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“good time in gamboa”

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Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Gamboa
USA
1 review
“good time in gamboa”
Reviewed 11 March 2009

I had a great time! wonderful view and friendly service

  • Stayed January 2009, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank panjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Panama City
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 March 2009

My husband, his parents and I stayed at Gamboa in mid-February. His parents had booked a suit, hearing that the hotel and its location were beautiful.

I hotel itself was nice – the lobby was really well decorated and filled with flowers and plants. On the surface, the rest of the hotel looked pretty too – but after an hour or two there, you begin to see that it is not as nice at they have advertised.

The room was adequate: bed, desk, chairs, nightstands, TV, drawers, balcony. The balcony had a table with chairs and a hammock – which was great, but each morning (after the bats had spent the night on the balcony) the furniture and hammock was covered in bat droppings. Anytime anyone sat on the hammock, they had to put a towel down first. My mother-in-law specifically requested a lake view, which was more expensive – and when we arrived, we realized that half of the hotel faced the lake, and the other half faces the pool which over sees the lake – so it may not have been worth it to pay extra for the special request.

The food is not great. Gamboa is in the middle of nowhere, so you are reliant on eating at their restaurants. Because they are the only game in town, I don’t think that they really try too hard. The food was disappointing 75% of the time. We always choice to order off the menu, though they had a large buffet, because the buffet price was a little much ($25 for breakfast, per person).

The hotel was not clean. In the room, the restaurant, the pool, everywhere there were little signs that the hotel was not maintained very well. The toilet in our room was constantly dripping water onto the floor from the base – and there was old caulk on the base of the toilet, indicated that this had been a problem for a while. The pipes and wood cover under the bathroom sink was exposed – and was not attractive. One day, as we were settling into our pool chairs, we noticed a plate with a half-eating hamburger, some fries and an empty cup sitting on one of the poolside tables. Waiters passed the plate 10 times within the next hour, but no one cleaned it up. An hour-and-a-half later, a bird and a cat had found the plate, and where taking turns stealing food from it. Other guests began leaving their old cups and plates on the table as well (because there are no garbage cans for guests to throw things away) – and when we left the pool after two hours, the mess was still there. There is no reason for that.

My husband and I have stayed at all sorts of hotels and are not high-maintenance people. The hotel that we stayed at before this one had a mattress on the floor and a bathroom – but we only paid $20 a night, so we knew what we were getting. But for the price that Gamboa charges for their rooms – it is not worth it. If you can get a great deal of under $130 a night – go for it – it is a pretty location and it is a nice change from the tourist locations in Panama City. But honestly, anything over that and you may feel ripped off.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank JustBtwnUs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Gamboa hotels

Orlando, FL
Level Contributor
115 reviews
59 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2009

Me and my boyfriend booked 1 night at the end of November 2008. We had a car, and the drive is about 45 min from Panama City. We got a rate for the KING SIZE BEDROOM, CHAGRES RIVER VIEW for about $175 +/-.

Good:
*Pool. There was hardly anybody at the pool. Unlike some of the other reviews that I read prior to booking this hotel, about not finding any chairs by the pool etc, there were plenty of chairs, and there were only another couple at the pool. The pool is huge, it has a volleyball net, and is very relaxing.
*The view from the balcony is great. To sit in the hamock and see all the green, and the Chagres river, puts you instantly on a state of vacation.
*They gave us a 15 min internet pass.
*The gave us a 2 cocktail FREE drink on our arrival.
*After request, Later check out at 1 or 2pm? or so...
*The night safari was really great. The gentleman that did the tour was very friendly, and kwnoledgable and a great speaker. It made the safari really enjoyable! It was fun to be in the safari car. Everyone (old, young, childreen, etc seemed that had a good time)

Bad:
-Overpriced food. You could eat at the best places in Panama for the same price (or less
), and have the greatest food and service.
-Some employees service like the lobby staff. When we first got there, we were given a room in the first floor. Well, you can't see the Chagres river from the ground floor. So, I told this to the lobby gentleman, and he didn't find a solution. I had to repeat the request to another lady (and this is after I left the room because calling them from my room was not helping at all, ) that she gave me a room in the 2nd floor. Now, how simple is that? The hotel was not as booked as other revieweres suggested, so I think this is poor service from their parts....and, I speak Spanish, so is not like they didn't understand or so.

I will return if I find a decent price for it. I will never stay longer than 2 days because of the lack of good food options, and because is far from Panama City. I think that this is a good location for being in the pool for 2 days, and enjoying walking around the grounds.
I dont think those apts. look too good. I wouldn't recommend anybody staying there. From outside they look old and I didnt see anybody there!

  • Stayed November 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank panedu50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kansas city
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 February 2009

We had planned to stay 2 nights and left after 12 hours! This place is a total ripoff.
Our room smelled of mildew, the AC didn't cool the room or remove the humidity and stink, the grounds were filthy with litter, diesel buses, trams and truck spewed smoke as they chugged the guests around the grounds (why walk when you can ride?).
All of the tours we had hoped to enjoy were full when we checked in. We tried two times to book tours by email, but there was no response. The charges for the tours were outrageous. Given the terrible service, we doubted that the tours could possibly have been professional.
You are a captive of the resort with no car.
The food was expensive and not worth eating. At the river restaurant we were offered "the buffet" for 28.00 per person. It had been sitting out for five hours! The table, utensils and floor were filthy. When we asked to order from the menu, we were told the buffet was the only option.
We saw guests feeding the turtles and animals bread. There was no recycling and no real information offered unless you paid big bucks for the tours.
We paid 255.00 for night, 15.00 for internet, 4.60 for a bottle of water (there is no bottled water included in your room!). The lobby windows were filthy and we were chewed up by bugs as we slept.
The staff was rude, surly and totally unhelpful.
Panama is such a beautiful country with such lovely people, why would anyone choose this overpriced, fake eco dump?

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank marethehar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Westfield, New Jersey
Level Contributor
13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2009

The Gamboa Rainforest Resort is set in a stunning location on the Chagras River. The resort is large and comfortable. The rooms are generous with big porches (with hammock), which in our case had resident fruit bats. Our bathroom was generous but the plumbing was dated. There is lots to do related to the visiting the canal and the rainforest. We enjoyed the aerial tram ride to a 90 foot tower -- great views or the forest, canal, and resort. We found the staff to be responsive and polite.
We had a problem with information -- where things were, when they were open and how much they cost -- simple things like towels for the pool. Also, food is an issue. Generally, it was good but expensive and the service was slow. We were always steered to the buffet ($24) even if we just wanted a sandwich. One morning we were told that if we wanted service we had to use the buffet, not the continental breakfast or the other items listed on the menu.
In general, the location trumps all else. However, booked as 5 star, the resort is less than that.

  • Liked — Porch overlooking Chagras River & rain forest.
  • Disliked — Food Service
  • Stayed February 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank Star726
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chatham
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 February 2009

Barb and I, Dennis Loyer, stayed for one week at the Gamboa Rainforest resort starting Feb 2. Our stay was exceptionally good but there are a few things to share:
- this is the rainforest and it is going to rain occassionally. The rain lasts only for a few minutes and then it clears up.
-the resort is starting to show some age in the main section and in the villas. I suggest you spend a bit more money and arrange to stay in the newer sections (the older rooms of the main building can have a musty , mildewey smell that was over powering. We walked into our assigned room and immediately returned to the counter and asked for a different room. Luckily they had one available in the newer area . And the villas looked terrible from the outside).
-the resort is real quiet. This is a big plus for us but may be a big negative for some people. Always room at the pool and restaurant.
-the exotic bird varities in this resort are better than anything we have seen before in Costa Rica or Mexico. Toucans, mot-mots, trogans, aracaris, honey creepers, parrots....the list is endless. Also monkeys and crocodiles in the area.
-the restaurant food (buffet) was good but a bit repeatative. Always a chicken, beef and fish main dish with a nice salad and good desserts. Breakfast was particularly good. Make sure you pay for "all inclusive" as there are no nearby restaurants and the prices for the food are very high.
-"all inclusive" at Gamboa Rainforest resort doesn't cover the mini bar or al le cart from the menu or food/snacks at the pool bar.
-be sure to spend time at the marina ( a walk away from the main building. You can sit and have lunch or drinks and watch the boats pass by in the Panama canal. You can also feed bread to the river turtles and crocs (12 foot crocs). I am not sure I would recommend kyaking in this river (it is free) as we saw crocs every day.
-the hotel peopel were always very friendly and happy to help.
-local tours were a bit over priced but monkey island and the tram were worth the price.
-the landscaping of the resort was beautiful.

I seemed to have made a list that might suggest we didn't like the resort. This is not correct, the whole trip was excellent and I would return here on another vacation.

  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dennis L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Baltimore, Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 February 2009

I know there are bugs in Panama - I stayed elsewhere on this trip before getting to the Gamboa rainforest resort - but the degree to which the bugs were IN the room was amazing. We stayed in the villas - portrayed as classy, refurbished apartments. In reality they were old, run down, termite infested apartments that had been recently painted and stuffed with new furniture.

When we first entered, the floor felt like someone had spilled sand - really, we were walking on insect droppings. The towel bar fell off when I put a towel on it and the guest shower kit had clearly been used by the previous guest. Glasses were still soapy and had to be washed before use. And the bugs in the room were amazing - a cloud of them around each light in the bedroom. It was not a comfortable night. We've tried to contact the management since staying there to complain about the bug problem and suggest that they at least sweep the floor before someone checks in - but we have had no response.

The rainforest was great! Everyone going to Panama City should visit Gamboa. But don't be swayed by the glitz and glamor that the resort pretends to represent. It's pretty on the outside, but when you look beyond the fresh paint you see the insect poop all over the floor.

  • Liked — the location - Gamboa is great!!
  • Disliked — the run-down, insect infected villa that was our room.
  • Stayed February 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Laaunani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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