While recently in Panama, we actually switched from our hotel in Playa Blanca to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort, and we wish we had done it sooner. However, we stayed two nights at GRR, and it saved our Panama trip. First of all, location is perfect, you are not too far away from the sights of Panama City, and the airport, and you are right there off the Panama Canal. The resort is on the Gangres River, which runs into Gatun Lake, located at the centre of the canal. As you approach the resort you will go through Gamboa, don;t be misled, this is not a town at all, it is a row of early 20th century homes built by the Americans to house their workers building the canal, and the resort is located on what was their golf course. It is neat though, and it seems that there are people living in some of the homes, looked like some students.
The resort grounds are stunning, peaceful, quiet and lush. It was certainly a whole new perspective of Panama, after Playa Blanca. We were on the all-inclusive plan, and the food was awesome, first night we had buffet, which was not huge, but had something for everyone, and the food was fresh and tasty. Second night we were given menus to order off of, I believe occupancy was low, and hubby had beef tenderloin and i had lasagne. Both dishes were excellent, and there was plenty of food. Desserts as well were great.
Our room had a lovely view over the river and grounds, decor was perfectly fine, bed was comfortable, and we had a large balcony. The room was however very musty, but it is the rainforest after all. However, this could be an issue for people with asthma or allergies.
As mentioned in other reviews, the resort is in need of maintenance, again given the high humidity things deteriorate quickly, and so it would be an ongoing job. Some of the basics, just in sweeping the walkways around the rooms and resort, as i found that fallen palm nuts and large branches could cause someone to fall.
We took the night tour around the resort with Jasmine, and she is very good at spotting the wildlife, and her knowledge and ability to communicate in both English and Spanish were great. We also took the Gatun Lake tour, which was very good as well, you are actually on the Panama Canal in a boat for quite a while, we saw baby crocodiles, tamarind monkeys, howlers and a caiman.
I would recommend this resort for people who love nature, and are easy-going, not looking for nightlife and shopping. This resort will certainly give you a feeling of the exotic, I would go back.
- 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