In Bella Vista near restaurants, Via Espana, and the metro
Rooftop pool provides lovely skyline views of Panama City
Spacious rooms with couches, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, and mini-fridges
Modern restaurant/bar also offers room service
24-hour market sells sandwiches, beverages, and snacks
Hot daily buffet breakfast is included
Fast Wi-Fi is free throughout the property
Bright penthouse gym with city-view windows
Free valet parking
Self-service laundry room (fee)
Slightly generic chain decor
Breakfast is served in a windowless basement room
Set among many comparable area hotels, the Hyatt Place Panama City Downtown is a clear step above the competition, thanks in part to being one of the city’s newest properties. It's bold and bright with excellent modern amenities, particularly for an urban, three-and-a-half-pearl property. It has a rooftop pool, a restaurant/bar, 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, large, 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.
Crisp and modern, if generic, decor that’s typical of the Hyatt brand
Even among the city’s long list of new hotels, Hyatt Place Panama City Downtown stands out as the new kid on the block. Built in 2014, every square foot is bright and new with a decor that’s crisp and modern, if a bit generic. The rooftop deck buzzes during the day with families and couples enjoying the pool and sweeping skyline views. The space is just large enough for a few dozen guests to spread out, but the relatively small size and lack of a bar mean the vibe quiets after sunset. By late afternoon, the lobby restaurant/bar hums with guests sipping cocktails while soaking up the free Wi-Fi or reading one of the hotel’s freely provided newspapers. The clientele is an even mix of mostly budget travelers, including families, businesspeople, and couples.
In the heart of Bella Vista, one minute from El Carmen Metro station
The surrounding neighborhood of Bella Vista is among Panama City’s busiest, most happening districts. Dozens of restaurants, casinos, banks, and the Via Espana commercial zone are within a five-minute walk in any direction. The city’s famous Casco Viejo historic district is reachable in 15 minutes by car, while the Miraflores locks of the Panama Canal require a 20- to 30-minute drive depending on traffic. Tocumen International Airport (PTY) is 30 minutes east by car along a modern highway. While the hotel can facilitate shuttle transportation, Uber and taxi rides are often cheaper transportation options. Either are ubiquitous any time of day throughout the city.
Large, bright rooms with flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, pullout sofas, and mini-fridges
Rooms are adorned with crisp linens, laminate furniture, and brush nickel lamps. The overall decor is a clear step above mid-range, but it doesn’t stand out in any memorable way. Most room categories (including Standard and Deluxe Rooms) feature a similar studio layout that's large enough to accommodate one or two beds, plus a desk and a separate seating area with a pullout sofa. Hyatt Place Large Rooms upgrade to a more spacious, 368-square-foot (34-square-meter) floor plan. The long list of amenities is as expected for an upper-middle-range property including fast, free Wi-Fi, mini-fridges, and flat-screen TVs with (mostly Spanish language) cable programming. Although balconies are unavailable in any room, some Deluxe and corner rooms on the upper floors offer excellent city views. Bathrooms are bright and sized appropriately -- neither too large nor too small. All offer large, walk-in glass shower stalls and simple bath amenities.
Rooftop deck with a pool and city views, plus a restaurant with room service and free breakfast
The list of modern amenities is excellent for an urban hotel of this caliber. The rooftop deck includes a small outdoor pool with lovely skyline views. There’s plenty of lounge chair seating, but a lack of umbrellas means no shade. Without a bar or any other services on the deck, the scene is non-existent once the sun goes down. The adjoining gym offers modern cardio and strength-training equipment and large windows with views of the city.
Below the lobby, a massive windowless breakfast room is open until late morning each day. Free breakfast buffet is served daily with a wide range of hot and cold foods including eggs, breakfast meats, fresh fruit, pastries, juice, and other snacks. After noon, the lobby restaurant opens for a la carte lunch and dinner service with mostly Western-friendly fare (burgers, fried foods, sandwiches). The small adjoining bar serves a full selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Additional finger foods and snacks are available 24 hours a day from the Gallery Market, although guests pay a hefty premium for the convenience. For a fee, room service is also available. However, the menu and hours are both limited.
A tiny business center in the lobby houses four modern computer workstations with basic printing services. Coin-operated guest laundry is available on the top floor. Wi-Fi is fast and free in every corner of the property; the service was reliable during our visit. Valet parking is free in a secure garage.
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