Published on December 4th, 2010 | by Mark Chesnut
HOTEL REVIEW: Esplendor Panama, Panama City
THE ARRIVAL: Set in a soaring, 42-story skyscraper in the financial-oriented Obarrio district, the 100-unit Esplendor — which debuted just recently — makes for an impressive entrance; its small lobby is marked by lots of glass and three thick columns covered with gold-colored mirrored tiles. The property — which is owned by the Argentina-based Fën Hoteles — is a sister to the Esplendor and Dazzler hotels in Argentina and Uruguay.
|Bright ideas: Large chandeliers and gold-toned mirrored tiles create fun accents in the lobby at Esplendor Panama.|
THE STYLE: Clean and contemporary, the Esplendor is created to be a comfortable place for both short and long stays. My “room” was actually a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment, with an open kitchen/living room area, three flat-screen televisions and two balconies (one off of each bedroom). The free WiFi is also a big selling point in my book, considering that many luxury properties in the neighborhood charge a daily rate of $15 and up.
|The living room in my unit at the Esplendor hotel in Panama City.|
AMENITIES: The hotel was still adding finishing touches when I was there, but its rooftop pool area, which has Bali day beds and an adjacent café/lounge (not yet open during my visit) has the potential to become a rather cool place to hang out. The lower level restaurant, also not yet open when I was there, will be open to the public, while the space next to the pool will serve complimentary breakfast for guests (in the mean time, guests could choose to have complimentary breakfast served in their rooms). The hotel offers a free shuttle to Sake, a sushi restaurant located near the large Multiplaza mall.
Note: This hotel is so new that many locals — including taxi drivers — won’t know where it is, and naming the street won’t necessarily help much. Tell them it’s on the street directly behind the Rey supermarket on Vía España, and they’ll know immediately what you’re talking about.
|The kitchen area in my unit at the Esplendor Panama.|
|Part of the complimentary breakfast brought to my unit at Esplendor Panama.|
BEST FOR: Both long- and short-term stays, especially for people who appreciate hotel-style services and amenities combined with the comfort and convenience of an apartment. It’s also good for people looking to be within walking distance of the financial businesses in Obarrio, as well as the shopping, casinos and nightlife in the adjacent Cangrejo district.
RATES: $188 and up.