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“Best in class with some improvement opportunities”

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JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Rio Hato
Certificate of Excellence
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Best in class with some improvement opportunities”
Reviewed July 21, 2013

I stayed this last weekend with my wife. We live in Panama and we just wanted to relax. Mission accomplished. Excellent facilities (fantastic room) and very good attention. The best beach hotel we have ever stayed in Panama. As the hotel is part of a "villa" it is surrounded by private houses, so some facilities are being shared by neighbours and guests. Good breakfast buffet at 20 dollars per person, not included in room rate if you reserve by marriot official site. Very good spa with fantastic attention from personnel. Bikes are available to ride within the villa (nice touch!)
Improvement opportunities: the japanese restaurant is too expensive to what you get. The TV channels are limited and pay-per-view movies at ridiculous 15 bucks (very few and very old selection).

Stayed July 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank HMP S
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 23, 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 en Tripadvisor, debido a que sus opiniones son esenciales para nosotros y nos motivan día a día a dar mejor calidad y servicio. También agradecemos sus sugerencias las cuales tendremos presentes referente al precio de los menús en el Restaurante Tai Kai y sobre los canales de televisión.

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

Un placer servirle,

La Gerencia General
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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786 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (139)
Date | Rating
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English first
San Antonio, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
21 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2013

Our stay at the JW Marriott in Rio Hato could not have been better. The rooms, staff and atmosphere are outstanding. Our room was clean, beautifully furnished and well kept. The staff knew our names and if they didnt they asked. The staff went out of there way to help us any way they could. The pool area is relaxing and so is the beach area. The hotel lends out bikes and the bike ride around the property and to the beach was fun. If you don't have a car it is hard to get around and taxi's are expensive, so plan on just relaxing and get on a do nothing schedule. The complimentary bottle of champagne on my birthday was a nice touch. Loved it!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cotrvls
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 23, 2015
Dear Sir or Madam,

On behalf of the entire JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort family we would like to thank you for your recent visit.

I sincerely appreciate your valuable positive feedback which will assist us in our commitment to continuously improve our products and services.

Thanking you for your preference and looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Cordially,

General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City, Panama, Panama
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed July 7, 2013

The JW Marriott (formerly Bristol Buenaventura) is an amazing hotel. It's a gorgeous property with delicious food and really great service. The pools are awesome, and they just recently added more pools. I've lived in Panama for 3 years, I've been to Decamaron, Playa Placa, Wyndam (when it was Nikki Beach), and Sheraton Bijao...I've never returned to any of those, but I've returned to the JW Marriott several times. It's hands down the nicest resort of them all in that area, and worth the extra money. Beds are also AMAZING.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank dluds
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,

On behalf of the entire JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort family we would like to thank you for your recent visit.

I sincerely appreciate your valuable positive feedback which will assist us in our commitment to continuously improve our products and services.

Thanking you for your preference and looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Cordially,

General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed July 6, 2013

Stayed here for one night recently. This is a very nice facility, with lots of swimming options, both fresh and salt water. Perfect for a couples or friends get-away. This used to be the Bristol Hotel until just recently, when Marriott bought it out, I guess.

Room was a single bedroom with private bathroom. The bathroom had an option to open shutters on a large window between the bathroom and bedroom, allowing a view from the bathtub through the bedroom to the outside. Quite nice and romantic if you are there as a couple. Don't know if all rooms have this feature.

There is a small selection of services on the hotel grounds including a (very) small gift shop, coffee bar, and exercise facility.

This is not just a Marriott hotel.... this is a resort-type facility. All very neat and clean.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Stu W
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,

On behalf of the entire JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort family we would like to thank you for your recent visit.

I sincerely appreciate your valuable positive feedback which will assist us in our commitment to continuously improve our products and services.

Thanking you for your preference and looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Cordially,

General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 2, 2013

I stayed at this resort for my friends wedding. while mostly everyone was extremely kind and accommodating, I felt like management really didn't listen to guests.
I inquired if the breakfast buffet was included in my rate and the waiter said yes. So I began to enjoy a nice meal with friends. At the end of the meal, I was told that my rate did not include breakfast at all. I was a bit shocked because some of my friends had the same rate as I did but were able to receive the breakfast package. Management did nothing to alleviate my concerns and simply said, "we're going to mark off the people in the group that have the package and don't." Ok, that's great, but what about this miscommunication earlier? Nothing, management did nothing for me.
That being said, the resort is beautiful. They provide bug spray in all the hotel rooms for the guests to use. The room I had a beautiful overlooking the pools, with a large tub, relaxing shower and comfy beds.
The employees of the hotel always wore a smile and were quite kind. There were many pools and we never wanted for anything. The food was good, It wasn't mind blowing but I barely left any crumbs! (maybe because I didn't eat breakfast?)
The only other bad thing I have to say is that there were maintenance men working right outside my door banging and making noise. So while it wasn't as peaceful as I thought it was going to be, the resort was beautiful and perfect for the occasion.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gailn393
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,

General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City, Panama, Panama
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2013

We stayed one night at the JW Marriott Panama, used to be Bristol hotel until about six months ago. We live in Panama City so we used our own car to get there and to go in and out. The hotel is in a very secluded area away from the main highway so if you do not have your own transportation and you are staying for a long stay, you may have a hard time getting around.

The hotel has been designed to embrace the tropics. The choice of construction materials and design is superb. High ceilings, exquisite rock foundations and partial walls, ceiling fans, some gorgeous wood ceilings and exhuberant and well kept vegetation makes you feel you enter paradise when you arrive in the non-air conditioned lobby and wonder around the corridors and patios.

The rooms are gorgeously appointed with lovely balconies. Very nice wooden floors. No worries, they have very nice air conditioners.

The history behind this development is that they built residences and a beach club before the hotel so the hotel is not right on the water. In fact, you can't even see the ocean from the hotel as it is a pretty good walk there and the hotel only has three floors. Nevertheless, the pools and all the grounds surrounding the hotel are lovely. The hotel has a van to take you to the beach club if the walk is too much for you. The entire development is in striking contrast with nearby developments with the presence of so much vegetation and some amazing gigantic trees that have been kept on purpose. The others are concrete and glass. JW Marriott is so serene....There is even a chapel. A local deli (Deli Gourmet) has an outlet in the hotel grounds). There are some residences and villas surrounding the hotel

The staff was very nice although not necessarily extremely knowledgeable of what they needed to know to provide accurate information (for example, the front desk did not know if they had a brunch in Sunday...it is a small hotel). That is not atypical of Panama unfortunately.

We enjoyed the breakfast buffet and the service although if we compare similar offerings for the same price, the food selection was quite limited but that may be what can be expected in Panama in my experience. They did offer me some gluten free products.

It is a very enjoyable stay if you are willing to be at the hotel for your entire stay, whatever long it is. They have a few choices of restaurants on the premises. And of course, it is a luxury hotel with prices to match that category, including the cost of wifi, unless you are a Marriott gold member like us.

Room Tip: It is a small hotel with only three floors. We prefered a room closer to the elevator and it was an...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank RSSwyter
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, May 23, 2017
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
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Herradura, Costa Rica
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed June 17, 2013

A couple of issues, but nothing really bad.
1) We came to play golf and wanted an early tee time. 10am is the earliest for the hotel guests as they save the earlier tee times for members. Even if there are NO members playing they still won't give an early tee time. Somehow we talked them into that, but it took a lot of cajoling and speaking to the golf course manager. The course is great....and I'm pretty good at getting out of the sand traps now. The refreshment cart attendees could be friendlier, tho. And more variety on the cart....muffins? Water? Granola bars? FruI've been here twice. Once before the Marriott took it over and once after. JW Marriott has done a great job. The people are friendly. The service is better than most places in Panama, but still could use some tweaking. And the golf course is great. The pool is also great and there are several different places to eat with many varieties off cuisine.
it?
2) We ordered room service to be delivered between 6:00 - 6:15am. At 6:20 I called and was assured it would be there in 5 minutes. At 6:45 we called again and was told that it would only be a few more mintes that there was an issue with the bread baker. We cancelled the order. I was not happy, to say the least. Thought that I could order breakfast on the golf course. Nope. The restaurant didn't have togo cups for coffee....but the woman was VERY NICE and tried her hardest, bless her heart. We did end up hearing from the Exec. Chef who apologized for the problem.
3) I called "At your service" at 9pm to get a foam pillow. It never showed up.

While the service is better than any other place I have been to in Panama, it is still a little lacking. Someone with some really good waiter training should come in and show them how its done. Our waiter was nice, very helpful, but half way thru dinner disappeared and the Sushi Chef had to deliver the rest of our food. Not sure what happened there. Then once he delivered the check, we had to flag him down to take the payment....I'm sure he expected us to charge it to our room, but he should have come back just in case there was a problem with the bill.

I will come back and recommend you visiting as well. Nice beach, great pool.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank BigAl_inCR
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,

On behalf of the entire JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort family we would like to thank you for your recent visit.

I sincerely appreciate your valuable positive feedback which will in turn assist us in our commitment to continuously improve our products and services.

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.

Thanking you for your preference and looking forward to welcoming you back in the near future.

Cordially,

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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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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