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There’s been a big name change on a Panama City hotel. During my recent visit to Panama, I stayed at Eurostars Panama City, a mid-priced hotel in the popular Obarrio neighborhood. Part of a Barcelona-based hotel company, this is a rebranding of the former Royal Sonesta Panama hotel. Here’s a review of my experience at the renamed property.
THE STYLE: Plushly contemporary style pervades this Panama City hotel, with a marble-lined lobby accented by a fake tree and dramatic furnishings. It’s a hotel that appeals to both business and leisure travelers. The property seems largely unchanged since the two times I stayed there in previous years, when it was a Royal Sonesta property — but they’ve opened a casino and there seems to be more guests now.
THE HOTEL ROOMS: I stayed in two different categories of rooms at the Eurostars Panama City. There are a few elements that were consistent in both categories: free WiFi, a small minibar refrigerator, floor-to-ceiling windows that allow lots of natural light and good views of Panama City’s impressive skyline, and a color palette with chocolate brown hues, with gigantic headboards among the most eye-catching visual features.
First, I stayed in a standard room, which was amply sized and featured a large work desk and the usual amenities for a good mid-priced hotel: iron and ironing board, bath amenities, a rather large walk-in shower and a safe deposit box.
The second room, 2209, was a junior suite (available at a rather attractive $112 a night), which sits just off the lounge on the 22nd story (all guest-level floors have lounges; they aren’t VIP and don’t have amenities, just a bunch of plush seating and coffee tables sitting off the main hallway). I’ve stayed at lots of hotels where they call rooms junior suites and they’re really just one big guest room, but this is not the case at the Eurostars Panama City hotel. A decent-sized, windowless living room is furnished with multiple chairs, a coffee table and wall-mounted, flatscreen TV, while just beyond that is the almost ridiculously large bedroom, a sprawling space with a king-size bed, great city view and bathroom that’s a bit larger than the standard bathroom, with two sinks.
HOTEL FEATURES: One of my favorite things about this Panama City hotel is the rooftop swimming pool, which sits on the very top of the building, on the 27th floor. Nearly panoramic city views make this a great place to take photos. There’s also a 26th-floor restaurant that is a bit over-the-top in style but also offers nice views (I haven’t had anything to eat there other than breakfast, which was fine, and is included in some room rates). Also onsite is a decently equipped gym (free access for guests) and spa. The hotel’s casino is not as large as some other hotels, but is newer more attractive than most, and is divided between the lobby floor and the sixth floor.
ROOM RATES: About $71 and up.
BEST FOR: Value-conscious business and leisure travelers, who appreciate a newer hotel with decent amenities in a central location.