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“Good Time at the Sheraton” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort

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Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Carretera Interamericana, Km 108, Guias de Anton, Santa Clara 0229-00140, Panama   |  
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Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Santa Clara
Tennesse, USA
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Good Time at the Sheraton”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014

My wife and I stayed at the Sheraton Bijao from Jan. 22 to Jan. 30 - 8 nights. We have been to many islands in the Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico, etc. and were looking for something different to try. We searched AppleVacations.com and found a very reasonable rate for this hotel for an all-inclusive, so thought we would try it.
We read a lot of reviews on TripAdviser that were negative about this hotel but it seems like other places we've been to have had the same kind of reviews that weren't favorable. But, I have to admit we were getting a little worried. It turned out that we had no major issues with the hotel except the noise at night when they have the entertainment shows near the pool which resonates all over in the rooms, etc. We have stayed at much better hotels like Sandals in St. Lucia and Dreams in LaRomana or Hyatt in Grand Cayman, but the Sheraton is a good value.
Info --
1. Four buildings in L shape with number 4 closest to the beach (all suites), then building 3, 2 and 1 (where the lobby is). Hotel is not that big so nothing is far away.
2. Almost 2 hour taxi from the airport to the hotel via expressways that have many curves and hills on them. Apple arranged ground transportation with Gamboa Tours and they were excellent. Wouldn't recommend getting a car.
3. Had emailed Maria Fernandez at the Sheraton and requested a quiet room. She suggested one that overlooks the Bijao condo complex next door so as to not overlook the pool and she sent to the front desk manager. They had us booked on the 5th floor in Bldg. 1 that had a great view but was right above the stage, so we asked to be changed closer to the beach. They gave us a room on the 8th floor in Building 2. It still faced the pool, had a great view, little balcony bigger than most of the rest, but it was still noisy. We ran idream noise on our Iphones a loud as we could to drown out the noise.
4. Has three ala carte restaurants: Mediterranean, Japanese, and steak. We ate dinner at all of them and liked them -- not outstanding, but good. Need to get reservations each day from 8 to 11 near the lobby with Maria. She was very helpful in other things also. They have a large buffet and we could always find something we liked for breakfast or lunch. Also can get pizza in the afternoon and they have the beach restaurant with hamburgers, etc.
5. Has a very nice beach. We walked 2 miles to the east and 2 to the west. Not much on it, very isolated, but that was fine for us. The sand does get very hot, so tough to walk in bare feet.
6. Weather was excellent with low-90's for highs and mid-70's for lows.
7. Tried to go fishing but charter would only take 4 people minimum and no one else signed up.
8. We're both certified divers but didn't dive, only have one shallow dive option.
9. Had to get out early to reserve chairs on beach or at the pool. They could use more tables near the chairs as there is nothing to put your drinks and stuff on.
10. They had a small, portable bar set up on the beach with limited drinks, but that was good.
11. The pool bar gets busy and sometimes had to wait up to 10 minutes to get a drink but no big deal. Could use another bartender during busy times.
12. Room was OK, nothing fancy but for the little time we were in it, it was fine. Overall the place could use some sprucing up and modernizing, but was not horrible.
13. They only give you two bottles of water per day. Seems strange like they want you to drink booze instead of water. And you couldn't get bottled water at the bars.
14. Our last night in Panama we stayed at the Holiday Inn Panama Canal and visited Miraflores Locks on the Canal.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rolando N, General Manager at Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort, responded to this review, March 12, 2014
Dear TutuTennesse_USA

Thank you for having chosen Sheraton Bijao for your recent vacation as well taking time to share your review.

We are delighted that you enjoy your stay at our property and that we could change your worries that you had about us during your stay.. We appreciate all your feedbacks regarding your experience with us, because it really help us to improve our quality service.

We look forward to host you again..!

Kind Regards,
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819 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
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (121)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

A group of us just returned from the Sheraton Bijao Beach resort, we stayed for 2 weeks.
THE GOOD- Most of the staff were very pleasant, did their best to try and understand English to address some issues. The rooms were quite nice, beautiful ocean views, spacious but need a little updating. The main areas of the resort, front lobby/bar area and buffet area is kept very clean. Beautiful beaches, you can walk for miles in either direction and feel quite safe doing so. Breads were delicious (not the buns so much). Food selection was not great but could always find something to eat and not have to resort to just fries and chicken nuggets.
THE BAD-weekdays at this resort are good, weekends become very busy when the locals come in from Friday to Sunday. Buffet becomes unreasonably busy and you take your chances of even getting a table and that food items are not cleaned out. The buffet ran out of butter on a couple occasions, bacon was always cleaned out early and the staff tended to wait on them first, and good luck getting into one of the 3 a la carte's.
Buffet food was just okay, a lot of the same things over and over, breakfast was the best only because of the egg/omelette centre. All the rest was Luke warm at best. The Snack Bar by the pool was exactly the same stuff everyday for two weeks!
The pool bar and the lobby bar are understaffed so weekends took awhile to get drinks and no room at the pool bar when the locals were there. A couple of the pool bar staff were not overly friendly and weren't thrilled with doing many specialty drinks.
The bus ride to the resort took 3 hours, no we were not on the bus that broke down. They did make a much needed pit stop for 20 min but traffic was heavy for the first half of the ride. The return ride to the airport was also over two hours, lots of construction in Panama City and they had no intentions of making a washroom stop but was pretty much forced to by me before a very unpleasant incident would have occured, lol.
The rooms facing the ocean are very noisy from the entertainment in front and the walls are pretty thin. Be sure to take ear plugs if you retire to your rooms before 10:00 p.m.
Shopping is pretty much non existent, no beach vendors and the store in the resort is very limited. There was not an adult t-shirt size L to be found. No local taxi's available other than the ones the resort uses and they are extremely expensive. The tours thru the resort are also expensive and only run once in a week.
Shade is not an issue as there is lots thru out the pool and beach areas but more papalas are needed on the beach. There is plenty of room for more and this would prevent people from invading your space if you do manage to get one. We had people move lounge chairs to within inches of ours so we couldn't move at all to get out of the sun. these people were also very inconsiderate with loud voices and non-stop talking (loudly) when clearly people were reading and trying to having a siesta! Please don't expect to get one if you wander down at 9-10:00 in the morning!
They also rent 4-wheelers down at the beach so you have the noise from those going up and down the beach and on a few occasions a little dangerous as they were going too fast amongst the people down by the beach and kids were all around.
Room cleaning was hit and miss. Our shower was cleaned only once each week, the odd extra bathroom goodie left only twice, had to ask for a stained comforter to be changed when it was just a new one put on, no clean towels were left on one occasion, had to go looking for coffee cups several times, and we returned to our room after being down at the beach until 6:45 at night to find our room door had been left ajar by the cleaning staff. Not sure how long it had been that way but luckily we were not missing anything and the Management hopefully dealt with the issue once we let them know.
WON'T GO BACK! travel time to and from is way too long considering the 5 hour flight .
Any of the excursions are anywhere from 45 min to 2 hours away and some I understand not worth the money and disappointing from those who did them. Panama Boat trip was good for the guys but a little over priced for that and was a 10 hour long day. Shopping sucks!!! That little store at the resort could be a gold mine if properly outfitted.
One week at this resort is plenty long enough!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 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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Rolando N, General Manager at Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort, responded to this review, March 12, 2014
Dear Muskokagirl8

First of all, we would like to thank you for choosing The Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort as your place to spend your vacations this year.

We are delighted to know that you have enjoyed most of our services. Although, we apologize for not being able to meet all of your expectations. Rest assure that the bad comments will be taken in consideration in order to provide a better service to our guest.

Thanks again for share your entire experience with us. We hope you could give us again the honor to have you in our Resort in a future.

Kind regards
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Meshoppen, Pennsylvania, United States
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2014

My husband and I wanted to get out of the cold Northeast and chose the Panama Canal as a destination (not the normal choice) and paired it with staying at this all-inclusive resort.
The absolutely only thing that we could say negative about our trip was that the hotel was two hours from the airport -- and there is nothing anyone could have done about that ;-) We even understand that a new airport is in the works in the Santa Clara area - so in future years, travelers may have that option. We chose the Round Trip Transfers of $48 pp and that was very very reasonable!
We understand that hotel just recently changed ownership and since this hotel is now a Sheraton and part of the Starwood SPG alliance that you expect to have higher expectations and we were not disappointed.
We had a "deluxe garden view room" which overlooked the Sheraton front entrance sign (and yes, we could see trees, garden, etc. and the 1' balcony makes you wonder why they have the balcony -- but then when we opened our sliding glass doors and left them open to enjoy the evening air and realized no one could fall out, it made some sense.) Our room was on the "5th" floor -- which really was the 2nd (never did figure that out) -- but were glad it was actually only the 2nd floor when one night we had to walk up the stairs to our room when the elevator wasn't working.
Those above two references (1' balcony, and lack of real garden view) would normally have made my rating diminish -- but -- other than sleeping when are we really going to be in the room? The magnificent grounds, many pools and view -- well, it more than made up it.
The hotel is built on a hillside overlooking the ocean. The pools, some shallow for just kids complete with water slide to another pool, several shallow and lined with lounge chairs in the water, several that are around 4' deep and perfect for enjoying the sun and drinks.
An infinity pool on top overflowed into another shallow area with a gazebo. That level overflowed into another pool, with the water falling over the stone wall, into the next level down and so on.
The bottom pool had a swim up bar -- with the BEST bartenders we've found at swim up bars. No waiting -- and very attentive.
What we didn't find -- and I hope this will improve for future guests - is that there was absolutely no bar / drink service if you weren't at the bar. No one came around to the chairs (even for those willing to tip) to offer a drink or any service.This is one area that could improve -- and probably one of the few areas that needed improving.
You often saw the manager and staff "helping out" at venues throughout the resort.
The three evening dinner options, which you needed to reserve in the morning (a practice we liked) were Mediterranean fare (our least favorite); the hibachi grill -- we visited twice; and the steak house. (with excellent tender steak! -- we would have chosen this a second night if it had been available when we got around to going for reservations!).
The Mediterranean restaurant really needs some attention to service and probably food too. (note to manager - there is limited communications to those who speak English in this restaurant - and if we hadn't been told by other guests who had gone here the night before we would have never have known about the salad bar -- and that actually was the best and redeeming factor of this restaurant.)
The hibachi - we chose seafood trio (calamari, salmon and shrimp) as our choice. Also offered were steak and chicken. (As the food was passed out after cooking - when there was more cooked it was offered to the others -- and we tried both the steak offering and the chicken. The steak in this venue was quite tough and we are glad we didn't choose steak.), Saki was available as was red or white wine -- all as part of the all inclusive.
In the steak house (which is actually the bottom pool grill area) were having some issues with servers -- and the manager and staff came to help out. But hey -- we are all on vacation - and no one really needs to be in a hurry so we were fine and enjoyed the view and the outdoor seating venue. When the steak came it was fabulous.
The buffet area - which was open mornings for great breakfasts - omelet stations I really enjoyed and mountains of fresh fruit :-) and breads; buffet was also open lunch time and dinner time - until 10 pm. I felt there could have been a little more variety of foods on the buffet - but I believe as the new ownership improves the food fare and selections may improve. As it was - it was adequate. No one went away hungry. You could find something to your liking.
SUPER KUDOS to the lifeguards. There are signs everywhere stating that there is no lifeguard on duty. It doesn't matter what the signs say -- there were lifeguards everywhere -- and amazing they were. On our first day there we witnessed a little boy (with his mom, dad and brother in the pool nearby -- and grandparents in the buffet area) -- who went from the top children's pool, over into the deeper (4' pool). The boy, who had been wearing water wings, had removed them. The next thing you know -- you hear the splashing of the lifeguard who pulled the boy, who was definitely underwater and moments from disaster. The boy coughed up a lot of water but was fine. We saw him playing many times later in the week. The attentiveness of these lifeguards throughout our stay was comforting and again -- high kudos. That mom and dad, and grandparents and family could have had a much different vacation experience. Note: the mother signed a paper saying she wouldn't allow her son to go to hospital to be checked - even though the lifeguards really were encouraging this. The lifeguards stayed nearby this family for a good hour after this incident and were never far away.

Speaking of medical. Did you know that when you go to Panama you had a 30 day free medical card that is given to you at customs?
This includes hospitalization and medical, dental expenses, includes accidental death coverage of $20K as well as transportation of body back to your country, and coverage for early return and expenses of travel companions, compensation for luggage lost or delay.
Another interesting tidbit: Panama is a tobacco smoke free nation. No smoking in public areas. We were really happy about this.
We were pleased with the tour we took from hotel to partial transit Panama Canal tour -- $109 got us transportation (2 hours each way), the guided tour on the boat through three locks, brunch and lunch and soft drinks and water on the boat.
One area that was scary for us - and tip for management for possible improvement - is again language barrier related. We were picked up by a big bus and traveled round trip to canal and back. An hour into the ride we were wondering if we were indeed on the right bus/tour as the bus stopped several times and picked people up on side of the road. About 1 hour 15 minutes into the ride a gal was picked up (Grace -- loved her!) and she immediately came directly back to us and said - I'm your tour guide and I speak a little English - but wanted you to know I am here. She then went up and spoke over intercom to the rest of the bus in their language. We were extremely happy when Grace got on the bus and identified herself.
Back to the hotel -- definitely I'd recommend it. We relaxed and enjoyed the cabana's by the ocean; (great shells wash up on this white sand beach). There could be more shady areas -- more umbrellas -- and you have to be up and down there early to get in the shade. One day we spent a good portion of the day going to pool and beach from the covered restaurant eating area -- as that was the only place to go to be out of the sun. (and sometimes you need to be out of the sun.) :-)
I also saw reviews where people were complaining about the nightlife noise and the loudness of the music. Yes, we agree -- the music got a little loud at times (the mexican mariachi band could definitely have turned their volume down by half and still have been loud!) And yes, at night, if we were in our room you could hear in the distance music -- but hey -- we are the ones who chose to go to bed while on vacation instead of staying out and partying! That wasn't unbearable or something to worry about.
We did not participate in any spa services nor room service.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Washington, DC
Top Contributor
227 reviews 227 reviews
62 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
148 helpful votes 148 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014

Stayed here one night on a week long tour of the country. We got the all inclusive deal and I've never experienced that before so this was a new, despite my decades of travel. It was most convenient, of course, not to worry about pricing. Nice property with lots of amenities. Nice pools, including shallow ones for kids. Lots of activities. Nice beach. Rooms are basic but functional. I thought the dinner buffet was rather tasty and steered toward the fish, which was terrific. Breakfast smoothies were wonderful!!! varied and fresh and, well, some of the best I've ever had. LOTS of breakfast options!!! This is not an inexpensive place but if you want all the activities of an all inclusive close to Panama City, I would say this is a decent choice (though I have not shopped around for other options.)

Room Tip: I had a room at the end of the hall and slept well. If there are late night activities, check out r...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rolando N, General Manager at Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort, responded to this review, March 12, 2014
Dear Decoamie

First of all, we would like to thank you for choosing the Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort as your place to spend your vacations, even if it was just one night, and also for taking the time to share your comments with us.

We are really happy to hear that you had a wonderful first experience in the all-inclusive world and that we could exceded your expectations.

Rest assure that we will communicate your generous and encouraging comments to our entire staff.

We hope that you had a happy end of your tour of the country and you could come back home with memorable experiences to share with your loved ones.

Kind regards
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Toronto, Canada
1 review
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2014 via mobile

There is a virus going around this hotel. I just left this hotel and it is the 8th of March. On the fourth day of our 1 week all inclusive one person in my family got violently sick throwing up for hours. Two days later we were still at the hotel and the rest of my family, including myself got the same illness. I have never thrown up that much in my life and I got severely dehydrated. We found out that about twenty people belonging to a wedding group staying at the hotel also got the same illness at different times during the week. We mentioned to the hotel and their comment was that some people drink too much. Most of my family weren't drinking any alcohol during the stay and some children at the hotel came down with the same illness. I hope that the hotel can improve its sanitizing methods to mitigate the spread of this virus so other guests don't spend 1-2 days of their vacation sick in bed. Items that had been clearly vomited upon appeared to be rinsed off and put back in place when the room was cleaned. Here is the rest of my review apart from the illness. This hotel is a minimum two hours by bus from the airport. We had construction and rush hour so it was quite a bit more than two hours. The rooms are simple and a bit tired. Not as nice as what you generally associate with a Sheraton hotel room, but they were fine. When cleaning the rooms they sometimes left us two bottles of water but sometimes they didn't. Sometimes they gave us washcloths and sometimes not. The rest of the hotel is nice and to the standards of a Sheraton. The buffet was plentiful with lots of variety. There weren't any line ups for food. The buffet was quite good. We went to the Japanese restaurant one night. The food was just ok. It was fun seeing them prepare the food. The Mediterranean restaurant was nice. We didn't go to the steak restaurant but other guests raved that was very tasty. The poolside bar can sometimes take a while. Once there was a large piece of the bagged ice plastic bag in my drink which I could not see until it was in mouth. The hotel pools were nice and fun. The beach was nice. The lifeguards take their jobs seriously. There are sometimes sting rays and often there is a red warning flags. However we did go in the ocean and enjoyed it. They could use more umbrellas on the beach for shade. This hotel is far from shops etc. We took tours offered at the hotel. The partial canal tour was excellent. We also took the Anton valley tour which was rushed. It would be better to hire a taxi as it would cost about the same but you would have time to enjoy the sights. The entertainment was enjoyable. The garden view rooms have a partial view of the ocean and the next hotel. The ocean view rooms do have a nicer view but can be noisier because of the entertainment. But that ends at 10pm. The hotel staff were usually courteous and friendly. They all understand enough English for most of their duties but quickly will find an English speaking staff if necessary. We did not find there to be any communications issues. As quite a few guests are from Spanish speaking countries, I don't find it necessary for all the staff to speak English. Completely aside from the illness the resort was nice enough and a good relaxing time.

  • Stayed March 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2014

I am a Starwood SPG Platinum so I have very high expectations of Starwood properties like the Sheraton. Last year we stayed at the Westin Costa Rica all inclusive for three times the price. That property was amazing, but quite expensive. The Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort was the best value all-inclusive that I have ever experienced across the SPG brand. The service was top notch. All guests were met with drinks and great service. Even when they were "crushed" with a bus full of people arriving at the same time, the resort staff kept the smiles and service strong. The food and selection across the resort was wonderful. The included alcoholic drinks were small in size, but limitless in number. The Spa featured outstanding service and 30% off on Tuesday and Thursday translating into a $35 per person massage at the Sheraton. The kids club service was wonderful and thoughtful with different themes each night. The walks along the beach are endless there and the staff is quite thoughtful with the beach-side amenities. For Americans with kids, the dinners start a bit late (6:30 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. is the earliest), but here's one great secret: get the earliest reservation and they will still seat you 15 to 20 minutes early. They are that customer service oriented.

At the kids club, my daughter lost her favorite stuffed animal. After returning to the United States, I received a wonderful email with a message from their quality assurance manager asking "Is this your daughter's penguin?" They're sending it to her. If there's a problem, then they take care of it -- no matter how big or how small.

Maybe we were given extra special treatment because of my SPG status, but I saw them give the same treatment to my friends without SPG status. They go far beyond the extra mile.

One final suggestion: if you upgrade to balcony rooms, then you get room service balcony breakfast for free every morning. So ask for the cost for one of those rooms if you would like the extra perk. Whatever we ordered, they made to our liking. We tipped the room service a few dollars each morning.

I cannot more highly recommend this resort because of the value. We rented a car to get there and there was ample parking. Also note that they have Hertz on-site so if you want to get a one-way rental or pick up a rental there then you can.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rolando N, General Manager at Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort, responded to this review, March 12, 2014
Dear JoeFlyer,

Thank you for taking the time to contact us concerning your recent stay at our Hotel. Thank you for your valuable comments about our services, they will help us to motivate our staff and keep providing the service that our guests deserve.

It's a real satisfaction for us that your recent stay has been excellent and that you enjoyed your stay with us and our resort.

We hope to have you again for your future vacations to provide the quality service that you deserve.

Kind regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rockland, Ontario
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2014

The trip from the airport is interesting, almost 2 hours for us. The guide asked to see a show of hands as to who spoke English or French. French won I guess as the 2 hour ride was guided in French. Flew out of Montreal so I should have figured as much anyway. Learning a little Spanish before going here will make your life a little easier. The staff is limited in English (which is to be expected I guess). The hotel is not a Sheraton "standard" hotel. It is dated and the rooms show their age. We started our stay in room 1603 but asked to be moved due to the sewage smell late in the evening because the waste water management system was outside our rooms balcony. They did accommodate quickly and the new room was better.
The food is diverse and somewhat good and the grounds are kept clean and maintained. Pools are average and the beach is shared with the public that you don't see very often. The ocean has man of war jelly fish and sting rays. Signs are posted as warnings and the life guard can be seen around noon scanning the waters for them. On the beach they have an action rental place with things to do. Kayaking, windsurfing, jet ski, etc. I will warn you that it is expensive and you pay for everything there. Non motorised sports as well. They advertise horses but don't have any, they also don't do para sailing but advertise it. Forget snorkeling as it's $60 per person (minimum of 5) and your thrown off at an island while the guy on the boat tries to point at fish.
The bars are understaffed and under stocked and the staff don't seem to enjoy their jobs. I remember one indecent where the bar tender just walked away in tears as she was just overwhelmed and need a break. The a la cart restaurants are good for a change but there are only 3 and the steakhouse, being one of them, is closed a couple nights a week and hard to get into. I had to ask the sunwing rep to help get me a reservation.
Now, on that subject. The sunwing rep is a nice guy. Daniel I believe. I did go to the meet and greet they offer but was told the same stuff that you can read up in the lobby about the excursion packages. I will tell you right now about the excursions. Save your money. Its extremely expensive and not well planned out. We did the the most popular one ($300 cdn for 2 adults and one child) where you get a little of everything. See the canal, experience a rainforest, go for a ride in a boat to feed monkeys, get left behind by your tour bus at a refuge animal park...yes, our bus left us behind! The guide would have gone all the way back to the resort and left us with a $100 plus cab ride but thank god one of the families on the bus alerted the guild. They did come back but still, seriously? On that note alone I decided that sunwing will not see my business for some time. Think about this for a second. A guided tour run by sunwing that we where told to take because it was safer put my family in a very unsafe position. Your in Panama so you already know that you should act with common sense but we where warned at the meet and greet about the crime. No, this was not my fault and I'm not crying about it but honestly, how would you feel? On that dame note we wanted to go buy some souvenirs on the second last day. We were told to take the cabs organised by the hotel as it was safer, we still got ripped off by the cab driver. A $15 ride for 3 people turned into a $20 ride.
All in all, I might return based solely on the food and beverage manager Jorge who is extremely good at his job but not with sunwing. I'll wait for the new airport to open as well as it's closer to the resort.

Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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Additional Information about Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort

Address: Carretera Interamericana, Km 108, Guias de Anton, Santa Clara 0229-00140, Panama
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Santa Clara
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Santa Clara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 293
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sheraton Bijao Beach Hotel Santa Clara
Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort Panama/Santa Clara

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