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“Fabulous Oceanside resort. Food not good.”

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JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Rio Hato
Certificate of Excellence
Pittsburgh, PA
Level Contributor
34 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Fabulous Oceanside resort. Food not good.”
Reviewed January 2, 2014

My family and I traveled to Panama for Christmas vacation and spent 4 nights at this resort. The rooms are spectacular and the resort itself is great. The pools and the ocean area are top notch. My main complaint is that the food was fair at best and expensive. The breakfast was good, but other meals were not good and expensive. The Sushi was inedible which was a big disappointment. Also the gym was tiny and packed during our stay.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank marcPittsburgh_PA
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 5, 2015
Dear Sir or Madam,

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

I would like to inform you that our General Manager has already taken measurements with the team to solve the areas of opportunities you experienced with the food, sushi and also the Gym.

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,


The Management
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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)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
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English first
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 24, 2013

Pros:
Rooms are beautiful
Hotel is beautiful
Spa was accommodating and nice
Staff is helpful
Cons:
Middle of nowhere
At $600/night not including wifi is ridiculous (I'm writing this from the lobby)
The food service was not good. Our first night we were seated, orders taken, theeeeen nothing. 30 min before we had to ask for bread, an additional 15 min before our appetizers arrived (3 being salads, and 1 being cold scallops from sitting out), our entrees came with overcooked shrimp, sea bass that had been left out so it was cool when it arrived, and overall no dish out of the 9 that were ordered had any qualities worth writing about. We will try other restaurants if we can.

  • Stayed December 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Csjcbson
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 7, 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 want to thank you on behalf of our Staff for your excellent and positive comments.

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,


The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama city, Panama
Level Contributor
38 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2013

I've stayed here off and on and they really have made an effort on service. Unlucky that we were there on holiday weekend as the hotel at night was really noisy but what to do. Food has been very good and continues to be so. Golf next door is top rate, although the tennis court begins to look a bit sad.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Bill C
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 7, 2015
Google Translation
Estimada Señora Susana:

Gracias por su reciente estadía en nuestro JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort.

Deseamos agradecerle el haber puesto de nuestro conocimiento las áreas de oportunidades que amablemente detalla en los comentarios de Tripadvisor. Es sólo a través de la valiosa información de clientes fieles como Usted que nos damos cuenta en dónde estamos fallando en satisfacer las expectivativas de nuestros huéspedes.

Realmente apreciamos el tiempo que usted dedicó para comentarnos sus preocupaciones y esperamos nos brinde la oportunidad de ser nuevamente sus anfitriones.

Un placer servirle,

Germinal Garcia
Gerente General
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 15, 2013

Just returned from a trip to Panama. Stayed at this resort which is in Ria Hato, about 115 kms from the Panama city airport. Drive was a bit of a hike (took almost 3 hours to get there) but the resort was beautiful and very enjoyable. The ocean beach is absolutely beautiful. The staff at the hotel were very courteous but less knowledgeable of things to do in the vicinity of the resort. All in all it was a great resort and very well maintained.

Room Tip: If you want to stay far from the buzzle of Panama city, this is the resort to stay at.
See more room tips
  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank S K
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 7, 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,

The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newark, New Jersey
Level Contributor
122 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed October 26, 2013

This is a great spot when you are ready to relax. We visited in August and many days we had the pools to ourselves. The resort is quite large and they offer bikes to get around..we arranged our own transfers so it was a bit less then 160.. We were only there two nights but I think if you stayed longer you may get tired of the food. There is a little store on the property which is great for lunch or if you want to get things for a light breakfast in your room.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ttravelerbug
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 7, 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 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,

The Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
newton, ma.
Level Contributor
22 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2013

We stayed at this resort for three nights with two small children and loved it. The property is absolutely gorgeous. The pools are incredible, the beach is nice (though the black lava sand burns) and empty and the food is incredible. I had a vegetable sandwich that was superb and a tuna sandwich that was excellent as well. My husband's steak was great and all the breakfast breads were homemade and delicious. Even the sushi and miso soup were excellent.
We stayed in a one bedroom suite facing the lagoon and it was spacious and beautifully decorated with a great balcony and view. There was a coffee maker in the room and water was provided everyday. Housekeeping puts a chocolate on your pillow at night.
The staff was lovely. They opened the restaurants early for the kids at night and tried to accommodate us in every way. They even put cold water bottles in our drink holders in the car when we were leaving the property en route to Panama City.
The hotel was empty during the week- which we loved. I think it probably fills up on the weekends.
I can't recommend this hotel enough-- from the server who tried to teach my son to play the drums to the chef who visited us regularly each night while we dined ... everything was personalized and exceptional.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank NJCV
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,

Thanks for the review. It is always a pleasure to see positive reviews on Tripadvisor; so we greatly appreciate it.

I look forward to welcoming you back in the near future!

Cordially,

JW Marriott Team
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Johannesburg
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2013

We live in Panama and decided to go here for the weekend. It is only a 1.5 hour drive from Panama City -- longer if coming from the airport. It is an easy drive, so rent a car and drive yourself. The resort is just what you would expect from a 5 star JW Marriott by the beach. The property is immaculate and the tropical flowers and garden are gorgeous. There must be at least 10 pools. There are many families and many couples, but never did it feel like kids were a bother nor did it ever feel like it was a couples only place. It was nice to see all the families and all the love birds doing there own thing.

The rooms are stunningly beautiful in an understated elegance kind a way. Huge sunken tub with a view to the outside. Very comfortable bed and crisp linens. Didn't have the troubles others mention with the tv. In fact, there were so many channels and a mix of English and Spanish, that i wondered what the complaint was about. We had the lagoon view room with a view of the ocean.

Food: The beef at this resort is all imported USDA prime cuts. I had a veal chop that was so fabulous that my wife asked for the recipe. The breakfast buffet is very nice and vey high quality, with lots of fresh fruits, eggs to order, waffles and crepes to order, etc. There is a swim-up bar with fabulous drinks -- request the local Abuelo rum instead of Bacardi. The burgers and buffalo chicken sandwich were wonderful.

My only complaint about the food is the so-called Japanese restaurant. It is fake Japanese. Everything is doused in cream cheese. I had the nigiri sushi plate and the sushi was OK, but certainly not fresh.

Service -- everyone is very well trained in true Marriott fashion. The best was Javier by the pool. He treated out little dog as good as a paying guest. Everyone was very sweet and helpful without ever being intrusive. Some people complained that service was slow. That was never our experience. We never waited more than 3 mins for a towel or a menu. Everything was spot on!
Well done! We will be back many times!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank KhunChai
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 glowing review. It is so motivating to know when we touch the hearts in our guest’s experience and I am thrilled to see your stay was just that. Hope to welcome you back soon.

Warmest regards,

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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