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“Intercontinental Playa Bonita Resort and Spa” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Dreams Delight Playa Bonita Panama

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Dreams Delight Playa Bonita Panama
Ranked #39 of 116 Hotels in Panama City
Chilliwack, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Intercontinental Playa Bonita Resort and Spa”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2012

Overall, this was a very good hotel. The location was a little disappointing because it was expensive to take a taxi anywhere given how far out it was located. The beach also left a lot to be desired as you could swim in the water because it was SO cold and the sand fleas were brutal. However, there were lots of great pools and the food in the buffet was unbelievable!! The drinks were also quite good. For an all-inclusive, I would rate it at about a 7 out of 10 given all of my experiences.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Chilliwackchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (267)
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English first
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2012

The main drawback of La Playa Bonita is that the playa is most definitely not bonita. Very little beach, and not fit for swimming. The pools are lovely. A good enough hotel, we were given an upgrade to a large, beautiful suite with ocean view. However, the room, though clean and comfortable, wasn't fully set up for guests. There were no towels in the bathroom, no hair dryer, no safe, no key for the minibar. Staff was very responsive when we called. In fact everyone was very warm and friendly and wanted to be helpful, but often seemed to be in training, not quite sure how to be as helpful as they wanted to be.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Babs730
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
51 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2012

We spent our last three days/nights here at the end of our first week in Panama. We had been on the Canal locks, in the Old City, up in the Rain-forest and had taken as many tours as we could fit in. This hotel was a great place to kick back and enjoy the sun, food and drink before heading home to cold Ohio.

The room was very nice, the staff excellent, and the food varied and satisfactory.

We recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: Be nice to people.
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  • Stayed February 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank cfpops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Rochelle, New York
Level Contributor
112 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 26, 2012

We had a great time at the InterContinental Playa Bonita. We used the hotel as a focal point to explore and enjoy the surrounding areas. And . . we are picky travelers.

The concierge - Sugey Sousa - worked tirelessly to ensure that our trips and reservations were taken care of. She multi-tasked 9 hours a day - changing reservations and confirming daily that we were taken care of. I would hire her to help run my business here in New York in a second.

We snorkeled by the Pearl Islands / took a tour of the Panama Canal / toured the rainforest and Monkey Island / visited the downtown city / took a short boat trip to the surrounding islands and hiked in the surrounding jungle. Lisa and I saw monkeys, turtles, caimans, sloths, toucans, butterflies, and other flora and fauna. We also taxied to the city 2 evenings and had great food at 2 different restaurants.

The beach at the hotel is for explorers. It's really a cove and It's filled with pink and white shells and I watched shore birds, egrets, pelicans, and other birds scour the shore. If you are looking for a pounding surf to boogieboard - this isn't the beach.

The pools are perfectly set up - with a family and children's area set apart from the pool and beach for adults. We appreciated that. The food was good - we were upgraded and had use of the Intercontinental club - enjoying an almost private breakfast daily.

All the staff was helpful and professional. I used my broken Spanish as best I could - but the language was not a barrier. We had a suite and it was cleaned daily and had a great view of the ocean. The view in the distance of all the ships waiting for entry in the canal was great.

Our only negative - and it's not a reflection on the hotel - was there were several groups that arrived on an all-inclusive basis. For us it's difficult to watch people drink all day and gorge themselves at a buffet - leaving plates upon plates of picked at and wasted food. Several people drank until oblivion - one stumbled into the pool three times. He passed out on a beach chair - and lay there - unresponsive - for 5 hours in the tropical sun until he was crimson and crispy:) His friend fell drunk on the beach on his back by the shoreline. My wife had to call the lifeguard to pull him up. But - this is a people issue - not a hotel issue.

All in all - we swam daily and had a great time and would certainly return in the future.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Stuart L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2012

This was our first visit to Panama and would highly recommend this country. The weather was spectacular, the people are so welcoming and friendly.
The Intercontinental Playa Bonita was exceptional in all ways!
It was extremely clean, the grounds were immaculate, the staff was so helpful and friendly and the food...well...
The all inclusive buffet and al a carte were fantastic! Morning, noon and night! We kept thinking ok maybe this meal will not be quite so incredible but they never disappointed us. The variety was second to none and what we thought was so impressive was that they just don't put out a large quanitity and leave it until it is finished (or not). They put out smaller quantities and keep replenishing with fresh, hot items. So if you do not make it to your meal for the start of the buffet, it did not matter.
The staff was plentiful so you never had to wait too long for your coffee, wine, lattes...and again cannot tell you how friendly they are.
I read some reviews about bugs. There were some at certain times in certain areas outside. For example, in a heavily treed area that was a little damp. Or we had about an hour of rain and after that a tiny mosquito came out but it was not constant and they did supply some repellent. I personally, never got bit but I did see some people with bites.
Now the beach is very different but again, fascinating.

If you are looking for bleached white sand, this is not for you. But if you are looking for some interesting things to watch, you will not be disappointed.
First off, the ships in the distance waiting to go into the canal was incredible. I wish I brought binoculars. For this and for looking closer at all the beautiful birds of the rainforest who also inhabit the beach and surrounding forest. As well, you would be able to get a closer look at the sloths who live in the tops of the trees around the resort. So cool to see!
But the other amazing thing for us was the low tide and high tide. How much it went in and out. About 500 feet or more at times.
You can walk out with your morning coffee during low tide and observe the ocean life that becomes exposed at this time. It is so spectacular.
Then around 3:00 you will see the beach swell with the tide coming in. The water is clear at times and a little murky but absolutely has is clean and clear, no pollution.
Like I said, it is different, but that is what we really liked about it.
I ran the beach in the morning with lots of others who did as well. What else, you can kayak to see the coast a little better.

So I could go on... but what is also important to mention is how it is so close to Panama City. Someone said 40 minutes. No, it is 40 minutes to the airport, it is 25 minutes to Downtown or Amador which is a must see. Or San Felipe, the old city, or the Panama Canal which you cannot miss! You can take a cab or speak with the resort personnel and see if they can recommend an english speaking taxi driver who you can hire for 4-5 hours to take you around to all the sites and be your tour guide for a set price. Maybe 40-50 dollars per couple. Really good deal. We did this and it was our best experience of the the trip. He took us to all these places. As well as Carnival which was taking place in the main streets of Panama City.

We want to thank Tomas, who was a supervisor in the Plantation Restaurant. He was so helpful, so wonderful along with Marie Paule from Transat Tours. She is such a gem, love her smile and her personality. Thank you intercontinental and Transat Tours for such a great holiday. We will be back!

Oh ok..one suggestion. Replace the chairs on the decks. Everyone has an oceanview but the iron chairs are not comfortable and they make alot of noise when someone is moving them beside or above you. So hey, if this is my only complaint?? Not too bad I would say!

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank HHclub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
68 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 24, 2012

This was our first trip to Panama and we weren't disappointed. The hotel is conveniently located about 40 minutes from Panama City. It is composed of about six 5-story buildings in a garden setting. All rooms have ocean views. The grounds are meticulously maintained. The rooms are large and very clean but need to be more colorful - they are too white. We had good service but not everyone speaks fluent English. That wasn't a problem for us (hey, we're on vacation, who cares!) but some people got annoyed by this fact. Food was varied and plentiful but was always served buffet style. If you prefer restaurant service at night, this place isn't for you. The pool area was very open and you weren't squeezed in between people you didn't know. This was unlike the Westin next door which had little room for beach chairs. There was a nightly performance (usually singing or dancing) with colorful costumes. This was fun to watch. Panama is an up and coming tourist dentination so you should get there now before others learn about it. Try staying at the Intercontinental.

Room Tip: All rooms have ocean views so you can't go wrong. We were on the third floor and had great views...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lakeview80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2012

I spent 7 days with my wife at the Intercontinental Playa Bonita through Transat, we were a bit worried about some reviews, but we thought to give it a try, and probably the persons who gave it a negative review were either too perfectionists or had bad luck because we had a great vacation, it rained a couple of afternoons but just for a few minutes.
The room was spacious and clean, with a large flat screen tv, the bed was comfortable, but nothing like the one at home.
The food was delicious and was replenished very quickly, the choices were great, we had a large variety, but the best experience was at the Light House, we had one dinner included in our package, desserts were amazing and the service was prompt and polite.
I can name a few persons that made our stay an unforgettable experience, Omar at the bar, Yanini at the Light House, Laura at front desk, Sugey the Concierge and George from the management team.
I cant wait to go back, probably in the low season as there were many locals that were not so pleasant or polite, but definitely will go back, I´m spreading the word with family and friends, as they will love it.

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nicholas B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dreams Delight Playa Bonita Panama

Property: Dreams Delight Playa Bonita Panama
Address: Road to Veracruz km 7 | Arraijan District, Panama City, Panama (Formerly Secrets Playa Bonita 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 Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Romantic Hotel in Panama City
#15 Spa Hotel in Panama City
#22 Luxury Hotel in Panama City
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Dreams Delight Playa Bonita Panama 4*
Number of rooms: 307
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the unique destination of Panama, guests can experience beaches, rainforest, mountains and city—all from Dreams Delight Playa Bonita Panama. Located on Playa Bonita, the closest beach to Panama City and literally meaning "beautiful beach," Dreams Delight Playa Bonita Panama is perfect for special romantic getaways and memorable family vacations. 11 seaside towers offer 307 luxurious guest rooms and suites with jungle walkways and stunning views. Gourmet a la carte restaurants, bars and lounges are all included our Defined Delights™* vacation concept—where all your vacation essentials are included. Nearby, guests can visit the Panama Canal, Panama City's colonial district, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site or the largest mall in the Americas. Everyone has their own idea of a Dream vacation, and it can all be found at Dreams Delight Playa Bonita Panama. ... 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
Dreams Delight Playa Bonita Panama Panama City

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