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Holiday before the Christmas Holiday

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Princeton, New...
posts: 37
reviews: 9
Holiday before the Christmas Holiday

I am planning a trip to leave in a few weeks. We are flying first into Panama City for 6 days. I have done extensive boat trips in Costa Rica and Nicaragua and am not entirely a "one with nature" taveler. I love to see things of beauty and nature in its raw form ..however I prefer to see it from the balcony of a Four Seasons hotel, From the windows of a Range Rover, or from the deck of a catamaran.

Im trying to plan my lodging and so far...I will spend the first 2 nights at the New Westin Playa Bonita followed by 2 nights at The Bristol Buenaventura and then finally The Trump Ocean club. I love beaches and the ocean so this is why 4 of the 6 days will be beachfront. But I do want to see the Panama Canal and the main sights of Panam City.

I always rent my own car when I travel. I dont like to be on schedules if not necessary.

Any other landmarks of interest that should not be missed. That I can do as day trips?? Or special places in the city I should go?

Princeton, New...
posts: 37
reviews: 9
11. Re: Holiday before the Christmas Holiday

Thank you I will try that Restaurant. I dont mind a little rough waves. I was just in Los Cabos for about three weeks, the waves and undertow there are quite fierce. But with caution and respect for the ocean one could still swim.

So I will probably take at at one dip in the ocean while in Panama. Just to say that "I did"...But will enjoy the coastline and my exploration. What stands out in my mind of many trips around the globe are the interaction with the locals. I love meeting new people and talking with them. I want to know all about their country and culture and they only want to know about New York and if I have ever been to a Yankee game!

While in Bali, i did take ashort boat trip to Lombok, which is still rather pristine. From there another small boat took us to The Gilis. A small group of 3 islands without any cars allowed. Only horse drawn carriages to get around! Pretty neat!! To continue my quest for the most perfect beach....my next destination will be either The Seychelles, Mauritius or The Maldives? ...thoughts anyone?

PS.if any of my helpful friends are planning to go to a Starwood Hotel Property in December and would like a Guaranteed upgrade to a One Bedroom suite..please let me know.

Panama City, Panama
posts: 5,790
reviews: 80
12. Re: Holiday before the Christmas Holiday

Hello again, I don't know how much you will be "interacting with the locals" as you have picked very high end places to stay.

There is a lot to see and do in Panama, and a lot of beautiful, authentic, un-spoiled places to go where one can experience the culture and wonder of the Panamanian landscape and people. It does take planning, much research and time plus ingenuity to plan such a trip.

I'm sorry also that such a large number of tourists take these type "resorts" you have picked as their impression of Panama.

Cool Canuck
posts: 205
reviews: 12
13. Re: Holiday before the Christmas Holiday

Peter F,

The Maldives is beautiful, but tragically rife with political issues. There are a fw small hotels on the main island but not much to see there, except for crowded streets and an artificial 'beach'.

The resort islands vary in price and quality, some are lovely, but you will have no glimpse of how locals live really. To do that you need access to one of the non-resort islands, and you will find nice beaches, palm trees and a lot of poverty.

Mauritius has some excellent accommodation choices and would be my preference.

Princeton, New...
posts: 37
reviews: 9
14. Re: Holiday before the Christmas Holiday

I greatly appreciate your reply. And I do completely understand your point. I suppose my response is that... I do take a great interest in meeting locals and interacting with them. I enjoy very much having long conversations with people about anything of interest. However, when it comes to where I sleep, I am very picky. I do not like to take chances when it comes to a clean bed, clean linens and spacious bathroom and all amenities I am use to. So I rely on 5 star hotel chains to save me this guesswork. But I do not spend my time at the hotel exclusively and certainly do know that I will not learn anything about the Panamanian people while taking a spa treatment at The Trump Ocean club. So that it why I sleep there in extreme comfort then venture out each morning to begin my quest. After I have visited a specific location and met people I would consider returning again and possibly staying at less known places where I will really have an opportunity to interact with real citizens of that country.

On my recent trip to Bali, I fell in love with the beauty of the landscape and temple but more so the genuine pleasantness of the people. The man that I hired to drive me around Bali was such a wonderful person. He demonstrated such a concern for my well being and genuine desire to show me the beauty of his country. I was staying at the St Regis Resort.. Every day he would wait outside my resort for me to come out if I wanted to go anywhere .Towards the end of my trip I invited him and his wife to come spend the day with me at The private beach at our resort. He was so touched by this simple invitation that he was tearful. The next day he and his wife were waiting outside very nervous and almost scared. Its not normal for the local people to enter these properties let along use the services. I told him that he was my guest and my friend and that I wanted to enjoy his company. We had a wonderful day. He told me that in 20 years he never had such a nice experience. Nobody ever invited him to do anything like this before. We are still friends and he writes me all the time.

Panama City, Panama
posts: 5,790
reviews: 80
15. Re: Holiday before the Christmas Holiday

There are no 5 star hotels in Panama................they may say they are, but trust me, they are not.

Madrid, Spain
posts: 3,778
reviews: 11
16. Re: Holiday before the Christmas Holiday

What rating would you give the Trump ?

Panama City, Panama
posts: 5,790
reviews: 80
17. Re: Holiday before the Christmas Holiday

I would probably say a 4.............pretty good by Panama's standards.

It will be interesting to see what Peter F thinks and his ratings upon his return.

Madrid, Spain
posts: 3,778
reviews: 11
18. Re: Holiday before the Christmas Holiday

So, Peter - how was your trip ?

19. Re: Holiday before the Christmas Holiday

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