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“Excellent staff, OK property, but would not stay here again” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Crowne Plaza Panama

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Crowne Plaza Panama
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Ave Manuel Espinoza Batista, Panama City 816-2007, Panama   |  
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Ranked #33 of 111 Hotels in Panama City
South Carolina
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Excellent staff, OK property, but would not stay here again”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

I will start by applauding the staff of this property. Every single member of staff I came into contact with was top notch. They are friendly and helpful, and anxious to assist. If I was only rating the staff, they would get five stars. But, overall, I give this property just an average rating.

The property has been renovated recently so cosmetically, all looks good. The hallway on my floor was very wide and well-lit, which is a nice change for a hotel. However, everything from the hallway to the guest room is tiled floor. In theory, this seems like a great way to keep things clean; however, sound travels with all that tile. Guest room doors slam closed at all hours of the night which will rattle even the sound sleepers. It's nearly impossible to close these doors quietly.

The room had a mini fridge, which was nice, but it was largely filled with stuff for sale. There was enough room to squeeze a couple items in though.

The room is equiped with a "green" system that only turns the power on in the room when you insert your room key into a slot near the door. This was great from a "green" perspective, but it was a little annoying to come back in after a long, hot day of sightseeing to a room with stale hot air. Though, the system seemed to recover quickly enough.

Speaking of the air conditioning, this was my biggest complaint about the room. As it turned on and off, it made a loud clunking noise that woke me up throughout the night. Loud AC systems in hotels is one of my pet peeves, and I often just turn it off to avoid the noise. However, that's just not possible in Panama this time of year, or probably any time of year for that matter. It's just too hot! So, I found myself sleeping with a pillow over my head to drown out the noise.

Other noise issue- the church bells. If you read other reviews, you will see this over and over again. It's no joke. They ring to call to church at 6:00 a.m. and to dismiss at 7:00 a.m. Same thing in the evening. We asked for a room not facing the church, but ended up with one facing the church.

Next complaint--no hot water. I tried showering both in morning and evening with no luck. I would turn the water all the way to hot and still only ever have either cold or barely luke warm water. This is another one of my pet peeves with hotels though. I like a hot shower, not luke warm.

The fitness room was disappointing. Equipment did not work properly, and even if you started out OK, the equipment almost always quit working before the workout was complete.

Wifi was expensive and spotty. Sometimes the connection was fine and I was able to Skype with my husband without issue. Other times, I had to connect and re-connect many times which made Skype impossible and even checking email annoying.

Breakfast was good in the restaurant. I was a big fan of the coffee, something that I don't normally drink. I also had dinner one night and went with a tropical seabass that was delicious.

Location was OK for me, but it depends where you want to be closest too. So before you pick any hotel in Panama City, figure out where you want to visit and find a good hotel closest to those areas. Transportation is a nightmare in Panama City.

Lastly, I will just mention that the transportation arrangements made through the hotel were excellent. Drivers were courteous and safe. You will pay 3-5 times more than what you would pay a yellow cab off the street, but if you are even a little antsy with crazy drivers, pay the money for the VIP transportation. Trust me! People drive like maniacs in Panama City!

Room Tip: Don't get a room that faces the church unless you want to get wakened at 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Marielos O, Manager at Crowne Plaza Panama, responded to this review, November 12, 2012
Dear MeetingPlanner_01
We thank you for taking the time to write about your experience during your recent stay at our hotel. Our mail goal is to offer and excellent service, therefore,your comments are extremely valuable to us as they will help us improve certain aspects mentioned in your review. We would be most gladly to welcome you back in a future visit to Panama to make of your stay with us a most enjoyable experience.
Sincerely,
Marielos de Obaldia
Operations Manager
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207 reviews from our community

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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 (25)
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AmericanCR
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

While in Panama City, we stayed at the Crowne Plaza. First of all, it is too far from the waterfront. Secondly, it does not offer Wifi for free. I paid $150 a night and then they charged me $15 per day for Wifi and it was only for one device. I tried to connect with my tablet after connecting with my laptop but couldn't. I called the front desk and they said "well you have to pay another $15 per day for a second device." The pool is very small. The ice machine had no ice most of the time. Finally, the church nearby has very loud bells which wake you up every morning. Overall, I would not recommend and will not return.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marielos O, Manager at Crowne Plaza Panama, responded to this review, October 30, 2012
Dear American CR
Thank you for your valuable comments about your recent stay at our hotel. We regret we did not meet your expectations. Even though we are not ocean front, we cordially invite you to stay during your next visit to Panama as we are conveniently located in the shopping and commercial area.
Thank you again for your comments, they help us take corrective measures in areas you mentioned that we may improve.
Sincerely,
Marielos de Obaldia
Operations Manager
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Miami, Florida
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2012

On one side, some of the rooms are good (the suites), some of the rooms are just too lousy. The service is... barebones, except the people at the restaurant. Why did I still consider this a 3-star? Because of the location, because it is cheap and because I have a soft heart.

Would I consider to return? Only if I have no other option. They need to change the installations, and the attitude.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Marielos O, Manager at Crowne Plaza Panama, responded to this review, August 27, 2012
Dear Borja T
Thank you for taking the time to let us know your valuable comments. The feedback we receive from our guests enables us to target problem areas and take the necessary actions to ensure similar situations can be avoided in the future since it is our goal to consistently provide superior service and accommodations . We are in the process of renovation and we cordially invite you to stay with us during your next trip to Panama so we can make of your stay a most enjoyable experience.
Sincerely,
Marielos de Obaldia
Operations Manager
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Grand Cayman
Top Contributor
181 reviews 181 reviews
58 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

This hotel have great staff, a great location, large rooms. Good price. The breakfast is a must for sure. At night you have many restaurant near by no need to drive. Lots of stores with in a block and supermarket.

Room Tip: Top floors a must, closer to the elevator, facing east so the trafic doesn't disturbe you.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
Marielos O, Manager at Crowne Plaza Panama, responded to this review, August 14, 2012
Dear wrp57
Thank you for your valuable comments. It was a pleasure having you staying at our hotel. We do look forward to welcoming you back in the future.
Cordially
Marielos de Obaldia
Operations Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2012

I've stayed in two other hotels owned by the same company in Panama (Berns) and they were both very nice. But, this room I stayed in at the Crowne Plaza is comparable to economy-style accommodations. They say online that the beds have pillowtops, but I couldn't see nor feel any pillow. If you don't need that, the bed would probably be fine. The internet seemed to be very stable, which is a positive.

I just found the room to be very dated, despite being clean. They've clearly tried to update some things in the room, like some of the lamps. But, other lamps are old ones. The furniture and bathroom counter are old too. Also, I found a few things very odd for a business hotel: 1) there was no phone at the desk, 2) they had bathroom scales, but no alarm clock and 3) there was no stand for the suitcase.

Also, I was halfway taking a nap one day and forgot to double-lock the door (but I wasn't asleep). Suddenly, without knocking, room service entered despite the fact that I hadn't ordered anything. I've never in my life had room service enter without knocking.

I have also stayed at the Doubletree just up the street and would definitely recommend it over this. It's newer, much nicer, and cheaper.

Overall, this isn't a terrible place...it's clean and the service is acceptable, but there are better options in the same price range.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Johannesburg
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2012

Stayed at this hotel on May 8th while on business trip, and unfortunately I have to say that the hotel doesn't have the quality that a business traveler is expecting. The first day I had lunch at the lobby bar/restaurant and the taste was terrible (seems that they fried the chips on the same oil that they used for the fish fingers) and very slow, although I was the only guest on that place at that time (Now I'm wondering why I didn't realize why I was alone). Rooms smell bad, and the windows are very old (I almost can't open the sliding door). Internet is charged separately, and a quite expensive rate for Panama, where internet is very cheap. Breakfast is less than average and they don't allow you to take a table without identification, and later they take more than 10 minutes to bring the bill, additionally they serve drinks on the same restaurant while others are having breakfast (in this case a group of Russians drinking Vodka at 8 a.m. - Maybe they start the night after).
During the check-out I provided feedback about the hotel, and two hours later I got an email from the manager explaining that they were planning to correct the issues; however I didn't found nothing that is beyond to normal sense, and I don't how they didn’t know about such an obvious weaknesses.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
, Guest Relations Manager at Crowne Plaza Panama, responded to this review, July 6, 2012
Dear Juan2011,

I appreciate your feedback regarding our property. I apologize that you were not fully satisfied with the condition of your room as well as the service that you received during your stay. We assure you that all feedback we receive is taken very seriously by our hotel staff and management team. We all hope to have an opportunity to serve you again.

Again, thank you for your review.

Sincerely,

Karen C
Case Manager
IHGCare
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Kapaa
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 29, 2012

They just shrugged their shoulders when I told them they did not clean our rooms by 4 pm after our tour of the Panama Canal but did offer to send towels. Wow, that's service! That same night we had dinner in the hotel restaurant and they wanted to know our room numbers BEFORE we ordered. I get back to my room and everything is ransacked. Drawers open, clothes thrown about, closet trashed. Do not, I repeat don not check into this hotel. I was in Panama when Noriega was in power 38 years ago but I guess some things don't change. I have stayed in CP hotels in Australia many times but will reconsider my choices in where to spend my money.

Room Tip: The noise from the church bells every hour, the dated rooms and the music blaring outside is not avo...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Cindy V, Guest Relations Manager at Crowne Plaza Panama, responded to this review, May 1, 2012
Please accept our apologize for the embarrassing situation happened during the visit to our hotel, it really has been an unusual case and we have taken appropriate matters to prevent recurrence again. Once again apologies.

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 Crowne Plaza Panama

Address: Ave Manuel Espinoza Batista, Panama City 816-2007, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #33 of 111 Hotels in Panama City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Crowne Plaza Panama 3.5*
Number of rooms: 149
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
As you walk into the marble-floored lobby with grand columns and modern furnishings, you'll be greeted by the warm, welcoming staff of our Crowne Plaza(R) Panama hotel. And, if you're seeking hotels near the Panama Canal or near the banking area, we're just minutes from both destinations. Ideal for corporate travelers, our accommodations include a Business Center with personal computers and copy, print and fax capabilities. We have five banquet rooms, which can host parties of 200, and perks like Daily Meeting Debriefs by a dedicated Crowne Meetings Director, making us "The Place to Meet" in Panama City, Panama. When our hotel's guests choose to stay with us, they are only a few miles from first-class restaurants, nice casinos and great shopping. Pick up souvenirs from the Multiplaza Shopping Center and Albrook Mall, walk down to Casco Viejo, the historic sector of the city, or catch a performance at the National Theater. In addition, guests need travel only two miles from our hotel's location to reach the Panama Canal. After a long day of touring Panama City, Panama, our hotel's facilities can help you relax. Enjoy a traditional dish at our on-site restaurant, La Galeria, then grab a nightcap at the Memories Sports Bar & Lounge. With a Fitness Center, outdoor pool and the Crowne Plaza Sleep Advantage(R) Program, we have everything you need to stay comfortable. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Crowne Plaza Panama Hotel Panama City
Crowne Plaza Panama City
Panama City Crowne Plaza
Crowne Plaza Panama Panama City

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