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“Average everything” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Playa Blanca Hotel & Resort

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Playa Blanca Hotel & Resort
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   PO Box 8437 Zone 7, Farallon, Rio Hato 8437, Panama   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Farallon
Rome, Italy
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Average everything”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2013

We stayed with a group of friends for 5 nights for Christmas in two standard rooms.
The provide both stays with lodging and daily passes, so some days the resort was totally full (weekends, holidays) and some days almost empty (weekdays). The daily passes guests are quite noisy and not vey polite.
The room decor was really basic, lack some maintenance (wall painture old, humidity smell, old bath towels). Very basic and small drawers and closets. The main problem was the WC that didn't stopped charging water. They tried to fix it, but we passed 2 nights with this quite annoying noise that really disturbed our sleep. They came to fix it every time we called, but seemed unable to solve the problem permanently. Expect a limited choice of international tv channels (no CNN, no Fox, no Europen TV).
Wifi as an extra at 6 US$ per day and mostly works only in the recepcion hall area. No business center, so bring your own printer if you need to work during your stay.
The food is totally caribbean style, abundant but of medium/low quality, quite greasy. Most in our groups had stomach problems during the stay. The morning/afternoon open snack is limited to a disgusting frozen/heated pizza, chicken nuggets that may resembre the McDonalds ones to gourmet and rare cooked french fries. They seem to aim more to quantity than to quality overall.
The "supposed" and only gourmet restaurant "El Velero" (only by reservation) has beautiful sea views and nice decor, but the menu is a ridicoulous intent to provide Thai/Asian cuisine. Expect to wait 45 minutes for your main course there, even if the restaurant is empty.
The animation is provided by a group od 12 young guys and girls, amusing but with limited resources. The adult show is 9.15 pm to 11.00 pm, previously is all concentrated in kids and families. If you are a honeymoon couple or searching for tranquillity, this is definitely not your place. All day long playing maximum volume salsa and merengue rythms in the pool/bar/restaurant area. Fun for a while, but not if you want to read a book or just sleep after lunch.
The night disco basically plays only latin rythms, so be prepared to have a couple of wekks of lessons prior to your arrival if you want to dance.
The beach is not particularly attractive, white sand but very few maintenance and cleaning, the water is ocean style deep green, not very clear. Jellyfish at times, most times...
Overall, the resort doesn't seem to be aimed to an international public, rather a local one less pretentious and of quite simple tastes.
Honestly, I cannot recommend it and certainly won't get back

Room Tip: Rooms as far as possible from the main pool if you want to sleep or rest...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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930 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (89)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Panama City, Panama, Panama
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2013

Food was awesome. Service in the restaurant was also good. It's a great place for relaxation, not so for partying. The rooms were only acceptable; I see great room for improvement there. But I got a great price for it, since we went there in a huge group; so no complaints there whatsoever.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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.
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2013

So far my husband and I have spent here one night from six which we booked, but we have already regretted about our choice a zillion of times. Hereby I'd like to share our impressions from this very first day of our staying. First of all, the hotel receptionist could not find our booking and offered a town centre room (newly built complex a bit further from the main hotel area) instead of the hotel room which we booked. We had to accept it because we had no choice. The room is nice, however it took me 30 minutes and 3 calls to the reception in order to have finally got regular towels to the room. Hotel is overcrowded due to the weekend time, so that on the first night we didn't get a chance to have an included dinner because of a huge queue to the restaurant (which is the only place where you can have included meal as the hotel is positioned as all-inclusive). Today the breakfast was extremely pure, but the main highlight of the day happened when electricity got down and power generators started working. It lasted for 3 hours, both building were trembling like from earthquake and the noise was terrible. Noone from staff could explain how long more it can take and no apologies were done. By the way, there is only one staff person on duty, who speaks English more or less, so that if you don't know Spanish, it would be quite difficult for you to get anything. And the cherry on the cake was served just now when all of a sudden the door to the room got opened from outside without knocking and for whatever reason a bell boy started requiring to provide him with our booking number. Given the above described implications with non-English speaking staff, I couldn't get why he needed that so desperately. I pray that the rest of our staying will be more pleasant, but this is the first and the last time when we came to Playa Blanca hotel. Never ever and strongly recommend to everyone to consider other options for spending your time on this country's beaches.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 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.
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2013

Don’t know why but our company had an international meeting at Playa Blanca Resort. We had about 15 rooms for two nights. All of us agreed this is a terrible resort. We arrived at the Panama International Airport (Tocumen) at about 5pm and took a van out to the resort. Playa Blanca is about 120 kilometers from Panama City. The highway is pretty good but due to rush hour and a small accident with lots of rubberneckers, it took us over four hours to get to the hotel. The rooms were clean and have a safe deposit box, flat screen tv and hair dryer. My room had a mini bar but it was empty and the fridge did not work. All the buildings have 4 floors and no elevators so, if like me you’re on the third floor, be prepared to walk up and down stairs a lot. The suites are all on the 4th floors of the buildings. If you can, get a room on the first floor, they all have direct access to the pool area. The hotel has two large pools. One they call the activities pool and the other has a more relaxed atmosphere. They do have two “Jacuzzis” but neither has hot (or even warm) water. The worst part of this resort is the food. It’s disgusting. I could not finish any of my meals because of the bad taste of the food. It’s made with very low quality ingredients, maybe even leftovers. For example, I could not recognize the chicken pieces, at least nothing that looked like a drumstick, breast or wing. All the “chicken” pieces had very little meat and a lot of bone. In fact it was mostly bones!! I really have no idea what part of the chicken it was. I don’t know for sure but I’m willing to bet prison food is much better than what they serve at this hotel. For breakfast they did not have any natural juices. The “orange” juice was some sort of chemical fake. The fruits seemed old and over ripe. Trust me, the food is really, really bad. The bar near the pool isn’t good at all. I asked for a lemonade and was served some sort of concentrated chemicals diluted with tap water. I know because I watched as the bartender prepared it filling a jug with this concentrated lemonade mix and then filling it with water from the faucet!!!! None of the rooms had hot water in the showers. Incredible but true, none of the 15 rooms our group had, had any hot water. Not even warm water. We all took cold water showers both days!!!! Also, don’t expect to go to bed early, the shows and music at night can be loudly heard in the rooms. They seem to have shows every single night. Another thing you won't be able to do is surf the web. The internet connection is terrible and you have to pay extra for it. Water activities are not free, you have to pay extra for them. On the positive side, the beach is very beautiful and clean. Avoid this resort, I’m sure there have to be better options ins Panama.

Room Tip: Get a room on the first floor.
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lugano
Level Contributor
122 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 107 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2013

We come here on a last minute booking, being in doubt how to spend a three nights in Panamà in the rainy season. It was first time in a allinclusive resort for my companion and she loved it.
Check in - when we arrived around dinner time by car selfdriving from Tocumen airport - was confused as they could not find the reservation. It took therefore a bit longer than it should but in no moment the staff was unpleasant neither rude.
Eventually we got our room key after explanation of options(near the beach - beware may be noisy for the disco - o nearby the main pool etc all correctly explained). It means they pay attention to guest and are willing to do good.
I am not much the kind for an allincusive and I expected a "cheap" attitude also considering the low price we paid. The surprise was on both sides: restaurants are well managed and food quality super satisfacory, in no moment buffet is abandoned and despite the number of guests everything looks continuously managed and well presented. Rather home style food than neutral international boring stuff. More options with no extra cost at their served fish restaurant on the beach and some Japanes food options. Wine comes at once (a very reasonable Chilean) and the overall service tends to run rather than walk. We were also pleased with other guests: unlikely more "high level" resorts people was educated, talking low, respecting turns and lines (if any, actually almost nothing) and smiling.
Entertainement was tireless. A rainy afternoon become just a fun moment on their theater and at any time food and drinks were available. I do not really need that much but I noticed people enjoying and families finding for every taste.
A barrack on the beach was offering at reasonable cost other options: catamarans, scuba horseback riding and a number of other options.
Nice pools (two large ones within the resort plus an enormous one nearby). The beach so-so and the sea not attractive.The room was simple and not charming, however clean and quite wide. Therefore I like to rate 5 stars this place.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Barrie, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2013

My wife and I travelled there in January and the weather was perfect. The resort was very nice with staff more than attentive enough without being pushy. Food was pretty good but for some reason after the first day there was no bacon for breakfast. Lots of tours available and this was our chance to see one of the oldest cities in the New World. The Panama Canal was wonderful as was the Anton Valley.
The only real negative was the garbage dump a few klicks up the road caught fire. And the smell was atrocious. Depending on who you talked to it was a message being sent to the resorts by a corrupt official or an act of god. In any case it was brutal for a day when the smoke covered the resort.

Room Tip: Go for a room off of the pool. Quiet and very clean. Tip the housecleaning staff. They are the lowes...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlginton
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2013

We have been to this resort numerous times with our three girls and it has been outstanding. The service is great and the staff extremely friendly. Our girls were well looked after and wandered around together. Very safe. Food was excellent, but please try the local fare they cook. Much better than the westernized fare. Room were big and clean.
Will definitely go back.
And do yourself a favor if you go....try to speak a bit of spanish to the staff ;)

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Playa Blanca Hotel & Resort

Address: PO Box 8437 Zone 7, Farallon, Rio Hato 8437, Panama
Location: Panama > Cocle Province > Rio Hato > Farallon
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 4 Hotels in Farallon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Playa Blanca Hotel & Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 219
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Playa Blanca Hotel Farallon
Playa Blanca Hotel And Resort
Hotel Playa Blanca Panama
Playa Blanca Resort Panama
Playa Blanca Panama City
Blanca Panama Playa
Playa Blanca Hotel & Resort Panama/Farallon

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