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The Westin Playa Bonita Panama
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Reviewed July 29, 2013

I was in Panama to visiting Bocas Del Toro and then Panama City. Bocas is beautiful, but it began to rain and wouldn't stop. My wife and I went to the local (small) airport and got a ticket back to Panama City with the idea we would fly to some other beachy place on the Pacific side as it was dry and not raining there. As were were landing in Panama City we flew over Playa Bonita and saw two resorts: this one and Intercontinental. Westin was beautiful as was the beach (from the air). So we called and booked a room when we landed, caught a cab and headed over. Only about 15 minutes from Albrook Airport. The food and drinks were good. Rooms were comfortable and nice. Pay extra for the beach views. otherwise, you are looking at the school bus graveyard.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank dpvatty
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 reviewResponded August 1, 2013

Thanks for your time to write your remarks.

From the entire hotel staff we appreciate your comment is a great motivation for each of us.

Thank you very much and hope to see you again in Panama soon.

Sincerely,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2013

We stayed at the Westin this past week as part of a family reunion. While we cannot comment about room rates (as the bill was paid by others), we can confidently say that the Westin is a good choice for the Playa Bonita area.
Rooms: Rooms at the Westin are well-appointed and luxurious, with attention to detail throughout. Little touches throughout the hotel and our room, such as free cucumber- or lime-infused water in the lobby make the property a true luxury hotel. If possible, try to get a room with an ocean view, as the view is fantastic and rooms have a balcony that overlooks the water.
Food: Food at the hotel is of mixed quality. The breakfast buffet featured good variety and food quality, but dinner in the many restaurants was overpriced, small in portion-size, and bland/plain in taste. Do not eat dinner at the hotel: look elsewhere if possible. Lunch by the pool featured good sandwiches and light options at reasonable prices.
Service: Service was good for the most part; we had no problems with any staff members.
Location: The hotel's location is its greatest strength and asset. Though the murky waters of the Panama Bay are not exactly meant for swimming (their quality is compromised because of the many passing oil tankers passing in the distance), they make for a great view. Further, the hotel is surrounded by some picturesque mangrove clusters that 'fence in' the hotel beach. The beach itself is narrow but pleasant. Greatest of all, though, is the hotel pool area, which is actually multiple pools. We spent most of our time in the pools and lounging beside them, all with the fantastic view of the water no more than one hundred feet from us.
Synopsis: The Westin Playa Bonita, though not flawless, is an excellent choice for a relaxing getaway from Panama City. Though only a half hour from the City, it transports you to a serene setting ideal for R&R. We highly recommend it – just avoid dinner.

Room Tip: The ocean-view rooms on the high floors have magnificent views.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank RaysRule
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 reviewResponded August 1, 2013

We appreciate you taking the time to provide us with feedback from your stay.

It is a pleasure to hear that you enjoyed your overall time at the resort and we sincerely apologize for the inconveniences that you mention was present with the quantity of food at the dinner time.

We always take guest comments into consideration and will work to make your next guest experience better.

Sincerely,

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Reviewed July 28, 2013

I wanted to do something special with my girlfriend and her daughter and this hotel was offering a 50% discount through Groupon Coupons so I purchased a two night all inclusive stay. Well it is not an all inclusive stay as one would expect in a resort nor was the quality of everything what you would expect of a 5 star resort. First off the resort was very close to Panama City so only took about 15 minutes by bus. We got to the gate and they immediately called someone to come pick us up -- something that wasn't repeated when we left as we had to walk back out to the street to catch the bus back to Panama City. Check in went smoothly and we were quickly up in our room. Room was very comfortable with two queen beds, extra room to sit and relax, both tub and shower in the room and a balcony with view of the water and pools below. The facilities were clean and very presentable -- from the balcony the views were very nice. The resort was not very crowded and we saw only a handful of other people sharing the resort while we were there. They have more than one restaurant on site, but the only one you can eat at if you're on the all inclusive plan is the buffet restaurant -- they do theme nights and while I think everyone should be able to find something to eat I do feel it is a ripoff that you can't eat in the other restaurants. Food in the buffet restaurant was very good and we enjoyed all our meals there. Staff preparing the food were excellent and made sure they gave you what you wanted and how you wanted it. Wait staff sometimes left something to be desired and a couple seemed to have an attitude of why are you bothering me. The only other food you can get in the resort on the all inclusive plan is food from the pool bar which we ended up ordering on our full day in the resort. My gf ordered the hotdog and fries and I ordered the chicken fingers and fries -- The hotdog was of the poorest quality I have ever seen and really wasn't something you'd want to eat -- even worse if you were paying for it was $8.00. The chicken fingers were ok, but certainly not worth $9.00 according to the menu as they were about on par with something you'd get from a cheap fast food restaurant -- nothing I would have expected in a 5 star resort. We talked with a couple visiting the resort from the U.S. and they asked about other places to eat because for their family of 4 the buffet restaurant cost them almost $100.00 -- While the food is good it didn't rate that kind of price!! The first night our daughter needed some milk for her bottle so my gf went down to the bar to ask for a glass of milk -- next thing I know we have to have room service deliver a glass of milk to the room (not sure why the bar wouldn't/couldn't give her a glass) and the bill for this was almost $5.00 -- FOR A GLASS OF MILK!!!! I solved the problem at breakfast the next morning by filling her bottle with milk and putting it in the in-room fridge however someone on an all inclusive plan shouldn't be charged for one glass of milk!! There are other resorts within Panama and I will be sure to visit them before I return to this one. When I completed the online review the hotel sent me their only comments back well you know we are usually top notch and we're sure you find this when you return to us.

Room Tip: Ask for a room overlooking the beach and pools
  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank Dennis N
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 reviewResponded August 3, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback from your recent experience at our resort. We wanted to reach out and extend my sincerest apologies for the multiple inconveniences you had encountered throughout your stay with our snacks and also room service charge.

We will use your feedback to help us provide the best service possible to our guests from now to the future.

Once again sorry for the inconveniences and please give us a new opportunity to welcome you back in the future.

Cordially,

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Reviewed July 28, 2013

We read a lot of reviews prior to our trip so I was a little hesitant about our stay. The hotel was part of a package deal so we had no choice and therefore went in with pretty low expectations. Overall, the hotel itself is beautiful and the rooms were spacious and clean. As everyone else has said, the beach is not necessarily good for swimming. That being said, we thought the views were great and the tidal changes added to the diversity. If you are expecting Hawaii type beaches, you'll be disappointed. The food was average and a little pricey. We took a cab to Amador for dinner one night. Although the overall cost including cab fare was more then you would spend at the hotel, its worth it for a change of scenery. Finally, as far as service goes, we thought everything was fine. Granted we were there in low season so we didn't really have to compete for any one's attention. You will definitely need to speak some Spanish as outside of the check in area, communication was challenging. That being said, try your rusty Spanish and you'll be fine. Kudos to Marcos, one of the servers around the pool. He was efficient and we had a great conversation about Soccer. Adjust your expectations accordingly and you'll enjoy this resort.

Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
Thank Samndjsdad
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 reviewResponded August 3, 2013

Thank you for taking a moment to share with us your recent experience while staying at our resort.

We are excited to hear that you enjoyed your accommodations and our co-worker Marcos at the bar area made your visit enjoyable during your stay. We are sorry that you were disappointed with our restaurant prices and also the beach but we are pretty sure that you feel the time like home.

Please give us the opportunity to service again in a near future and Welcome back to Panama City.

Sincerely,

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Reviewed July 26, 2013

Worst hotel ever. Food sucks, beach sucks, service sucks, drinks suck. Waste of money and waste of time. There's a reason this place is completely empty. We were treated horribly. It was insulting. The ONLY thing good about this place is the free WiFi and even that is on and off at times. We bought out 16 rooms for a company trip and spent over $60k and they still treated us awfully. The restaurants are a waste of your time too. Your better off going to the buffet every single day for every meal.

  • Stayed: July 2013
    • Value
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2  Thank ele55678
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 reviewResponded August 3, 2013

It saddens us to see that we did not exceed your expectations during your stay. What you described to us is not the experience we wish to provide our guests.

We will certainly share your feedback with our management team so that we can continue to evolve and grow. We hope to have a new opportunity to welcome you back in the future.

Sincerely,

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