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Reviewed 2 November 2021

8 days in November during the rain season. Weather was perfect mixture of sun and clouds with little rain. Hotel has some service problems - nothing major- related to Covid I think. Pools were slow during the week and busy on weekends. Not a new hotel. Suite we stayed in was excellent. Nice place to stay and enjoy doing nothing.

Date of stay: November 2021
2  Thank bj635
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 22 September 2021 via mobile

I will admit, I discovered this place from watching Married at First Sight. They definitely edited much of the scenes as it was nothing like the TV show. First off, it’s in need of some serious improving. Weather has damaged the entire property from the infrastructure to the painting of the building, it’s in poor shape. Maybe it’s due to COVID but it’s more of a 3 star level. I rated it a 2 because it’s one of the worst resorts I’ve experienced. Let’s start with my room: It was old, smelled moldy. I was scared to sleep in the bed as I was expecting bed bugs. The phone didn’t work. It sounded as if a pipe was leaking. Furniture is way out dated. The room was out dated. Definitely needs some serious upgrades. My bath rob was filthy. The grounds were in poor condition. Landscaping was awful in the front of the hotel. The back, near the beach, it was a little nicer. The pools were clean inside, but on the outside liners had the green algae stuff growing on it. When you’re in the pool and look up at the hotel, it just looks to be in poor condition. Most of the shops were closed due to COVID-19. The food in the restaurant was not worth the price they were charging. I paid for the breakfast package and I pretty much ate the same thing every day. I went in for the snack and dinner and it was way too expensive for what they were serving. We ate out in the city for much less and better quality. Make sure your Spanish is good as there were not many employees there that spoke much English. I mean it is a Spanish speaking country so what do you expect? I didn’t rate it poor for that, in fact; I rated it mostly due to the staff and representatives there. They were the best part of the experience. Was all so helpful. They could only work with the tools they were provided. The hotel is in bad condition. The lobby furniture is filthy. There’s a console in the lobby hallway that had the door broken off of it. Furniture just needs replaced with more modern styles. All in all, the experience was not what I expected. I like Panama and will go back to visit, but I’m not staying at the Westin Playa Bonita. I’ll search for somewhere else as it will be my last option. If I had to stay there, I wouldn’t go. I’d go somewhere else in the world. Maybe Costa Rica , Hondurus or Columbia. If you need to be in Central America.

Room tip: Make sure you go into the city about 10 am and back by 3 pm. The traffic is horrible. There’s no sense of order like it is in the USA.
Date of stay: September 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
4  Thank tmitekc
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 1 September 2021

I booked originally 3 nights, and I ended up staying 33 nights.
The hotel is in a short distance from Panama city, the room I got was very comfortable, with nice views from the balcony.
But the best of this hotel is its personnel. They really took a very good care of me during all my stay. It is very hard to highlight just one specific person, because I had good experience with all the personnel. But I would like to mention Armando. I am not sure what his function is, but he seems to be everywhere, and helps you always in a very effective and kind way.
So far I stayed in different hotels, when in Panama city, but from now on I will just return here, when arriving in the city.

Room tip: Take oceanside room for view
Date of stay: August 2021
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank pruhonice1
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Concierge Westinplaya, Propietario at The Westin Playa Bonita Panama, responded to this reviewResponded 3 September 2021

Dear pruhonice1

We hope you are having a great day,

Thank you for your feedback and rating following your recent stay.

Thank you also for highlighting Armando on Reception.

We hope to welcome you again whenever your travels bring you back to Panama.

Regards

Guest Relations Team

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2021

This could be a very nice hotel but at this time I recommend going elsewhere. This hotel was extremely disappointing. Not greeted at front door so we carries our own luggage to checkin. Heavy luggage. The young woman at the desk was quite friendly. The hotel had an occupancy of about 15% as told to me by the manager. Dead. Because of this if you are a Platinum member or higher you will receive free breakfast AND dinner. Buffets. Upgraded . BUT. The wifi was erratic the four days we were there. R+The phones in the room did not work. If you need something you must for to the front dest or use the WhatsApp number thy will give you. Which is rarely answered. Only one restaurant open per day. I was told it was $50 per person. We passed and opted for the mediocre but free buffet but only for one night. Hotel car rates are outrageous and you will be secluded as there is nothing within walking distance. I recommend Uber which was excellent and about half price. You must request for your room to be cleaned. They only clean 2 days a week. In this day and age that is horrible. Dangerous as repairmen and others were in our room. I could go on but I will stop here. Again we would go back bt not for a long long time.

Room tip: go to another hotel
Date of stay: August 2021
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Thank marksX2041ZK
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 28 August 2021

First thing I'd like to say considering the other reviews is the hotel is what I would expect in a humid climate. We have traveled all over the Caribbean & Pacific coast. We have stayed all the way from 5 star to the local's hotel in downtown Ocho Rios, so I believe we have a broad perspective. If you expect an American vacation, we always say, stay home. We love cultural differences & exploring.
That said, here is my thoughts & comments as they came to me through our 2 weeks stay. I've also tried to post informative photos. You can see they are working on exterior paint & grounds etc in the photos as well. The hotel was closed during Covid for over a year. They are quickly getting it polished back up.

• We booked an all inclusive package through Great Value Vacations (through Panamazing locally who has an office in the lobby of the Westin) & pick up at the airport was awaiting our arrival.
• Checking in was easy. Since the hotel was not super busy (Covid) we were able to upgrade to ocean view for $15 a night. Very greatful for the discount. Generally it is $50 more a night.
• The view is beautiful, but it is the Pacific, so don't expect crystal clear Caribbean water.
• We loved the boats lined up awaiting passage through the canal & when lit up at night it is quite beautiful.
• The room is classic Westin -see photos
• Yes, there are some things that need repair around the property but these were not anything more than the norm we have seen in general travel. Granted we do not grace the doors of the Ritz. We did see things they were working on... roof, tile cleaning, mold cleaning, sod & replanting.
• The lobby bar is excellent (after 5:30 but they were generally there in the afternoon) live music some nights & they make a great mojito, cosmo & my husband enjoyed the Johnny Walker black.
• Weekends have many locals come & stay. The hotel is doing day passes to generate income to keep things going until tourism picks back up. It gives you a chance to get inside info from locals. I will say bfast & lunch buffet move to the outdoor area & are not as good on these days, just due to outdoor conditions. Makes for a great excuse to use room service on these days.
• Weather... I was really surprised that sun sets & rises at 6:30. (August) We loved this! Made for cooler weather, 80s feel, & there was typically a shower each afternoon. Rays are less harsh in evenings so pool was very enjoyable.
• #wpb for photos
• WhatsApp made ordering room service & making dinner reservations so easy. I am of the texting age, so I totally love not having to go to the front desk or make a phone call to the front desk. Every experience with both was fast & clear. Room service is included with the premium all inclusive. Although the menu is limited it was always fresh & tasty. My husband had excellent filets & I loved the cheese burrito (grilled vegetables with cheese).
       +507 6677-0955 for room service
       +507 6678-3496 for dinner reservations or front desk
• Excursions (we used Uber to meet in town)
       -Victor, who you can find on airb&b experiences or DM on Instagram @localinpty, was the best experience ever. We really got to see authentic Panama and felt totally safe the entire time. We discussed culture, history & governments. I learned so much.
       -Cesar, who you can also find on airb&b experiences was so knowledgeable about the canal & took us to Monkey Island. Nice van & boat, more affordable than other excursions to Monkey Island.
      -If you can afford it you absolutely have to do the helicopter tour of the canal & downtown Panama. It was absolutely amazing. I had never flown in a helicopter before. Lasted 1 hour 20 min & was $1,600.
• Wifi calling from the hotel worked great for keeping in touchwith family.  Wifi was free. We used Verizon only when we needed to get an Uber back from town. Verizon charges $10 a day (24 hours) long as you add travel pass in your plan(free).
• Uber was very affordable. Less than $6 each way to & from town, Miraflores locks etc.
• Use American dollars & electric plugs
• Road closes down to 1 lane at 5-8pm going into town & vice versa in the morning. Traffic is heavy bc people are going to & from work across the Bridge of the Americas.
• Very few mosquitos & they give you repellent towelettes in the room & offered off at dinner one night. I had maybe 3 lite the whole time & never a bite one. Husband had none as well. We didn't even see any on the boat excursion.
• Canal had its first day open since Covid & we visit that day. Reservations are on line for one of 8 slots every 15 minutes. We didn't reserve a place, because I was confused by needing to register online before booking reservation. They let us in when people did not show up for reserved times. So we waited maybe 30 minutes. You purchase tickets after you get through reservation line, so you can see how people might reserve & then not show up. Cost was $10. It was awesome to see the lock in action up close.
• Maximo & Joel were excellent bartenders at the pool. They always remembered our preferences & made really good cocktails.
• Ricardo was my absolute favorite bartender. @ricardo_alexis01 He is a professional mixologist & we really enjoyed his creations. Jesus also worked in the lobby bar & was excellent! We are used to NYC & never had a drink we didn't think was top quality. Good job guys!
• Bill was accurate when checking out & processes was quick. We had no language barrier with anyone at the desk & none of any significance with anyone else.
• We ate each night in the dining rooms, except for one night in the buffet. Caroline the hostess was one of my favorites. Veronica & Jose were just as great! They are all so kind & give great service. We really enjoyed our dining service. You can sit outside or inside with AC. We did a little of both. The food was excellent, even if there was not a huge variety, it was always fresh & delicious. Steaks of every kind, salmon, tuna, shrimp & lobster. The buffet has more choices for vegetarians.
• Gym has great AC! There were plenty of weights & machines.

Bc photos are limited to 10, I have posted more that show details like bar hours & menus on Pinterest #wpb

Date of stay: August 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
4  Thank biweekly-traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Concierge Westinplaya, Propietario at The Westin Playa Bonita Panama, responded to this reviewResponded 3 September 2021

Dear biweekly-traveler

We hope you are having a great day,

Thank you for your feedback and rating following your recent stay.

Thank you also for highlighting Jesus, Ricardo, Maximo and Joel.

We are delight to read your feedback, which has been shared with the team.

Once again, thank you for your feedback and we hope to serve you again whenever your travels bring you back to Panama City. 

Regards

Armando Jalil
Guest Relations Manager

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