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“Skip this hotel if you can” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel El Panama

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Hotel El Panama
Ranked #52 of 116 Hotels in Panama City
GreenLeadersSilver level
Arnhem, The Netherlands
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Skip this hotel if you can”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 April 2014 via mobile

The staff is rude and unwilling to help you or answer questions. Asking for a spoon and a coffee 4 times at the breakfast table, had no effect. Rooms are okay but waterbottles were not available in the rooms, eventhough drinking tabwater is not safe. The disco at the pool is loud and attracts locals who hang out at the pool for a day, covered in tattoos, smoking and drinking in front of kids. They claim the pool beds and the pool. One of the worst hotels I have ever been to! If you have other options, skip this hotel.

Helpful?
2 Thank Urs03
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
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813 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (68)
Date | Rating
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English first
dallas, tx
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2014 via mobile

Azucena at westin

If I get a response from management, my head will explode. They aren't even trying. This hotel needs to think that all guests will write reviews. If they respond to this review it is simply lip service. It was quite shameful. I'll start with the good - the lobby is beautiful and updated. The restaurants are immaculate and the pool looks very nice. The bad - they DESPERATELY need to get a bartender at the Bonsai Lounge that knows what he's doing. Sat at bar and asked for a Heineken and white wine. Had to leave (?) for the wine. When he came back we asked if we could use the drink vouchers for them. "No, they are for punch." Whatever. We wanted to bill it to our room. Mounds of paperwork later... Anyway, decided to try our luck again after dinner. Same "bartender" there. This time I look at the drink menu, SHOW him what I want (a petite Chandon Brut bottle). He proceeds to the refrigerator, pulls out a full size black bottle of Frexienet, asks one of the other ladies behind the bar if it is champagne, opens it, pours me about half a tiny champagne flute AND charges the $9. Oh, and it was extra-dry and not brut. He had NO business being behind a bar. By the way, I SPEAK SPANISH. The ugly - they put us in room 125. Down the hall from ballrooms/banquet/meeting rooms, etc. The room was big. No key to the minibar. Extremely outdated. But the worst part was the air conditioner. It never cooled the room. It was one of those swamp coolers that leave the room musty and humid. And warm. It was VERY uncomfortable to sleep (I'm exhausted as I write my draft of this review). And it didn't help that the beds were incredibly uncomfortable as well. They were very firm and the sheets were not soft at all. Because of the warm room and uncomfortable bed, I sweat a lot. My pillow was soaked. Gross for the next guest. Oh, and apparently the middle of the night is when they decided to clean the banquet halls. If I would have stayed longer I would have switched rooms. But I know I'll never be back. It is sad because I'm Panamanian and I recall the days that the Hotel El Panama was THE premier hotel to stay.

Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank mike3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PTY1111, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Hotel El Panama, responded to this review, 2 April 2014
Dear Guest
Please accept our warm greetings on behalf of the Management and staff of Hotel El Panama, Casino and Convention Center.
We would like to thank you for sharing your comments and reviews and wish to apologize for any inconveniences you experienced during your stay with us.
It our mission to verify every detail of our quality and customer service; therefore, your comments and opinion are very important as they will ultimately help us identify opportunities for ours and our staff improvement.
We have taken a serious view of each of the areas you made comments or suggestions about and are working hard in ensuring that all our services meet and exceed our guests’ expectations.
In your next visit to Panama, please allow us to host you again. We will work very hard to change your perception of our services by offering our disposition to serve you in a manner you will not soon forget.

Best Regard,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Panama City hotels

Exeter UK
Level Contributor
17 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2014

El Panamá has an air of elegance combined with modern amenities and excellence of service of present day first class hotels.
The rooms are excellent, the location optimum and the huge well-managed ground area of the hotel impressive in this day and age. The food in the poolside grill is delicious and always cooked to perfection.
I look forward to my next visit.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled on business
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Smugpaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Astoria, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 February 2014

I stayed at El Panama for one night and was travelling by myself. It was exactly what I was looking for - a very clean and quiet room for my last night before returning back to NYC.

Generally I would not recommend this hotel for a solo traveler who is looking to socialize. It's not right by any great nightlife and there were a lot of families and groups, I didn't see anyone socializing with other guests. If you just want a quiet night which I did, then it's fine. I did have a lovely chat with the guys working in the sushi bar who were really kind and kept me company while I had my lunch, as well as giving me recommendations for cool bars to check out.

I am slightly obsessive about security in hotels (maybe it's a byproduct of living in NY) and the hotel room did feel very secure with two deadbolt locks. I tend to sleep really badly in hotels but I slept like a baby there. The linens were spotless and crisp which I loved. Also the pillows were the artificial stuffing instead of down which I prefer due to allergies.

The staff in the hotel were professional and helpful but not particularly warm.

The pool was large and I had no problem getting a lounge chair. There were some kids playing in the pool but it was big enough that I didn't feel crowded when I popped in to cool off. In other words there weren't so many kids/families that I felt out of place, but I do think it's a family-friendly atmosphere - no 20 somethings getting wasted at the pool bar. The bars by the pool and inside the hotel were not really hopping, if you want to really hit the bar you would do well to go out for the night.

I walked around the direct vicinity of the hotel in the evening but decided on taking a cab to dinner. Right around the hotel there seemed to be lots of ladies of the night, but I didn't see anyone of that oldest profession in the hotel itself. I don't know if the area is supposed to be safe or not but anywhere more than a block or so away gave me a bad feeling. Luckily cabs are cheap just be sure to set your price at the outset. The yellow street cabs are cheaper than the town cars waiting at the hotel. Either way it's not going to be more than $10. $10 is a total rip-off in Panama City, a local ride should be about $2, but it's money going directly into the hands of local people so I will save my outrage for another time.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • 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?
2 Thank Teddy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PTY1111, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel El Panama, responded to this review, 25 February 2014
The Management and Collaborators of the Hotel El Panama & Casino wishes to thank you for your review. Please rest assured that we continuously work on improving our services in order to meet and exceed our guests' expectations and your review will assist us in achieving our goal of total customer satisfaction.
With our warmest regards,
The Management
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 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2014

Booked a junior suite at a good, US negotiated, conference rate. Checked in this afternoon (Jan 5, 2013, in room 529 (supposedly on the "executive floor" but it isn't clear how this is any benefit).

Start with the good: Room was pretty clean.

The bad: Junior suite isn't. Pictures show sitting area with couch, chairs, coffee table, etc. in a separate area. Actual room is two beds, two chairs, small round table, and desk, all in one slightly larger room (think oversized standard room). Both phones not working, mini-bar empty and fridge non-functional. Complaints not addressed at all. Central city location difficult to get to by car, and very ugly, dirty and run-down. We have four days here!

  • Stayed January 2014
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Forthr1ght
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Level Contributor
29 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 December 2013

In Panama do not spend much time in the hotel so you overnight is fine. It has a casino and a large pool. Additionally this located near other hotels, restaurants and shops. We had problems with the air conditioning but it was sorted quickly.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank gtpatty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PTY1111, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel El Panama, responded to this review, 13 January 2014
Dear guest
Please, receive our regards and special thanks for selecting at the Panama Hotel.
We wish to thank your satisfactory comments about our facilities and advantages of location in the Panama City. We offer our apologies for this inconvenience and discomfort caused. Please don´t hesitate contact us in your next visit, we will be waiting with the best disiposition to assist you in your requests.


Thank you
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
35 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2013

The only positive is the friendly staff: Concierge, most of the breakfast staff and front office staff.

This hotel is definitely not 4 or 5 star, more of motel quality!

Only a handful of staff speak English, which can be so annoying, especially since they claim to be a 5 star property.

Just some of my experiences:
Moments after checking-in I noticed there was just a coffeemaker in my room and not a hot water kettle/water cooker so called to housekeeping if they had one. Long story short: After calling twice and exhaustingly trying to get across what I meant and needed I waited over 3 hours and without any word I decided to let it go and went to sleep. Just after I fell asleep someone knocked on the door and when I opened they were standing there with a coffeemaker, another coffeemaker!

Next morning I called to roomservice to order breakfast. On the other end of the line the phone had to be passed to 3 different staff members to finally get an order straight - the order being scrambled eggs, some bread and fruit..not too difficult..).

I stayed in one of the Cabana rooms which I thought would be nice: Think again! The noise coming into the rooms was absolutely (!) unacceptable. It felt like windows and doors were wide open, children screeming and shouting..All right through my earplugs. Just terrible if you need to sleep off your jetlag or have anything important the next day. In the middle of the night my upstairs neighbour decided to call her husband while being in the bathroom. I woke up the moment she started talking, it was like she was in my room! The roommaids in the corridors were very noisy too towards the end of their shifts (don't you hate that in hotels, seems like a total lack of respect for their guests).

Overall this hotel felt like a cheap motel, especially when you stay in one of the cabanas. There are much better international quality options nearby.

Room Tip: Beware of the noise, don't book a cabana room or any room near the pool/bar/breakfast area
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank XploreBuddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PTY1111, Guest Relations Manager at Hotel El Panama, responded to this review, 10 December 2013
Dear Guest
Please accept our warm greetings on behalf of the Management and staff of Hotel El Panama, Casino and Convention Center.
We would like to thank you for sharing your comments and reviews and wish to apologize for any inconveniences you experienced during your stay with us.
It our mission to verify every detail of our quality and customer service; therefore, your comments and opinion are very important as they will ultimately help us identify opportunities for ours and our staff improvement.
We have taken a serious view of each of the areas you made comments or suggestions about and are working hard in ensuring that all our services meet and exceed our guests’ expectations.
In your next visit to Panama, please allow us to host you again. We will work very hard to change your perception of our services by offering our disposition to serve you in a manner you will not soon forget.
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 Hotel El Panama

Property: Hotel El Panama
Address: Via Espana 111, Panama City 1753, Panama
Region: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Green Hotel in Panama City
#9 Casino Hotel in Panama City
#30 Luxury Hotel in Panama City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel El Panama 4*
Number of rooms: 344
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to the El Panama, where our luxury hotel in the cosmopolitan city of Panama provides a sublime ambiance of distinction, comfort, and Latin flair. Our location in the heart of downtown puts business travelers right where they need to be, while our comprehensive facilities and high standards of service mean that leisure time is also well spent.Our variety of luxurious accommodations in Panama City provide just the right environment you seek, from spacious guest rooms to suites, Pool Cabanas, and Deluxe Floors which include a complimentary Continental breakfast served daily, high-speed wireless Internet access, and butler service to attend to your every need. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Panama City Hotel
El Hotel Panama City
Hotel El Panama Panama City

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