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“Wonderful Surprise - Small Leading Hotel of the World”

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The Bristol Panama Hotel & SPA
Ranked #7 of 114 Hotels in Panama City
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Mougins, France
Level 6 Contributor
74 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Wonderful Surprise - Small Leading Hotel of the World”
Reviewed October 25, 2013

Very pleasant surprise - this "small Leading Hôtel of the World is absolutely charming and very well situated to the centre and restaurants.
Although when I booked, I did not know that this hotel belonged to the selected "elite" so my surprise was total and more than pleasant.
Spacious rooms furnished with rich wood. Big beds a slightly British "Colonial" atmosphere.
Bathroom are all marble - spacious with very large baths. Big Separate shower cabin and all the bath products supplied by Moulton Brown of London & obviously Hair dryer - only thing missing was an enlarging mirror to make-up/shave.
Public areas are very modern; crisp greys and marble. These areas are not large but not impersonal either.
Wifi is free everywhere, even in the rooms.
The one thing that I found negative (however one is finding this more and more in hotels everywhere) is a lack of "concierge" service after 20h whereby it is often after this time one really needs the services of a concierge.
Being as Panama City is under a lot of work, renovations, and building, be sure to ask for a room that is situated on a high floor, as the noise of the work taking place starts very early; the majority of the rooms overlook the rebuilding (which is basically everywhere).
As I was there for a quite a few nights, my room was changed easily and quickly to a much higher floor so I wouldn't be disturbed by the noise.
The staff are all extremely helpful and pleasant.
Buffet breakfast excellent rapport/quality/Price.
Hotel Restaurant is supposed to be one of the best "typical" Panamaian restaurants....didn't seem very typical more like World/Asian Fusian food. As I was pretty "jetlagged" I wasn't very hungry but knew I must eat to get into the time zone; I chose a dish of Spicy sweet & sour Crocodile Tail, which was well worth tasting, as it was very good. Desserts are not very refined anywhere in Panama so the hotel was no different.
Unless you MUST finish your meal on a sweet note, it's easy to say no thank you to desserts in Panama.
Staff very helpful, but don't ask for any concierge services after 18h...they have gone home.

Room Tip: At the time of writing, I would suggest a room on a high floor to avoid the disturbance of builders.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank Ceejayrose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pierre Jean Fra... B, Director General at The Bristol Panama Hotel & SPA, responded to this review, October 28, 2013
Thank you for taking the time of writing this review of our hotel.

Thank you for enjoying all our services, the comfort and amenities of our room and the Salsipuedes restaurant during your last stay with us. Next time try the "baked Alaska" as dessert, you will that it is worth to try it.

For the concierge service, you are right. During 2 days per week, the service is from 10h00 to 20h00 as one of them is having his day off. But our staff from Front Desk is fully trained to replace the concierge and help our guests in their needs.

Your compliment are really a positive stroke for us and push us to keep a high standard personalized service toward our guests.

We hope to welcome you again during your next visit to Panama

Kind regards

Pierre Berthier
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Dominican Republic
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2013

I stayed for two nights for business purpose and received very good service. Quick check in and check out. Very clean and nice room, good internet service in all areas, well located, nice bar and breakfast. No complains

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Claudio P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pierre Jean Fra... B, Director General at The Bristol Panama Hotel & SPA, responded to this review, October 19, 2013
Thank you for taking the time of writing this review of our hotel.

Thank you for enjoying all our services, the comfort and amenities of our room and the Salsipuedes restaurant during your last stay with us.

Your compliment are really a positive stroke for us and push us to keep a high standard personalized service toward our guests.

We hope to welcome you again during your next visit to Panama

Kind regards

Pierre Berthier
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, Costa Rica
Level 5 Contributor
30 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed October 14, 2013

I was traveling with my wife and 7 month old to Panama on a weekend break and had stayed at the Bristol back in 2005. We were upgraded to a suite which was very large indeed with it's own kicthen, lounge and bedroom. This was perfect for us traveling with my 7 month old daughter. The room was fantastically designed and the room quality was top notch. There was nothing I could fault except maybe making the bathroom smaller as was a lot of open space.

The food was outstanding and the Bristol Burger is a must, was not expecting to eat the best burger of my life in Panama.

The location was great as we were 10 mins from Albrook Mall and 5 mins from Multiplaza. Whether for business or pleasure a must stay hotel. I have traveled the world and work in luxury travel and this hotel is currently my #1 on the all time room quality!!

Do not bother looking elsewhere in Panama, you will not be disappointed.

Room Tip: Try to get in the new tower as the rooms are new.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bexin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pierre Jean Fra... B, Director General at The Bristol Panama Hotel & SPA, responded to this review, October 18, 2013
Thank you for taking the time of writing this review of our hotel.

Thank you for enjoying all our services, the comfort and amenities of our room and the Salsipuedes restaurant during your last stay with us.

Your compliment are really a positive stroke for us and push us to keep a high standard personalized service toward our guests.

We hope to welcome you during your next visit to Panama

Kind regards

Pierre Berthier
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lafayette, NJ
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed October 12, 2013

Thankfully, the Bristol is pretty much as presented on its website. We had problems our first night, though - the room (in the old tower) smelled damp and moldy on entry, which gradually dissipated after running the heat a few hours. Hoping for a decent night's sleep after some less-than-stellar ones, we instead got bolted awake at 8:30am by drilling within the hotel. Not sure if they were putting up mirrors, paintings, or medicine cabinets in the bathrooms, but it was like a pneumatic drill going off next door, though front desk staff claims it was on the first floor while we were on the fourth. So we switched rooms to the new tower the next night, which was a much better experience. WiFi (included with our room at our booking price) did NOT work AT ALL in the old tower; going to test it shortly in the new one. When I complained to the hotel about the unexpected noise, I have to say they did offer me something I wanted at no charge in exchange for the inconvenience. I was very happy to see that, since this is truly a beautiful hotel. On the good side, both rooms had superb beds, clean bathrooms, deep one-person soaking tubs, bathrobes with slippers, turndown service with chocolates, fresh fruit and water in room with no extra charge - all signs of a true luxury experience. We had an outstanding dinner at their restaurant on the first floor, enjoyed use of the full gym on the 5th floor (including a rare Smith machine in Panama, which can be used for benching or squatting, and close to 300 lbs of weights for that machine - as well as a full set of dumbbells going up to 50 lbs each), but didn't try the outdoor pool on the 5th floor, which also had a small sitting outdoor lounge area nearby. They charged $40 for their private car service to the hotel from the airport, which they set up for me by reading my email requesting it the night before - a hotel staff that actually reads email from incoming guests! Superb! Would have been nicer if they charged the standard $28 taxi fare instead, but I can live with that. All the front desk staff, porters, waiters, and waitresses were friendly, helpful, fully professional - nicely attired, pleasant attitudes. It's a nice touch to have the door opened for you each time you walk in and out of the hotel. It adds to the classiness of the experience. While our first night fell short of our expectations, the hotel did a good recovery, is in a centrally located though not especially beautiful section of the downtown, and brings a touch of class to the proceedings in Panama City.

Room Tip: Hotel has an excellent gym, which we believe was freshly painted. Stay in the new tower if you have...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pierre Jean Fra... B, Director General at The Bristol Panama Hotel & SPA, responded to this review, October 14, 2013
Thank you for taking the time of writing this review of our hotel.

Thank you for enjoying the comfort and amenities of our room during your last stay with us as well as the Salsipuedes restaurant.

Your compliment are really a positive stroke for us and push us to keep a high standard personalized service toward our guests.

Regarding your experience durin the first night, I am happy to inform you that we started today a major refurbishing program of the south tower, which will look within 3 month exactly the same as the room that you experiences on your secong night. We started an over 2 millions $ investment.

We hope to welcome you during your next visit to Panama

Kind regards

Pierre Berthier
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 12, 2013

The hotel presents well, staff were superb, room was large well appointed BUT! We had a room in the old portion of the hotel. On entering the elevator there was a musty mildew odour. An alarm signal! Maybe just a basement air issue in the elevator shaft? Then when we entered the floor and then into room the mildew odour was overpowering in both localtions. The central air in the room exacerbated the odour. Either the central air system or carpets throughout the old tower and room have severe mildew/mold. I suspect the latter. The odour is profound, absolutely unhealthy and due to the pungent odour, our sleep was disturbed. We cancelled a second reservation made for 5 days later. Making the web reservation was effortless but cancelling that second reservation was an ordeal. It consumed almost a half a day of our holiday. The manager offered an upgrade to the new tower but we declined. The old portion of this hotel should NOT be rented to any travelers AT ALL, in my opinion.

Room Tip: Do not stay in the old portion of this hotel if you value your respiratory system.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 12102013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pierre Jean Fra... B, Director General at The Bristol Panama Hotel & SPA, responded to this review, October 14, 2013
Thank you for taking the time of writing this review of our hotel.

Please accept my sinceres apologies for the incoveniences that you had during your stay in the south tower.

Regarding your experience , I am happy to inform you that we started today a major refurbishing program of the south tower, which will look within 3 month exactly the same as the rooms in our other tower. We started an over 2 millions $ investment.

We hope to welcome you during your next visit to Panama and have a complete different experience of The Bristol.

Kind regards

Pierre Berthier
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingham, Washington
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2013

We stayed in the Bristol, located in the financial district of Panama City. It has the feel of a boutique hotel, staffed by extremely friendly and helpful people. Our room was comfortable and spacious, though the view was just to other skyscrapers in the area. We had a bowl of fresh fruit and a Keurig, which is much appreciated. Our meals were excellent and the wait staff in particular was knowledgeable about the wine choices available. We only had two minor glitches: one of the bed reading lights was burned out, and athough we called, it was never replaced. Similarly, we found only a small amount of toilet paper on the roll, with no extra roll. We called at least twice before a new roll appeared, but the next day, we were back to just one roll! Otherwise, an excellent choice, especially for the business traveler, and about ten minutes to the expansive coastal walk along the bay.

Room Tip: Ask for a view if it's important to you.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SLG52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pierre Jean Fra... B, Director General at The Bristol Panama Hotel & SPA, responded to this review, October 11, 2013
Thank you for taking the time of writing this review of our hotel.

Thank you for enjoying all our services, the comfort and amenities of our room and the Salsipuedes restaurant during your last stay with us.

Your compliment are really a positive stroke for us and push us to keep a high standard personalized service toward our guests.

I took note of the 2 comments and will make sure that they are corrected.

We hope to welcome you during your next visit to Panama

Kind regards

Pierre Berthier
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkeley, California, United States
Level 5 Contributor
83 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed September 24, 2013

We were very happy at the Bristol. Comfortable room, nice free breakfast, good bathroom, and restaurants all around us. We asked for our room to be made up for us and five minutes later the crew appeared. The staff appear to be very focused on helping.

In Panama City, surprisingly to us, there don't appear to be sidewalks! At least, not continuously. Also, the streets are not rectilinear, so the threat of getting lost kept us fairly close to the hotel.

Also, the hotel added on a free day-long car trip around the city and the canal, which was fantastic. This was terrific! (Ancon Expeditions - guide Ivan.) Many thanks to them for this!!

Overall, we recommend the Bristol Panama.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Budd S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pierre Jean Fra... B, Director General at The Bristol Panama Hotel & SPA, responded to this review, September 25, 2013
Thank you for taking the time of writing this review of our hotel.

Thank you for enjoying the comfort and amenities of our room during your last stay with us.

Your compliment are really a positive stroke for us and push us to keep a high standard personalized service toward our guests.

You are right with the lack of sidewalks. That's unfortunatly one of the major problem of the city! It is dangereous to be a padestrian!

We hope to welcome you during your next visit to Panama

Kind regards

Pierre Berthier
General Manager
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 The Bristol Panama Hotel & SPA

Property: The Bristol Panama Hotel & SPA
Address: Avenida Aquilino de la Guardia | Bella Vista, Panama City, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Panama City
#4 Spa Hotel in Panama City
#7 Luxury Hotel in Panama City
#8 Romantic Hotel in Panama City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — The Bristol Panama Hotel & SPA 5*
Number of rooms: 125
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the heart of Panama City's bustling (Financial District), Bristol Panama is one of the city's premier addresses for executive and holiday stays. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bristol Panama Hotel Panama City
Bristol Hotel Panama City
Bristol Panama City
The Bristol Panama Hotel & SPA Panama City

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