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“Not All That”

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The Westin Playa Bonita Panama
Ranked #6 of 114 Hotels in Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
“Not All That”
Reviewed 30 June 2014

Although the hotel was pretty and had beautiful views, I felt there was much left to be desired. First, I must say the staff was pleasant and friendly, hey truly tried to speak English and to please everyone for the most part. Secondly, the pools are really clean and well kept, as well as the lobby. The worst part of the trip is the food and the lack of things to do. Let's start with the food, well, we all got sick in some way. The foods is unkept, temperatures were all over the place, food that was supposed to be hot was cold and cold food was warm and even sour. There were constant flies around all the food and food was left out in the hot sun, in the rain, basically all day. The steakhouse was okay one day but bottom line is we all got sick with some sort of stomach issue. For such a "classy hotel" you would expect more from them and they are making travelers sick by not following food safety guidelines. Luckily for me I just eventually stopped eating really so I got the least of it but friends of ours and my husband got really sick.

Room Tip: Stay away from the food and bring an iPad or some board games because unless you plan on taking a ri...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank ria m
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 (673)
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English first
Houston, Texas
1 review
Reviewed 30 June 2014

My expectations were high for this resort since I had spent a week at the Westin in Maui.( also for a business trip.) The entrance is grand. The pools are beautiful. The lobby is spacious and has a beautiful view of the grounds and ocean. We had an all inclusive wrist band that allowed us to eat at all the restaurants as well as order from room service. Our room overlooked the pools and Pacific, allowing us to watch the tides which vary quite dramatically. The ocean is not blue. It is not clear. It is not pretty. The pools do make up for what the ocean lacks. It is awesome to watch the ships line up to go through the canal. At night the ships lights are nice in the distance.
Our room was the typical Westin décor. A little different with the open concept bathroom/tub. Great if you are with your mate, would be a little awkward if rooming with a friend. Always a great "Heavenly Bed". Lots of towels, great water pressure, always clean when we came in from a long day. TV was limited. Maximum of 4 channels in English. CNN, FOX, and a couple of movie stations. Good lotion, shampoo and conditioner.(the little things!)
We did take a cab to into the city. We felt it was a bit pricey but was recommended by the hotel and it made us feel safer. The cab ride was overpriced. In all of the tourist info it states a cab ride any where for $10. So a trip was $50 instead of $20 roundtrip for two. The front desk reps discouraged us from using the yellow cabs. Feeling safe was a huge factor. Our cab driver dropped us off at the Albrook Mall and was on time to pick us up. He asked that we pay when he returned. Nice. The Juan Valdez Cafe' was the closest thing to a Starbucks. It was fantastic!
Now to the food at the resort... We ate at every restaurant and ordered room service as well as attended company events that were catered by the Westin. The language barrier is the biggest obstacle. The wait staff was polite, kind and as helpful as they could be, but communication was a challenge daily. To communicate "well done" we used the pamphlet provided by the Westin with key phrases in Spanish. But most of the time it was very difficult if not impossible to communicate with the waiter who then had to communicate with the the chef. They were so kind- but it was so hard to even order un-sweet tea or "regular" coke as they call it. (diet coke is "light") With the Westin standards I was used to, I never expected to be this disappointed. Their finest steakhouse that we frequented 3 times was average at best. My biggest concern was that most restaurants were buffet and with no regulations of how long the food had been left out. The lunch meat was scary. The Starfish grill was our favorite for breakfast, but at lunch 3 hamburgers were served rare when asked for well done. We just gave up. The ice cream shop served beautiful deserts that were tasteless goo. To sum up the food- my husband lost 8 pounds and I lost 3! Not such a terrible thing!
The bar did have relaxing live music a few nights. We do not drink, but enjoyed the atmosphere and great terrace overlooking the pools and ocean.
You should also carefully review your mini bar charges. We did not drink the $7 gatoraide... and were charged for it. They did fix it.
Over all- 7 days in Panama, Nice. The Gambao tours made the trip memorable. The city tour, the Panama Canal tour all worth the money. Safe, informative.
The Westin is still trying to get it right and will have it down in a few years.

Room Tip: The rooms that face the ocean and pools is a must!
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank DJA1960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hilton Head, South Carolina
2 reviews
Reviewed 30 June 2014

This was an excellent trip
The staff was friendly and enjoyable
Lorenz, Elicero,Jennifer,Tarem, Alejandra,Alimicar
all made the experience even better
The rooms were enjoyable just to sit in and watch the water
The night life could have been better,there is no club at the resort only a bar
I enjoyed the Karaoke nights a lot,the food was great and the front desk was very helpful
when my roommate did niot have a charger for her phone.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank shequllia h
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, 4 July 2014
Thank you so much for sharing with us your amazing Westin experience. We deeply appreciate your kind comments about the rooms, the karaoke place and specially the entertainment staff, we all work with passion to give our guest a beautiful vacation and memories for life. We can't wait to have you back!


Best Regards,
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Renton, Washington
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 30 June 2014

Best hotel experience I've ever encountered. This hotel was perfect from the buffets to the pool to the activities to the staff to the rooms. Even with the language barrier, everyone was friendly as can be and there was always someone to say hello or good morning to you every day. Couldn't have asked for a better hotel staff. Especially with the entertainment team. Such a strong bond was created with Amilcar, Lorzeno, Xeo, Alberto, Yulissa, Sheroqui, and Noely that I'll never forget. They make me want to come back again just because I'd miss them and all they had to offer too much. Definitely would recommend this resort to anyone who wants a fun time with new people accompanied by great service.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Tracey K
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, 4 July 2014
We greatly appreciate your comments. Thank you for acknowledging our entertainment staff for the excellent service they provided in our pool area. We are happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay.We can’t wait to welcome you back again.


Sincerely,
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Michigan City
1 review
Reviewed 29 June 2014

Elliot, a server and bartender, was absolutely amazing. He made our trip to Panama so much better. He ways greeted us with a smile and made us surprise drinks, and not one disappointed. Getting to know him so well the week we were in Panama made it hard to leave. His service deserves recognition. Also, Amilcar, Alberto, Lorenzo, Itzel, Cheo and Yuissa were a lot of fun. Their dancing, and their dance lessons by the pool were always a fun part of the day. Amilcar and Cheo were also very fun on karaoke night at the Soleo bar! They were all very nice, helpful, funny, and outgoing! I had a lot of fun at the hotel and enjoyed my time in Panama.

  • Stayed June 2014
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Helpful?
Thank CMeyer10
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 July 2014
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. We couldn't be happier to hear you were very pleased with the memorable service provided by our food & beverages and activity staff. We appreciate you also sharing the positives from your stay and do hope we have the chance to welcome you back for future stays.

Warm Regards,
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Charleston, West Virginia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
Reviewed 29 June 2014

Since arrival everything was 5 Stars attention. All the staff members were welcoming and helpful

Just to name a few:

In Starfish Grill restaurant: Always consistent serving great food very fresh! Carlos Mulino great attention.
The boys: Ilan Carlucci, Renilio Tejada and Zancheliano Torres to name a few were excellent
From the Girls: Genova always remembered how I like my coffe and orders for my husband

By the Pool: Alberto and Sheroqui with the rest of the dance staff kept the party going...
Every body made us feel very welcome...

Gracias a todos por unas maravillosas Vacasiones! Thank you all for a great vacation.

Mariana Yianne (I will love to come back)

Room Tip: Higher floors great at sea front 9th was very nice
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank Mariana Y
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 July 2014
Thank you for sharing your wonderful Westin experience. We're so happy to hear you enjoyed your stay and I truly appreciate you taking the time to recognize it. Your feedback gives us a wonderful chance to celebrate with our team members! Our aim is to always exceed our guest's expectations and we're so glad to hear we have achieved this with you. Hope to welcome you back again soon!

Cordially,
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Mont Belvieu, Texas
1 review
Reviewed 29 June 2014

Alfredo, the Supervisor, for the one of the restaurant, at the hotel gave excellent customer service His staff also gave great service. Alfredo made sure we had a wonderful meal every day . We stayed 7 days.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mpkacunnningam
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 July 2014
Thank you very much for sharing with us your wonderful review. We appreciate your kind words about the staff. We're so happy to hear you enjoyed your stay. We all work with passion to give our guests a memorable experience. Hope to welcome you back again soon!

Warm 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
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:
#4 Spa Hotel in Panama City
#6 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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