“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 Grace Panama hotel in Panama City.
About Grace Hotels
We’d previously stayed at the Grace Santorini in Greece, the first in Grace Hotels’ luxury boutique collection. It completely won us over – especially its swoon-worthy swimming pool. So when choosing where to stay in Panama City after our adventure cruise from Costa Rica, the Grace Panama rose to the top of our list.
Boutique luxury in a vibrant city
Opened in 2014, the Grace Panama occupies the ground floor and five upper floors (13 to 17) of the Twist Tower building.
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 there are some areas in Panama City you’re cautioned not to enter, the Obarrio District, in which the Grace Panama is located, is completely safe.
The hotel is minutes from the thriving financial district; close to the huge Soho Mall with high-end luxury shops (think Louis Vuitton and Gucci); 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); and a short Uber or cab ride away from Casco Viejo’s charming outdoor cafés, restaurants, bars, galleries and shops.
Grace Panama review – what are the rooms like?
All 53 rooms are stylish and contemporary in design.
But the larger corner 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. An Italian coffee maker and coffee.
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 Grace 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 Grace 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…
If you stay at the Grace Panama
Nightly rates at the Grace Panama are very reasonable for the luxury you get – and less than half the cost of what you’d pay for a good hotel in Casco Viejo.
How to get around:
The concierge/bellman helped organize Uber for us. The cost for a ride to Casco Viejo was about $5 USD.
Our media stay was partially supported by the Grace Panama. 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.
We’re Janice and George Mucalov, professional award-winning travel writers, sharing tales of luxury travel with a twist of adventure.