According to Ben the driving in Panama is mental. I’ve been somewhat numbed to danger after 2 months in South America but I did notice a lot of weaving and beeping as we approached the hotel. Also our driver had no idea how to find the place! Eventually he asked someone and we made it.
The taxi cost $30 plus $10 for some dubious tolls which I’m still not sure were accurate!
Our first hotel was very very nice. I chose Grace because it had good reviews and 5 stars and it really loved up to it. We were checked in a couple of hours early no questions asked and offered champagne in the lobby while we waited. The lobby itself was beautiful, I want to copy it in my flat!
The room was stunning. At around 500 square feet it was almost the same size as my flat. We had a huge entrance area, a giant bathroom with bath and walk in shower, free prosecco and personalised welcome letter on the desk and free tequila. First time this trip that I’ve been tipsy before lunch time! Sadly it took me about 5 minutes to trash the place with my terribly messy habit, but here are some pictures so you can get a feel.
The bath-picture it without the towels drying everywhere
The sink. I really want this sink.
The lobby area
We paid about £120/night including breakfast which was an absolute steal. We also had access to a small but functional gym with very nice changing rooms and all the water and giant towels you could ask for, and they left us tiny cakes every evening. The only complaint was that the aircon sucked. We’d leave it on and it kind of worked but any time we went out for a few hours we’d come back to find it helpfully turned off (I have idea who/what was doing it) and when I complained I was told it goes off when you leave the room and takes 5 hours to cool down again. Not helpful when you’ve just got back at 10pm and want to go to bed! No matter, we managed and eventually figured out that if we locked housekeeping out we missed out on cakes but maintained aircon!
A comment on Panama generally- the modern bit where we’re starting is basically a giant building site with no safety regulations ie holes in pavements, no pavements, open sites where suddenly you find yourself alongside working builders and so on. There’s not a lot to do here and it’s hard to walk around making a nice hotel double important. The hotel’s we’ve stayed in however are so nice I haven’t cared, I really want to leave them!