Published on May 26th, 2015 | by Mark Chesnut


HOTEL REVIEW: Principe Hotel & Suites — Value Prices in Panama City

Panama City, Panama is a boomtown in terms of new hotel construction and openings. And with this boom comes competitive pricing that works in the favor of travelers.

During my most recent trip to Panama to research and write a couple chapters for the Fodor’s In Focus Panama guide, I found myself in need of an inexpensive-but-decent Panama City hotel for a few nights. After reviewing a variety of booking sites (all of which are accessible via the booking engine on this page), I decided to check into the Hotel Principe, one of the city’s newest independently branded, value-priced hotels. Here’s a review of my experience.

THE STYLE: Opened in late 2013 in the neighborhood called El Cangrejo, Principe Hotel & Suites is one of the newest independent hotels in Panama City. Its style is modern and attractive, with no special design elements of note but an overall fresh look. The lobby has a high ceiling, a wide wall of windows looking out on the street, and a bunch of chairs, small tables and couches that make it good for hanging out and socializing (although there is not drink service). The location on a quiet side street in the popular El Cangrejo district is a big selling point, since it’s walking distance to many restaurants, shops and a Metro station.

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GUEST ROOMS: I stayed in 714, a standard room with double bed. The room was a decent size, with white linens on the comfortable bed, as well as wall-mounted flat-screen TV with channels in English and Spanish, a writing desk, safe deposit box, bathroom with stall shower and amenities including shampoo and conditioner. A few empty spaces seemed to be awaiting more furnishings, but I liked that there were plenty of outlets both at desk level and next to the bed. There were bath amenities, but some extras are not included — including lotion. Wifi is free throughout the property.

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HOTEL FEATURES: A small pool sits on one roof level (it was pleasant enough, but so small that one family could easily make it seem crowded). There is no gym or breakfast included, but an adjacent restaurant — an upscale Asian eatery — offers room service. Free WiFi throughout the property and free indoor parking are nice pluses. While the property lacks some features, the attractive room rates and comfortable rooms make this an exceptional choice for budget-conscious travelers looking for a great location and a clean, attractive hotel.

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BEST FOR: Travelers looking for a reasonably priced hotel with limited service but a central location, within walking distance of dining, shopping and the Metro.

ROOM RATES: $59 and up.

HOW I GOT THERE: I flew Delta Air Lines nonstop to Panama City from Atlanta (and I loved the first-class service). Read my review of the Delta Air Lines flight here.

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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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