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“Economical no frills”
Review of Casco Antiguo

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Casco Antiguo
Ranked #18 of 86 Panama City B&B and Inns
Boquete, Panama
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Economical no frills”
Reviewed 6 May 2012

We spent a layover night at Hotel Casco Antiguo and were just looking for a place to sleep for a few hours before catching the bus back home to Boquete. It is not a hotel, it is hostel caliber. It is very basic, fairly clean but spartan and a bit run down. We had a private room with bathroom, the bed was worn but comfortable enough, the linens also worn but clean. There is no AC and the ceiling fan kept us cool enough but during the day, the room would have been unbearably hot. The wifi was weak. There is no insulation in the walls or doors and the night was very noisy with travelers talking and laughing most of the night. Overall it was worth the relatively inexpensive price for Casco Viejo (standard for hostel price) since we just needed a place to crash and weren't using it for anything else. It borders the sketchier part of Casco and caution should be exercised when walking around.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled on business
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
5 Thank newnewyorker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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84 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
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English first
Freiburg in Germany
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2012

The hotel is only 300 m from the cathedral and the best locations of the old part of Panama (heavily being restaured but still half in ruins when I arrived in April 2012). There is some rotten houses around the hotel, and on Sunday after midnight I looked for a beer and realized that the only open cantine was just round the corner - and the reason for quite load music in my room until late night... Bath room installations were clean but more than simple, the room was big but without chair. All rooms have ventilators. Breakfast was simple (2 eggs on toasts, 2 slides of pine apple, coffee). Found some good information at the book exchange shelf. All at all ok if you are looking for something economic in the old centre (33 $/n).

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Christian-Green
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
281 reviews
169 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 207 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 March 2012

First of all a big „THANK YOU“ to the hotel. We came by a night bus from David and arrived to Panama City really early, it was about 5:00 am and still very dark. We were 12 people and even thought I did not tell the hotel we´ll be arriving this early, they took care of us. Because our rooms were not ready (or still occupied) they gave us different rooms meanwhile so we can rest while they fix our rooms. I don´t think this is normal, usually you have to wait until check in time. They also invited us for the breakfast which is included in the price, but I only paid for one night and they offered this day breakfast as a courtesy as well. I thought that was just amazing!

The hotel itself needs some repairs, sometimes it was really difficult to open the rooms´ locks plus there are some crampy corners. But there is not much to choose from in Casco Viejo at this price and the rooms were clean and ok. The tiled reception hall has a lot of old times charm, the location is ok and there are great views from the roof terrace.

The only thing that was horrible was the breakfast service! The breakfast is „served“ in a very slow and terrifyingly inefficient way. Imagine six of you come at the same time, one of you gets coffee, other gets juice then they make two portions of eggs, then they disappear looking for more juice, then they prepare another „one“ cup of coffee and so on. So save a lot of time for the breakfast and don´t be picky about the order you get to eat or drink stuff.

Even thought I would give this hotel normally 3 stars, thanks to the way they took care of us when we came early morning and tired, I have to give them four.

Room Tip: Rooms are very different, check yours before saying "yes". If you are willing to add few e...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank iliveinmexico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winnipeg
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 March 2012

This hotel charges $22 for a tiny room with a tiny bed, with no bathroom and no airconditioning.
The ceiling fan is three inches away from the ceiling and does not move the air in the room. Go to the Exposicion area where you get your own bathroom and decent airconditioning for $25.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank georgetacik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Panama City hotels

Playa Conchal, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
73 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2012

Could be better described as a pension or a backpackers. Rooms are very basic, although clean, many with shared bathrooms. We found management to be helpful and accommodating, and they set us up with a great taxi tour with driver Sara.
We had the 'penthouse' which at $66 per night was very good value. Huge room with 2 double beds, AC, bathroom, tv etc. The included breakfast also added value, as did the late check out of 2pm, also free wi-fi. Theres also a nice roof deck, with seating, overlooking the city and the ocean.
Overall very basic accommodation, a little rough around the edges, but great value and a nice location. A cheap place for a couple of nights to explore the Casco.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank Simon P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glenview, Illinois
Level Contributor
30 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2012

I’ll start by saying that this place should not be considered anything but a HOSTEL and nothing more. If you stay here keeping that in mind – it’s a decent place. If you expect it to be a “hotel” – you will be disappointed and you will not have anything good to say about it. We originally planned to stop at Luna's Castle (a few blocks away) but they were booked up so since I've seen this place on line we've decided to stop here, it was available and for the same price.

I’ve never stayed in a hostel before so this was a whole new experience for me which I took on with an open mind and I have nothing bad to say about it, but I will be as objective as I can. We stayed here for 1 night and left at 4am to go to our next stop.

1. The location – Casco Viejo is a very old place, it’s full of history and charm. But you have to have an open mind – a lot of the area is in very run down condition: the buildings are dilapidated; the streets have some huge potholes or drains without covers – so watch out, the cats and dogs are all over the place and there might be an occasional pile of stuff you would not want to step in. But it’s pretty safe – they have a huge police department that is located around the corner from Casco Antiguo, and there are armed guards on every other corner but not to be scared – it’s pretty normal in this part of the world.
2. The front desk – first I have to mention that you have to ring a buzzer to get into the building (security reasons and it seemed that all other places do the same). The lady at the front was nice and since we spoke no Spanish and she spoke no English it was a little difficult but we all managed to understand each other. We were given 3 keys to 3 different rooms so we could pick which one we liked. Also she was very helpful in looking for a cab – we had to get a cab at 4:30am to go to Albrook Airport and even though there were language problems she was able to explain to us that the cabs are easy to find about 1 block away from the place.
3. The building - is pretty ancient so expect lots of stairs, turns, old tiles, old everything actually. The rooms are very small and VERY basic. We had a room on a 2nd floor – it’s like they just put up the partition walls in a huge hall, installed some doors with locks and called it a day. Like someone else said – the walls do not go all the way to the ceiling – my guess would be to keep the air flow – the building was built in 1915 so there are no A/C’s. The common areas were nice - the front lobby had couches and looked kinda cool with character. The 2nd floor "lounge" area had tables and a microwave, i guess this is where the breakfast would be served - we didn't know about it but we would no be able to try it anyway.
4. The room – it had a dresser with a mirror and a “closet” without any hangers. We did not care since we were backpacking and all we needed was a bed and a sink. We had 2 twin beds that we pushed together. The bedding (sheets and pillows) seemed clean. We also did not care since we brought our own sheets and pillow cases just to be safe. The beds are nothing fancy and a little on a hard side - not very comfortable. There was a ceiling fan and a window. The fan helped with moving hot sticky air but the window just added noise. So beware – it is noisy and hot! Also bring your own lock - like a combo lock you'd use at the gym, all doors have locks but just to be safe there are latches for locks - so bring one.
5. The bathrooms – you have to keep in mind that this is a HOSTEL so all this “fancy” stuff is shared. There were 2 shower stalls and 3 toilets with doors with locks on the 3rd floor. They looked “newish” probably put in within last 1-2 years. The 2nd floor “amenities” were useless and probably dangerous. There is one (1) sink in the hallway on the 3rd floor. At least that’s the only one we saw or used. We did not use the showers but the toilets are clean enough but had no toilet paper, so bring a roll, or better yet flushable baby wipes with you.

All in all it’s a decent place to crash for a night or may be even two for very cheap ($29 per night). It's like camping in a city. Good central location – Casco Viejo is a very nice place to walk around and just enjoy the architecture and local food. Albrook is about 10 minutes away ($5 cab ride) Tocumen about 40 min away ($25-30 cab ride). The Panama Canal is 10-15 min away ($5 cab ride - plus $5 entrance fee to the Miraflores Locks).

Room Tip: bring your own: toilet paper (or flushable baby wipes), towel, soap, shampoo, etc. also bring a lock...
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  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Anastasia08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
70 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 February 2012

I saw the pictures and thought it was for me. Old Colonial, rustic. I read the reviews about the noise and the walls that don't go all the way up but I didn't care, I am a traveler!

A Traveler who is perhaps too old for places like this anymore.

After numerous emails I finally got a reply after my 5th. The staff were nice and the included breakfast is actually not bad.

Police dressed in bullet proof vests sweep the hotel every few hours going floor by floor. When asking them for directions they beg you not to go north of the hotel "Whatever you do, do not go there". The noise on the street is loud and goes till very late and it sounds like you are out there with them.

The room was clean, but there were some holes in the walls. The bed was saggy in the middle and the walls do not go to the top so you could hear noises from other rooms and the hallway.

That being said, it was a cheap option and IN Casco Vijejo, a 2 min walk from Cafe Coca Cola and Avenue Central.

They also let us check in at 6 am which was pretty awesome.

Basically it gets a 2 because I didn't feel very safe and I was not able to sleep. Bring Earplugs and that should certainly help. The faded grandeur has it's appeal too.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank lemonmerangue1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Casco Antiguo

Property: Casco Antiguo
Address: Calle B & Calle 12, No 755, San Felipe, Panama City 10000, Panama
Region: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 86 B&Bs / Inns in Panama City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 45
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Great hotel in Panama City ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casco Antiguo Panama/Panama City

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