Author Topic: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!  (Read 11921 times)

Offline Denverite

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Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« on: March 15, 2017, 01:52:28 PM »
Before I get into all the details of our trip that we took for mid-Winter break.  I just want to let you know that we were traveling with 3 kids from pre-school to middle school so I wanted somewhere where we could both relax and do excursions but at a low-key, non-stressful pace and in a comfortable environment that all my kids would enjoy.

With Panama, I basically found a place that has the ease of vacationing in Miami or Scottsdale but with the adventures you can get in the rainforest and beaches of Costa Rica and Brazil.  On United or Singapore it is also only 35k RT in Economy or 60K in J, with tons of flights out of NY, LA and other markets. Since there are no direct flights from where we live in Denver we booked the outbound through IAH and on the return we did a two night stopover in Cancun.  Because we knew we were going to Cancun we did not make the effort to visit some of the amazing beaches and islands they have in Panama, although I'll try to still provide info on them.

Ok here is it goes (and before I begin, thank you to @Yehuda for helping me with the pictures)...we arrived late on a Sunday and thanks to this AMAZING app called Kosher PTY we had awesome sushi and pasta waiting for us at our hotel!





The app is in spanish but a lot of the words are the same and y'all have google translate so you should be able to figure it out!  Also, they do NOT accept payment over the app, it is just for ordering so remember you need to be there at your delivery time (so you can't have food waiting at your hotel for you).

We stayed at the Hilton on Avenida Balboa, and I would HIGHLY recommend it!  Because hotels are so cheap, I actually decided not to waste any points and just paid for the room (Panama City would be a great place to spend less points by booking with your Sapphire Reserve although I will also have info later on one hotel that might be the best possible use of your Marriott 7 night cert in the whole system).  Since it cost less than two rooms, and I don't like being crammed with our kids into one room we booked an Executive Master Suite.  It was HUGE, over 1100sqft. with a full kitchen and 2 bathrooms.

Here are some pics:

Kitchen, Living and Dining Area




We had a huge bedroom and Master Bath and another full bathroom with shower although my pictures of those are loading her upside down so if someone wants to help me figure out how to post them correctly, I can add some pics of them too!  ;D


Most people don't know that Panama City has more skyscrapers than any city in Latin America (yep, more than Rio and Mexico City) and it has a truly stunning skyline...





The hotel lobby was also just gorgeous with stunning two story windows and views of the Pacific Ocean and Bay:



This is a picture take from our suite of the Waldorf Astoria, one block over (sorry it's showing landscape and not portrait).  You can see it is a row back so it doesn't have water views from most rooms or the pool.  The pool also looks really small.  Because of those reasons and also no breakfast or lounge, I decided to book instead at the Hilton and was very happy with my choice.  The Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, Le Meridian and InterContiental are all super close and in what I think is an excellent location.



Since it was a long day of outbound travel and we were there a full week, we decided to make the first day a lazy one.  That morning got up late and went to the Kosher Coffee Bean literally a block from the Hilton and enjoyed some awesome pastries and empanadas and they have beautiful salads and sandwiches too (and all those wrapped goods had a hecsher on each product, in addition to the teudah on the store). I have a picture from here but that one also is loading upside down so it's not included.


We then walked a few blocks more to the Multi-Centro Mall to the HUGE Deli K Supermarket.  My kids actually had fun picking out stuff from Israel and all over that we can't buy in Denver.  They also have a sit down meat and dairy restaurants (we did not order from those though).  For those of you that keep CY, they even had shelf stable CY milk.  We didn't do any overnight or extreme excursions while we were there but if you were you wouldn't have to bring anything from the US and I would pick up everything here.  I regretted packing any snacks as they really do have everything!



After our little shopping trip and laden down with bags we decided to take a cab the almost mile back to the hotel and it was a whopping two bucks and I didn't even have to bargain (try that in Israel or Cancun where you better be ready to battle the cab drivers over fares)!

We then headed down to the gorgeous Hilton Pool, it's on their 12th floor, with great views.




Hope you enjoyed the beginning of my TR, my apologies for newbie photo or other errors and hopefully more is coming soon!

Offline BarryLincoln

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2017, 02:30:32 PM »
Great start... look forward to reading more...

Online mmgfarb

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2017, 02:54:59 PM »
Nice start! How much did you pay for that suite?
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Offline shulem92

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2017, 03:03:12 PM »
Looking forward... ;)

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2017, 03:39:21 PM »
Looking forward... ;)

Thanks!

Great start... look forward to reading more...

Thanks AND if you go you won't have to bring any pans or light any fires in hotel restaurants because there are lots of kosher places here!!  :)

Nice start! How much did you pay for that suite?

I think it was about $220 a night.  They actually have ok C&P redemptions if you only want a normal room. I'm an HHonors diamond and probably could have pushed for an upgrade but with all five of us, I just didn't want to chance it.  Hotels in general, are very cheap here and the Hilton is probably as expensive as you're gonna get.  The only suite bigger than ours was the 3500 sqft. presidential suite for about 3k a night.  The Waldorf even has two story 2 & 3 BR suites.  My friends came a month before us and stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn, a couple blocks back, in a 1brm for about $99 a night.

Offline Dan

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2017, 04:05:07 PM »
Great start!
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline yuneeq

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2017, 04:10:18 PM »
I stayed in the same Hilton, great place.
Owned by Jews so I was able to get a discount.
Live forever or die trying.

Offline Yaalili

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2017, 07:23:58 PM »
Great start... look forward to reading more...

+1 good job.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2017, 09:34:52 PM »
Nice start! Making Panama more attractive already! If Flickr doesn't allow for flipping pictures, you could upload them to Aviary.com, rotate them there, save/download back to your computer and then upload to Flickr again. Hope that made some sense.

Online zow

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2017, 10:16:57 PM »
Great start to the TR. I find that loading pix from my phone into the Tapatalk app is the easiest way.  I know it is sort of bush league. But it works for me!

Online Something Fishy

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2017, 10:17:31 PM »
If Flickr doesn't allow for flipping pictures, you could upload them to Aviary.com, rotate them there, save/download back to your computer and then upload to Flickr again. Hope that made some sense.



You could both rotate and edit in Aviary from within Flickr. You will then choose to overwrite the original or save as a new file, which will be automatically added to your Flickr.

Denverite - great report, looking forward to the rest.
Check out all my Trip Reports here!

Offline Denverite

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2017, 02:35:03 PM »
+1 good job.
Great start!

Thanks, and that's really encouraging from the big guy himself!

I stayed in the same Hilton, great place.
Owned by Jews so I was able to get a discount.

Yeah we saw a number of frum (Spanish speaking) Jews there and a guy at shul told us that it was owned by Jews, as apparently are most of the hotels, all the shopping malls and most real estate in Panama!  :P  Seriously, they were very nice there and without getting into a whole halachic argument about what is allowed (as DDF is prone to do...lol) they front desk guy even proactively offered to send a bell boy up on Shabbos to take us down in an elevator.  On that note, although it's lots of stairs, all the stairwells are open and unlocked and walking up and down wasn't a problem.

Nice start! Making Panama more attractive already! If Flickr doesn't allow for flipping pictures, you could upload them to Aviary.com, rotate them there, save/download back to your computer and then upload to Flickr again. Hope that made some sense.


You could both rotate and edit in Aviary from within Flickr. You will then choose to overwrite the original or save as a new file, which will be automatically added to your Flickr.

Denverite - great report, looking forward to the rest.

Thanks guys.   I'm gonna try but I figure if I get too worried about the pictures I won't bother to do the report.  Also, I have no idea what I'm doing but the WA picture that shows landscape on my computer looks perfect when I look at the site from my phone.

Great start to the TR. I find that loading pix from my phone into the Tapatalk app is the easiest way.  I know it is sort of bush league. But it works for me!

Well you are one step ahead of me because I don't even have Tapatalk and go on ddf all the time from my phone's browser...I should probably take the 2 minutes to download it!  ;D

Offline 3yummyboys

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2017, 06:54:05 PM »
Great start! Looking forward to the rest!

Online zow

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2017, 07:30:50 PM »
Thanks, and that's really encouraging from the big guy himself!

Yeah we saw a number of frum (Spanish speaking) Jews there and a guy at shul told us that it was owned by Jews, as apparently are most of the hotels, all the shopping malls and most real estate in Panama!  :P  Seriously, they were very nice there and without getting into a whole halachic argument about what is allowed (as DDF is prone to do...lol) they front desk guy even proactively offered to send a bell boy up on Shabbos to take us down in an elevator.  On that note, although it's lots of stairs, all the stairwells are open and unlocked and walking up and down wasn't a problem.

Thanks guys.   I'm gonna try but I figure if I get too worried about the pictures I won't bother to do the report.  Also, I have no idea what I'm doing but the WA picture that shows landscape on my computer looks perfect when I look at the site from my phone.

Well you are one step ahead of me because I don't even have Tapatalk and go on ddf all the time from my phone's browser...I should probably take the 2 minutes to download it!  ;D
It is only 2 minutes to download Tapatalk, but then you are likely to spend MUCH more time browsing DDF on your phone thereafter.

Offline lunatic

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Re: Panama TR- a Hidden Family Gem (w/AWESOME restaurants)!
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2017, 11:05:18 PM »
+1 that's why I unistalled tapatalk  ;)