2. Panama July 2015 — Sheraton Hotel Panama

The taxi ride from PTY to the Sheraton, located in the San Francisco corregimiento,  takes 15 minutes,

Approaching the Sheraton on the Pacific coast
Approaching the Sheraton on the Pacific coast

20150728_160730 and the highway runs along the Pacific as it approaches the center of the city.  The Sheraton is on the right side of the highway just past the Panama Convention Center.20150728_160838

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.

Welcome amenity
Welcome amenity

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.

Living room
Living room
Living room wet bar
Living room wet bar

Just inside the entrance to the living room was a bathroom with a shower.

Living room bath
Living room bath
living room bath
living room bath

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.

Bed room with king-size bed
Bed room with king-size bed

The bedroom bath was small but more than adequate for one person.

Bedroom bath vanity
Bedroom bath vanity
bedroom bath shower
bedroom bath shower
Bedroom bath shower
Bedroom bath shower

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.

minibar snack selection
minibar snack selection
minibar refridgerator
minibar refridgerator
minibar price list
minibar price list

This corner suite enjoyed very nice views of the Pacific and the Panama City skyline.

My view of the Pacific
My view of the Pacific
My view of Panama City skyline
My view of Panama City skyline
Nighttime skyline
Nighttime skyline

 

The Sheraton has a nice outdoor pool and tennis courts that my suite overlooked.

Pool and tennis courts
Pool and tennis courts

Sheraton Panama Hotel & Convention Center - Pool

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.

lounge seating area
lounge seating area
part of lounge buffet
part of lounge buffet
Lounge TV and reading area
Lounge TV and reading area

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.

My dinner and glass of wine at the lounge
My dinner and glass of wine at the lounge

The breakfast buffet was ample enough to tide me over until dinner.

Sheraton breakfast buffet
Sheraton breakfast buffet

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.

The diner
The diner

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.

Diner waitress
Diner waitress

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.  Sheraton Panama Hotel & Convention Center - Sheraton Fitness Center

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.

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