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“Glimpses of Greatness”
Review of Le Meridien Panama

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Le Meridien Panama
Ranked #11 of 113 Hotels in Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
29 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Glimpses of Greatness”
Reviewed February 28, 2014

I have stayed at Le Meridien Panama 4 times in the last 7 weeks on business. I stay here because one of my business partners has a corporate rate and they arrange the bookings when I'm in town to work with them. This hotel has so many things going for it, but a few little things that really mar the experience.

Upside: Most of the staff I have interacted with have been unfailingly attentive, kind and go out of their way to make your stay pleasant. The English spoken by the staff is also fairly good. The food - both a la carte in the restaurant and at the breakfast buffet - is really quite good. The rooms are modern, clean and spacious and the beds are very comfortable. As far as location, you couldn't ask for better. Fantastic restaurants and shopping within easy walking distance. Also, the fitness center is small but adequate and has a great view of the water.

Opportunities: 2 major and 1 minor. First, the WiFi is infuriating. Constantly unstable in the rooms - when it does connect, it only holds for a minute or two, making anything streaming impossible to enjoy. I have had 4 different rooms in 4 different parts of the hotel during my various stays, and location of the room makes no difference. For a 4-star hotel this is, to me, unacceptable. The free WiFi in the public areas is more stable but why should you have to use the lobby just to download e-mail attachments on my tablet? Second, at the "corporate rate" or booking through any 3rd party (such as Expedia, Orbitz, etc) you do not earn loyalty points through Starwood Preferred Guest. Now, the hotel is not so much to blame for that policy as is Starwood - nonetheless, I travel 3 weeks out of the month for work and 1-2 of those weeks each month is at this property and will be for the foreseeable future. Without SPG status accrual, I have very little incentive to patronize Starwood properties when I go to other cities. Hilton, on the other hand, gives me points AND airline miles for stays that are booked on corporate agreements and through 3rd parties. For that reason, when I'm in any other city, I book with them and not Starwood. It kind of defeats the point of having a loyalty program if you're going to alienate business travelers. Lastly, the minor point. On one occassion, I had to be really insistent with the front desk clerk that breakfast was supposed to be included at the corporate rate. He was not overtly rude about it, just very insistent - I had to be equally insistent that he check the rate and booking to see that breakfast and internet (such as it is) are supposed to be included. In the end it was sorted out to my satisfaction, but the process to get to that point was unecessary and unpleasant.

Overall, if you can get a deal to stay at this hotel for leisure, it's worth the tradeoffs. However, it doesn't execute on the fundamentals of business travel (stable WiFi and decent loyalty program) at the level you would expect of a 4-star hotel associated with an international brand like Starwood.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank GrammarFreak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boris D, Manager at Le Meridien Panama, responded to this review, March 4, 2014
Dear GrammarFreak

Thank you very much for your great comments on our hotel staff! We will share your feedback with our associates.
We really appreciate your comments and I promise we will be working in those details to avoid that from happening in the future

Best Regards.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Oakland, California, United States
Level Contributor
91 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2014

This is a very nice property that as fairly consistent with the standards one would expect from a Le Meriden branded Starwood Property. The property itself is quite nice, but comes up a bit short relative to some other finer Starwood properties.

1) Concierge service was inconsistent. Often times there was no concierge attendant at the desk.
2) The breakfast service at the Latitude Restaurant was at times quite chaotic, and there is no hostess at a post to coordinate seating that created a "free for all" type of experience. My first time there for example I felt totally neglected, waiting endlessly for a staff to escort me to a table while I watched as the few available tables were left uncleaned and re-set while busy servers ran around at a frenetic pace doing their best to refill coffee and water. There was a staff member who appeared to be a manager with her back turned to me for close to 5 minutes chatting with guests at the nearby bar while I waited patiently for some attention. Ultimately, it required me having to walk over to her, interrupt her politely to ask if I could be seated. Frankly, I would expect better. The buffet table was often times out of key items and the staff could not seem to replenish quickly enough. I suspect that better training and more staff could resolve this issue.
3) Turn down service was sporadic and not consistent. of 7 nights I believe I actually enjoyed turn down service 4 of the 7 nights.
4) The Club Lounge for Platinum guests had very meager offerings and poor service at morning breakfast of which I partook a few mornings. The staff there in the mornings lacked personality and the offerings were, as stated, woefully lacking in assortment, quantity and quality.
5) The pool was under renovation - a disappointment but understand this of course is required every so often; a nice touch might have been to have been TOLD upon check in that this was the case but that the hotel DID have reciprocity with the Intercontinental across the street. I didn't ask until the 4th day and only then learned of the options. Maybe my bad for not asking.....
6) Fitness Club was just okay. It is small and AC could have been cranked up a bit more. But nice views. :)

On a positive note:
1) Club Lounge for appetizers and cocktails evening time was excellent, and Wendy is a true asset, the hostess there throughout the week who was among the most gracious, friendly and accommodating I've ever had the pleasure of meeting in any Starwood Club Lounge in the world. I hope the Hotel takes good care of her. She is a gem.
2) The room and serving of the room was EXCELLENT. I appreciated that the hotel upgraded me to a lovely suite, and despite occasional internet issues the room was just perfect. Spacious, clean and professional serviced in a timely manner. TV and channel offerings was very good and workled well.
3) The staff downstairs was extremely helpful in providing advice and directions to local places of interest. Very friendly and while I speak fairly good Spanish, their English skills are just fine for the gringo not conversant in Spanish.

All that said, a very nice hotel that simply is in need of tweaking a few details regarding staff at Concierge level and improvements and offerings for breakfast. A very nice 4 star hotel but lots of work needed to qualify for a 5 star rating from this seasoned traveler. :) I would recommend this property.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bob F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boris D, Manager at Le Meridien Panama, responded to this review, March 4, 2014
Dear Bob F
We appreciate all your comments and the time taken to evaluate our services and property; this will help us in order to improve our quality standards and to provide you with excellent customer service.
Best Regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitby, Canada
Level Contributor
25 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2014

Nice clean modern hotel. Great rooms large Food and beverage prices the best seen in any hotel or bar! Had sum small issue but where looked after above and and beyond. At night rooms had some street noise but post stay ask for higher floor room looked after problem.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank GrandpaB2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boris D, Manager at Le Meridien Panama, responded to this review, February 17, 2014
Dear GrandpaB2013
It gives us great pleasure in reading excellent comments of the hotel,
Thank you for your time and looking forward to your return visit to Le Meridien Panamá
Best regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Venice, Florida
Level Contributor
120 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2014 via mobile

The staff is accommodating and friendly from the moment you arrive at the front door. This is a relatively small hotel, so the staff gets to know you by name almost instantly. They are forthcoming with recommendations for activities and places to eat. Although the rooms are showing a bit of wear, they are clean and spacious. The bed is comfortable, but the rooms are a bit noisy due to street noise. The only downside was the service at the restaurant for breakfast. It was inconsistent at best, poor other times.

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank BBVeniceFL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boris D, Manager at Le Meridien Panama, responded to this review, February 17, 2014
Dear BBVeniceFL
These are the kind of comments that help us reinforce our commitment to provide an excellent service.
We will be certainly looking at your suggestions and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

Best regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
62 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed February 5, 2014

I stayed 4 nights at the Le Meridien Panama and it was the perfect home base to explore Panama. The staff was very helpful, one of the employees walked me all the way to the market because I couldn't find it. The sunrise/sunset view from the pool deck is breathtaking, but it was very windy. The sights of Panama were easily within reach via taxi and the hotel itself was close to restaurants and malls. You can start your day walking/running along the Bay of Panama.

Our first room was a handicapped accessible room, which normally isn't a problem, but this room had no bathroom door (for 3 females, this was uncomfortable). The hotel was completely booked for the night, but the front desk staff had no problem changing us the next day.

The breakfast buffet and omelet station started the day off just right. Not too lite and not heavy either.

Great stay overall!

Room Tip: Try and get a room looking out over the Bay. Otherwise you are just looking at other buildings.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Feelinbeachy43
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boris D, Manager at Le Meridien Panama, responded to this review, February 17, 2014
Dear Feelinbeachy43
We appreciate all your comments and the time taken to evaluate our services and property; this will help us in order to improve our quality standards and to provide you with excellent customer service
Best regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
Level Contributor
41 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2014

We stayed here for half a night because of a foul up at the airport and needed a place to rest before leaving at 3 a.m. The front desk was surly from the start. When i went with the bell boy to the room i noticed a nasty chemical smell and he told me it was from the sun coming in the windows (?). I asked to change rooms. The desk was not happy about it, but offered another room which also had a bad odor, at which point i noticed that the hallways also reeked. The bell boy now informed me that the carpet in the hotel is the problem. Because it was late, and we needed to get up early we decided not to change hotels. The food we ate in the bar was only ok. In the past we have stayed at the Bristol, the Marrriott, and the Intercontinental in Panama City. All are much nicer, and i believe in the same price bracket.
If you are sharing the room with someone you are not intimate with, be aware that the bathroom has a window that is semi-transparent into the sleeping area.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank patsydog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boris D, Manager at Le Meridien Panama, responded to this review, January 28, 2014
Dear Patsydog
Thanks for your review, we really appreciate your comments and I promise we will be working in those details to avoid that from happening in the future.

We hope you give us a new opportunity soon to show you what we have changed.

Best regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 23, 2014

My girlfriend and I stayed at the Le Meridien Panama during the last week of December. As a Starwood Platinum member, we were upgraded to a suite upon check-in. We were extremely pleased with the room as it included a ocean view, separate living room, large closet and bath tub jacuzzi.

I could go on and on about all of the good things that are being done right at this hotel, but I really wanted to bring attention to the outstanding customer service that we experienced from everyone from at the hotel whether it be the doorman, front desk, bell hop and/or breakfast attendant.

Although our stay was close to perfect, I did want to note that the pool hotel is extremely small and that the housekeeping was slow with turning around our room everyday.

At the end of the day, I would recommend this hotel to anyone especially at it's price point.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tejan96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boris D, Manager at Le Meridien Panama, responded to this review, January 28, 2014
Dear Tejan 96
Thank you very much for your great comments on our hotel and the hotel staff! We will share your feedback with our associates. Hopefully you can visit Le Meridien Panamá again in the near future.
Regards
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 Le Meridien Panama

Property: Le Meridien Panama
Address: Calle Uruguay and Balboa Avenue, Panama City, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Panama City
#10 Luxury Hotel in Panama City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Le Meridien Panama 4*
Number of rooms: 111
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On the edge of the Bay of Panama overlooking the old and new quarters of the city, we're bounded by charming restaurants and vibrant nightlife, all within a few minutes to the financial center and corporate offices. Our design is jaw-dropping. A double high ceiling lobby features an overturned glass pyramid reflecting vibrant colors, while a black granite lobby blends with golden accents, and a prominent 46 feet high atrium featuring lively glass. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Le Meridien Panama Hotel Panama City
Le Meridien Panama Panama City

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