort IN Bali?  emerald villa 2

Panama is never mentioned in the first page of the Emerald Monkey resort website, it is simply “the ecological and spiritual sister” of Bali.

There is nothing Eco about these designs.  They are more Balinese suburban that Balinese Eco.  Below is an example of an eco resort in Bali and a traditional structure in Bocas.  They resemble each other more than Emerald Monkey resembles either.





The Emerald Monkey doesn’t need to be a stick built hut either.  It can still be luxurious, modern, and Panamanian!  It doesn’t need to import culture to be original.  The culture of Panama is beautiful!  Why is Emerald Monkey ignoring it and creating a fake atmosphere?  Below are some final examples of what I believe to be quality tropical, eco design.  Please send me some more that you know of and love!


eco tropical 2


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  1. Will wrote:

    Thanks for sharing this. Hard to believe this is going on in such a beautiful place in Bocas.
    Here is more information about Frank Delape and the people behind Emerald Monkey http://www.bocasunidos.com/

    • sara brock wrote:

      I know this guy – I was affiliated with he and his wife in Houston. It’s amazing to see how full of the Bocas del Toro culture they are (or so call claim to be) when the are hard-core Houstonians always trying to get recognition by publicizing themselves.

      I had business dealings with him and let me tell you, you better get everything down on paper, because this guy’s word is not worth anything!

      So sorry you are now having to deal with the charade that he and his brainless Alabama-backwoods wife who married only for money and deserted her child to run off with another man, are putting on for you in your country!

  2. Vincent Hoss wrote:

    Wow thanks for the info, it is amazing the lack of understanding about the people and culture of Panama.