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“A Hotel of Quality Contradiction”

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Waldorf Astoria Panama
Ranked #13 of 115 Hotels in Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 22, 2013

Prior to staying at the Waldorf, I read all the reviews posted on TripAdvisor since it opened last Spring 2013. Recognizing that this is a brand new hotel, and with the brand name, Waldorf Astoria, most guests would expect a top notch facility and treatment. After staying at the Waldorf for six nights this August, I tend to agree with the many previous posted reviews, both positive and negative.

In this regard, the hotel staff were always extremely helpful and polite, but their staff is in dire need of training. Housekeeping and in-room food service were always inconsistent. One never knew what mistake they were to going make each day. Some examples of their poor training: forgetting to drop off daily water bottles or toiletries, replacing dirty drinking glasses, housekeeping slamming doors while cleaning adjacent rooms, forgetting food items ordered for in-room food service, etc. Good grief, housekeeping and room service were not consistent by any means of the imagination. Albeit somewhat annoying, the staff immediately corrected it when asked. I personally found this to be a bit odd for having the brand name, "Waldorf Astoria".

One of the first things I noticed to be a bit strange when I first entered my room, no luggage racks or stands. What the heck? Where is one suppose to set their luggage? However, staff immediately brought two luggage stands to my room when requested. Hey Waldorf, buy some luggage stands! (I personally think the bellhop was embarrassed by the situation).

The room look and decor was excellent. The two raised bathroom sinks were pretty cool and the shower was well designed. Missing was a TV in the bathroom for those that enjoy that feature. The bed and pillows were extremely comfy as mentioned in prior guest postings. See previously posted photos of their rooms.

As mentioned in prior reviews, the hotel lobby has a very modern contemporary look about it. Of course, the hotel is basically brand new. But the lobby doesn't seem to have much activity, meaning it doesn't give the appearance of a "happening place".

Some comments on the hotel location and its surroundings in the neighborhood: boring and somewhat ugly area. Why Waldorf didn't build on the empty lot in front of it is beyond reason.
The hotel is landlocked in this old neighborhood. In fact, some of the staff opined that the current hotel location was a "test location". There are several nice restaurants nearby also mentioned in prior reviews. FYI: taxi fare from Tucomen International Airport to the Waldorf was $28 and $35 for the return trip. The hotel is very helpful in getting you either a private taxi or yellow cab. (Note: Panama's Yellow Cabs do not use meters, you negotiate the fare when entering the cab). In summary, I would say the hotel itself is a great facility, great looking, but not at all in an exciting location.

That being said, I felt the room cost was an absolute bargain for what one is getting. Very cheap indeed, even if the internet access was an additional $12 per day. No complaints on the room cost. I stayed on the 16th floor with a view of ocean (bay actually). The ocean view is between two residential buildings, resulting in a somewhat constrained view.

Hint: Allow yourself three hours when visiting the Miraflora Locks. You will want to watch one of the big ships pass through the locks.

Room Tip: Try to get room numbers ending in either 08 or 09 on any floor for best ocean views.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank TANGODANO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AKorngold, Director of Business Development at Waldorf Astoria Panama, responded to this reviewResponded August 23, 2013

Dear TANGODANO,

Thanks for your recent comments about your stay with us.

We really appreciate comments like yours because they help us get better on a daily basis, rest assure that we will discuss this within our entire team and we will make sure we overcome the situations that create dissatisfaction for our guests.

We definitely hope to see you soon here and that you give us a new opportunity to prove that we are the hotel that can best accommodate your needs.

Best regards,

Andres Korngold
Director of Business Development
Waldorf Astoria Panama

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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808 - 814 of 1,305 reviews

Reviewed August 22, 2013

I loved the looks of the hotel, the area is good. One can feel the modernism and the new vibe of the hotel right away. Couple of things: Arrived at 3 p.m. (check-in time) and still had to wait 30 min for my room in the lobby. I booked a ocean view suite and was told I would had to get a city view, no problem, but once I get in the room I could clearly see it was not the suite I had booked. I'm certain as I'd seen pictures of the room before, I got a much smaller room. I still said nothing and enjoyed my stay. At check out I had over 50 dollars in parking charges for ONE night? I've stayed in countless hotels in Panama and I had never seen such a thing. It is an abusive charge and more so that no one mentioned it.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank DACAPanama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AKorngold, Director of Business Development at Waldorf Astoria Panama, responded to this reviewResponded August 30, 2013

Dear DACAPanama,

Thanks a lot for your comments regarding your recent stay in our hotel.

We really appreciate all the information you provided and we are sorry that the Ocean Viw Room reserved was not available at time of Check In.

In reference to the Parking Fee, the regular charge is $15 and not $50 so please contact us at personal.concierge.panama@waldorfastoria.com sending us a copy of the invoice and we will be more than happy to adjust your bill.

Thanks again for staying with us and we are looking forward to seeing you soon.

Best regards,

Andres Korngold
Director of Business Development
Waldorf Astoria Panama

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2013

Stunning hotel right on Calle Uruguay (Restaurant Strip). Beautiful pool & jacuzzi. Pacific Ocean views. Toiletries by Salvatore Ferragamo. Rainforest showers. New rooms. Amazing mini bar. Great air condition. HHonors elite members get room upgrade & 15 percent off spa.

Stayed: August 2013, traveled solo
Thank Sven P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AKorngold, Director of Business Development at Waldorf Astoria Panama, responded to this reviewResponded August 23, 2013

Dear Sven P,

Thanks for your comments about your recent stay in our property.

We are looking forward to seeing you again soon.

Best regards,

Andres Korngold
Director of Business Development
Waldorf Astoria Panama

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 16, 2013

The hotel is great: rooms are large and well maintained. It must be very new and I hope to can keep the rooms clean a time goes by.

We arrived in late afternoon and ordered room service which arrived promptly and the food was delicious.

My only complaint would be the cold reception that my request for a late (-ish) checkout was met with. We traveled with three children and had two rooms. The front desk lady would not listen to our request to keep at least one of the rooms until 3pm when it was time for us to depart to the airport. She offered to pay 50% daily rate which I thought was ridiculous for couple hours extra.

Say there if you want a comfortable night's sleep but do not expect any favors.

Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
1  Thank D K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AKorngold, Director of Business Development at Waldorf Astoria Panama, responded to this reviewResponded August 18, 2013

Dear D K,

Thanks a lot for letting us know about your recent stay with us.

It is always nice to hear good things about what we have to offer; however it is also great to learn what our guests have to say about our service.

Rest assure that we will be working to avoid the type of situation that you went through when requesting a late check out for your family.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Best regards,

Andres Korngold
Director of Business Development
Waldorf Astoria Panama

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2013

Our first visit to the country of Panama was helped by staying at this hotel. The rooms at the Waldorf Astoria Panama are roomy and clean. Waldorf's usually have great amenities and bedding and this one was no exception. As a Hilton Honors member, I must say, it was nice to receive the WiFi at no charge.

This hotel has only been open 4 months but the staff is so well trained we couldn't believe it. They are one of the best things about this hotel. They were always smiling and greeting you, yet they were not overbearing. If you go here, be sure to ask for Candy Rubio as your Personal Concierge. She is fantastic. All the front desk staff is great and all speak English very well. Everyone from the front door greeters to the drivers to the housekeeping is wonderful. Eat breakfast in their restaurant, Brio, and ask to sit in Eligio's section. He is outstanding.

Don't miss the Canal/Miraflores Locks, the Old City and a stroll along the water along the Amador walkway.

The only downside to this property is the location. I'll never understand what Hilton/Waldorf was thinking when they picked this location. The hotel is located in the city near many banks and offices but the street is 1 off the main street and in an area that is in need of a cleanup. Everyone said it was safe and I'm sure it was. It's just that we usually walk many places. This location didn't afford you any use of the sidewalks as they were covered with parked cars and mostly broken and very uneven.

Even with the location, I'd recommend this hotel. It's classy yet warm and inviting.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank scsgaras
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AKorngold, Director of Business Development at Waldorf Astoria Panama, responded to this reviewResponded August 16, 2013

Dear Scsgaras,
We are glad to read that you were able to enjoy many of our wonderful amenities and services during your recent stay. We hope to see you again and cater to your needs at the highest standards of service that we provide.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Regards,

Report response as inappropriate
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A TripAdvisor Member
1
Reviewed August 14, 2013

The WA Panama has the best and friendliest staff who could not do enough for us throughout our stay. I've never felt more welcome! Great hotel location in the city centre near all the bars and clubs but on a quiet road - new building, very luxurious with great amenities. Excellent price point for such 5 star service. Make sure to check out the Ginger restaurant and ask for the Pearl of the Pacific sashimi - sublime! I would return to the Waldorf Astoria Panama and recommend it without hesitation.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria
Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AKorngold, Director of Business Development at Waldorf Astoria Panama, responded to this reviewResponded August 16, 2013

Dear TripAdvisor member,

It is great to read such comments from our guests. We really appreciate you taking the time to post your comments and we are really glad to hear that you had a great time while staying in our hotel.

We are looking forward to seeing you back during your next trip to Panama.

Regards,

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 14, 2013

This is an amazing property, and the quality of the rooms is outstanding. The spa and the fitness center are nice as well, but the quality of the service is substantially below average. This hotel needs to train its staff particularly as it relates to room service, pool and fitness center service, and the general attitude and quality of the staff. They should close the hotel for 3 days and take the entire staff to the Four Seasons in Mexico City so they understand what high class service is all about.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled on business
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Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria
Thank Juan L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AKorngold, Director of Business Development at Waldorf Astoria Panama, responded to this reviewResponded August 16, 2013

Dear Juan L,

Thanks a lot for taking the time to let us know about your experience in our property during your recent stay in Panama City.

We will definitely consider each and everyone of your comments and hope that next time you come back to Panama we will be able to change your perception about our service level.

Regards,

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 Waldorf Astoria Panama

Address: 47th St. & Uruguay Street | walking distance to Balboa Avenue, Panama City, Panama
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in Panama City
#11 Luxury Hotel in Panama City
Price Range: $119 - $202 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Waldorf Astoria Panama 5*
Number of rooms: 248
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Waldorf Astoria Panama is conveniently located on Calle Uruguay, a vibrant street known for its entertainment and restaurants, and steps away from the financial banking center. This new hotel jewel features 248 guestrooms, suites and luxury residences as well as an array of culinary options to serve the most exquisite palates. Cozy meeting rooms can accommodate an intimate business gathering or a memorable social event. A spacious and comforting area awaits you at the Waldorf Astoria Spa, an oasis of relaxation adjacent to a large exercise area by Life Fitness and a shimmering pool where you will enjoy the beautiful sun rays. Your guests will certainly enjoy inviting facilities with sophisticated furnishings and an ample number of restaurants and activities within the hotel, as well as experience the sincerest definition of personalized service while living the True Waldorf Service, which aims to offer guests luxury attention during a memorable stay in Panama. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Waldorf Astoria Panama Panama City

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