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“Good for a weekend” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Wyndham Grand Playa Blanca

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Wyndham Grand Playa Blanca
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Km 118 Panamerican Highway | Rio Hato, PA, Farallon, Panama (Formerly Royalton Panama Luxury Resort)   |  
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Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Farallon
Central America
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Good for a weekend”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

First, to be fair with the hotel administration, we should say it's been a "Wyndham" for the last 3 months. Before, it was a Royalton during 2 years and before that (which probably was their prime) it was a Nikki Beach property. But a sign that says " WYNDHAM " don't take three months to make.
No valet parking, no shade parking. Three golf karts blocking the entrance to the hotel. Don't they know that accesibility is second only to location? This hotel is in the "Dry Arch" and when it doesn't rain, it gets very hot.
I suggest you make your reservations thru the Wyndham site, trust me. We reserved a "Suite A". When we got to the hotel, the girl at reception (with very good manners and a smile on her face) was going to give me a "de luxe" room. Fortunately I had a print out of my confirmed reservation with the Wyndham site. I had to wait but I got my suite. Very atractive, everything operational, probably from the Nikki Beach times.
The beach facilities look Nikki Beach; still, they need an uplift, I suppose the hotel will do it in the future. We had a good time. The hotel was working easily on 10% occupancy. We like that.
This is an all inclusive operation. It has 4 restaurants. One, a self serve restaurant (and the only one) for breakfast, but in order to get to the restaurant you have to walk thru the gardens and swimming pools, this is Panama, it rains nine months a year, there is no way you can get your breakfast in a rainy day if you don't get wet first, some rooms have an umbrella, others don't, ours had a "Royalton" umbrella, it helped buy we got wet anyway.
Two, was something similar to a gourmet restaurant (the portions were defenitly gourmet) it's called "Senses", the restaurant looked run down, the people working the facility were ineficient (with a smile on their faces) and I was sorry that I choose this restaurant instead one of the others. We ask for a glass of wine, and had to wait 15 minutes to get it (there were only six parties in the restaurant!!). Number three is in the lobby and we didn't try it. Four was the best, it's by the swimming pool and after 7pm becomes an Italian restaurant. Unfortunately, and Italian restaurant, without (at least) Parmesan cheese ? It's strange way to run a business.
Maid service was prompt and courteous, but we had to request it. Why ?
This is the fourth Hotel in Playa Blanca, that I have visited, the rooms, beach, swimming pool, bar, was very good. The personnel attitude very positive and cordial. The restaurants need help. They need to solve their problems and not expect that guests, just accept it and feel happy about it.
It's fabulous to have personnel with a smile and a desire to help, but lacking the tools to achieve superior service.
MEDTRAV point of view.

Room Tip: Make your reservations thru the Wyndham Site.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
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448 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (99)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Winnipeg, Canada
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

Don't know where to start with this one. There were some good time and some "Why did we come here!" times. First, the water was not blue it was brown, the website stated it was a first class hotel and it wasn't, the beach had a lot of debris (word, garbage etc), the four restaurants were okay, there were no activities i.e. website stated there is yoga, aquasize, volleyball etc (did not exist), we had WiiFii is certain areas of our room.

When we arrived, I did not know where we were. There was no sign on the front saying "Wyndham." I inquired about the lack of signage and was told the hotel switch from Royalton to Wyndham in June 2012. We asked if there were any guest in to resort, as we saw no one and were told there were about 20 people staying at the property. We went to Sense (restaurant upstairs) for dinner. The service was horrible, the first night we waited for 15 minutes to get water after they seated us. There were only 3 other tables being occupied. The second time we went; we waited again for water once seated, we were told one person could not order 2 appetizers, we had to continually ask for water & wine refills (which did not come). Customer Service does not appear to be a priority.

We found it difficult to communicate as the majority of the hotel staff don't speak English. I stayed at the Marriott Panama City and Trump International Panama City, most of the staff spoke English and it was easy to communicate our needs. At the Wyndham Playa Blanca it was mainly the front reception/check in staff. We did have two amazing front reception staff members who assisted us with everything and translated for us when needed. They went the extra mile to get my sister fresh coconut (that is what she wanted) and get me a birthday cake.

There is lots of work being done on the property i.e. stage being built for entertainment, planting more palm trees, renovating rooms/suites etc to bring this resort to the Wyndham standard. Personally I would wait until then before booking. Remember you are paying the Wyndham standard and you might not getting it.

Room Tip: Get a room with a ocean or pool view (they have balconies).
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
North Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
530 reviews 530 reviews
172 hotel reviews
Reviews in 173 cities Reviews in 173 cities
363 helpful votes 363 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2012

It is not really fair to comment on the Royalton Panama Resort  as it is morphing into a Grand Wyndom Playa Blaca Resort and Spa.

During the time I visited (beginning of August, 2012) all Royalton signs were down and there was no indication of a hotel name on the key cards or laundry bag, nor even a sign out front. The hotel seemed very anonymous.

But what a wonderful property -- I loved every minute of being here.   I had room 216 which was a suite (really an apartment).  The bed was comfortable, the balcony was immense and the apartment nicely furnished. The staff was accommodating and friendly. It was a great stay.

The resort is an all-inclusive and I enjoyed the lavish buffet breakfasts and eating dinner at the restaurant by the pool.  There was live music, colored lights in the pool and even a herd of horses on the beach to add to the ambience.

The main pool area is lovely (there are other pools) - there are ample sunchairs and daybeds as well as comfortable lounge seating. Hot and cold snacks (could subsitute for meals) are served poolside and of course, there is a pool bar. There are also lots of lounge chairs available on the beach and there are two lifeguards. I found the undertow at the beach a bit strong - so be forewarned. The beach is long, clean and very walkable. An enjoyable experience.

I stayed two nights and would love to return for a longer beach holiday.

Room Tip: I enjoyed having a suite (really an apartment). I think the higher floors might be quieter as ther...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

arrived with inlaws and my family of four on june 18th. Stayed in the penthouse suite. Most in the group were fluent in spanish except me and the children. Before I go into further detail, I'd like to let the readers know that I've been to a hand ful of cheesy all inclusives in the mexican riviera of which the robinson club near tulum was not too bad. Also visited the gala in Hualtuco Mexico. Aside from that we've mainly stayed in premium hotels Mostly Hyatt in Kauai, Curacao. Also Like to Paradise Island in Bahamas. Be it that some of these places are a little pricey. You get what you pay for in most cases. I digress. Just wanted to let the readers know a little of my traveling back ground in order to give an objective review. The Royalton in appearance looks very run down. It's a timeshare pitch to south americans and native panamanians. Service is decent considering the limited amount of practically non english speaking employees. The beach is brown and the water visibility is nearly zero in the ocean and the pool. Been to guanacaste in Costa Rica (all inclusive) and water seemed to always shut down around sleeping time in the rooms just like royalton. Nothing to do on the nature scene.. maybe night life is good in Panama City..but not my cup of tea. No wildlife what so ever compared to costa Rica (been twice). On drive to hotel, taxi driver talked about how delicious iguana ad armadillo taste. NO animals around hotel, all eaten. If you looking for wildlife go to costa rica, they have a national consensus on preserving wildlife. all the streets were littered with trash except the roads headed into the mountains. Liptosperosis is rampant during heavy rainfalls and they won't tell you that. The zoo in the mountain was the highlight. The hot springs is a couple of warm shared 5x6 pool. Nothing to do there for 5 nights so I drank and ate. Liquor was pretty good. Johnny walker black and jack daniels included. Other premiums needed pay more. Food was very good too but menu was very limited. Nutshell.. Looking for nature and safe fun for family, don't go. Looking for mediocre food, dirty rooms, nonenglish speakers, pretty good service than go. And by the way don't be foolish and book panama canal or canopy tour. There are only two monkeys on monkey island in the natural preserve and on 5 ft crocodile. Go to Costa Rica if your looking for nature or another part of Panama. Don't believe the other good reviews if your used to premium hotels. PLS

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver WA USA
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2012

We stayed at the Royalton Luxary Resort as part of our Caravan Panama Canal Cruise, Rainforests & Beaches tour. This was a very spacious resprt with lots of amenities. The pool and pool bar were great. The resort had three restuareants and they were all very good. The Caravan tour was really great. This was a land tour of Panama vs a big cruise liner. We did spend 1/2 day cruising the Canal on a small boat.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
    • 4 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.
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2012

My husband took me to the Royalton for my birthday and we both throughly enjoyed our stay. We stayed in the one bedroom suite which was so beautifull it had a fully fitted kitchen, living room area witha large flat screen tv. The bedroom was large and my husband and I both agreed that the bed was so comfortable. The bath room suite was also a good size and the private balcony was also a good size overlooking the pool/ocean.

We found the staff very helpfully and friendly, we do not speak spanish and this was not a problem for us. The Receptionist that checked us in was so helpful and he would always check that everything was okay and if we needed anything. We also met a lovely man named 'M' who worked at the receptionist bar he was very friendly and we enjoyed talking to him and he made the best Pina Colada's.

We ate at all three resturants which are Senses, Italian and the Japenese, they also have a breakfast and lunch buffet resturant. My favourite was Senses but I also enjoyed sushi from the Japenese resturant. The menus are limited and could do with offering a little bit more of variety. The Breakfast and lunch buffets are very good, but it would be nice if the luch buffet had ice cream available.

The poolside food is good although most times the chips were luke warm as they are cooked and left on a heated burner for a long while, I think they should make them fresh every 15 minutes so they are piping hot like the burgers.

The swmimming pool is a good size with a swim-up bar and there are plenty of chairs available as the resort was not packed at all during our stay which was great for us as we did not have to queque for anything. We did not go into the sea as it looked a little rough so just walked along the beach which was nice.

We went to Penome the local shopping area by bus and that was a nice experience, did not buy much as it is really for the locals and not tourists.

Overall a great relaxing holiday, if you are looking for nightlife and adventure then I would suggest you stay in Panama City as this area is very quiet.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New york
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2012

First let me state that I went to the resort with "high expectations" after staying the prior year at the Bristol Buenaventura (which exceeded my expectations). We booked this hotel at least six months in advance and it was not an easy undetaking. We contacted the resort in Panama directly, emailed vouchers and credit card information. We (3 couples) were told we would have a view of the ocean, etc., etc. When we arrived we were taken to rooms overlooking construction. The first room had backed up sewage. I believe it was Building 3 or 4. We spent a considerable amount of time requesting the type of room we payed for. We eventually moved to Bldg 7 and 9. One of the couples upgraded to the 1BR suite overlooking pool, which was by far a much better room. The staff for the most part was accommodating (with the exception of the front desk). The manager at the restaurant near the pool was exceptional. This resort is Canadian owned and appears to cater mostly to Canadians. This resort has potential, but they have to do something with the rooms facing unsightly grounds (at the very least, the rates in that area should be highly discounted). Secondly, they have to work on customer service at the front desk. Not willing to accommodate unhappy customers. The food was good, drinks okay (depending on the color of your all inclusive bracelet). IMHO -- Until they get it right -- there are better options.

Room Tip: Go for the 1 BR suite in Bldg 9.
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wyndham Grand Playa Blanca

Address: Km 118 Panamerican Highway | Rio Hato, PA, Farallon, Panama (Formerly Royalton Panama Luxury Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Cocle Province > Farallon
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Farallon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Wyndham Grand Playa Blanca 4*
Number of rooms: 230
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
From the moment you step into the spacious and elegant lobby of the Royalton Panama Beach Resort, the simplistic, modern design of the furnishings, combined with the extensive use of beautiful wood accents, sets a tone of understated excellence for your stay. The resort welcomes you and immediately begins to restore and enrich your senses. All five senses will respond to the beauty and serenity. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royalton Panama Luxury Hotel Farallon
Wyndham Grand Playa Blanca Panama/Farallon

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