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“Nice views and good food”

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Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Gamboa
Berkshires, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
24 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Nice views and good food”
Reviewed 23 March 2014 via mobile

We did not stay at the resort, but I am certain that we would have liked it more than where we did stay. We ate our meals here for three days. The service at the restaurant on the Chagres River was fabulous. We had the buffet and felt it was worth the price even as vegetarians. They are not open for dinner though unless you eat early. The restaurant in the resort has a buffet, but we ordered off the menu. Our meal was good, and our bill for dinner was less than $20 for two of us. The service was efficient but not at all friendly. We did not stay here because it seemed overpriced and too hectic. We did not find the latter to be true, and everything in Gamboa was overpriced.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Zeppy22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jetzel M, Guest Relations Manager at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, 24 March 2014
Appreciate your comments are very important for the operation of the hotel. we will continue with the customer service plan to ensure that all our staff will deliver a good service always.
Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
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PA
Level Contributor
239 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 158 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2014

I am sure that the management will respond with the usual baloney -- look at the responses thus far from them -- same old, same old and yet nothing seems to have changed. They have pat answers, but really I don't think that they care one way or the other. The place is on a lease and I think that the owners are trying to suck all the profits they can out of the place.
First, let me say that I think that it is obnoxious to downgrade this place on the basis of the staffs' English. Give me a break. It's Panama and they speak Spanish. You don't like it, stay home.
Nevertheless, I find it interesting that some people thought that this was a wonderful place. Either low standards or inexperience could be the only reasons. To them I say, try a true eco-lodge in Costa Rica or Belize, because they know about customer service and responsiveness there.
So what did I not like about this place. First, it is huge, which is inconsistent with eco anything. The hoards of tourists tramping around preclude any kind of meaningful bird watching. There are busloads of tourists that get dumped here or picked up here all day long. Second, the grounds are full of trash -- not up by the main building, but out in the trails and by the butterfly house. You have to take a walk to see it, but walking is the idea here, no? The guides and boat operators harass and stress the monkeys to make them howl -- eco you say??? They also feed the monkeys, interfering in the natural order of things. The butterfly house and the orchid house were poorly maintained and tired. Butterflies were leaving through the plastic screens that did not shut. The feeders were empty or had old and nasty fermenting fruit in them.
The buffet was completely mediocre and I could have eaten as well in a Luby's cafeteria. There was NO HOT WATER on either day that I tried to take a shower. The elevator kept breaking down. The WI FI was weak and if you wanted it in your room, it was $16 a day -- so yesterday! I thought most hotels stopped doing that. Hell, charge me an extra $16 and don't nickel and dime me. It's not dignified. The toilet in our room ran and ran and ran. We complained, to no avail.
Other than that, it was a pretty lobby, but that did not make up for the overall feeling that they just don't care here. I won't be back and I really do not recommend that anyone else go here either. Don't be fooled by the glowing reviews. I simply do not "get it" and I completely concur with the one and two star folks -- except for the language issue. We did fine with our broken high school Spanish and google.

Room Tip: Top floors, fewer mosquitos.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank wandaMPa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jetzel M, Guest Relations Manager at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, 24 March 2014
We would like to thank you for taking your time and share your comments.
We are really sorry for not meeting your expectations; such as yours comments allow us to take an honest look at our operations and make necessary improvements.
Yours comments was already shared with our management team and I can assure you that all of the staff area working hard to correct these issues and ensure that the quality of our services meet the standards that all of our guest expect.
We hope you can give us a new opportunity to service and feel you at home.
Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
33 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 March 2014

Large resort that does serve "tour bus" folks, plus others (like us). While it is busy in the main building, there was sufficient staff to efficiently handle things. It is such a beautiful area, we wished we would have booked more than 2 nights...

Buffet breakfast with a buffet dinner offered in the same space. There are two other restaurants on-site. The buffet dinner had a "light" option which was perfect for our first night as we weren't too hungry.

Bar/lounge by Reception is perfect for a light lunch or shack. Sit-down dinner in another restaurant was excellent -- good menu, well-prepared and attentive service.

Many "excursions" are offered -- the tram ride and walk through the exhibits was excellent, as was a morning "bird walk" (even for us "non-birders"). The tram ride ends at a walk-up tower -- but the
"walk up" is a series of ramps...not difficult at all. The View from the Top is spectacular!

Pool is large with adequate seating in the shade (it is HOT in Panama!) was great for relaxing.

Room was modest, but completely adequate and quiet. As others have mentioned, the humidity is high there, so dehumidifiers are a must. Ours filled over night and needed to be emptied -- the staff took care of this...

Free wi-fi is available in the main building / reception area.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tom W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jetzel M, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, 17 March 2014
I appreciate your comments and we are glad to have met your expectations when visiting our hotel, from the entire hotel staff we appreciate your comment is a great motivation for each of us.
Thank you very much and hope to see you again in Panama.
Cordially yours
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
59 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 March 2014

The resort is beautiful and offers many short tours. The areial tram was great and the Gatun Lake tour was nice (you see monkeys and if you're lucky a crocodile) The rooms were lovely and spacious, with a great balcony overlooking the river and a hammock. The food and drinks on the other hand were not great and the service was iffy. We did have a waiter one night from South Carolina who was fabulous. The staff's English is not great, so brush up on your Spanish. Overall I would recommend staying there for a few days and taking some tours.

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Christie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jetzel M, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, 17 March 2014
We are glad to hear that you had a comfortable stay at our hotel and that you were fully satisfied with our services. We will be delighted to welcome you back in our hotel, shall your plans bring you to Panama again in the future.
Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2014

Just returned from a very enjoyable stay at Gamboa, would recommend a visit. The setting is so beautiful, we were up graded to a lovely suite overlooking the rainforest. Service excellent - everyone very helpful and friendly.
Anyone visiting Panama should try to spend a few days at this resort, with all its many trips there's plenty to do and see.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mel_burke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jetzel M, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, 17 March 2014
Thank you for your wonderful remarks is joy to read your comments, gives us a pleasure to know that you loved the visit to our hotel. Thank you very much and hope to see you again in Panama. Cordially yours,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Scottsdale, AZ
Level Contributor
36 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2014

We stayed at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort for 2 nights as part of our trip to the Panama Canal with Caravan Tours. This resort sits on a beautiful, large piece of property with lovely views.
The food was very good. However, wherever you looked, you could see that this resort needed a lot of tender loving care!! From much need painting on the outside to dead plants throughout the property. Instead of planting the plants, they just took the large black pots them come planted in and placed them around. However, many of the plants were dead. There is debris, in many visible places that is not picked up on a daily basis. The rooms are spacious, but there was some mold/ or dirt (not sure) around the A/C vents in the room. The bathroom in the room we were in needed a lot of attention. A make-shift type of cabinet under the sink, which didn't match anything else was obviously put there to hide the pipes under the sink. Let's just say, this resort needs a going over! And by the way, it's really not a rainforest.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DryHeat5621
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jetzel M, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, 17 March 2014
I really appreciate your comments and suggestions this will make our hotel a better place to visit.
I have noted each of your recommendations because all are great help for us. Thanks again.
Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
ann arbor, MI
Level Contributor
314 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 286 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2014

We decided on a lark to try a timeshare trade to this resort during our spring break. We were concerned a bit at what the quality of a timeshare in Panama might be and having read comments about the resort being tired and overpriced. I am delighted to say that we went away and had a great time. Yes, the bungalows look tired and dated. It probably is true that a higher room gives a better view; however, beyond this, we were very happy with what we had. We were in room 247, relatively low, but a suite that was decorated with interesting furniture and decor from India and south east asia, reflecting the crossroads that is panama. We were at the treetops which did block the beautiful river view a bit, but was a boon when watching the birds flitter at the tree tops. We even had a little kitchen (though not well equipped) and a comfortable hammock. The Monkey Bar had a stunning view of the chagres river. Margaritas on the rocks were $7 and a cold Balboa beer $4 which seemed reasonable to us. There was a disco, a little movie theatre, a beautiful pool and four restaurants (Monkey Bar, a buffet beneath it, a sit down a la carte and one for lunch and drinks at the marina that had a stunning view of the river and all the birds). One could also see the confluence of the Chagres and the panama canal from this restaurant. We had a 20% off on all food through RCI so we thought the costs were very reasonable. Food for 7 days, drinks including a bottle of wine each night, the trip up the teleferico, tour of the aquarium/orchid garden/serpentarium, a boat trip to monkey island, a night safari, and a partial transit of the canal that was 7 hours cost for the two of us $1020. To eat, drink and do all these tours for $150/couple/day was completely reasonable given that this is the big resort for the region. We had a rental car (free parking) so we did the pipeline road walk on our own (birders were disappointed that the guide was not more knowledgeable). Doing the walk cost $5 each to get into the park and was amazing. The birds were not as impressive as expected, but the mammals made up for it as we were surround by a dozen white faced capuchin monkeys which crossed the road into howler monkey territory setting off screams and tree shaking that was unforgettable. Sloth and anteaters were on the trail also. This is a 10 minute drive from the resort. Food was adequate, not gourmet, but acceptable. We do not like buffets (though breakfast was good with fresh made omelets and delicious banana walnut bread) but the a la carte was acceptable and had a more quiet, romantic atmosphere for dinner (you must make reservations). There is a buffet at the river restaurant also, but the corvina was delicious when we ordered a la carte. The staff were friendly, english was found most of the time and my rusty spanish was easily enough to take care of every need over the week. All in all, we had a fantastic time and would repeat without hesitation. We were there in the dry season (high season). Obviously, the experience could be very different if you were there in the rain. Even though it was 90+ each day, the breeze tempered the heat and humidity and made our bones thaw pleasantly from this horrible winter. Air conditioning in our room and the rsort was excellent.

Room Tip: Try to get a suite as it gives you an extra room. Higher the better, but even 2nd floor on building...
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank aagourmet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jetzel M, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, 17 March 2014
Thanks for your time to write your remarks.
Appreciate your comments are very important for the operation of the hotel. We will continue with the customer service plan to ensure that all our staff will deliver a good service always. We look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Property: Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Address: Goethals Blvd. | Soberania National Park, Gamboa 7338, Panama
Region: Panama > Colon Province > Gamboa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Gamboa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Gamboa Rainforest Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 166
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Deep in the heart of the Panamanian rainforest lies the completely unique Gamboa Rainforest Resort. This magnificent destination rests where the scenic Chagres River meets the Panama Canal and is the only resort property in the area. Few places on earth offer such an amazing natural experience while providing an unsurpassed level of luxury. Escape the noise and hectic pace of everyday life and surround yourself with the tranquility of the mystical Soberania National Forest. Here, just a short 30-minute ride from Panama City, on 340 acres overlooking the stunning Panama Canal, you can commune with nature in a pristine environment where explorers and pirates once tread. Our Panama Tours offer an exhilarating variety of jungle adventures such as an aerial tram, guided boat tours, fishing expeditions, and much more. Our tours are designed to show you wildlife in its natural setting amidst the colorful splendor of the jungle flora. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gamboa Rainforest Hotel Gamboa
Gamboa Rain Forest Resort

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