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“Happy hostel” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Panamericana Hostel

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Panamericana Hostel
Jersey, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Happy hostel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013

We spent a few nights at this hostel before and after the San Blas Islands and it was a great hostel to start our travels through Panama. Gustavo (one of the owners or managers) was so much help and a really nice guy. All the staff were friendly and welcoming and the whole place had a happy laid back atmosphere.
The only downside for us was how hot the rooms are at night, despite fans. It's just so hot in the city. Also, the old town in Panama city is going through so much building works that its impossible to be staying anywhere that isn't directly next to a building site. I'd recommend to anyone staying here to ask for a high room on the side facing the square. We were lower down and at the back, and building works directly outside our window continued to lay concrete allll night long!
Nothing the hostel could do, but just be aware of the state of the town at present.
The hostel offer a free breakfast of toast, spreads and banana's which is a really nice touch. The old town is beautiful and easy to walk around and the hostel is in a good location for wondering around.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Hannah C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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180 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
44 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 3, 2013

I flew into Panama City and arrived into the hostel around 10:30 pm. Very good location, the noise was not pleasant. I've been told that for the past few weeks work has been ongoing in Plaza Herrera (where the hostel is), during the day time, and the projects for a new Coastal Beltway on the opposite side of the hostel have been non- stop during day, and night time. So noise everywhere, yet managed to have 4 good-nights sleep in a lovely clean room with a balcony, and heaps of wind coming from the ocean. No A/C, just a ceiling fan. Perfect fresh air.
Location is safe and for going shopping, a taxi is a must.
Kitchen was spacious and cleaned every morning. Bathrooms too. Yet in the evening everything would get a bit messy. I reckon if this is a hostel, aren't guests responsible for cleaning after themselves?
Rooftop bar: never been there but surely attracted heaps of people, whether locals or guests. A wee noisy but not a big deal.
Staff/ Service: Good overall, didn't speak much to them, just to say hi/ bye and pay my bill.
Conclusion: Good place. Would stay there again.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RoundandAround1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
85 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 2, 2013 via mobile

We arrived at the hostel and the staff were friendly enough.

We definitely drew the short straw on the room. We opted for private with shared bathroom. On the net the rooms look great, what we got is nothing like the website. There is barely enough room for two of in the room including the furniture and it does have an air of prison cell about it.

The website claims each private has double bed, desk, reading light, mirror, locker. We have a desk but if you sat at it the other person wouldn't be able to get in or out of the room. The reading light doesn't work, there was no locker, or a mirror.

On the plus side the bed and pillows are very comfortable but given the noise, and as other have mentioned, the neon lights outside the rooms don't expect to sleep unless you have drunk yourself silly. Oh add that to the fan which may as well not be in the room for all the use it is, really don't expect to sleep.

Other plus points are the excellent location, the common room with sofa is great, love the modern designs/ decor and the place seems very clean.

On the whole it's ok for a couple of nights.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank TravellerS1703
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 28, 2013 via mobile

Ok so this hostel is new, a great location for the old town and has probably the best roof top bar in any hostel I've stayed in. It's got spectacular views across the city. BUT and it's a big but I'm afraid the hostel is so loud that sleep is impossible and theres no getting round it.

The other downside is a frankly rude customer service from staff (apart from cleaners who are lovely) although I think this was partly due to the language barrier, I don't speak Spanish and they don't speak (much) English, they need to improve this though really as it makes or breaks a hostel.

Pros
Good location, near a nice plaza, supermarkets and bars, In the old town.
Clean, modern and spacious. Big comfortable beds.
Private room we stayed in (one in the website pic) was huge, very good value for $26.

Cons
Rude and disinterested staff
NOISE - I'm no prude and I've been known to party hard but if you just can't sleep in this place, it's ridiculous. The privates have open grills above the doors and the hostel has an open stairwell that runs the height of the interior of the building so sounds just echoes everywhere. They do not control noise at all, and people in/out of dorms until 5am with no respect for others. I don't understand why they can't have a policy after 12 midnight to keep noise to a minimum, if you have to take a 8 hr bus at 5am the next day on no sleep its just not worth staying here.

So in summary I would never stay here again until the noise was at least in someway controlled. The marks would be 4 stars if it wasn't for this and the staff.

You are better off staying at Lunascastle ...... Still noisy but MUCH friendlier.

Hope that helps.

Josh

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Josh C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Boston, MA
Level Contributor
131 reviews
126 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 27, 2013 via mobile

I stayed four nights in a private room with bathroom.

Pros:
Strong wifi
Location in old town
Large size of the room
Hot water if you wanted it.
Supermarkets are within walk able distance.

Cons:
Noise! The hostel is constructed poorly with cement walls and open grates above each door. Noise carries everywhere from inside the hostel. I had to sleep with airplugs every night and I was still woken many times per night.
Our room looked out on the main square but we could not keep our door open at night as the balcony was shared. This made our room very hot. The fan is way to high to actually do any good.
The neon lights are awful. They keep multicoloured lights on all night long which gave the room a weird feeling.
The roof terrace is a small area that has a gorgeous view of a construction crane.
Reception can not be bothered with you.
You are not allowed to bring outside alcohol into the hostel.

Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank 07Boston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 22, 2013

What can I say... Out of the 20 countries I've been to on my current RTW trip, Panamericana Hostel has been THE WORST place I've stayed in.

- I was greeted with the most unwelcoming receptionist. When I entered the front door, the look on her face was 'oh damn, I have to do some work now'. Then she proceeded to speak to a friend on the phone the whole time I was checking in and had no interaction with me. When I went down later that night to ask a question, the guy who was on shift was sitting back with his feet up on the desk reading a magazine, and didn't even look up at me when he answered me question. Complete and utter rudeness from both staff members.
- I booked a private room with a bathroom, but was put into one with a shared bathroom (Room 19). The room was tiny (pretty much just the double bed and then a 20cm gap to the walls) - it was no bigger than 5m x 2m. The walls were painted grey and it felt extremely sterile. The ceiling fan was not able to be adjusted and provided bugger all relief from the heat. This set me back $30.
- The whole 'art deco industrial design chic' thing they're trying to go for was COMPLETELY missed. The neon lights at night with the grey walls made me feel like I was a patient in a psychiatric ward in some cheap horror movie.
- The worst thing about this place? The noise. Whilst I recognise that the hostel has little to no control over the noise coming from the roadworks outside, that wasn't the main problem. You can hear absolutely everything going on as the noise echoes throughout the building. Above the door was a pigeon hole, roughly 1m x 0.5m, so all the noise from the rest of the hostel came straight into my room. There must have been something in the water too, because everyone there had a problem with slamming doors.

All in all, I couldn't think of one positive thing to say about this place. Do yourself a favour and steer way clear. I'm just happy I was able to find other alternative accommodation after one night.

Room Tip: Good room? You'd get a better deal if you were sleeping in a prison cell
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Tabsss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2013

Pretty much brand new hostel (Sept 2012) so not yet in guides. It's located on the edge of the "safe" area in Casco Viejo, but feels safe given the 24h police contingent in Plaza Herrera. Service is excellent with plenty of helpful advice on tap, more akin to a concierge in a 5* hotel than a hostel. Wifi available throughout the property. Rooms are well designed with interesting art work. Social communal kitchen/lounge. it was great to be able to see boats waiting to go into the Canal from roof/higher rooms.

Be warned that there is an (excellent) rooftop bar Thu, Fri, Sat. Early on is happy hour, later prices rise. This is not a Gringo/traveller only spot, but full of Panamanians. Great for socialising, but it does mean that there are lots of There are lots of non-residents wandering the halls and people traipsing up and down stairs for a lot of the night including using the shared bathrooms.

Room Tip: Higher up is better. Beware building work at back (Jan 2013) which is quite noisy in the mornings an...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Roger W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Panamericana Hostel

Property: Panamericana Hostel
Address: Calle 10 y Avenida A # 8-15 Plaza Herrera, Panama City, Panama
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Panama City
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 110 Specialty Lodging in Panama City
Number of rooms: 29
Also Known As:
Panamericana Hostel Panama/Panama City

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