Best Boutique Hotels in Panama City

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Panama City's best boutique hotels are as funky and glamorous as the Latin American capital itself.

  1. The 50-room American Trade Hotel is undoubtedly the best luxury boutique hotel in not just Casco Viejo -- the vibrant UNESCO World Heritage neighborhood -- but all of Panama City. After fully restoring a colonial building, the hotel features a stylish lobby, trendy restaurant, small rooftop pool, and an excellent jazz club. All of the details of the hotel -- down to the bath products (Aesop toiletries and hand-woven bathrobes) and floor tiles in the lobby (Moroccan-style blue-and-white mosaics) -- are hand-curated and thoughtful. 

  2. Like American Trade, Las Clementinas is located in the lively neighborhood of Casco Viejo, rich with the culture, history, and nightlife. The upper-middle-range boutique has a total of nine charming rooms and apartments, all lovely with hardwood floors, brick wall accents, and neutral tones. Rooms come with flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, air-conditioning, coffeemakers, and minibars, while Chambers add living areas and kitchens with full-size refrigerators, stovetops, and microwaves. On-site features aren't as vast as American Trade's (no coffee shop, pool, or jazz club) but the free breakfast served on a lovely rooftop terrace is a highlight, plus Las Clementinas' renovated restaurant and bar opened in summer 2017. What's more, the warm and helpful staff go above and beyond to create personalized experiences. 

  3. While American Trade and Las Clementinas occupy charming colonial-style buildings in Casco Viejo, the 60-room Grace Panama resides in a multi-business structure in the urban, commerial Obarrio District. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but every interior square foot is sleek and stylish. The small property offers a surprising number of upscale amenities including a contemporary restaurant (no free breakfast here, like at Las Clementinas) and a chic rooftop deck (our first two picks also have rooftop decks, but this one is the most impressive, with a pool, hot tub, and bar). Well-stocked minibars with premium liquor, satellite flat-screen TVs, Nespresso coffeemakers, and bathrooms with rainfall showers and Salvatore Ferragamo toiletries are all standard. Overall, Grace Panama is more contemporary and luxurious than Las Clementinas, but that hotel edges Grace out for its Old World charm, warm and friendly service, and free breakfast.

  4. As far as historic charm goes, this family-owned hotel can't hold a torch to American Trade or Las Clementinas, and it's not nearly as sophisticated as Grace Panama. Still, it is a great choice for travelers who want a funky, artistic vibe in central Panama City, right in the financial and banking district. The upper-middle-range hotel has many hallmarks of a boutique, exuding a bold modern personality in common areas and individually decorated rooms. The urban-chic rooms feature flat-screen TVs and iPod docks, but not the minibars and espresso machines found at Grace. However, many rooms have a small balcony overlooking the city, and the higher floors have sweeping views. Hotel features include a pool, sundeck with hot tub, beer garden, and a fine-dining restaurant with live music a few nights a week. 

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