One of the most famous classic luxury hotels in Panama City, the El Panama Hotel is a historical landmark, currently aged about 50 years. I’ll call it one of the beach hotels in Panama because Panama sits right on the bay of the Pacific Ocean. Designed with the airy tropical concept in mind, the hotel is currently being renovated. The first time I heard about this hotel was in the movie “The Tailor of Panama”, created in 2001. If you don’t let the renovations bother you, you will hardly notice and they’ll soon be finished with remarkable improvements.
Situated in the downtown of Panama in the El Cangrejo neighbourhood, the hotel is less than a half hour from the airport. El Cangrejo is safe to stroll around 24 hours a day. Enjoy a walk in the evening and you will feel okay. Many tourist police (that is the policemen without guns are all over the place, assuring you of your safety and a low crime rate. Get a map of the neighbourhood at the reception desk of El Panama Hotel to help avoid expensive taxi rides everywhere. Just go out the front door of the hotel, turn right to Veneto Avenue and go in any direction to see many other of the 4 and 5 star hotels, casinos, shopping, restaurants, car rental agencies in the area, all a short walking distance away.
I found the big open aired, Latin/Caribbean tropical style of the hotel design very pleasing and elevates you into that tropical mood for your Panama vacation. This hotel has a very Panamanian feeling to it which gives a certain ambiance to this 5 star hotel in Panama. In the lobby you will discover many of several very fancy shops. The swimming pool of the hotel is large, the surrounded by tropical foliage and is wonderful. There is a restaurant by the pool which serves great food and a swim-up bar in the pool. The swimming pool is hour glass shaped, marvellous to swim in and hang out around the pool, people watching and catching some rays. You can rent a cabaña on the ground-floor, and have instant access to the pool. The pervasive feeling of luxury and comfort makes this hotel in Panama an ideal holiday escape for romance such as honeymoons for newlyweds, couples wishing to kick back, romantic getaways for younger and older travelers, disabled travelers and families.
There are 330 guest rooms at El Panama including standard, junior Suites, Cabanas by the pool, and a presidential suite. You can even have butler service on one of the two executives floors which gives you personalized assistance as well as private meeting rooms if you’re a business traveller. For the people that like to keep fit, there is a spa and sauna to use.
My suite, although the air conditioning was set a little to cold, was superb and had all the modern comforts such as high speed internet access, cable TV, telephone, and a safe to lock up my valuables. The room was clean, large with tiled floors. However, I must say, maybe because of the downtown location and the noisy traffic below, it was, sometimes hard to sleep at night. Still, I loved my stay at the El Panama Hotel and would definitely recommend it to a friend.
There are quite a few restaurants at the hotel that serve up delicious cuisine. There is a different breakfast buffet served daily which is included in the price and is an excellent way to start your day in Panama City.
The business center is good for the business traveller with internet available for a couple of dollars per hour. There are 35 meeting rooms and a convention center on the premises. It is a popular place for international conventions and you will find it is a favourite luxury hotel in Panama for Latin American and European visitors to book their vacations in Panama at this hotel. The staff, although they don’t speak a lot of English are friendly and efficient. The service provided was excellent. The restaurant serves great food and the service is excellent. For the gamblers among us, there is a casino and nightclub attached to the hotel. It is a more pleasant stay than the chain hotels which lack the atmosphere and ambiance of the El Panama in Panama City, so if you can ignore the renovations and want something in a more Panamanian style, definitely try this classic hotel. Remember, the renovations will not last forever at this luxury hotel in Panama City.