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“Even My Husband Was Delighted”

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The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama, Autograph Collection
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Rio Hato
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 February 2012

We are pretty frugal travelers, so going to Buenaventura was a treat. My husband found out what we were paying on the drive from Panama, and almost stopped speaking to me. However, thanks to our membership in the Leading Hotels of the World (which I joined specifically for this trip) we were given a marvelous room on the 3rd floor and breakfast was included. This hotel is first class. However, we didn't feel like we were being charged for every little thing, which is so typical in this level of hotel. No tipping (except we did add to the breakfast ticket) and business office use was free (for printing our boarding passes). We saved money by filling up at breakfast and eating out at the pool. Favorite activity: horseback riding on the beach, coordinated through the hotel. Husband agreed on return drive: worth every penny.

Room Tip: Join Leading Hotels of the World--access level
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Kristina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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472 - 478 of 803 reviews

Reviewed 6 February 2012

Wow. This is a really hard call to make. The resort is stunning!! It is truly out of Architectual Digest. Many pools all with lovely cabanas for all. Rooms truly luxurious. Balcony with table and chairs. Lots of marble and thick linens. Located on beach about two hours from Panama City. Right now, for the money, a steal. BUT. All around there is construction-a golf course and condos and probably another hotel. Noise was not an issue, except one afternoon when they had to hammer up a large piece of tile on the lobby floor. They hurried. But as you drive up the construction is off-putting. It's everywhere. Still, being at the pools, which I did every day, you were not aware of the building. Not at all. From the beach which is beautiful white/black sand you could see a large project going on but sound was mostly carried away by the sound of the ocean. Not bothersome at all. (Red flags was up each day so no going in ocean-don't know exactly why-riptides?) Walking beach was nice. Few people and again, great beach chairs. Lovely second pool and cabanas here too. Bar. Restaurant. Everything.
Not much to do here. Quiet atmosphere-read that, not for the sports bar crowd. Not many places to arrange to go. Nearby town somewhat interesting but only for a couple of hours. Take your book and soak up relaxation and luxury. Restaurant at first pool really good. More formal restaurant elegant but very slow and food was not dependable. One night there was 45 minutes between courses and the next night the risotto was crunchy. Breakfast was included and was quite nice. Order from menu during week and a buffet on weekends. Staff nice but very little english. Some confusion at check in. A bit of a challenge in restaurant. But very eager to help.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank rivermom1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2012

It is a great hotel, beautiful pools and bedroom....the beach is not good at all, durty, dark water and with big waves.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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Thank izabellavelsoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2012

Just returned from the Bristol Buenaventura in Panama and I must say we enjoyed it very much. The Hotel itself is stunning and th beach is lovely. A very romantic location, although a bit hard to get to considering that you need to go about two hours from the airport by car or transport to the hotel. It is quite a contrast with the surrounding area so don't be shocked by what you go through to get there. Once there we were greated warmly. We also received a room upgrade for being members of the Leader's Club, so i recommend joining the club for $100 per year to reap the benefit. we got the $500 room for $325, not bad considering the extra space and the balcony views. The only drawback was that I ate the watermelon and got the stomach bug as a result which ruined one whole day. A word to the wise - Stay away from melon in third world countries! the spa was quite nice for a 60 minute massage and my husband enjoyed going out on a catamaran in the calm pacific for several hours. I also wnet to the complementary yoga classes which were expertly taught by a wonderful Canadian Lady.

Room Tip: try to go for the view, it's worth it!
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Betsyo123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2012

What a find!. A beautiful high end resort on the Pacific coast less than 2 hours from Panama City. We used a very efficient english speaking guide/driver called Moses to get to the resort (www.panamaairporttransfer.com). On arrival we were warmly met and given a tour of the resort, which stands on extensive acreage and includes a Nicklaus designed par 72 golf course (soon to be open), riding stables, walking/jogging trail and expensive privately owned villas. The hotel grounds are spectacular with seperate pools for adults and children and an oceanside, very long pool, ideal for swimming laps. The beach is clean with cots and umberallas and has a rental location for water activities.The staff are extremely friendly, helpful and respectful. The property is immaculate. The rooms are large and beautifully furnished.with two sinks in the bathroom and the best linens on the beds. As mentioned in previous reports, the evening menu in the restaurants is somewhat limited, although the breakfast buffet was good. Lunch by the hotel pool or beachside pool is also good and the service is terrific.There are no shopping centres near the resort, but one strip plaza is currenttly under construction nearby. Panama follows the South American school schedule, so be aware that mid-December, January and February is school holiday time and the resort will have many South American families as guests, particularly.at the weekend. (we found a quiet spot by the beachside pool). There is a children's activity program. The weather during our stay was bright sun each day with a high of 92 degrees F and a low of 80 degrees F, with low humidity! (the rainy more humid season is in the fall.) We booked using one of the special offers found on the hotel, LHW and Vituoso web sites. Internet is free.
We will come back.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ReviewerToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2012

We stayed at the Bristol Buenaventura for 3 nights after a 2 week drive around Panama. Right from the start the staff was friendly and welcoming and check in was quick and easy. Our king room had a wonderful view of the grounds and ocean and is likely one of the nicest rooms we have stayed in on all of our travels. There was a very nice balcony and it was quiet and relaxing to sit there and enjoy the view. The bed, sheet and pillows were very comfortable and high quality. The morning maid service was great but the night maid was inconsistent and only turned down our room on one night. Because this was a holiday weekend and it was very busy we staying around the hotel pool rather than the beach pool but that was okay and fine for us. Our only criticism is that the food / restaurant variety was very limited and expensive. By the third night we would have welcomed somewhere else and something different to eat. There is a litte coffee and convenience store across the plaza where you can buy snacks, beer, wine, etc.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank WaterValleyTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2012

We went to the Bristol Buenaventura, for the 3rd. or 4th. time for a wedding, and as always, the service was superb. The minute you get off your car, greeting personnel salutes you by your name... every time. The check in process is fast and flawless; and when you get to your room, again, everything is where and how it should be. The experience of staying at the Bristol is superior, everything happens when and how it should, the pool and walk to the beach are gorgeous. I recommend every one to stay here and enjoy the great service, the fine food, the warm accomodations and the hospitality of Panama.

Room Tip: Try to get a room with pool view.
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  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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Thank ghoyos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama, Autograph Collection

Address: 340 Calle 3ra | Buenaventura, Rio Hato, Panama (Formerly JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort)
Region: Panama > Cocle Province > Rio Hato
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Rio Hato
Price Range: £127 - £827 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama, Autograph Collection 5*
Number of rooms: 118
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the Pacific coast of Panama, The BuenaventuraHotel is a luxury destination resort member of Autograph Collection. The resort sits on 1,000 acres of natural splendor, nestled between rivers, lakes, lush vegetation, and pristine beaches. Blending old world glamour and tropical elegance, the resort is reminiscent of a Spanish hacienda. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bristol Buenaventura Hotel Farallon
Bristol Bueneventura Santa Clara

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