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“Beautiful View”

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Gamboa Rainforest Resort
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Gamboa
California
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Beautiful View”
Reviewed September 11, 2007

The location of the resort was amazing! The views and ambiance were extraordinary. When I made our reservation I booked what I thought was a normal king size bedroom, however when we checked in (late at night from the airport) my husband and I were placed in the "historic villas." It would have been nice but it was horrible because there was only one air conditioner, that was in the bedroom and didn't cool off the rest of the villa. The bathroom didn't have a fan or air. Just a window with a screen and it was sticky and miserable inside. We dealt with it the first night but the next morning when I woke up and took a cold shower my husband and I decided that for the price we paid we should at least have a few basic accomidations so we asked to be moved to the hotel. The people at the front desk were not very nice in handling our request but finally they did at $20 extra a night. It hardly seemed fair. It wasn't our fault that the villas weren't accomidating! We loved the resort itself but felt that the meals and tours were overpriced. We took the aerial tram tour. It was nice but it should have only been an hour instead of two. The food in the restaurants was very good and we especially liked the staff in the breakfast and lunch buffets. We also went to "Summit" and saw all the animals in the zoo. Watch out for the Coatimudi! He may be cute but his claws hurt- take it from someone who knows! Me.

  • Liked — the rainforest
  • Disliked — the historic villas
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank monkieerickson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Richmond,VA
Level 5 Contributor
24 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2007

The Gamboa should be a 4 or 5 star place because the location creates a gorgeous backdrop for the hotel and the amenities are all there. Unfortunately however, the rooms are not fit for comfortable living. In fact, of the 6 rooms I inspected, only the Tivoli suite seemed acceptable, and this one was taken. What I found unacceptable were rooms that smelled of mold. The mold actually made me sick. Obviously when in the rainforest, one might expect moisture related problems but this mold had an overwhelming odor indicating spore development. The cleaning staff willingly replaced my linens and cleaned my second room, (the first had been so noisy that I was unable to sleep at all so they moved me on Sunday morning.)
The maintanence staff delivered a large de-humidifier to my room and asked me to return in a few hours for a second inspection. When we returned the smell seemed better but I continued to need a respiratory inhaler while at this property.
Other problems with the rooms include: receiving my wake up call forty minutes later than requested, no running water at all in the first room and no hot water in the second room, fleas and chiggers everywhere inour room, ants all over the bedspread and mosquitos in our room and finally, the computer keyboards in business center were configured entirely in Spanish and the workers covering these terminals could not fix them. I felt annoyed that so much new construction is occurring (and this woke me up at 6am on a Sunday morning) while the current building is totally inadequate. Furthermore, the main air conditioning units at the Gamboa seem extremely old and very loud.

The food in the expensive restaurant was not good at all. Neither my daughter nor I ate more than one bite of our entree's. The breakfast in the main restaurant was tasty and the desserts also tasted delicious.

We thought the snake exhibit and the disco were the top features at the Gamboa. I also liked the gym and my daughter enjoyed the monkey tour. I must add that the staff treated us well and they did not deny that the condition of the rooms basically stinks.

  • Liked — the disco
  • Disliked — the rooms
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank kimbyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cruz
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2007

I went to the Gamboa for a business meeting, the hotel was very humid (it is in the middle of the Panama Canal) and that drives a lot of the weird smells in the rooms. Not the best situation to have a room with carpet. A couple of co-workers got sick with the food served in the hotel. Overall I will not recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed June 2007
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank cruz30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2007

We stayed at Gamboa Resort in July. The location is awesome, you are right in the heart of the rainforest along the canal. The staff was friendly and helpful. Unfortunatley the tram was closed for repair when we were there as well as the exhibits. We did manage to go on the monkey and bird watching tours. Both were excellent and informative about the local habitat.

The hotel is very expensive for Panama and the food is below average for the price. You will not be disappointed if you are going there to enjoy the wildlife and hang out by the amazing pool.

A few hints would be to book on hotels.com, we saved a good amount of money although it did not include the buffet breakfast. If you can, bring your own alcohol and snacks to store in your room fridge, as everything is double the price of elsewhere in the country.

  • Liked — location
  • Disliked — food
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank oceanexp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ok
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2007

i have been to this hotel many times. Only 30 minutes outside of Panama City. Call for a taxi about 45 minutes in advance as they do not sit outside hotel. i may have been there since July of 2005 on a personal trip. i have been to this hotel myself at least 20 or more times oever a few years between late 2003 to 2005. i organize large group trips and for this hotel i worked with the Sales Manager and the General Manager who were some of the best managers i have ever worked with.

We had two large groups at the Gamboa during the summer of 2004 and 2005. We blocked the hotel just for our group for 10 days in July two years in a row. It was incredible. Very professional and friendly staff. The food was excellent. Walking into the hotel is breathtaking when you see the huge windows with a view of the river. Wow! you are in the middle of a rainforest, yet you are in a five star hotel. There is plenty to do as well.

the tram through the rainforest is incredible. i really enjoyed the boat ride to monkey island. to watch the monkeys jump from branch to branch as they get closer to the boat was very cool. The spa and fitness center is very nice.

You have to visit the Embera tribe. The hotel can organize it, but the person they normally use is Peter with Adventures in Panama.(make sure you ask for him!!! insist on it) He is a guide like no other!! the canoe ride up the river to their villages, experiencing their culture, eating their food was a once in a lifetime excursion.

the rooms at the hotel are quite large. all face the river. the view is outsanding. the bottom floor has some rooms that are smaller and have less of a view. Remember this: Floor 1 is at the top floor and the floor numbers get bigger as you go down.

  • Liked — the amazing swimming pool, disco that has a cave theme, food, rooms w/ view, activities!
  • Disliked — i really cant think of anything.
  • Stayed July 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
13 Thank sgoley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2007

While it was a bit tough to get in contact from the states, once there the service, especialy from the tour desk was incredible. Omar, Elizbeth and the rest gave my 6 year old daughter an experience of a lifetime. On the Monkey Island tour we saw two and three toed sloths, a 4 foot iguana, a howler monkey, inumerable birds, and of course fed the white faced monkeys in our boat. It was incredible. We did not get back in time for the nature walk, however the tour desk promised a late afternoon walk. When at noon it looked like rain we recieved a call that Omar would conduct a free tour now because of rain, we went to the desk and were taken on an awesome nature walk to see Caymans, green and black iguanas, leaf cutter ants, termites, birds, and frankly the most amazing tour of our lives. The rain began at the end. Anyway, the hotel, service and courtesy was great and for kids it was awesome.

Thank you Gamboa.

Pat

  • Liked — UNIQUE EXPERIENCE
  • Disliked — A BIT BUGGIE
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank PatoSanFrancisco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winchester, VA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 21, 2007

We spent 2 days at this resort during our weeklong stay in Panama. The resort is absolutely beautiful, however the historic villas are a bit buggy and show their age. Nicely appointed and spacious, but there were a lot of bugs- but I guess you should expect that in the middle of the rainforest. The pool was beautiful with a scenic view of the surrounding area.
The restaurant is good (but a bit pricey for lunch/ dinner) and you get a complimentary welcome cocktail for each adult.
The resort offers a few free hour-long activities everyday like, kayaking and nature walks. The resort offers other tours for pay, including an aerial tram tour of the rainforest, fishing and 1/2 day bird tours. We did the aerial tram and the monkey island tour, both of which were very good. The monkey island tour was excellent: you ride through the Panama Canal, the Charges River and see lots of wildlife. We also saw several ships passing thru, which was nice. The resort, however does not have tours of the canal locks, so you have to get a personal taxi and take yourself.
There's a beautiful library on site to retreat to when the weather is not cooperating or you just want some downtime.
Beware that the resort says that they offer transportation to/from the airport, but it's not complimentary- we were surprised that we had to pay.
Overall this is a great place for a family vacation. The front desk and tour staff are mostly bilingual, so communication was not a big issue for English speakers.

  • Liked — All of the amenities at the resort- pool, restaurants, bars, tours.
  • Disliked — The amount of bugs in the villas
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank southerngal
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

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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