What: The Westin Playa Bonita Panama
Where: Panama City, Panama
What makes it special
It may not be in the heart of downtown Panama City, but this hotel is situated in the perfect spot for a true taste of Panama. Just a stone’s throw away from the airport (but not too close) and right on the beach, the Westin Playa Bonita gives you access to the urban parts of Panama while simultaneously putting you close enough to sites of important Panamanian history. Rent a car and drive a short 20 minutes to see Panama Viejo (see photo above), a town that dates back to the 1600s and has the distinction of being attacked by Henry Morgan, aka Captain Morgan, the pirate inspiration for today’s popular rum brand. You can also check out Casco Antiguo (also known as Casco Viejo or San Felipe), a UNESCO Heritage site founded in 1519. Walk the same cobblestones that have existed for half a century and explore the oldest European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas. With this hotel, the old adage of real estate is its best feature: location, location, location.
In your own words
“Panama a great alternate to Hawaii if you live in Los Angeles. The airfare is comparable, as is the flight time out of LAX, yet you end up with a more memorable cultural experience and the hotels and food are more affordable.”
Submitted by: Paul Haddad. Favorite food to eat while traveling: “Fried sweet plantains (I once gorged on so many when visiting Costa Rica, my family had to stage an intervention).” Favorite Airport: “Miami International Airport, host to La Carreta Cuban Restaurant, which serves excellent fried plantains!” (Ed. Note: We get it, Paul! You’re bananas for platanos!”)
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Panama replaces Hawaii….. Have you really been to both ? Hawaii is a tropical paradise. Panama City is urban and the beach doesn’t even come in close comparison. They are opposites and not at all similar. No family Hawaiian vacation or honeymoon would be replaced byPanama City.