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“Great spot to kick back” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Marina Hotel at Shelter Bay

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Marina Hotel at Shelter Bay
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   30 Butner St., Fort Sherman, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Fort Sherman
Bay Area, California
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Great spot to kick back”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

The hotel and restaurant are next to the marina, so the place is filled with friendly and casual boat people. While I do not know about the hotel itself, the restaurant is a great place to relax, with a very generous Happy Hour (rum drinks are $2, local beer is $1) and really tasty food. The kitchen can get backed up, meaning long waits for orders, but a recent renovation and dining room expansion should take care of that problem. Chris, the manager, is super friendly and eager to make the place as great as possible. Can't wait to return.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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49 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    33
    12
    3
    0
    1
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12
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Port Charlotte, Florida, United States
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2013

My husband and I along with his crew have stayed at Shelter bay hotel and have dined at the restaurant many a times. Each time Chris Young (General Manager) and his staff have treated us with the most respect and kindness. Our rooms are always clean and the swimming pool was at the perfect temp. The food at the marina restaurant was very good and plentiful. The marina is always expanding since the first time we visited two years ago. Be sure to say hi to Chris.

Room Tip: make sure the AC is ice cold
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2013

Food and service were excellent. The staff is very friendly and helfpful. Great hike to San Lorenzo Castle from the hotel. About 12 miles round trip. Lots to see and do. It seems like there is a party every night with the people from the yachts. Great swiming pool if you don't want to walk to the beach. There are a couple of nice beaches close by and a lot of rocky coral reefs if you prefer.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Chandler, Arizona
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

A true hidden gem! The food at the restaurant has been top notch, Chris and the entire crew have been nothing but accommodating. With breathtaking views of the marina, and all the amenities, this place should be your stop before traveling the canal. Not many places can offer a scenic jungle hike with all the wildlife you would expect, historic landmarks within walking distance, and all the water activities you need. A must stay when you are in the area!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City, Panama
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

THe place is nice, specially if you can sit by the boats. Not very clean do... I went with my husband and two children after visiting the amazing expansion of the Canal. We went to this place, and had to wait more than 2 hours to be served! The waiter tried but apparently he can not control what happens in the kitchen. I was stuck there because it is far from any other restaurant. The chef appologized but sorry to say that was not enough, after having spend 2 hours of my sunday in that place, and specially with hungry children. Will never return.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chris Y, General Manager at Marina Hotel at Shelter Bay, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
Hi Jennifer,

We would like to start off by saying you are exactly right about your experience, this was not only disappointing but embarrassing for us to deliver you service like this. It is our mission to indulge you in every aspect of your dining experience. As a first time guest in our restaurant we would love the opportunity to have you back and show you that our standard is to not only to please you but exceed your expectations. We have no excuse for this disappointment we delivered to you and your family Sunday afternoon. If you would be willing to give us a second chance to come out and enjoy the restaurant we would love for you to let us know at manager@shelterbaymarinahotel.com.
We would also like to thank you for your feedback, without your valuable feedback we would not have the details to continuously raise the bar for ourselves as well as focus on the opportunities that need to be corrected.

Best Regards,

Chris Young
General Manager
Marina hotel at Shelter Bay
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, UK
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2013

We came here as we had been Colon on the Panama Canal (scenic) railway and then onto the Gatun Locks and were in desperate need of something to do to kill a couple of hours before our train departed for Panama City.

We were glad we did. The approach to the marina did not give a good impression. But the huge potholes and abandoned buildings gave way to an expensive looking marina/hotel/restaurant complex.

The service was some of the best we experienced in Panama - possibly due to the clientele being largely American (i.e. high expectations - and nothing wrong with that!).

The food we ate was decent and we enjoyed chilling out outside by the marina. After a few rum and cokes, our waiter (possibly the manager???) kindly organised us a cab back to Colon for our train ride home.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Chris Y, General Manager at Marina Hotel at Shelter Bay, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
Thank you so very much for your feedback, it is always appreciated, and always a delight to hear from our guests!!!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

The rooms are very comfortable, clean and quiet. Beds are very comfy. Plenty of storage and causually elegant. You can choose a jungle view or a water view. The water view is great for sitting on your privet balcony and watching the activity of the "yachties" in the marina. From very large motor yachts to the smaller boats of the "cruisers" there is always something going on.
There a miles of paved hiking trails through the jungle. You will almost always see at least one kind of monkey and usually several. You will certainly hear the loud roars of the Howler Monkeys which sound more like lions than mokeys. There a huge blue butterfies, birds of just about every kind...and once you get "under the canopy" of the trees it is nice and cool even on the hotest days. When you get back go for a swim, sit in the hot tube and just relax. The staff here will take care of you. If there is something you want to do, like visit the Gatun Locks, just ask. Chris the Executive Chef and Property Mgr and his team can make it happen for you. You can even rent bikes from Carol in the Dock Shoppe, to ride up to Ft San Lorenzo. The view from there is breathtaking!
This was our second stay at the Marina Hotel and we would stay here even if our boat wasn't here.

  • Stayed January 2013, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marina Hotel at Shelter Bay

Address: 30 Butner St., Fort Sherman, Panama
Location: Panama > Colon Province > Fort Sherman
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Fort Sherman
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Marina Hotel at Shelter Bay 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
As the name suggests, the Shelter Bay Marina Hoteloverlooks the picturesque Shelter Bay Marina in the old FortSherman area, at the edge of the Fort San Lorenzo NationalPark. Easily found just a few minutes’ drive after crossing theGatun Locks at the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal,where the jungle is our back door and the ocean our front.The Hotel offers just the right balance of peace and quiet,with an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. You canwalk around at dusk and see monkeys playing in the trees,colorful toucans flying and the most tranquil of sloths relaxingalong with the wide diversity of flora you might expect from aprimary rain forest. We are just 15 minutes from Fort SanLorenzo and walking distance from Playa Diablo. Whether it isa weekend escape to relax and enjoy the views, or acomfortable room while your yacht is being repaired, theShelter Bay Marina Hotel is right where you need it. ... more   less 
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