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“The view from Arco Chato is great!”
Review of Casa Antigua

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Casa Antigua
Ranked #14 of 86 Panama City B&B and Inns
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
101 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“The view from Arco Chato is great!”
Reviewed 9 February 2014

Yes, it's on the main street and can be noisy, but the view of downtown is magnificent! I like watching whats going on, on the street, so I didn't mind the night life....too much. Besides, the bedroom is upstairs and has no windows, so with ear plugs (which I always travel with), I got a good nights sleep. The apartment was nicely decorated and breakfast was included. It was not what I usually had for break! but it got me going in the morning. The location is great. There are many restaurants within walking distance and you can easily catch a cab at the front door. I only had a few problems during our 5 night stay there. Housekeeping is odd...and inconsistent. We had a full set of towels when we came in, but the dirty ones weren't always replaced. So one day I was down to one. They took the soap after one use, and didn't replace it for a few days. For two nights, I slept upside down, because the bed was made...upside down. I came back in the late after noon to find the bedroom door closed and locked...and no one had a key to unlock it. It took awhile, but someone finally showed up with a knife and got in. None of this was a big problem, just odd. I, however, have a sense of humor and took it all in stride. I can't say the same for my friends staying across the hall that came in to find a mouse in their room. The staff would not deal with it...at all. They wouldn't even take it away when my friend got it in a paper bag! Would I stay there again? Absolutely, but the next time I come to Panama, I'll probably stay in another neighborhood so I can see and explore areas other than Casco Viejo. Would I recommend Casa Antigua to my friends? Yes and I'd direct them to my review, as well. Let them decide. I also want to mention that it felt very safe there. You didn't get past the front door without passing a security guard!

Room Tip: If it's important to you, ask for a room with a window to the outside. Mine did, but my friend...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank Allen P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bowie888, Owner at Casa Antigua, responded to this review, 26 February 2014
Glad you generally enjoyed your stay. Sorry about the unwelcome guests but unfortunately these old cities do times have this problem. There is a lot of old deserted buildings in the area which are of course prone to this problem. Trust that it didn't cause you too much of an issue and that otherwise you enjoyed the experience.
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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The Great State of Maine
Level Contributor
20 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 February 2014

We wanted very much to stay in Casco Viejo but most of the hotels are "boutique" hotels with hefty price tags. The Casa Antiqua, with its much more reasonable prices, allowed us to stay in Casco Viejo without blowing our budget. The location is good, near the edge of the neighborhood, allowing us easy access to sightseeing outside of the old quarter, too. The staff is extremely helpful. The rooftop deck (available to all guests) has an amazing view of the city.

The photos on the website are very accurate, and the bathroom was especially nice. A great shower head and plush towels. Also nice linens on the beds. All in all a very good value for the price.

The only issue was the noise that has been mentioned by other posters. We stayed five nights, and we had specifically asked for an inside room out of concern for the possible noise. The last night, a Friday, we definitely heard the music. Fortunately, we were worn out from the day and able to go back to sleep in spite of it.

I will also mention that the free breakfast is at a restaurant which has 8 a.m. posted on the door as the opening time. They tended to be late to open (after 8:30), so if you want to build the free breakfast into your schedule, give yourself extra time. It's a good breakfast and the restaurant folks were very nice, they just aren't watching the clock.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LovingMaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bowie888, Owner at Casa Antigua, responded to this review, 3 February 2014
Thank you for taking time out to post a review. Glad you generally liked your stay and as you say the roof top views are stunning. This is a very lively area of Panama and when the sun goes down the locals like to party. We will chase up the staff to ensure breakfast is served as schedued and we apologise for this lapse which should not be the case.
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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
76 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 January 2014

I would really like to give this a better rating as with a bit of care it could be so much better, but apart from the location there were so many things that needed attention that it is not possible.
The good: Location, perfect great view over Casco Viejo and the bay. Great to walk to many nearby restaurants and bars and nearby shops in Avenida Central.
The staff were very friendly and did try to help.
The room (Chagres) was great, it was the reason I booked as I loved the look of this room and the two balconys.
The bad: As has been mentioned by other reviewers there is a new bar on the corner near the hotel. It is completely open air and the only night it does not operate is monday. It was impossible to sleep and it completly ruined my stay. I ended up buying earplugs which helped to a degree but be aware there is absolutly zero soundproofing in these rooms.
I did request from the office a refund so as to move to a quieter location, while they were willing to do this it had to be done through my credit card and would take weeks. Not possible when you are on an extended holiday and have all your finances budgeted. An attempt to speak to the owner met with she is travelling and we can not get in contact with her.
Having worked in the hospitality industry for many years I tend to be a bit harsher in my judments of hotels (according to my daughter) but for the prices you pay here I would expect first class service and you do not get that.
The rooms were generally adequatley cleaned, though there was always something they missed, and if you walked around with no shoes your feet tended to get dirty. What astounded me was on the two holidays, christmas day and new years day there was no service at all.
The restaurant was also not open these days though they do tell you that and supply a cold breakfast to your room which was adequate.One thing missing in the room was the total absence of tea/coffee, there is a machine but it is byo.
There is also a strange set up with the parking downstairs. I have family in Panama and when they came to pick us up the parking spots are all being used as valet parking for a couple of restaurants down the block, which is OK but what right do they have to stop people parking on a public street, strange.
As I said I would love to give this hotel a better rating but as things stand not possible. It has potential but until they do something to sound proof the rooms at the front I really can not reconmend staying there unless you can sleep through anything. Sad as it spoiled what would have been a lovely stay.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sydneyalicat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bowie888, Owner at Casa Antigua, responded to this review, 30 January 2014
Thanks for the review. The bar you mentioned is unauthorized and situated in an abandoned building . It has, since your stay, been subject to official intervention.
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Dana Point, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2014

I stayed at Casa Antigua for three nights December 24-26, 2013 with my wife and 12 year old daughter. We stayed one night in the Arco Chato suite and 2 nights in the Kliemann Suite. Both suites were nicely decorated, roomy and comfortable. I particularly enjoyed the patios from which I could watch the Casco Viejo street scene below and had a nice city view across the water. The staff were very friendly and helpfull. My only complaint was the excessive noise from a nearby Club. The extremely loud music started at 11:00 and did not stop untill 4 a.m. There was just no way either my wife or myself could sleep through that (the 12 year old can sleep through anything). Despite all the good things Casa Antigua has going for it, I would not recommend it to light sleepers who are interested in sleeping between 11:00 pm and 4:00 am.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chris G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bowie888, Owner at Casa Antigua, responded to this review, 25 January 2014
Thank you for your comments. The " club" you refer to is an "unofficial" night spot in a derelict building . Following similar complaints the authorities have sealed off the location . It's still being used but at significantly reduced decibels . Having said which the old city is becoming an increasingly popular night spot and tends to attract those seeking a taste of life after dark but in a safe and vibrant environment
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Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 January 2014

As you can see from other reviews, the location here is great.

We stayed three nights beginning 12.7.2013. We liked the location and the fact that the owners had a restaurant where we could have breakfast each day. While the room was of adequate size, we were a bit disappointed as we thought we would have a balcony. There was a window with a view of the "new city" and water; however it was approximately 9"X16" and you had to look over a garbage strewn metal roof.

We arrived on the eve of "Mother's Day" which is a Panamanian Holiday and so a cold breakfast of questionable quality was left in our room. Surprisingly, though Panama is famous for coffee, no coffee was provided. We were soon to understand that the following day was an understood holiday as well, so while breakfast…eventually was made available, it felt as if it was a "dry run opening day" for a restaurant. Our third day, the restaurant just did not get around to opening on time, so we could only get some toast and coffee which was like "pulling teeth". I mention this, as if you are a family making a decision on having a reliable breakfast here…look elsewhere. We travelled to other areas over 14 days in Panama and, while laid back, we did not find this lack of service elsewhere.

The clincher, however, is when we were leaving in the morning and outside the restaurant entrance, a well fed rat ran past us (my wife does not like rats) towards the ice machine/food storage area. I could see from the rat's ingress/egress spot that it was well travelled and pointed out the area to the staff who seemed either surprised, or nonchalant.

In short; great location, don't factor in the benefits of food if that is important to you, and a less than attentive staff, other than those in the front office who are booking the rooms

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Robert H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bowie888, Owner at Casa Antigua, responded to this review, 18 January 2014
I am sorry about your experience but rats can be a problem in old city areas where no matter how careful we are, we cannot control the failure of other areas to maintain the same standards especially as many of these buildings are abandoned. I note your posting is many months after your visit and I think most of the issues raised have been addressed.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2014

We enjoyed our visit at Casa Antigua mainly due to the location. The room we had was very large and it was kept very clean throughout our stay. We would stay again if we were in the area, however, our only critiscm would be that we did not feel there was much of a 'personal' service With a few small changes and updates the place could be perfect.

Room Tip: Make sure you visit the roof terrace, it is not really mentioned when booking but has amazing views...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Emma W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bowie888, Owner at Casa Antigua, responded to this review, 15 January 2014
Pleased you enjoyed the location and roof views which are indeed stunning. Would appreciate some more feed back on the "extra areas" you mention concerning service as we would love to see you back again. Please drop us an email at your convenience.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 January 2014 via mobile

We stayed in the Portobelo room, the room and bathroom are large, very comfortable and were spotlessly cleaned each day. The decor and furniture is a little dated and the room feels like it needs to be updated soon but it was ok overall. The room was fairly quiet at night (given its location in a party district) as I understand from other reviews that noise of nearby clubs and bars can be excessive in other rooms that overlook the main road. We could hear music, it did not keep us up but could be an issue for some people. Location is very central in Casco Viejo, perfect for exploring the area and the building obviously has a history which gives it charm. The breakfast was very average with 3 limited choices but we were told nearly every day for 5 mornings that the kitchen had run out out of at least 1-2 ingredients, either bacon or pancakes, or both, limiting what we could actually have to eggs and toast. The breakfast service from some staff was lacking enthusiasm also. Taxis that the hotel arrange we quickly realised were at a premium to normal taxis so avoid having them arrange for you. Taxis were constantly passing by in the street anyway. If you stay here make sure you check out the big roof terrace, it has beautiful panoramic views of Panama City and Casco Viejo.

Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Xavier M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bowie888, Owner at Casa Antigua, responded to this review, 12 January 2014
Thank you for your comments. We will look into the breakfast issues and will ensure that the supplies are adequate. Glad you enjoyed the views which as you say are pretty spectacular. We are in a very vibrant part of the old city and is one of the reasons our hotel is so heavily favored and also of course there is direct access to the panama bay coastal walkway which runs along the shore line for some 3 Kms and makes for a great walking and jogging environment.
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Additional Information about Casa Antigua

Property: Casa Antigua
Address: Street 9 | Between Avenida Eloy Alfaro and Avenue B, Panama City 0815, Panama
Region: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 86 B&Bs / Inns in Panama City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Casa Antigua 3.5*
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Antigua Hotel is conveniently located at the entrance of Casco Antiguo. It is a boutique hotel with 7 comfortable suites and 2 cozy rooms. Each room and suite is equipped with stove, refrigerator, microwave oven, coffee maker, toaster, and kitchenware.At a walking distance, you will find the Coastal Strip (Cinta Costera), as well as all the historical buildings, churches, plazas, museums and enchanting narrow streets, which will take you back in time. The hotel features a rooftop terrace with views of the city skyline, the Bay of Panama, the colonial buildings and the Amador Causeway. Inside the hotel, you will find the original stone walls and tiles. Its spaces evoke the architecture of the 17th century merged with 21st century touches.In the Casco area you will find plenty of nightlife and dining options, like the recently inaugurated Pips Restaurant (located on the ground floor of the hotel), and the Grapes Restaurant, with high-quality international cuisine and steak house, located a few steps away from the Presidential Palace. We have direct access to the famous Cinta Costera in Ave. Balboa, features 6 km of seaside walking track ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Antigua Hotel Panama City
Casa Antigua Panama/Panama City

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