Panama is hot with new hotel openings for the affluent traveler. The Santa Maria, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Golf Resort, Panama City is located in an exclusive neighborhood next to the Costa del Este and has 182 rooms and suites. The hotel has views of, and access to, the Jack Nicklaus-designed, 72-par golf course. Culinary options include Mestizo Restaurant, with both Panamanian options as well as international dishes and Ocean Prime, offering fine meats and fresh seafood.
W Panama has also opened (it’s the first W Hotel in Central America) in Panama City. Good to know: It’s located near Uruguay Street, known as the “Zona Rosa” of Panama, home to a bevy of restaurants and nightclubs. The 1,600-square-foot Extreme Wow Suite has its own DJ booth, built-in foosball table, private lounge area, a rainfall shower and a sunken bathtub. Sweet! As for dining, Moró uses local ingredients for a taste of local comfort food, while La Cajita is modeled after food truck service and style. For a touch of chic, there’s a 6,000-square-foot WET Deck and Cargo, a destination bar housed within a shipping container, serving handcrafted cocktails.
American Trade Hotel also opened in Panama City recently and is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. With an Art Deco vibe, the hotel has its own jazz club in house, hosting international artists. We hear that “Esquina” rooms have two balconies with views of town, while “Panorama” rooms on the top floor have large windows with 180-degree views of the town or the bay. Note: There’s a rooftop pool, which provides an urban oasis feel. Insider Secret: Small Luxury Hotels suggests booking a Jardin room to be able to enjoy a siesta in the hammock of your own private courtyard.