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All reviewsjw marriottel faropool areabeautiful propertymain restaurantthe entire staffsteak restaurantfitness centerjapanese restauranthotel guestsrooms are largesushirental carthe pacific oceangreat beachhour drivekeep in mind
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Reviewed 9 January 2016

We just returned from 6 nights at JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort over Christmas-New Years holidays. I will start by saying that the grounds are lovely and well maintained. The beach could use a little more shade and, as a result of the heat, hardly any one used it. The food in the various restaurants is adequate but not exciting. Service in the restaurants is SLOW (much slower than other restaurants in Panama). There is zero nightlife at the resort. Once dinner is over, there is nothing to do - no music, entertainment, nada. (ex New Year's Eve).
Unfortunately, we had a terrible experience with the front desk at check-in and it soured the rest of our stay. They did not have the rooms we had reserved but, instead of acknowledging that, the person at check-in continued to argue with me that I had not actually reserved the room I thought I had. After 30 minutes and showing her email confirmations, a supervisor arrived who acknowledged I had reserved those rooms but they were out of those rooms. We had also requested connecting rooms for our children and they did not have those either. They also insisted they had no room for our children closer than a different floor and a long corridor away from usl This was supposed to be a luxurious family vacation where we would have quality time with our kids. Unfortunately, for 12 hours per day we could only communicate with them by phone or text (not quite the vacation I had in mind). I tried to resolve our room situation every day we were there and probably spent an average of 30-45 minutes per day at the front desk. I was told various things like "They are meeting on your issues now," "We are aware of the issue and will be doing something,"..... Six days of run-around and nothing was done for us. I can't even get my emails answered since I've returned. Oh, and the so-called "in-room safe" should be renamed the "unsafe". I could lift it out of the cabinet it was in and carry it off. Shame on Marriott.

  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled with family
    • Service
2  Thank TopChefNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerencia02, General Manager at The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 11 January 2016

Dear Guest,

We thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. We apologize if your stay with us did not meet up to your expectations. It's sad for us to read that because we certainly strive to deliver our very best to all our guests. We apologize for any inconvenience. Our doors always open!

I remain at your service,

Jose Manuel Torres
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2016

It is a lovely picturesque property. Our room was spacious, overlooking the sea, made the stay memorable. The grounds are well laid out and maintained! Though it is a little away from the city there is enough to do inside the resort...needless to say relax!

  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Gautam S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerencia02, General Manager at The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 8 January 2016

Dear Guest,

On behalf of the entire JW Marriott Panama Family - thank you for your kind words- very much appreciated. We look forward to welcoming you back again.

Cordially,

Jose Manuel Torres
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2016

Based on pictures, we weren't certain of what to expect --- pictures don't do the hotel justice. We were completely delighted upon arrival. A beautifully executed hotel with equally nice hotel rooms --- furnished with robust furniture and quality linens & drapes. Accustom to 5-star hotels, we found the JW Marriott to be a pleasant surprise from the moment we entered. The staff is pleasant, with special recognition to Marco and Eyhber who were servers at pool and some dinners -- went above always and with a smile. No worries about rushing to get pool chairs or cabanas. Ample were available throughout the 5+ pools. The beach is a mere 5 minute walk from the main bldg (colorful brick walkway), complete with an engaging walk by the largest pool, under an occasional flowering trellis', native plants, and tennis court. Only drawback to the location, if I have to mention any, would be the slowness of food arrival (mainly at pool area) and the distance from Panama City (2hrs). But again, you're on vacation and so we didn't let either bother us:) While at the resort, our activities included jet skiing, paddle board and water skiing (hotel has group on premises that arranges for a cost). Outside to the resort, we took a 1/2 day trip to Anton Vally --- provided right amount of time to see the rainforest and villages located at higher elevations (also arranged through hotel booking group). As testimonial to how teens/children will enjoy, upon our departure, our teens pleaded to extend our stay for additional nights --- all sad to leave!

Room Tip: Rooms with view of main pool showcase property best.
  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Ann G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerencia02, General Manager at The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 6 January 2016

Dear Guest,

Thank you! We would love it more to welcome you back. Hope to see you again real soon.

We shared your comments with our staff.

Warmest regards,

Jose Manuel Torres
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 January 2016 via mobile

The JW Marriott is a beautiful property. The hotel and grounds are very well kept. Our room was large, with a barrel ceiling and a great view of the pool area. Both pool areas are nice although the seem to run out of towels and chair covers early.

There is a market with limited hours and limited selection and a small gift shop. Given the remote nature of this resort this is woefully inadequate. We needed some simple medicines and had to get a spanish speaking person to go in town to the pharmacy.

The staff by and large are helpful and pleasant. Merriam at the front desk always has a smile and helps however she can. Pedro at the El Faro Beach club is fast with service and quick to get to know you. He really looks out for you. Jose, the bartender in the sushi restaurant treats you like royalty. The other side of the service is not so great. The concierge was useless. The company that arranges tours is at a debacle. We had to ask four times for a bellman to come get our luggage despite it being empty in the lobby. They were just standing around talking.

One thing for a visitor to realize, there are no places to eat or shop off of the property. The town, Rio Hato, by the hotel is sketchy. Our tour guide who lives there did not think it was that safe to go into unaccompanied. You are stuck with the meals and services the hotel provides. The restaurants are pretty good, but very pricey, very much inline with white table cloth restaurants in the US. Drinks are fairly high as well. Just realize that the cost of the room is just the beginning. It is expensive to eat and drink here. The best meal of the trip was an Argentinian BBQ they did by the pool at the beach club. It was reasonably priced and had a nice selection of food and drink. The skirt steak was incredible, better than the Prime19 steakhouse on the property by a long shot. Not being a sushi fan, they let me order off of the room service menu while my wife at sushi. They seemed happy to do it.

Be sure to realize how far it is from the airport. If you use the hotel's shuttle service it is incredibly expensive. I am not sure exactly as I got a different price each time I inquired. I rented a car and drove. It is an easy drive and driving through Panama City is no worse than any other large city.

This is a relaxing. beautiful resort and we highly recommend it. It is important to know what you are getting into and plan accordingly. If you drive, stop at a Rey's market somewhere along the way, they are a nice grocery store similar to what you would see in the states. They also sell liquor so you can take some for your room. Loading up on some snacks is not a bad idea.

Give this resort a try, you will be happy you did.

Stayed: December 2015, travelled as a couple
2  Thank tjshearer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerencia02, General Manager at The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2016

Dear Guest,

Thanks for the review. It is always a pleasure to see positive reviews on Tripadvisor; so we greatly appreciate it.

We have shared your excellent comments with our staff.

I look forward to welcoming you back in the near future!

Cordially,

Jose Manuel Torres
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 January 2016

The hotel and grounds lovely and top notch. That being said, had I done more research I probably would not have stayed there. There was nothing at all nearby and unless you had a car you would pay a minimum of $50 to cab it to the closest town. The only available options for dinner were extremely costly and the quality of the food was less than desired. The steakhouse was the most expensive and disappointing. The buffet was fine but at $50-75 a head it should be amazing and it was just ok. There was no bar or lounge at the hotel so after the restaurants closed at night around 10pm there was nothing to do. I suppose many guests look for that extreme quiet and solitude but we would have liked a little more "noise". In any case if this is the type of vacation you want then the Marriott is a great option. If you want a beach nearby Panama City with some goings on then you may want toy consider Coronado where there is much more to do.

  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank jbk999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gerencia02, General Manager at The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama, Autograph Collection, responded to this reviewResponded 5 January 2016

Dear Guest,

Thanks for the review. It is always a pleasure to see positive reviews on Tripadvisor; so we greatly appreciate it.

I look forward to welcoming you back in the near future!

Cordially,

Jose Manuel Torres
General Manager

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