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Panama City recommendations

Panama City recommendations

Old Jun 4, 13, 1:19 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: ORD, MSY
Programs: American Airlines/ExPLT/Milion , Hilton, Hertz 5 Star
Posts: 45
Thumbs up Panama City recommendations

We used Your Man in Panama for airport transfer and touring. They were outstanding and actually more reasoanble (price-wise) than more commercial companies.

Stayed at the new Waldorf-Astoria near Calle Uruguay and was also excellent. Great level of service (Hilton Gold helps).

Also took the "Splash Bus" tour. Highly recommended; sort of like the Duck-Boats, but more advanced.

Would definitley go back to PTY and want a chance to visit rest of the country.^
Alnola is offline  
Old Jun 4, 13, 3:10 pm
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: San Jose, Costa Rica
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum
Posts: 1,600
Panama really is the hot tourism destination here in Central America these days. Its visitor numbers still lag Costa Rica's, but Panama's growth is just phenomenal. As a friend of mine here in Costa Rica is fond of saying, Panama City is the only real cosmopolitan city in Central America.

Yes, do go back to Panama, and next time take in other parts of the country too. There's a ton of things to see and do, and I think they'll impress you.
SJOGuy is offline  
Old Jun 20, 13, 7:26 pm
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Programs: AA EXP, SPG Platinum
Posts: 230
Great to hear these recommendations. Wife and I booked our long 4th of July weekend down there but hadn't finalized our excursions in Panama City. Spending a night in Panama City after we land from US. Then heading to Yandup Island Lodge for two nights via Air Panama before heading back to Panama City for a couple days before a return to the US. This thread has been a lot of help: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/centr...er-panama.html

Anything you wished you could have seen but missed out on?
sm82 is offline  
Old Jul 6, 13, 7:01 pm
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Tampa, FL & Guanajuato, Mexico
Programs: United, Delta, Southwest, AA, IHG, Starwood, Hilton
Posts: 152
Here's a detailed review of that Waldorf Astoria that opened recently. Definitely a nice stay if you have Hilton status.

That city has come a long way fast. A few years ago it was hard to find a vacant hotel room period when things were busy, so you had to take what you could get. But there's lots of capacity now, with a big Rui and and even bigger Hard Rock opened, on top of the Trump Tower (highest building in Latin America). You can be more choosy now.
globetrots is offline  
Old Jul 6, 13, 8:20 pm
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Houston
Programs: United Platinum, Chase Presidential Plus
Posts: 299
Thanks for the post. Needed a hotel for one night after returning from the Bocas and booked the Waldorf with points.
pinks is offline  
Old Jul 16, 13, 6:33 pm
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: USA
Programs: the human race
Posts: 2,245
I agree yourmaninpanama is awesome service.

I disagree on the Waldorf. While the facilities are excellent and the staff good (although still obviously a lot of training going on) there is a lot of noise from one of the bars restaurants in the hotel. I am talking about the kind of low-frequency vibrations and sounds like you hear when some fool has a 1,000,000 watt speakers in his 1990 Impala. I was told the restaurant was hosting private parties.

I really liked the hotel itself, but will only return if guaranteed a room on a high floor (we were on the 15th). The staff are professional, cheerful and very helpful.
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Old Aug 8, 13, 3:37 pm
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: North of 90 S
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Was able to contact a local driver/student for airport transfers and a few hours around the city, very reasonable and knowledgeable. PM if need info.
owflyer is offline  
Old Aug 31, 13, 12:24 pm
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Tampa, FL & Guanajuato, Mexico
Programs: United, Delta, Southwest, AA, IHG, Starwood, Hilton
Posts: 152
I have found that Central Americans (and Mexicans) have an unbelievably high tolerance for noise. Hotel staffers often seem baffled when you complain about it, like it's your problem you can't sleep. I was at one resort where an outdoor wedding party went on until 5 am, then the lawn care crew started up the weed-eater trimmers at 7 am---on a Saturday morning!

I believe you would find the same bar noise issue in most of Panama City's hotels as the bar is a major profit center and things start late there. Though as you say, the higher up you get the better. At the Trump Tower, you can get really high up and away from all that. Or stay at mellower Bristol or DeVille.
globetrots is offline  
Old Sep 8, 13, 10:49 am
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: RSW, MGA, DCA, CSX, HKG
Programs: Still working on being loyal
Posts: 154
I'm currently staying here before heading to NitroCity tomorrow, and then chiriqui. Nice hotel for $99, near lots of nightlife.


Obviously make sure to check out the canal, miraflores locks, they have a lunch buffet where you eat right next to the locks and watch the ships go by, $31. About a $20 cab ride from our hotel with 4 people.

l3arefoot is offline  
Old Sep 20, 13, 8:06 pm
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Halfway between COS and DEN
Programs: UA Last year of 1K, 2.2MM, Marriot Titanium, HH Diamond, IHG Spire, Hertz Pres, National EE
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First time in Panama, just an overnight layover on my trip to Chile. I've never been there before, speak no Spanish. Arriving at around 8pm. Am I ok just getting a cab to the Hilton Garden Inn downtown from the airport or should I use one of the services listed above for the ride? Rough idea of costs for the cab ride? Do I tip the cab driver or the service?
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Old Sep 20, 13, 8:50 pm
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 738
Hey, you broke the Canal!!!!!

Putting a big turn in one of the locks is bound to screw up maritime traffic big time.

Maybe you should be careful where you use a fisheye lens.
flyboy60 is offline  
Old Oct 9, 13, 7:50 pm
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: PTY
Programs: UA Plat, AA, Hilton, PC, MR, Hertz
Posts: 6
Looking for a nice beach around PTY. Wife has vacation time , I NEED free wifi for work. We have mucho points in IhG, Hilton. and Carlson.

Dates 11/16/13 to 11/24/13.

Baidu is offline  
Old Oct 11, 13, 9:16 pm
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Houston
Programs: United Platinum, Chase Presidential Plus
Posts: 299
Wanted to the report back that the Waldorf was wonderful. Granted, it has been several years since I stayed in the NYC Waldorf and doubt it compares, but it is a fraction of the price and far nicer than other hotels at that price point. That was the softest, plushest robe I have ever encountered, and did I not live in Houston I would have bought one. The room was extremely comfortable, we got great service, and the bathroom was huge. Dinner at the restaurant was pricey, but good.

Granted, this was after returning from staying in a tent camp on Red Frog beach, so my senses may have been skewed.

Regarding cabs, it is better to have Hilton hire a driver for you. My recollection is this costs around $35. Not that cabs aren't safe in Panama, you are just less likely to get ripped off.
pinks is offline  
Old Oct 12, 13, 9:28 am
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: RSW, MGA, DCA, CSX, HKG
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Posts: 154
All the cabbies I've dealt with down there speak english, ask them how much for x people to wherever you want to go, and then negotiate from there. Lots of times they'll ask what time you want picked up and will be there when you're ready to go.
l3arefoot is offline  

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