Recently my husband & I stayed at the Westin Playa Bonita for a conference. I was concerned after reading some previous reviews and found that while some were quite accurate there were positives to our stay as well. Lets start with the not so great stuff.
- few of the staff speak passable English. I understand that Panama is a Spanish speaking country and part of the fun of travel is experiencing new things but the hotel advertises itself as having English speaking staff - not true.
- the buffet meals (breakfast, lunch) were not great and the same food everyday. As an example the breakfast "sausages" were in fact cut up hotdogs (as far as I could tell)
- the al la carte restaurants had extremely slow service. We had a meal with some friends one evening on site - over 1/2 hour to get a drink then another 1/2 hour to have our order taken. The women at the table noticed that the waiter (male) would respond to the requests from the men at the table but not to us.
- the pools were nice but way overcrowded. If you didn't go down before 7am to save a chair (a practice that I find so rude!) there were none left. The hotel needs to manage this better - either no saving chairs or an ability to book the cabanas.
- the hotel is in the middle of nowhere - at least 1/2 hour and a $25 cab ride to go anywhere
- the staff didn't seem terribly interested in being helpful - not actively rude...more just indifferent.
And the good stuff
- the rooms were nice with great ocean views (we were on the 12 floor ocean front) but the bathroom set up was a little odd - open to the bedroom with just a shade to close for privacy. Ok for us old married couples but would have been very awkward for families or friends sharing the room or a couple who are still in the stages of getting to know each other better. Also it was a very noisy hotel - we're pretty sure the people above us were moving furniture at all hours. Take earplugs
- the hotel public areas are beautiful - incredible light fixtures everywhere
- the spa was lovely
- the drinks were very !! strong - we watched the bartenders and they all free poured very freely - better than the usual wimpy resort cocktails but be careful.
If you need transportation call Quality Transportation Services - ask for Guibel - her English is better than mine and service was impeccable. www.panamaqualityservices.com
Be wary of Gamboa tours - we prebooked a car to take us to the airport as did most of the other people leaving Sat. morning - it was a zoo...no one seemed to know when cars were coming or for whom and then allowed whomever was the loudest & pushiest to take the next car that showed up. We also did a tour of the city with them - our guide didn't speak English (even though the tour was specifically set up for several bus loads of Canadians) so we saw some great things but don't know what they were, there was water on the bus but they forgot to give it out (38celcius that day)
Take insect repellent - everyone in our group got bitten a lot! and were left with very itchy bumps all over.
all in all an ok place to stay but I wouldn't go back.
- 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 Booking.com, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Expedia, Hotwire, Travelocity, TripOnline SA, Cancelon, Cheap Tickets, getaroom.com, Evoline ltd, Priceline and HotelQuickly 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