As of 2015, there are over 250 hotels and bed & breakfasts in Panama City. Quite a lot, right? Finding the right hotel for your next trip is always a trying task, but becomes even more overwhelming when the amount of hotels and experiences to choose from is enormous. We decided to help you out by giving you a step-to-step guide on how to select the right hotel for your vacation in Panama City.
1. Pick the area
Different people have different needs and preferences. While some people prefer to stay in the heart of the city center, others may prefer quietness over a busy night life. If you have never been to Panama City before and your knowledge of the different neighbourhoods is limited, it may be hard to decide upon the area you want to stay.
- Are you looking for a luxurious hotel, in close proximity to the old town, restaurants and shopping malls? Where you can watch the sunrise from your balcony every morning? Then Avenida Balboa is the place for you to stay. Avenida Balboa is an upscale area in the Bella Vista district with trendy restaurants and boutiques. A safe area, not far from the old town of Casco Viejo, which gives you the best views of the bay of Panama. If you are seeking quality and luxury, then booking a hotel on Avenida Balboa will certainly be a good option for you.
- El Cangrejo is another popular neighbourhood, located just a 10 minute drive from Casco Viejo. This safe and diverse neighbourhood is highly popular among expats and young locals. Via Argentina, the main street, is full of restaurants, bars and supermarkets and you will find anything you need within walking distance. La Tasca de Duran, a bar and restaurant owned by the famous boxer Roberto Duran, is a must visit when staying in the multicultural neighbourhood. El Cangrejo is perfect for travellers who are looking for comfort, ambience and value, but do not want to spend a fortune on a luxury hotel.
- In the past five years, Panama City’s old town has undergone a major makeover and has turned into one of the capital’s most sophisticated and booming areas. Old buildings have been restored and hip coffee shops and rooftop bars keep popping up in Casco Viejo. On weekends, it gets quite noisy due to the large number of bars and restaurants, but this vibrant neighbourhoods offers a great variety of cultural and historical attractions as well as nightlife experiences. If you love to wander around the streets and absorb the atmosphere and culture, book one of the many hotels or bed & breakfasts in Casco Viejo.
If you prefer tranquility and green surroundings, while still being close to the highlights of the capital, consider staying in the suburban area of Las Cumbres. Only a 20 to 30-minute drive from downtown Panama City, the area offers beautiful lake views and tropical surroundings. You will have all the amenities and conveniences, while enjoying a rich nature experience with a wealth of flora and fauna. Apart from this, the Panama Canal as well as Parque Soberania and Gamboa are within very close proximity so you don’t need to travel far to discover even more of Panama City beautiful nature.
2. Create a list of requirements your hotels must meet
Now that you have decided upon the area you want to stay, create a list of 4 – 5 requirements your accommodation must meet. As we mentioned before, the choice of accommodation is large. You will need to have a clear picture of what it is that you are looking for in order to filter the offerings.
- Do you prefer a luxury chain hotel or maybe a cozy bed & breakfast?
- Does your accommodation need to have a swimming pool?
- What is the maximum rate per night you are willing to spend?
- How about breakfast and dinner? Do you prefer to eat at your hotel or go out and experience the local cuisine during your vacation in Panama?
Writing down your requirements and preferences will help you to filter the accommodations and make selecting the right hotel much easier.
3. Check TripAdvisor for reviews
Once you have found and selected a few hotels that are within your budget which meet all or the majority of your requirements, do a quick search on their reviews. Both TripAdvisor and Booking are good and popular sources of information, while Google My Business is expected to gain popularity as a source of reviews in the next couple of years. Look into the rating your favorite accommodation has received and the number of reviews this rating is based upon. Read between five and ten reviews to get a clear idea of the experiences of fellow travellers at the hotel or bed & breakfast.
4. Time to book!
Now that you have found your top choice, it’s time to book your accommodation. Make sure you quickly compare prices across different websites to ensure you don’t pay more than necessary. A comparison site such as Trivago can be of great help to make sure you get the best deal.
We hope that his step-to-step guide makes your booking process a bit smoother and helps you to find a place that perfectly suits your need so you can make the most out of your vacation in Panama City!