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Reviewed January 10, 2012

We have been here for a week now hotel is great every day we see improvements staff is really friendly. The weather can't be beat it is hot ad sunny.i have an amazing tan!

Room Tip: Bring bug spray!
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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11  Thank Teresa804
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2012

Having just spent a long weekend at the Westin Playa Bonita, at a reduced price as the official opening is on 27th January, we had a superb time. The staff were exceptionally friendly (a nice touch is that each member of staff wears a badge saying 'My Passion is .......' which makes for a good start to a conversation with the genuinely happy staff). The setting is wonderful and the convenience from the city is unbeatable, just 15 mins by car, so anyone wanting a complete change of scene from the city can get this very quickly.
There were a few minor issues such as running out of eggs on the breakfast buffet, a breaker blowing the lights out in one restaurant for 15 mins, or a lack of something at one of the bars, but these were very minor upsets and considering the hotel is brand new and not even fully operational yet, they did nothing to interrupt our very relaxing and enjoyable stay.
There were a few people who seemed bent on finding fault in everything, and maybe they had had one or two issues, however the general feeling was that people were having a good time, the staff were trying really hard and there were improvements every day.
I believe that once the hotel is officially opened this will be the best hotel option close to the city. You will have the benefits of spectacular pools, Westin standards such as the heavenly bed which is fantastic, plus all the things you want to see in Panama such as the canal, the old town, the jungle right on your doorstep, if you can tear yourself away from the place!
All in all I would recommend this hotel. A little forgiveness is required until everything is up and running, but once it is at the end of the month, I will be returning.

Room Tip: The best bet is to book an ocean view, but it does not have to be high up as all the views are fantastic on the front. The back is overlooking green hills and although pretty, and cheaper, it's better on the front
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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20  Thank BritishGuyPanama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2012

Just spent a week at the Westin Playa Bonita (check out Jan 9, 2012) and I must say the reviews in here are totally unfair. The Resort is spectacular, the best Westin I have ever been to (and been to many). Yes, there are areas of improvement, but the resort is in it`s soft opening and the rate we paid was a considerable discount from the rates they will charge once its fully opened (think end of January). It will be, no doubt, the best hotel in Panama.

Its in the closest beach to Panama City, just 20 minutes, compared to the other beach resorts that are about 2 hours away (and 3 hours from the airport). It´s a typical Pacific beach, and is a little rocky at low tide, which makes it very interesting. The Decor is stunning, very luxurious and in good taste. It has quite a few restaurants, food is good (but a little limited with temporary menus) Pools are great. The staff needs a bit more training, but were incredibly nice and helpful. The best attitude we saw from wait staff in all of Panama.

It also seemed quite busy and full, and everyone I spoke to seemed to be having a great time, except for a few couples from Canada that kept complaining about everything. Somehow they had been sold that it was a full all inclusive resort with disco and nightly shows. It is not (thank God!). Its a Westin and its very relaxing. Perfect for us.

I strongly recommend, keeping in mind that if you go before the end of January, the resort will probably not be at 100%, but then again, you will be paying rates that otherwise you will never get again.

Room Tip: Book Ocean View and high floor
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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18  Thank absolut29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2012

Spent weekend with my husband, hotel just opened it´s doors and the experience was very good. Staff are very helpful, excellent facilities. Loved the bar, very nice decoration and very cozy.There was a very good band playing last night wich made it a very enjoyable experience, very romantic place!. could not get a reservation for the theme restaurants (hotel was packed) but the buffet restaurant was very nice.
Situated in a rainforest next to the beach and minutes away from the city. We definetly return!

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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15  Thank Cristi_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2012

It’s Jan. 8/2012 and it’s our 6th day at Hotel Westin at Playa Bonita, Panama. The architecture and interior design of this brand-new hotel is definitely stunning in comparison of the 4-5 star hotels we have visited in the Caribbean and Europe. Chef Dettweiler tries his best to please the residents with a kitchen staff that is not yet trained, slow and speaks no English. They really expect us, the patrons, to learn Spanish. Yet, all of this is tolerable in comparison to the bites caused by midges or “no-see-ums” my spouse and I have all over our bodies. We were cautioned by our friends to take along an insect repellent with DEED, but no one – not even the representative of our tour operator Air TRANSAT with her 21 years of experience – prepared us that these no-see-ums would bite us anywhere and at anytime. Upon specifically asking, we were only told during “orientation” that “mosquitoes” would merely bite in the morning and evening. In Ontario, Canada we are used to mosquitoes and they do not cause us a great problem. However, these biting midges bit us even in our room on the fifth floor. After the first couple of days we always kept the balcony door closed. Yet each morning we woke up with more bites. At the beach it is no different. You do not see these insects and you do not feel them biting. Combined we have counted more than sixty bites, each one inflamed and as large as a dime. The itch is the worst, especially at night. Apparently, the Pacific coastal area of Panama is well known for these critters. Our research indicates that this problem was well researched during the American Army’s occupation of the Canal Zone, just a few kilometers from here. We are posting this review to caution travelers who may have an allergic reaction to these bites. Overall the Panama area and especially Gamboa was well worth our trip, yet we wish we had been better informed and taken more precaution. Our tour operator Air TRANSAT and the hotel should have cautioned us and given us literature as to how to deal with this nuisance.
P.S. Reading the reviews just posted, we must agree with most comments. The food and bar service, however, have improved. We miss walking on the beach or go to the next town. The beach is very limited and Panama City too far away. There are no hiking trails, no public transportation we can use. This is very different from our annual Caribbean holiday. Seasoned Travellers.

Room Tip: Choose Oceanview!
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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20  Thank M W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westin_Playa_Bonita, General Manager at The Westin Playa Bonita Panama, responded to this reviewResponded January 17, 2012

We're glad you found the resort's architecture and experience so stunning in comparison to your worldly travels, thank you for the kind words. We are sorry to hear the no-see-ums were such a nuisance, as that kind of behavior is not common to such an extent. To help our guests in extreme cases such as your own, each room offers anti-mosquito wipes. Again, it is a rare case that this is such an issue and we apologize it put a damper on your overall experience. We appreciate your feedback.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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