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“An Elegant Resort in a Lovely Location” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Westin Playa Bonita Panama

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The Westin Playa Bonita Panama
Ranked #9 of 116 Hotels in Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
United States
Level Contributor
57 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“An Elegant Resort in a Lovely Location”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 July 2013

We stayed at the Westin this past week as part of a family reunion. While we cannot comment about room rates (as the bill was paid by others), we can confidently say that the Westin is a good choice for the Playa Bonita area.
Rooms: Rooms at the Westin are well-appointed and luxurious, with attention to detail throughout. Little touches throughout the hotel and our room, such as free cucumber- or lime-infused water in the lobby make the property a true luxury hotel. If possible, try to get a room with an ocean view, as the view is fantastic and rooms have a balcony that overlooks the water.
Food: Food at the hotel is of mixed quality. The breakfast buffet featured good variety and food quality, but dinner in the many restaurants was overpriced, small in portion-size, and bland/plain in taste. Do not eat dinner at the hotel: look elsewhere if possible. Lunch by the pool featured good sandwiches and light options at reasonable prices.
Service: Service was good for the most part; we had no problems with any staff members.
Location: The hotel's location is its greatest strength and asset. Though the murky waters of the Panama Bay are not exactly meant for swimming (their quality is compromised because of the many passing oil tankers passing in the distance), they make for a great view. Further, the hotel is surrounded by some picturesque mangrove clusters that 'fence in' the hotel beach. The beach itself is narrow but pleasant. Greatest of all, though, is the hotel pool area, which is actually multiple pools. We spent most of our time in the pools and lounging beside them, all with the fantastic view of the water no more than one hundred feet from us.
Synopsis: The Westin Playa Bonita, though not flawless, is an excellent choice for a relaxing getaway from Panama City. Though only a half hour from the City, it transports you to a serene setting ideal for R&R. We highly recommend it – just avoid dinner.

Room Tip: The ocean-view rooms on the high floors have magnificent views.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank RaysRule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maria Gabriela U, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Playa Bonita Panama, responded to this review, 1 August 2013
We appreciate you taking the time to provide us with feedback from your stay.

It is a pleasure to hear that you enjoyed your overall time at the resort and we sincerely apologize for the inconveniences that you mention was present with the quantity of food at the dinner time.

We always take guest comments into consideration and will work to make your next guest experience better.

Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,574 reviews from our community

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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 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Alto Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2013

I wanted to do something special with my girlfriend and her daughter and this hotel was offering a 50% discount through Groupon Coupons so I purchased a two night all inclusive stay. Well it is not an all inclusive stay as one would expect in a resort nor was the quality of everything what you would expect of a 5 star resort. First off the resort was very close to Panama City so only took about 15 minutes by bus. We got to the gate and they immediately called someone to come pick us up -- something that wasn't repeated when we left as we had to walk back out to the street to catch the bus back to Panama City. Check in went smoothly and we were quickly up in our room. Room was very comfortable with two queen beds, extra room to sit and relax, both tub and shower in the room and a balcony with view of the water and pools below. The facilities were clean and very presentable -- from the balcony the views were very nice. The resort was not very crowded and we saw only a handful of other people sharing the resort while we were there. They have more than one restaurant on site, but the only one you can eat at if you're on the all inclusive plan is the buffet restaurant -- they do theme nights and while I think everyone should be able to find something to eat I do feel it is a ripoff that you can't eat in the other restaurants. Food in the buffet restaurant was very good and we enjoyed all our meals there. Staff preparing the food were excellent and made sure they gave you what you wanted and how you wanted it. Wait staff sometimes left something to be desired and a couple seemed to have an attitude of why are you bothering me. The only other food you can get in the resort on the all inclusive plan is food from the pool bar which we ended up ordering on our full day in the resort. My gf ordered the hotdog and fries and I ordered the chicken fingers and fries -- The hotdog was of the poorest quality I have ever seen and really wasn't something you'd want to eat -- even worse if you were paying for it was $8.00. The chicken fingers were ok, but certainly not worth $9.00 according to the menu as they were about on par with something you'd get from a cheap fast food restaurant -- nothing I would have expected in a 5 star resort. We talked with a couple visiting the resort from the U.S. and they asked about other places to eat because for their family of 4 the buffet restaurant cost them almost $100.00 -- While the food is good it didn't rate that kind of price!! The first night our daughter needed some milk for her bottle so my gf went down to the bar to ask for a glass of milk -- next thing I know we have to have room service deliver a glass of milk to the room (not sure why the bar wouldn't/couldn't give her a glass) and the bill for this was almost $5.00 -- FOR A GLASS OF MILK!!!! I solved the problem at breakfast the next morning by filling her bottle with milk and putting it in the in-room fridge however someone on an all inclusive plan shouldn't be charged for one glass of milk!! There are other resorts within Panama and I will be sure to visit them before I return to this one. When I completed the online review the hotel sent me their only comments back well you know we are usually top notch and we're sure you find this when you return to us.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the beach and pools
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dennis N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maria Gabriela U, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Playa Bonita Panama, responded to this review, 3 August 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback from your recent experience at our resort. We wanted to reach out and extend my sincerest apologies for the multiple inconveniences you had encountered throughout your stay with our snacks and also room service charge.

We will use your feedback to help us provide the best service possible to our guests from now to the future.

Once again sorry for the inconveniences and please give us a new opportunity to welcome you back in the future.

Cordially,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orange, California
Level Contributor
548 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2013

We read a lot of reviews prior to our trip so I was a little hesitant about our stay. The hotel was part of a package deal so we had no choice and therefore went in with pretty low expectations. Overall, the hotel itself is beautiful and the rooms were spacious and clean. As everyone else has said, the beach is not necessarily good for swimming. That being said, we thought the views were great and the tidal changes added to the diversity. If you are expecting Hawaii type beaches, you'll be disappointed. The food was average and a little pricey. We took a cab to Amador for dinner one night. Although the overall cost including cab fare was more then you would spend at the hotel, its worth it for a change of scenery. Finally, as far as service goes, we thought everything was fine. Granted we were there in low season so we didn't really have to compete for any one's attention. You will definitely need to speak some Spanish as outside of the check in area, communication was challenging. That being said, try your rusty Spanish and you'll be fine. Kudos to Marcos, one of the servers around the pool. He was efficient and we had a great conversation about Soccer. Adjust your expectations accordingly and you'll enjoy this resort.

Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank Samndjsdad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maria Gabriela U, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Playa Bonita Panama, responded to this review, 3 August 2013
Thank you for taking a moment to share with us your recent experience while staying at our resort.

We are excited to hear that you enjoyed your accommodations and our co-worker Marcos at the bar area made your visit enjoyable during your stay. We are sorry that you were disappointed with our restaurant prices and also the beach but we are pretty sure that you feel the time like home.

Please give us the opportunity to service again in a near future and Welcome back to Panama City.

Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2013

Worst hotel ever. Food sucks, beach sucks, service sucks, drinks suck. Waste of money and waste of time. There's a reason this place is completely empty. We were treated horribly. It was insulting. The ONLY thing good about this place is the free WiFi and even that is on and off at times. We bought out 16 rooms for a company trip and spent over $60k and they still treated us awfully. The restaurants are a waste of your time too. Your better off going to the buffet every single day for every meal.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ele55678
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maria Gabriela U, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Playa Bonita Panama, responded to this review, 3 August 2013
It saddens us to see that we did not exceed your expectations during your stay. What you described to us is not the experience we wish to provide our guests.

We will certainly share your feedback with our management team so that we can continue to evolve and grow. We hope to have a new opportunity to welcome you back in the future.

Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
62 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2013

This hotel has got amazing rooms, amazing views, great food and drinks. But being low season and mostly empty, the main pool was closed last weekend, and has been for at least a week. The main pool is the one with the lovely restaurant setting that you see in the marketing materials, the swim up bar, the large swimming area... pretty much everything. Also most of the restaurants were closed so bad luck for those who paid extra for "premium" all inclusive that allows you a la carte meals. They didn't mention this when booking!
There is little or no entertainment and all the bars close early, but the buffet is excellent and the "normal" all inclusive which promises only national drinks actually includes plenty of premium international brands which was a nice surprise, let's hope they don't change that.
Overall, it is slightly quieter and more upmarket than the Intercontinental next door but there isn't much to do here unless you go on lots of trips. The beach is not great so if you're looking for beaches, go to the Caribbean side of Panama.
An excellent, convenient escape from Panama City or business hotel with a holiday twist and good value by Panama standards- but not a vacation resort if you're looking for a Cuba/Cancun/Dominican Republic/Jamaica kind of deal.

Room Tip: Get a sea view room on a high floor, it's worth it.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Keren V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Americas
Level Contributor
181 reviews
119 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 109 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 July 2013

We got a great rate. The place felt empty. The rooms are well appointed but need some finishing touches/ touch-ups. There was no hot water in the shower. There are many restaurants but only some are open. The breakfast buffet is generous and diverse with good quality. The dinner buffet is not as good. The steakhouse is outrageously expensive. A mini-Caesar Salad is USD12.00. The actual steaks are on par with Panama City steakhouses and very good. Service overall is tepid. You really do not feel welcome. I did get some unsolicited help from a hotel janitor who was the most service oriented person I met. The staff does not smile. The hotel needs just a little bit more of maintenance. The view is great and the pool area is super nice. The gym is good but there are no remote controls available as the TVs are shared. The room amenities are of good quality and generous. With a little more care they can make turn OK product into a great product.

Room Tip: Ocean view is a must!
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank ViajeroESQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maria Gabriela U, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Playa Bonita Panama, responded to this review, 1 August 2013
On behalf of all the entire family part of The Westin Playa Bonita Panama please accept our most sincere apologies for all inconveniences occurred during your vacations.

Hope to have an opportunity in welcoming you again and be able to replace the bad experience with a good and enjoyable one in a near future.

Sincerely,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, WA
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 July 2013

What a great place. Beautiful view of the pacific and ships lining up for the canal transit. Hotel staff have been wonderful and ala carte restaurants are reasonable. Multiple buffets are good if you want to eat lots. Pool staff even did great dance routines that had the kids in rapture. What you need to know is that this is not in panama city and will be 50 bucks for a taxi to get into the city. Once you are here you are pretty much landlocked and dependent on the hotel, unless you are secure with getting into the village of verecruz nearby. A few small markets and restaurants for locals. Very rural and will need some spanish to navigate there.

Room Tip: Bay side is best
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GlauneM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maria Gabriela U, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Playa Bonita Panama, responded to this review, 1 August 2013
We really appreciated your value comments regarding your recent stay at the Westin Playa Bonita Panama.

Your comments are always well heard in order to strive every day to give the best of us and provide a service of excellence.

Hope offers us the opportunity to host you again during future visits to Panama City.

Best regards,
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 The Westin Playa Bonita Panama

Property: The Westin Playa Bonita Panama
Address: Road to Veracruz Km 6, Panama City, Panama
Region: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Spa Hotel in Panama City
#9 Luxury Hotel in Panama City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — The Westin Playa Bonita Panama 5*
Number of rooms: 611
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The personification of the destination: Where natural serenity meets industrial glamour - Westin Playa Bonita Panama is strategically located alongside the Pacific Ocean, on a mile long stretch of golden sand on Playa Bonita Beach, surrounded by lush tropical rainforests, and a quick 20-minute drive from the metropolitan capital of Panama City. Nestled alongside the stunning Pacific Ocean, The Westin Playa Bonita is near celebrated sites like the Panama Canal's Miraflores Locks and just a 20-minute drive from Panama City, the exhilarating capital of the Republic of Panama ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Westin Playa Bonita Panama Hotel Panama City
The Westin Playa Bonita Panama Panama City

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