Panama City’s top value hotels lure with excellent features, modern style (for the most part), and rates that rarely hit the triple digits.
Ramada Plaza Panama Punta Pacifica has a bolder style and better amenities than most Ramada properties found stateside. The 135 brightly decorated rooms include a solid list of amenities including mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs, laptop safes, and (optional) balconies. To help make up for the rough-around-the-edges neighborhood, Ramada Plaza Panama offers free Wi-Fi in all rooms and common areas, plus plenty of features, like a rooftop pool, modern restaurant (where the free hot breakfast is served), swanky bar, free valet parking, and room service. At similar rates, Hyatt Place Panama City Downtown offers comparable amenities plus a more central location near Via Espana and the Metro.
Ramada Plaza Panama and Hyatt Place Panama City Downtown are practically neck-in-neck, as far as amenities and rates are concerned. Ramada feels brighter and more stylish, but Hyatt Place is more conveniently located -- it's in the heart of Bella Vista, one of Panama City’s busiest, most happening districts. Hyatt Place is a clear step up from the many comparable area hotels; its excellent features include a rooftop pool, a restaurant/bar with room service, and a 24-hour market, plus free Wi-Fi, hot buffet breakfast, and valet parking. All 165 rooms are modern and spacious with separate seating areas, flat-screen cable TVs, and mini-fridges. Guests won’t want for much more, especially at these rates. DoubleTree By Hilton Panama City provides similar amenities for slightly less money, although it lacks the same contemporary panache.
Hotel Riu Plaza Panama is an upscale hotel near Panama City's financial district. It is much larger and more luxurious than Ramada Plaza and Hyatt Place, but its rates are slightly higher and don't include free breakfast or parking. The 644 rooms have a cheerful, contemporary design and modern amenities like flat-screen TV with ports to connect devices, rainfall showerheads (found at Ramada), coffeemakers (found in Hyatt Place), and mini-fridges (found at both). Executive Rooms have upgraded extras like turndown service, newspaper delivery, and access to a lounge. Amenities include two restaurants, a beautiful rooftop pool terrace, and a lovely spa with a steam room.
Just as the name implies, TRYP by Wyndham Panama Centro is located in central downtown Panama City. It's not an amenities-packed deal, like Ramada Plaza and Hyatt Place, or an upscale pick, like Hotel Riu, but this sleek, 92-room hotel does offer modern (if generic) units and amenities such as a gym and various meeting rooms. The rooftop pool and whirlpool are nice perks, and the space is popular for happy hours and views of the city. There's no spa and common areas can feel bland, but reasonable rates make it a good option for a quick business trip or a short stay.
Opened in 2012, the 170-room Hilton Garden Inn Panama is an upper-middle-range hotel in the lively El Cangrejo neighborhood. Contemporary rooms are decorated in earth tones, and feature flat-screen TVs, minibars, and coffeemakers. The on-site restaurant is open for all three meals, serving both a buffet and American-style breakfast for a fee. Other amenities include a fitness center, meeting rooms, and terrace with a hot tub, but travelers looking for a rooftop pool should stick with TRYP by Wyndham. Free Wi-Fi and parking add to its value.
The 91-room Toscana Inn Hotel has an excellent El Crangrejo location with sites, shops, eateries, and entertainment close at hand. The mid-range hotel's on-site features are much more limited than what's found at our top four picks, but it does have decent restaurant, meeting room, and lovely rooftop garden with a view of the city. (No fitness center, like Hilton Garden Inn, and no pool or spa.) Rooms aren't nearly as contemporary as the ones at Hilton Garden Inn, but do they come with mini-fridges, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi.