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“Decent hotel with some great views” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Holiday Inn Panama Canal

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Holiday Inn Panama Canal
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Ave. Omar Torrijos Herrera Clayton, Panama City 7336, Panama (Formerly Holiday Inn Panama City)   |  
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Ranked #27 of 107 Hotels in Panama City
Colchester, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Decent hotel with some great views”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

I stay here every time I come to Panama as it is close to our office. Yes, it is out of town but taxi fares are not high and the view of the canal is wonderful, even for someone not interested in ships. Get a high floor with canal view and just watch the ships going into and out of Miraflores locks. Wonderful.

The rooms are reasonable with a good size and a comfortable bed. Wired internet is free and wifi (which can be a bit patchy at times) is also available. Clean and comfortable but some might find the airconditioning a bit noisy (I don't). The bar is a bit small and basic but the restuarant is quite good. Nice bar 50 yards away which does decent food as well.

The staff are extremely helpful and very cheerful. I like this hotel

Room Tip: Ask for a canal view room and try to get 5th or 6th floors for the best view. get up early in the mo...
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  • Stayed February 2013, 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.
Graciela A, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Panama Canal, responded to this review, February 18, 2013
Thank you for sharing your kind comments about your experience at Holiday inn Panama Canal. We are delighted that you enjoy your stay with us and we are going to share your comment with all our staff. For us it is very important to deliver an excellent service guest love. As you said we have and spectacular view of the Miraflores Locks so you can see the ships crossing the Canal every Morning.
On your next visit try our theme night of Fusion y Sabor every Thursday at The Canal View Restaurant.
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188 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (50)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

This hotel is very nice and clean. The bed is very comfortable!
Hotel staff are friendly. Very satisfied.

I stayed in a room on 5th floor facing the canal. The view is not as good as I thought. Also it is quite noisy, because of the highway and railway. I paid a few more $ in order to get the canal view room, but it does not worth the money.

Room Tip: Get a high floor room.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Graciela A, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Panama Canal, responded to this review, February 18, 2013
Thank you for sharing with us your experience at Holiday Inn Panama Canal. We are committed to deliver an excellent service so we are delighted you enjoy your stay with us.
On your next visit we invite you to try our theme nights from Monday to Thursday at our Canal View Restaurant.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portalban (Switzerland)
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
171 helpful votes 171 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

I spent a week at Holiday Inn Panama Canal. Having a car was useful, for the hotel is outside Panama City, close to the Miraflores locks (apparently you cannot walk to them). It is also a good starting point for various excursions for instance to the Camino Plantacion (see separate review for Soberania National Park). For international civil servants, it is also at a walking distance from various UN offices: I noticed UNDP, OCHA and the World Food Program.

Being a gold member of the priority club, I was granted a nice room on the 6th floor, i.e. well above the tree canopy, with a superb view over the canal. It allowed to watch big and small vessels in transit between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. This was great (thanks Graciela). Reviews on Tripadviser show that some reviewers are delighted, others "not so impressed" by the Canal. Obviously someone from Los Angeles, Houston, Shanghai or even Port Said may find trivial all the fuzz made around the Panama Canal, while someone living in Armenia, Bolivia or, like me, Switzerland, i.e. in landlocked countries, would be impressed. Nothing to wonder about it!

The room was spotless, well equipped with safe, fridge, coffee maker, free internet, spacious wardrobe, iron, and so on. The king bed was comfortable. The a/c was functioning but proved rather noisy and worked well too often because of the poor thermal insulation of the window: mine had a split of almost half a cm on the side allowing hot air to flow in, while the double glass met at best the 1970s standards. Result: even when maintaining a 25°C room temperature, the a/c was running almost without interruption in late afternoon. Electricity was flying out directly. I don't know the price of electricity in Panama, but if it happens to be close to European levels, the replacement of windows would offer undoubtedly a sizable and rapid return on investments.

Staff was nice. Breakfasts were generous, varied and good, with an efficient and helpful guy named Luis for the service. Plenty of safe parking places around the hotel. No newspapers available but I could read my home newspapers on the internet.

It is true, as underscored by other reviewers, that tiled hallways (in opposite to the thickly carpeted ones in most other hotels) reverberate each and every sound made in reaching or leaving rooms. On the 6th floor, some of the guests realized that and were careful not to slam doors. This was not the case of the cleaning staff who were yelling at each other across the floor, holding apparently long and difficult negotiations on cell phones and slamming doors so often that you would believe that there were hundreds of rooms on that floor. It is also true that the surroundings are not silent: a major road and the Panama Canal Railway run in front of the hotel. But tell me: aren't Holiday Inns by definition located close to communication roads? The hotel management recognized this situation and provides guests with earplugs. Well thought, thanks, I used them. But is this sufficient a move for justifying what I can only consider as an abuse?

Indeed, during two evenings, "events" were held on the seventh floor, i.e. the floor above the guests floors. In my room (602) which was yet at the far end of the hallway, the noise level generated by the party managed to exceed that of the air conditioner. Further, people participating in the party invaded regularly the hallway of the sixth floor (I guess waiting for the elevators, as elevators do not reach the 7th floor) laughing, calling each other loudly, some even whistling with the music played on the floor above.

As a first note, I should say that as a matter of safety for hotel guests - if not their comfort -, a place for "events" open to the public must have a separate and direct access: in one of the instances, I happened to be in the lobby when the party guests arrived and can testify that there was no control: people stepped out of taxis and went directly to the elevators to the 6th floor, without even a glance from reception. Then a stream of people was climbing - do you believe silently ? - the stairs to the event premisses. Any potential "wrongdoer" could have mingled with them, stopping on the 6th floor and start operating unnoticed thanks to the noise generated by the party. Management should consider corridors as guests' common but private places to be protected, not as a public spot for everybody. In my view (and experience), the participants in the party should at least have been requested to show their invitation cards in the lobby. Better: their names checked against a list provided by the event's organizer. What happened then was against all safety rules and practices.

As a second note, I wish to underscore that in a place so poorly insulated as the Holiday Inn Panama Canal, management should not allow such parties on the same premisses as those rented by guests for working or resting. You cannot have your bread and eat it. And further hope for an additional smile. It is difficult to overcome a feeling of contempt by the hotel management in such a manner of treating its customers. In other words, such events should take place in a separate and soundproof facility. Or not take place at all. The present practice is not acceptable.

A bit disturbing also was the fact that the hotel had decided for me that I would take almost cold showers during my whole stay. Indeed, hot water was running normally in the sink, but only slightly tepid water - in fact very slightly tepid - was available in the shower. I mentioned it twice, in Spanish and English, to reception but received only a smile in response. With days, I more or less got used to it and remembered my doctor mentioning something positive about cold showers. The fact remains however inexplicable to me.

Should I recommend this hotel to dear friends? Tripadviser does not allow "yes, but" or "no, but" answers. They know why. But before making a recommendation, I would undoubtedly assess carefully the reasons for my friend's stay at that place. Should she/he decide for Holiday Inn Panama Canal because of the proximity of the locks, the view and the kindness of staff, she/he would be made fully aware of the "details" that have seriously tarnished my own stay.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Graciela A, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Panama Canal, responded to this review, February 18, 2013
Thank you for sharing your comments about your experience at Holiday Inn Panama Canal. We are committed to deliver an excellent service to all our guest specially our Priority club Members, we appreciate your loyalty to our Brand IHG. we are going to take in consideration all your recommendation to improve our service and deliver a superior service to all our guest. As you mentioned we have a very friendly staff so we are going to share with Luis your recognition to his service.
We hope to see you soon on your next visit to Panama.
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Leawood, Kansas
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2013

After our late flight in from Dallas, we stayed at the Holiday Inn next to the Panama Canal. This hotel was great, as we were flying to Chiriqui the next day, so it was close to the airport. I have stayed at this hotel around 4 times, and it is a good hotel, clean, the service is good. The rooms are big and with an excellent view of the canal.... You can beat this! The breakfast was also good, and on Sunday, they have comida tipica buffet, which was great!

If you have time, you can walk around the former Army base and visit some of the parks and green areas.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Graciela A, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Panama Canal, responded to this review, February 18, 2013
Thank you for sharing your kind comments about your experience at Holiday Inn Panama Canal. We are very committed to deliver an excellent service to all our guest. As you said we are next to the Club Kiwanis Sport Center that has an Olympic pool, baseball and football fields, racquetball, tennis and basketball courts. Also if you want to take a walk and have a time of relax you can enjoy the parks and green areas.
On your next visit we invite you to try our Pizza and Pasta Night every Monday at our Canal View Restaurant.
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Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

I thought this hotel was nice and very decent. I loved the view of the Panama Canal and I loved the representatives professionalism and catering attitude. There was one tiny mistake that occurred through when of the newly hired male front desk employees, but it was quickly rectified on the return last night at the hotel. We stayed here for 2 nights and I enjoyed the quaint and intimate setting of the hotel.

You will fight traffic to and from various locations trying to get around, but i think that is a central issue which Panama is working on repairing by installing the transit system.

The only negative I found was there was no refrigerator room because they have all the wet bar drinks in there that cost an arm and a leg.

I took my important items (which were electronics and jewelry) with me everyday (since we had a car rental) so the safe was not needed, but there was one in the room (inside the closet).

I really didn't have a real problem with this hotel, it was clean and safe, no bugs, air conditioning worked well and the staff were friendly and helpful and spoke ENGLISH -which was essential since I am very bad w/conversational spanish!

It is important to mention that we stayed here with our Priority Rewards' reward points and had no problem at all!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Graciela A, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Panama Canal, responded to this review, February 18, 2013
Thank you for sharing your kind comment about your stay at Holiday Inn Panama Canal. We are happy that you enjoy your stay with us. Thank you for be a Priority Club Member we appreciate your loyalty to our brand IHG. We are committed to deliver an excellent service to all our guest especially our priority club members, so we invest constantly in trainings to all our employees.
On your next visit we invite you to try our new Panamanian Breakfast Buffet, every Sunday at our Canal View Restaurant.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

I recently booked two nights at this hotel. I was rather disappointed in the location of this hotel. First, I was under the impression that this hotel was within walking distance of the Miraflores. I found out however that you still need to take a taxi there ($6 for 2 of us) because the roads are not walkable. Also there is absolutely nothing else around the hotel so you are pretty much stuck at the hotel or forced to take a taxi into town ($10). It really makes no sense to stay at this hotel because the location is terrible.

The room itself was adequate. I was on the top floor with a Canal view but to be honest I wasn't very impressed. The room is bare bones and the view of the canal isn't as impressive as I had hoped.

Also, since I am a gold member with Priority Club I always get treated to complimentary breakfast but not here. I was forced to pay $26 for the breakfast buffet which was the only option. They do have a small cafe in the lobby but nothing really breakfast worthy.

On the day of checkout I woke up to find out the hotel turned the water off so I wasn't able to shower or even use the toilet. Not happy about that.

I chose this hotel because it was cheap and close to the Panama Canal, however if I were to go back to Panama, I would stay at a downtown hotel and just take a taxi to Miraflores. At least you have a lot more options when you stay downtown versus at this Holiday Inn.

Room Tip: I suppose a high floor with a Canal view would be best. A few rooms have balconies, mine did not.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Graciela A, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Panama Canal, responded to this review, January 4, 2013
Thank you for sharing your experience at Holiday inn Panama Canal. We are very sorry that you didn’t have the opportunity to enjoy the activities around the hotel like the sport center at Club Kiwanis that have tennis court, baseball field, football field, walk road to relax surrounded by nature and an Olympic pool. The hotel offers a free shuttle to Miraflores locks and the biggest mall in Panama Albrook Mall (Ask for the schedule at the Front Desk). Thank you for be a gold member of Priority Club, we appreciate your fidelity to IHG. We will consider your suggestion and we will include a complimentary breakfast for gold and platinum members.
Thank you again for your comment.
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nevada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

We have stayed here on two separate trips and both times was a positive experience. We took taxi's from the Tocuman Airport to the hotel. The hotel treated us like royalty. Very accommodating, clean, modern and very comfortable beds. Though the hotel isn't close to the airport., it was still worth staying here. It was only a 20 minute drive to the airport, especially if the taxi takes you on the quicker route to avoid traffic rush hours. They have a really good breakfast buffet that was free.

Room Tip: We've had rooms facing the canal each time, but I'm sure all rooms would be good. The beds a...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Graciela A, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Panama Canal, responded to this review, December 5, 2012
Thank you for share with us your kind comment about your experience at Holiday Inn Panama Canal. For us it is very important to deliver an excellent service to all our guest. We are pleasant that you enjoy our breakfast buffet how has different option to all tastes.

On your next visit we invite you to try our theme night from Monday to Friday, special our Thursday night of Fusion y Sabor.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Panama Canal

Address: Ave. Omar Torrijos Herrera Clayton, Panama City 7336, Panama (Formerly Holiday Inn Panama City)
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #27 of 107 Hotels in Panama City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn Panama Canal 3*
Number of rooms: 137
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Travelers looking for Panama hotel deals will appreciate the great location and outstanding array of amenities found at the Holiday Inn(R) City of Knowledge. Located just minutes away from some of the best attractions and businesses in Panama, our property offers both convenience and great value.Leisure guests are often drawn to our family-friendly Panama City hotel's close proximity to several of the city's best attractions including the visitor center at Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal, the Albrook Shopping Center (with free shuttle service from our hotel), and the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. But our guests don't even have to leave the hotel to enjoy our sparkling outdoor pool in a beautifully landscaped courtyard, the well-equipped 24-hour Fitness Center, or our gift shop for a souvenir. Our hotel is only a few miles away from Panama City's banking district where many international transactions take place. Our fully-staffed Business Center provides guests with everything they need including copying, courier service, personal computer, and high-speed Internet access.When you're looking for great Panama hotel deals we offer the best. Make your reservations today to get the best Panama travel deals around at our Panama City hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn City Of Knowledge Hotel Panama City
Panama City Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn Panama Canal Panama City

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