Dreams Playa Bonita Panama

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Dreams Playa Bonita Panama
#1 of 7 hotels in Panama City
3.83 based on 54 reviews
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Loved our stay

, Lethbridge, AB
2018-12-13
We truly enjoyed our stay here. It is a VERY quiet resort. We are a couple with children that we left at home and just looking for a quiet getaway to spend some time together and explore Panama City and area. We thought it was great! Breakfast buffet was great and the a la carte were really really good. The lunch/dinner buffet was only so-so but we aren't sure if that was more because we are used to all-inclusive experiences in Mexico where they have more perfected it. It didn't really matter to us because we did a la carte's every night and no wait at all. There were a few times that it felt like they were "learning" because after a busier weekend, they had a hard time getting caught up with new towels at the pool. It would be good for families with young children too. Loved the proximity to the Panama City airport, Panama City itself and all different excursions that we did. It included a a shuttle to a huge mall and Old Town. All of the staff we encountered were lovely. We used the spa as well and enjoyed it. The Preferred Club was a nice touch. We would definitely stay here again! [Details]
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Certified

January stay at Dreams Delight Playa Bonita Panama

, Aurora, ON
2018-01-13
The beach
The changing tide was interesting, overall it was interesting and not a big deal to deal with.
As the beach itself was a mix of sand and rock, the tide going out allowed you to pick sandy locations and enjoy the water
As to the water, with the rains, the water was murky and unclear even in shallows
More disturbing we determined toward the end of our trip was the actual real water contamination from the constant line of up ships waiting to pass through the canal. At first we thought it was just sand, but upon closer examination, the water is dirty with fuel that stuck to the hair of your skin. Kind of disturbing.
So bottom line, don't go if want a pristine beach. It's not a place for beaches.

Building condition
The room was spacious, clean, great air conditioning, lots of movie channels on the tv, the tv, while not important, was nice to have numerous news and entertainment choices in English.
Refilling things like shampoo was not so quick to happen, but a minor issue.
Cleaning rooms, tended to be a late day event.
The lobby and restaurant areas were clean and well maintained.
The exterior driving in was tired looking and not of “five star” rating.
The grounds were well maintained.

Staff
English is a struggle there. while they spoke it, it was not always so easy.
The staff however, were very helpful and very pleasant, absolutely no issue with the serving staff

The management, because we had room challenges were not very accommodating. Despite the hotel being half empty did little to address our need to move from the ground floor to an upper floor.

Food
Restaurants were not always open, likely a reflection of the fact that occupancy was low.
The daily buffet, was pretty much the same every day, so not much variety.
The food quality at the buffet was average at best. The salad bar area was not very sanitary as there many little ants near the desert tray.
The deserts were sparse and not of great choice or quality.
The a la carte restaurants were ok. the portions were small, which is fine, but just be aware of it.
Wine flowed constantly and the quality was good.
No problem with the water.
Overall, food was somewhat oily in preparation and selection was limited.

The Spa,
I would like to have used it, but at $190 USD for an 80 minute massage is a ridiculously high price.

Wi-Fi
Excellent. Great connection, always worked and had great range. [Details]
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The strong points
great wifi, room was excellent, everything worked well and great climate control. very friendly staff
The weak points
not a place for the beach, oil from ships waiting to enter panama canal actually stuck to the hair of your skin leaving you an oily slick, ewh. the food was oily and the selection was limited and very repititive
Certified

Beautiful Resort

, Yarker, ON
2017-11-15
This resort is very beautiful. The gardens are landscaped perfectly & well maintained.
Every room except maybe lower floors have a view of the ocean & the ships lined up to enter the Panama Canal. We had purchased the Privilege package so we were on the top floor. Our room was very good size & clean. The beds were so comfortable. No issues with getting a good night sleep. Bathroom was spacious with 2 sinks. Plenty of storage space in the room with closet, chest of drawers & bench with drawers. Room came equipped with an ipad to give you info on the activities, services & which restaurants were open each night.
No wristbands needed & no reservations required at restaurants. Bordeaux restaurant is adults only with delicious meals. Went there twice. We were in low season so only had 2 restaurants open per night. Not sure if more open when resort is busier. Food was good at every restaurant but was very similar menu at each one. Seaside restaurant had the most delicious coconut macaroons I have ever had. They were available a couple of times during the week.
We spent most of our time at the adults only pool. Quiet & relaxing. There was a small bar there with the most amazing bartender I have ever met. His name was Sanchez & he made the most delicious drinks ever. We said surprise us & the drink he gave us was so refreshing. In the morning it was similar to a smoothy with spinach. Absolutely yummy. In afternoon he made a drink with passion fruit. So good!!! He was an absolute sweetheart. He remembered your name & he would call out, Miss Georgina are you ok. We watched him run & jump over lounge chairs with a tray full of drinks & not spilling a drop. We even saw him chase people down the beach to make sure they had water for their walk. When we were leaving he even brought one of his spinach drinks up to the lobby for us. We all had a hug & said how much we will miss each other. I hope the hotel realizes what a prize they have in him. He would be any employers dream employee.
As with any resort there were a few drawbacks. We only had hand towels a couple of days. It was also hit & miss to get washcloths or bath mat. We always had bath towels though. The other issue is the minimal lighting along some of the paths. I went to go down the stairs to the pool level from the Oceana restaurant but due to the low lighting at the top of the stairs didn't even see the top step & walked right off it. I went down hard on my knees on the cement. My knees were scraped up & bruised for the rest of the trip. Still having issues with my knee & it's been 12 days since it happened. Just waiting for xray results. All it would take is another light right at the top of the staircase. From then on I used the ramp.
You need to know that the ocean is not really suitable for swimming due to the tide. It was amazing to watch it come & go so quickly. The whole bay pretty well empties out. Lots of lounge chairs available above the beach to watch the water come & go & all the birds. Loved watching the wildlife in the area. Found a sloth in a tree at the edge of the resort & went to watch it each day. It was so cute. Slept most of the time but still amazing to see. If you had some fruit you could feed the iguanas. We named one that always sat on a rock near us. He was an interesting little character & was quite territorial regarding his rock.
We didn't see a lot of entertainment. We preferred sitting in the lobby bar in the evening talking to the new friends we had made. They do have a movie downstairs each night.
Even though I was injured during my stay it didn't affect my stay. I enjoyed this resort very much & would go again. [Details]
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The strong points
Sanchez at the adult pool. His drinks are amazing.
The weak points
Poor lighting at night. Lack of hand towels.
Certified

Boring place

, Ajax, ON
2017-08-11
Beach - no good
Room - ok
Staff -ok
Pool -ok
Watch for flies lots of marks on your skin after your vacation
Food - no good
Entertainment - non [Details]
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The strong points
None
The weak points
Not recommended this resort
Certified

Somewhat disappointed

, Maple, ON
2017-02-05
Hotel is 2 hours toooooooo far from airport. Beach is dirty. Dinner meals were more often lukewarm. Staff was friendly and rooms clean. The weather was excellent. [Details]
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Certified

Highly Recommended

, Owen Sound, ON
2015-02-11
Playa Bonita is an excellent choice for a holiday in Panama. It is located in close proximity to the Gamboa Nature Preserve, Panama Canal, and the city of Panama. The food and staff are excellent. You are always greeted with a smile and Hola! Staff is helpful, prompt, and courteous. You have a variety of meats, fresh foods, and themes (e.g., Mexican) at the two main buffet restaurants. The main a la carte restaurant is 5 star. The beach is ok (very high and low tide cycles) but suitable for kayaking and walks along the shore. The view of the ships heading for the Panal Canal is unique and lovely. The weather is consistent and the adult and children's pool are kept tidy and clean. There is a nature interpreter you can book ($20 each) who will take you into the jungle located beside the hotel. Rather quiet in the evenings (few activities). Very quiet resort. Panama cultural night on Fridays excellent for those wanting to know more about culture of country. [Details]
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The strong points
Staff! Location (located close to Panama City and Gamboa). Food. Clean.
The weak points
Internet was hit and miss. Better in the lobby. Not consistent in the room. Entertainers were fun. They held a variety of classes. These classes were not consistently promoted. It was more or less up to the guest to know when to participate.
Certified

Quiet and friendly

, Toronto, ON
2014-03-23
A lovely resort with fabulously friendly staff that try their best to accommodate. Great selection and variety of food, attention paid to health codes(!) - first place I've ever been to that has a separate room for cold cuts and salads. As a vegan, I ate well. Drinks are delicious. Pool, rooms and bathrooms are generally very well kept. Downside is the nightlife, or lack thereof. A shuttle into the city, three or four times a day would greatly improve the resort and access to other facilities and the rich culture of Panama (a hotel taxi cost $50 return for two to the city). Theme nights such as Panamanian and Beach party are good and should continue. Adding more would be nice as the live entertainment and DJ are well received. The beach is clean and provides a good walk/run area. Gym is well equipped and the spa is lovely. Special thanks to Donovan, Kervin, Aime, and Daniel for their attention to detail in the restaurants, pool bar and entertainment. [Details]
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The strong points
Staff, food, drinks, facilities
The weak points
Evening entertainment, cost of access to city, trips/excursions
Certified

Nice hotel but not for beach lovers

, Montreal, QC
2013-02-14
First we got our stay at a very low price but we got something beyond our expectations. Rooms were all with a great view on the sea, all the personnel dedicated and the food OK. The beach is not really attractive and for 5 days out of 7 there was a red flag but there is a lot to do around. A small van or transport to Panama City with a regular schedule at a decent price would have been apprecieted. Taxi are available but at 50$ round trip it keeps you at the not so nice beach. [Details]
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The strong points
Nice room, good service
The weak points
Need a regular transport to Panama City whici is also nice to discover
Certified

Panama vacay!

, Montreal, QC
2013-02-11
Definitely a 4 overall, see strong/weak points for details. [Details]
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The strong points
Very clean, beautiful grounds, good food overall. Friendly staff, fantastic location to look into the ocean.
The weak points
Bit quiet at night, depending on taste. Bug bites could get quite bad a night. Little beach, based on the tide. Perhaps a few more vegetarian options during buffet.
Certified

Andre in Panama

, Ottawa, ON
2013-01-31
The hotel was great. Gorgeous setting, large rooms, kept very clean. The view from all the rooms overlooks the ocean with ships lined up to enter the Canal - very picturesque. The food was generally very good and the buffets had a good variety of dishes to select from. Breakfast was great. One a-la-carte restaurant (Lighthouse)was excellent however the Pellican Grille had a very limited selection and we did not at all enjoy our meal there. The buffet was much better. Service was quite good and the staff was mostly quite friendly. The pools were gorgeous but the beach is not at all nice. It was very rocky and the water is cold so don't go there if you're a beach lover. A number of excursions are offered from the hotel and are very worthwhile. We did two: a 5 hour tour of the Canal and parts of the City. It was very worthwhile though there's not enough time for shopping ( we went back to Panama City later by cab to shop and get a better appreciation of the City.) The other tour, a canoe trip to swim at a waterfall and a visit with aboriginals in their community was excellent. [Details]
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The strong points
The hotel's proximity to Panama City made it easy and affordable to visit Panama City for touring, shopiing, casinos etc ($25 cab ride). The pools are gorgeous, the food was very good and the rooms are very clean and comfortable.
The weak points
If you want gorgeous beaches, this is not the place for you. The worst thing about the visit was the bugs (no-see-ums). The hotel sprays every evening however I came home with a million bites - not fun.
Certified

Intercontinental Blaya Bonita

, Hanmer, ON
2012-05-26
Overall good experience - clean accomodations, good service, friendly staff - convenient location to tourist attractions. [Details]
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The strong points
Location
The weak points
sand flies at dusk
Certified

March at the Intercontinental Playa Bonita

, Calgary, AB
2012-03-24
The hotel was very nice. We had a great room with an excellent view. We were very satisfied with the staff and the service at this hotel. It was occupied almost completely by Canadians. We would have liked to go to the Lighthouse restaurant more than once - the food and wine were excellent. The wine at other parts of the resort was not very good. The beach wasn't that great and with the tide going in and out we found the water cold and there were many jellyfish washed up on the beach so we never did go in the ocean. The adult only pool was nice and relaxing and the snack bar and bar service were really nice to have! I would recommend this resort to anyone wanting to visit Panama for the first time. It is close for touring the city and the canal. We really liked the outdoor movie nights, except for all the bites I brought home.. [Details]
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The strong points
Service was excellent and the staff was very friendly!
The weak points
The ocean was cold and there were a lot of jelly fish.
Certified

Loved it

, Brooks, AB
2012-02-11
beautiful hotel.very helpful staff. Most spoke reasonably good english. Staff was always helpful. [Details]
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The strong points
location
The weak points
not an exceptional beach but had great pools
Certified

PANAMA -- a waste of money

, Westhill, ON
2012-01-10
INTERCONTINENTAL has in my opinion gone from a 4 rating to a 3*. We went there when it opened about 7 years ago and the difference is night and day. We were late about 10.30 p.m.in getting t the resort because 3 persons on the flight were not aware of the transfers from the airport to the hotel. The rest of the party aboard the bus were held about 2 hours trying to locate these folks who just happened to simply get a cab to the hotel. We were denied food because by the time the luggage had arrived and unpacked, the resaurants were closing. There was no offer of room service to compensate for the missed meals. Our key card for the room did not work on a daily basis and we had to daily go to reception to get the card modified. On one ocassion the entire resort was locked out of their rooms.The meals are recycled from breakfast through to dinner. A well done staek at the LIGHTHOUSE was served medium grilled at best. The coffe maker was not in the room and when requested came sans coffee and cups. The second last day of our stay, the housekeepers did not clean the room nor change the bedding, though we did request clean towels.The ALL INCLUSIVE did not include the New Years Festivaties, a mere $125 per person extra.
As for the flight, the aircraft was changed and our $230. seat selection was for naught though we did the seats on the return flight. The moniters infront did not work on the way down nor on the return trip. We were not offered head phones on either trip nor the neck support. The liqueor was offer on the flight to Panama but not on the return trip. My wifes champange glass was cracked and dribbled down her clothing and I am sure the flight attendents saved the same glass and gave it to me on the return flight. I was offered a napkin to try and dry myself. [Details]
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The strong points
in comparrison to other resorts, this on is not too far from the airport
The weak points
What does ALL INCLUSIVE mean? It should include the New years festivities.
Certified

A week too fast

, Dorval, QC
2011-03-12
Despite travelog"s comments about aloof staff, we found virtually everyone very friendly and helpful. Food and water quality consistently good. Even at 39.5C humidity low so very comfy. Amazing difference in temperature between front of hotel (facing beach) and rear (facing jungle). [Details]
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The strong points
Lovely panorama, genuinely friendly staff, very good food and water, very clean and werll maintained
The weak points
At least the concierge at the hotel should speak slightly better english
Certified

Good location, boring resort

, Ottawa, ON
2011-02-24
The Intercontinental Playa Bonita is more of a hotel than a resort, and it is more of a business retreat than a place to party.

The grounds, pools, rooms, restaurants and other indoor areas were kept impeccably clean throughout our stay. The quality of the food exceeded our expectations, as did the number of pools relative to the size of the place. Also, it's only about a 15-minute drive from Panama City, and half an hour from the airport. That's the good.

Less than impressive was the way those of us on all-inclusive packages clearly came second to whatever corporate group happened through on any given day, and there was constant churn in that regard.

Disappointingly, nightlife is non-existent at the Playa Bonita. The only bar open after sundown is in the lobby, and it closes at MIDNIGHT. Seriously. Entertainment around this one and only bar consists of light jazz versions of classic rock songs. Finally, not all bartenders are created equal. While some were real pros that you were more than happy to tip, a surprising number of servers were inexperienced and inattentive. A low point was being woken up in our room at 1:00 a.m. by a call from a surly bartender over a $6 (yes, six-dollar) bar tab that was supposed to be charged to our room. They insisted that it be paid immediately, and dragged us out of bed to do so -- unacceptable.

Finally, the beach needs a lot of work. It's rough and ungroomed, and when the tide goes out it looks like a giant mudpit. Despite what you see in the pictures you can barely walk along this beach barefoot, never mind go for a swim.

So, if you're looking for a well-kept, low-key hotel minutes from Panama City, the Intercontinental Playa Bonita is fine. However, if you're accustomed to a fun, all-inclusive experience with great servers, beach and nightlife, go somewhere else. [Details]
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The strong points
Close to Panama City and airport. Well-kept grounds and facilities. Excellent food.
The weak points
Zero nightlife – only bar closes at midnight. Inexperienced, misinformed and inattentive servers. Inhospitable beach for both walking and swimming.
Certified

Great Vacation

, Toronto, ON
2011-01-25
My wife, my 4 year old daughter and I stayed at this hotel and truly enjoyed the experience. Food was good and plentiful, the room was wonderful. We stayed in a suite with all the amenities one can need for a relaxing holiday. The staff was attentive and helpful. The only thing I will suggest is that there was no entertainment such as night shows and theme nights well be welcome. [Details]
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The strong points
Food
The weak points
The Beach
Certified

Hotel

, Beeton, ON
2011-01-17
We had a wonderful time at this resort, it was close to the city/airport. The hotel is a gated resort, as you enter the lobby its was so beautiful with walls of orchids and huge vases with Bird of Paradise which put you in the holiday mood as you enter. Our service overall was good except the language barrier. We did not speak Spainish but we did survive. Waiters friendly as the old saying goes you treat people the way you want to be treated and you will have better service for sure. It truly has been one of the better resorts I've visited and I have travelled alot. It's a very quiet place, not for young (college or university) people however they do have disco's off the resort. Food was excellent they had different food themes at night e.g. Italian, Carribbean, Panamian etc. A la carte rest. was worth going too. Rooms are beautiful as every room has an ocean view. Beds I wanted to bring home with me and decor in the room was beautiful. Be careful however they charge you for everything in your room including the bottled water. You can drink the water from the taps its safe. Beach was not your typical white sandy beach - the tide goes out in the afternoon which makes a nice walk with lots of shells to choose from. We did the Eco tour - worth taking as little monkeys jumped on our boat, fun to feed them. The Partial Canal was great and very informative for sure, lunch and drinks served worth taking. You go thru 3 locks and the guide was great he spoke English and another lady spoke French. I would diffinately rate this hotel a 4 1/2-5 because it was Beyond what I expected and would have loved to have stayed 2 weeks as you could do so much. Also visit the spa in the hotel - lovely. Would like to go back as this resort was not your typical chain resorts you could wait and have a late breakfast and still find chairs around the infinity pool along with the hammicks and the Cleopatra Beds around the pools. No one bothers you on the beach to buy things its just the opposite actually you have to go to town if you want to bring back gifts.
Overall - LOVED IT!!! [Details]
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The strong points
View and hotel in general/Food excellent
The weak points
No entertainment (nightly)
Certified

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