10 Top-Rated Resorts in Panama

Written by Carri Wilbanks and Becca Blond
Mar 7, 2023
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With a long coastline covering the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, as well as offshore islands, a vibrant capital city home to a historic Old Town and the Panama Canal, and a mountainous-meets-jungle interior, Panama has much to attract travelers to its shores. It also has plenty of resorts in which to accommodate them.

Whether you are on your honeymoon, taking the extended family on vacation, or visiting for business, Panama has resorts that cater to all styles of travelers. You'll find five-star boutique properties on private islands with a focus on relaxation, mellow mid-range beach resorts, and elegant city hotels.

From Panama City to Boca Chica, these are our picks for the best resorts in Panama.

1. Isla Palenque Resort

Photo Source: Isla Palenque Resort
Photo Source: Isla Palenque Resort

Accommodation: Isla Palenque Resort

Isla Palenque Resort is on a 400-acre private island in the Gulf of Chiriqui off Panama's Pacific coast. Remote and secluded, the luxury boutique property is a dreamy getaway for couples and families alike.

Guests have seven beaches to explore, as well as hundreds of acres of rainforest and historic archaeological sites. More than 10 nature trails crisscross the island, and there are also plenty of watery adventures, from sea kayaking to snorkeling and diving.

Rates here are inclusive of three meals a day, as well as activities from cooking classes to dance workshops. Guests can also take out kayaks and SUP boards.

Accommodation is in designer casitas that are well spaced for privacy. These have a mix of indoor and outdoor living spaces and soaring thatched roofs. Glass walls enclose you on three sides. Each casita has an open-air lounge area and bath. A private pathway leads directly to the beach where you'll find two chairs.

Resort amenities include an infinity swimming pool with sun loungers. Spa services are also offered.

To reach Isla Palenque, you'll need to catch a flight to the city of David, where the resort offers pickups. From David, it's about an hour's drive and then a 15-minute boat ride to Isla Palenque.

Address: Isla Palenque, Boca Chica 0448 Panama

2. Sansara Surf & Yoga Resort

Photo Source: Sansara Surf & Yoga Resort
Photo Source: Sansara Surf & Yoga Resort

Accommodation: Sansara Surf & Yoga Resort

Focusing on yoga retreats in a location where the jungle meets the ocean, Sansara Surf & Yoga Resort is a luxury property that is perfect for a meditative vacation.

In the small village of Cambutal, it offers lodging in a collection of oceanfront suites or ocean- and garden-view cabanas. Cabanas can sleep up to four people. All accommodations are designed to blend into the natural environs and are beautifully decorated. We love the incorporation of wood and stone, the neutral color scheme, and the floor-to-ceiling windows that let in lots of light.

Daily yoga classes are held in an open-air space. Right on the beach, the resort also offers surf lessons for beginner and intermediate wave riders.

The restaurant serves locally sourced and seasonal fruits and vegetables, fresh fish, and homemade bread.

Other amenities include a saltwater swimming pool and free use of bikes, SUP boards, and kayaks.

Address: Calle Principal, Cambutal Panama

3. The Santa Maria, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Golf Resort

Photo Source: The Santa Maria, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Golf Resort
Photo Source: The Santa Maria, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Golf Resort

Accommodation: The Santa Maria, A Luxury Hotel & Golf Resort

Want to hit the fairway on your Panama vacation? One of the best resorts to do so is The Santa Maria. The luxury property in Panama City is home to a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course.

Just eight miles from downtown and nine miles from the international airport, the resort is near the archaeological sites of Panama Viejo and Costa del Este. The Panama Canal Zone and the Casca Viejo old town are also easy to access.

The resort has a mix of rooms and suites with city or golf course views. All have Panamanian design elements, including handmade baskets and Guna Yala-inspired Mola bed runners. Suites add separate living spaces. Master and grand suites are one step up, and come with large, furnished outdoor terraces.

The free-form swimming pool here is sprawling and surrounded by lush green grass and sun loungers on a deck. There is a destination spa, fitness center, and several dining options. Mestizo Restaurant serves modern Panamanian-influenced fare.

Address: Santa Maria Blvd Calle 125 Este, Panama City Panama

4. The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama

Photo Source: The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama
Photo Source: The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama

Accommodation: The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama

Another top golf resort in Panama is the Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort. Part of Marriott's Autograph Collection, it is on Panama's Pacific Coast south of Panama City.

Besides its own stretch of sand, the location is central to top beaches like Playa Blanca and El Faro. The resort also offers easy access to outdoor activities, from hiking to 4WD adventures.

There is plenty to keep you busy on the property itself. Besides the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, the resort boasts an excellent day spa. There are five swimming pools, tennis courts, and even a high ropes course for an adrenaline rush.

Buenaventura caters to all types of travelers, including families. If your child has paws and fur, you'll be happy to know the hotel also welcomes small dogs. Accommodation is in colorful rooms and suites that are comfy.

For dining, you'll have several choices. Criollo Restaurant cooks up regional specialties using locally sourced ingredients. There is also a Japanese restaurant with a teppanyaki table and a sushi menu.

Address: 340 Calle 3ra Riviera Pacifica, Buenaventura Panama

5. Bristol Panama, a Registry Collection Hotel

Photo Source: Bristol Panama, a Registry Collection Hotel
Photo Source: Bristol Panama, a Registry Collection Hotel

Accommodation: Bristol Panama, a Registry Collection Hotel

In the heart of Panama City, Bristol Panama is an elegant luxe hotel. Rooms and suites are in two towers and come in a variety of configurations. All are classic contemporary with a cream and pale gray color scheme, ultra-comfy beds, and Egyptian cotton sheets.

Tower Superior and Tower Premium suites have full kitchens, separate living spaces, and impressive city views. The corner rooms have the best views.

If you need more space, check out the four different residence floor plans. These have one or two bedrooms and are a top choice for families or travelers on longer stays. Each comes with a full kitchen as well as a washer/dryer.

Along with room service, the resort has two restaurants. Salsipuedes serves Panamanian and international fare and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A second lobby restaurant serves tapas inside, as well as on a sunny terrace.

If you need to be pampered, take the elevator to the 25th floor. Here, you'll find the spa, which offers a range of treatments. It also has steam rooms and a Vichy shower.

Address: Avenida Aquilino de La Guardia, Panama City 0807 Panama

6. Waldorf Astoria Panama

Photo Source: Waldorf Astoria Panama
Photo Source: Waldorf Astoria Panama

Accommodation: Waldorf Astoria Panama

Just about one kilometer from Panama City's financial district, the luxury Waldorf Astoria Panama is a central pick in the capital city. Surrounded by the shops, restaurants, and nightlife of Calle de Uruguay, you can also reach the historic Casco Viejo district within a 10-minute drive.

Rooms and suites are modern elegant, with gold accents and posh amenities. You'll find the comfy beds draped in signature linens with mattress toppers and down-filled duvets. Salvatore Ferragamao bath products, robes, free-standing showers, Nespresso machines, and floor-to-ceiling windows, some opening onto private terraces, are other perks.

Hotel amenities include a swimming pool, modern fitness center, and a spa with a full range of treatments.

There are also several dining options. At Peacock Alley in the lobby, you can enjoy an international menu. Matiz focuses on Spanish cuisine. Light meals are also served at the Bungalow Terrace by the pool.

Address: 47th St. Uruguay Street Uruguay Street, Panama City Panama

7. JW Marriott Panama

Photo Source: JW Marriott Panama
Photo Source: JW Marriott Panama

Accommodation: JW Marriott Panama

On the shores of Punta Pacifica, the JW Marriott Panama is a trendy high-rise hotel with fantastic Panama City skyline views. The pet-friendly property caters mainly to couples and business travelers. It welcomes families but doesn't have many kid-focused amenities.

Rooms and suites are spacious and modern, with an opulent vibe. Expect comfy beds and plush bedding plus décor inspired by Panama and the sea. All rooms have furnished balconies with at least partial ocean views — don't skip a sunset on the terrace. There is also a concierge level, where guests have access to a private lounge and dedicated outdoor space.

The Financial District locale is convenient for exploring on foot.

Resort amenities include a fabulous infinity pool with skyline views and its own restaurant. The signature restaurant is MASI, which serves "Panamanian soul" food. There is also a well-equipped fitness center.

Address: Calle Punta Colon | Punta Pacifica, Panama City 0833 Panama

8. Hotel Riu Playa Blanca

Photo Source: Hotel Riu Playa Blanca
Photo Source: Hotel Riu Playa Blanca

Accommodation: Hotel Riu Playa Blanca

On the Playa Blanca oceanfront, the Hotel Riu is one of Panama's few large all-inclusive resorts. The resort caters to couples, groups of friends, and families.

If you are traveling with children, there is a kids' club with activities, as well as a playground for little ones to run around on.

The resort bills itself as a "24-hour all-inclusive," meaning you can at least get room service food any time of day or night. This can be a serious plus if you spend the night partaking in the resort's evening entertainment, which include shows, live music, and dancing at a discotheque.

With direct beach access, Hotel Riu also has lots of included activities and sports for guests to participate in. Take an aqua aerobics class, play a game of beach volleyball, or grab a kayak and explore the oceanfront. Snorkeling equipment and body and SUP boards are also available.

There are three swimming pools and a kids' pool. When it comes time to dine, you'll have a choice of a la carte or buffet meals at main and theme restaurants.

Accommodation is contemporary rooms with vibrant pops of color and art. Many rooms have at least partial ocean views. There are also family rooms with two bedrooms.

Address: Finca 43.668 Playa Blanca, Rio Hato 0213 Panama

9. Global Hotel Panama

Photo Source: Global Hotel Panama
Photo Source: Global Hotel Panama

Accommodation: Global Hotel Panama

A well-appointed boutique property, Global Hotel Panama occupies seven floors of the Twist Tower in Panama City. The location in the Obarrio residential and commercial district is convenient, with easy access to shops and restaurants.

The hotel has 59 rooms and one ultra-luxe suite. Rooms come in a variety of configurations. All have contemporary décor featuring white leather headboards, desks with chairs, and floor-to-ceiling windows with city views. Beds are comfy, with down pillows and duvets.

Global Hotel caters to leisure and business travelers. The latter will like the 12th-floor business center with four boardrooms and event space. Other on-site amenities here include an outdoor pool and whirlpool Jacuzzi with fantastic city views. There is also a well-equipped fitness center.

If you are traveling with a dog, the hotel is pet friendly. The location adjacent to the Soho Mall also puts you within reach of many restaurants.

Address: Calle 54 Este Twist Tower & Ave. Samuel Lewis - Obarrio, Panama City 0807 Panama

10. Hotel Bocas Del Mar

Photo Source: Hotel Bocas Del Mar
Photo Source: Hotel Bocas Del Mar

Accommodation: Hotel Bocas Del Mar

On the coast in Boca Chica, in Panama's Chiriqui region, Hotel Bocas Del Mar is a top beachfront boutique hotel choice with resort-style amenities. The location is visually stunning, with jungle-thick small islands, many uninhabited, just offshore.

The resort has a boat dock and can arrange all sorts of day trips, including to the Gulf of Chiriqui Marine National Park. From chilling on deserted white-sand beaches to snorkeling and diving to sports fishing, there is plenty to keep you busy. Off the water, you can explore with a horseback trek or pay a visit to a local village.

The rooms are in bungalows set amid tropical gardens and have at least partial ocean views. All are spacious and comfortable with bold color splashes. Some of the deluxe bungalows have personal hot tubs. There are also interconnected bungalows for families or groups of friends. For something special, book the Premier Suite.

Amenities here include two swimming pools, extensive lawns, tennis courts, and massage services. There is also a restaurant on-site.

Address: Boca Chica, Panama

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