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“Great Choice in Panama - but why are Marriott degrading their Courtyard hotels”

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Courtyard Panama at Metromall Mall
Ranked #46 of 115 Hotels in Panama City
Reviewed March 30, 2012

Of the hotels available in Panama City, this is one of the better choices. It is rather near to the airport (although there is no shuttle, only somewhat pricy taxis), near to a new mall with various reasonable choices to grab a bite to eat, and it has a cleanliness that exceeds even most US hotels. As such it is an oasis for a traveler used to US comfort.

Having said that, the appearance could have been a lot nicer if Marriott hadn't recently begun to deliberately downgrade their Courtyard hotels with lobbies that are supposed to be somehow more functional and "hip", but appear mostly just cheap. Instead of a stately check-in counter, they now have small-ish unprofessional looking service desks; not only do they look somewhat improvised, they also have a fake wood paneling that just screams "I am so cheap". Can't we go back to real wood, and/or tile and marble? Then, in various locations they have rather silly-looking artificial grass. It looks even more fake than the wood on the counter - and what's the point of artificial grass? Is this supposed to be attractive to their clientele, based on the idea that they spend all their time indoors and don't know what real glass looks like? And why grass, one of the lowliest and most common plants, instead of their earlier flower bouquets? And what happened to the restaurants they had - now they are replaced by a self-serve, cheap looking counter that is reminiscent of what you would see at a gas station.

In the past I have wholeheartedly enjoyed Marriott hotels for their taste and service. But what they are recently doing with their Courtyard hotels is a bold step in the wrong direction regarding taste.

Room Tip: High up and facing towards the back and hence away from the road
  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled on business
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6  Thank LeoPB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 29, 2012

Recently both my wife and I stayed at the Courtyard during a 15 hour transit layover from Santa Cruz Bolivia to Maracaibo. I arrived at 6 am and was at the hotel by 7. The front desk was expecting me and was very accomadating at that early hour. I went straight to the room. Room was of course very clean, bed was excellent, breakfast in the cafe was good. Proximity to the mall (a walk across the street) was very nice as it helped pass the time. Easy to get to from the airport, easy return, great location. This is the perfect transit hotel or one for that weekend shopping trip to Panama. Highly recommended. The experience by my wife a week later than my visit was a carbon copy of above.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank JRH152
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2012

My husband and I stayed at the MetroMall Courtyard for 5 nights in mid March 2012. We were very impressed with all facets of this hotel. Beautiful and comfortable rooms. One of the best hotel beds I have ever slept on including a cozy down comforter and feather pillows. Ample space, excellent hanging space and suitcase storage area. Ample bathroom space. Really enjoyed the high powered showerhead and curved shower bar for extra space. Never used hairdryer, but it was available. Small containers of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion resupplied as needed along with body/face soap. Nice flatscreen TV with even a couple english speaking channels. Small coffee maker with two single use pods given. Great alarm ihome clock with plug for ipod. Just as a note, our TV was somehow set with a 'wake up timer'. At 6 am it blared at nearly full blast. I was able to figure out the spanish menu to at least change the timer to a later date and turn down the volume but never figured out how to turn it off. Might be something you want to check so you don't have a rude awakening!

The front desk was always helpful and polite. If you know a little spanish that is nice, but not required. Small selection of snacks and bottled drinks available for purchase, but you will find them much cheaper elsewhere (read down for a couple eating hints).

The lobby and dining area were full of wonderful sitting and lounging areas, even with some nice private table areas with television screens. The lounge area looks out into a small patio and pool area, though we never ventured out this way. Workout room on the primary floor looked clean and ample but we didn't utilize. Thank you MetroMall for the free WiFi throughout the building. It was reliable and fast! The breakfast buffet was $10 a person. It had various selections of cereal, fruits, eggs, pancakes, pastries. It was ok in quality and for the price I would suggest going elsewhere if you have the time. But it was convinient. I believe it was served around 6-10 each day with a slight variance on weekends.

About a 10-15 drive from the airport (depending on traffic). We stayed there for a visit with friends and church tour type trip so we didn't do or ask to see a lot of the touristy things. We also had our Panamanian contact drive us around and takes us to the 'mom and pop' restaurants so we did not need cab or much information, but I"m sure the staff could help you out. Same voltage of electricity as US. We loved our stay at the MetroMall courtyard by Marriott and will stay there again next time we are in Panama.

The hotel is right next door to a MASSIVE three story modern mall that recently opened (I think July 2011). It is a great resource for grocery items, coffees, meals, and more luxury type shopping. Fun place to walk around in. There were also many free wifi's availalbe throughout the mall. Be prepared to have your bags checked at most entrances to most stores and not be allowed to bring food and drink into stores. Much more secure and picky than US malls I've been in. There is a great little pharmacy and a supermarket type store right in the mall area/strip for last minute needs or things you forgot.

*One thing I've found in Latin America is that the 'first floor' is actually labeld PB and then what we would call '2nd floor in the States" is actually called 1st there. Just a little note that may help you as you explore other areas. So we were in a first floor room, but actually the 2nd story up from the ground if that makes sense :)

*Panama's primary currency is the US dollar so that is helpful. We found most items to be pretty comparable in price to the States (example: we paid $2.50 for a DQ medium blizzard, which we would normally pay around $3 at home in Michigan).

*The panama canal was a cool thing to visit, but a little pricey for the experience. The movie you pay extra for was informative and helpful, but I wish I had just done more research before my visit and then the movie would not have been needed. Food and drink was available at the sight so you could spend awhile there. It takes awhile to get the ships through, so plan on a couple hours if you want to take a good portion in.

*One of the best little breakfast places we found was called Niko's. It is in the primary floor near the front entrance of the mall. It had a bakery side and then a cafeteria style buffet where you pay per item. Not much english is spoken, but most items are translated if you don't know what it is. Two of us ate significant breakfast (pancake, omelette, empanadas, sausage, drinks, bottled water) for only $13. It was a huge breakfast and much better tasting than the hotel buffet. There are numerous restaurants (including mcdonalds, wendy's, taco bell, chinese, etc) in the food court of the mall, but it doesn't open until 10 or 11. We were able to visit some more authentic restaurants that were even better tasting, but those are a longer walk or cab away.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank jpspica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lucia H, Sales and Marketing at Courtyard Panama at Metromall Mall, responded to this reviewResponded March 27, 2012

Ms. Jpspica

Thank you for your comment, it is nice to hear that you and your husband were comfy on your room, and enjoy all our facilities, and also that you enjoy Panama, we will be check the inconvenient of the TV, so it doesn’t happen again to another guests, thank you for the information. If you plan to visit Panama again, please don’t hesitate to contact me, I will be glad to assist you

Kind Regards
Lucia.hildebrand@courtyard.com

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Reviewed March 21, 2012

Our family of four stayed at the Courtyard Panama MetroMall for one night after cruising out of Colon. Can't say enough good things about this location. Five minutes to Tocumen International Airport and a 50 yd walk to the MetroMall. The mall itself is worth a stay at the Courtyard, rivaling any mall I've been to in the states other than Mall of the Americas in Minnesota - great food court, just about every boutique store available in the US and a very safe, clean and friendly atmosphere. We didn't take advantage of the hotel's amenities other than the restaurant - which was great, but the staff were very friendly, and all that we came across were bi-lingual. Rooms looked brand new and self-parking was a huge plus. Overall, a great Mariott property!

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Rich F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lucia H, Sales & Marketing Director at Courtyard Panama at Metromall Mall, responded to this reviewResponded March 26, 2012

Dear Rich
Thank you for your review, we appreciate very much your comments, we are glad that you and your family enjoy your stay, and best enjoy our restaurant , and the proximity to the mall, it is just a few stets away for the hotel. Please don’t forget that we have a nice and relaxing pool you can rest with a nice cold drink after a long day of shopping.

Kind regards,
lucia.hildebrand@courtyard.com

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Reviewed March 15, 2012

Terrific hotel staffed by incredible people. My wife and I stayed here our first time in Panama. They helped book tours, made restaurant reservations, and every other odd request we made of them. The hotel sits adjacent to an enormous mall. This makes shopping and fast food very accessible. If you are looking for a nicer restaurant than Bennigan's, however, you will need to drive a bit. Rooms were very clean. The breakfast buffet ($10) is decent for the price. TIP: If traveling with company, you may want to ask for more towels right away. The room have just two bath towels.

  • Stayed: March 2012
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Thank CJ_Potter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lucia H, Sales & Marketing Director at Courtyard Panama at Metromall Mall, responded to this reviewResponded March 26, 2012

Dear Cposter

Thank you for your review we appreciate that you and your wife enjoy your recent stay in our property, that our friendly staff help you with your entire request, and that the best part that you enjoy our proximity to the mall. If you are planning visiting Panama again, please don’t hesitate to contact me I will be glad to help you with your reservation

Kind regards
Lucia.hildebrand@courtyard.com

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Reviewed March 13, 2012

Would be helpful if there were a complementary airport shuttle.

Breakfast buffet was excellent.

Room Tip: We were initially put in a room accross from MetroMall. We freshened up and left for dinner. When...
  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank C H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lucia H, Sales and Marketing at Courtyard Panama at Metromall Mall, responded to this reviewResponded March 15, 2012

Dear CH
We appreciate your comment, and we are glad that you enjoy our breakfast buffet, unfortunately due to some airport restrictions we can’t have shuttle to the airport. Hope I can help you on your next visit
Regards
Lucia.hildebrand@courtyard.com

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Reviewed March 9, 2012

The Courtyard is a new hotel that's quite nicely appointed. We stayed there one night before an early-morning flight from Tocumen, and the location of the Courtyard is good in terms of its proximity to the airport. However, it was a bit of a challenge to get to the hotel in our rental car coming in from the western part of the city. Once we did find our way, we had no desire to leave the room, since the only thing within walking distance is an enormous crowded shopping mall (not our preferred way to spend vacation time in a foreign country, walking around a mall).

The hotel was clean, the room was comfy, the bathroom fine, the business center useful (we printed our boarding passes the night before our flight), and the hotel restaurant wasn't bad at all -- not cheap, but certainly more interesting than eating at Subway or Bennigan's at MetroMall. Would we stay there again? Only if we needed to spend a night close to the airport. Otherwise you're too far from anything of interest to tourists for this hotel to be convenient.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Dyova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lucia H, Sales and Marketing at Courtyard Panama at Metromall Mall, responded to this reviewResponded March 15, 2012

Hello Dyova

Thank you for your comment, it is nice to hear that you were comfy on your room, and enjoy all our facilities, unfortunately local signalizations are not the best, but it is a good suggestion to see what we can do to improve our local authorities
Hope I can help you on your next visit
Regards
Lucia.hildebrand@courtyard.com

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Additional Information about Courtyard Panama at Metromall Mall

Address: Avenida Domingo Diaz via Tocumen | Centro Comercial MetroMall, 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 High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Family Hotel in Panama City
#12 Romantic Hotel in Panama City
#29 Luxury Hotel in Panama City
Price Range: $85 - $122 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Courtyard Panama at Metromall Mall 4*
Number of rooms: 120
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This shopping hotel is just 4 miles away from Tocumen International airport and it's the only hotel located within the Metromall shopping complex, where you will find more than 260 shopping and entertainment venues including department stores, boutiques, coffee shops, restaurants, bars and bistros. This unique shopping complex also offers a free shuttle to Multiplaza Mall, with more than 350 venues for your enjoyment. Our hotel amenities include room service, a fully equipped fitness center, spacious garden pool and business center. Guests can enjoy a buffet or select a la carte in our restaurant Centro which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. All rooms feature 32" LCD TVs, free Wi-Fi internet with streaming speed access, soundproof windows, 300-thread count Egyptian cotton linen sheets and more. Costa del Este, Panama Viejo, the Panama Canal and other attractions are at your fingertips when you stay with us. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Courtyard Panama Metromall Hotel Panama City
Courtyard Panama At Metromall Mall Panama City

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