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“Nice hotel but suffered from bed bugs” 2 of 5 stars
Review of InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort and Spa

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InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort and Spa
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   Road to Veracruz km 7 | Arraijan District, Panama City, Panama   |  
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Ranked #32 of 112 Hotels in Panama City
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Nice hotel but suffered from bed bugs”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

I stayed at the Playa Bonito for 4 nights. It was located in a more secluded area in Panama City. Service was a hit/miss. The Lighthouse had the better service out of the three restaurants on premise. Front desk was average in terms of service. Room seemed fine...until I was bit by bed bugs. This is the reason for the 1 rating on cleanliness. I reported this to the front desk who seemed very nonchalant about it, suggesting they will fumigate the room...but what about our stuff in there?!! This was not acceptable for me so I asked to speak to a manager and was directed to Victor. He was very helpful and got me switched to a different room and followed up with me once in the new room to ensure everything was ok. I think he was one of the few staff on site who seemed to be attentive and helpful.

Restaurant also had a tendency to run out of items on the menu. I ordered an empanada from the menu and was told they were out. They were completely out of dessert at the Lighthouse one night as well. This happened every day with one of my friends during our stay and to me one day. Just seems strange that they are regularly out of things on a pretty small a la carte menu.

Finally I had a massage at the Sensory Spa onsite. It was going well until I fell asleep - that's when the masseuse started to take a break from massaging me, only to start again when I awoke. And during a massage Marcia? popped a pimple on my neck without my consent. How gross is that - she used her oily hands to pick a pimple...shouldn't they know better? This is a Clarins spa! The area is red now which matches all the red marks on my leg from the bed bugs.

It's not a bad hotel but definitely has some opportunities for improvement.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
IPB Guest R, Guest Relations Manager at InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort and Spa, responded to this review, August 19, 2013
Dear Hoshi13,
We appreciate your taking the time for your review and bring this matter to our attention. We have just received your feedback regarding your stay. We are very sorry we did not have the opportunity to speak to you before you checked out so actions could have been taking at the moment, fortunately Victor could help you with room change. We appreciate you taking the time and effort to contact us since guest´s comments are incredibly important to us. I will share your feedback with my colleagues and follow up on your comments to make the necessary corrections so this situations are not going to happen once again.
We do apologize for the inconveniences you experienced.
Kind regards,
VQ
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917 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (178)
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New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

We traveled to Playa Bonita in April and we had such a great experience we brought our children back this time. We arrived a few days ago and were upgraded to a suite. The view is great, the rooms are great. The food is very good. There is a sushi bar in the lounge area. We selected the club package which includes a continental breakfast and drinks and snacks in the evening. The staff have been great and are very attentive. Sanchez and Victor provide excellent service just as they did on our last visit. The rooms are clean and we plan to return again! A great get away for both couples and families!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IPB Guest R, Guest Relations Manager at InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort and Spa, responded to this review, August 15, 2013
Dear NewyorkersInLondon,
We really appreciate the excellent comments you posted about your last stay with us.
We are so glad to know that you could enjoy our Vip Club Lounge, very good food and confortable Suite with your children.
Victor and Sancheliano are very friendly and they use to provide good moments to our guests at the bar area. We will let them know your good comments.
Thank you for visiting us once again and for taking the time to letting us know that we fulfill your expectations,
We will be looking forward to seeing you again,
Kind regards,
VQ
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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013 via mobile

This resort is perfect. There's an adults only pool area, delicious food, beachfront. Amazing resort. We had traveled from Nicaragua through Costa Rica and panama. Mostly we had backpacked and we definitely needed a little - treat yo self time. They couldn't find our reservation & upgraded us to a honeymoon room. Flower petals & champagne. The stay was so romantic. Loved it!

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
IPB Guest R, Guest Relations Manager at InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort and Spa, responded to this review, August 13, 2013
Dear Mexxooxx,
Thanks for taking the time to letting us know your comments about your recent stay with us.
We are so glad to know that we fulfill your expectations and that you had a romantic experience and could enjoy our relax pool, delicious food, and amazing ocean view.
We will be looking forward to seeing you again,
Kind regards,
VQ
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Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2013

Simply beautiful!!! Recently stayed in July, 2013, there were a total of 45 of us in the group--the hotel was very accommodating and friendly!!! BIG THANK YOU to our Group Coordinator Milena Escala who was absolutely wonderful and another BIG THANK YOU to Jorge Calderon the Director of Operations. We had the best time ever and will absolutely revisit!!

VISITORS should you ever want to arrange for personal tours or transport (as Gamboa Tours at the resort is extremely expensive), feel free to contact Delicia in the United States at (917) 207-0430--she will arrange for your travels and have the drivers available for pick up and drop off at the resort (all licensed and insured)--all at a very reasonable cost, no group is too large or too small. During my stay, my family and I were able to visit Albrook Mall, Miraflores Locks, Amador Causeway, Casco Viejo to include arranging for a scrumptious lunch at Pencas Restaurant and having dinner and a show at Las Tinajas Restaurant (a must see).

Overall, my stay and vacation was an A++. Will see you again Playa Bonita!!!

Room Tip: Try to arrange for a room closer to the elevator--walks to your room can be very far depending on wh...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IPB Guest R, Front Office Manager at InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort and Spa, responded to this review, August 3, 2013
Dear TashaB.,
Thank you so much for giving us a feedback about your stay. We are all very happy to know that you had a great experience and we are looking forward to seeing again! Warm Regards from Panama, PV.
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Otis
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

The grounds are awesome virtually bug free. Great Spa facilities from head to toe. Exercise room is free & has all modern equipment. Near Panama City but far enough away to see ships lined up 24/7 to enter the locks f the Panama Canal. Staff is friendly, courteous and very responsive & if you don't speak any Spanish, it's still OK. Rooms are spacious & clean. Four pools mean its never crowed and the Pacific Ocean is only 10 paces away. Tours everywhere are available via the Concierge. Eating in any of the three restaurants is a delight with awesome presentations. Food is outstanding and they have the freshest variety of fruit available. I definitely look forward to returning.

Room Tip: Higher floors have better views, of course!
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  • Stayed July 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
IPB Guest R, Guest Relations Manager at InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort and Spa, responded to this review, August 1, 2013
Dear 4mdnite,
Thank you for your good comments. We are so glad to know that you enjoy your stay with us and that our food service, pools, friendly staff and beautiful view fulfill your expectations.
We are always working to make your stay memorable.
We´ll be looking forward to serving you again.
Kind regards,
VQ
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Jerusalem, Israel
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

This hotel is beautiful, quiet and relaxing. The rooms are comfy, the pool is lovely, the food is great. If you're looking for a Panama City hotel which is a bit more of a holiday than a city stay, this is a great choice. If you're looking for a quick escape from the City, it is also fantastic as it's just a 20 minute drive. The standard is far superior than what you will find in Fallaron or Playa Blanca 2 hours away, quieter and more exclusive. However, if you're expecting an all inclusive resort like those in Cancun or Varadero, this is not that type of place. The beach is not great and the all inclusive isn't comparable to more "resorty" hotels. The entertainment is more or less non-existent and there are no a la carte choices for all inclusive.
If you do opt for the all inclusive option, watch out a few things: Lunch is served on the day of arrival only even though check in is at 3pm. You will have your band unceremoniously removed at 12pm on the day you leave even if you didn't get 3 meals.
One excellent point is that all rooms have sea views.
Finally, having been to both, the Westin next door is slightly better.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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.
IPB Guest R, Front Office Manager at InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort and Spa, responded to this review, July 29, 2013
Dear KerenV,
Thank you so much for taking the time to write your review. Your opinion is very important to us and it helps us to improve our services and motivate our staff! Looking forward to seeing you again! Warm Regards from Panama, PV.
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Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

As it tends to be with Intercontinental properties, this place is just beautiful. Gorgeous lobby, luxurious rooms, sparkly and pretty all over. Lovely pool, nice beach for sunsets.

There's just one big drawback and that's location. Playa Bonita is about 25 minutes without traffic, an hour with, outside of Panama City. And Panama City is where everything is and I mean EVERYTHING. There is nothing out by the resort expect the resort itself and when not full, it can be rather desolate. Not all restaurants are open each night which I found less than appealing - so many nice sounding places listed, not all open during your stay so your steered into whatever they have decided to serve that night. They brought in entertainment for the lounge bar which helped make the place seem a little more happening.

Given that the beaches aren't the most spectacular near Panama City, and along the route where ships line up in long lines, dumping who only knows what, I would save your beach stay for the Caribbean side and stay in the city proper to be close to restaurants, Casco Viejo and the nightlife.

Room Tip: Ocean side is the only way to go, higher up the better the view.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IPB Guest R, Guest Relations Manager at InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort and Spa, responded to this review, July 24, 2013
Dear Erin O,
We appreciate you are taking the time for written this review and we are glad to know that you took a good impretion of our Lobby, rooms and view.
We apologize for don't fill your expectations about our location and restaurant services. We are going to make the necessary corrections to provide a better service.
Best regards,
VQ
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 InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort and Spa

Address: Road to Veracruz km 7 | Arraijan District, Panama City, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#12 Romantic Hotel in Panama City
#13 Spa Hotel in Panama City
#20 Luxury Hotel in Panama City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort and Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 303
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Everything you need is here at this luxury hotel in Playa Bonita Panama, from golden sands to jungle walkways, infinity pools to 10,000 square metres of tranquil spa. Feel transported in tropical resort seclusion just minutes from Panama City and the wonders of the Panama Canal. Explore the colonial and shopping districts, Punta Bruja Nature Reserve or simply watch the ocean from spacious suites or the Lighthouse restaurant at this luxury resort hotel in Panama. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Intercontinental Playa Bonita Hotel Panama City
Intercontinental Panama City
InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort And Spa Panama/Panama City
Playa Bonita Panama

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