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“Pleasant remote solitude w. miles of Pacific beach”

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Hotel Las Olas Beach Resort
Ranked #2 of 13 Hotels in David
Reviewed 16 August 2012

The diversity of opinions about Las Olas is impressive. Obviously, not everyone had/has the same expectations and standards.
My wife and I moved from 9,200' in the Colorado Rockies to Boquete (c. 3,400'), Panama c. a year ago, and we love Boquete in particular and Panama in general. But, every few weeks, a short ride down to the Pacific coast for two days and a night (nice walks on the beach, sound of the surf, warmer weather, lounging by or in the pools, etc.) is a nice treat. Even paradise-quality weather can get repetitive after a while.
The proprietor of Las Olas reportedly owns 18 miles of Pacific beach (Imagine the taxes!), and is selling lots, condos, etc., near the resort (Once the upgrading of David's airport is finished, he should do really well). You can easily walk for miles (sand seems firmest early in the morning) without getting lost. : )
We have been to Las Olas three times now, once in a condo with friends, twice at the hotel, and have found that we can stay at Las Olas most economically by making reservations at Las Olas's site (www.lasolasresort.com). Off-season (Weather here changes little throughout the year, but gringos like most to visit during their northern winters) a single room for two people currently costs $60 plus $6 tax. A great bargain! We expect to return frequently for short visits throughout the year.
We have eaten and enjoyed breakfast, lunch, & dinner, including hamburgers, fries, steaks, mahi-mahi, coconut rice and beans, and Caesar salads w. chicken breast. Meal prices are reasonable, but not as cheap as at a Panamanian "tipico," but I haven't found any tipicos serving these dishes. Wines are also good and reasonable. Beef here is leaner and a little chewier than at US steak joints, but probably also range-fed and considerably better for you).
Service we experienced (Edder at the front desk, Nancy and Berlio serving meals) was always consistently professional, courteous, and cheerful. We try to speak Spanish to the extent we can (their English is better than my Spanish), and that effort, however feeble, MAY have appealed a little You don't have to speak Spanish, but trying a little Spanish might go a long way.
Driving from David to Las Olas is on paved country roads, through farms and villages, not on an Interstate. If you can, I'd suggest downloading and printing maps, getting some directions, and driving in daylight (enjoy the scenery). Signs identifying roads and streets are not as common in Panama as in the US. We have and use a Garmin, but a lot of Panamanian roads aren't on it.
Also, local drivers know the roads, know who has the right of way, know where the potholes are, and may go pretty fast. You are not a local. Drive defensively, even if some locals don't.
If you think you may be lost, local folks can be asked for help. If you're generally on the right road, maybe at an unmarked fork in the road, and can ask "Las Olas" in a questioning way and with a pleasant smile, most know where Las Olas is, are used to lost gringos who don't understand Spanish, and should be able to point you in the right direction.
Speed limits we practice are 80 kph on country highways (unless marked higher); 60 kph in towns; 40 kph near schools (usually blue and cream colored cinder-block buildings, usually surrounded by fences; and 30 kph around construction crews (yellow shirts and helmets and yellow-orange reflector vests). School kids in uniforms and construction crews will be considerably easier to spot than the traffic policeman or woman in olive fatigues standing nearby under a tree, who'll ticket you if you appear to be endangering these groups. Even if you don't see a car or motorcycle, stop if they flag you down. Their radios' signals go faster than your car, and they can pretty well guess where your headed. Plus, many carry assault weapons. : )
Rooms are nice and clean, even though maintenance, painting, etc., may not always be as neat as US 4-star levels, but realize that Panama is only currently working its way out of "third-world" status, and many of its people are experiencing lots of paradigm shifts.
Staff will try not to impose on you or invade your privacy, but will always give you a smile in return for your greeting of "Buenos dias," even if they reply with "Buenas tardes" or "Buenas noches."
You will be offered, in addition to your room key, a lock and key to use with your room safe. Use them. We've never met a staff member we thought would take anything, but people here are not nearly as wealthy as you may appear, and in Latin America in general, it's not smart to leave your valuables lying around.
In our home in Boquete, and at most restaurants nearby, the water is safe for gringos to drink. At Los Olas, bottles of water are available in your room for $1 each. I'm not sure that there's anything wrong with the water, but "better safe than sorry?"
Bottom line: Las Olas is a great place to enjoy a peaceful visit to Panama's Pacific coast. It's not the big city, and offers no nightclubs or casinos, but we love it, and shudder to think what may happen to it when thousands of gringos start flying into David. : )

Room Tip: All rooms face the beach. Second floor rooms probably have a better view, if you don't mind the...
  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mtnmarathoner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Olasresort, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Las Olas Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 7 August 2014

What a helpful review! Thank you so much for your great advice to future guests! I'm sure many of them will find your post very helpful. Please visit Las Olas again soon for a great weekend get-away. We'll see you beach-side!
Happy Vacationing!
~Las Olas

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Reviews (251)
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137 - 143 of 251 reviews

Reviewed 6 August 2012

This hotel is well maintained. The pool is small but clean, and the rooms are large and have a beach view.
The food is realy good, however for Panama a bit expensive. The service is good, and the staff was friendly.
- points of attention:
We booked the room including breakfast.
The breakfast offered was very limited and every day the same. There was much more choice for breakfast if you used the menu, but that would be charged extra.

We booked the room by telephone for a reasonable price. The prices shown on hotel.com or booking.com are outrageous. I am sure this hotel would have alot more guests if they published acceptable prices on these kind of sites.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank M-montenegro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Olasresort, Public Relations Manager at Hotel Las Olas Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 5 August 2014

Thank you for your review! I will be sure to let the staff know that you appreciated their attentiveness. Many upgrades and have taken place since your stay; we hope you can visit again soon and see these improvements.
Happy Vacationing!
~Las Olas Resort

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Reviewed 22 June 2012

I Stayed here with my wife a few months ago
the rooms were ok we had a 2 room suite
no cable tv but the room was ok
this hotel could be great with a little effort and care
but who ever owns it is not interested in revenue
it has a nice pool but the beach has a very dangerous undercurrent
overall i was satisfied with parts of our stay but in all probably would not return

Room Tip: ocean front
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Gary P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 May 2012

we turned up after a long day of travel and were straight away given a discount as we were taking two double rooms. (two couples travelling.)

the rooms were ok little dated decor and bathroom but we were tired and so it was fine. we went to dinner in the restaurant where it suddenly became apparent that we were the only ones staying here!! (should that ring alarm bells)

we looked at the menu which seemed good with some nice options.... what was served was awful, disgusting and four starters and mains were left on the plates- yet no one asked was there anything the matter, cared or took the time to deal with this. Instead we were given our bill and left to pay!! everyone vanished not wanting to deal with this!

in the morning we visited the restaurant again as full breakfast was include in the price we were given- again we were given a good menu choice (all pretty excited about breakfast as no food the night before) then as we were ordering we were told the options we had made were not included in the breakfast included deal..... little confusing and again no explanation of what was included......so we just order what we wanted and pay the excess etc. Four breakfasts were served and four breakfasts were left..... seriously who cooked this food and where was there tastes buds!! not only this one of our group has a severe allergy to berries- explained to staff serving breakfast.... ordered granola and yogurt and strawberry yogurt was put all over the granola, once complained we were told no natural yogurt available so this was all they had.

again unedible food.... staff vanish and serve you the bill!!!

nothing was taken off from breakfast deal thing- they even charged us for coffee and juices!! not only this the granola and yogurt despite the allergy was on the bill!!

we went back to our rooms packed and checked out!!

THIS PLACE IS A JOKE!!

Room Tip: Stay anywhere else but here!
  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank shinead v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 25 June 2012

We apologize that your stay with us was unenjoyable. We have taken the steps to research who served you and have spoken with the server that attended to you. That the food served to you did not meet your expectations is unacceptable. We are working diligently to improve the dishes that are being served to our customers. Our employees are very reserved and respectful. They are somewhat intimidated by the language barrier that they face and they see it as disrespectful to the customers to “bother” them while the customers may sometimes feel ignored. We are working to bridge the gap between cultures so that our customers expectations are met and exceeded. This begins with training our staff to fully understand what our guests expectations are. Since receiving your comments we have changed the breakfast policy to include not just the international breakfast, which is the most expensive item on the menu, but to include any one breakfast on the menu plus juice and coffee. We are deeply sorry for your dissatisfaction. Thank you for your input.

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Reviewed 9 April 2012

If you want to have a nice rest this is the Perfect Place in the world!!! Is quiet, Beautiful view from all the rooms, massage service, very nice restaurant, the swimming pool is perfect, affordable price and the service staff is so kindly. I really recommend this place for a real vacation.

Room Tip: All the rooms have a perfect view to the sunset!!!
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Gabriela_Lizano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2012

Sometimes it is just necessary to get away from the routine of daily life, right? If you live near David, Panama......... this resort is only about an hour away.

It is right on the beach and the rooms are incredibly huge and neat and very clean. AC works great, screens on the windows, the most comfortable matresses in any hotel I have ever been in and well maintained grounds.

The only weak area for us was the food.......... and the menu. I see they are trying to give a good mix of offers............. I would give them an A for trying........ but the actual cooking or recipes they use, like for their two Mexican dishes, were just not like anything I ever had in Mexico!

We left a day earlier than planned because we didn't want to be stuck with that menu.......

But we noticed as we drove away that there are a few other small restaurants nearby so maybe next time, if things don't change, we can stay the extra day and go to the other places nearby.

The pool is also not kid friendly............ too deep, drop offs, etc. They really should build a kiddy pool and I think a ton more families would visit. Our 3 year old actually slipped in the most shallow part, which was still too deep, and drank some water before we rescued her a couple of seconds later!

Overall good place............ just some tweaking and if could be fantastic.

Room Tip: I think they are all the same except the second story units right out back facing the beach
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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Thank tarzantheman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2012

The internet can make even the most tired places look brand new. If you stay here just a few nights you might not notice the worn, frayed, ragged edges of this place. I would hardly call it a resort. The owners should be embarrassed to be associated with this hotel. The beach furniture is old and crumbling, be prepared to share your rooms with ants and some bees, the grounds need major landscaping, the food is average at best, the staff is hit or miss. Some are very helpful while others are sleep walking through their day. As you drive into the hotel, hang on tight, the potholes in the drive and near the frontgate will knock your front end out of alignment.

The owners are trying to develop this area with condos, single family homes and a golf course. If the care of the hotel is any example of how they do business, save your money and look elsewhere.

The beach is the real bright spot for this place. Miles and miles of black sand, crashing waves, and very few people. Solitude can be found here.

  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Robert H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 25 June 2012

We appreciate your input regarding our staff. We are working hard to train our staff to meet and exceed the expectations of our guests. While our resort is extensively landscaped, it was in need of some pruning, which we have recently done. We realize that some people come to Panama and are not expecting to be surrounded by nature. This is an eco resort where one can find, iguanas, geckos, frogs, turtles, birds of all types (including a macaw and parrots). We will be sure to advise our guests of this fact on our website. There are a few potholes on the way here. Because of the heavy rains during the green season, it is almost impossible to find a road without them in the country of Panama. Roads here are better than most other Latin American countries, but it is still a battle. We appreciate you staying with us and we hope that there will be another occasion where we are able to improve your opinion of our hotel.

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Additional Information about Hotel Las Olas Beach Resort

Address: Ave. Don Antonio Anguizola | Playa La Barqueta, David 0426, Panama
Region: Panama > Chiriqui Province > David
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 13 Hotels in David
Price Range: £60 - £90 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Las Olas Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located just 30 minutes from David, Panama’s second largest city and the Enrique Malek International Airport, Las Olas Resort is at the heart of the 14 mile stretch of beach called Playa La Barqueta and the surrounding 2,000 acre plantation. Some of the best surfers in all of Panama may be found catching waves on this spectacular expanse of beach and its waves giving Las Olas its name, meaning “The Waves”. Las Olas Resort offer 48 rooms all facing uninterrupted views of the Pacific Ocean. We have standard rooms with two queen beds or one king bed, six junior suites with a separate living area, and two king suites featuring two bedrooms and one living area. Each and every room is steps away from the gorgeous sand and beautiful blue waters of Playa La Barqueta. Each room has a terrace, with lower rooms having beachside access while the upper floors have their own enclosed private terrace.offers excellent shopping, dining, and nightlife. Las Olas Resort features lush gardens, wandering walkways surrounded by the umbrella shaped coverage of almond trees, tall and lovely grape leaves, multicolored crotos, pink bougabilia, hedges of hicacos and a wide variety of palm trees,. All forty-eight rooms are directly facing the Pacific Ocean and the spectacular views of the majestic sunsets over Playa La Barqueta. In La Abigail Restaurant guests can enjoy local, organic plantains, pineapples, mangos (in season), papaya and watermelon. We raise our own grass fed beef and lamb, duck, pork, and chicken. Taste fresh coconut water to refresh your body and enjoy tennis, kayaking, surfing, strolling the beach or taking a swim. Good for mind and body, Las Olas Resort provides a quick way to hit your internal reset button.The Bella Donna Convention Center at Las Olas Resort offers meeting and event spaces of a variety of sizes with various services, food and beverage options available. Added to the adjacent covered outdoor space, one could hold a party of 500 or more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Las Olas Beach David

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