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“Very Very Poor”
Review of Melia Panama Canal

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Melia Panama Canal
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Colon
Panama City, Panama
2 reviews
“Very Very Poor”
Reviewed 3 January 2014

The customer service at this hotel was the worst I have had in my 6 years in Panama. The staff was clearly not happy to be of help to us. We waited a long time for simple food. When the food came we waited an additional 10 minutes for the cutlery and the drinks; drinks that had been ordered 35 minutes previously.

I will never go back nor will I recommend this hotel. This is unfortunate as there is tremendous potential for this property if a change of management occurred as well as a staff training program.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Guskjolen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (45)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Koksijde, Belgium
Level Contributor
79 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 December 2013

The Friendly People and on-going renovations (which work doesn't really disturb your stay) now have made of this "stay-away-place" a haven of rest and time to enjoy the lush environment on the banks of Lake Gatun !
You can't compare the hotel to what it was some months ago. I had to come from time to time here, and I suddenly experienced a new wave of attention and literally smelled a fresh air in the house. The staff has changed attitude to the (much) better. Welcoming words and friendly smiles on the faces. Helping hands reaching out to help carry luggage or service your room, amongst others.
The remarkable changes made me to decide for a long-weekend stay in the beginning of December. It was the right thing to do !
The lady at the reception worked efficiently and friendly. It is my impression that english speaking guests will have no any problem of communication in the hotel.
The lobby is impressive and it would add to the atmosphere if there would be a very soft classical music to be heard. One night, the automated piano played and it was really added value !
For a reasonable price, the spacious and nicely renovated rooms, have a mini refrigerator, good beds, atmosphere lighting, and have a large bathroom (incl. amenities) and soft thick bath towels, and can be booked incl. breakfast. The latter, in buffet style, offered several different freshly cut fruits and whole apple, banana, fresh grapes etc, a selection of hot preparations to accompany your egg plate prepared to order, cold cuts including different cheeses and a fresh bakery choice of good quality and taste. The pancakes were great and all the choices are for Panamanian taste as well as for international travelers, I belief the breakfast was value for money. The dining room has lots of comfortable authentic upholstered easy armchairs and most tables come for two to four, with some tables for companies up to 10. All tables are large and allow to be dressed tastefully (which they were -for the time of the year with a fine christmas arrangement).
It is really GREAT to have Panamanian waiters and waitresses with a sincere smile addressing friendly words during the service. Not really difficult but still not so common in this country ! (what a pity).
The garden and very large and very clean pool with pool bar offer ample space to relax and swim. The hotel offers kayaks on the lake and in the lobby are reservation desks for tours (on land and on the lake).
For lunch and dinner, only the same buffet style restaurant is open so far. Facilities seem to be renovated near a garden corner and part of the vast terraces to offer alternative food services in the (near ?) future. I imagine a barbecue style a la carte dining area overlooking the natural beauty of the gardens and lake side would be a succesful feature, not only for the hotel guests yet for lots of people of the region !
I used the hotel as base for my weekend trip to a worth the visit Fuerte San Lorenzo and stop for drinks or lunch in the Docks Restaurant of the Shelter Bay Marina.
Although the city center of Colon is not yet very attractive for a visit, driving in the main street leaves a good impression of how wonderful this colonial caribbean style place must have been in the past. (slowly, some streets get cleaner, safer and lined with freshly painted wooden houses). Near the cruise terminal of Colon 2000, some restaurants and terraces became inviting places for early evening visits and dinner.
Melia, go forth the way you chose... the place is of genuine beauty, Your staff should receive congratulations for their efforts and dedication ! From experience I know it is not as easy as it seems. Be an example for many, many hotels in the city !

Room Tip: All rooms are quiet, and to my feeling, they all have similar views over the peaceful forest and gar...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank werner V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Burlington, Vermont
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 December 2013

On my first visit to Colon, Panama, the Four Points Sheraton and the Melia Panama Canal. The Melia won my vote hands down. The fact that the Melia is not too near the city is a definite plus. The air was so bad my first night in the city, it made my eyes burn. The Melia, on the other hand is on the lake and offers a beautiful, pristine view of Panama's amazing nature. The first morning I saw the hotel, there were monkeys to be seen as well as a sloth, all on the grounds of the hotel. The management were busy working on maintenance and kept the grounds and the facility very clean.

If you book the Melia, you can't go wrong with their buffet breakfast. I enjoyed the Spanish décor and spacious feel of the lobby. The rooms were also nicely sized with beautiful bathrooms.

You can book a cruise on the lake right on the grounds.

The only drawback was the distance from Colon and a route that involved several turns. So watch carefully for the signs if you are driving, or be prepared to pay higher taxi fees if you are needing transport to anywhere away from the Melia. This, however, is a small price to pay for such a comfortable, quiet and beautiful setting.

Room Tip: My room, which was near the main lobby, was quiet and I visited another room down the hall. Both wer...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Steve L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spain
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 November 2013

I spend three days with my wife and kids and we had a great time. It is very true that the hotel needs renovation and improvements but they are committed to do it, since I was there a few weeks ago they have done several improvements in the pool and dinning room.

The surroundings are great, the hotel is located in the middle of lake Gatun, surrounded by beautiful rainforest and the hotel provides you kayaks for free to row and explore. The pool is really big and the water is warm, the kids had lots of fun. Not far from the hotel (but you need to have a car) you can visit the remains of San Lorenzo fort with a spectacular view and a cozy wild beach.

Quality can be improved but it is a good place to rest and to have some family vacations.

Room Tip: The place is quiet, so all rooms (facing the lake or the pool) are quiet.
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RubenCano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Lauderdale
Level Contributor
37 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2013

I would like to start off by saying that I read many reviews about this property and although they were mostly bad, I decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and stayed here. My family and I started our 7 day trip to Panama City on September 4, 2013. We selected the Melia Panama Canal because of its proximity to the canal (Atlantic side). Having stayed at other Melia properties in other countries, we were expecting a "Royal Experience" experience. However, this was not so. We stayed for 3 nights and from the start our experience was bad. This hotel needs major renovations. It is poorly maintained and smells like mildew through out and there is evidence of it everywhere you look i.e. walls, A/C vents, etc.... Upon check in you thought were in an old haunted mansion. The staff needs a major attitude adjustment. The manager Michael tried to make our stay enjoyable, but it was to no avail. The property is just BAD. We waited 2 hours for towels and wash cloths after calling down to the front desk several times. The Wi Fi is spotty and only works in the hallways. The pool is the only thing this hotel has going for itself. I warn you, please, take my advise, if you don't have to stay here avoid this property by all means necessary.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Amed A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Fernando
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 September 2013

Great cost, five minutes to the Colon zone with the hotel's shuttle, everyone is very helpful. pool is great for kids, rooms are clean, Wi-Fi available, breakfast is great as well as dinner at the restaurant

Room Tip: Great experience at the hotel, five minutes with the shuttle to the Colon zone. Everybody is very he...
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Reeard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MeliaPanamaCanal, Gerente de Reservaciones at Melia Panama Canal, responded to this review, 6 September 2013
Dear Mr. Reeard, Thank you for your greats comments about our property. You are always welcome in our Melia Panama Canal Hotel. It's a pleasure that our customers are satisfied with our services.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Menomonee Falls, WI
Level Contributor
55 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 March 2013

Calling this an "all-inclusive resort" is somewhat of an exaggeration. We had 2 nights here as part of a package tour. You get 3 buffet meals a day, some of the dishes excellent, some not so much. No snacks, unless you buy from the gift shop. If you can track down a bartender, you can get an "included" beer, wine or pina colada between meals. The room had a fridge, but no safe or coffeemaker, good beds, clean, you can drink the tap water, not a luxurious place, but OK. The staff were pleasant & helpful, a manager even lent me her cell phone when I was having trouble making a long distance call. There were few customers when we were there in Feb. and it was mainly quiet except for the music by the pool. You can take a little boat trip around the lake or kayak, otherwise not much to do. Bird life & some animals, esp. early in the morning. It's surrounded by private property, so no walks in the rainforest.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mary H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Melia Panama Canal

Property: Melia Panama Canal
Address: | Residencial El Espinar, Colon, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: Panama > Colon Province > Colon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Hotels in Colon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Melia Panama Canal 4*
Number of rooms: 200
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on the shores of Lake Gatún surrounded by lush, tropical vegetation, in the city of Colón (Panama), and a short distance from the Free Trade Zone, the Gatún locks, la Granja, the ruins of San Lorenzo and the beaches, the Meliá Panamá Canal is the best option for discovering Panamá, thanks to its beautiful natural surroundings, its comfortable and complete facilities and the quality of its services. The Meliá Panamá Canal is the perfect setting for living exciting adventure tours, ecotourism, bike rides, canopy and eco walks and hiking so you can admire the exquisite flora and fauna of this unique and idyllic corner of the world. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Melia Panama Canal Hotel Colon
Melia Hotel Panama Canal
Melia Hotel Colon
Melia Panama Canal Colon

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