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16 Best Hotels in Panama City

Written by Lana Law
May 14, 2019

Many of the best hotels in Panama City are located in the modern El Cangrejo, Marbella, and Bella Vista areas in downtown. Hotels downtown are central to all the best restaurants and shopping malls the city has to offer, and are generally set in high-rises. Many of them have elevated outdoor pools, either midway up the hotel or on the rooftop.

You can also find luxury properties and charming boutique hotels in Casco Viejo, commonly known as the Old Town, which is the city's main tourist area. Many of the best hotels in Casco Viejo are set in historical buildings that have been wonderfully restored. Here, you have the added advantage of being able to walk to some of the major tourist attractions. Many first-time visitors like to base themselves here.

Another major attraction in Panama City is the nearby Panama Canal. If you want to find a hotel in a peaceful neighborhood and watch ships coming and going, it's not a bad idea to find a hotel in the Amador area. This area is also home to the Frank Gehry-designed Biomuseo.

If you are looking for a beach resort, this option is just a short distance to the west of the city at Playa Bonita. You can also find a jungle retreat 30 minutes away.

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Best Luxury Hotels in Panama City

1. Le Meridien Panama

Photo Source: Le Meridien Panama

Le Meridien has a great waterfront location with stunning views out over the Pacific Ocean and the Old City. The hotel is noted for its spectacular décor, the highlight being an inverted pyramid in the main lobby, which reflects light across the black granite walls and soaring ceiling.

Rooms feature an on-trend décor, with modern and stylish rooms rounded out by top quality linens and marble bathrooms. The on-site restaurant, Saril, which serves Latin American cuisine, is considered to be one of the top places for dining in Panama. The 6th-floor pool offers stunning views from the water or from comfortable couches in a covered sitting area. This is the perfect spot to cool down and escape the heat of the city.

If you feel the need for some pampering, the Sensory Spa features a variety of treatments to cure all that ails you. Health buffs will love the well-equipped fitness center and its floor-to-ceiling windows providing wonderful city views.

Accommodation: Le Meridien Panama

2. Bristol Panama

Photo Source: Bristol Panama

Located in the Financial District and close to many of the city's top restaurants, the Bristol Panama is one of a select few 5-star hotels in Panama City. It is modern and luxurious, ideal for families or business travelers.

Rooms are large and very comfortable, with wonderful views out over the bay and the city. In addition, the hotel offers executive one-bedroom residences, some of the largest in the city, which come complete with full kitchens, ideal for self catering. Bathrooms are almost works of art, with both shower and soaker tubs, and windows into the main room that open up wide, so you can soak and gaze out at the city skyline.

Salsipuedes, the hotel restaurant, serves up tasty Panamanian cuisine and is regarded as one of the finer places to dine in the city. Also on-site are top-end retailers, including Louis Vuitton and Prada.

Accommodation: Bristol Panama

3. Waldorf Astoria Panama

Photo Source: Waldorf Astoria Panama

The posh Waldorf Astoria is located on Calle Uruguay, one of Panama City's most vibrant and fun streets. The Financial District is a short stroll away, as is the waterfront area with a walking trail.

Breaking from the brand's typical style, this property, in a sleek modern high-rise, has opted for more trendy than traditional. The lovely pool area is uniquely located partway up the hotel and offers fine views. Rooms are comfortable and well-appointed, and ocean-view suites offer tremendous views.

If you crave a bit of pampering, the on-site Panama City Spa offers a fine array of treatments to leave you feeling rested and relaxed. The hotel also offers two restaurants.

Accommodation: Waldorf Astoria Panama

4. InterContinental Miramar Panama

Photo Source: InterContinental Miramar Panama

With a wonderful waterfront location and within easy walking distance of the city's Financial District is the massive Intercontinental Miramar. This luxury hotel towers above the Pacific Ocean and offers fantastic views of the ships at anchor waiting to transit the Panama Canal.

Many of the rooms feature balconies, floor-to-ceiling windows, and work stations. The large outdoor deck and pool, which includes a waterfall, offers space for relaxing and plenty of comfortable lounge chairs to let you soak up the sun or hide out in the shade. Also on the property is the Bay View Restaurant.

Accommodation: InterContinental Miramar Panama

5. Las Clementinas Hotel

Photo Source: Las Clementinas Hotel

Las Clementinas is a romantic boutique hotel in the heart of Casco Viejo. Ideal for a honeymoon or couples' getaway, the hotel offers a mix of three studios and six apartments. A couple of the highlights include the terrace, with its ancient walls and lush greenery, and the rooftop deck, ideal for enjoying the warm tropical nights. Many rooms feature balconies, where you can sit and watch the ongoing activities of the Old Town. The hotel is dog friendly and has a resident dog that is often available for a walk.

Accommodation: Las Clementinas Hotel

6. Global Hotel Panama

Photo Source: Global Hotel Panama

A comfortable and friendly option in the heart of the Financial District, the Global Hotel is ideal for business travelers. With only 60 rooms and a good staff-to-guest ratio, this is a very welcoming hotel, where guests can expect excellent customer service. Rooms are large and feature floor to ceiling windows, and many rooms have work desks. The hotel also has a well-equipped business center available to use free of charge.

The pool area is small but does have comfortable couches and wonderful views over the city. The exercise room is outfitted with a variety of cardio machines and weights, and overlooks the city.

Accommodation: Global Hotel Panama

7. American Trade Hotel

Photo Source: American Trade Hotel

The American Trade Hotel is in the Old Town, steps from all the wonderful historic sites, tourist attractions, restaurants, and the waterfront. This hotel is a recent arrival on the scene having only opened in 2016. Housed in a historical building dating from 1917 and exquisitely restored, the hotel has bright and airy common areas that showcase the building's architectural features.

Ideal for couples looking for a romantic getaway, the rooms have high ceilings, hardwood floors, and most have balconies overlooking the square out front. Head upstairs to enjoy the rooftop pool and terrace.

Accommodation: American Trade Hotel

8. Hilton Panama

Photo Source: Hilton Panama

Featuring one of the best pool areas in Panama City, the Hilton is a great place for families. Rooms and suites are large and have floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Panama Bay. Suites are very large and offer full kitchens, ideal for self catering.

The Fitness Center is considered one of the best in the city, with a huge assortment of cardio machines along with weight-lifting equipment. Each room comes with a well-thought-out work desk, and also on-site is a business center with printers and computers for those last-minute work emergencies. The famous Ruth's Chris Steakhouse is located on the premises and is the only one in the entire Latin American region.

Accommodation: Hilton Panama

9. Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis

Photo Source: Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis

The Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis is a massive 63-story hotel featuring modern touches. Fine linens, great service, and exceptional amenities are part of a stay here. The hotel has more than 1,400 rooms and a fun vibe with a Rock 'n' Roll theme throughout.

The hotel's four restaurants, namely Ciao, Tauro, Soy, and Bazaar, serve a variety of cuisines from around the world. The Rock Spa offers baths and a range of massage and treatment options available in the spa or in your guestroom.

The pool area is one of the city's trendy hot spots, with a large pool, plenty of loungers, great views, and cabanas are available for rent. The hotel is located just steps from the huge Multicentro shopping mall.

Accommodation: Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis

10. W Panama

Photo Source: W Panama

Fans of the W Hotels chain will be pleased to find that this location earns a 5-star ranking. Here, you'll find all the stylish touches and trendy décor the brand is known for. Ideal for the sophisticated traveler, the hotel is located in the business district on trendy Calle Uruguay, with its array of great restaurants and happening scene.

On-site is a business center, with all the tools the modern road warrior needs, and the AWAY Spa to soothe tired bodies. On the 15th floor, the WET DECK pool area is hip and cool with DJs spinning the latest music.

Accommodation: W Panama

Best Hotel near the Panama Canal

1. Radisson Hotel Panama Canal

Photo Source: Radisson Hotel Panama Canal

Staying out near the Panama Canal gives you a greener and quieter experience. Located in the Amador area is the lovely Radisson Hotel Panama Canal. This midsize hotel has a range of rooms, but the best ones have balconies and face the canal. You can relax on your balcony and watch the huge container ships glide slowly past as they enter the canal. These rooms also overlook the large pool and hot tub area, where you can see colorful birds swooping down to enjoy the fresh water.

Two restaurants are located on the property, one of which is TGI Fridays. Although the hotel is located at the mouth of the Panama Canal and west of the city, it is only a 10- to 15-minute taxi to the sights of downtown or Casco Viejo.

Accommodation: Radisson Hotel Panama Canal

Best Hostels & Cheap Hotels in Panama City

1. Luna's Castle Hostel

Photo Source: Luna's Castle Hostel

If you are looking for a place to stay in Casco Viejo on a backpacker's budget, Luna's Castle Hostel should be one of your top choices. The hostel features funky and fun décor in an old colonial mansion, with interesting artwork on the walls.

The dorms are comfortable, and each bed comes with a privacy curtain. Shared bathrooms are clean, and a free pancake breakfast is served every day. Coffee is available 24 hours a day and is free as well. Those who like to read will be pleased to find a book exchange. If you are looking to do a bit of exploring, take a free walking tour led by one of the staff or go out on your own with one of the free bikes available for guests' use.

Accommodation: Luna's Castle Hostel

2. Metro Hotel Panama

Photo Source: Metro Hotel Panama

Located in the El Cangrejo area, not far from the business district, is the Metro Hotel. This hotel offers simple, clean, and comfortable air-conditioned accommodation at a cheap price. Included with the room rate is a continental breakfast and fast Wi-Fi.

The hotel is close to the Metro station, and grocery stores are nearby as are a wide variety of good restaurants. Some of Panama City's best shopping is walking distance away on lively Via Espana. The hotel is family run and not huge, and it has a welcoming feel to it.

Accommodation: Metro Hotel Panama

Best Hotel near the Panama City Airport

1. The Westin Panama

Photo Source: The Westin Panama

The Westin Panama is ideally located close to Tocumen International Airport in the Costa del Este development area. This is a perfect spot to spend a night if you are connecting on another flight. Panama City is known for traffic jams, and this location avoids all the main trouble spots.

Fitness buffs will be keen to use the hotel's outdoor pool or have a workout in the fitness center. Rooms are modern and well outfitted with a work desk and floor-to-ceiling windows. The hotel also features the aptly named Sensory Spa, and there is a restaurant on the property, or you can walk to the nearby mall for more dining options.

Accommodation: The Westin Panama

Best Resorts near Panama City

1. Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Photo Source: Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Instead of staying in the hustle and bustle of Panama City why not try staying in a jungle resort only 30 minutes from downtown. Set on 340 acres and overlooking the Panama Canal, the Gamboa Rainforest Resort is a hugely popular resort with tourists, and particularly families. The grounds are teeming with wildlife, and offer opportunities to see sloths, turtles, monkeys, butterflies, and a wide variety of birds, along with colorful plants.

The property has a huge outdoor pool area, with connecting pools, and walking trails wind their way through the lush grounds. The resort offers tours on the river and nearby lake, and a tram runs along the tree tops for an up-close and personal view of the rain forest. Rooms are comfortable, and tremendous views from the windows and balconies look out over the surrounding jungle with the Panama Canal in the distance.

Accommodation: Gamboa Rainforest Resort

2. The Westin Playa Bonita Panama

Photo Source: The Westin Playa Bonita Panama

The Westin Playa Bonita Panama is just 20 minutes west of Panama City and is a favorite with beach lovers and families looking for a getaway. The resort is located on a stretch of golden-sand beach and features three infinity pools, as well as six restaurants.

The large rooms come in various configurations, and children under 12 stay free. Units feature balconies and look out over the Pacific Ocean or the rain forest.

For a little pampering, head to the resort's Sensory Spa, or for a workout, try the exceptionally well-equipped fitness studio. And if you just want to lie on the beach, lounge chairs and umbrellas are waiting for you right out in front.

Accommodation: The Westin Playa Bonita Panama

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