The taxi ride from PTY to the Sheraton, located in the San Francisco corregimiento, takes 15 minutes,
Check in at the hotel was friendly and efficient. I received a suite upgrade without having to use a suite night upgrade award that given to SPG Platinum members who stay at least 50 nights in a calendar year at Starwood hotels. In addition to the upgrade, Platinum status also provides free daily breakfast buffet, access to the Executive lounge for evening hors d’oeuvres, and premium internet access. These benefits make staying at a Sheraton, Westin or Le Meridien hotel a better value than staying at a less expensive hotel.
There was a nice welcome tray of cheese, nuts and fruit waiting for me in the suite.
My room was a corner suite with separate living and sleeping rooms and two full baths. There were entrance doors from the hall in the bedroom and living room.
Just inside the entrance to the living room was a bathroom with a shower.
The bedroom was quite spacious. It had a large flat-screen TV with probably 100 or more channels covering news, sports, movies, science etc. etc. Many channels were in English.
The bedroom bath was small but more than adequate for one person.
The bathroom had standard Sheraton brand amenities. The shaving mirror, shaving kit and bathrobe and slippers gave the bath more of a luxury feel.
The minibar was located in the living room.
This corner suite enjoyed very nice views of the Pacific and the Panama City skyline.
The Sheraton has a nice outdoor pool and tennis courts that my suite overlooked.
Maids come around 6pm for turndown service and to refresh the minibar. From 6pm to 9pm the Sheraton Club lounge is open for complementary beverages and hors d’oeuvres.
The buffet was substantial enough that I could make dinner out of it. The ceviche and deserts were especially tasty. I only bought one meal during my two-day stay.
The breakfast buffet was ample enough to tide me over until dinner.
The Diner was a 50s style American diner across the street from the hotel. I decided to give it a try for lunch. The prices were high I thought, charging $10 for a burger and $5 for a milkshake and the food was average, but the décor was authentic Americana.
In my experience it is sometimes difficult to find people who speak good English unless I’m at a hotel or a tourist attraction. That was the case at the dinner. They did have one waitress who spoke English.
The Sheraton fitness center is large and extremely well equipped. Together with the pool and tennis courts, it serves as an athletic club for residents in the surrounding high-rise condos and apartments. That concept is fairly common for large fitness centers in foreign hotels and even in some US luxury hotels.
The staff at this hotel responded to every question or request promptly and courteously. The proximity to the convention center cannot be equaled if you are attending an event there. Even if not, this hotel is a good base for exploring Panama City and the countryside beyond. The concierge can arrange tours to all of the tourist destinations. All in all, I found this hotel to be an excellent blend of luxury and affordability.