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December 28, 2010
Des Plaines, Illinois
November 4, 2005
From journal Getaway to Colon, Panama
by Dennis Ko
Durham, North Carolina
July 23, 2005
Rooms are clean, fairly large, and air-conditioned. The people at the front desk were very helpful and gave us a second, adjoining one-bedroom at no extra charge to accommodate the four of us.
The resort has a team of activities personnel that are very friendly. They lead activities such as water aerobics, kayaking on the lake, dance lessons, and karaoke. The pool is quite large, with a cascading waterfall, and is surrounded by comfortable lounge chairs.
There is a tour desk in the lobby that offers several reasonably priced tours including a crocodile safari ($15), fishing ($20), a daylong panama city tour ($50), and a partial transit of the Panama Canal ($100). The woman working at the tour desk was also great at drawing us maps.
The restaurant (Miraflores) is pricy and the food is pretty forgettable. They have a buffet option for every meal, which is $12-20. RCI members are given a 15% discount, but they add it right back by increasing the service charge. The options are plentiful but the quality is uneven. Room service is actually a cheaper and sometimes faster option—the same food is priced slightly less.
There is also a workout room which we pretty much had to ourselves whenever we used it. There is a small gift shop, a cigar shop with a whopping three boxes of cigars for sale, and a "business center" with two computers hooked up to the internet. There is no spa and although the resort says it has a casino, it was closed during our visit.
A grocery store (99 Super) with an ATM machine is located just a few minutes away.
From journal Daytripping Around Colon, Panama
June 11, 2004
Daniel was most helpful in getting us in touch with a very nice taxi driver, Alfredo, who we used to drive us around on our own tours of the local area and Panama City. The Fiesta Casino at the Hotel Washington was very good to us.
Our room was on the third floor in the corner, overlooking the pool and lake.
From journal Panama
May 2, 2004
We were warmly greeted by the doormen, who opened the doors for us and helped us with our luggage. The hotel lobby was very spacious, with beautiful tile flooring. I liked the fact that you could see where everything was -- the Tours Desk to the immediate right; the lounging area to the left, with its comfortable sofas and decorative candles; the Reception Desk further right; the elevators further center; the small souvenir/grocery shop and the bar further left. I looked up and could see the upper floors with railings, beautiful stained glass mosaics, and plants cascading down the concrete facade. We proceeded to check-in, and the front desk staff was very friendly and efficient. They were also very accommodating to get us an extra room for our nephew, free of charge.
We have a one-bedroom unit for exchange, but the only available rooms were the hotel units. As soon as we got our keys, we got on the elevator and checked out our rooms. It had amenities: a safe, a fridge, hair dryer, and toiletries. Our room had a view of the lake and an island.
We then checked out the restaurant and the fantastic buffet! The restaurant staff greeted us warmly and gave us very good table service. We opted for the 15% off meals for RCI members. The meals were all-you-can-eat and were very filling. There were varieties of meat and vegetable dishes, as well as various kinds of cheeses, fruits, and desserts!
The foyer leading to the restaurant had elegant folk decor, and the outdoor pool area, beautiful! It's huge with brick flooring, ample patio furniture spread around, and trellised plants with lights further illuminating the area. The pool crew maintains it daily and the water is very clean!
In back of the resort are trees and a path leading down to the lake. This is where the kayaks, jet skis, and tour boats are anchored. It was Easter weekend and there were lots of families staying at the hotel. It is a family-oriented resort with many activities, like swimming, kayaking, water polo, movies, boating, fishing, etc. We spotted a toucan atop one of the trees on the second day, a very good sign! Behind the resort is a gazebo where you could relax and experience the serenity and beauty of the lake and the islands.
We took advantage of the free tours offered by the resort to the Gatun Locks, the beach, and the Free Zone shopping area. The Tours Desk had other tours to Portobello, Fort San Lorenzo, Embera Indian Village, a boat ride eco-tour to the islands, and Panama City.
From journal Bienvenidos a Panama!