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“Fun and wonderful!”
Review of Panama Hotel

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Panama Hotel
Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in San Rafael
Reviewed November 11, 2013

We visited friends in San Rafael and they recommended the Panama Hotel. We were unsure about our choice based on a few odd reviews, but after staying in Mimi's Bungalow for several nights, we can give a great review! Ground floor, farther away from the restaurant, quiet, spacious, clean, nicely decorated, with a comfy bed. The door opens onto a room with a futon, sink, teensy microwave and teeny fridge. Beautiful bathroom to the right (clean, with a new shower, shower head that mists, and grapefruit/ginger toiletries)... And bedroom to the left. Both rooms had nice flat screen televisions and big full-length mirrors. Big, walk-in closet and vanity area behind the bed for clothes and suitcases. (Good area for make-up, since the bathroom lighting is dark.)
Breakfast was nice... Nothing fancy. We ate dinner in the restaurant one night (different management, so we could not add it to the hotel bill) and especially enjoyed the very professional and friendly service. Restaurant is pretty... Especially the patio. It was more quiet for talking out there and they kept us warm with those big outdoor heaters.

Stayed: November 2013, traveled with friends
1  Thank Notjustanyhotel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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42 - 48 of 65 reviews

Reviewed October 17, 2013

Such a delightful experience----spotless, lovely furnishings, friendly staff, and so quaint. The bonus for us was the delicious restaurant packed both nights with locals. The live jazz groups were a great treat.

  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank drive158blue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2013

This B&B is located in a residential neighborhood of San Rafael Ca. We stayed in the Bordelo room. It is up a rather steep set of stairs. It has a queen bed in the bedroom with a flat screen tv and cable, two clothes closets, and a small balcony with one table and two chairs. The en suite bathroom includes a clawfoot tub with shower, and an area with frig, microwave, coffee machine, wine glasses, corkscrew, coffee and cream and sugar. There is also a window air conditioner in the bathroom, which cools the whole area after a while. We found the room stuffy each day when we returned, but with balcony door open if a breeze or the ac, it was comfortable by evening. Comfortable bed. Could hear restaurant noise during dinner service with balcony door open, but not loud. On street parking is difficult at times. Continental breakfast (every day but Sunday) was fairly standard.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
5  Thank mountainhiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2013

The Panama was the perfect base for our trip - loved the short drive over the Golden Gate each day and when it came to it, Napa seemed like it was just down the road. The room was beautifully finished and the bed was so comfy we nearly missed our flight. Dan, the owner, was a gentleman and the perfect host, a really special place with bags of character.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Richard S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 2, 2013

We stayed one night and that was one too many. The bed was lumpy, squeaky, and the room was beyond "quaint". The noise from kitchen staff through the walls together with exterior lighting blasting through the door made for a sleepless night. Spend a few more dollars and stay at a real hotel.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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6  Thank stulucy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2012

I have lived in Marin for years and I have on many occasions rented rooms at the Panama Hotel for special occasions. It used to be funky and fun, but the new owner (quite a few years back) has kept all the original charm, fixed it up, created some beautiful suites, and also runs a very good restaurant with music on some days. I think it is a great place to have a romantic night, (there is both a bordello and honey moon suite), or a retreat for one, the captain's room or european rooms. My favorite is the safari room with animal print. Most rooms have microwaves and fridges or a shared kitchen. There is also a great outdoor patio for breakfast, lunch or dinner outside in warm nights. The hotel is walking distance to downtown and the attractions there, movie theatre, shopping, restaurants, cafes and public transportation. I highly recommend it, such a nice change from sterile american hotel. The prices vary but are affordable for what you get, the breakfast is delicious and is included.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank ParrotsCove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2012

Friends referred us to the Panama Hotel at the edge of a residential neighborhood in San Rafael. It is more like a bed and breakfast. Each room has a different theme and size. We stayed in the Safari Room. Totally charming and well appointed. Breakfast was included and was very good for a continental breakfast. The restaurant which is part of the hotel is excellent. It appears to a local hangout for dinner and lunch.Highly recommend the Panama Hotel which dates back to the 1920's. Look for an excuse to stay in San Rafael so that you can experience the Panama Hotel, which is about three blocks from the downtown area.

Room Tip: We liked the Safari room with a king size bed. Was quite spacious and came with a refrig, microwave...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Discerningsenior42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Panama Hotel

Address: 4 Bayview St, San Rafael, CA 94901-4913
Location: United States > California > Marin County > San Rafael
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 8 Hotels in San Rafael
Number of rooms: 14

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