The Bristol, Panama City Hotel – Review

By Ryan Yacura on 5 July 2011
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Yearning for a contrasting hospitality experience in Panama City, I decided, on a whim I must add, on the Bristol Hotel. The Bristol, located in the financial district only 4 blocks from Hotel Manrey, is a member of the Leading Hotels Of The World and has just over 50 guest rooms. The Bristol provides for a traditional lodging experience focusing on demanding business travelers and those searching for classic service and hospitality.

The Bristol is a standout due to its service, which is top-notch in all regard. After my stay at Hotel Manrey, I traveled to a remote area of Northern Panama and could not risk carrying my sensitive articles and bulky luggage. The Bristol generously held my items securely with no questions for 3 days. When I returned for check-in, my luggage was already in my room (ironically 203 again), safe and sound. This is a standout given the reputation that both Central and South America have afforded themselves in the past. Furthering the idea of service, not once did I open my own door, no request was too much, and the property’s restaurant is stellar (a favorite among affluen residents and businessmen).


Upon entering my room, I was greeted with a welcome package consisting of a signed letter and various fruits. The Bristol’s room features traditional furnishings and design, which sharply contrast the modern and cutting edge vibe that much of Panama City features. A 42’’ inch Samsung LCD TV resides on the wall and a comfortable array of sitting options are located in the main room. The bathroom is covered in marble and consists of an extremely spacious rain shower, as well as an oversized tub. To round out the in-room offerings, a local number cell phone is supplied and complimentary breakfast and bottled water is provided daily.


Even the most demanding of business traveler will find proper refuge at The Bristol. With several meeting rooms on the lower level of the property + a computer/fax room, a private conference room with a killer view at the top, and a gym to get moving after a long-haul flight, The Bristol is the city’s top spot for traditional lodging with all the necessary comforts of the office.


The Bristol’s dining experience is memorable. Panama City has no real dominant food culture, but rather a mix of cuisines from around the world. Therefore, it became a challenge to find a truly satisfying meal of superior quality. Regarded as one of the city’s best restaurant options, the Bristol restaurant lived up to the hype. The main dining room is small yet elegant. Diners have a wide range of menu items such as fresh Ahi sashimi, and local Civiche, as well as more traditional offerings consisting of dry-aged beef and mini burgers. All options are artfully prepared and once again, service is impeccable.


The Bristol is the place to be in Panama City if you are a business traveler and want the experience of a top international chain, without the name attached to it. The only downside to the property is the lack of outside space or options. Once inside the hotel, there are really no locations to relax outside the confines of your room, or the bar (which, to its credit, does host the largest selection of rum available anywhere in the city). If you are new to the Panama City, the Bristol is a good place to start and work your way out.

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