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“Beware of corporate culture”

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JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Rio Hato
Certificate of Excellence
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Beware of corporate culture”
Reviewed April 18, 2013

Location of the hotel is beautiful. You are very secluded and have access to a beautiful beach and great pools and hotel gardens. The hotel itself appears recently modernized and the rooms have all the amenities you could wish for. The service however is poor. I think that the staff itself is trying to do good, but just simply lack any guidance from management. As an example, part of attractiveness is the isolation of the hotel but if you are isolated and can't use the restaurants because they have been closed for a corporate function, it kinda puts a damper on your holiday. I think it will take some time until mgt has it all figured out, until then be aware and prepare yourself for these type of shortfalls

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank S J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gerencia02, General Manager at JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 26, 2015
Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for staying at JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort during your last trip to Panama.

I am very thankful for having brought to our attention the areas of opportunities you kindly detailed in your tripadvisor comments. It is only through the valuable feedback from loyal customers like you that we realize we are failing in satisfying our guest’s expectations.

We appreciate the time you took to share your concerns, and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to serve you better in the future.

Best Regards,

Sincerely,

General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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776 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (137)
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English first
Santiago, Chile
Level Contributor
48 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

Just returned from a short trip. Beatiful hotel, great room and wondersful service, May get a bit boring for a long stay as beyong the hotel there no where to go, and food options are quite limited. For a short stay, to relax and be pampered its just amazing!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Cami2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gerencia02, General Manager at JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 4 weeks ago
Dear Guest,

On behalf of the entire JW Marriott Panama Family - thank you for your kind words- very much appreciated. We look forward to welcoming you back again.

Cordially,

JW Marriott Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sao Paulo, SP
Level Contributor
35 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed April 12, 2013

We were at this hotel just for one day but managed to know most of its facilities. Crew is perfect, both at the restaurants and at the hotel. Had lunch at one of the restaurants and dinner at the Japanese one.
Has a Golf Course (Buenaventure) just aside and I can testify it's a good one.
Since I was staying for just a night I managed to have a low price level room. The room itself is very good, no complains but the price. Other than that, perfect!

Room Tip: The Hotel has different prices for different kind of views. the best views are very expensive...
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Jacques G L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gerencia02, General Manager at JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 4 weeks ago
Dear Guest,

On behalf of the entire JW Marriott Panama Family - thank you for your kind words- very much appreciated. We look forward to welcoming you back again.

Cordially,

JW Marriott Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We stayed in the residences adjacent to the resort itself, but used all of the facilities. The JW Marriott is exactly as you would expect and very well-done with appropriate amenities (pool, spa, fitness, medical clinic). While there are many restuarant choices, the food is American-price vs. Panamanian... and service was Panananian (slow and inconsistnent). Food was just OK. To get a better rating, the "stuff" other than the room and facilities - especially service - need to raise levels. It's a 5 star facility with 2-3 star service at this point (which was OK when everything was priced like being in Panama - but that's no longer the reality).

Still, I'd go back and enjoy the resort with family.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank C J N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gerencia02, General Manager at JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 4 weeks ago
Dear Guest,

On behalf of the entire JW Marriott Panama Family - thank you for your kind words- very much appreciated. We look forward to welcoming you back again.

Cordially,

JW Marriott Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2013

GREAT STAY!!! Various restaurants to pick from. Prime Steakhouse was fabulous. Very relaxing week. Service was a bit slow but people were extremely nice.

You do have to take a 5 minute walk to the beach, as the hotel is NOT waterfront. But the pools at the beach were really clean and not so crowded considering it was Holy Week. Could suggest some changes to the menu at the pool restaurant. It could have a few more options to choose from.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank agcof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gerencia02, General Manager at JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 26, 2015
Google Translation
Estimado señor o señora:

En nombre de toda la familia del JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort, deseamos agradecerle el habernos permitido ser sus anfitriones en su reciente estadía.

Parte de nuestro compromiso es exceder constantemente las expectativas de nuestros huéspedes y hacemos cada día nuestro mejor esfuerzo para lograrlo, ya que en nuestro negocio no existe una comodidad más atesorada que la satisfacción al cliente, la cual valoramos en su justa dimensión.

Agradecemos nos haya expresado sus comentarios positivos y sugerencia en Tripadvisor, debido a que sus opiniones son esenciales para nosotros y nos motivan día a día a dar mejor calidad y servicio. También deseamos informarle que estaremos incluyendo nuevos menús en todos nuestros restaurantes.

Gracias por habernos escogido en esta visita y esperamos vuelva pronto.

Un placer servirle,

Gerente General
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
12 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2013 via mobile

For what it cost, and for what you have to go through to get there from Panama City, especially considering how deserted it is, I expected more. Service was just not what it should have been. You had to stalk someone to get service at the pool, forget about it at the beach. You had to hunt down your own towels. We ate at tables by the pool at 4:30 pm and the plates and everything were there when we came out the next morning. Also, the pool service shuts down way too early. 5 pm? Really? And there are not many places to eat at the resort--especially during the week. Only certain restaurants are open during the week, so limited options. But the food and drinks were good and reasonably priced for resort food. Though there isn't anywhere to eat nearby the resort. The pools were very nice. No hot tub though. You also couldn't swim in the ocean as there were too many jellyfish and there five that we saw washed up on the shore. Also the beach had black ash on it from all the motorized vehicles driving on the sand making it less attractive. The rooms were nice though, especially the bathrooms. Wifi was pricey and only worked well in the lobby and somewhat in the room-not at all by the pools. It was fun, but it just wasn't what it should have been for the money.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KVG_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gerencia02, General Manager at JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort, responded to this review, October 26, 2015
Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for staying at JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort during your last trip to Panama.

I am very thankful for having brought to our attention the areas of opportunities you kindly detailed in your tripadvisor comments. It is only through the valuable feedback from loyal customers like you that we realize we are failing in satisfying our guest’s expectations.

We appreciate the time you took to share your concerns, and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to serve you better in the future.

Best Regards,

Sincerely,

General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City
Level Contributor
105 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2013

For a beautiful 5* luxury hotel at top dollar rates you would expect to have a fabulous restaurant(s) with excellent food and a great choice. Unfortunately, whilst the hotel is gorgeous the culinary experience is desperately disappointing.

The elegant bar has now been turned into a dreadful Sushi bar and which looks like a Nikos' Cafe (from the city); the Prime 19 restaurant is only open on Friday and Saturday nights as long as there isn't a wedding or other event; one of the other restaurants by the pool has been closed and the Casa Club restaurant at the beach is only open during the day. This leaves a very poor choice of main restaurant.

When this restaurant first opened and the culinary influence was from the fabulous chef at the Bristol hotel in the city, the menu was eclectic and exotic, if a little rich - but it was something special and a refined night out. Now you could be forgiven for thinking that you were eating in a 3* hotel.

Our entire dining experience from beginning to end was horrible.The menu choice is pathetic at best with a boring list of starters and an extremely limited entree menu that includes a "Hamburger" which is the first item on the list. (Please, Marriott this is soooo patronizing to your guests!)

The only starter I wanted was Ceviche and there was none. (Clearly they had run out over the long weekend). They didn't offer an alternative at the time and I therefore opted to skip the starter. However, half an hour later, I saw other guests eating a starter that was not on the menu (that looked like a shrimp cocktail!). When the starters finally arrived (extremely slow service), the waitress didn't seem to know which was the Tuna Carpaccio and which was the Salmon Tartare and got them the wrong way round and the Tuna Carpaccio was dreadful - just didn't taste like Tuna.

We waited ages till the main course came and then to cap it all, especially as by this time I was getting quite hungry, they brought me Salmon instead of Chicken! (Which, incidentally looked awful). When the Chicken finally arrived, it was overcooked and dry and since it had barely been shown the lemon and caper sauce was absolutely tasteless. The vegetables weren't any better - also overcooked and tasteless.

The saving grace was that the Corvina was apparently very nice. The service was slow and inconsistent and the waiter refilling glasses managed to completely ignore us several times on his way round.

This is the main restaurant for the hotel and theoretically, should be the top restaurant. Over at the Golf course, Prime 19 is far superior and has a much nicer choice of food, but is hardly ever open.

We won't be going back .... very, very disappointing.

Room Tip: We do not stay here as we are residents of Buenaventura.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank GingerPanamaCity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gerencia02, General Manager at JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 4 weeks ago
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your review! We apologize if your stay with us did not meet up to your expectations. It's sad for us to read that because we certainly strive to deliver our very best to all our guests. We apologize for any inconvenience. Our doors always open!

I remain at your service,

JW Marriott Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort

Property: JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort
Address: 340 Calle 3ra Buenaventura | Cocle, Rio Hato, Panama (Formerly Bristol Buenaventura)
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Cocle Province > Rio Hato
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Rio Hato
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 132
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on the Pacific coast of Panama, Bristol Buenaventura is a luxury oceanfront destination resort and a member of Leading Hotels of the World. The resort sits on 1,000 acres of natural splendor, nestled between rivers, lakes, lush vegetation, and pristine beaches. Blending old world glamour and tropical elegance, the resort is reminiscent of a Spanish hacienda. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bristol Buenaventura Hotel Farallon
Bristol Bueneventura Santa Clara
JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort Rio Hato

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