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“Good and Bad and So-So....”

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Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Santa Clara
Watertown, Wisconsin
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Good and Bad and So-So....”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 26, 2013

First for the good: The weather was great. We stayed in early April and had sun for 8 days. It was quiet and not crowded during the week (it was very crowded during the weekend). The Japanese restaurant was very good and fun- we went twice. The swimming pool was nice and our room had a great view although not a real balcony like we had requested. There was a doctor on call at all times which was needed by two of our group members.

Now for the bad and neutral:
1. The property is somewhat dated and dangerous. I slipped getting out of the tub in our room and went sliding across the floor- all the way to under the sink area. The tub was very high and the floor combined with wet feet was like a skating rink. Most of my foot was on a bath mat- but the floor was so slippery that having just a bit of my foot on it started the slippery slide. I’m in fairly good shape, but what might happen to a person who isn’t? I saw a worker trip down some steps going to the dining room; they are so steep and slippery. There are lots of unsafe steps and steep hills to navigate. Yes, there are a couple of elevators, but I would caution people who have any disability issues to think twice before booking a trip at this resort.
2. The food was so-so. Some of us got diarrhea seemingly from the food, and two in our party became very sick with what appeared to be food poisoning. After this my partner and I avoided any fresh vegetables and fruit which was a shame because we wanted to eat somewhat healthy. The milk was warm. The juices were kept on ice, but not the milk. The steak restaurant was pretty terrible- the meat was very tough and tasteless. As I mentioned above, the Japanese restaurant was good, and I also liked the Mediterranean restaurant. At the buffet, we would have enjoyed fewer food choices at a higher quality. Sweet pastries might not be something that is normal in Panama, but it would have been nice to have some offered for breakfast for those of us on vacation. The coffee was so-so. The coffee in the lobby bar was made cup by cup, and it was better, but it seemed the bartenders got a little tired of me requesting it- so I stopped.
3. The drinks were hit and miss. Many times I was handed an unfrozen supposed to be frozen margarita. It would be a liquid gooey mess. On the last day I handed it back and said I'm not drinking this. I then asked for a pina colada; it was laced with huge chunks of ice. Yuck! There was just one beer available- the Panamanian beer called Balboa. It is on tap- no bottles or cans. Balboa is ok- but it is a cheap standard local beer. There was no way to get any other brand of beer. They did have some top shelf alcohol available. Wine choices were very limited, although the wine they served was okay.
3. The resort uses throw away light plastic cups at the beach bar. The cups were scattered all over the place. I saw a worker picking up chairs down by the beach one night, overlooking all the garbage down there, including the plastic cups; I guess he was expecting that the tide would wash them out to sea, and that is what happened (I picked up some of the garbage because I couldn't stand the thought of it being dragged into the ocean). [Side note: There is a lot of garbage on the roadside from Panama City to the resort. We went on a tour of Panama City and I asked the guide about it. He said that people in Panama just throw things out of their car windows. I'm sure there is more to it than that, but the piles of garbage are jarring to see. Of course here in the states we litter, too- but the amount of garbage lying beside the roads in Panama was beyond what I’ve ever experienced]
4. We sent out a bunch of postcards through the front desk. We paid 50 cents a card for postage, but none of the postcards, as of 6.5 weeks later, have made it to the recipients.
5. The resort is isolated. There is a small gift shop there, but for anyone who likes to shop this is not the place to go. I went walking at the front of the resort away from the ocean. (Some garbage along the side of this road, too) I tried to walk to the left at one point to see the condos, etc. that were next to the resort and was stopped by a guard with a gun strapped to his thigh. He pointed to his wrist and used non-verbal communication because of our language difference that people with wrist bands from the resort are not allowed to walk that way. I have no idea why. There really is nowhere to walk to except down the beach.
6. There is a lack of tours from the resort. We wanted to tour both El Valle and Panama City. The resort had only two tours going the week we were there, and both were on the same day which seems kind of silly when there are guests willing to go on both tours. We could have rented a car, but at the time we didn’t know how safe it would be and decided against driving ourselves.
7. The stage for the nightly entertainment was right below the hotel and it was very loud each night we were there. This is something to keep in mind for those who wish to go to bed early.
8. Most of the staff was friendly, but note that many do not speak much English. This was not a problem for us- but it may be for others. Our party did have some problems with housekeeping. The last two days we were there my partner and I did not get our bottles of water. Another couple we were with had much bigger problems. They had an expensive blouse stolen as well as a bottle of pain meds. The painkillers were from the resort doctor and they were left out of the safe by mistake. After housekeeping went through the room the pain meds were gone.
I’m not trying to be petty or give this place a bad name. We wanted to love it there, but the way things were we just couldn’t!

Room Tip: Check out your room when you get there and speak up if it isn't what you planned and paid for...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jewelz123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antonio S, Gerente at Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort, responded to this review, June 25, 2013
Dear Mr./Mrs. jewelz123,

We would like to thank you for taking the time to let us know your comments from your last stay at our Sheraton Bijao. As we are deeply committed to achieving our guest’s total satisfaction, your opinion is very important to us.

First of all, we are happy with the fact that you were able to enjoy our Japanese and Mediterranean restaurants, the pools and the view from your room.
On the other hand, we would like to offer our apologies for the situation experienced with the food at the steak house and with the drinks .We are currently taking steps to ensure an appropriate solution to what you have mentioned.

You can feel assured that your comments helped us identify or focus on any possible deficiencies that may exist in our hotel and as I have mentioned before, take whatever corrective actions may be necessary.

Thank you for bring to our attention situations like the garbage around the beach, the lack of water in the room, the situation whit the postcards and with the pain meds. We are currently verifying what happened with these issues.

We appreciate the time you took to share your concerns, and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the future.

Best Regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2013

I was very disappointed with our stay at the Sheraton. I am actually surprised that Sheraton allows there name to be on this property. it is far from all Sheraton standards and nothing like normal Sheraton room. They are outdated and badly maintained with no luxury what so ever. The service was none existing, all inclusive resort that don't have glasses at the bar and cant serve drinks is a win for the hotel but not for us the clients, plus they did not have some basic alcohol drinks and sodas! Only 1 pool bar and up to 1 hour wait to get a simple drink (if it was available. Restaurant service (Mediterranean and Japanese and buffet) where all understaffed and many are simply rude !! We had to wait for 35 min for our wine and drinks and our kids had to wait 55 min for there food (3 and 6 year). This is by far my worst experience in Panama until now. I will NEVER go there again unless they drop the price at least 50 % from what is now. To pay all this money for NOTHING is a complete waste of cash! ONLY thing nice about this hotel is the swimming pool area. that is good. I am very surprised about how many people have given this property good review. Simply impossible.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jon H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antonio S, Gerente at Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 22, 2013
Dear Mr. Jon H,

First of all, we would like to thank you for taking the time to let us know your comments from your last stay at our Sheraton Bijao. As we are deeply committed to achieving our guest’s total satisfaction, your opinion is very important to us.

We would like to offer our sincerest apologies for the inconvenience that you have experienced throughout your stay with the service and with the bar. we are currently taking steps to ensure an appropriate solutions to what you have mentioned.

At the same time you can feel assured that your comments helped us identify or focus on any possible deficiencies that may exist in our hotel and as I have mentioned before, take whatever corrective actions may be necessary.

Please rest assured that we are taking the appropriate measures to address the problem and prevent any future occurrences. We appreciate the time you took to share your concerns, and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the future.

Best Regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Santa Clara hotels

Panama City, Panama
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2013

Stayed at the resort for several days as a get away. We live in Panama City so it was close by. The main problem with the resort, or any resort in Panama is.....well, it's in Panama. The property used to be much nicer. It went thru various owner's until it is now under the Sheraton name. The place is worn down a bit and needs some updating. Service is poor which is normal in Panama. Food marginal. The drinks were OK depending on what you were having. Many people complained about the loud locals invading the hotel on the weekends. This is very true in all the resorts in Panama. They run local specials at low prices to fill up the rooms. So you get a barrage of people coming from San Miguelito and Chorrillo (low end ghettos), filling up the resort. The resultant noise and low end manners becomes very annoying.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank casadepanama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antonio S, Gerente at Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 18, 2013
Dear Mr./Mrs. Casadepanama,

First of all, we would like to thank you for taking the time to let us know your comments from your stay at our Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort on TripAdvisor. As we are deeply committed to achieving our guest’s total satisfaction, your opinion is very important to us.

Your comments helps us identify or focus on any possible deficiencies that may exist in our hotel and take whatever corrective actions may be necessary.

Thanks for bring to our attention situations like the service, food. We are actively working to improve service levels.

Thanks again for your time and If you have any other suggestion please feel free to contac us.

Best regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Panama City, Panama
Level Contributor
77 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2013

I have been to this resort many times. This is why I can compare to what it used to be. When Sheraton got the administration of this place, a couple of years ago, in my opinion they make good improvements. Nevertheless, they made some recent changes that are not allowing me to enjoy the place like I did at the start of their administration. For intance, they took away the room service menus from the rooms (at least from the room I was in this weekend) and, after 10 pm all they have for room service is ham and cheese sandwishes. And just that one, there are no more choices only one sandwish! This is a downgrade since they used to have a full menu. Another downgrade is if you wake up late and loose breakfast, there is no other food until lunch. They used to have snacks all day long by the pool bar, but not anymore. Now that is only available in the afternoons. Regarding the rooms, they are OK but the whole place looks like it could use some maintenance. The place still is OK, but it used to be better.

Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank 1Arlyn1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antonio S, Gerente at Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 8, 2013
Dear Mr/Mrs. Briant D,

First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time for giving us your comments on TripAdvisor. At Sheraton Bijao, we take pride in ensuring our guest’s satisfaction. We are actively working to improve service levels and your feedback has proved to be invaluable.

Thank you for bringing to our attention comments such as room service and rooms itself; we are currently taking steps to ensure an appropriate solution.

Regarding your comments about the food, it is important to mention that after breakfast we have available at 11am our Portobello Pizza which is an option that you can have before Lunch. We deeply value your relationship with Sheraton Bijao and are committed to providing you with the highest level of service simply because our guests deserve the very best.

If you have any further comments please feel free to discuss them with us.

Best Regards,


Best Regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jerusalem, Israel
Level Contributor
62 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 3, 2013

This is a stunning front line property with amazing views, a lovely long beach and comfortable, clean rooms. The staff are well organised and the alcoholic drinks are quality imported brands. There's a good gym, pretty cascading pools, swim-up bar and elegant lobby with pianist.

The downfall of this hotel was due mostly to the guests, not the hotel itself. Perhaps it was because we went on a long weekend when everyone flocks to the beach from Panama City, but hoards of loud, rude Panamanians changed this hotel from understated elegance when we arrived last Friday night to a noisy, boisterous frenzy of drunk youngsters and screaming babies on Saturday-Monday.

The pool was filthy, the bar was impenetrable, the buffet restaurant packed at all hours of the day. We had to escape to the far ends of the beach to avoid the unceasing music and "entertainment" at the pool area, as well as groups of people hollering at each other. We are not fussy and we like a party, but the atmosphere became club 18-30 more than Sheraton.

The "pizzeria" advertised as one of the restaurants is actually a few trays of pizza put out on one of the bars. The "steak/grill restaurant" is burgers, hotdogs and nachos put out on the grass by the pool. The only real restaurants are the Mediterranean and the Japanese (and the buffet). At all three- don't expect Sandals level food. The food is just OK. Dessert was mostly inedible, so foodies stay away. The staff serve wine at the table which is a nice touch but just doesn't work when the hotel is busting at the seams.

If you want a fun, noisy, boozy value holiday at a beautiful hotel, this is for you. If you are looking for a quiet, elegant 5* escape with great food and service, you will have to pay more and go somewhere more exclusive- or come here midweek and/or off season. Also, if you don't speak Spanish, you're going to suffer. This is a hotel for locals not tourists.

All in all, it's good value, you never go hungry or thirsty and there is something to do from 6am to 3am. But we won't be back.

Room Tip: Get a room with a sea view in the main building
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Keren V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antonio S, Gerente at Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort, responded to this review, May 5, 2013
Dear Mrs. KerenV

Thank you for taking the time to leave your comments on TripAdvisor. At Sheraton Bijao, we take pride in ensuring our guest’s satisfaction. We are actively working to improve service levels and your feedback has proved to be invaluable.

We are glad that you have had a good perception of our facilities, drinks and our staff.

It is important to mention that since we are an all inclusive resort with great demand, for special occasions like holidays, we always manage high volumes of guests.
We truly apologize for the inconvenience that this may caused to you. Thank you again for taking the time for giving us your comments.

If you have any other comments or suggestion you can feel free to contact us.

Best Regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Playa Coronado, Panama
Level Contributor
133 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 28, 2013

We have stayed at numerous AI resorts over the last 20 years - many being in Mexico, DR and Cuba. However this was the first time that we had stayed in a Panama AI- living just down the coast we used a Groupon opportunity to check the place out and were pleasantly surprised. A typical resort atmosphere and offerings as expected at an all inclusive. The stand out differences were 1) the dining area was large, well laid out and did not have major line ups for food - breakfast actually had 3 eggs stations 2) the beach bohios were nice to have (not a usual offering for Panama) - and a quiet away from the busy pool 3) there was no 'stinginess' with alcohol and the brands were decent - inclusive of the wine which often can be 'swill' at these places 4) service was pleasant and somewhat attentive - this is an evolving part of tourism here so there is still work to be done but it was ok 5) food was offered all day long at one place or another
Not issued a 5 star rating: 1) room was dated and needed more to 'warm it up' - although the bed was very comfortable 2) an ongoing issue I have with Sheraton is the in-room wi-fi charge policy 3) no balcony to sit outside on(although a few rooms do) 4) food selection was varied and great BUT it seemed everything was cold - I realize buffets are not fine dining choices and a large crowd is being fed - but it just seemed like the bulk of items had been sitting in the warmers for hours...
Would I return - absolutely at the right price.

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank livethedream_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antonio S, Gerente at Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort, responded to this review, April 29, 2013
Dear Mr. Mrs. livethedream_8,

We really appreciate your comments regarding your stay at Sheraton Bijao on TripAdvisor! It is always a pleasure to receive feedback from our guest. As we are deeply committed to achieving our guest’s total satisfaction, your opinion is very important to us. We are very happy to see that you enjoyed our facilities and drinks. As you mention before, we are actively working to improve our service level and also working in all the previous point you have highlighted about the rooms. We do apologized for the inconvenience that you may have had with the internet.

If you have any other comments or suggestion you can feel free to contact us.

Best Regards,
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Staten Island, New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 14, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for Spring Break. The resort is very pretty and the staff was nice. The first room we were given is not the room we paid for but after a call to the front desk our room was changed. The rooms are a decent size and are clean. The beach has black sand and is nice to walk on but swimming is rough. If your looking for calm waters this is not your place. The food at the buffet was good and we enjoyed it more then their specialty restaurants. The only complaint I had was with room service. Usually at an all inclusive, you have free room service. However, when ordering coffee here we were charged a service fee but only some of the time so I don't know how that works. There is free wi-fi but you have to go to the lobby to access it. If you want it in the room there is a $15 charge. Overall, it was a nice resort and we had a good time.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Toniannc6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antonio S, Gerente at Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Dear Mr./Mrs. Toniannc6,

Thank you for giving us your comments of your recent stay at Sheraton Bijao on Tripadvisor .We are delighted to read that you have enjoyed our hotel, our food and service. Your feedback is invaluable and much appreciated, as it enables us to constantly monitor and improve the care and service we provide to our guests. Thank you for let us know the situation that you have had with the room service. We will investigate that with our food and beverage department. Regarding what you have mentioned about the internet. It is part of our standards the free wifi in the lobby and an extra charge of $15 in the room. We truly apologize for the inconvenience that this may caused to you. Thank you again Mrs./Mr. Toniannc6 for taking the time for giving us your comments. At Sheraton Bijao, we take pride in ensuring our guest’s satisfaction.

If you have any other comments or suggestion you can feel free to contact us.

Best Regards,
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 Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort

Property: Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort
Address: Carretera Interamericana, Km 108, Guias de Anton, Santa Clara 0229-00140, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Panama Province > Santa Clara
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Santa Clara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 293
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
On a sprawling Panama beach along the serene Pacific Ocean, our all-inclusive resort has everything you could want for total relaxation. Nestled alongside the stunning Pacific Ocean, Sheraton Bijao is complimented by celebrated sites like the Panama Canal's Miraflores Locks and historic Panama City, the exhilarating capital of the Republic of Panama. Come together and share experiences in our warm Club Lounge as well as the resorts 4 restaurants and private beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sheraton Bijao Beach Hotel Santa Clara
Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort Panama/Santa Clara

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