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“Relaxing Getaway” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort

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JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Rio Hato
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
25 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Relaxing Getaway”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2014

My husband and I stayed 3 nights in July after visiting the Panama Canal. It was well worth the 2 hour drive to get to this beautiful property. We were glad we hired a taxi since it ended up being a bit tricky to find. Also, it was nice to relax and enjoy the scenic drive. It is their off-season but we had 3 perfect weather days and no crowd. Pools galore to choose from. Including an adult only pool which worked for us since we were traveling without our kids. The hotel is ocean close and not ocean front, but the ocean front beach club is a very short walk. They have lush landscaping, beautiful views, and friendly staff. Our room was large, clean, well decorated and comfortable. The food was good, plenty of choices and reasonably priced. There was some renovation going on around the beach club pool area, which was a minor inconvenience, aside from that we absolutely loved it!

Room Tip: High floor, center of building, has best view of pools, palm trees and glimpse of ocean
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Pinkmom40
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, 8 August 2014
Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you very much for your feedback. We’re happy to hear you enjoyed our great service, friendly staff and fabulous location. Our guests are always our priority; please know that the JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort is here and would love to have you back again.

Cordially,

The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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750 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (132)
Date | Rating
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English first
denver
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014

Stayed here as a family of four during the off-season. Had the large pool area almost completely to ourselves at times. Small hotel beach area was nice. Overall the property was well maintained and beautiful. There were bikes that hotel guests could use to ride from the main lobby to the pool. Would recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank talldrink
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, 8 August 2014
Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you! We would love it more to welcome you back. Hope to see you again real soon.

Warmest regards,

The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frisco, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 July 2014

We stayed two nights during a week in July, which is the "slow" season as it's rainy season in Panama (although we were fortunate and had two beautiful sunny days with no rain while we were there). The property was not crowded and was quiet. We checked out on a Saturday morning and noticeably guests were arriving so it did seem that the property is busier on the weekends. The property has several stunning pools leading out to the beach. One pool has a swim up bar and another pool area had multiple smaller pools adjacent to a larger pool assuring guests a peaceful place to swim. We had no problems getting shaded lounge chairs and the pool side service was very good. Its a walk through several pool areas before getting to the beach but the property has a little van which will drive you closer if someone in your party has difficulty walking. We enjoyed the beach area - it was beautiful and clean - a good area to swim. We rented a jet ski at the property and the kids enjoyed tubing from the jet ski. We would have liked to see some more activities for the kids - maybe a ping pong table by one of the pools or a slide in one of the pools for the kids. The pool / beach area is spread out enough to accommodate more activities without disturbing the peacefulness of some of the areas. The property is a bit isolated so we ate all meals at the hotel. The breakfast buffet was excellent but dinner was just ok - we felt the dinner menu options for the main restaurant were limited especially for multiple visits. Offering nightly dinner specials would help add some variety. The property does have a Sushi restaurant and a Steak restaurant which we did not try. Rooms were very nice although the grout in our bathroom surprisingly could use some scrubbing! There was one lagoon type water feature around the hotel that appeared to be malfunctioning - the water was very murky and not appealing to look at - something I imagine the hotel was already working on fixing. Overall a great property to get away, relax and soak up the sun - definitely would return! One tip: Upon arrival to property be sure to ask personnel at the security gate instructions to the hotel as the property itself is huge with many homes - signage is difficult to see, especially at night - one wrong turn and we got very lost!

Room Tip: If you want an ocean view must get a high level floor.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KCC3
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, 8 August 2014
Dea Sir or Madam,

Thank you so much. We appreciate all feedback but of course a glowing review as yours is a real pleasure to see on Tripadvisor.

I would like to inform you that we have already taken measurements with the team to solve the areas of opportunities you experienced in our resort.

It was truly a pleasure to have you as our guest and we look forward to welcoming you back!

Cordially,

The Management
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riverside, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2014

My wife and I recently came to Panama to celebrate our wedding anniversary and we could not have made a better choice than the JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort. As we checked-in we were warmly greeted and immediately offered a cold glass of lemonade. We had a delicious lunch that included ceviche, a Cuban sandwich and hamburger and fries. The service, as always, was impeccable! The daily buffet is excellent. We had fresh papaya juice, omelet and waffle.

Our experience at the El Faro Beach Club restaurant and pool was also excellent! With five individual pools facing the ocean the El Faro Beach Club is an excellent location to enjoy the warm ocean breezes of the Pacific Ocean. Marcos Pinzon's attention and dedication is to be commended. His warm, friendly manner as he serves up a pina colada, bloody mary from the bar or canasta tipica from the restaurant makes the trip here truly enjoyable and memorable!

Room Tip: Rooms on the higher floors have a better ocean view, although all rooms face the ocean.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank PointsSouth2014
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, 8 August 2014
Dea Sir or Madam,

Thank you for taking a moment and sharing your “Absolutely 100% Perfect” review. Thanks again for sharing your experience so eloquent and so lovely. We greatly appreciate it.

Marcos Pinzon is the best and he continuously demonstrates the personalized service we live by. I will definitely pass on your kind words. I hope you can make it back soon.

We look forward to welcoming you back again.

Cordially,

The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 July 2014

First a little about the travelers: husband and wife, mid 30's, no children, global travelers from the northeast US.

The property is absolutely fabulous! The rooms are well appointed, the pools plentiful, and the dining options sufficient. The hotel was taken over by Marriott about a year ago and was not up to JW standards initially, but has certainly come around and is now up to par.

TIP: the hotel sits back from the ocean about 0.5 miles but the property extends all the way to the beach front. The hotel is separated from the ocean by a plethora of pools and also condos. If staying at the hotel, request a room on a higher floor so you have a view of all the pools, the ocean, and the lighthouse that is on the property.

As many have already stated, Rio Hato is NOT close to Panama City. If you are like us, you will land in Panama City and either take a taxi or rent a car to get to the property. I would estimate the drive is about 2-2.5 hours and you will pass the Panama Canal.

TIP: Stop at the canal for a quick photo opp (ask your driver).

I recommend taking a taxi and sitting back and enjoying the landscape (city, followed by mountains, followed by beach), there is truly much to look at.

TIP: We made the mistake of landing on a Friday around 8pm. Traffic could not have been worse! I would recommend coming on a Sunday if possible. Likewise, we left on a Thursday around 9am...and again, we hit morning traffic. Plan accordingly, the infrastructure is not suited for all the people flooding into and out of the city.

The pools and the property are reason alone to go to the JW. Be sure to take in the fauna and wildlife that lives in and around the property (banana plants, butterflies, birds, etc).

The staff are remarkably friendly and accommodating, no problems whatsoever.

I would HIGHLY recommend the JW Marriott Rio Hata.

Room Tip: Request a high floor
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank topher121777
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, 8 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
Level Contributor
92 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 July 2014

Property is impeccable and would be pleasing to the discerning guest. It is approx. 4 hrs. from Panama City. It's location is perfect for the individual who truly wants to get away from the everyday busyness. The manager is a very charming individual who goes beyond to make your stay a memorable one. The swimming pool with its swim-up bar is exquisite with lots of linen covered cabanas for you to just laze around and enjoy the tropical breezes with the most amazing MOJITO I've had anywhere!!! I would have given this property a 5* but I found the meals to be lacking in taste and presentation. Most of the time, the food was serve lukewarm at best. The manager advised the current chef was in transition and the culinary aspect would soon be resolved.

Overall, the service was great, the ambience exquisite, the furnishings classically elegant. I plan to return next year because of the graciousness of the manager. This property comes highly recommended for the guest who is accustomed to the finer things in life but with laid back chic.

Room Tip: All rooms are good with view of the lagoon but the higher floors also enjoy the ocean view.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank chinamom62
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, 8 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.

I would like to inform you that our General Manager has already taken measurements with the team to solve the areas of opportunities you experienced with the food in our resort.

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
Worcester, MA
Level Contributor
49 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 July 2014

We attended a wedding at the resort and were a little apprehensive about reports that the staff didn't speak much english, but from the time we arrived and Jack gave us an extensive tour of the property until we checked out, we had a wonderful time.
The property was beautiful and the room was great. We got a suite and had more than enough room. The beds were comfortable and the bathrooms, balconies and living spaces were great.

We ate at the restaurants several times and had good service and good foods. The wedding was wonderful, with crews working for days to prepare the areas. Front desk staff was very helpful and pleasant . Wish we could have stayed longer to enjoy more of the amenities.

Overall, a great resort.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Splasher54
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, 8 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
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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 Travel Republic (UK), Hotels.com, Expedia, Booking.com, Agoda and TravelUp 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

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