Kids have a pool, fun play space, and engaging activities
Volleyball court, driving range, putting green, and batting cage on-site
Preferred-status guests have access to an adult-only pool and gourmet restaurant
Free Wi-Fi with a good connection everywhere in the hotel
Inconsistent service and food quality are let downs
Isolated location, a 20- to 30-minute drive from downtown and sights
Beach not always swimmable
The four-pearl, 307-room Dreams Delight Playa Bonita Panama is a beachfront resort that beautifully blends modern decor with tropical elements, and is located a 25-minute drive from downtown. The sprawling, lush grounds surrounded by forests and beach make it a quiet spot, but the long list of all-inclusive activities, gorgeous pools, luxury spa, and fun kids’ club keep guests entertained. Although this is an all-inclusive property, the five restaurants get mixed reviews. Rooms are relaxing and modern, outfitted with minibars, robes, coffeemakers, and contemporary decor. For more consistency in terms of service and quality, consider The Westin Playa Bonita, a short walk down the beach from this hotel.
A beautiful resort with relaxing surroundings, but it falls short on some services
This large resort complex is in a quiet spot, surrounded by forests and beach, though the ocean is often not swimmable. Still, it is a beautiful spot with expansive lawns, flowering shrubs lining pathways, and refreshing water features. Inside, the lobby is upscale and elegant: Beautiful wrought railings feature delicate stained-glass bugs; a back-lit ocean wave embellishes the front desk; and stone walls display pretty potted flowers. Restaurants, bars, and common spaces blend a beachy or jungle feel with modern elements -- think wicker furniture and tropical fans next to elaborate candelabra chandeliers or colored glass accents.
The long list of all-inclusive activities and facilities attract all kinds of guests, particularly couples and families. However, guests familiar with the Dream Resorts brand find the experience disappointing, with complaints about poor service, unappealing food in the restaurant, and sales pitches attempting to up-sell guests.
A quiet spot on Panama Bay, across the canal from the city
Dreams Delight Playa Bonita Panama is on the shore of Panama Bay, west of the canal entrance. It is in a quiet spot, surrounded by ocean and forest, with nothing to do within walking distance. It is a three-minute drive to the nearby town of Veracruz where there are several restaurants along the public beach, and the water is in better condition than the bay at the hotel. Casco Viejo, a vibrant neighborhood with historical and cultural significance, is a 20-minute drive from the hotel. Albrook Mall, one of the largest malls in the world, is a 25-minute drive away, and the hotel provides a free shuttle for guests. A 30-minute drive will bring guests to the Miraflores Locks where ships passing through the locks can be viewed and a museum details the history of the area. The hotel is a 50-minute drive from Tocumen International Airport, and a 25-minute drive from Albrook International Airport.
Spacious rooms with relaxing, modern decor, plus minibars and coffeemakers
Standard rooms are spacious and appealing with a clean, relaxing atmosphere. Tile floors and ivory walls are a neutral base, along with black or dark-wood furniture creating a classic feel. There are a few pops of color in a bright accent pillow or modern artwork and some leafy accents engraved in the door, headboard, or room divider. All rooms have furnished balconies overlooking the ocean. Beds are either king-size or two doubles with white linens and plenty of pillows. All rooms include a flat-screen TV, minibar, coffeemaker, safe, and ironing board. Bathrooms are sleek with modern finishings and walled shower stalls. Robes and hairdryers are provided, and free toiletries include soap, shampoo, and lotion. Suites are a nice upgrade with options like walk-in closets, separate bathtubs, a dining room table, and an extra half bath.
Six restaurants, beautiful pools, a relaxing spa, a kids’ club, and sports facilities
A long list of features make this hotel a good all-inclusive pick. A myriad of restaurants offer plenty of choice, and each is beautifully decorated. The main buffet serves international dishes, plus there are Italian, French, fresh seafood, and grill restaurants available -- though many guests find the quality lacking. All-inclusive guests can eat for free at some of the a la cartes, but others are only free for preferred guests, who pay extra for higher-tier services.
The gorgeous infinity-edge pool has a view of the sea. It is surrounded by loungers, with more on the grassy island in the water. Palm trees and a few shelters provide shade, and there is shaded seating under the thatched roof of the swim-up pool bar. There are a large wading section on one side of the pool, and a sloped entry into the water on the other. Another pool is reserved for Preferred guests and is adult-only; it is small, but a lovely, quiet spot to relax. While there are loungers lining the quiet beach, the water is not always swimmable, which is indicated by the color of a posted flag.
A beautiful spa offers a range of massages and treatment, as well as a sauna, whirlpools, and a beauty salon. Those looking for activity may visit the well-equipped fitness room with plenty of machines, though space is a bit tight. Additionally, a narrow driving range, putting green, batting cage, and volleyball facilities are available. The kids’ club has a wide range of activities, including crafts, spa treatments, treasure hunts, and movies on the beach. A fun indoor play space has toys for young children, plus table soccer and air hockey for bigger kids. A strong, reliable Wi-Fi signal is free throughout the hotel.
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