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“Nice property, research location before booking”

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The Westin Playa Bonita Panama
Ranked #7 of 115 Hotels in Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 22, 2014

We stayed at this property for 3 nights on our way to Colombia. Our main objectives were to visit the Casco Viejo (Old City), take a tour of the canal, and spend a day at the beach/pool. The property is about a 45 minute drive from the airport and transport will cost $40-50. The hotel is quite large and attractive. We were greeted with a cold juice when we arrived and check-in was seamless. We had a Jr. Suite which had a table, sitting area and powder room separate from the bedroom which had the bed, bathtub, double vanity and a full bathroom. Our view was facing the fields and not the beach, but the room was certainly nice and large enough for two. Our stay coincided with a large corporate conference, so the property felt busy and the restaurants booked up early, so know going in that the property books large events. This made space at the pool a premium. FYI - There is a dedicated section for guests with SPG status, which we found during our last hour there. We found the concierge to be somewhat helpful but not reliably so. Perhaps they were overwhelmed by the conference, but on two occasions taxis we reserved were not ordered and twice the concierge forgot to follow up on our calls.

We found the food on the property to be fine. Not great, not bad, but fine. We wanted a good piece of fish and were disappointed with what we received. The fries were hit or miss. But on the whole, prices for food were fair/reasonable and the food was satisfactory enough to be enjoyable. FYI - There is an executive lounge for those with SPG status including a very well stocked happy hour.

A few things to know and research before booking:

The property is a $25 taxi ride to anywhere you want to go -- the Old City, a canal tour, shopping, etc. The property is a bit removed from the city itself, so the going rate is $25 to basically go anywhere or get back to the property. Getting back, you will hail your own cab and negotiate the fare, but it will be around $25.

There isn't really a beach at this property, at least when we were there in mid February. The tide doesn't come in until late in the afternoon. So during the day, there isn't anything to do on the beach besides tan. When the tide comes, the beach is quite small and we didn't really see anyone out in the water. It's just not that kind of property. There are some kayaks you can take out once the tide comes in however.

All in all, a decent place that's clean and relaxed; just know what you want to do before you book!

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BRepublican
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 February 26, 2014

It is such a pleasure to know that you found your stay at our resort to be such a first class experience. We strive to make each guest feel as you did and we thank you for sharing with us how much you enjoyed the service and amenities.

We hope you have the opportunity to return for another visit very soon.

Be well,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,268 - 1,274 of 2,964 reviews

Reviewed February 20, 2014

The pictures on the website accurately depict a gorgeous resort worthy of top ratings. The pictures are true to form when at the resort. Being an early riser, I watched as the grounds crew sprayed massive amounts of toxic fog into the shrubbery in order to abate the mosquitos. There was a "Dengue Fever" sign down the beach. Oh, and the beach is completely unusable. At low tide, it is muck and mire, quite odiferous (I wonder where the mosquitos come from?). Everything else at this resort is top flight. Shopping is no bargain. Stay on the resort, preship a 55 gallon drum of mosquito repellant and all should be good. What a disaster. Three of my party fell ill.

Room Tip: All rooms are ocean front
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled on business
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5  Thank Stujersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 20, 2014

Just came back from 5 nights at the Westin Playa Bonita and was generally very impressed. A lot of people had made negative comments about the beach so I didn´t have great expectations - it´s true that it´s definitely not the most beautiful beach in Panamá but if you want pristine white sands you need to go to a more remote area. Ultimately the beach is actually still quite nice and the view across the bay is beautiful.

Some people have also complained about it being far from the city. The hotel doesn´t lie about its location, so I don´t understand this. I went expecting a great mix of having a more tranquil location to relax but being within close proximity to the city to go sight seeing etc. That is exactly what I got! Personally love the location.

Pool area is extremely nicely done and the aesthetics of the property in general are beautiful. Rooms are fantastic. I spent my first night in a garden view room (as I was there for business) which was actually a really high standard, and then moved to a suite for the vacation part of my trip. The ocean view suite was incredible - one of the nicest I have stayed in.

The staff were generally very good although pool service could be a bit slow and un-enthusiastic. Reception and transport staff very good however - big shout out to Ingrid on reception who was an absolute star and really helped make my stay!

Overall, really great hotel that exceeded expectations! Well done Westin! :)

Room Tip: Ocean view is beautiful - my suite was on a lower floor and still had a fantastic view. However I d...
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
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Thank j2c0
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 February 26, 2014

It is such a pleasure to hear that your most recent stay was just as enjoyable as the previous time.

We always enjoy hearing about guest experiences and are so glad yours was the ideal Westin retreat.

We hope to welcome you back for many more stays.

Sincerely,

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Reviewed February 19, 2014

Plus:
Hotel is nice and clean 4 star place; good rooms and great pools.
Concierge service is good.
Good food overall.

Minus:
* Far away from town. Expensive cab rides to town as well to the airport. Expect $25-$30 to town and more than double that for the airport.
* Food is very expensive. Breakfast for four around $100.
* Internet is free but flakey. Lobby is the best place for it.
* Beach is there but not one you will remember.
* Your mileage will hopefully be better with incorrect credit card charges. I am still trying to resolve them two months after the stay!
* Repeat minus: expensive food.

Room Tip: Splurge for the ocean view.
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank ZB80
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 February 26, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to communicate to us regarding your recent stay at the Westin Playa Bonita Panama.

We already share your comments with our management team, to provide the best solution available to resolve your inconveniences as soon as possible.

Please accept our sincerest apology for any trouble we have caused to you. Again, we highly appreciate your feedback as it will assist us in becoming better at what we do.

Sincerely,

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Reviewed February 17, 2014

Very nice facilities! Everything Clean. Very Friendly Staff...
Recommend to stay with the family. Has 3 pools which include a kids pool, a kids play room. Has a private beach where there are few people.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank jan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 17, 2014 via mobile

On the positive side, a good location outside of Panama City offering an OK beach and access to town in 20min. A good collection of pools, very friendly staff, OK and well maintained rooms, nice sea view and a good bar and a restaurant open 24/7. Good alternative for families with kids who want a good pool and access to town. On the negatives, a poorly build structure means you can hear noise from the corridor and adjacent rooms. Food is just average and the general attitude of the hotel staff suggests there is poor leadership. Don't expect your minibar be replenished every day neither room cleaning service to come before 3pm. Not many options for runners. The roads sir rounding the hotel are narrow and busy. The beach is a bit too short if you want to rum more than 4-5miles. In general, an average to good four star experience.

Stayed: February 2014, traveled on business
Thank Schutz62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2014

We were part of a LARGE group with the all inclusive program. I found the view from the lobby and rooms to be outstanding. The rooms were exceptional, food was great. The only complaint re: food was that the breakfast didn't have cold skim milk and later in the a.m. was a bit picked over. The outside pool area and inside bar were great. The corona girl was the only grumpy person there.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled on business
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Thank Kris W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about 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:
#4 Spa Hotel in Panama City
#7 Luxury Hotel in Panama City
Price Range: $156 - $252 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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