We booked in here for two nights - Friday and Saturday. Although we understood that check in was not until 4 p.m. we did arrive about midday and were immediarely checked in by a young lady to our room, India Dormida. The room was rather dark and the uneven stone flooring was quite hard on the feet,especially if you were barefoot. However, the bed was comfortable, the TV was adequate and the bathroom somewhat odd where you had to climb over a parapet to get into the shower! I suppose it looked even darker since we arrived in a rainstorm.
Still, we didn't expect to spend all our time in the room and as we arrived at noon we enquired when was lunch being served. Now we were told that lunch was not being served, neither dinner for that matter, because she was the only member of staff at the hotel! There was a family leaving that day and after that we appeared to be the only guests in the hotel although another couple did turn up a bit later.
As the hotel is about a mile from the village and we didn't have a car *(we arrived by taxi from Playa Blanca) we had to take another taxi to the village to get lunch. A perfectly adequate local restaurant, Tierra y Mar, and inexpensive, too. A bit of souvenir hunting at the craft shops and then a taxi back to the hotel.
The hotel itself is very beautiful - lovely grounds, a nice swimming pool, a hot tub (pity it wasn't heated) and a jacuzzi were not inviting enough for a cool, rainy day. The bar looked to be in somewhat disrepair, but the receptionist (who by this time - 4 or 5 p.m.) was cleaning out the room of the people who had left at the time we arrived, broke off from this to offer me the only item available from the bar - a beer.
We ordered another taxi to go to dinner at Bruschetta which was pretty good without being exceptional and got back at 9 p.m. where the one and only member of staff greeted us before locking up.
At this stage we certainly felt that we could not stay another day like this, so we told the lady that we would check out in the morning instead of the next day which she accepted.
The next morning the staff had doubled - there were two ladies now, the original one and another who appeared to be her superior. The superior explained to us that there were no staff at the hotel the previous day because all the staff had gone to Panama City for their staff Christmas party! Nice of them to tell us!
The continental breakfast was adequate - that's all and we were assured that the restaurant would be open that night. But we didn't see any more staff, so we thought it was best to leave anyway.
It seems from other reviewers that understaffing is quite common here. This is not a question of blaming the people running the hotel but in senior management who seem to reside in the USA. A pity, because the place is beautiful, but you can't run a hotell like this. The only saving grace was that the (free) internet service worked (at least in the public areas but not in our bedroom) - something that doesn't often happen in Panama.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This well-known 8-bedroom Family Estate established by Avelina "Bilo" Gonzalez-Revilla, is one of the most breath-taking properties in all of El Valle. Recently converted to a Bed and Breakfast Resort, its expansive grounds allows for guests to wander the gardens and enjoy the unique collection of Flora. Its serenity intices you to basque by the swimming pool, bird watch, or nap in one of the many hammocks. Expansive RENOVATIONS were completed in April 2013. Each of the Guest Rooms have been standardized and equipped with Air Conditioners, ceiling fans, deluxe linens, down pillows, and duvets. Our staff is available to organize Adventure Tours in the valley, on-site Massages, visit the town's Zoo, world-famous Sunday Market, etc. All you need to do is ask. We are here to pamper you - this is your Home away from Home.... ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Crater Valley Hotel El Valle De Anton