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“Convenient and safe” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hostal Amador Familiar

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Hostal Amador Familiar
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Calle Akee - Casa 1519 | Balboa, Panama City, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Top Contributor
133 reviews 133 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
“Convenient and safe”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I stayed here for one night and found it friendly, safe and convenient. We had booked a private room and were pleased with the furnishings and the bathroom. Best shower we've had in PA so far! The only complaint was that our AC knocked out and we had to open windows during the night, which was quite noisy. We didn't sleep well. If that hadn't happened, it's a great value!

Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
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25 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
Date | Rating
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English first
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013 via mobile

My wife and I stayed at the Amador Familiar on two different occasions while visiting Panama City. Both times at the Amador Familiar we booked a private room with air conditioning, private bath and comfortable bed. This hostel is in a safe residential neighborhood and the staff is extremely friendly and helpful. Initially, we thought the location was a little out of the way, but once we understood the local bus system we were able to explore Panama City and the surrounding area with ease. In addition, riding the local buses was fun and a much cheaper alternative to taxis. The brightly painted "school buses" run pass the hostel and charge 30 cents for a five to six minute ride to Albrook mall and main bus terminal. From Albrook you can take a metro bus to any where in the city or catch a long distance bus. The hostel is kept very clean and neat and the morning breakfast which is a step above the normal hostel fare is prepared and served by a cheerful staff member. The kitchen area is large and provides a good place for preparing your own meals. The hostel offers luggage storage, laundry service and a strong WiFi connection. In short, our stay at the Amador Familiar was very pleasant and we would look forward to a return visit.

Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 23, 2012

We stayed at this hostal on and off over the course of 2 weeks while we explored Panama with my parents. Both my husband and I and my parents stayed here and were very happy with the location, the staff, the rooms and the cooking facility.

A note on the location-it is really great if you prefer to be outside of the chaos of the city (which we did). Hostal Amador is located in a residential area about a 5 min. drive or 20 min. walk from the Amador Causeway. It's VERY close (about a 10 min. taxi) to the Albrook Terminal where you can catch a bus to anywhere in Panama. Casco Viejo is a quick taxi ride as well and should cost no more than $4-5 for 4 people. The traffic in Panama is hectic right now because they're building a new skytrain so it's nice to be in a place that has easy access in and out of the city and to the other areas without always getting caught in the thick of things.

I noticed that there are some mediocre reviews for this hostal and I wonder if maybe there is new management because the staff were great for us. When we asked they helped us with transportation and there was usually someone in the kitchen making eggs in the morning for breakfast and doing up the dishes. A few of the staff members maybe don't go out of their way to interact with you but they certainly are still nice and if you ask they'll help you out.

This is an old canal house so it's neat to stay here because it has some character. The rooms are comfortable and have their own bathroom and air con. There is also a male and separate female dorm for single travelers who want to save a little.

Probably a few mattresses need to be replaced and the bathrooms could use a spruce up soon but if you consider value for money, for $35/room for a double right in Panama City this is a great deal. It's clean, spacious and the beds are all made with cute colorful quilts so you don't feel like you're in a square box of a room with no life like in some budget accommodations. You can also save a little by cooking your own food in their outdoor kitchen (which we really enjoyed).

Room Tip: Try to get a room on the top level because this is an old house so the floors are a bit creaky.
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  • Stayed June 2012, 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
    • 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.
toronto
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2011

overall: mediocre - only consider if you have a car and just need a place to crash. horrible service (needs new mgmt). cheap $35 for a double with a/c, parking, and breakfast.

cons
-if you don't have a car, there is no point staying here. you are just about as far as you can be from the city and taxis would be expensive.
-service was the worst of any we stayed at in panama. the female attendant was very annoyed that we had arrived at 6pm and interrupted her internet browsing.
-breakfast is cornflakes, horrible coffee, and tang in a dirty outside kitchen.
-maintenance of the rooms/building is nil. doors don't close, shower stall broken, our door key broken upon trying to enter our room.
-you need to climb a windowsill to change the a/c settings (not kidding)
-rooms have one lightbulb (sconce pointing up). very dark and difficult to read after dark.

pros
-a/c and internet worked. hot shower worked (these are not givens in panama)
-parking was plentiful.
-access from the puente das americas was so easy - great if you're coming from the west

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Panama City, Panama
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2011

Basic cheap hotel. Store within walking distance. Safe enough neighborhood. Priced right. Beds are hard.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Flagstaff, Arizona
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2011

I would not suggest staying at this hostel if you are a tourist. Upon checking in they told us that their hostel does not have A/C, which was listed as an amenity on their website (very hot and humid in Panama City). We were placed in a room on the fourth floor with other tourists, all without A/C. At night we had to leave the windows open to attempt to sleep but the mosquitos ate us alive, even with Deet bug spray. The third and second floor had A/C units sticking out their walls. It appeared that on the second and third floors were locals, who had A/C. So 1) they lied about A/C, 2) Our room was very dirty. The floor felt like it had been greased with olive oil. I put on socks to try to resolve the problem but the "oil" just soaked through my socks. The most disgusting part was a used condom in our shower. Plus the shower handles were missing. Needless to say that after one night of being eaten alive my mosquitos and sweating all night, we chose to leave the hotel and stay in another place. We ended up at another hostel sleeping in bunk beds (yes a married couple) instead of have a private room at this place

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Arlington, Virginia
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2010

Not a single cab driver knew where this place was, that's not a good sign considering it isn't a new hostel. Tip: tell them it's near Zona Viva off Calle Amador. Location-wise, it's not that great. It's kind of away from all the action (save for the Amador Causeway) and like I said, no one knew where it was.

The service was excellent. The people working the front desk were incredibly friendly and helpful.

The place was clean, no frills and the internet access is a plus. The free breakfast is not really a selling point. It was white bread, eggs, frosted flakes and Tang/Sunny D (which they dared call orange juice).

Depending on what you plan to do in Panama City, not sure i would recommend this place. If you only plan to stay on the west side (Casco Viejo, Amador Causeway) then this would be a good option but if you really want to see all of the city, you may be better off staying somewhere in the heart of the city.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Hostal Amador Familiar

Address: Calle Akee - Casa 1519 | Balboa, Panama City, Panama
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 78 Specialty Lodging in Panama City
Also Known As:
Hostal Amador Familiar Panama/Panama City

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