If you are planning a trip to Panama you are going to discover something new. Every time you tell a friend or make a search online your friends and computer will think you are talking about Panama Fl. In conversation it’s not so bad. Travelling to Panama is still something new to most people so they get curious which can lead to an interesting conversation. But when it comes to online research and in particular looking for hotels in Panama it can become a bit annoying.
Hotels in Panama
Panama Hotels, like most countries, come in all shapes, sizes and prices. Obviously your accommodations are dictated by how much time you have and what you want to see. If you’re keen to check out the ‘7th Wonder of the Modern World’ then you want to look for Panama Canal Hotels. By the way it’s not just the Panama Canal you will be seeing. Hotels in this area offer excellent opportunities for many adventures including fishing in Lake Gatun or Bird Watching at the Hotel Gamboa.
If modern city action like gaming and fabulous shopping are more your style you can’t beat the Radisson Decapolis Hotel. It’s attached to the Multicentro Mall and also has the Majestic Casino right on site. Another beautiful spot in the heart of Panama City and overlooking the Bay of Panama is the Miramar Hotel. I had the opportunity to attend a wedding at the Miramar Hotel and we liked it so much we stayed an extra few days to enjoy the pool and a fabulous massage.
A quick 15 minute flight from Panama City will take you to the Pearl Islands. Unfortunately the largest resort on the island, the Hotel Contadora closed and is now abandoned. Still it’s an interesting spot to wander around albeit a bit spooky! I felt like I was in a disaster movie or something akin to it.
Other places to explore, where you may want to research and book your hotel ahead of time, are in communities like Boquete, Bocas del Toro, Playa Blanca and Isla Grande near Portobelo and Colon.
Panama City Panama Hotels
I’ll give you an example and then a quick tip. When I try and search for ‘Panama City Hotels‘ inevitably I get, ‘Do you mean: Hotels in Panama FL?’ So, when searching online be specific and search ‘Panama City Panama‘ and you will get much better results.
I mentioned a few of my favourite Panama Hotels earlier here are a few more to consider.
The first time I travelled to Panama I stayed at the Riande Continental Hotel. At the time it was a real bargain. Rates have gone up somewhat but if you are looking for a cheaper hotel in the heart of the business district this is a good option.
The Wyndham Grand Hotel is an interesting spot. Also, in the heart of the Panama business and banking district but it’s in a pretty rough looking neighbourhood. That said, once you walk through the doors the Wyndham Grand is just that, Grand. The Panama City Marriott Hotel is well, like any other downtown big city Marriott Hotel – first class all the way!
A lovely option to the big brand hotels is the Hotel De Ville Panama City. The DeVille Hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel. It takes you back in time to the romantic era of Panama when Ferdinand de Lesseps first began to promote his idea for digging the Panama Canal.
Cheap Hotels in Panama
If you are more of a budget traveller, after all Panama is still one of the best back-packer havens in the world, then you may be looking for cheap hotels in Panama. If you will be arriving late or departing early from Tocumen International Airport. The Riande Panama Airport Hotel is a good choice. It’s reasonable and is the only Panama hotel to offer free shuttle service to and from the Tocumen. They even offer free extended parking if you have a car and are returning home for a week or two. I found this quite handy when flying back to Canada for Christmas.
Boquete Panama Hotels
Boquete Chiriqui Panama – this is highland country. The land of ‘Coffee and Flowers’ and eternal spring. If you are touring the country this quaint mountain village is a must see. Boquete Hotels were few and far between in the past but since Boquete became a retirement haven the hotel scene has changed. In the heart of the village on a quiet street right beside a soothing river you will find Isla Verde. This Boquete B&B offers accommodations in unique round houses on the rivers edge. Valle Escondido – Hidden Valle – is a remarkable gated community which includes resort accommodations alongside a beautiful 9 hole executive golf course. They also are one of the only places to offer Boquete Panama Vacation Rentals for longer stays in two or three bedroom homes. The Boquete Garden Inn is another unique round house concept B&B. It’s a short distance outside of town, maybe a 15 minute walk and is nestled along the edge of Caldera river.
For back packers there are numerous Hostels in Boquete offering accommodations starting as low as $11 per night including: El Oasis; Hostal Refugio del Río and Hostel Boquete.
Bocas del Toro Panama Hotels
Long known by back backers for excellent surfing, snorkeling and beaching Bocas del Toro a.k.a. Bocas has also developed a softer and more luxurious side. Just like pretty much any where else in Panama the island community of Bocas, located on Isla Colon, has attracted it’s share of expat investors looking for their place in the sun. Bocas del Toro Panama Hotels offer it all – from $11 per night hostels to luxurious Eco-resorts like Punta Caracol and Playa Tortuga to comfy air conditioned Inns and B&B’s like Hotel Bahia Bocas and Hotel Angela.
Contadora Panama Hotels
As I mentioned previously the Contadora Beach Resort or Hotel Contadora was sold and abandoned in late 2008. Now the island and beaches – Playa Contadora- are quiet and peaceful. Certainly not a place to go for night life but staying at a Contadora Bed Breakfast can be a wonderful and romantic get-away. I wouldn’t recommend planning a visit of more than 2 or 3 nights though. Try the Contadora Island Inn. I stayed there recently and it is clean, cozy and quiet.
Portobelo Panama Hotels
The picturesque bay side village of Portobelo features the ruins of five Spanish forts, a restored treasure house and is the burial place of Sir Francis Drake. The best accommodations in Portobelo can be found by looking for Portobelo Vacation Rentals or taking a boat ride to Bananas Village Resort Isla Grande Portobelo.
Isla Grande Panama Hotels
Bananas Isla Grande Panama is an all-inclusive resort located a short boat ride from Portobelo. This is probably the most popular place to stay when visiting the Colon and Portobelo areas. Other places to stay on Isla Grande include: Sister Moon Isla Grande;
Hospedaje Isla Grande, Fotos Isla Grande, and Cabañas Isla Grande.
Playa Blanca Panama Hotels
The most developed and popular resort locale in Panama is Playa Blanca which starts about 60 minutes drive from Panama City. Playa Blanca Hotels are really resorts spread out across this beach area. This region is known to have a distinct micro-climate whereby Playa Blanca gets less rain than any other part of Panama. Play Blanca means ‘white beach’ and is in an area known as ‘Arco Seco’ meaning ‘Dry Arc’. The Royal Decameron Playa Blanca Panama is the oldest, and certainly the largest and best known of all the all-inclusive resorts in the municipality of Playa Blanca Farallon. Close by is the smaller more intimate Playa Blanca Beach Resort, formerly associated with Barcelo resorts. The newest member of the beach club scene here is Nikki Beach Playa Blanca Panama.
Coronado Panama Hotels
Coronado Beach is pretty much the starting of the area known as Arco Seco (Dry Arc) and Playa Blanca (White Beach). Hotel Coronado aka Coronado Golf & Beach Resort is one of the oldest and best known hotels in the area. It covers a large expanse and includes not only the old hotel – resort but also a Fazio’s designed 72 par 18 holes golf course; beach club; equestrian center as well as Panama Condominiums and homes for sale. You can also try Coronado Bed & Breakfasts – El Litoral and Coronado Beach Bed & Breakfast or choose from literally hundreds of Coronado Beach Vacation Properties for rent.
Panama Hotels in detail
For more details on Panama Hotels in each of these areas along with Hotel Reviews and photos be sure to watch the blog and click on the category links in the left side bar for specific areas that interest you.