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Le Meridien Panama 4.0

Panama City, Panama Province, Panama

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • On a popular water-view strip near Panama City's Financial District 
  • Beautiful rooftop deck with a pool and panoramic city and sea views 
  • Chic rooms with flat-screen TVs, stocked minibars, and iPod docks 
  • Upgraded rooms include whirlpool tubs and separate living areas 
  • Swanky restaurant/bar with alfresco dining and 24-hour room service  
  • Intimate Clarins Spa with a sauna, steam room, and hydrotherapy facilities
  • Modern 24-hour gym with floor-to-ceiling windows  
  • Free self-parking in a secure garage (fee for valet)
  • Filtered tap water is safe to drink

Cons

  • Breakfast costs extra 
  • Free Wi-Fi only available to Starwood SPG loyalty members (free to join)
  • Spa and pool are small
  • Adjacent street can be noisy during the day

Bottom Line

Just off Panama City’s most popular waterfront strip in the Financial District, the upscale Le Meridien Panama offers some of the city’s swankiest lodging. The sleek polished lobby and futuristic glass atrium set the stage for an ultra-modern decor that borders on a nightclub-like feel. All 111 rooms are equally chic with excellent amenities including large, flat-screen TVs, minibars, iPod docks, and luxurious bathrooms. Spacious Suites upgrade to whirlpool tubs and separate living areas. The common amenities: a modern restaurant/bar with alfresco dining, an intimate spa, and a rooftop pool -- are individually small, but the feel is more boutique than limited. Grace Panama offers similar amenities in a more elegant package for less money.

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Scene

Chic and modern upscale hotel with a nightclub-meets-modern-art-gallery vibe

The combined first-floor lobby, lounge, restaurant, and bar all set the stage for a chic property where every surface -- including polished black marble, copious mirrors, and fiber optic lighting -- seems to glisten and sparkle. Modern touches like touch screen elevator panels, bold neon accents, a towering, all-glass atrium, and chrome and leather seating remind guests that this is no ordinary hotel. Indeed, the decor is equal parts art gallery and South Beach night club. The vibe is upscale and polished but not stuffy. The mostly single bed rooms, rooftop pool, and swanky restaurant/bar are all squarely targeted at couples over families. While the bar attracts plenty of locals and hotel guests, the atmosphere is lively but reserved.

Location

Just off Panama City’s most popular waterfront strip near the Financial District

Map of Le Meridien Panama

The hotel shares one of the city’s busiest strips with high-rise condos, bank buildings, and luxury hotels near the Financial District. While the views of Panama Bay are mostly unobstructed, the surrounding buildings create a feel that’s busy and urban versus relaxed and waterfront. Dozens of local and chain restaurants, shops, and services are within a five-block walk. Panama City’s Casco Viejo (old city) District is less than 10 minutes away by car. The El Carmen Metro station (a major subway stop) is 15 minutes away on foot. The hotel can arrange airport and in-town shuttle service for a pricey fee. Official taxis and Uber are cheaper alternatives, however, and both can be easily found throughout the city.

Rooms

Sleek, polished rooms with 55-inch flat-screen TVs, minibars, and iPod docks

Rooms are adorned with the same chic decor found in common areas. The white leather seating, frosted glass doors, eclectic canvas artwork, and huge mirrors all look bright, crisp, and modern.

Entry-level Deluxe and Executive Rooms offer studio layouts with generous square footage that accommodates a large work desk, small sitting area, and one king or two double beds. Fifty-five-inch flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and minibars are all standard. Wi-Fi is fast and reliable but only free for Starwood SPG loyalty members (it's free and easy to join the program). Suites upgrade to substantially larger, multi-room layouts that include optional dining rooms, kitchenettes, and larger work spaces. Rooms are reasonably well soundproofed. However, the heavy traffic of the Financial District makes for noticeable room noise during rush hour. Things quiet down considerably after dark.  

Bathrooms are nicely appointed with liberal use of marble and glass. Malin + Goetz luxury brand bath amenities and hairdryers are provided. Filtered tap water is safe to drink. Most bathrooms include a spacious walk-in shower stall, while Suites upgrade to larger layouts, dual sinks, and jetted tubs.

Features

A panoramic rooftop pool deck, a small, modern spa, and an alfresco restaurant/bar with room service

A large rooftop deck wraps around two sides of the building with panoramic views of the city and Panama Bay. The outdoor pool is small but sparkling and well-maintained. Poolside drink service availability depends on occupancy and the time of year.

The rooftop Sensory Spa by Clarins is intimate and modern with the same dark, chic decor found in every other common area. Aside from traditional and specialty massage treatments, the list of additional services, including a sauna, a steam room, rain showers, and a hydrotherapy facility with a private balcony lounge -- is surprisingly long for such a small space.

Just off the lobby is a sleek, open-concept space that includes Saril restaurant/bar, a tiny lounge, and an alfresco deck. The restaurant serves a large, hot, gourmet breakfast that's not included in room rates. Lunch and dinner are available a la carte with a menu that’s primarily Western-friendly with a dash of Panamanian dishes (like locally sourced seafood) as well. The adjacent bar serves specialty cocktails with a focus on local rum. For a fee, 24-hour room service is also available.

The rooftop gym is modestly sized and equipped. The water views through the floor-to-ceiling windows are excellent. A tiny business center is crammed into the rear of the hotel’s sales office and feels like an afterthought. The space features a handful of modern computer workstations as well as basic printing services. Wi-Fi is fast, reliable, and available throughout the property. The service is only free for Starwood SPG loyalty members -- though the program is free to join. Paid valet parking is available, or guests can opt to self-park in a secure garage for free.

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Address

Calle Uruguay and Balboa Avenue, Panama City, Panama

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