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“Poorly Managed Hotel” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Waldorf Astoria Panama

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Waldorf Astoria Panama
Ranked #14 of 116 Hotels in Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
65 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Poorly Managed Hotel”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2014

We'd reserved a duplex 2 bedroom penthouse suite several months before our trip. A couple of days before we were to arrive I received a phone call explaining that there'd been a leak and if the suite was uninhabitable upon our arrival we would get 2-1 bedroom suites instead, free internet and breakfast. Fair enough. Things happen in the hotel business that are unavoidable.
When we arrived and checked in we were shown to the 2 bedroom suite with no explanation of anything. The first floor of the suite was nicely appointed with great views of Panama Bay. The master bedroom was also nice and spacious with a great view. Here's the kicker-the second bedroom had NO windows, no door on the bathroom, and from the bed there was a fabulous view of the toilet. Design flaw?
The shower in that room didn't work and we had to call to have it repaired.
The a/c in our master bath made a horrific noise that also had to be repaired.
There is no tourist information in English.
Most of the staff was wonderful, friendly and helpful, though, which is why I am not giving 2 stars.
During 1 day of our stay we arrived back at the room at 3:30 to find the room had not been cleaned. After calling, the housekeeper came in about 1/2 an hour later with a squirt bottle and dirty rag. When I asked her to change the sheets, she told me no, "manana". Huh?
There is a large jacuzzi on the terrace of the suite which wasn't working. And I couldn't help wondering why on a large terrace to a 2 bedroom suite there were 2 lounge chairs and nothing more.
There are certainly not" first class amenities and unrivaled opulence" as their web page states.
The pool is unattractive and there are barely enough towels to go around. There are no towels or water in the gym.
This hotel gives The Waldorf a very bad name!

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank laura s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaVictoriaB_WA, Public Relations Manager at Waldorf Astoria Panama, responded to this review, 16 June 2014
Dear laura s,
We appreciate your feedback. The maintenance department will be informed about the inconveniences you had during your last visit, so that it does not occur again in the future. Normally there is tourist information in both English and Spanish; however there might have been a distributing mistake that day. We will mention to our staff what you wrote so that we can better our service. It is good to know you were able to experience good and friendly service during your time at the hotel.
Thank you for your comments and we hope the next time you stay will be a pleasurable experience.
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1,169 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (203)
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English first
Hamburg, Germany
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 May 2014

I am not rating this 1 star, because it is worse than other rated hotels, but because it does absolutely not deliver what it is promising.

Short story:
I would advise anybody to rather book a Deluxe/Suite in the Doubletree just 3 blocks north (Via Espana/Ave Frederico Boyd). It is the same Hilton brand, and you get a larger better equipped Room, more professional staff and MUCH more amenities for HALF the price.

Long story:
- Room not ready: We had booked a room, and arrived at 3PM, however were told that the room was not ready and we should wait. 45min later, I friendly queried what the problem was, however only received a blunt "sorry, not ready yet". We noted, that this is rather inacceptable, and we watched 3 staff constantly phoning and buzzing arround. We got the keys after 60min, however this is inacceptable. Meanwhile, no excuse, no offer for refreshments, no smile, nothing.
By the way: The room we finally received had a floor soaked wet....

- Treatment: We just came from a 5 day tour in the Darien jungle, and looked a bit "adventurous". Unfortunately, we were treated like some cheap backpackers. Very "looking-down" attitude, no smile, no proper greeting, no customer enquiry. Paying the bill with a Platinum Visa wearing a 2k$ watch didnt seem to hint them at me actually being a very frequent Hilton customer (which I assume should appear in their systems) having actually held the Hilton Gold status until the month before.
Anyways: A 5 star premises advertising "a special experience" should treat anybody special regardless of the looks. When you board a First Class Emirates or Etihad flight with Pyjamas, you are equally special as the guy wearing a suit.

Checkin/out: Apart from the delay and attitude mentioned above, no explanation of the premises, no information on breakfast and facilities, seriously only the words "here are your keys, there is the elevator". No questioning, how the stay was.

Room: Being the highest brand of Hilton, I would expect more than the others. However it is not the case here. Aside from looking fancier, there is no actually benefit. Same small 32m2 room, simple bathroom, less bath amenities (e.g. no showergel!?!), no bathtub, no kettle / coffeemaker, no writing utilities at the desk, noncomplimentary Wifi, and the blanket has no proper linen, it is rather a blanket sandwiched in 2 bedsheets. Thats what hostels do, not 5 star hotels!

Bed: As one of the few positive experiences, the bed delivers a true Waldorf Astoria comfort! I always enjoy the very comfortable sleep.

Service: We were promised a complimentary shuttle in a 2km radius the day before. However, when asking for it the next morning, we received some nonsense excuse (I dont even remember it because it was so obviously a blatant excuse) that it is not available. Maybe it has to do something with us continuing to look "adventurous", as our next stop was Isla Coiba.

All in all: This fairly new Waldorf Astoria LOOKs like a 5 star Waldorf Astoria, however it doesnt deliver what it promises. I would seriously advise the management to review how this hotel is run under the Waldorf Astoria brand.
Meanwhile, I can advise anybody to book a deluxe/suite in the Hilton Doubletree 3 blocks north. The rooms&lobby are not as "bling-bling", but you get larger rooms with more amenties, better equipped bathrooms, free Wifi+breakfast, welcome drinks&cookies, etc. for half the price!

Best regards from a former pretty-long Hilton Gold customer, whos experience encourages keeping it "former".
(Stayed: 23&24. April)

Room Tip: Get a deluxe/suite room at the double tree (Via Espana & Ave. Federico Boy)
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank hal9213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaVictoriaB_WA, Public Relations Manager at Waldorf Astoria Panama, responded to this review, 29 May 2014
Dear hal9213,
Thank you for allowing us to host you during your recent visit to Panama and providing us with your feedback, as we feel it will help our staff get better. We are sorry for the delays in the check-in process and all other inconveniences during your
stay. We will address these with our staff and review what went wrong. We truly hope to welcome you again during your next visit to the city and help you create wonderful memories.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
77 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 May 2014

Stayed at the Waldorf for a long holiday weekend in November. The hotel is about one block off the main street, where their is a large park and access to the water. It is about a mile walk to the the old town. Their are a few restaurants within walking distance to the hotel. Had no issues walking around the neighborhood at night. My room resembled a small apartment. IT included a kitchen, sitting area with fire place and a bathroom with waterfall shower that also had a window which allowed you to take a shower and look out over the room and skyline. I did have repeated trouble with the television and cable. The staff was kind enough to give me a complimentary massage in the spa for my inconvenience. The staff was wonderful and the hotel was very helpful in helping me arrange airport transportation and a tour of the Panama Canal.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled solo
    • 5 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?
1 Thank diamondHH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaVictoriaB_WA, Public Relations Manager at Waldorf Astoria Panama, responded to this review, 29 May 2014
Dear DiamondHH,
We are delighted to have been your home during your stay in Panama City. It is true we offer not only great service and amenities, but also a great location near malls, restaurants and historic sites. It is wonderful to read you enjoyed the many amenities and facilities at our hotel. We hope you allow us to host you again during your next visit to Panama.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 May 2014

What a great hotel! Concierge was fantastic. Rooms were clean and comfortable. We stayed in the suite towers which were fantastic. I would definitely recommend this hotel for its outstanding service and luxurious accomodations.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 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
Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria

Helpful?
1 Thank Kristi T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaVictoriaB_WA, Public Relations Manager at Waldorf Astoria Panama, responded to this review, 29 May 2014
Dear Kristi T,
Thank you for choosing us during your recent trip to the city. We are proud to offer the best in service, and we are delighted to read you were able to experience this and many other great things at the Waldorf Astoria Panama.
We hope to continue serving you. Come see us again!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
64 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 May 2014

So this is not your typical Waldorf Astoria. Living just blocks away from the #1 ranked Waldorf in the World, my expectations were too high.

But, if you don't go in expecting that, you will enjoy your stay. I did A LOT of research into which Panama City hotel to stay at. I split my time in Panama City between this hotel and the rival Trump hotel and would easily recommend the Waldorf over the Trump.

Rooms are well appointed with nice bathrooms and very comfortable beds.

Service was fine. Bellboy Tony was awesome. I actually preferred his recommendations to that of the concierge.

My biggest negative about the hotel was the pool area. Service was spotty. The pool had only a sliver of sun during the day (in April), which was disappointing. Additionally, at night even though the pool area had a number of people, the bar/food service closes and they shut off all the deck lights. One night I was there, there were a few groups either reading/smoking/swimming, with no lights or bar service. Something management should change.

WIFI cost $14/night.

The hotel is an area with a lot of surrounding restaurants/bars and is centrally located such that you can easily walk to other attractions.

In my opinion, this is the best hotel in Panama City and I did enjoy my stay here. You just can't expect a typical Waldorf experience (but then again, you are not paying typical Waldorf Prices).

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tim S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaVictoriaB_WA, Public Relations Manager at Waldorf Astoria Panama, responded to this review, 16 June 2014
Dear Tim S,
We are very glad you enjoyed your stay here. Tony will be informed of your kind praise. Our sincere apologies for the inconveniences at the pool area. We are upset that you were disappointed with the service. We will inform our staff immediately, so that it does not occur again. Thank you for the positive comments. . Your thoughts are fondly welcomed and we promise to make your next visit even better. We hope to be able to host you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
36 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 May 2014

Stayed at the Waldorf Astoria in Panama City after being relocated from another property. I cannot say that I was disappointed because I never would have picked it in the first place. I am familiar with the Waldorf, as I married at the property in Chicago (when it was The Elysian), but this location feels very much like its heyday was in the 80s and it hasn't been renovated since.

It's located in a popular area of the city with lots of restaurants and nightclubs within walking distance. Be aware that the hotel is surrounded by other high rises, so views are minimal, at best. The food and drinks were good. The pool deck only had about 15 chairs in the sun...it's tiny, so be ready to hustle for a good spot. The rooms are like being in a time warp - part modern, part disco. Plus, the shower never got hot.

It's a shame and hard to write this review, because the staff were wonderful - friendly, helpful, welcoming, and took such pride in their jobs (in particular, Onya, from Spain at check in). They really waited on us hand and foot. We felt like we were the only guests at the hotel. Not just greeting us by our last names (as is the industry standard), but by our first names as well. It's because of them this review has earned a three rating; if not, it would have been a one. Management clearly invests in recruiting and training the right people for their jobs; if only they did the same when it comes to the property itself.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank monicam570
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaVictoriaB_WA, Public Relations Manager at Waldorf Astoria Panama, responded to this review, 29 May 2014
Dear monicam57,
It was great to have had the opportunity to welcome you during your first visit to both Panama City and a Waldorf Astoria Hotel. Our personalized service sets the stage for a rewarding stay at our hotel, and we are delighted you were able to experience this.
Thank you for taking the time to provide us with your feedback. It is extremely important to us as it helps us get better every day.
Your thoughts are noted and will be addressed with our staff. We look forward to hosting you again on your next visit to the city and show you great service.
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miami, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2014

Restaurants were very nice, sushi at ginger lounge was great. Room was super luxurious. My one complaint is that luxury hotels tend to charge you a fee for every extra amenity that you need. This is not reasonable considering that you already pay a premium price. For example, internet is an extra $12 per day when I asked. I had a coffee maker in my room, but no coffee or coffee supplies, I'm sure this is extra. This is 2014, and WIFI is a basic. Perhaps 5 years ago you could charge extra for WIFI, but in 2014 it is comparable to charging extra for towels in your bathroom. With many more hotels providing complimentary wifi to all or at least their frequent guests, I dont see returning to this hotel. I would rather pay a higher lodging price up front knowing that after check in, I wont be charged a fee for everything I want to use.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria

Helpful?
Thank Luis M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MariaVictoriaB_WA, Public Relations Manager at Waldorf Astoria Panama, responded to this review, 16 June 2014
Dear Luis M,
Thanks for nice feedback about the hotel. We are glad to hear that you were able to dine at Ginger, which offer amazing culinary experiences. Regarding the Wifi, there is a special rate that includes internet. We apologize if you were not informed of this prior to visiting the Waldorf Astoria. All rooms should have a coffee machine and the packets available free of charge. We truly hope you were able to enjoy some of our other amenities during your stay as well as the city of Panama. Looking forward for a new opportunity, we hope to see you soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Waldorf Astoria Panama

Property: Waldorf Astoria Panama
Address: 47th St. & Uruguay Street | walking distance to Balboa Avenue, Panama City, Panama
Region: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Panama City
#11 Luxury Hotel in Panama City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Waldorf Astoria Panama 5*
Number of rooms: 248
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Waldorf Astoria Panama is conveniently located on Calle Uruguay, a vibrant street known for its entertainment and restaurants, and only within steps from the financial banking center. This new hotel jewel will feature 248 guestrooms, suites and luxury residences as well as an array of culinary options to serve the most exquisite palates. Cozy meeting rooms will accommodate an intimate business gathering or a memorable social event. A spacious and comforting area awaits you at the Waldorf Astoria Spa, an oasis of relaxation adjacent to a large exercise area by Life Fitness and a shimmering pool where you will enjoy the beautiful sun rays or a beautiful starred night next to a cozy shade. Your guests will certainly enjoy inviting facilities with sophisticated furnishings and an ample number of restaurants and activities within the hotel, as well as experience the sincerest definition of personalized service while living the True Waldorf Service, which aims to offer guests luxury attention during a memorable stay in Panama. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Waldorf Astoria Panama Panama City

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