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“Stop the spraying!” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Secrets Playa Bonita Panama Resort & Spa

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Secrets Playa Bonita Panama Resort & Spa
Ranked #40 of 116 Hotels in Panama City
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Stop the spraying!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2012

We have stayed at this hotel twice. My only issue is that they spray for bugs at about 4PM everyday. The stuff they use I believe is very toxic. It caused me have an asthma attack. Hotel staff did not care when I told them. They spray by the hotel, all around it and then on some of the grouds. The spray travels like a white fog across the property to the sea. I was running with my two kids away from the smoke. I ran onto the beach and then had to run down the beach to get out of it's path. Other guests said that it bothered them to and what they were using is banned in the USA. I even put wet towels under my hotel room doors and the smell still got in.
Other that that, the food buffet's were so-so. And the service was hit and miss depending on who you got. Rooms were very nice.
BTW- no one swims in the ocean there- just FYI- the staf say it is not safe. Not sure why. I think I will try the westin next time.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank hopewellgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (274)
Date | Rating
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English first
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
35 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2012

First, I would like to say thank you for the people who wrote in a review of the Westin next store when it opened. I was supposed to stay there and changed at the last minute to this hotel. I do not regret my decision as the Westin was apparently not ready to open. I have to say the hotel and pool area at the Westin is gorgeous and will definitely give the Inercontinental a run for its money when it is fully functional. This was my first time to Panama. The service is very good at this hotel. The concierge -2 people who were there most of the time Mrs.Sugey Sousa and Mr.. Everardo Montenego were amazing and very hospitable and helped me out the entire time during my stay with a great tour to San Blas Islands. Also did the Panma City tour and canal tour but with decameron explorer. Victoria our tour guide was great!.
I was there with my family including my daughter who is 11 years old. Having been to many all inclusives, Club med's, riu's and melia. This is different. food and drinks are included but not the mini bar. Do not expect any shows or animation. The hotel does a nice job of providing entertainment in the lobby bar and on a couple of nights a band outside for dancing. The food was execellent. Not a an abundance of variety at the buffet but the quality was very good and everything was fresh. Salads, meats, fish etc were always served for lunch and dinner. My only complaint is that they are slow at refilling. The snack bar is limited to hot dogs and pizza and tortilla chips. Came in handy on arrival when lunch was over and the day i left for a quick lunch. Only tried the Lighthouse restaurant for dinner (a la carte) and for an all inclusive hotel found the quality of the food and service amazing. We were able to eat there twice because the 1st night they were overbooked and the service was not very good. They were very nice and gave us a second coupon. i did not try the plantation resto for dinner as the menu for the all inclusive people was not appealing to us..i like the location of this hotel as you could get into panama City within 15 minutes without traffic and do other tours where the travelling time was reasonable.
If you decide to go to Panama City on your own- there are a few options- taxi from the hotel- most expensive- taxi outside the gate of the hotel- less expensive and a minibus outside of the hotel for a dollar a person but it drops you off in a very poor section of Panama and where you have to be careful but very close to Casco Vajeo where there are nice boutiques and resto's and bars.
We enjoyed out vacation at this hotel. The pool area is very nice.. comfortable chairs- and very good service from the bar. NB: The beach is small. If you are a beach person then this place is not for you. One item to note is that if you do not like bugs and more specifically sand flies- then this place might not be for you. You are in the forest in this area and the sand flies are ravenous at dusk. The hotel sprays every evening and provides an 'off "like product in your room to rub on. if you go -use it! Enjoy your trip to Panama. The people are warm and friendly and the country during the last 5 years is booming with construction.
Lastly, took a taxi upon my return to the airport rather than the bus with Air transat. Imagime a 3:10 pm flight and the bus was leaving our hotel at 10:30 am. i was told because of traffic. nonsense-it took 30 minutes to get there by taxi- Checked out of the hotel at !2:15 pm and was at the airport and 12:45 to check in 2 hours before my flight. i was happy to spend more time at the resort than in the airport. Air transat should look at this and change their schedule.
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Room Tip: All rooms face the ocean. Higher the better.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
22 Thank GlenG1962
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oldsmar, Florida
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012

You can stay here for 390/nt with just a lounge room breakfast or walk 2 minutes on the beach to a new Westin next door for $305/nt which included all buffet meals. (Also, the InterContinental in the City is $220/nt vs.Trump Ocean Club in the city for $175/nt. A cab ride between the two should cost you about $2 or $3)

For what you get, the price is too high. The rooms at both InterContinental hotels are good and the hotel at the beach reminds me of a typical $150 to $200 max. place overall, NOT nearly $400 by any stretch at this time. It seems due for a make-over.

The tropical fruit on the buffet was of poor quality and taste. There is a slight mildew smell in the room corridors. We moved next door to the Westin after just one night and never bothered to try the pools or anything else at IC. Even though it is not complete, the Westin just felt better and smelled better, plus the decor is quite an upgrade.

Staff here was friendly and helpful. The balcony view and seeing the ships lining up for canal transit interesting. For us, it's 98% about the price for what you get on this one. If it were $200/nt we would have stayed our full 3 nights as originally planned.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dee J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wilmington, Delaware
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012

We stayed at the Intercontinental Panama in November for a week. We ate at the buffet restaurant each evening. Each meal was of gourmet status. I have never experienced such fantastic food at any other resort. The rooms were spotless as was the entire hotel. There were several pools, one for adults only which was a quiet pool and another pool for families.

The only thing that I would have done differently was not to rent a car. Driving in Panama was a challenge. I have driven in countries all over the world but there was such a lack of signs that I felt that only the locals knew which roads to take. Taxis were plentiful from the hotel and a much better way to get from spot to spot.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
17 Thank chrishuk2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012

Check in.Fast As we entered the lobby we felt under dressed.Service was exceptional,even served drinks on the beach and in the pool,not just the swim up bar .Food ,High Quality.Room,Very clean and up to date.This is a relaxing resort(If you are there to party hard go somewhere else)The only negitive are the sand fleas,so bring bug repellant with deet

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank stevemcbuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City, Panama
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2012

a little more costly than some...but flight direct from Calgary, Alb. Canada....food the best...service the best...spa amazing, very reasonable...on the canal across the bridge in Panama city towardplaya pacifica. for us the best all around experience for travel.

Room Tip: rooms central...all beachfront 1bedrm. suites...near the elevator and the main floor better access...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank gghopeful
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2011

I realize this is not a westernized hotel but it is priced that way. Service and hotel are nice but not for nearly $300/night. Relatively speaking, trump hotel is <$200/night. Beach water is brown, sand is rocky to the point you are hardly able to swim in it. It is $50 taxi from airport, FYI if you are looking for something remote, then this is up your alley. I believe 2-3 restaurants on site and the pelican grill is overpriced for barely average food. Hate to complain but I am literally on hold at the moment trying to cancel remainder of reservation.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Phamjaq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, IHGCare at Secrets Playa Bonita Panama Resort & Spa, responded to this review, January 2, 2012
Dear Phamjaq,

I would like to thank you for your review and apologize that your experience with our hotel did not meet your expectations. I greatly appreciate you calling out the good quality of our service. Once again, we appreciate you taking the time to share your comments with us. We know you have many choices when it comes to lodging and we hope your future travel plans will continue to include IHG.

Regards,
Brenda J.
IHGCare
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 Secrets Playa Bonita Panama Resort & Spa

Property: Secrets Playa Bonita Panama Resort & Spa
Address: Road to Veracruz km 7 | Arraijan District, 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 Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Romantic Hotel in Panama City
#16 Spa Hotel in Panama City
#24 Luxury Hotel in Panama City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Secrets Playa Bonita Panama Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 310
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Visit the unique destination of Panama, where you can experience beaches,rainforest, mountains and city-all from Dreams Playa Bonita Panama Resort & Spa. Located on Playa Bonita, the closest beach to Panama City and literally meaning "beautiful beach," Dreams Playa Bonita Panama Resort & Spa is perfect for special romantic getaways and memorable family vacations. Our 11 seaside towers offer 310 luxurious guest rooms and suites with jungle walkways and stunning views. Six dining options, including four ocean view gourmet á la carte restaurants, and four bars are all included in the Unlimited-Luxury(R) experience. Visit the Panama Canal or Panama City's colonial district, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with our complimentary daily shuttle to the largest mall in the Americas - Albrook Mall. There's no shortage of pleasures here with an infinity pool, the Dreams Spa by Pevonia(R), supervised kids and teen's clubs and so much more. Everyone has their own idea of a Dream vacation, and it can all be found at Dreams Playa Bonita Panama Resort & Spa ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Intercontinental Playa Bonita Hotel Panama City
Intercontinental Panama City
Intercontinental Playa Bonita Resort
Playa Bonita Panama
Secrets Playa Bonita Panama Resort & Spa Panama City

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