What We Love
- An exquisitely revamped Panamanian townhouse in the city’s most exciting quarter, Casco Viejo
- Not-to-be-missed brasserie-style restaurant
- The founders are helping to transform this once-gritty part of the city with training and community projects
What To Know
- Better for couples and groups of friends than families
- No elevator — and the stone steps are steep
- A 10 percent service fee per night will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
In contrast to Panama City’s skyscraper-dotted waterfront, UNESCO-listed Casco Viejo is a photogenic mix of colonial and neoclassical architecture, big plazas and alfresco cafés. Housed in a grand corner townhouse in the heart of this welcoming neighborhood, Las Clementinas is a trailblazing boutique sleep. Restored to its 1930s glory (the building was once owned by the great-grandfather of one of the owners), it shows off soaring ceilings, wood floors made from rare Coumarouna wood and traditional tiles recreated by Colombian artisans. It has the air of a private home but the amenities and service of a modern hotel.
Bed and Bath
Each of the six apartment-size suites is individually designed, with a confident, contemporary style that mixes colorful furnishings and bold artwork with a thoughtful sense of place. The uniform comforts include a full kitchen, separate living area and dining table, WiFi and pull-out sofa beds; some have petite balconies overlooking Casco’s corrugated-iron topped buildings. Bathrooms are spacious, with hand-painted tiles in the walk-in showers and sweet smelling toiletries.
With tin ceilings, low-lighting and a wraparound bar, the downstairs café would be at home in downtown NYC, but the buzzing brunch scene is pure Casco. The menu features familiar brasserie-style fare (hamburgers, risottos, burritos) transformed by local ingredients and flavors (yucca, quinoa, coco). Dine alfresco in the sweet hidden garden at the back of the property, or head up to the rooftop for evening drinks and panoramic views of the entrance of the Panama Canal and the gleaming skyscrapers in Punta Pacifica.
In the Area
Casco is made for wandering, and one of the best routes is along Paseo Esteban Huertas by the sea wall (where local artisans sell their wares) to Plaza Francia; the views of Punta Pacifica’s skyscrapers and the open Pacific are stunning. Sporty types should take the two-hour hike from Casco Viejo through the American Canal Zone and up to the peak of Cerro Ancon. Lots of locals do this walk in the morning, and the hotel will try to match you with a local hiker if you want the company. Given its compact nature, Casco has an amazing supply of dining options, including pizza at Caffe Per Due, not-to-be-missed ice cream at Granclement and Sunday brunch at Las Clementinas itself.
How to Get There
We stayed here for 4 nights recently and loved it. The rooms were spacious and clean. The hotel staff were helpful and attentive. The restaurant next door is excellent for both breakfast and dinner. All attractions of Casco Viejo were within walking distance. We loved it.
Family of 4 stayed here after stumbling upon a review in the "Hippies in Heels" blog and we booked the room with the piano since some of us play. I mean, what hotel has a piano in the room? There's not elevator but that was no problem for us, even being on the top floor. There was outside evening noise, but traveling with earplugs should be standard for any person who might be inclined to complain about noise. They also had some earplugs in the bathroom for use. The staff was really friendly, attentive and a pleasure. Loved the welcome rum drink, too!
Excellent location in the old center of Panama City - very reminiscent of Cartagena Colombia - room is actually an apartment - kitchen, living room, bedroom and bathroom - super spacious, great views of Panama City skyline - we were 2 adults and 2 kids, very comfortable. Looks like was recently remodeled, very nice/ clean/ new but w/ great classic decoration - staff super friendly and helpful - would definitely stay here again!