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“Would you like a glass of bubbly?” asked the concierge. Of course! No matter that it was only 10:00 in the morning – it’s never too early for bubbly.
And with that, we checked into the Global Hotel Panama in Panama City (formerly called the Grace Panama).
Global Hotel Panama
We’d just completed an adventure cruise from Costa Rica to Panama, getting off in Panama City. In a few days, we’d be heading off to the Bocas del Toro islands.
In the meantime, we wanted an affordable luxury hotel in the city – something that would be conveniently located for exploring all the great sights and things to do in Panama City that were awaiting. (Hello Panama Canal museum!)
The Global Hotel Panama fit the bill.
The hotel occupies the ground floor and five upper floors (13 to 17) of the Twist Tower building.
It’s minutes from the thriving financial district and close to the huge Soho Mall with high-end luxury shops (think Louis Vuitton and Gucci).
It’s also about a 20-minute walk to the Cinta Costera (a scenic, two-mile-long pedestrian and bicycle coastal path running beside a major highway/street from the Hard Rock Café to the fish market adjacent to Casco Viejo, Panama City’s old town).
Best of all, the hotel is only a short (and cheap) Uber or cab ride away from Casco Viejo and its charming outdoor cafés, restaurants, bars, galleries and shops.
As it was our first visit to Panama City, we knew very little about the city, and one of our immediate questions to the concierge was: “Is it safe to walk around?”
The answer was “yes” – and while you’re cautioned not to enter some areas in Panama City, the Obarrio District (in which this luxury Panama City hotel is located) is one of Panama City’s top neighborhoods. We were told it’s completely safe. (Actually, many parts of Panama are surprisingly safe, though you should always be vigilant when traveling.)
One of the best hotels in Panama City, Panama
All 60 rooms and suites are stylish and contemporary in design. Each has a 40 inch LCD HD televisions, iPod/iPhone docking station, complimentary WiFi, Italian coffee station and walk-in rain shower in the bathroom.
But the larger corner Executive rooms (490 sq. ft.), with their magnificent city and bay views through expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, are the ones that are really worth booking.
How to describe the corner rooms?
Kind of art deco? White walls, one with a bold golden splash of color in the shape of ribbons (waves?). Gold and eggshell blue carpeting in the bedroom. High ceilings. A supremely comfy king-size bed with loads of pillows – the kind of bed you don’t want to climb out of.
And the bathroom?
In the corner rooms, bathrooms have gold-and-white marble floors, with a white egg-shaped bathtub placed just so in front of an enormous floor-to-ceiling window. There’s also a separate marble and glass rain shower.
At night, the views of the city lights through the window were so spectacular we didn’t want to close the blinds – to heck with who could see in!
Big bottles of Salvatore Ferragamo bath products are a nice luxury touch.
For us, it’s a real plus when a hotel in the middle of a city has an outdoor pool. Take Yangon, Myanmar – after roaming the Shwedagon Pagoda and shopping the markets, it was a treat to return to the colonial charm of the Savoy Hotel and relax by the pool under a parasol.
A pool just adds a bit of a resort feeling to an urban hotel stay.
The Global Hotel Panama has a small rooftop pool with lounge chairs.
Unfortunately – at least, when we popped up to the pool – there were no umbrellas set out and the roof overhang provided little shade. It was therefore too hot for us to enjoy that space (and that’s probably why we didn’t see anyone else out there either).
The Global Hotel Panama gets top marks for its friendly staff and excellent service. They went out of their way to make our stay a really pleasant one.
They patiently helped us with transportation, gave directions for walks and suggested good restaurants – always with a smile. At turndown, exquisite and creative dessert treats were placed in the room each evening (no ordinary boring mints or chocolates).
And we were always offered a glass of bubbly every time we re-entered the hotel…
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Our media stay was partially supported by the hotel so we could write this Global Hotel Panama review. But as professional travel writers who follow the Society of American Travel Writers’ Code of Ethics, our trips and hotel reviews are always independent and based on our own appraisals.