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“Very nice surprise”

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Hotel Riu Plaza Panama
Ranked #20 of 116 Hotels in Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 3, 2012

I was not familiar with Riu Hotels, but took a suggestion from a business contact I was meeting in Panama City. It was across the street from his office in the Banking District. The hotel is something like 34 floors and only a year or two old. Service was fast checking in, and they are used to having a lot of people checking in and out throughout the day. Before I booked it, I read some negative reviews about service and an odor. I cannot agree with those assessments. It as fine. This is a business hotel with lots of conferences for the region, but I saw quite a few couples and families. The included breakfast buffet is first class. Take a little time and do not rush, because this is a very nice treat. I only went to the restaurant by the pool for dinner one night and snacks during the one day I had off. There was another fine dinning restaurant, but the prices scared me a bit, and that is not what I was looking for at the time. Prices were what you would expect from a upscale hotel in a business center, and the service was friendly and good. The room was modern and fully equipped for internet access. I had a problem with the reading lamps by the bed, and maintenance was available in a reasonable time to address the issues. I went to the spa once which is run by a different company on contact. The attendants were both pleasant and proficient. The concierge desk was helpful and friendly. Overall, it was a positive experience. One thing I did think was a negative was the prices from transportation from the hotel. The taxis were always more than they should be. Walking 100 feet away would allow you to get a taxi for about 50% of the price. Other than that and a formal feel to the lobby area, it was a pleasant stay. I would stay at this hotel or another in the Riu chain without hesitation.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled on business
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Thank BigDan133
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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666 - 672 of 2,829 reviews

Reviewed October 29, 2012

I just spent a week at the Riu Plaza in Panama City Panama. Really good hotel. Great Service. Good Location for the business area. Walking distance to many restaurants and one of the biggest malls in the city.

The pool is great. Lots of chairs, good bar and good service.

The hotels bar was also really good.

The only draw back to this hotel was the extras were a little pricey. For Example - A can of coke at the variety store in the hotel was $2.75!

Other than that, it was a great hotel. I'll be back!

Room Tip: Great a room with a southern view. It overlooks the ocean rather than the city.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank RES00001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

i travel to latin america for business a lot and this hotel is my favourite hotel. i have stayed at this particular hotel two times and i have the same excellent impression. the hotel offers the biggest sekection of breakfast alternatives i have ever exprienced travelling 100 days of a year. the room is excellent decorated with many pillows to choose from in your very comfortable bed. the hotel offers an exclusive design and many resturant. you also have walking distance to business district abd big shoppingmall. staff is very friendly

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled on business
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Thank Peter A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 27, 2012

I don't plan to stay here again. There are many reasons to come back. Spacious rooms, comfortable, nicely decorated, free minibar (a few cans of soft drink and water). Good breakfast (much to choose from) but not top quality product (not many cheeses and no good ham for example), excellent locations. Nevertheless, the reason not to come back is the smell of mold and the damp in the room. My clothes were all damp when we left. Some tripadvisor advised to take a business luxury room on one of the top floors to escape from the mold. We did that. Nice view over the pacific, but nevertheless that smell

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank 365frequenttraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

Pretty modern hotel near the financial district. Really spacious rooms with a great view through wall-sized windows. Also has a really good pool and the staff are extremely helpful. The breakfast is really grat and offers lots of choices!
The hotel has color-themed different floors. See of you can get your favorite color for room decoration and lights.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank DonDirk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2012

It's kind of a bad habit that I assign a baseline TripAdvisor star rating to a property when I first see the facility and my room. Entering the bright, open, clean lobby of the Riu, and then seeing my fairly spacious 15th floor room, I set that baseline at 4 stars, with the definite potential for 5. As my stay wore on, the visit oscillated between 3 and 4, never reaching 5. I was ready to give it a 3 until the last minute, but great service at the end merited a 4.

Some background: I was in town for four days to attend/present at a conference at the Continental Hotel, about 4 or 5 blocks away. I opted against staying in the Continental because of the reviews on TripAdvisor. Although it was annoying to have to walk to the Continental-- crossing a very busy avenue with no traffic lights nearby, making my way through the steamy air or periodic bursts of rain--I think I made the right choice. My colleagues at the Continental complained about sleeping because of the traffic noise. My room on the 15th floor, by contrast, could have been a sarcophagus.

Here are the elements that deserve 4 (or 5) stars: Location--in a nice part of the city, in the shadow of the "Revolution Tower," which looks like a screw. Decor: very modern and new. Sleep quality: room was quiet, bed was comfortable. Shower: "rain" style large overhead nozzle, plenty of hot water. Ample outlets throughout the room. Nice couch and work area in the room, as well as a good view. Check in and check out: very quick and efficient.

Now the elements meriting 3 (or below) stars: Traffic intake in the driveway at peak hours (lines of cars stretched down the street for blocks), as well as masses of guests waiting for cabs who would block the hotel entrance. Shower/tub floor is incredibly slippery. Hold onto the handle in the shower! Bathroom floor was chipped near the toilet. Kept thinking there were ants on the floor (or worse). Disappointing gym--several cardio and weight machines, but not a single dumbbell, free weight, or even mat. Spotty--at best--phone pickup at the front desk. Clogged toilet and sink drain that didn't open.

I was pretty much resigned to a 3 when I couldn't get anyone at the front desk to answer the phone to set up a wake up call. I didn't want to go down to the front desk (I had changed already), and my 6 or 7 calls were never answered. That is a sign of slipshod service.

The staff redeemed themselves at the last minute, however. A kind concierge helped me prepare a large package for pickup by UPS as I was checking out and in a hurry to get to the airport. She called UPS and expedited the whole process and promised to personally supervise the pickup.

In sum, this hotel has 5-star potential, but it must take care of some of the details with the service and with the bathroom amenities, upgrade the gym, and solve the vehicle and pedestrian flow traffic at the entrance.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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Thank mgips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2012

Great location overall. Stayed with friends from work for a few days. We will be staying there another couple weeks for a event in November. Rooms are clean and front desk was helpful. The small kiosks for quick food at the foor at perfect. FYI. Coffee is phenomenal.

Stayed: August 2012
Thank MDKCS5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Riu Plaza Panama

Address: Calle 50 con 53 este | Urb. Marbella, 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 Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Business Hotel in Panama City
#7 Family Hotel in Panama City
#10 Spa Hotel in Panama City
#16 Luxury Hotel in Panama City
Price Range: $100 - $136 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Plaza Panama 4*
Number of rooms: 644
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Riu Plaza Panama is located in the heart of the banking and business district of Panama City and very close to most attractive entertainment and shopping centers. Only 250m from the luxurious "Soho Mall" Panama and Tocumen International Airport (PTY) is approx. 21 km away. It is ideal for both leisure and business travel. The 644 modern designed and lovingly decorated rooms with free Wi-Fi offer maximum comfort and relaxation and in our 23 stylish and modern conference rooms you can successfully organize your events, meetings. Relax at the Renova Spa or get in shape in the gym. 1 outdoor pool. For lovers of gastronomy, we offer a live cooking station at our buffet restaurant, an á la carte restaurant, as well as 2 bars. Crown Level Executive lounge service free for guests staying in Executive rooms and Suites as well as hotel guests holding RIU Class Gold and RIU Class Diamond cards. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Riu Plaza Panama Panama City

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