We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Bristol vs. JW Marriott”

Best prices for -
Check In dd/mm/yyyy Check Out dd/mm/yyyy
Prices are for 1 room, 2 adults
Show Prices
Compare best prices from top travel sites
and 9 more sites!
JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Rio Hato
Certificate of Excellence
New york
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Bristol vs. JW Marriott”
Reviewed 18 March 2014

We stayed here a few years ago when the resort was Bristol Buenaventura. Our prior experience with the hotel was excellent (see earlier review). The Bristol was a topnotch resort then with five star service. The staff literally went out of their way to accommodate their guests. They did their best to accommodate all requests. I think “NO” was a forbidden word. That made the place absolutely special. This year we decided to give the JW a try to see if it was still as we remembered. We invited another couple to join us for a couple of days at the beach and to experience an upscale beach resort. We found that some things remained the same, some improved and some was not as good. Nevertheless, I still think it is the best option in the Playa Blanca/Santa Clara area. See some of the changes below.

1. Check in different – Bristol’s check in took place directly in room (much more comfortable and personalized). Directions to main entrance was given at front gate – not so this time and with the changes, we had to stop and ask for directions in and out of the property. JW check in is the usual and customary front desk check in. I found Bristol more amenable to giving a room upgrade than JW (even though I belong to the Marriott club). Our view from room was overlooking the parking lot (not so good). I did not find the hotel to be very busy, so was surprised we could not change rooms. Go figure. Bristol offered all inclusive. JW did not.

2. Rooms – no changes in the decor.

3. Grounds: New pools added – which made it much more enjoyable and pool area less crowded. Golf course completed -- which my husband liked, but felt was on the expensive side for Panama. Free wifi in the lobby and a ridiculous charge for it in the room. Fortunately, did not need to use it for the two nights we were there.

4. Restaurants: New steak restaurant at golf course – in a word: awesome!! The older main restaurant (forgot the name) was the same. The food was very good, however, they did not have most of our selections. Finally we asked what they did have and we chose one of the dishes and it was excellent. Breakfast buffet -- excellent still, however, hot dishes could be warmer. The service and staff at all of the restaurants were excelente!

Pool/Beach service: Again -- Excellent.

All in all, we loved it and had a wonderful time. Far more plusses than negatives with the new management. We would definitely return. Especially to the steak restaurant!!

Room Tip: do not get room overlooking parking lot!
See more room tips
  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Sergnes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerencia02, General Manager at JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 13 August 2014
Dear Sir or Madam,

On behalf of the entire JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort family we would like to thank you for your recent visit.

I sincerely appreciate your valuable positive feedback which will assist us in our commitment to continuously improve our products and services.

Thanking you for your preference and looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Cordially,

The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

793 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    470
    193
    66
    32
    32
See reviews for
269
342
7
51
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (139)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Slovak first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Antonio, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
49 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2014

Stayed recently & was totally blown away by the beauty of the resort & surrounding beach! Like some exotic resort out of Phuket, Thailand that takes about a 1/5 of the time to get there(from Texas). Staff was extremely friendly & knowledgeable. Outdoor dining was very good w/beautiful beach as background view. 1 of the most relaxing/decompressing places in the world! Highly recommend!!!

Room Tip: beach view only way to go.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Pinchevato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerencia02, General Manager at JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 4 September 2014
Dear Sir or Madam,

On behalf of the entire JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort family we would like to thank you for your recent visit.

I sincerely appreciate your valuable positive feedback which will assist us in our commitment to continuously improve our products and services.

Thanking you for your preference and looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Cordially,

The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Astoria, New York
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2014

We only stayed here for 2 nights as we were traveling all around the country for 9 days. We also stayed at the Intercontinental on the beach near P.C. and preferred the JW. The Marriott had beautiful grounds and pools. Our young kids really enjoyed it. The staff was helpful and experienced in customer service. We were there during President's week and although it was full it didn't feel crowded. The layout of the hotel makes you feel like it's a smaller more intimate setting. The location was good for exploring El Valle also. If we return to Panama we will surely go back to the JW.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank neil453
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerencia02, General Manager at JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 4 September 2014
Dear Sir or Madam,

On behalf of the entire JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort family we would like to thank you for your recent visit.

I sincerely appreciate your valuable positive feedback which will assist us in our commitment to continuously improve our products and services.

Thanking you for your preference and looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Cordially,

The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2014

JW Marriott Rio Hato Panama is a wonderful place to spend a few days of R&R. Service was outstanding, employees really go out of their way to make your stay unforgettable. Food is excellent. The environment is marvelous and its surrounded by natural beauty. I would highly recommend it.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Dianavic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerencia02, General Manager at JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 4 September 2014
Dear Sir or Madam,

On behalf of the entire JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort family we would like to thank you for your recent visit.

I sincerely appreciate your valuable positive feedback which will assist us in our commitment to continuously improve our products and services.

Thanking you for your preference and looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Cordially,

The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2014

This is a beautiful property tucked back off the Pan American Hwy that is totally set up for relaxation. Plenty of pool space with multiple pools and cabanas, a nice beach set in an upscale planned community to just walk in- to see amazing homes. As typical for a JW Marriott, the food was expensive, but very good. Service was somewhat slow, but that is fairly typical in Panama and Latin America.

Unless you plan to just plant your self here for your whole stay, you will need a car. We are not they type to just hang around a pool all day, so we took side trips to El Valle, Coronado and Penomene to either get food or do activities. There is really not much to do close by the hotel once you leave the property.

The room was very nice, didn't notice any mosquitos-despite the Dengue fever warnings everywhere.

One tip-there is a deli that is not part of the JW but is just outside the lobby-that sells snacks, drinks and sandwiches that is very reasonable. I would go there if you want a light meal or snacks for your room.

We have been to Panama four times and this is probably one of the nicest properties we have stayed in that is away from Panama City.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank suett1_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerencia02, General Manager at JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 4 September 2014
Dear Sir or Madam,

On behalf of the entire JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort family we would like to thank you for your recent visit.

I sincerely appreciate your valuable positive feedback which will assist us in our commitment to continuously improve our products and services.

Thanking you for your preference and looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Cordially,

The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kirkland, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
194 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 March 2014

This resort is absolutely gorgeous! There are so many pools - perfect for lounging. The rows of pools are surrounded by palm trees with plenty of seating. After the last pool you arrive at a beautiful beach with private ocean access. The scenery deserves five stars however the customer service at the restaurants is not good (very disappointing service) but the resort itself is breathtaking. *While at the resort, be sure to avoid the ocean/beach once the sun starts to set - there are hordes of sand flies (aka "noseeums" that will attack.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kimberly K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerencia02, General Manager at JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 4 September 2014
Dear Sir or Madam,

On behalf of the entire JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort family we would like to thank you for your recent visit.

I sincerely appreciate your valuable feedback which will assist us in our commitment to continuously improve our products and services.

Our Restaurant & Beverage Manager will be reinforcing with your Restaurant Staff, Seminars related to be Warm and Hospitable and Responsive to Guests Needs.

Thanking you for your preference and looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Cordially,

The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2014

We recently stayed there for four days: could not have enjoyed our stay more. Although quite a distance from the airport, it was worth it. Very peaceful, quiet; often felt like we were the only ones there. Beach is lovely. Unique feature is a number of pools: I was able to swim laps for hours without bothering anyone. The symphony produced by the birds at dawn is intoxicating!

Room was beautiful, and lanai had a nice view. Gym was capable. Service was good. If you are going to Panama, find this place!

Room Tip: The lagoon rooms are particularly nice. Avoid 268: little noisy outside due to ventilator shaft.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dennis M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerencia02, General Manager at JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 4 September 2014
Dear Sir or Madam,

On behalf of the entire JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort family we would like to thank you for your recent visit.

I sincerely appreciate your valuable positive feedback which will assist us in our commitment to continuously improve our products and services.

Thanking you for your preference and looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Cordially,

The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Rio Hato
8.0 mi away
Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort
1.7 mi away
Hotel Riu Playa Blanca
19.1 mi away
Los Mandarinos Boutique Spa & Hotel Restaurant
Los Mandarinos Boutique Spa & Ho...
#1 of 5 in El Valle de Anton
416 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
17.4 mi away
Manglar Lodge
Manglar Lodge
#1 of 2 in San Carlos
156 reviews
1.8 mi away
Hotel Playa Blanca Beach Resort
3.5 mi away
Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort

Property: JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort
Address: 340 Calle 3ra Buenaventura | Cocle, Rio Hato, Panama (Formerly Bristol Buenaventura)
Region: Panama > Cocle Province > Rio Hato
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Rio Hato
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 132
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the Pacific coast of Panama, Bristol Buenaventura is a luxury oceanfront destination resort and a member of Leading Hotels of the World. 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 
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, TripOnline SA, Marriott, HotelQuickly, Evoline ltd and Cancelon so you can book your JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Bristol Buenaventura Hotel Farallon
Bristol Bueneventura Santa Clara

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing