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“Almost perfect”

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The Westin Playa Bonita Panama
Ranked #8 of 114 Hotels in Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
“Almost perfect”
Reviewed March 20, 2013

We are are our way home after a week at the Westin Playa Bonita Panama. Let me start by mentioning that we did read the reviews and thought it may not be the best expirence. However at the end of the week we look back with a positive impression. My wife and I traveled with our one year old son and found the resort perfect for what we needed. We split our time at the resort and visiting Panama. The Westin was a perfect place for part of each day while we were a close drive from Panama City and the canal.
i did read the reviews so lets start with the not so great. The water is not what you would see on the Caribbean side, the South Pacific, South China Sea, Phuket or Hawaii. There is an a language problem with the staff for Americans, so lets keep in mind we are in their country. We have found better resturants but not in most of Latin America. The servers did not know the wine list well but most could not speak english anyway so I was dependent on my wifes limited spanish interpretation skills.
On the other hand the good out numbered the bad. Since Panama is new to the tourism industry they are trying very hard at this Westin. In fact I've been to Four Seasons Hotels in Europe that did not put fourth this much effort. Our son celebrated his first birthday at the Westin Playa Bonita so we asked for a cupcake with a candle and they presented a large cake free of charge even after we offered by pay. We were with a group from work even if almost all of our time was leisure and the meeting room was nice and well stocked with drinks and snacks. Breakfast each morning was perfect, with made to order omletts and a wide sortment of other breakfast food that would satisfy most people from any where in the world. We have never left our child alone with a stranger during his first year and this was the first time we looked to a hotel to provide child care. Lets just say we returned back to the room after a night in the city and found that all was well.
So if you have read some of the negitive reviews please be realistic and give the Westin Playa Bonita a chance. Panama is a great destination and this hotel is a solid home base.

Room Tip: Book a room facing the Pacific.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank JoeyMtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maria Gabriela U, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Playa Bonita Panama, responded to this review, March 28, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your stay. It is fantastic to hear that your overall stay with us was a pleasant one. We are sorry to hear that some of the hotels services do not feel your expectations at all and we really appreciate your feedback that help us to be better understand the needs of our guests.

We hope to welcome you back to the resort soon.

Best Regards,
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (674)
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English first
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2013

Just stayed at the Westin Playa Bonita for a week on an all inclusive package. The hotel facilities are excellent, great rooms, beautiful grounds and pools and many dining options. The food was very good and much better than the average all inclusive options received in Cuba and Dominican Republic. Several previous comments about the lack of language skills I find strange as I never had problems finding someone who spoke English. It amazes me the number of people who go to a foreign country and expect people to be speaking English. If you make an effort to learn a little Spanish, it is appreciated and makes the experience much better. Overall, I found the staff to be very friendly and accommodating.
The hotel management is making a real effort to train their staff and I feel that it has been one of the best "all inclusive" hotels I have stayed at. As mentioned in other reviews, the beach is not great for swimming, but good for walking on. With five beautiful pools available, who needs the sea?

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank 155004Mpp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maria Gabriela U, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Playa Bonita Panama, responded to this review, March 21, 2013
It was a real treat to once again welcome you back to the Westin Playa Bonita Panama.

Thank you for making us your home away from home. It is great to see that you enjoyed your accommodations and that you were able to take advantage of the amenities we offer here at the resort.

We hope to welcome you back again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City, Panama
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2013

The hotel is beautiful, and comfortable. The food and service could be better. I could say that in my one night stay I encountered two rude waiter/waitress. It's still a very nice hotel, it would improve by trainning their personnel on customer service.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jenniferb18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maria Gabriela U, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Playa Bonita Panama, responded to this review, March 22, 2013
Thanks for your time to write your remarks, is very nice to read your comments all of them show positive and negative aspects of our hotel Westin Playa Bonita Panama.

We are continuously working to ensure our guests receive the service they deserve. I have noted each of your recommendations because all are great help for us.

Please welcome back to Panama and enjoy your stay with us again.

Sincerely,
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Franklin, Kentucky
Level 6 Contributor
754 reviews
107 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 232 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2013

While in Panama recently I spent time at the Westin Playa Bonita Resort. The property is everything that you could as for. Whether you are traveling with your family, friends, as a couple or as a solo this property has everything that your heart could desire.

The surroundings are beautiful and the beach quite lovely. The pool areas are many to choose from and there is always some sort of activity to be involved with (with being involved is your cup of tea). The lounges and bars are excellent and the restaurants offer a wide variety of foods for different taste.

Service was a bit slow but that is part of the atmosphere. Look forward to returning when I can spend more time. (bring my family..:0)

Room Tip: The higher the view the better. Ask for water view side to get the benefit of the ocean and the bre...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank DrMarc9491
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maria Gabriela U, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Playa Bonita Panama, responded to this review, March 20, 2013
It was a real treat to once again welcome you back to the Westin Playa Bonita Panama.

Thank you for making us your home away from home. It is great to see that you enjoyed your accommodations and that you were able to take advantage of the amenities we offer here at the resort.

We hope to welcome you back again soon.

Sincerely,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barranquilla
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2013

The Westin Plaza Bonita is located about a half hour away from the bustle of Panama City, on a secluded beach with an impressive view which can be appreciated from just about any place once inside....plenty of space and well designed rooms, great pool areas with the beach a stones throw away. On the negative side, the personnel is not as well prepared as one would expect (slow service---impossible to "catch the waiter´s eye", untrained receptionist), and the formal dining room serves a limited menu, the cuisine is nondescript and the service alarmingly slow (for a party of eight, we waited 1 hour 45 minutes before the food was served). The good, however, far outweighs the bad, and it is a great place to "chill out" and enjoy nature surrounded by Central America´s undeniable beauty. It could be a number one destination "with a little help from professional friends" who are able to work on training personnel (waiters, receptionists, restaurant chef).

Room Tip: Higher rooms are further away from noise coming from pool area.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank wschutmaat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maria Gabriela U, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Playa Bonita Panama, responded to this review, March 19, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to share with us your recent experience while staying at our hotel.

We always appreciate receiving feedback from one of our return guests and we are sorry to hear that your recent stay with us did not exceed your expectations.

Please apologies for the inconveniences with our services in our different areas. We always strive to provide top notch service to everyone staying with us and we will use your feedback as an opportunity to make sure we are providing this service to every one of our guests.

We hope to have a new opportunity to welcome you back in the future.

Best regards,
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New York
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed March 17, 2013

Just returned from a 7 night stay at the Westin. The hotel itself is gorgeous. The service and staff leave something to be desired. For a hotel that is only a year old, there are also a number of maintenance issues - from leaking bathrooms and refrigerators to less than cold a/c. Several calls to maintenance did not yield favorable outcomes, so we stopped trying.

If you do not speak Spanish, you will have difficulty communicating with the staff, as very few people at the hotel speak english. The restaurant food is not very good, and the scheduled activities are limited. Playa Bonita is not really a swimmable stretch, so if you are a beachgoer, I would recommend headin to the Caribbean side of the country. Be sure to bring bug spray - the bugs practically swarm you on the sand, and are out in full effect at dusk.

The pool area is gorgeous, and always lively. If I return to Panama City, I probably will opt for somewhere closer to town, and a bit higher rated. If Westin can work out some of the kinks, this could be a gem.

Room Tip: Spring for ocean view. Otherwise, you could have a view of the "school bus graveyard"
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled on business
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Helpful?
1 Thank sbe907
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed March 16, 2013

We booked an all inclusive vacation through Sell-off and TMR Travel. Modern, spa-like surroundings, spacious and peaceful. Excellent if you want some downtime, a quiet place to read and relax. The food was good to great and the drinks were full-strength and thirst-quenching. Apparently they have 3-types of all-inclusive, so you should verify what your package includes. Beach-front hotel, but the beach is full of shells and you will need to wear sandals. WiFi reaches the beach, good news/bad news.

Room Tip: Oveanview rooms are more expensive and have a balcony ($100/person), but more picturesque. Non-ocean...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Glenn F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maria Gabriela U, Guest Relations Manager at The Westin Playa Bonita Panama, responded to this review, March 21, 2013
It was a real treat to once again welcome you back to the Westin Playa Bonita Panama.

Thank you for making us your home away from home. It is great to see that you enjoyed your accommodations and that you were able to take advantage of the amenities we offer here at the resort.

We hope to welcome you back again soon.
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 The Westin Playa Bonita Panama

Property: The Westin Playa Bonita Panama
Address: Road to Veracruz Km 6, Panama City, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Panama City
#8 Luxury Hotel in Panama City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Westin Playa Bonita Panama 5*
Number of rooms: 611
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The personification of the destination: Where natural serenity meets industrial glamour - Westin Playa Bonita Panama is strategically located alongside the Pacific Ocean, on a mile long stretch of golden sand on Playa Bonita Beach, surrounded by lush tropical rainforests, and a quick 20-minute drive from the metropolitan capital of Panama City. Nestled alongside the stunning Pacific Ocean, The Westin Playa Bonita is near celebrated sites like the Panama Canal's Miraflores Locks and just a 20-minute drive from Panama City, the exhilarating capital of the Republic of Panama ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Westin Playa Bonita Panama Hotel Panama City
The Westin Playa Bonita Panama Panama City

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