Published on December 2nd, 2010 | by Mark Chesnut
HOTEL REVIEW: Le Meridien Panama
THE ARRIVAL: The building where the recently opened Le Meridien Panama is located may look huge (after all, this is Panama City, land of the rising skyscrapers), but the hotel itself only takes up six floors, making for a nicely sized, 111-room property that never feels crowded or overwhelming. And it’s got a prized location along Balboa Avenue, looking out on the bay.
THE STYLE: The Le Meridien has among the city’s most contemporary décor, with a sumptuous black granite lobby laden with original artwork, oversized furnishings and sleek design, including an inverted glass pyramid that rises into the business center above. Custom-designed musical sounds accompany guests in the elevator en route to the handsomely furnished guest rooms.
AMENITIES: The sixth-floor fitness and lounge area is a comfortable space, with a small outdoor pool, lounge chairs, a well-equipped gym and a handsome spa.
Guest rooms are well appointed with all the usual luxury trappings; my comfy bed had gigantic pillows, and the bathroom was equipped with a space-saving, sliding frosted-glass door and a shower separated from the sleeping area by a frosted glass wall — perfect for letting natural light in as you enjoy your shower. WiFi costs extra at Le Meridien, but breakfast buffet was included in the stylish restaurant/bar on the lobby level. Our room had a nice view of the bay, with floor-to-ceiling windows and very effective blackout drapes. The lively, youthful nightlife of Calle Uruguay is just steps away, and service at Le Meridien is extremely attentive. The excellent restaurant serves a wonderful, prix-fixe lunch for $20 that includes three courses.
BEST FOR: Business and leisure travelers who appreciate sumptuous, contemporary décor and an ocean view.
$185 and up.