Travel Blogs from Panama City
... the whole of the city! Being a feeble, make up wearing female had definitely worked in my favour. Hurrah sexism...! As I'd woken up pretty early due to Panama being 6 hours behind, I had pretty much the full day at my disposal and so made the 45 minute long walk to Casco Viejo, the old town and world heritage site of Panama. It was very beautiful walking along the sea front but sooo bloody hot! I arrived feeling so sick and dehydrated and went and ...
... with a group of large American Navy soldiers who were in Panama fighting 'the war on drugs'. They were actually really nice and it was a very interesting evening with them. Once back at the hostel Bushy was convinced to hit the clubs with our new boat friends while Jake and I went back to bed to sleep off our ailments. Thankfully the next morning my swelling was gone and Jake's medicine was kicking in ...
... drop off as they cannot survive in fresh water. After we exited from the last (up) lock we split apart and motored individually to the mooring buoys to stay the night. A launch came and collected our pilot as another pilot would be dropped off at 07:00 in the morning. It was good to have the first part of the process complete and without any hitches or major problems.
We sat there and all had a beer and watched the most beautiful sunset on this awe inspiring ...
... it doesn´t really make much sense. We noticed the drastic changes on our way to the supermarket..at first we were admiring all the pretty balconies and then a few steps further and we were in real local territory with men wolf whistling from miles down the road. I´ve never felt so uncomfortable in a supermarket before so we swiftly got our pasta pesto and ran back to the hostel.
During our stay here we took a taxi to the canal to see what all the fuss ...
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Historical Traveler Reviews Bristol Panama Panama City
This place is fabulous
the service was fabulous. room service food was very yummy and cheap. must do:take a bubble bath in the tub and order the panamanian breakfast. ritz carleton luxury and then some.
The Bristol was the twelfth hotel I've stayed at in as many weeks and undoubtedly one of the best. If I don't like somewhere I'll pack up and go but in a whole week in Panama never once thought of moving.....
I did call in at the Radisson Decapolis, referred to below, and while it is impressive to look at and the huge bar was throbbing with the young glitterati of Panama City, the vast rum collection of the wood panelled bar at the Bristol (perhaps more appealing to the glitterati's parents) beckoned.
From its stone floored and flower filled hall to the thickly carpeted, well-furnished rooms, the Bristol's message was understated elegance and traditional quality.
It felt more like large country house than a mid sized city hotel: huge comfortable beds, large well built chairs to work at and a great armchair to relax in when finished. The bar was easy to be in alone, or in a group, drinking or eating - food from the restaurant which had the unusual distinction of being high in quality and relatively low in price could be taken there while listening to the live music.
Was it perfect, well no. The dining room was too clinically bright in the evening and the air conditioning was always rather more artic than equatorial. The butlers, highlighted on the web site, were notable by their absence. Worst of all though was the nightly chocolate on the pillow, with a little card containing a sweet little message. !
I'd stayed at the Bristol in Paris, probably the best of the many (unrelated) Bristols and this compares very favourably - a few tweaks to service and it could be outstanding, but this was a fraction of the price in Paris and ultimately far better value.
Excellent small, private hotel
I split my week trip to Panama City between the Bristol and Radisson Decapolis in order to try both. I realized that these are very different hotels. They are both great in their own respects.
My hotel room at the Bristol was superb. It was extremely well furnished with excellent bedding. As a bonus, the restaurant at the Bristol happens to be one of the top restaurants in the city. This was all too convenient. I think it may just offer the best dining value in the city considering the quality. I could have eaten there every night!
TIP: look for locally managed, owned, and recommended restaurants like this or Reno's (Italian) for the best food at the best prices. The large internationally owned establishments tend to be more expensive. This includes the restaurants at the large internationally owned hotels and fast food/food court.
SUMMARY: This is best described as a small, private boutique hotel for business travelers and those looking for privacy. Service was excellent.
Hotels and restaurants like this are one of the reasons that Panama City is such a great place to spend time!
Minor Negatives: No pool and no room views to speak of. Possibly too private and isolated for some.
Best for: Business Travelers, Couples, and those who appreciate a very classically decorated, traditional upscale hotel.
This is not a party hotel or a great place to meet a lot of people. I would urge younger people looking for that type of atmosphere to consider the Radisson Decapolis as well. See my review under the Radisson Decapolis for more information as there are trade offs.
Excellent for short stay
This is an excellent hotel with good service and clean rooms. If it had a pool I would have stayed for two weeks. The restaurant is one of the best in the city.
Excellent. Helpful staff. Great restaurant. They recommended a wonderful driver and guide, Roberto Cedeno, who showed us the city.
A beautiful retreat
We just returned from Panama, and found The Bristol a beautiful, quiet retreat from the noise and heat of Panama City. Everything about it speaks of luxury, quality, and elegance, from the lovely furnishings to the very attentive, professional staff. It's a 5-star hotel in a smaller package, and at much less cost.
A cozy, quiet, art- and flower-filled enclave
Classy, quiet and well-appointed with lots of marble, mahogany, art, and orchids...a true value for $125 a night. The bathrooms are luxurious with high-quality amenities (the creamy coco-butter soap was a delight!) and the beds were firm with fluffy feather duvets and pillows.
We REALLY enjoyed the restaurant--a stunning, art-filled, and intimate room with starched linens, fresh flowers and candles with an eye- and palate-appealing selection that made choosing a challenge. If you can snag a table in the solarium (where guests enjoy a complementary breakfast) in the evening--while we were there it was occupied with private parties--you dine under trees festooned with tiny white lights. Each dinner we had was simply luscious and there is a good wine list.
The lounge is cool, dark, relaxing, and very well-appointed. We enjoyed top-notch live music each night after dinner--soca one evening and jazz the next evening.
We will DEFINATELY stay here again.
Very elegant, well appointed hotel. Beautiful rooms and modern bathroom with huge tub. Exceptional staff. Great location.
Only complaint...the walls are very thin. We heard the 5:45 am wakeup call in the room next door. We heard everything, including a screaming child.
If you want an excellent tour of the city, I suggest hiring Carlos Aleman [--] (cell). My husband and I actually hired him for two full days of sightseeing. Carlos is very knowlegable and speaks excellent english. Highly recommend.
Classy & Elegant!
Stayed at The Bristol this past September. Boutique-like hotel. Excellent service (minor Invoice error that was adjusted very quickly and professionally), staff was courteous, very helpful and friendly! Nice restaurant - ask for 'sandwich' menu if 'lighter' dining is desired...(garden room for breakfast was lovely) and live music in lounge was very enjoyable after a long day...would highly recommend!!! Sometimes just staying at the 'right' place can make a perfect and lasting impression of a first time visit ....
Elegence,service & location
Mid-sized,classy hotel in the heart of the business district!I've stayed here multiple times after trying numerous other venues in the city,the staff is consistently friendly and responsive to your needs... provides a great business center, wireless internet, daily U.S. newspapers, great bar and restaurant...plus chocolates on your pillow...what else is there!