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“Historic, perhaps Prehistoric, but still charming”
Review of Panama Hotel

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Panama Hotel
Ranked #87 of 103 Hotels in Seattle
Reviewed 17 August 2014

it's OLD! It's a historic 'Bed & Breakfast', built in 1910. Their ad: "Experience the romance of a simpler time." Ok, I liked the charming antique furniture and lace curtains in the room but you really have to enjoy "old" to like the creaky steps (and many of them to climb to get to the check-in office), the creaky windows, squeaky hot/cold faucets in the tiny sink in the room, old (not firm) mattress, bathroom and shower room outside your room and down the hall, and no phone in the room. But...they do have wi-fi! haha I also liked the continental breakfast included (nice pastry and coffees) in the little cafe next door.
Regarding the bathroom outside the room: The hotel was built by the first Japanese-American architect in Seattle, Sabro Ozasa, and contains the last remaining Japanese bathhouse in the United States. I paid $114.44 for the night, not bad for being in Washington's International District, a good location.

Room Tip: I was glad I had my Sharper Image 'Sound Machine" at night ---noise in the hallways, noise...
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Deby G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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110 - 116 of 191 reviews

Reviewed 15 August 2014

The owners and workers were really nice.. made you feel at home. The location is also unbeatable and think its priced accordingly for the city. It is very loud if your room is on the street. There is a park filled with crazy people that scream and are loud until about 3 am.. Had earplugs in and it is very loud. The check in took a while as the process changed hands with about 3 different staff who didn't know what was going on until the owner Jan helped us.. only having one day to see the city we didn't want to commit that much time to getting a key.
I would not stay there with children.. it is more of a hostel than a hotel and that is fine.. but just FYI. The coffee shop wasn't open at 8, which I thought was very strange esp for a city known for its coffee and where its guests next door would be catching early am flights.
The hotel is historic and I totally get that, but it is kinda dingy and dirty.. didnt really want to walk around without sandals.. our room smelled like cigs..also.. double beds so be prepared if you are sharing with someone.
Overall great value if you dont mind sharing a bathroom and hearing crazy people and young people all hours of the night. Great walking distance to the stadium.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank rocknreconstruct
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 August 2014 via mobile

This is a great hotel for anyone on a budget. Hotel was clean, employees were friendly and personable, and the location is awesome. Each room is furnished with antiques and beds were very comfortable. Guests receive a complimentary coffee (imported from Italy and the best I've had in a long time) and a pastry from the tea house (a gorgeous space!) each morning. Overall the hotel has a very European vibe and is a nice change of scene from the expensive chain hotels that litter downtown Seattle.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Emarsp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2014

The Panama Hotel in Seattle's Japantown is not only a historically important building for the Japanese community in that city, but a lovingly maintained business, run by a group of charming and helpful people. The ambience is straight from the early 20th century, the bathrooms and showers are still shared in the hallway, but spotless and also more or less of the period. All the original woodwork is intact, showing off the grain of 5-600 year old first-growth pacific woods.

The rooms are simply but adequately furnished in the original styles. Our corner room had a functioning vintage sink, no TV (a good thing!), old Japanese watercolors and a very nice view of Union Station and even a slice of ocean. The only thing missing was an icebucket, but the sink served well in a pinch.

The location is excellent, close to the downtown attractions and easy to access from the freeway. Parking is available in a paid lot next to the hotel, and the building also is home to a very well sorted tea-house, that also serves as the casual breakfast lounge for hotel guests, with a competent barrista at the helm of the large espresso machine. Locally made pastries and pies are delivered daily.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Flexneck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

Friendly staff and clean rooms with wonderful cozy beds . This is a historical building with antiques and lots of stairs and shared bathrooms. I prefer this to the generic chain hotels. The coffee/tea house for breakfast is a snack before you go out to the town. Fresh pastry and coffee. I would stay here again as it is convenient to the Amtrak and Light -rail. We walked to Pike place from the hotel along the waterfront, a pleasant walk. Walking back is uphill but only a moderate walk. We stayed in August but avoid if there is a ball game on in the nearby stadium then it is very busy.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank renomntgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2014

I had booked this hotel through booking.com and boy the pictures on the site were amazing and that's why We decided to go ahead with the booking. When we got their, the area was really bad. It was where the homeless people hung out and just around the back my husband and my daughter and me saw a guy drugging up. I didn't want my daughter to see that. That was just outside. As we went inside, the smell just entering was soooo horrible, smelt like pee. The old lady, she was the staff and she could not help us with the questions we had re:the cancellation process. She just told us she had no idea and we had to wait for an hour for the manager who at the time was on a tour. We went back twice cuz it was an hour past, she was not back so we waited their. Thirties minutes went by and she finally showed up. She was going into the storage room, we asked her about the cancellation process and all she said we had to deal with the site that we booked through and she did not say anything else and she was going into the storage room. We stopped her by telling her that she should be able to help us but she refused to do so. My husband was really upset. We just went back into the car and do honed the booking.com and we explained that the hotel was really bad and that their review they have is wrong. Especially the part of sharing a washroom with all the people that had booked it was wrong. Wasn't
Clean at all. Disgusting and all the germs. At least we got our money reimbursed from bookin.com. I don't blame the booking.com.

Room Tip: This hotel is known for junkies and it's druggies that hang out their. Smell is bad.
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Neelam P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2014

I like "historic hotels", and the Panama claims to be just that. But "historic" and "operating like it's still 1920..." are two different things. Forget that the property is kind of in a sketchy area, I kind of knew that, but didn't think that I'd be listening to bums, drunks, and people vomiting, right outside of my 2nd floor window. Forget that there is no elevator, just a LONG walk up. Forget this place right now, if you don't have "backpack style" luggage. The 2nd floor, where you check in, is cluttered, what once used to be a window one would check in at, is now stuffed with dolls and trinkets.. When "Ralph" checked us it, it was like a Credit Card Thief's Dream!

First he photocopied both me and my wife's drivers license. Then he HAND WROTE our credit card information, with the expiry date, AND the CVV code on the back. This was all done on sheet of paper, and then simply placed into a three ring binder, and set on a table, IN A PUBLIC AREA! Identity theft heaven! Then we were shown to our "historic" room, which was nothing more than OLD furniture, mismatched, threadbare, and not in the best of shape. The bedding was new, and clean, they get a point for that. No air conditioning, again, that's not unusual for a historic property, or Seattle in general. But NO fan or ceiling fan either? No screen on the window, so open it we did. Hello bugs. Bathrooms are down the hall, again, KNEW THAT, but upon seeing them in person, and realizing we'd have to share with the ENTIRE floor, that was a little much....too much.

My wife and I laid down, and tried to nap, but all I could think of was someone walking into the same common room I checked in at, and stealing my CC and drivers license info.. I also couldn't sleep because the bums/dunks across the street were cussing and yelling, and laffin', and oh yes, puking, all within earshot. Needles to say, I whipped out my iPhone, and went to the Hotel Tonight app, made a reservation, packed up our stuff, and told them I was checking out, because I didn't feel "safe". All I got was a "Well that doesn't happen very much...." No "Why don't you feel safe?" or "Can we call you a cab?". So I "stole" my own paperwork back from the book on the table, and exited this property.

What a sigh of relief once inside the cab. Oh, forgot to mention that upon our arrival there, at the front door, we saw a man lamenting the fact that his car window, passenger side, had just been smashed, "Welcome to the Panama Hotel" he said.........YIKES. Lucky enough, the Belltown Inn had ONE vacancy left. That place is GREAT, but that review belongs in another post. Oh yeah, when was the last time you checked into a hotel, and they gave you a key, an ACTUAL key, but the room number AND the hotel name were also on the key ring? This place is a thieves haven. See pix below.

Room Tip: Do not stay here, that would be your best room...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
6  Thank rrdude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Panama Hotel

Address: 605 1/2 S Main St, Seattle, WA 98104-2717
Region: United States > Washington > Seattle > Downtown , International District
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #87 of 103 Hotels in Seattle
Price Range: £94 - £113 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Panama Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 101
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Panama Hotel Seattle

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