Since regaining control of its historic canal in 2000, with expansions set for completion in 2014 (the 100-year anniversary), Panama has emerged as a top stop for tourists worldwide. Its capital city, which is ideally set between the Pacific Ocean and lush jungle, has an ever-growing modern skyline across the bay from a revitalized historic district, making it a destination for all types of travelers. And the Westin Playa Bonita, the first Westin in Panama, is a testament to Panama’s rise to the top, embracing the country’s growth and modernity as a sleek skyscraper, while keeping the unique history and landscape at the finger-tips of guests.
The $100-million resort had its grand opening just three months ago. To fill the 4-star property’s 611 guest rooms, the owners, Panama-based Bern Hotels & Resorts, are focused on meetings, weddings, and leisure. With over 62,000 square feet of meeting and event space, the most in Panama, and an in-house expert staff of event planners and caterers, guests looking for subtle and intimate to large and decadent gatherings can take advantage of these modern spaces in an exotic location.
And it is the location, 20 minutes outside of the city, which makes the Westin a perfect spot for such destination-driven events and casual travel alike. Guests have access to three infinity pools which overlook a mile-long stretch of secluded, golden sand beach, a luxury no city-centered hotels offer. On the horizon, the turquoise Pacific waters are peppered with tropical islands and ships lining up to enter the Panama Canal while the hills of Punta Bruja Natural Reserve lie just to the south. Simply standing in the lobby overlooking the view gives guests a real sense of the country’s landscape and the gravity of the canal’s importance.
With Gamboa Tours on-site, also owned and operated by Bern Hotels, the Westin ensures seeing the highlights of the country, while keeping the accommodations peacefully off the tourist path. The two faces of Panama City, the modern metropolis and the cultural and historic cornerstone, Casco Viejo, are just a 20-minute drive away. The Gamboa Rainforest, on the fringe of Gatun Lake (the second largest man-made lake in the world and a key piece of the Panama Canal), is a mere 30 minutes away. So too is the Canal and its Miraflores Locks, the country’s impressive top tourist attraction.
The resort rounds itself out with a full-service spa (opening in May) featuring seven treatment, massage, and facial cabins, as well as six restaurants, 22 event spaces, and an all-inclusive option. Rooms feature Westin’s signature Heavenly Bedding and Heavenly Bath products, oversized tubs, 40” LCD TVs, and balconies.
At the Westin Playa Bonita, guests get the pleasure of staying in a property that mirrors the home country’s intriguing contrast, modern luxury encompassed by an exotic landscape.
Right now, the Westin Playa Bonita is offering guests the Sunsational Savings offer which includes a fifth night free when four nights are booked, plus daily breakfast and free room upgrade. The offer is valid through December 31, 2012, subject to availability. Rates start at $300 per night based on double occupancy and do not include tax and service charges. To book, visit www.westinplayabonita.com or call 1-877-800-1690 and refer to promotional code SNFREE.
For general trip-planning information, see our Panama destination guide, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights to Panama City.