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“Overpriced / Old / Bad Maintained / Really Bad Food / Partly Annoying Staff / But nice beach”

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Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort - An All Inclusive Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Santa Clara
Reviewed 29 April 2014

Overpriced / Old / Bad Maintained / Really Bad Food / Partly Annoying Staff / But nice beach

First I thought I would book a 4 or 5 stars resort (all inclusive) and the brand name 'Sheraton' (of which I thought would be good, but isn't) would stand for a certain international standard of quality.

ROOM
We got here and the room was dirty, bad maintained, just really overpriced. For example the bathroom had loads of bad overpaintings everywhere, making it look like still in consructions. The curtains were and still are dirty, and I mean really dirty, which I saw when entering the room. The TV remote control lacks of a cover and is fixed with plastic scotch tape. After being in bed and looking at the smoke detector, I realized the control light never blink, meaning it does not work. The bathroom is partly not clean, having rests looking like mould in corners. See pictures. Everything just really not or bad maintained and dirty.

FOOD
As all inclusive you can eat as much as you wantand drink as you want (excluding wines and brand liquors). There is a so called Japanese restaurant (Sakura), which served only 1 dish (no choice). The portions were small, the sushi was bad and did contain only vegetables. The seafood was not fresh but frozen (cheap stuff). For example the shrimps I am pretty sur are tiger shrimps from vietnam. The squid was frozen and they cooked smoked salmon! Nobody would ever do that.
The other restaurant is mediterranean and has a menu, so you can choose. There is plenty of starters, main dishes and deserts. a salad bar is included and was the only good part. The starter (Ceviche) was bad, had a fly in it and was only 3 small spoons. Maindish fish was tiny and the fish also has not seen the ocean for ages. Desert (mousse au chocolat) was produced a long time ago then stored in the fridge and tasted like pudding. The buffet restaurant, open almost all day has nice salads but no nice meat or fish. The hole food anywhere is kept very cheap and is really not enjoyable. There is no fruit juice. When we ordered fruit juice they give us sirup. The same for cocktails. Only cheap liquor and no fruit juice, only sirup. Really bad. Every known fastfood chain serves better food and every bar better drinks. Terrible.
Reservations need to be done in the morning and everyday only 1 of the 2 restaurants are open + the buffet place. We heard them sending away people asking in the evening for a space, while the restaurant was fully only 20%. Something really stupid. They just don't want people in those 'expensive' (for them, as included in All Inclusive).

STAFF
In general nice. The Lifeguards around pool and ocean are annoying. They seem to enjoy freedom in taking decisions, such as closing the pool about 2 hours earlier than written everywhere. Same with the ocean - but there you can keep swimming when leaving the property.

We booked 3 nights, today is the second an I am already happy to leave. It is really bad quality and overpriced. The only nice thing was the swimmable beach with pretty clear water for the Pacific.

The internet / WiFi connection is slow and goes on / off every couple of seconds.

Room Tip: In another hotel you will find a better room.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank SwissTraveller1980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SheratonBijao, Social Media Champion at Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort - An All Inclusive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 5 May 2014

Dear SwissTraveller1980

I apologize for all the challenges you had while visiting us recently but thank you for giving us this review so we can address all of your concerns.

First and foremost we would like to apologize for any unpleasant experiences you had in your room and in our restaurants during your stay.

I would like to arrange a time to speak with you directly to discuss all of your concerns. Please contact me directly at (santiago.tapia@sheratonbijao.com).

Kind regards,

Santiago Tapia V

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360 - 366 of 1,659 reviews

Reviewed 22 April 2014

Wow...shocked to read some of the negative reviews; we stayed there the second week of April (a week after the local Spring break), it seemed there were plenty of helpful, friendly staff. They were very accommodating at check-in WHEN they realized there was 5 of us, not 4. Instead of trying to ding us extra for having a third child...they just mentioned that we would need an extra (roll-away) bed, which they arranged for at no charge. No charge for the extra food/drink bracelet either. We had heard mixed reviews about the outside (partying) noise...true, we experienced it every night...BUT, at 10PM everything got quite and moved inside elsewhere. This place was clean, any litter on the ground was quickly picked up before the birds got to it. The food was good, some of the best we had in Panama (which there's not much of in Panama). We paid $830 (Expedia) for three nights, mid-week...and feel like we got a great value. There are 3 hotel staff that really stood out to us, making our family experience even more memorable...thank you Jevi, Alvarro & Fernando (swim bar)...we will be back!

Room Tip: Floors are all tile (mopped daily), balconies are limited...important to us (another free upgrade th...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Keith M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2014

This is an all inclusive resort which has very good drink selection and service was ok. Many servers were not friendly especially the cooks servers that worked in the dining buffet hall. The bartenders were good and more friendly. I upgraded my room and enjoyedbmy stay much better from a garden room to a ocean view junior suite. Much better and more comfortable rooms well worth the extra money. The food was ok but was the same thing over the week we were there.
Terrible traffic in city so we stayed close to resort. Go to restaurants off resort and visit surrounding communities and the Canadian Garson town beaches. Sample the local fried red snapper and ceviche is a must. The Japanese restaurant on resort is pretty good and the buffet is adequate. I expected more quality food for a sheraton resort. Beach good and pools are great. We spent most of the time at the pool bar and volleyball net.

Room Tip: Pay more and get a suite.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Marybeth M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rolando N, General Manager at Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort - An All Inclusive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 April 2014

Dear Marybeth M

Thanks so much for your kind review. We are so pleased that you enjoyed most of our facilities such as the pool, beach and specially the junior suite. We are always trying to improve our service and we want to thank you for your valuable feedback about the food variety in our Restaurant Buffet and abut the not friendly attitude from some of our Associates at the Buffet line, as it helps us know what service specifically needs to be improved. In this case, the Chef has been already notified.

If someday you decide to come back to Panamá, it will be a pleasure to receive you again.

Kind regards,

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Reviewed 15 April 2014

Just barely ad enrage for inclusive resort. Impossible to get any kind of service. Looked to be less than 30 people at the pool yet we would wait 15 min or more for drink a swim up bar. Could never seem to get coffee refills in dining room. They advertise additional dining options but you can't get in or they are closed. Buffett is limited and poor quality.

Room Tip: Check various prices, hotel site, and booking sites all pricing seems to vary dramatically
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank pjsVenice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rolando N, General Manager at Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort - An All Inclusive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 April 2014

Dear pjsVenice

Thank you for offering us your review and guidance about your recent visit with us. I do want to apologize for the difficulties you had with the slow service in our Pool Bar and the quality and lack of service in our Restaurant Taboga, also your experience regarding our "a la carte" Restaurants that were closed during your stay. Our Food and Beverage Manager has been notified. We are always trying to improve our service and I want to thank you for your valuable feedback as it helps us know what service specifically needs to be improved.

On behalf of our team we apologize for your unpleasant experience while staying at the Sheraton Bijao Beach resort, Panamá and would love another chance to show you the experience you deserve.

Kind Regards,

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Reviewed 14 April 2014

Great Beach Resort! The Sheraton’s touch… still at work…

My wife and I have spent 7 days at this resort in the middle of last March and here are our fresh comments on our stay hoping this will be of some help for those making plans to visit Panama.

The hotel sits in a long stretch of nice beaches on Santa Clara, about 2 and half hour from airport. Recent construction projects in Panama City make this trip longer then usual. (We used to do this in 1 and half hour in the past few trips to Panama.)
Note: a new airport close by will eventually eliminate the inconvenient of such long bus
trip from the city!
We were accommodated in a nice, basic but functional room. Comfortable bed.
Free safe and Wi-Fi in addition to a small and convenient mini fridge in our room.
2 water bottles supplied daily. (Building #3, with decent ocean-view and complex next door)

The complex is cosy and everything is close by: the restaurants, the pools, the bars and
obviously the beach. The grassy grounds are well kept and nestling a series of shallow pools (ideal for kids). The beach is extending on both ends of the resort and is quite safe
for long walks. We suggested the creation of additional “palapas” or shading areas to accommodate demand on full hotel capacity. Also: a bar is missing on the beach!
Swimming in the ocean requires common safety attention. Life guard is on duty.

Food/Restaurants: they’re 3 Restaurants a la carte and 1 a buffet style. We have tried the Japanese and Mediterranean with mixed degree of approval. They both need to be refreshed with the Sheraton’s kind of touch for quality and menus. The other restaurant is by the beach and serves mostly grilled meat/fish. The buffet offers plentiful varieties of food tastily prepared for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hot plates are prepared in front of you: good selection of pastas and choice of grilled meat or fish on daily basis.
We found some uncharacteristic oddity in term of service: flimsy paper napkins were simply obscene and a joke for a Sheraton style! The tables were lacking consistency in setting accessories like salt-pepper and sugar dispensers. We were forced to ask the waiters for things that are normally set on all tables, at all times. In a couple of occasions we had to request a proper re-cleaning of the table-top. We suggest using some liquid to sanitize the marble top since there is no mantle on those tables. The staff of the buffet restaurant deserve a large compliment not only for the courteous service (with smile) but especially for their effort in communicating with us in English as we are limited with Spanish.. Special thanks to Jorge and Jesus (hoping names are correct) for having graciously assisted us in various occasions at the buffet restaurant. On the week-end the hotel became overfull, creating a chaotic atmosphere all around the restaurants and bars aggravated by an evident problem in understaffing. Bar’s line ups were brutal as service was slow for insufficient bar attendants. These are factors that generate some criticism from people who are expecting and appreciate the traditional quality of service Sheraton provides and here…it is still under construction, as we suspect!


We picked up some small inconveniences needing to be addressed to bring up the standard of this resort to the customer’s expectation. For example: the sitting area by the lobby and piano bar has been labelled by some friends as weirdly-uncomfortable due to long-bottom chairs that makes sitting very acrobatic! Pools chairs are extremely uncomfortable needing padding. Spa offering varieties of service but prices are too hi. Same story with the gift shop located by the lobby entrance.
Taxis service available but not cheap! Rental car available but check rates.
In return, it has been a pleasure to listen to the professional performances of the pianist Juan and the vocalist singer (lady from Peru) filling our after dinner nights sitting on the terrazza. We also enjoyed the well organized dinner on the beach that refreshed memories of our past vacations!
So… in conclusion, a vacation in this resort is largely appreciate by people with relaxation in mind, no pressuring schedules, good food, good drinks and feeling you are a welcomed guest! The Sheraton standards are a bit off but the potentials are in place.
We did enjoy our stay and we thank the many people we met there who made our vacation a special one!
Peter & Norma
PS – Need to do something about those black birds. They may also create serious health issues.

Room Tip: Try rooms on building 2 or 3 garden view if you wish quiteness. Staff at front desk very helpful to...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank JoyTraveller2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rolando N, General Manager at Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort - An All Inclusive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 April 2014

Dear JoyTraveller2014

Thanks so much for your kind review. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and that you were able to enjoy many of the services we provide such as the pools, beach, night entertainment and restaurants. Your kind words regarding the service of our Staff are greatly appreciated. It is so wonderful to hear that Jorge and Jesús, our F&B Managers, and all the buffet Staff were able to make your stay with us more enjoyable! Our staff truly cares for our guests and we love to see that shine through.

I do want to apologize for the difficulties you had with the chairs at the Lobby Bar and around the pool. Besides, our Director of Operations has been notified about the small inconveniences you describe and we would like to assure you that we are working so hard to improve the quality of service that our guests are used to receive in a Sheraton Hotel. For that reason, I want to thank you for your valuable feedback as it helps us know what service specifically needs to be improved.
We look forward to your next visit!

Kind regards,

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Reviewed 14 April 2014

Stayed here for almost a week recently. First impressions good, it's obviously in a nice upmarket condo development. The location, as others have mentioned, is a good 3 hour drive out of Panama city. Traffic coming out of the city at rush hour is by far the *worst* I have ever experienced in the world and we were in a highway jam for 1.5 hours. Be prepared, or hire a driver to reduce the stress.

Anyhoo, back to the Bijao. Room was spacious but a bit lacking in comfort. Ditto the en suite, pretty basic. The bed, while huge, was not very comfortable. If you like a firm mattress then you're in luck.

Food was varied and for the most part good. Big breakfast buffet had many options so you won't get bored. Lunch at the pool restaurant is basic - pizza, burgers, fries etc. - but tasty and just what you need to hit the spot at that time of day. Dinner is also well catered for but the deserts were not good at all (overuse of sweet, synthetic cream).

We were excited to eat at the individual restaurants each night but they failed to impress. The Japanese served nice food, cooked in front of you so it was a bit of a show, but really it was Chinese food (apart from the sushi). If you know the difference then you'll be disappointed. The Med restaurant was actually quite a letdown, nice interior design but the food was boring and bland. Dinner on the beach one night was a nice experience.

You'll not be left wanting for booze at the Bijao. Quality brands served (Gordon's, Bacardi etc.) and generous measures but small glasses, so you just have to make more trips to the bar! Pina coladas at the pool bar are good ;-)

The pool areas are a highlight, so much to choose from. There was a lot of activity and music when we were there so we just hung out near the beach where it was more peaceful. The beach by the way is fine, it's not miles of fine sandy shore, this is not Barbados, but it is well looked after. Beware of jellyfish in the sea and heed any warnings from the coast guard.

Somebody was moaning about the gift shop, I thought it was well stoked BUT don't buy the sun block there!!! I bought expensive, random brand Factor 30 and I still got burnt! Stock up on your own top brand lotion as it gets very hot - 37c one day for us.

You should note that this place gets very busy at the weekend. We were fortunate to be there during the week and it was nice and calm, but on Friday the hoards decended and breakfast time was a bun fight.

Overall I enjoyed our stay at Bijao, 5 days was just the right time, a week at the absolute most. We took a drive up to El Valee one day, which was a nice distraction and something I'd recommend.

Room Tip: Our room was close to the entertaining area but the music never went on past midnight, if such thing...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank FrequentFlyerDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rolando N, General Manager at Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort - An All Inclusive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 April 2014

Dear FrequentFlyerDublin

Thank you for choosing the Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort, Panamá and also for taking the time to share your thoughts on your recent stay. We are glad to read that you were able to enjoy the pools, beaches and the rest of the grounds during your stay. Although, we apologize if our Restaurants "a la carte" did not meet your expectation. Our Chef has been notified.

We certainly hope you will choose to stay with us in the future the next time you are in Panamá.

Kind regards,

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Reviewed 1 April 2014

We stayed at the hotel for 3 nights. We had a room on the 6th floor at the end of the hall that overlooked both the pool and the ocean. The plug in our tub didnt work, and maitenance tried to fix it, but wasnt able too so we couldnt bathe, only shower. Also the safe in our room didnt work when we got there, it was fixed, and then broke the next day. In regards to water - they provide two waterbottles in your room every day, other than tha tyou have to drink their tap water or buy your own waterbottles. We did not have water bottles in our room upon check in, but the front desk ran up two plus an extra when we asked about it. As far as the buffet food, it was about average for any all inclusive. The mediterranean restaurant is not good - I would stay away, but the Japanese restaurant was delicious!! The pools and grounds were kept very clean and the beaches were nice. I would definitely come back.

  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Savery_17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rolando N, General Manager at Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort - An All Inclusive Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 30 April 2014

Dear Savery_17

Thank you for offering us you review about your recent visit with us. I do want to apologize for the difficulties you had with the safe in your room and for the plug that didn't work in the tub. Our Maintenance Manager has been notified. Besides, regarding the food in the Mediterranean Restaurant, our Chef wanted me to inform you that he will improve the menus in all our Restaurants. We are always trying to improve our service and I want to thank you for your valuable feedback as it helps us know what service specifically needs to be improved.

We certainly hope you will choose to stay with us in the future the next time you are in Panamá.

Kind Regards,

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Additional Information about Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort - An All Inclusive Resort

Address: Carretera Interamericana km 108, Guias de Anton, Santa Clara 0229-00140, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: Panama > Panama Province > Santa Clara
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Santa Clara
Price Range: £123 - £238 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort - An All Inclusive Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 293
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On a sprawling Panama beach along the serene Pacific Ocean, Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort - An All-Inclusive Resort has everything you could want for total relaxation. Nestled alongside the stunning Pacific Ocean, our all-inclusive resort in Guias de Anton, Santa Clara, Panama is complimented by celebrated sites like the Panama Canal's Miraflores Locks and historic Panama City, the exhilarating capital of the Republic of Panama. Come together and share experiences in our warm Club Lounge as well as the resorts 4 restaurants and private beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sheraton Bijao Beach Hotel Santa Clara
Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort - An All Inclusive Resort Panama/Santa Clara

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