When I first arrived in Panama, I spent three nights in the Oriental Hotel Panama City. With hundreds of nice hotels to choose from, I had a hard time picking one with the perfect balance of location and comfort. I’m happy to say that the Oriental Panama City fit the bill!
This Oriental Hotel Panama City Review will cover what to expect if you stay here on your next trip to Panama City.
Oriental Panama City Hotel Location
The Oriental Hotel Panama City is located in the Obarrio neighborhood of Panama City. Obarrio is the financial and business area of Panama City and it looks the part with no shortage of skyscrapers and high-end shops.
The Oriental Panama City Hotel is in the heart of the action. It’s just a few steps away from a major shopping area and an easy walk to several restaurants and convenience stores.
That said, you’ll probably want to spend most of your Panama City holiday in the Old Town area called Casco Viejo.
While this hotel is not located in the Old Town, you can get their quickly and easily.
To get there, you have a few options:
- Take an uber or a taxi. The drive is about 10-15 minutes and Ubers cost between $4-$8 depending on the time of day.
- Take the subway. The metro in Panama City is modern and fast. There is a metro stop conveniently located just a short walk from the hotel. This option takes between 25-30 minutes and costs $0.35.
If you’re arriving to Panama City by plane, The Oriental Hotel Panama City is a 25-minute drive from Tocumen International Airport.
Oriental Panama City Review: First Impressions
We arrived in Panama at 2:00 am and didn’t get to the hotel until 3:00 am.
Even though we were pretty exhausted and jetlagged when we arrived at the hotel, I was impressed by how modern the lobby was. Decorated with wacky, colorful furniture and a few lingering Christmas decorations, the lobby felt welcoming and cool.
From the outside, the building also has an artsy design and it stands out among the plain business buildings nearby.
What Are Rooms Like at The Oriental Panama City
Thankfully, the front desk at The Oriental Panama City is open 24/7 so arriving in the middle of the night was no problem.
My first impression of the standard King room was that it was way bigger than I expected. It’s one of the larger hotel rooms I’ve stayed in and there was ample closet and desk space.
The bed was massive and very comfortable, especially after a long travel day. I think we fell asleep within seconds if testing it out.
Seriously, I can’t stress how wonderful the bed was here!
On the windows, blackout curtains meant we slept like rocks. When we finally woke from our much-needed night of sleep and pulled back the thick curtains, light poured in. Our view of the business district stretched for miles.
Like the bedroom, the bathroom was spacious, clean, and updated. The bathroom had a hairdryer, travel-sized soaps, and shampoo, which were much needed after almost 24 hours of flying!
The room came with a water bottle, two single-serve coffee pods, and a coffee maker.
There is an empty mini-fridge in the room as well. The air-conditioning worked exceptionally well, which we really appreciated after walking around in the tropical sun.
There were also two fluffy bathrobes in the closet. I immediately dove into mine and refused to take it off until way too late in the afternoon!
Amenities at the Oriental Hotel Panama City
In addition to comfortable rooms, The Oriental Panama City also had some convenient amenities.
Breakfast and Restaurant Options
When booking, we chose to have breakfast included. Breakfast was pretty standard for a hotel buffet breakfast.
There were warm options like eggs, cheesy potatoes, sausages, and pancakes, as well as cold sandwich meats, fruit, cheese, bread, and cereal options.
The breakfast area was well decorated with flowers on the tables. In the evening, this space transforms into a restaurant.
We didn’t eat here in the evening, but if the set-up is anything like breakfast I imagine it’s very nice.
WiFi and Connectivity
The hotel had WiFi throughout the building and it worked okay in the hotel rooms. When I tested the WiFi speeds from my room on the 8th floor, I was getting about 2 Mbps download speed and 4 Mbps upload speed.
This was fine for basic internet browsing and checking email but it was a bit slow for watching videos.
We didn’t drive to Panama City, but this hotel does offer free parking according to their website.
Since it’s located outside of the busy Old Town, being able to park for free and take Uber or the subway into town is a huge perk.
On the top floor, you’ll find an open-air rooftop terrace serving drinks and food. Even if you don’t plan to eat here, I’d definitely recommend going up to have a look around. The view of the city is spectacular.
If we didn’t have an early shuttle to catch the following morning, we would have spent quite a bit of time up on that terrace.
There are a few options for nightlife right in the building. On the main floor, you can access a bar called La Mano Floja that has music long into the night.
On the top level, there is a dancing club and restaurant called Pantera that is also open late.
If you’re looking for a quieter holiday, don’t worry. Even though both nightlife options were lively until late, we didn’t hear any music or festivities from our room. There are soundproof panels in all the hallways so the rooms are nice and quiet.
Overall, the Oriental Hotel provided excellent quality for the price we paid. The standard king room with breakfast included is less than $100/night and everything was very comfortable.
Even though we weren’t directly in the Old Town, the metro and availability of Uber made it easy to see the sights of Panama City.
The size of the room and amazing bed were two of the biggest selling points and they didn’t disappoint. In the future, I would definitely stay here again.