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The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama, Autograph Collection
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All reviewsjw marriottel farobeautiful propertypool areamain restaurantbreakfast buffet isthe entire staffsteak restaurantpacific coastfitness centerjapanese restauranthotel guestsrooms are largesushirental cargreat beachtwo hours
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Reviewed April 6, 2010

With high prices $500+ per nite with tax come high expectations. Great room, clever open bath concept. While touted as a beach resort, the beach is not in site of the hotel but more than 200 yds away. A few words: remote, well designed attractive facility, lots of kids, great pools (one green however during my visit), good food, nice spa & fitness facility, problems with hot water from time to time (none in spa one day).

This property as well as the sister Bristol in Panama is in need of a more experienced better trained staff. Some are great but most are way under trained..

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jim M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol_Hotels, Manager at The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded April 7, 2010

JPMAtlanta,

Thank you for taking the time to write about Bristol Buenaventura!

We apologize for the inconvenience that you experienced, however necessary steps have been taken to resolve the issues. Altough the main tower is located a bit away from the beach, we do provide a shuttle service by boat or by golf cart that only takes 3 minutes or guests may choose to take a 5 minute leisure walk to the beach. As for the hot water, our engineering department has resolved the issue and should not be a problem. With regards to training, we are currently working with the staff to continue service excellence and providing luxury standards.

Rest assure that our guests comments are not taken lightly as we strive to improve and exceed expectations.

We hope to welcome you back to Bristol Buenaventura soon!

Warmest regards,

Bristol Buenaventura

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Reviewed March 14, 2010

This is the best hotel experience we've ever had in Panama. It is truly a world-class property. The hotel itself is well-appointed, the rooms are luxurious and well-kept. The staff is very friendly and helpful. A front-desk staff person welcomed us at the front door of the hotel, walked us to our room and took care of all the check-in details in-room, and offered us a tour immediately and outlined all the resort activities and amenities. It is quite a nice place and I'd recommend to anyone wanting to get away and relax.

As an aside, be sure that no weddings are happening while you plan to be there, because friends who had stayed there before reported a less-than-stellar experience because the hotel was crowded with wedding guests. I can imagine that it could be overwhelmed by large groups -- we heard that a group of 250 guests were there the previous weekend, and 500 the weekend prior to that. So, probably best to avoid it if there's a wedding happening, but we were one of the few guests during our weekend stay, so it felt like a real get away, with the pools and most of the hotel all to ourselves!

They keep flowers blooming all around the hotel, and the staff was constantly busy cleaning everywhere. It is very well-kept.

The spa is fantastic and one the best deals in Panama. Real luxury and service too. Highly recommended. It's extremely nice, so don't miss it!

The gym is pretty standard fare. Nothing to write home about, but adequate machines and weights.

There's a small church that it looks like the re-created to look like a small village chapel. I can imagine would be great for a wedding, because you can walk across the parking lot to the hotel and have your reception.

There's only one restaurant on the property, and they serve all meals. It is a little pricey, but not terrible. They really try hard, and the service is fantastic. They go all-out, but we found the food to be just o.k. The flavors were not perfect. Nonetheless, I can't really complain about it. It was well-presented and well-prepared.

Parking is either valet or self. Not a lot of parking, so I could envision that to be a problem on a busy day, but it was almost empty when we visited, so no problem.

Overall, the property is just luxurious and the pools at the beach are gorgeous. The pools at the hotel are for guests only, and they have golf-cart service to the beach. They also have a boat service that is like a venetian ride around the man-made lake/river that goes past the back of the hotel. Didn't use either, as the beach is certainly walkable, probably a 5-10 minute walk. All resort owners are all allowed to use the beach pools and beach, so I could imagine it could become a little crowded on a busy weekend, but again there was almost no one there the weekend that we happened to visit.

There's a couple tennis courts as well, and they were empty, but inviting. They are going to develop a golf course, but it's not done yet. I can imagine it will be first-class, like the rest of the property.

The sand at the beach is trucked in from somewhere, so it's very nice and white. Much different from the natural sand you can see right at the shoreline. The beach is great for relaxing and playing, but not likely very nice for swimming (at least we didn't go in too far).

I have one complaint that is a double-edged sword. They limit guests within the property to only those with reservations. At the gate where you drive in at the edge of the resort property the guards stop all traffic. We tried to visit the hotel to see it the weekend prior, but were not allowed in. I'd have liked to see it before we paid for a stay, but nonetheless, I suppose that it is also a security feature -- and does make the place extremely private. Thus, I guess there's a reason for it, but being from outside Panama it irked me that we couldn't visit first.

All in all, I'd go back in a minute. Strongly recommend it for anyone wanting to get away for the weekend or for a week, or a honeymoon. My wife says we'd be getting married there if we had to do it again. :)

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank TravlAgain
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol_Hotels, Manager at The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded March 17, 2010

TravlAgain,

Thank you for your kinds words and for choosing Bristol Buenaventura!

We are thrilled to hear that you had an excellent stay with us and appreciate your feedback! We pride ourselves on service excellence and luxury standards for all our guests.

We do want to inform you that we have acquired a new Executive Chef, Sergio Howland, as he plans on changing all menus throughout the property and excited to feature his cuisine soon! He has worked in only 5-star hotels and Michellin Star restaurants in Spain.

Additionally, our guests' privacy and safety is extremely important to us and so we do feel that our security measures are just. However, if future guests would like to see the property beforehand, we suggest you request to speak with front desk and they can cross reference your reservation.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Bristol Buenaventura and possibly share your future anniversary or renewal of vows with us!

Warmest regards,

Bristol Buenaventura

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Reviewed March 4, 2010

My girlfriend and I spend 4 days at the Bristol Buenaventura and had a great time at the resort. The staff was very friendly and helpful and most of them speak English. Our room was very nice and comfortable, the bed was amazingly soft and we had a great veiw from our room balcony. The food at the restaurant was delicious! . We had a great time horse back riding along the beach with our very friendly tour guide. It was our first time on a horse and our guide made this an experience of a life time. At our stay in Panama we stayed at two other five star resorts and The Bristol Buenaventura was by far the best resort in Panama hands down. We can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank luchy77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol_Hotels, Manager at The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded March 7, 2010

luchy77,

Thank you for choosing Bristol Buenaventura! We appreciate all feedback and comments from our guests!

Please let us know when we can assist you with your future stay at Bristol Buenaventura and we hope to welcome you back soon!

Warmest regards,

Bristol Buenaventura

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Reviewed March 1, 2010

We stayed here last year in April. The hotel just opened a week before.
This is by far the best hotel in the region. We loved every second of it. The staff was very friendly and the hotel area was beautifull. We loved the swimming pool at the beach club with the private stairs into the pool. The room was large with ensuite windows to the bathroom. Gives a very romantic touch to the room. Separate toilet, shower and bath.
Because the hotel was just opened, the staff had to find their way around.
The only thing that irritated us was the music in the main building of the hotel; they played the same Christmas cd over and over (while we were there in April........).
Outside the hotel isn't much to do. You have to drive at least half an hour to the nearest larger town.
I would defenitly recommend this hotel to everyone who loves tranquility and peace in a beautiful surrounding with great service.

Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
1  Thank Werner-traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol_Hotels, Manager at The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded March 1, 2010

Werner-traveller,

We are excited to hear that you had a wonderful stay at Bristol Buenaventura! We appreciate all feedback and comments as we strive to uphold service excellence and luxury standards.

Rest assure that the appropriate music is played, accentuating the tropical ambiance.

Please let us know when we can assist you with your future stay at Bristol Buenaventura and we hope to welcome you back soon!

Warmest regards,

Bristol Buenaventura

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Reviewed February 25, 2010

The facility is beautiful and we felt welcome the first minute we arrived. Very personalized service which you experience from the moment when you check in. Good food, pools and endless beaches.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled with family
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Thank Panama-Frank
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol_Hotels, Manager at The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded March 1, 2010

Panama-Frank,

Thank you for choosing Bristol Buenaventura! We are excited to hear of your wonderful stay and appreciate all feedback and comments as we strive to uphold luxury standards.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or further comments.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon!

Warmest regards,

Bristol Buenaventura

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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