Published on October 25th, 2015 | by Mark Chesnut
HOTEL REVIEW: Royal Sonesta Panama Offers Amenities, Value & Location
During my most recent trip to Panama City, Panama, I had a gap to fill in terms of accommodations. I am serving as consultant for Great Value Vacations, a leading vacation packager to help them put together a bunch of exciting new Panama vacation packages this year, so I was working with their team to meet with hoteliers, tour operators and other local travel experts. A couple days after that, I was scheduled to be moderating two panels at SAHIC, the South American Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference, which took place in Lima, Peru (which revealed the 2 best places for amazing hotel deals in South America, among other things).
I had were two nights in between finishing up work in Panama and my departure for Lima. So I needed a Panama City hotel that offered good rates, a good location and decent amenities. After shopping around on the LatinFlyer search engine (which allows shopping on more than a dozen sites simultaneously), I decided on the Royal Sonesta Panama. This is a review of my experience there.
THE STYLE: The Royal Sonesta Panama is one of several new Panama City hotels. Located in the popular El Cangrejo district, it features some mod decor elements (including hip furniture and dramatic lighting in the lobby). Check-in was fast.
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GUEST ROOMS: I stayed in room 1314 (unlike some hotels, this one actually has a 13th floor, but I’m not superstitious!). One of the reasons I chose this Panama City hotel was because I really like the floor-to-ceiling windows, which let in a lot of natural light. The king-size bed was quite comfortable, and I liked the oversized headboard and the large work desk.
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HOTEL FEATURES: Another of my favorite features at the Royal Sonesta Panama is the 27th-floor rooftop pool, which was never crowded during my visit and offers great city views. Other selling points include free access to the fitness center, free WiFi in room, and a daily free breakfast buffet, which is served in a restaurant on the 26th floor, providing a rather elegant start to the day and a great view every morning.
The Royal Sonesta Panama hotel also has 11,980 square feet of meeting and event space.
One thing to note: Since this is a rather new property, this is a hotel in progress; there were some maintenance issues with my bathroom and the casino is not yet open, for example. But it’s a promising property, with a central location in El Cangrejo, near a Metro station, multiple restaurants and casinos, and office buildings.
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RATES: About $99 and up (although I found rates even lower by comparing various travel sites using the LatinFlyer booking search engine, right here on the website — so shop around!).
BEST FOR: Business and leisure travelers looking for a decent number of amenities in a central location in Panama City.