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“Nice wildlife and great views”

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Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Gamboa
Reviewed July 26, 2013

My wife and I stayed here for 3 nights. We arrived @ about 1:15 pm and were told check in was not till 3:00. Fair enough, we took a nice long walk around the property and then snoozed in the lobby for awhile. The lobby is absolutely gorgeous, with incredible views of the Chagres river and the rainforest. We were given room 201, we asked if we could get a room higher up. "Sure, we can give you a room one floor higher, but you'll have to wait till 5:00." We actually found room 201 to be perfect for viewing the wildlife. There were flowering bushes/trees @ balcony level which were visited by many varieties of beautiful birds and also numerous hummingbirds. Just below on the ground we had many visits from the local wildlife. The room smelled quite bad to the point that after one night I was going to ask to be switched. We mentioned this problem to the receptionist in the morning. She told us all the rooms smelled because of the high humidity in the rain forest. They put a dehumidifier in the room and the problem was solved. The room itself was a little tired, but fine for a rain forest retreat. We were there for the wildlife and the beautiful views, which couldn't be beat. We did go in the pool a few times and found it very nice. At all times there was at most 1 other couple in the pool with us. It was like having a private pool. Now one of the most important things I well mention hoping that the hotel reads this review. To get to all of the lower rooms by us you have to walk down a series of ramps, which are INCREDIBLY slippery when wet. They look like they need to be repainted and they should be repainted with some type of anti-slip paint. (my wife & I are both in great shape with good sense of balance and almost went down several times.) We booked our entire vacation thru Panama Luxury Tours (1-800-237-3213) Our extremely helpful rep. Parmelee Miller set up our visit at Gamboa so that breakfast and dinner was included which was great. We found the food to be very good. Usually my wife and I will always leave a tip after eating, even in places where the tip is already included. (as in an all inclusive resort). This was the ONLY place in our 11 days in Panama where we left no tips. There was simply no connection with any of the people waiting tables. All you have to do is give a little smile and pretend you care, it simply didn't happen. Why did I give 4 stars instead of 3? Because all in all we did have a great time, and would do it again. Most of the staff were very helpful and friendly especially at the reception desk.

Room Tip: As stated room 201 was really close to the wildlife. I'm sure the upper rooms have better views...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jad5d
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 reviewResponded August 5, 2013

Thank you for your feedback, is very nice to read your comments 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. We took note of yours recommendations about the smell in the rooms. Thank you very much and hope to see you again in Panama.
Cordially yours

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Reviewed July 18, 2013

Such a good hotel, located in one of the most beautiful places of the world: Panama's rainforest.
Every room (specially those on the higher floors) has a great view of the Chagres river.
The hotel has everything to make you feel like in a jungle safari, with amenities of a great resort.

  • Stayed: July 2013
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Thank Gabonacho
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 reviewResponded August 5, 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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Reviewed July 16, 2013

I stayed at this hotel for two nights and after spending time in Panama City, San Blas Islands, and El Valle in Panama, this was by far my least favorite stay during my trip. It is a nice looking hotel, but restaurants were overpriced and the staff was not too friendly, especially in the buffet restaurant and at the pool side bar. The tours were expensive, particulary the tram tour that takes you on a tour of the rainforest. We did not see any animals during this, however, we did visit a butterfly garden and a few animals in buildings where they kept animals to show. For $104 for two people, this tour was not worth the money. I would not stay here again. Disappointed.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Teacher06450
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 reviewResponded August 5, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback regarding our hotel. I am certainly disappointed that your stay was not all that it could have been.
I would like to apologize on behalf of the hotel and its team for your stay.
I hope to see you again in Panama.
Regards

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Reviewed July 15, 2013

Friends visiting with us thought this was spectacular, particularly the common areas We had been there a year earlier. Best features--opportunity to view wildlife, spectacular sunrises, nice main rooms, good tours. Worst features--food quality, which is adequate, but very ordinary compared to rest of experience. The Monkey tour on Lake Gatun offered a change to see unusual wildlife as well as canal dredging and traffic.

Room Tip: Rooms on the upper floor are more accessible.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Stanner57
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 reviewResponded August 5, 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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Reviewed July 12, 2013

We just left this morning and we had a very nice stay. The lobby is beautiful, as is the view of the river. We are pretty adventurous people, so we went on most of the tours. We enjoyed all of them, and thought they were well priced.

Here is what you should know...the hotel has some wear and tear but is still nice. If you want a US quality hotel, don't come to Panama. Seriously. You will not be happy. This is not he Four Seasons. We were focused on the outdoor space, so we were happy.

Great tours! We saw: howler monkeys several times, Geoffrey's tamarins several times, and capuchins. We also saw: brown eagles, caiman, possums, armadillo, both kinds of toucans, green parrots, and a crocodile. The guides are very friendly, knowledgeable, and fluent in english. Can't recommend them enough.

The pool area is very deep if you have mid size kids. The little ones will be happy in the shallow pool, but kids over the age of 5-6 will want to swim in the big pool. So bring floats to make it more enjoyable. Our 8 year old is a great swimmer, but she got tired of treading water after awhile.

We ate 1 lunch at Los Lagartos with 2 drinks and 3 buffets. It was 70$. I'm not joking. But the other restaurants were cheaper. I think we might have gotten the wrong bill, as there were 2 meals listed on our checkout sheet. The other was 58$. We only ate there 1 time, so they took off the cheaper meal. Service in Panama is VERY different from the states. So realize that a sit down meal can take forever. The buffets are quick and pretty good. We always found something we liked to eat.

Best tour: gatun Lake boat tour. You go down the chagres river and cross into the canal part of lake gatun. You will be traveling alongside huge container ships. Lots of animals. :)

Best tip: get breakfast included and eat heartily. Then eat a late lunch at the buffet. Then we snacked for dinner from things we brought from home. We saved so much money this way, and we never hungry.

Room Tip: Get a high up river view room.
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank hlraphael
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 reviewResponded July 15, 2013

Thank you for your feedback, all of them make us so glad and hope to see you again in Panama. Once again thank you so much.
Regards.

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Reviewed July 10, 2013

Very cool experience in the Panama rain forest. Took the trip from the resort on the canal to the monkey island. It was well worth it. Also, the noises from the animals in the morning is really quite impressive and should not be drowned out by closed windows and AC. Speaking of AC, I was a bit surprised that they had not had proper AC throughout the facility. I was there at a conference and felt that they should have done better. The food was decent, and there appeared to be lots to do. The pool was very nice.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Maynard_Marc
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 reviewResponded July 15, 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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Reviewed July 6, 2013

This place is a great idea in principle. But then you get there and have to deal with staff who obviously hate their jobs. The place smells terrible, the restaurant feels like an after thought. The view is impressive, which makes this such a wasted opportunity. Someone should buy it and invest in it properly.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank PWTPWT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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: $121 - $286 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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