The Santa Maria, a Luxury Collection Hotel and Golf Resort, Panama City Review

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Exploring Quito, Ecuador on a Celebrity Cruises Excursion

Quito to the Galapagos and Back by Avianca Charter

Ship Review – Celebrity Flora

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Celebrity Flora – Dining Review

Exciting and Unique Activities on a Galapagos Cruise

Revolting Copa Airlines Business Class – Delayed, Dirty Windows and Mold!

The Santa Maria, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Golf Resort, Panama City Review

Who Should Take a Galapagos Cruise?

Background

As covered in our last post, we were stopping over in Panama City, Panama for just over 12 hours.  This allowed us to leave Quito, Ecuador after a day of exploring, have a good night’s sleep, and arrive back in Atlanta in the early afternoon if everything went to plan.  For our good night’s sleep we chose to stay at The Santa Maria, a Luxury Collection Hotel and Golf Resort (wow that’s a mouthful!).  We had an annual free night certificate from our Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® card that was redeemable for a free night at any hotel up to 35,000 points.  The Santa Maria was pricing out at 34,000 points per night or a cash price of $311.30.  While this wasn’t amazingly outsized value, it presented a solid use of the certificate.

(All information related to Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® was collected independently by Frequent Floaters and was neither provided nor reviewed by the card issuer.)

The Experience

After an unremarkable flight on Copa from Quito to Panama City we took a quick Uber to the hotel approximately 15 minutes door to door.  This is one reason we booked the hotel as it was arguably the nicest hotel within a 15 minute radius of the airport and given our short stay we were looking to minimize transit time.

We were greeted at the covered entry by two bellmen who offered to carry our bags; however, as we only had backpacks this wasn’t necessary.  We were behind a flight crew checking in and had to wait a few minutes before we could check-in.  A quick check of our passports, swipe of a credit card for incidentals, and a brief overview of the hotel and we were on our way to the room.

The hotel still had that new hotel smell with all of the finish looking sparkling clean.  The lobby while somewhat small was handsomely designed and well laid out with site lines into the restaurants and out to the pool from the moment you entered.

a room with shelves and lights a group of plants in pots

The corridors were stylish and well lit so we had fairly high expectations as we approached our standard king bed room.

a long hallway with lights on

Upon entry we were not disappointed.  The room was fresh, clean, and well appointed.  You enter into a hall with a closet on the right and double-doors into the bathroom on the left.

a white robe from a swinger

The closet contained complimentary slippers, robes for use during your stay, a luggage rack, and an iron and ironing board.

a bathroom with a white robe and a sink

Just past the bathroom doors is the coffee station and minibar.  We also found a very generous Platinum welcome amenity of cookies, a half bottle of wine, and a handwritten note from the GM.

a counter with a few bottles of liquid and a picture on it a table with a menu and bottles of water

The king bed was as advertised, a US-sized king.  The large nightstands on either side of the bed came well equipped with US style outlets and USB ports.

a bed in a hotel room a bed with white sheets and pillows

The room also included a chaise lounge in one corner by the window and a desk and chair in the other.  The desk was also well set-up with lots of easily accessible outlets.

The bathroom was probably the highlight of the room.  Let me start by saying I am NOT a fan of windows between bathrooms and bedrooms.  I just don’t get it.  But here there were multiple panes of glass between the bedroom and bathroom, but they were frosted with a texture allowing for light to pass between the two spaces but still maintain privacy in both rooms.  What wasn’t glass or mirror was covered in polished travertine limestone.

a bathroom with a glass shower and sink

The water closet is located behind a fully frosted and locking door.

a bathroom with a toilet and a glass door

The Le Chemin by Byredo bath products were excellent and in the big pumps, though not mounted on the wall making them easier to actually pump.  I know that this is still controversial, but I don’t mind the pumps as I’m not overly worried about someone tampering with them and it’s actually much easier to get the product out than trying to extract it from a tiny bottle.

a group of white bottles with black labels The shower was huge containing two frosted glass walls, one facing the bedroom and the other above the coffee bar.  There were both waterfall and a tall hand-held shower as well as a shaving ledge.

a shower with a shower head and a shower head a shower head with a pattern on the wall a toilet paper on a shelfBecause we checked-in relatively late we didn’t have a lot of time to fully explore the hotel, though I did make time to check out the fitness center and pool, both of which looked excellent.

a hallway with chairs and a chandelier

Towels and bottled water in the fitness center.

a shelf with towels and water bottles a room with exercise bikes and a mirror a pool with chairs and trees at night

There is also an outdoor bar; however, during our stay it was being utilized for a private event so I wasn’t able to check it out in detail.

a tree with lights in the middle of a courtyard

I also made time for a quick nightcap at the excellent bar – Mestizo.

a room with green curtains and tables and chairs

a bar with a glass of alcohol and bowls of nuts

Looking out from our room you could see the skyline of Panama City in the distance.  And with that it was time to enjoy a very restful evening in the comfortable bed and cool A/C (a great thing).

a city skyline at night

Conclusion

We’ve now stayed at three of the higher-end Marriott Bonvoy properties in Panama City and not to spoil an upcoming review, but this hotel is our favorite and it’s likely to only get better.  The hotel is part of a master-planned development with restaurants, shops, the golf course, and some offices.  The adjacent hotels are likely now open and would really compliment the hotel for a stay of a few days.  If we find ourselves back in Panama City this is the hotel we most want to revisit.  And with that we complete our The Santa Maria, a Luxury Collection Hotel and Golf Resort Review.  Have you stayed in Panama City and do you have a favorite hotel?  Let us know!  – Michael

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Advertiser Disclosure: Frequent Floaters is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as CreditCards.com. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact how and where card products appear on the site. This site does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

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