This five star hotel is a mixed bag. There are some great parts and some average parts.
The Waldorf Astoria in Panama is located in the business district. It’s also located in party central, Uruaguay street, where’s there is a street full of bars, restaurants and clubs.
It’s located about 20-30 minutes from the Toucomen International Airport (PTY). This hotel was actually the first Waldorf Astoria in Central America.
It’s a part of American Express Fine Resort and Hotel collections. That means if you book with your Am Ex you get a variety of perks. The perks include breakfast every morning and a unique property credit such as a stipend to spend at the hotel.
So let’s start with the location. Sketch city! Most of the hotels are set on the main drag across from the ocean. This hotel is set back a couple blocks. So you can’t see the ocean unless you get a room on a higher floor facing the ocean. There’s not even a bar or restaurant on the top. So I never got to see the views.
And as for the street, lots of nightclubs and bars. But everything during the day is empty and creepy. Maybe if I was some party girl, but I’m not. I was worried walking to the hop on bus stop! And it wasn’t just me, another couple I met said the same thing. The Hilton was right on the Main Street with ocean views. I think that hotel has a much better location.
So what about the rooms? Really nice. The hotel upgraded me as part of my Am Ex perks. I got a large room with huge terrace. Problem is the terrace faces inland. So while my view was nice of the buildings, I never saw the water!
But my room was large with nice modern lines. The entry had a large closet which opened to a room with king size bed, desk and chair. The bathroom was a nice size with a large shower. The linens were divine, I actually want to order them! They were that soft. The bed was soft and comfy. The shower lacked good pressure, it was average but I got some good hot water. Overall, the room was the highlight of this hotel.
The gym was very well appointed. It’s larger than most hotel gyms. It had a variety of cardio machines, some large gym machines and a nice array of free weights. I think any gym rat would approve.
The spa was beautifully appointed. The rooms were modern and clean. They did not have any separate spa facilities. And by that I mean, some places offer a special pool area, etc. This is just spa rooms with a connected bathroom so you can change and shower right in your spa room.
I thought the spa treatments were pricey. And my massage was just okay. Close to USA prices.
The pool area was chic and modern. A small pool and hot tub. There’s a pool bar called the Bungalow which serves cocktails and light snacks. The biggest issue with the pool is that it’s small. Eleven lounge chairs. Then there’s a couple round sofas and couches and random chairs. But who doesn’t want a lounge chair? And only a few chairs get any sun. Which you have to chase between the buildings. Not a sun tanner’s pool.
Since the pool is on the 7th floor, you are surrounded by skyscrapers. There’s nothing much to see but tall buildings all around you. A view would be nice.
The breakfast buffet is your standard buffet. Called the American Breakfast, it costs $24.95. But it’s one the perks included with Am Ex. The buffet had a good variety of local dishes, fruits, juices, cereals, meats and cheese, pastries and an egg station for fresh made to order eggs. It was nicely presented and good. The one annoying thing was, the breakfast only includes coffee. A cappuccino is $6 extra! But it’s Enough food that you can skip lunch!
The Bungalow restaurant at the pool had a nice variety of options. I decided to try several of the cocktails. I tried the Panamanian Mojito, the Paloma and the Caiprihana as well as the sea bass ceviche.
The cocktails were great. Something for everyone. The sea bass ceviche was a generous serving but too few plaintain chips. The flavors were on point, fresh and lemony but the sea bass was chewy. It still made a nice light dinner though.
Headed to my super comfy bed as I had an early departure. Slept so great! Love the beds and my room! Checkout was easy in the morning.
My total cost per night was $175. I received a $100 credit for using Am Ex so my total for two nights, breakfast two days, my 30 minute massage and cocktails and dinner ended up right around $400. Not bad for a five star hotel. But despite the comfy rooms, I would have preferred a hotel in a better location. I would not stay here again because of that!