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“Luxury in the jungle!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Gamboa Rainforest Resort

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Gamboa Rainforest Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   Goethals Blvd. | Soberania National Park, Gamboa 7338, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Gamboa
northern california
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Luxury in the jungle!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

I would give this place 5 stars, save one issue: food. The food is very average and very expensive for what you get. They can get away with this becuase the hotel is too far away from anything to really leave the property for dinner. Other than that, this is a gem! Every room looks out on to gorgeous grounds with the jungle, mountains and Chagres River. Its better than the professional pictures on the hotel web site. The staff is attentive and the rooms are large and very nice.

Room Tip: Ask for a room no lower than the 3rd floor!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jetzel M, Guest Relations Manager at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, December 9, 2012
Thank you very much for your time to write your comments, are very helpful to improve the service of our hotel. We hope to see you again in Panama.
Regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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939 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (225)
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Holmdel, New Jersey
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

My husband and I recently spent 3 days at the Gamboa Resort. This was my 2nd visit and his 1st. The passionfruit and mint welcome drinks were a very nice touch, and the staff was very friendly and helpful.

Another review mentioned not receiving any information about the resort restaurants, amenities, and activities, but we did not find this to be the case. The front desk clerk gave us a map of the property, explained the dining options, told us about the free tours, and pointed out the activities desk. We had requested a dehumidifier in our room through our travel agency, and it was there when we arrived.

The staff at the tour desk was very helpful and explained the free tours. The lobby view is incredible, massive windows overlooking the gorgeous, expansive pool and jungle, with beautiful furniture reminiscent of an African safari lodge. There was a bowl of apples at the front desk, and free WiFi in the lobby and bar area.

Our room was on the 6th floor, and as others have mentioned, the lobby itself is on the 4th floor. Definitely get a room on a higher level. Our room had a view of the entire river valley, and it was so stunning, so Jurassic Park-like, that we almost expected a brontosaurus to lumber out of the river and graze on the lawn....next to a herd of about 15 capybara that we watched from our balcony every day, rain or shine.

The long outside corridor to our room was flanked by the jungle and had an incredible number of birds flitting around. We watched one birdwatcher set up his photography camp in the corridor, and he pointed out a number of birds to us. Definitely stroll along there to see the action.

The included breakfast buffet was delicious, with plenty of choices....made to order waffles and omelettes, fresh fruit, cereal, cheese, rice, bacon, sausage, and yucca! One thing to keep in mind is that being somewhat isolated, your dining choices are the buffet, a regular menu option, and another restaurant that is only open for dinner, and one that's only open for lunch. We knew this in advance, and had no problem with it. The dinner buffet was also varied, and had delicious desserts.

Our room was huge, with a massive bathroom. The dehumidifier worked perfectly, and our room was fresh and dry. There was a coffee maker and small fridge, safe, flat screen TV, and hammock with table/chairs on the balcony. It was beautiful. Be sure to get up early and watch the sunrise, with mist rising off the river and the lush greenery sparkling in the sun...or even the rain.

The free night tour of the grounds was great. We saw toucans, parrots, a sloth, and capybara on the grounds, and the guide was very knowledgeable about the animals. This tour also illustrates how massive the grounds are, with an orchid garden, serpentarium, playground, and the old villas that the US military used back in the day. We didn't get to go on the aerial tram due to the rain but heard it was terrific.

If you walk down the road that the resort is on, you'll come to an area of Gatun Lake where the giant container ships go by. That was a thrill to see, even though we took a partial transit tour of the canal and also saw the ships in the locks at the Miraflores Visitor Center. One nice days, there is enough to do at this resort to keep you very busy, or very relaxed.

The only complaint, or rather, area for improvement, would be the WiFi situation. It's free in the lobby and bar, but $16 a day in the rooms! We knew this when we made our reservation, but it's still irritating to pay that much for WiFi on top of a hefty room fee. Nearly all hotels offer it for free. Since I had to work while I was there, I knew we would be paying for it. The ISP for the room WiFi is a different one than the ISP for the lobby WiFi, which we learned when the room WiFi was unavailable due to an outage for 24 hours. We were promptly credited for that.

But overall, we loved our stay there and hope to be back again soon!

Room Tip: Choose a room on the highest floor possible for the most magnificent views.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jetzel M, Guest Relations Manager at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, December 9, 2012
Thank you for your wonderful remarks, which I have shared with staff, gives us a pleasure to know that you loved the visit to our hotel and enjoy all the nature. I have noted each of your recommendations because all are great help for us, thanks again.
We look forward to welcoming you back soon.
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Maryland
Top Contributor
169 reviews 169 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 75 cities Reviews in 75 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

Super scenic property, the place is very large with lots of activities. There is a very nice gift shop and tour desk.

The restaurants are decent, the best was the Los largatos. The view from the monkey bar is outstanding. Our reservation came with quite an impressive breakfast and a couple of free tours.

We also took the monkey tour, which was very nice, we saw howler monkeys and white faced monkeys.

The rooms are very spacious, but a few things could use some updating ( bathrooms and tvs) . Our room had a huge balcony with a hammock and. Great view of the river!!

The staff was nice and attentive, one person in particular went above and beyond , his name was Angel.

Also, the pool area was really lovely, huge, with a waterfall, volleyball net and basketball hoop.

Room Tip: We went to the pipeline, but we saw more birds and wildlife at this hotel. At Los lagartos look aro...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jetzel M, Guest Relations Manager at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, December 9, 2012
Appreciate your comments are very important for the operation of the hotel. we will continue with the customer service plan to ensure that all our staff will deliver a good service always.
Sincerely
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City, Panama
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

We just returned from spending the American Thanksgiving Day at the Gamboa Resort and enjoyed our stay. From the moment we checked in with Katherine and were welcomed with an inviting fruit drink, we were impressed with the staff's friendly and effective service. We even made a new friend with Luis, who gave us a lot of insight into the history of the hotel and the area. The staff at the Tours Desk were very helpful as well. The lobby is especially beautiful and bright with tall, green-tinted windows, exquisite antique furnishings, a large fish tank behind the registration desk, a tropical 3-story waterfall and many other fine touches. The sofas are comfortable and make for a great place to sit and people watch and check email. The hotel offers free WiFi in the lobby but you must pay for in-room internet. The Thanksgiving buffet, which offered wonderful turkey choices, veges, salads and lots of desserts, was quite ample. The breakfast was delicious, with lots of variety. We devoured the Belgium waffles, fresh from the griddle. Be sure to bring your binoculars because there are numerous species of birds and herds of agoutis and capybaras to observe. The flora and fauna surrounding the resort are dynamic.Taking out time to relax at the spa, I appreciated the pampering by the very attentive staff and loved the Clarins skin products. The rooms are quite spacious, but we found the bedding to be damp and the air filtration system to be moldy.We think these issues can be easily overcome with more attention by the Housekeeping and Maintenance departments. The hammock on the veranda offered a superb vantage point for observing the wildlife and the breathtaking scenery during the early morning hours. We live about 2 hours away from Gamboa and our stay in the rain forest offered a pleasant change from the beach. We would love to return during the dry season so we can enjoy the many activities offered at the resort.

Room Tip: Check to see if the room has a dehumidifier
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jetzel M, Guest Relations Manager at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, December 9, 2012
I appreciate your comments and we are glad to have met your expectations when visiting our hotel. I personally congratulate my colleagues for their hard work. I hope to see you again.
regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Monroe
Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

First trip to Panama, spent 5 nights at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. Upon arriving, the Resort is quite the first impression. The resort is filled with glass windows everywhere. We were given a room on the Second floor. I asked for a room up higher and she said the lobby was on the 4th floor. I did not realize that you came into the lobby that high up. The resort is set on a hill overlooking the Charges River. We stayed with the 2nd floor room. Good view with hammock on the balcony.

The resort is really outstanding. Remember you are at a Rainforest Resort. Nothing for miles around you. We had a car we rented at the airport(that for another review). You are at a resort with the ONLY resort restaurants for miles. You probably would want to bring some snacks, soda, beer, wine, or just anything that passes the down time. We found a store in Gamboa with beer for $4.00 per 6-pack. Beer at resort is $5.50 per beer. Wine is $7.00 per glass. Remember you are at a Resort, again. The restaurants are good. Just hard to spend that much money for each meal. Each restaurant has different types of menus(menu, buffet, ala cart). Ask about options. The restaurant on the Charges River is good lunch menu and great view. Close to Panama Canal with large Cargo and Cruise Ships passing within half mile.

The tours offered are good value. We went fishing and caught about 60-70 fish, keeping 20 to cook and give away. We went back to the Marina and the restaurant cooked 4 fish for $10 per person. The fishing guide was great. By the way, all employees at the Resort go out of their way to help you. They were all great.

The swimming pool is large, did I say LARGE. We went when the resort was in low season. Rained everyday for short time. We went for river tour with 12 other tourist in boat. It was a good experienced, and rained the whole time. Saw lots of wildlife.

All in all, the Gamboa Rainforest Resort is probably a 3 night stay Resort. Great tours, great resort, great employees, great food, and the facilities are top notch. Remember you are in a Rainforest.

Have a great time. Enjoy the Rainforest and fishing. It is great for wildlife viewing.

Room Tip: Not first floor, any floor up to top floor.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jetzel M, Guest Relations Manager at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, November 22, 2012
Thank you for your wonderful remarks, which I have shared with staff, gives us a pleasure to know that you loved the visit to our hotel and enjoy all the nature. We look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Orange, New Jersey
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2012

On balance, staying at the Gamboa resort was a wonderful experience that everyone should try once their lifetime. I stayed with my family over the summer for a few days, and the sheer beauty of the nature as well as tours of the canal interior should not be missed. The air tram/observation tour and the canal boat tour were terrific, and our guides were knowledgeable and very personable. I would agree with the previous review regarding the issues sited: although our room was very nice, the a/c struggled to keep up with the heat and humidity, and there was a funky kind of moldy odor. I had no idea about getting a dehumidifier. Also, the communication about the tours could have been better - there was no clear indication if you could get a discount by booking multiple day tours, and the complimentary tours were never mentioned. I would still strongly recommend the resort, and I would also recommend taking a tour of the nearby Embera villages.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jetzel M, Guest Relations Manager at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, November 22, 2012
Appreciate your comments are very important for the operation of the hotel. we will continue with the customer service plan to ensure that all our staff will deliver a good service always.
Sincerely
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Impressive scenery, wonderful staff, good restaurants. Peacock bass fishing on Gatun Lake was awesome, Gatun Lake expedition was great, and the tree-top tram was excellent. We had a herd of capybara hanging out on the property and agoutis foraging under our balcony every day. Hummingbirds and flocks of parakeets were everywhere. We loved it!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jetzel M, Guest Relations Manager at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, November 22, 2012
I appreciate your comments and we are glad to have met your expectations when visiting our hotel. I personally congratulate my colleagues for their hard work. I hope to see you again in Panama.
Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Address: Goethals Blvd. | Soberania National Park, Gamboa 7338, Panama
Location: Panama > Colon Province > Gamboa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Gamboa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Gamboa Rainforest Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 165
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Deep in the heart of the Panamanian rainforest lies the completely unique Gamboa Rainforest Resort. This magnificent five-star destination rests where the scenic Chagres River meets the Panama Canal and is the only resort property in the area. Few places on earth offer such an amazing natural experience while providing an unsurpassed level of luxury. Escape the noise and hectic pace of everyday life and surround yourself with the tranquility of the mystical Soberania National Forest. Here, just a short 30-minute ride from Panama City, on 340 acres overlooking the stunning Panama Canal, you can commune with nature in a pristine environment where explorers and pirates once tread. Our Panama Tours offer an exhilarating variety of jungle adventures such as an aerial tram, guided boat tours, fishing expeditions, and much more. Our tours are designed to show you wildlife in its natural setting amidst the colorful splendor of the jungle flora. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gamboa Rainforest Hotel Gamboa
Gamboa Rain Forest Resort

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