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“Jurrasic park in the rainforest.” 3 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
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Jurrasic park in the rainforest.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2009

Just returned from our trip last night. We spent 2 nights in this resort. Room was clean, musty smelling but once the ac was turned on it started to clear. First impressions were great. Until we had our first meal. The service was lousy, food was even worse. Each meal cost min of $50 for 3 of us. Simple sandwiches etc. BIG mistake was made one day to eat at the buffet on the river. Bill was $102!

We had booked a 3 hour private fishing tour on Gaton Lake which was teriific. The kids caught peacock bass and the guide actually brought us back after 4 hours! We also took the free night tour and saw some wildlife. The guides know exactly where the animals will be...There were 3 full boats of tourists going on the monkey tour at the same time. at $35 A POP...quite profitable. The monkey family on the island has been fed for years at the same place..same times. It is more like a trained show in terms of the reality of what you see. Kids love it tho! I'm just more interested in seeing natural wildlfe that isn't reacting to human involvement.

We happened to be there when there was a large group from Radio Shack there. They had a huge party outside on our final night. So..here we are in a "rainforest" listening to a loud wedding band playing 80's music all night. Seemed to blow the natural feeling that we were looking for!

just remember...they have you trapped in terms of food...so bring water, drinks, and some snacks!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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1,067 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
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Lindsay, Ontario
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
82 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
161 helpful votes 161 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2009

2 adults one child 12 stayed for 2 nights. The room was great, very clean, large and nice balcony and quiet with great view. One mistake we made was to have the lunch buffet at the Resturant by the lake it was 28.00 and 1/2 price for child. What a rip off, we were not allowed to order from the menu it was Sunday. We also ate in the other returant and found the food to be fine, ordered off the menu. The portions are very large so we just ordered 2 and shared. We did the free night tour and saw lots of cayaberas which was neat. We did the monkey island tour and was great and the pipeline bird tour which was great . We saw sloths, monkeys, parots, Tucans, and many colorful birds. The pool are very nice and relaxing. We had a rental car so we went to the grocery store before arriving and bought beer and rum which was very cheap so we had drinks on the balcony. This place is great for a couple of days if you are wanting to see wildlife. The beds were comfortable as well. No complaints about the hotel at all.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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San Clemente, CA
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2009

This resort is beautiful, and the service was excellent. My sister and I saw so many kinds of birds from the privacy and comfort of our large deck right off our spacious and luxurious room. It was my birthday during our stay and I was treated like royalty by the staff. The food was excellent! Do include the buffet breakfast; it's great and you won't need lunch. We loved the resort and look forward to a return visit. It's a place for birdwatching and relaxing. If you want urban action this is not the right choice for you.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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nyc
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2009

The views are beautiful. Our room was fine. Clean with a balcony and a hammock with a beautiful view. There is plenty to see and do if you are a nature lover. The food was not particularly good. Not awful, but bland and not worth the price. The food is great in Panama City and it is worth going there as well. If you go to the resort understanding that it is about the nature and not the food, you will have a good time. All the tours we did had something to recommend them. For breakfast, stick with the yogurt or the scrambled eggs with hot sauce. For lunch go to the bar and have the shrimp cocktail. The fruit is fine and the local beer is good.
For dinner, get the simplest thing possible. On the way from the airport to the resort, stop by a bodega and get a few large bottles of mineral water, that will save you money. You want to bring water on the tours because you will get thirsty. We really had a great time. If you have time between check out and catching your flight, visit the old part of Panama City and hang out at Plaza Bolivar, which is beautiful.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Sarasota, Florida
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
50 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
111 helpful votes 111 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 15, 2009

We stayed 3 nights in the main hotel, in a river view room.

Room- after staying in a rustic cabana in San Blas, having a/c and hot water with good pressure, was heavenly. Our room was very attractive, in good condition, the patio was clean, the only issue with the bathroom was that the shower tiles could use some additional squirts of tilex.

Service-- the staff at the front desk and the restaurants were friendly and provided good service for the most part. The only hiccup was one afternoon we ordered food at the pool and I think they forgot the order, as we noticed the couple next to us got their food (and they had ordered after us), so we had to have the staff order it again. We also had an issue with the safe not opening, but maintenance came in less than 10minutes, (ended up battery needed replacing).

Pool- on Sunday, it was packed, Monday it was completely dead. Even on Sunday, though crowded, the waitresses were circulating frequently.

Food- average. Breakfast was included in our stay, and was a quite extensive buffet. For lunch we did the buffet once ( I think it was $22 or 24 plus drinks), we ate at the pool a couple of times ( club sandwiches, burgers, <$10 including fries/drink), ate in the bar one night ( most items <$10), and off menu in the restaurant (less than buffet cost). We stopped at a grocery in Panama City and bought a 2 pack of one liter water bottles for <$2 and a couple of smaller bottles for 39cents to avoid paying the high mark up.

Activities- its kind of set up not for those who want to explore on their own, but finding and being able to walk on your own to the marina, or to the nature trail was not difficult, even though not really clearly marked on their map. Free activites included morning nature walk, evening truck ride, kayak, bicycling. The only paid excursion we did was Monkey Island. We had tried to book it in advance for our preferred day before we left the US, but could never get through to anyone, so when we arrived, the only thing available was for that afternoon.

Overall, I found it a bit overpriced, but the room and setting are beautiful, and the pool area was very nice.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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USA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2009

I had a great time! wonderful view and friendly service

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Panama City
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2009

My husband, his parents and I stayed at Gamboa in mid-February. His parents had booked a suit, hearing that the hotel and its location were beautiful.

I hotel itself was nice – the lobby was really well decorated and filled with flowers and plants. On the surface, the rest of the hotel looked pretty too – but after an hour or two there, you begin to see that it is not as nice at they have advertised.

The room was adequate: bed, desk, chairs, nightstands, TV, drawers, balcony. The balcony had a table with chairs and a hammock – which was great, but each morning (after the bats had spent the night on the balcony) the furniture and hammock was covered in bat droppings. Anytime anyone sat on the hammock, they had to put a towel down first. My mother-in-law specifically requested a lake view, which was more expensive – and when we arrived, we realized that half of the hotel faced the lake, and the other half faces the pool which over sees the lake – so it may not have been worth it to pay extra for the special request.

The food is not great. Gamboa is in the middle of nowhere, so you are reliant on eating at their restaurants. Because they are the only game in town, I don’t think that they really try too hard. The food was disappointing 75% of the time. We always choice to order off the menu, though they had a large buffet, because the buffet price was a little much ($25 for breakfast, per person).

The hotel was not clean. In the room, the restaurant, the pool, everywhere there were little signs that the hotel was not maintained very well. The toilet in our room was constantly dripping water onto the floor from the base – and there was old caulk on the base of the toilet, indicated that this had been a problem for a while. The pipes and wood cover under the bathroom sink was exposed – and was not attractive. One day, as we were settling into our pool chairs, we noticed a plate with a half-eating hamburger, some fries and an empty cup sitting on one of the poolside tables. Waiters passed the plate 10 times within the next hour, but no one cleaned it up. An hour-and-a-half later, a bird and a cat had found the plate, and where taking turns stealing food from it. Other guests began leaving their old cups and plates on the table as well (because there are no garbage cans for guests to throw things away) – and when we left the pool after two hours, the mess was still there. There is no reason for that.

My husband and I have stayed at all sorts of hotels and are not high-maintenance people. The hotel that we stayed at before this one had a mattress on the floor and a bathroom – but we only paid $20 a night, so we knew what we were getting. But for the price that Gamboa charges for their rooms – it is not worth it. If you can get a great deal of under $130 a night – go for it – it is a pretty location and it is a nice change from the tourist locations in Panama City. But honestly, anything over that and you may feel ripped off.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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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