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“Great hotel but no beach”

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The Westin Playa Bonita Panama
Ranked #8 of 114 Hotels in Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
Tampa Florida
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great hotel but no beach”
Reviewed 26 January 2014

We loved the hotel but were very disappointed with the beach. If you like pools,you will love the hotel, Screaming kids everywhere.Great views from the Executive Club Lounge.Upgrade to the Club Lounge.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank LoganTampaFlorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (667)
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English first
Canyon, Texas
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 26 January 2014

Just spent 5 days at the Westin Playa Bonita. Was not happy. All inclusive includes watered down drinks and boring buffet food. Nothing changed the whole week. When we went to the buffet for meals we couldnt get a waiter to get us drinks. The pool area was being worked on during the day, This included painting the concrete and 2 plugged pool cleaners. Almost no activities by the pool. They did have a pool fitness right in the middle of lunch.not a good time.
We finally went into town and had a wonderful meal at La Posta. I would not recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank Patricia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2014

The scenery of the ocean was beautiful. The difference in low tide vs. high tide was the most pronounced I had ever seen. Exploring the beach was fun. The pool areas were well maintained and picturesque. The staff was friendly but sometimes scarce. The rooms were tastefully moderate and provided nice views of either the beach or the canopy depending on the side. I would recommend beach view as the forest side included a schoolbus retirement lot & was a bit noisy due to the HVAC & machinery. The food was good. The location was somewhat secluded & far away from attractions. But, this is probably a good thing. The shuttle service provided access to most desirable destinations. When we arrived, we were given a room with an AC leak & had to be assigned another. You can tell this was a hotel in transition. Most likely improved upon since our last visit.

Room Tip: Do not settle for anything other than an ocean view.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank SharShar72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Arlington, Texas
2 reviews
Reviewed 25 January 2014

As others have said, this place is so-so. The good: clean facility, nice pools, nice rooms. EXCEPT, my room had a open bathroom: there was a huge window from the bathroom to the bedroom with only a flimsy shade to pull down. This is the worst idea ever! No privacy, couldn't leave the light on at night, awful. I also had the same air conditioning problem as another poster: mine would fire up about every 5 minutes all night long causing a lot of noise. I also hated that the rooms are so sealed - there is no sliding screen door onto the balconies so no enjoying the evening breeze, just a heavy door to open and close, and that's the only way to allow in fresh air.
I too was surprised by the lack of English spoken by the employees considering the clientele. I found all of the dining options to be very lacking, especially Pacifica, which is basically a fancy cafeteria. I didn't mind the beach as much as the others and kinda liked walking out at low tide but had no desire to swim in the ocean, and I am a big ocean swimmer. Overall, I had a good time but could hardly recommend it over any other warm beach locale.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Rebecca L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lawrence, New York
Level 6 Contributor
135 reviews
45 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2014

The westin is a decent ok property. Nothing great. The beach is not so pretty. The pool area is somewhat rundown. The rooms are a bit worn, and the maid service is spotty at best.

Very few employees speak english, and service is intermittent. You cannot call the front desk, which is sort of weird.

Was ok for my purpose, which was to be near the city, but stay at a resort, but once is enough. Next time I will look elsewhere.

Room Tip: Get a renewal Suite; not much more $$, but very large
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank tedoworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Montreal
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2014

OK, it is a bit of a provocative title, but I have to say, I can't understand how Westin thinks this meets minimum service standards for its properties. The facilities are good, and the rooms are spacious and comfortable. So far so good. However, the service is simply awful at pretty much all levels - from room service to restaurants to front desk to concierge. Requests unanswered; concierges not answering phones; poor service at all the restaurants. Other basics - like reliability of wi-fi, etc, inadequate. Quality of food and beverage pretty poor - and very expensive for what it is. Avoid.

Stayed December 2013, travelled on business
Helpful?
3 Thank MontrealUser10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2014

We visited this "resort" from Jan.12 thru Jan 18 on a business/pleasure trip. ( we won the trip, so it was free, but still not worth it). The hotel was obviously not prepared for our group which was around 550 people. We were told this hotel was "all inclusive" however there were many things that were not included. We had a buffet dinner scheduled for our group one night but wanted to try the Italian Buffet instead. We were immediately told we could not eat the Italian buffet and had to eat with our group ( I am pretty sure thats what the waiter said, but he barely spoke English, he just shook his head no and pointed out the door to the other buffet). Then another man approached us and told us we could eat the Italian Buffet but we had to pay $32.00 per person on top of our "all inclusive" rate. The hotel doesnt have much to offer outside of karaoke, which closed at 10pm. The food was very bad the first few days, but then suddenly got better. We heard rumors this was because our Travel Agents complained. Even still, it wasnt great or 5 star worthy. It was 3 star at best. Our room was decent enough, however the maid service was pretty bad. There was coffee in the room, but after the second day there was no creamer, nothing to stir the coffee with, and one packet of sugar. They had run out of just about everything. Very few employees spoke ANY English, and those that did spoke only the basics. There were a couple of employees who greeted us with smiles, but for the most part we felt like we were intruding on them. Needless to say, we didnt feel welcome. If youre looking for a beautiiful beach, look elsewhere. If you like your food hot, look elsewhere. If you like liquor in your "cocktails", look elsewhere. In other words...LOOK ELSEWHERE.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled on business
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Helpful?
3 Thank Chris Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
Phone Number:
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:
#5 Spa Hotel in Panama City
#8 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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