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“Great Location...Clean and Tidy and Budget Savy”

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Hostal Amador Familiar
Reviewed 23 June 2012

We stayed at this hostal on and off over the course of 2 weeks while we explored Panama with my parents. Both my husband and I and my parents stayed here and were very happy with the location, the staff, the rooms and the cooking facility.

A note on the location-it is really great if you prefer to be outside of the chaos of the city (which we did). Hostal Amador is located in a residential area about a 5 min. drive or 20 min. walk from the Amador Causeway. It's VERY close (about a 10 min. taxi) to the Albrook Terminal where you can catch a bus to anywhere in Panama. Casco Viejo is a quick taxi ride as well and should cost no more than $4-5 for 4 people. The traffic in Panama is hectic right now because they're building a new skytrain so it's nice to be in a place that has easy access in and out of the city and to the other areas without always getting caught in the thick of things.

I noticed that there are some mediocre reviews for this hostal and I wonder if maybe there is new management because the staff were great for us. When we asked they helped us with transportation and there was usually someone in the kitchen making eggs in the morning for breakfast and doing up the dishes. A few of the staff members maybe don't go out of their way to interact with you but they certainly are still nice and if you ask they'll help you out.

This is an old canal house so it's neat to stay here because it has some character. The rooms are comfortable and have their own bathroom and air con. There is also a male and separate female dorm for single travelers who want to save a little.

Probably a few mattresses need to be replaced and the bathrooms could use a spruce up soon but if you consider value for money, for $35/room for a double right in Panama City this is a great deal. It's clean, spacious and the beds are all made with cute colorful quilts so you don't feel like you're in a square box of a room with no life like in some budget accommodations. You can also save a little by cooking your own food in their outdoor kitchen (which we really enjoyed).

Room Tip: Try to get a room on the top level because this is an old house so the floors are a bit creaky.
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank GetUpAndGlobe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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13 - 19 of 30 reviews

Reviewed 25 November 2011

overall: mediocre - only consider if you have a car and just need a place to crash. horrible service (needs new mgmt). cheap $35 for a double with a/c, parking, and breakfast.

cons
-if you don't have a car, there is no point staying here. you are just about as far as you can be from the city and taxis would be expensive.
-service was the worst of any we stayed at in panama. the female attendant was very annoyed that we had arrived at 6pm and interrupted her internet browsing.
-breakfast is cornflakes, horrible coffee, and tang in a dirty outside kitchen.
-maintenance of the rooms/building is nil. doors don't close, shower stall broken, our door key broken upon trying to enter our room.
-you need to climb a windowsill to change the a/c settings (not kidding)
-rooms have one lightbulb (sconce pointing up). very dark and difficult to read after dark.

pros
-a/c and internet worked. hot shower worked (these are not givens in panama)
-parking was plentiful.
-access from the puente das americas was so easy - great if you're coming from the west

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank JNandJY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2011

Basic cheap hotel. Store within walking distance. Safe enough neighborhood. Priced right. Beds are hard.

  • Stayed: August 2011
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1  Thank Becky T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 January 2011

I would not suggest staying at this hostel if you are a tourist. Upon checking in they told us that their hostel does not have A/C, which was listed as an amenity on their website (very hot and humid in Panama City). We were placed in a room on the fourth floor with other tourists, all without A/C. At night we had to leave the windows open to attempt to sleep but the mosquitos ate us alive, even with Deet bug spray. The third and second floor had A/C units sticking out their walls. It appeared that on the second and third floors were locals, who had A/C. So 1) they lied about A/C, 2) Our room was very dirty. The floor felt like it had been greased with olive oil. I put on socks to try to resolve the problem but the "oil" just soaked through my socks. The most disgusting part was a used condom in our shower. Plus the shower handles were missing. Needless to say that after one night of being eaten alive my mosquitos and sweating all night, we chose to leave the hotel and stay in another place. We ended up at another hostel sleeping in bunk beds (yes a married couple) instead of have a private room at this place

  • Stayed: February 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank janellew29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 October 2010

Not a single cab driver knew where this place was, that's not a good sign considering it isn't a new hostel. Tip: tell them it's near Zona Viva off Calle Amador. Location-wise, it's not that great. It's kind of away from all the action (save for the Amador Causeway) and like I said, no one knew where it was.

The service was excellent. The people working the front desk were incredibly friendly and helpful.

The place was clean, no frills and the internet access is a plus. The free breakfast is not really a selling point. It was white bread, eggs, frosted flakes and Tang/Sunny D (which they dared call orange juice).

Depending on what you plan to do in Panama City, not sure i would recommend this place. If you only plan to stay on the west side (Casco Viejo, Amador Causeway) then this would be a good option but if you really want to see all of the city, you may be better off staying somewhere in the heart of the city.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled with friends
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Thank nicquk2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2010

My husband and I stayed at Hostal Amador Familiar for 4 nights in early March, and were very happy with our accomodations. It was a great base for touring and birding in Gamboa, the canal, the Amador causeway--we had rented a car, which was great for getting around, once we got accustomed to being lost 50% of the time!

Good basic accomodation: We had an air conditioned room with private bath. Our small but clean and perfectly adequate room was quiet and comfortable. Breakfast is included, and a nice covered outdoor kitchen is available for guests. Free computer access and wireless internet. Free parking. All for just $39.50 a day.

It was helpful to have some Spanish, but staff was accomodating and friendly.

  • Stayed: March 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank LouMark2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 September 2009

My husband and I were`pleased with our accommodations, breakfast is included, the property clean. Located in a residential area close to the Causeway, we found taxis inexpensive from the area to just about any part of town. Seems like guests are repeat guests. Watch out for rooms on the Calle Amador side of the building, very noisy. There´s also a rooster and a numbber of neighborhood dogs which,, if not controlled, may wake you in the night. Saturday night is very niosy, the Causeway brings fun lovers through the area. Be aware however, if you´re looking for a friendly staff this is not the place for you, warm and fuzzy they´re not. We didn´t care however after a weeks stay we departed then returned 2 nights later and the male staffer acted as if he´d never seen us before. We speak little to no Spanish and we didn´t expect the staff to be bi lingual, but some semblance of helpfulness would have been nice. The great room, which I expect is for guests, is taken over by the staff and none made an effort to give up their cartoons for guests. We are able to overlook all of the service issues due to the value for the money paid for the product in general. Vanessa is bi lingual and when on property and via email she was helpful. The breakfast attendant is also friendly simply by way of her smile....and that´s all I would ask of any of the rest of the staff yet even that wasn´t there.

  • Stayed: September 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank breadcrumb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hostal Amador Familiar

Address: Calle Akee | Casa # 1519. Balboa, Panama City, Panama
Region: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #33 of 111 Speciality Lodging in Panama City
Price Range: £17 - £39 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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Also Known As:
Hostal Amador Familiar Panama/Panama City

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