The Best Place to Stay in Panama City!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Saphira on May 30, 2009

My eyelids sprang open like a pair of window shades as the aroma of bacon seeped under the crack of the door. The sounds of others starting their day lingered lightly in my mind. My bed was immensely comfortable and so I tried to beg my stomach for a few more precious minutes, but in the end my stomach won. I slid out of bed and set my bare feet on the cool tiled floor. The shower was perfectly warm and the water pressure was just right. My coconut scented shampoo will elicit found memories of Panama long after my vacation has ended.

The common area was already bustling. Some guests were yawning and bleary eyed, while others were bright and bouncy. Spread across the counter was an array of juices, fruit, pastries and thankfully, coffee. I piled some pineapple onto a plate, grabbed a cup of coffee and found a free table on the delightfully shaded balcony with a magnificent view of the bridge. A young lady with a dazzling smile greeted me good morning and asked what I would like for breakfast. I hadn’t expected this; apparently I could have whatever I wanted within reason. Frantically I scanned the plates of the other guests for ideas.

"I’ll have scrambled eggs and bacon," I decided. She nodded her head then whisked away and before I could even finish my pineapple chunks, she laid a plate before me covered with fluffy scrambled eggs and perfectly crisp bacon. As I chomped down on my first delicious piece of fried pork, I heard a rustling through the trees overhead. With each passing moment the rustling became louder and louder, soon the tree branches were shaking and bobbing. Then I saw them. Tiny little monkeys only a few feet away were ascending upon a bunch of bananas hanging from a nearby tree branch. They ripped and tore and filled their little monkey paws with squishy soft banana which they rapidly shoved into their mouths. When their breakfast was through they chased each other around for a bit, and then moved on swinging and jumping through the trees. A wave of pure contentment washed over me as I finished the last few sips of my coffee.

"What an amazing way to begin the day", I smiled.

La Estancia located in the Ancon Hill section of Panama City will forever be one of the best places I have ever stayed at. Even now, as we are planning a new trip to South America we muse at the possibility of taking a flight with an overnight layover in Panama City just so we can spend the night at La Estancia again. It would be like visiting old friends we say to ourselves, and that was exactly what La Estancia is like, staying with friends.

We will always think of Gustavo as our hero as he rescued us from our prior less desirable accommodations and even at the last minute, he was able to squeeze us into his lovely bed and breakfast. We slept in two different rooms during our stay and both were wonderful. They were clean and cheerful and had that brilliant way of making you feel comfortable, safe and at home. The common area was also light and merry with indoor tables, outdoor balcony tables and nice furniture in the common areas to lounge around on. There were books and magazines to read (in several different languages), complementary water and snacks, as well as snacks and drinks you could purchase for a very nominal fee. After a long day of sightseeing it was so refreshing to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, grab a couple of drinks and enjoy a peaceful evening loafing on the balcony. The place itself has a way of bringing people together and we had a great experience one night chatting with another American couple and their young daughter, sharing the tales of our adventures in Panama so far. We never met Tammy, and although we did chat with Gustavo several times, Peter was the person who was usually working when we were around. Sometimes when we are on trips I like to joke about brining certain people I like home as souvenirs, and Peter would definitely be sitting on my shelf right now if I did so. He was so gentle, warm and friendly and as helpful as could be.

If you read La Estancia’s website it advises that it is difficult to find as Ancon Hill can be a bit confusing to navigate. They even give you little cards with maps and the address to give to taxi drivers so they can bring you home easily. Since Lord Vader is a human GPS, we had no difficulty at all finding it ourselves, but we did find that it was easier for us, to park somewhere at the nearby Amador Causeway then take a taxi from there into the Centro or San Felipe.

I really can’t say enough about La Estancia. The location, the rooms and common area, the staff and the breakfast, make it one of the best if not the best place to stay while visiting Panama City and with rooms starting at $79.00 a night, it is also one of the most affordable. If you are going to Panama City, stay there.

La Estancia
Casa 35, Calle Amelia Denis de Icaza, Quarry Heights
Cerro Ancon, Panama
(507) 314-1581

© LP 2000-2009