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Hilton Panama 4.5

Panama City, Panama Province, Panama

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Prime waterfront location in Panama City's bustling Financial District 
  • Resort-like pool with a hot tub, bar, and water views 
  • Sleek rooms with flat-screen TVs, minibars, and Nespresso makers 
  • Upgraded rooms include private balconies overlooking Panama Bay 
  • An alfresco restaurant, a modern lounge, and an espresso bar 
  • Full-service Eforea Spa with saunas, steam rooms, and a hot tub
  • Large, full-featured fitness center with floor-to-ceiling, city-view windows
  • 30,000 square feet of meeting and event space
  • Unique, themed rooms (Barbie/Hot Wheels) for kids
  • Free local area shuttle 
  • Pets allowed (fee)

Cons

  • Breakfast isn't included 
  • Wi-Fi only available with a paid, daily plan 
  • Paid valet parking
  • Some complaints about maintenance issues in room 

Bottom Line

Built in 2014, the upscale Hilton Panama feels crisper, brighter, and more upscale than many Hilton brand hotels we've visited. With a modern decor, a prime location overlooking Panama Bay, and 30,000-square-feet of meeting space, it's arguably the business hotel for visiting executives. Leisure travelers will appreciate the full-service Eforea Spa and resort-style pool. The spacious 347 rooms include flat-screen TVs, Nespresso makers, and minibars, while upgraded rooms offer private balconies. It's hard to imagine guests wanting for much at this full-featured property, but, it's also hard not to feel nickel-and-dimed with charges for breakfast, Wi-Fi, and valet-only parking service. Panama Marriott Hotel offers many of the same amenities for less money.

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Scene

High-rise waterfront chain hotel with a modern business vibe

The massive lobby exudes sophistication and sets the upscale stage for the look and feel of every aspect of the hotel. Sparkling glass, polished marble flooring, and modern, artistic accents all feel bright, crisp, and airy. The space flows seamlessly into a towering, two-story lobby lounge, a secondary lounge, and Society Cafe restaurant -- all collectively serving as the indoor social hub. The entire space buzzes day and night with guests. The vibe of the large, resort-like outdoor terrace -- including a pool, hot tub, and bar -- puts guests in the center of the action in one of Panama City’s busiest districts. With more meeting and event space than almost any hotel in the city, the clientele frequently consists of business travelers on weekdays. During the weekends, the crowds thin out considerably to mostly vacationing families and couples.

Location

In the happening downtown Financial District overlooking Panama Bay

Map of Hilton Panama

With a prime location on Avenida Balboa in the city’s swanky Financial District, the hotel is equal parts urban and relaxed waterfront. A pedestrian bridge leads to a beautiful, two-mile-long walkway along Panama Bay. Dozens of restaurants, bars, and shops are located just a few blocks inland. The large, 24-hour StarBay Casino -- with slot machines, table games, and live entertainment -- shares a building with the hotel. Panama Viejo historical district is 10 minutes away by car. Tocumen International Airport (PTY), is 25 minutes northeast along a modern freeway. Local area shuttle service is provided for free; but airport transportation is only available for a fee. However, taxis and Uber are cheaper alternatives.

Rooms

Large, modern rooms with flat-screen TVs, minibars, Nespresso makers, and (optional) bay-view balconies

The same crisp, modern decor found in the lobby is found in the rooms. Chic, upscale materials like polished marble, frosted glass doors, and thick, plush comforters all provide a sense of sophistication and luxury.  Floor-to-ceiling, bay-view windows provide ample light, ensuring that every room is bright. Floor plans are large by any standard. Every category features a long list of modern amenities like large, flat-screen TVs, well-stocked minibars (with liquor, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages), Nespresso coffeemakers, and fast Wi-Fi. Private bay-view balconies are available in some upgraded rooms and Suites. Every bathroom is spacious with a walk-in shower stall and Peter Thomas Roth toiletries. Some upgraded rooms include free-standing tubs.

Two unique, kids-only rooms are themed on a rotating basis with Mattel brand toys like Barbie and Hot Wheels. Though we didn't see any problems during our visit, past guests have reported maintenance issues in the rooms. 

Features

Multiple restaurants and bars, a resort-like pool with bay views, and a modern spa 

As a towering upscale property, the list of amenities here is predictably long -- multiple restaurants, a resort-like pool, a beautiful, full-featured spa, a large fitness center, and 30,000 square feet of event space are the highlights. The hotel’s main restaurant, Society Cafe, is in an expansive, modern space with indoor and alfresco seating on a beautiful, bay-view terrace. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner all include a mix of Western-friendly and Panamanian fare (like ceviche and local seafood). BAR blue is a towering, modern cocktail lounge just off the lobby with sweeping views of Panama Bay. A small espresso bar near the pool serves specialty coffee drinks and cafe-style snacks and pastries. Breakfast isn't included in the room rates, though it can be pre-purchased as part of a room package.

The spacious outdoor terrace lies in the shadow of the building’s two towers overlooking the bay. A large, zero-entry pool sits at the center, flanked by a hot tub and small bar which provides poolside drink service. Rows of cabanas and lounge chairs afford ample seating.

Eforea Spa offers a long list of typical and specialty massage treatments in a beautiful, intimate space awash in marble, plush upholstered seating, and a calming, monochromatic color palette. Additional features like a hot tub, a sauna, steam rooms, and Vichy Shower (hydrotherapy) are also available. Immediately adjacent to the spa is a large, modern fitness center with a long list of LifeFitness cardio- and strength-training equipment, plus free weights.

Hilton Panama offers more dedicated floor space -- 30,000 square feet in total -- for meetings and events than almost any other hotel in the city. The 17 function rooms, including an 8,000 square-foot meeting room, all offer state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, Wi-Fi, and large windows with city or bay views.

Valet parking and fast, property-wide Wi-Fi are both only available for a daily fee. Pets are also allowed, with weight restrictions and for a fee.

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Address

Balboa avenue, Aquilino de la Guardia, Panama City, Panama

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