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“Best in Panama”

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Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Gamboa
Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
158 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Best in Panama”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2013

Nice size rooms, a hammock on the patio to listen to and watch the birds, good television, beautiful pool great food. Short walk and we saw the wildlife of panama. Butterfly garden was worth a trip and the orchid farm. We were here two nights with Caravan. I thought the best of the three hotels in Panama.

Room Tip: We were in room 203 very good all we could hear was the birds
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Smokedogaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jetzel M, Guest Relations Manager at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
Thank you for your wonderful remarks, which I have shared with staff, gives us a pleasure to know that you loved the visit to our hotel and enjoy all the nature. We look forward to welcoming you back soon.
Regards
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1,618 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (396)
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English first
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

The location is beautiful with a gorgeous view and the pool area is nice. The rooms are spacious and although need updating, they are not bad. What gives it the 2 start rating is the overpriced restaurants with horrible food. Unfortunately, the location is pretty isolated so there aren't very many places outside the resort to get food. It's very unfortunate since the hotel structure itself and the location are really nice. Compared to other places in Panama, this is not well priced. It seems like there are a lot of tour groups that come here, so perhaps the motivation isn't there to make it more worth while for the independent traveller.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank minako27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jetzel M, Guest Relations Manager at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
Thanks for your time to write your remarks, is very nice to read your comments all of them show positive and negative aspects of our hotel Gamboa Rainforest Resort. We are continuously working to ensure our guests receive the service they deserve. I have noted each of your recommendations because all are great help for us. I hope to see you again in Panama
Regards,
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Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
28 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

We stayed here as part of a super Caravan tour of Panama. (Can't say enough good things about Caravan)The design of the lobby makes quite an impression with very high ceilings, metal sculptural railings that look like vines and leaves, huge banners representing wildlife...the rooms are not fancy but are very clean and well arranged. All have balconies with hammocks and face an area with the pool, vegetation, and a view of the river. Food was tasty and some was prepared to order. I can't eat gluten or eggs, and I found plenty to choose from. The only meal that was a challenge for me was breakfast, but, with plenty of fruit, yoghurt, side meat, and potatoes, I was fine. The dessert offerings looked like a bakery...and there was an egg free
dessert for me.

No bugs biting, at least at that time of year, which was a relief.

The hotel has a free evening drive in an open vehicle which allowed us to see capybaras, caimans, birds, a sloth, etc. with a narration in Spanish and English.

Room Tip: I think that they are all good
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JackieMQ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jetzel M, Guest Relations Manager at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
Thanks for your comments, are very helpful to improve the service of our hotel; we will continue working hard to provide the best service and product to each of our guests.
Regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
55 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2013

The activities to do around the resort are fantastic - come for those. I wouldn't say there's a point to stay beyond 2 nights (once you are done with doing all the main activities) unless you are an avid birdwatcher or like to stay in your room from 8pm onwards on vacations.

The resort is comfortable, while the high price doesn't necessarily justify its interior (you can get much nicer accommodation in Panama City for less cost).

The average age of the people staying here seemed really high - it was really quiet in the evenings.

The free 1hr walking tour was excellent, the guide (I believe his name was Giovanni) with excellent knowledge of the rainforest and great English.

The fishing tour is highly recommended despite its relatively high cost compared to other tours (200 for 2 ppl, 50$ extra for 3rd person). We did the 3 hour one. Caught lots of peacock seabass. The boat goes onto the Canal to get to Lake Gatun, so you get to experience the Canal waters next to giant cargo ships. If you ask the captain, he will also take you to show monkeys for a bit. So it really is like several tours at once. + includes a snack and soft drinks and beer.
And, you can keep a few fish and bring them to Gamboa guest services who will arrange it to be cooked at their restaurant - for an extra 10$ a plate (we had ours grilled, with plantains and salad) - YUMMY.
You may want to arrange the fishing tour in advance as they are limited in quantity per morning and can fill up fast...


Didn't do all inclusive, found it to be more cost effective.
The drinks at Monkey bar are great and the burger is excellent. No food at the pool. Pool closes at 6pm.

A great positive about this property is that all the staff was very responsive, quick, and had great command of English - quite different from the usual Panamanian laid-back and slow services in other places.
And the hammocks on balconies are great.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank nastiki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jetzel M, Guest Relations Manager at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
I appreciate your comments and we are glad to have met your expectations when visiting our hotel, from the entire hotel staff we appreciate your comment is a great motivation for each of us.
Thank you very much and hope to see you again in Panama.
Cordially yours
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Camas, Washington
Level Contributor
38 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2013

When planning our time at Gamboa we could not decide whether to spend 2 nights or 3--by the time we made up our mind to book 3 nights only 2 nights were available. I really wish we had another day there! What a great place. Our room was large and very clean--we enjoyed sitting out on the balcony and spending time in the hammock. Very pretty view of the river and we could watch the capybarys in the distance and agoutis scampering below the balcony. We learned that the view outside the balcony was a former golf course from the American Canal Zone days.

Our room came with a buffet breakfast --very good. The restaurant also served lunch and dinner buffets but we were not that hungry and the cost was more than we wanted to spend. There is a bar/grill on the main floor which also has open air seating. We ate here for lunch--good hamburgers and then split pizzas for dinner. Beer was reasonably priced but sodas were small and expensive (around $3.00)--New York Mayor Bloomburg would have been pleased at the soda size:) The hotel had many tour groups staying there and dining at the buffets. The tour groups would arrive late afternoon and depart in the mornings. We loved the tour groups because during the main part of the day the hotel and grounds were empty. There is a really nice large pool and when we were swimming it was like having our own private pool.

The hotel offers 2 free tours--A guided walk in the afternoon with a very knowledgable guide and then night ride in the evening to look for animals. They also have bicycles available to ride around the grounds. We took 2 paid tours thru the hotel--very reasonably price. We did a kayak trip on the Chagres River and a boat ride in the Canal. Lots of fun and both times there were only the two of us on the tour--really appreciate that they did not cancel if not enough folks signed up.

There is wi-fi available in the lobby and bar/grill area. I also discovered 2 soda machines--one is by the marina and the other is in the orchid garden--only $1.00. They also sell soda in the small gift shop which someone told me was $2.50. There is a small library above the lobby which has lots of old books about the Canal. It is like stepping back in time--I kind of expected to see Indiana Jones sitting at the table!

The only frustration we had was getting to the resort. We came from Colon where we had been on a cruise. It was difficult to find transportation directly Colon to Gamboa. The tour company we used provided transport from Panama City to Gamboa but not from Colon. So we either had to take a cruise shuttle back to the airport and then have a driver transfer us back to Gamboa or get to Gamboa on our own--which is what we did. At the Colon pier nobody wanted to drive just 2 people to Gamboa--first person we asked told us it would be $400. We finally found a women who agreed to take us for $110-- but the whole trip there she was trying to get us to pay additional for her to give us a tour. It would be helpful if the resort would assist in transfers or provide information on companies which would transfer rom Colon.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank mawenzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jetzel M, Guest Relations Manager at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
Thank you very much for your time to write your comments is very nice to read all of them show positive and negative aspects of our hotel are a vital help to us for continue providing excellent service to our visitors.
Many thank you for your important comments and we hope to see you soon
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Clinton, Connecticut
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2013

We became familiar with the resort on another trip to Panama (2012). On our last day, our travel agent sent us out there to kill time until our return flight that evening. We spent time on the Ariel tram and visiting the exhibits and then went on to Pipeline Rd. I was determined to get back and stay there. It is such an amazing area, so rich in nature. Everything looked so beautiful. Well, 2/20/13 we began our stay of 2 nights. We drove in from Santa Fe and arrived at about 1pm. I had made the reservation in September so I wasn't sure what to expect but I was warmly greeted and told that we had been upgraded to a better room at no extra charge. It just got better from there. Although we were a bit early for check we were given our key. The views from our room were fantastic and we were fairly close to the lobby and restaurant. We enjoyed the amazing pool and in the evening sitting on the dock where you could hear the howler monkeys preparing for bed and the night birds calling across the river. Wireless was readily available in the main foyer with comfortable seating and great views. The food (we stuck to the buffet for breakfast and dinner only), was good...breakfast was the best and included in our package. Monique (I hope I am getting her name correct, she was working the 22nd and23rd) at the information/ booking desk and she was both kind and helpful. She printed our boarding passes and explained a bit about life in Panama. Her English was excellent and she took the time to explain an alternate route to the airport that got us their both traffic and stress free. Is this place perfect? No, but for what and where it is, it is pretty darn great. I read so many bad reviews from the previous year and We experienced none of it. The staff overall was friendly and helpful. Our kayaking trip was enjoyable but not well organized. It was just the 2 of us but it ran late and the guide didn't know what kind of trip we paid for. However just getting out on the crystal clean water of the Chagres River was amazing and the guide did take us to the waterfall although he hadn't planned to. There are many tour groups coming through here but the place is amazingly quiet which allows the sounds of nature to resonate. Overall very pleased with our stay and can' t wait to return

Room Tip: We stayed on the forth floor.great views and close to lobby
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Msbunny1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jetzel M, Guest Relations Manager at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
I appreciate your comments and we are glad to have met your expectations when visiting our hotel. I personally congratulate my colleague Monique for her hard work. I hope to see you again in Panama. Regards
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Andover, Minnesota
2 reviews
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2013

We made our reservations in Oct 2012 for a Feb 2013 stay - 3 rooms were reserved for a 1 night stay. When we arrived we were told the hotel was overbooked and 1 room would have to be in the villa across the street from the Resort. It was meant for weekly - monthly stays, not the same as the rooms in the Resort. We were scheduled to stay overnight at the Resort and go on our scheduled tour of the Panama Canal in the morning and leave for Colon to depart for our cruise that same day. We had made reservations (paid for - along with a written confirmation) through Gamboa Tours. As the time past to be picked up for the canal tour, we realized that the bus was never coming to pick us up and the told we never paid. The written confirmation we presented to them, meant nothing. We were able to get our Panama Canal tour money back after we returned home. The resort is authentic, but reservations and confirmations really mean nothing.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Minnesotan29595
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jetzel M, Guest Relations Manager at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, responded to this review, March 16, 2013
Thank you for your comments, and our apologies. We will review this situation and take corrective actions to avoid from happening again. We are continuously working to ensure our guests receive the service they deserve.
Sincerely
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Property: Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Address: Goethals Blvd. | Soberania National Park, Gamboa 7338, Panama
Location: Panama > Colon Province > Gamboa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Gamboa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Gamboa Rainforest Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 166
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Deep in the heart of the Panamanian rainforest lies the completely unique Gamboa Rainforest Resort. This magnificent destination rests where the scenic Chagres River meets the Panama Canal and is the only resort property in the area. Few places on earth offer such an amazing natural experience while providing an unsurpassed level of luxury. Escape the noise and hectic pace of everyday life and surround yourself with the tranquility of the mystical Soberania National Forest. Here, just a short 30-minute ride from Panama City, on 340 acres overlooking the stunning Panama Canal, you can commune with nature in a pristine environment where explorers and pirates once tread. Our Panama Tours offer an exhilarating variety of jungle adventures such as an aerial tram, guided boat tours, fishing expeditions, and much more. Our tours are designed to show you wildlife in its natural setting amidst the colorful splendor of the jungle flora. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Gamboa Rainforest Hotel Gamboa
Gamboa Rain Forest Resort

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