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“Great location and lots to do”

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Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Gamboa
Reviewed 22 April 2014

Outstanding views of the Chagres River and the rainforest about 20kms from Panama City. River view rooms have a hammock on the terrace, which is great for just watching the world go by. Lots of activities (not badly priced) including walking in the rainforest, aerial tram, kayaking and a night safari, which was fun. You can also explore around the resort yourself and see many birds and animals such as squirrel monkeys and squirrels and maybe a capybara. Guides could be a bit more knowledgeable (we spotted as many birds and animals ourselves) but are very good natured. Food at the onsite restaurants is fine and eating breakfast on the terrace, looking out over the river and forest is a memorable experience. Things sometimes a little chaotic and staff, while willing and polite, can be hit and miss at times but the location really cancels this out.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Crus0eR
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 reviewResponded 23 April 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

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Reviewed 20 April 2014

The good: Great location. Great activities such as free bird walks, nature walks, and night-time drive arounds to look for animals. Good paid-for activities such as kayaking, fishing, hiking. Nice big rooms with good views and a very comfy hammock. We had no problems with mold or smells, and the air conditioner & dehumidifier worked very well. The guides and shuttle drivers on the property were all very friendly, helpful & knowledgable. It was nice to be walking around the beautiful grounds & have them smile & wave. The pool was very relaxing to hang out at, and there is a basketball net & volleyball net (and no "deep" end) so it's fun to play in also. You can get food & snacks there too.

We did the buffet all 3 nights of our stay, and it was fine. The theme changes each night, so you aren't eating the same thing every night. You can also order off the menu but it was easier & a better value to eat the buffet. One thing that was really cool was that you can order the whole buffet ($25) or just the cold side ($10 for salads, cold cuts, fruit, & soup) or just the hot side ($15.) This is a nice option.

The Not-So-Good: The activity desk didn't seem very aware of the details of the activity. Our group of 11 wanted to go kayaking, but the woman at the desk couldn't tell us what kind of kayaks we would be in, if they had backs, if they were sit-in or sit-on-top. So only 5 of us went, and they were sit-on-top with a back! They lost 6 customers by not knowing that. Also, the activity is 3 hours, but it isn't 3 hours of kayaking. It was a ride in a motor boat and we stopped at a few little islands with monkeys. If we had known this, we would have brought cameras to take photos and then left the cameras in the boat!

Also, there was a tray of leftover food outside a guest door FOR 3 DAYS!!! We walked past that food every day about 6 times. One of our group finally told someone at the front desk and it was cleaned up. But the fact that no one on the staff bothered to pick it up really said something about how much they cared about their place of business.

So I'd say it's a nice play to stay, and to do excursions. It's close to Panama City and the Canal. There are many beautiful birds & plants on the grounds, & lots of room to roam around. I think if they could inject a little more sense of pride to the employees, it would help a lot.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank NatAtHome
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 reviewResponded 23 April 2014

Thanks for your time to write your remarks, is very nice to read your comments all of them show positive and negative aspects of our hotel. We are continuously working to ensure our guests receive the service they deserve. I have noted each of your recommendations because all are great help for us.
We look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Regards,

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Reviewed 19 April 2014

We stayed at this resort for 5 nights (originally 3 nights, but we extended). Beautiful pool. On-site activities company through which you can schedule aerial tram rides, nature walks, visits to Indian villages, and boat trips. Several restaurants to choose from on the property.

The staff were unfailingly polite and friendly. Sometimes, the service in the bar, pool area, and restaurants is a bit slow ... but, that's more of a cultural difference than a reflection on the service at this property. (Things are slow everywhere in Panama ... our guide often joked about "we're on Panama time" when we were at various places and things weren't running on time.)

Rooms are very large and very clean -- and every room has a hammock on the balcony and views of the Chagres River. Great bird-watching from the balconies in the mornings and evenings. Saw many parrots and toucans.

Free wi-fi in the lobby.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the "400" series -- that's the level with direct access to the lobby...
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Cindy 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 reviewResponded 23 April 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.
Kind regards

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Reviewed 17 April 2014

We were part of the Caravan Tours group that stayed at this hotel for 2 nights. Our Accommodations were wonderful. Everything about this resort is just so beautiful. Very scenic. Our room was gorgeous. Our room #400 was on the 4th floor (top floor) just off the lobby. We had no problem of musty smell. The room had a very high ceiling. Quite often at night we would hear a bang on the roof. It must of been the seeds from the trees dropping down. The bathroom was huge and beautifully decorated. The balcony had a hammock and a beautiful view of the pool and in the background the lake. Got to see the sunrise at 6:45am each morning with the reflection of the sun on the lake. There was a mini fridge, safe, hairdryer.On the day of arrival we had a delicious buffet lunch at this resort in a beautiful private room called the Chagres River View. All of our buffet meals at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort were excellent. Their dessert table was amazing and beautifully arranged. The Gamboa Resort has for all of their guests free of charge a morning walking tour and a sunset jeep rainforest tour. This was a little disappointing. I thought being in the rainforest I would see all those beautiful birds and different wildlife. Well reality is you can hear the birds but it is very difficult to catch a glimpse of them. They are in the trees and hard to see them. I saw one Agouti in the morning. Saw 1 monkey way up in the tree but difficult to get a good view. At night got a good view of 3 capybara moving very slowly on the grass. The guide shone his spotlight on the lake. All you can see was 2 little lights in the lake which he said was the crocodile's eyes.They also have a variety of fee excursions which we did not take advantage of as we were with Caravan Tours. There is a beautiful pool surrounded by waterfalls. Very pretty. There is a disco but was disappointed I couldn't go as it was booked for a private function the 1st night we were there.

Room Tip: Request a higher floor to avoid any musty smell rooms
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Donna K
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 reviewResponded 18 April 2014

Thank you for your wonderful remarks, which I have shared with staff, gives us a pleasure to know that you loved the visit to our hotel and enjoy all the nature. We look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Regards,

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Reviewed 15 April 2014

Upon arrival at the resort one is struck by the beauty of the lobby and view through the trees of the Chagres River.
The Resort setting is lovely. I spent two nights at this hotel in March during the dry season. The smell of mold was so intense it nearly knocked me over when I opened the door to the 1st floor room.
We saw a place in the hallway where metal molding had been removed and saw what turned out to be black mold.
I hope the hotel can get ahold of this problem as it definitely negatively impacts a resort visit.
The room was clean and bathroom very spacious. A request for a functioning hair dryer was met with a quick delivery of a new dryer.
The gift shop is nicely stocked and staffed.
The restaurant staff was friendly and polite. The food was just average.
In all it would be hard to recommend the resort until the mold problem is addressed.

Room Tip: Try to avoid the very bottom floor.
  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank G B
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 reviewResponded 18 April 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

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Reviewed 13 April 2014

Really like this resort. When I first got there the resort had no lights on( earth day). But after that everything was great. The people there are really nice and are there to help you. It is in a middle of the Rain Forrest there are things to do but if you don't want to do anything you can. Birds are chirping in the mourning and frogs at night. Food was great and drinks are good. Need to work on getting better coffee.

Room Tip: See If you can get a room floor 2 or higher for the best views
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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Thank kim33wi
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 reviewResponded 18 April 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.
Kind regards

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2014

Gamboa Rainforest Resort is in all the books, which is why we decided to book there, especially since it is in the rainforest close to Panama City. The good news was that the large resort - which looked rather Disney-like on the web site - was manageable and comfortable. The service staff were very helpful, the rooms were large and the grounds are gorgeous. The pool area is also beautiful and spacious. However, this is not a cheap place so my expectations were high and we found many shortcomings. First, in the three days we were there the rooms appeared never to have been dusted. Bathroom was clean and large, though, and linens were fine. The biggest drawback was the food and the choices. The resort has many tour groups so it focuses on a modestly-priced buffet for lunch and dinner. If you want to eat a la carte, as we did, the menu is limited and the food very mediocre. There is a higher-priced, small restaurant, but we waited an hour for a piece of chicken, which was very tough when it came. The drinks were excellent but if you were in a restaurant, the server had to find time to go upstairs to the bar to retrieve them. The food service overall was extraordinarily disorganized; if you wanted a hot dog at the pool, you were told it would take 20 minutes - again, because the server had to go to the main dining room to get it.
Many tours were available. The tram at treetop level was delightful and well worth it. The Gamboa river cruise was a rip-off, an expensive boat ride with little wildlife to be seen.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank coryBoston
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 reviewResponded 18 April 2014

We thank you for such a touching comment regarding your recent stay at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. We apologize that our Restaurants do not feel your expectations at all.
We will share your feedback with our Food and Beverage Manager so we can ensure different dishes that are the delight of all our guests.
We hope you give us the opportunity to service and welcome back.
Sincerelly,

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Additional Information about 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: £82 - £188 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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