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“I expected a lot more from a place that hosts a hotel and culinary school.”

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Holiday Inn Panama Canal
Ranked #23 of 115 Hotels in Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed March 7, 2010

The rooms here are adequate and clean. It's not fancy, but if you need to be out at Clayton (near the Ciudad del Saber NGO haven and the U.S. Embassy) it's in a great location. If you want or need to be near the city center, this is not a good choice.

The staff is generally unfriendly and not particularly helpful. I found this unnerving, considering that the hotel is home to the Intercontinental chain's hotel school. I'm not sure I'd stay at a place where the former students are running the hotel.

Worse than that, though, is the food. That is what ultimately drove me out. There are very few restaurants nearby, and none in walking distance. So I had to rely on the hotel's restaurant. Ugh. They overcook everything - shellfish, steak, eggs, balsamic reduction, you name it. The culinary student who fried my eggs cooked eggs over hard until they were rubbery and needed to be cut with a knife. He seemed deeply confused about the procedure, left the cooking station to get a spatula, and still screwed up the eggs. I was very impressed, in a bad way: that kid had no business even being in culinary school. That evening the students burned the balsamic reduction they put on the tire-like steak that I had ordered medium. When I complained to the restaurant manager, he seemed troubled but made no effort to compensate me or fix the problem.

Also, their "fitness center" is an unventilated broom closet with a rickety stationary bike, a treadmill, and a Nautilus machine. The Kiwanis sports complex is within walking distance; do yourself a favor and go there instead.

Bottom line: stay here if you need to be in Clayton and are fine with no frills, but avoid the restaurant at all costs.

  • Stayed: March 2010, traveled on business
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Thank jenjess48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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236 - 242 of 610 reviews

Reviewed February 26, 2010

If you are in town for meetings at Ciudad del Saber y/o US Embassy compound it definitely makes sense to stay here, but I wouldn't recommend it for more than 2 nights. Staff is very friendly and helpful but there are definitely no frills. The restaurant is sub-par, the walls are painfully thin, the hotel bar is a joke, and there is no really good place to work or hold impromptu meetings. If you do stay here, request a room on the canal side above the 3rd floor.

  • Stayed: February 2010, traveled on business
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Thank tootsiemom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2010

First the good
The rooms are fair size and in excellent condition
The rooms are very clean
The king beds are very comfortable.
The food we had was good if expensive.
The plug in internet was fast and easy to set up
The tap water is OK to drink
There is a free shuttle to a nearby mall but it stops at 4pm
There is a free drink - a rum and coke or fruit punch in the lobby 5 - 12pm

The bad
There is annoying policy of charging an extra $15 for a second person in the room
The wireless internet is an extra $15
The breakfast is an extra $12.50 which is fine if you want an all you can eat breakfast but a lot for a bowl of cereal.
There are no stores of any kind within walking distance.
The canal view rooms are noisy and the canal is only visible through some trees
It is a long cab ride to the historic part of the city.

  • Stayed: January 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank mullaboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 22, 2009

I am writing this review from the Holiday Inn on December 22, 2009. I returned to the city after 7 days of work in the countryside. After paying $160, I have music blaring down the hall from a private party at 11pm on a Tuesday night. The management refuses to stop the party and suggests that I move to another room (my bags are all unpacked and I am in bed). This after I spent two hours trying to get the Wifi internet to work, and finally had to demand a refund for this service ($14 per day). This hotel is a joke, dont think for a second that you will get the quality of an American owned Holiday Inn. This is a third world ripoff at luxuriant first world prices.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
Thank AthroTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Graciela A, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Panama Canal, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2012

Thank you for taking your time and let us know your experience at Holiday Inn Panama Canal. We are sorry to read that you had an unpleasant experience at our hotel. During Christmas period we usually hosting social event, all of our rooms are away from our banquet rooms, to ensure the quiet night sleep of our guest. Our internet service is free in all of our guest rooms by cable. We also improve our Wifi connectivity with more speed. Thank you again for your comments.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2009

Nice Hotel near the Panama Canal, good service and clean.
Only be aware front site of hotel has a lot of noise if Panama Canal train passes by.
Very small swimming pool.
Good restaurant, buffet style brkfast

Stayed: October 2009, traveled on business
Thank RamonC3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2009

This Holiday is well worth the stay. Roughly for about $110 a night you get a very good view of the Panama Canal. Staff is very helpful and the breakfast buffet is hard to beat.
Close proximity (driving or taxi) to the shopping district and roughly 3/4hr to the airport or 20mins to the downtown area where all the casinos are. I will definately stay here again the next time I go back.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jokerpoker_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Graciela A, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Panama Canal, responded to this reviewResponded September 18, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to write your king comment about your stay at Holiday Inn Panama Canal. For us it is very important to deliver and excellent service Guest Love. As you well said we are located in front of the Miraflores locks so you can see every day the ships crossing the Canal. We also offer a daily Shuttle to the Miraflores locks and the Albrook Mall.

On your next visit please try our Thursday of Fusion y Sabor at the Canal View Restaurant.

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Reviewed March 22, 2009

We stayed here two nights. Our room overlooked the Panama Canal. This very likely could have been the only hotel that did so. Everyone was great, except the Restaurant. They were a little unorganized. They really messed up on our order and were very slow. However, the hotel was great. This hotel is not near the Tokomon Airport, so It will cost you about $40 to get here from there. But, it is only 5 minutes from the Albrook Airport, where you can get to for around $5.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank bungiefour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Panama Canal

Address: Ave. Omar Torrijos Herrera Clayton, Panama City 7336, Panama (Formerly Holiday Inn Panama City)
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 115 Hotels in Panama City
Price Range: $74 - $102 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Holiday Inn Panama Canal 3*
Number of rooms: 137
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Travelers looking for Panama hotel deals will appreciate the great location and outstanding array of amenities found at the Holiday Inn(R) City of Knowledge. Located just minutes away from some of the best attractions and businesses in Panama, our property offers both convenience and great value.Leisure guests are often drawn to our family-friendly Panama City hotel's close proximity to several of the city's best attractions including the visitor center at Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal, the Albrook Shopping Center (with free shuttle service from our hotel), and the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. But our guests don't even have to leave the hotel to enjoy our sparkling outdoor pool in a beautifully landscaped courtyard, the well-equipped 24-hour Fitness Center, or our gift shop for a souvenir. Our hotel is only a few miles away from Panama City's banking district where many international transactions take place. Our fully-staffed Business Center provides guests with everything they need including copying, courier service, personal computer, and high-speed Internet access.When you're looking for great Panama hotel deals we offer the best. Make your reservations today to get the best Panama travel deals around at our Panama City hotel. You can be assured that when you stay at an IHG Green Engage Hotel, you are participating in an advanced, world-wide sustainability effort. We understand that it is important for you to have an active role in protecting our environment and that's why we've made it easier for you to choose a hotel that matches your sustainable values. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn City Of Knowledge Hotel Panama City
Panama City Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn Panama Canal Panama City

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