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“Panama City's Nice Surprise”

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Hotel Riu Plaza Panama
Ranked #20 of 115 Hotels in Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 14, 2013

Stayed here just recently, and found this place to be a really nice surprise and break from other American and European Chains. The Suites are enormous and very nicely appointed, with rain head showers and separate baths. Bathrooms are in a separate room with bidet, and there's a small bath in the front hallway too.

Food was also great - breakfast buffet is just enormous as well as lunch and dinner, and the bar serves decent sushi. Didn't try their flagship restaurant.

Pool area and pool bar very cool and nicely laid out.

I look forward to my next visit. The only bad thing about the place is the street it's on - always a traffic jam so can take you some time to get to/from hotel during the day time.

Room Tip: The suites are enormous, have 1-1/4 baths and are nicely appointed.
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled on business
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Thank MatinicusRock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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624 - 630 of 2,764 reviews

Reviewed January 24, 2013

Clean, with comfortable, decently decorated rooms, a nice pool on the ground floor and, like someone else said here, a really generous breakfast. The service could definetly be a litlle bit warmer, although I have the impression that this applies not only to this hotel but to the services in the city in general. It was ok, though -no complains. In short, a very good option for business travelers.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank Diogenes39
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

A fairly recent addition to the Panama hotel list. The Riu Plaza is centrally located for almost everything and reasonably priced.

The hotel has a good pool on the ground floor. Breakfast buffet is a very generous spread. Rooms are a decent size, very colorful. Wifi is spotty in the rooms though, so bring a cable for internet. It's free for both types.

A major benefit is that you can walk to a lot of good restaurants, especially on Calle Uruguay. Recommend La Posta and Market, as well as drinks on the rooftop bar of the Manrey Hotel.

It's worth finding a driver here and avoid renting a car, as drivers here make New Yorkers look like saints, parking is hard and roads are not well marked. If you need one I can recommend an excellent guy.

Do make sure to check out the old town - Casco Viejp. A favourite restaurant is Ego y Narciso in Plaza Bolivar - 2622045.

Also with said driver go for dinner or drinks to Miraflores Locks. Always amazing to watch the big ships glide by.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
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2  Thank Jan_ATL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

What can be said? From the moment we entered the hotel to the moment we left the staff was absolutely amazing. "Jill," at the Concierge Desk was truly incredible! Her recommendations were spot on, she was patient and courteous...simply stated...she made almost every Concierge that we have ever worked with in the States or elsewhere seem completely unqualified for the position. If you are staying at this hotel do yourself a favor and seek "Jill" out. The hotel itself was very well apointed, clean and situated in close proximity to the sites in Panama City. Do yourself a favor in Panama City - DON'T DRIVE! Rely on the hotel to arrange for your transportation wherever you are headed. A few last thoughts: MAKE SURE TO BOOK YOUR ROOM TO COME WITH THE BREAKFAST INCLUDED! The buffet "spread" laid out in the morning was absolutely superb...this isn't a "Continental Breakfast" typically served at a US hotel. This breakfast buffet "spread" is...well, just get the breakfast with your room or you'll be kicking yourself! GREAT...GREAT...GREAT!

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank NachaLibre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2013

As soon as we entered the hotel, we noticed a bad mouldy smell. When we got to our room it was even worse, especially after we turned the airco a bit down. We changed room, which helped only a little and they placed a machine in the room to lessen the humidity. It made quite a difference but in the 2 days we stayed at the hotel we never got rid of the smell. It really is ashame because for the rest the hotel is very nice, with a facntastic swimming pool and good breakfast. The staff needs a little bit more training on how to deal with complaints.
After all we stayed in several Riu hotels, but this was definitely our only bad experience.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Corbinn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2013

Staff in this hotel is horrible, or maybe they just really, really hate families. From the first second to the last we felt like we were not welcome at this hotel. The dozen guys at the entrance door belonging to the hotel do not open doors, even if you travel with your family. Opening the entrance door with my baby son in one hand and the stroller in the other was an acrobatic act that never changed during my stay there: Every single time the bunch at the entrance was watching me struggle at the door without moving a limb to help. The same thing happened to my wife. Completely different story when we checked in or out, it seemed like all of the guys were swarming around us. Of course they expected a tip for their help, the second they saw the money, they disappeared into thin air, with my wife and me loading the rental car ourselves. No tip, no courtesy. And unfortunately that seems to be the general rule in this place.
2 days into our stay my wife got really sick from the AC which we could not turn off. Sick to the point that she got a serious cold with cough and fever. I inquired at the front desk about a pharmacy. Unfortunately they could not help me. The bellboy who was passing by overheard the conversation and told me that they sell cough medicine at the hotel's souvenir store. At a quarter to two in the afternoon, the store was closed. The bellboy (who seemed to be the only human being among the employees in this place) pointed out the storekeeper to us who was sitting next to the store sipping a coffee. While my wife was having a coughing attack that almost made her throw up in front of her, the storekeeper seemed not bothered by it and told me that she had medicine but she was on her lunch break and we should come back in an hour. No matter what I said, the lady could not get moved to get up from her chair, reach across the counter and sell me the medicine. We ended up taking a taxi to a pharmacy that was a few blocks away.
Enough said about this place. With the exception of one bellboy all employees seem to be miserable having to work in this hotel and they make you feel it every minute of your stay. Do not expect a nice word nor any show of courtesy whatsoever. I am not kidding, I travel a lot for work, I stay in numerous hotels every year, this kind of apathy, zero courtesy and flat out rudeness I have never ever experienced any place else before.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank el_jocho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2012 via mobile

The hotel is relatively new, good prices, the location is good to move around town. The breakfast is great. It has everything!

If you're a detailed person you'll see flaws here and there in the hotel decor and furniture. Overall it's okay.

About previously mentioned moisture problem and smell, I think they fixed it. I haven't noticed the smell and I saw a dehumidifier on some floors.

As a last precaution: do NOT take the hotel taxis as they are a ripoff. They charge 4 times the normal fare. 4!!! And the taxi cars are no different from normal taxis. 2 times the price I think is expensive but I accept for hotels, but 4 times is simply ridiculous. I cannot believe management from such a prestigious hotel chain have not done anything about this.

  • Stayed: December 2012
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Thank Ange588
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: $93 - $142 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Riu Plaza Panama 4*
Number of rooms: 644
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Also Known As:
Hotel Riu Plaza Panama Panama City

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