We have been living in Panama for the last year and a half, and wanted to make reservations in the Westin Playa Bonita for my in-laws since they plan to visit Panama in August to spend time with our kids, so we thought it would be a good idea to take them to a beach resort for a week so they could enjoy their grandchildren.
I have been to the hotel a few times myself to attend corporate and social events, so I thought it would be a good idea to drive there so my wife and two children (ages 2 and 4) could see the facilities and we could learn about any special packages or plans for the days our family planned to spend there. In addition to that, one of my children is allergic to corn, so one area of concern is the menu of the restaurants, so we wanted to make a few questions regarding the available options in that regard. Our intentions were to make the reservations in the front desk after clearing all our questions.
The situation started to turn bizarre as soon as we stopped our car at the gate of the hotel, where the security guard told us we were not allowed to enter the hotel if we didn't have any prior reservations. We explained our intentions to the guard but his only reply was the telephone number of the front desk in order to call them and make a reservation (and I mean in real time, with the security guard right in front of us, while our car was blocking the entrance and a line was beginning to form!!). Then and only then, with luck, we would find a condescending individual at the concierge to authorize our entry. I was angry and reluctant to call, but my wife in all her enduring patience made the call and tried after being bounced from phone extension to phone extension to talk to someone to assist us. It never happened. She was told no visits were allowed to the premises, and we were requested to leave.
We were so astonished and amazed at the way the situation was handled, that we didn't even bother to argue or complain. The lack of customer care exhibited in the way this "policy" was explained to us both in person and over the phone, made us feel treated like if we were a band of ransackers or weekend freeloaders willing to abuse the hotel in any way. Needless to say, I will not try to make a reservation there *ever*; not for me, not for my family, not for any of my company's corporate events, not even to my worst enemy.
But fear not dear sirs at the Westin Playa Bonita, you are not alone! We tried to drive a few minutes down the road to the Intercontinental Playa Bonita, and the situation was even worse!!! Not only were we denied entry there as well for the same stupid reason, but the security guard at the gate was barely able to speak spanish (much less customer friendly) so we were almost accused of causing him to be suspended from his job because our request... then he barked some more and let us make a U-turn so we could leave!.
Someone please tell me if April's fool day in Panama is today July the 6th, because I refuse to believe this nonsense was real and not part of a practical joke.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Priceline, Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Booking.com, Hotwire, TripOnline SA, getaroom.com, Orbitz, Cancelon and Evoline ltd so you can book your The Westin Playa Bonita Panama reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- The Westin Playa Bonita Panama Hotel Panama City
- The Westin Playa Bonita Panama Panama City