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
- 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 LOVED this hotel. Our first night was spent here before we headed to explore other areas of Panama. Original plans were to stay at a luxury hotel closer to the airport on our last night, but we cancelled and elected to stay here again.
The first room we stayed in (room 1) was HUGE. Basically an apartment with every amenity needed. We had a balcony off the main room, and a balcony off the bedroom. The kitchen had a large refrigerator, coffee maker, complimentary bottled water, glassware, and microwave. There was a dining room table, couch, and high ceilings with ceiling fans. AC worked wonderfully. Bathroom had a walk-in shower with beautiful tiling and came stocked with plenty of toiletries. The decor was modern but classic Casco Viejo with beautiful antiques including lovely photography books placed around the apartment. They leave a journal for guests to write in; leaving their recommendations for other visitors.
Our second stay was in room 8- smaller but still spacious- ceilings were sky-high. We had a balcony, and a cute kitchenette area stocked with the essentials. Bathroom was a bit tight for the two of us when getting ready, but doable. Closet came with plenty of hangers (a rarity) and an ironing board. The best part of this room was being able to walk right out the door onto the back sundeck area. There are tables and sun loungers and lime trees and lots of privacy. We bought diet coke, local rum plucked a fresh lime and enjoyed drinks on this sundeck during our last afternoon in Panama. It was divine.
Along with the sundeck- head right up the stairwell to the top floor- the roof deck. It has the BEST views in the city. We had gone to a nearby rooftop bar and Las Clementinas still has a better view. There is seating and lighting up there- it is pretty hot during the day- but at night it is the perfect spot to bring a beverage from your room and take in the view.
Las Clementinas overall- great location, walking distance to the excellent restaurants/bars (Donde Jose, Calliope, Strangers Club, Tantalo) safe (police station literally across the street) and you can only enter the building with your key. It is a lovely setting with the garden area, rooftop, sundeck. Service is great- some staff speaks limited english but will go out of their way to assist you. Also has it's own attached beer garden/restaurant with great AC and a wonderful beer list.
Noise: Yes, there is noise. There is a neighborhood right outside one side of the hotel. We were not there during "busy" nights, but the nights we were there, it stayed a bit noisy until about 10PM. Room 8 was noisier than Room 1- Room 1 had the bedroom more towards the back. The Casco Viejo area is also known to "party" so many bars stay open late with DJs and music into the evening- there were places with DJs on a Monday night. So you have to be prepared for that going in. I recommend putting your fan on high, AC on, wear earplugs, or use "white noise" on your phone.
We found Casco Viejo very unique and fascinating and this was a perfect spot to stay as we explored.
Nice Hotel in the old town. On one side the street is nice and houses are renovated, but right on the other side poorer side of town starts.
The room was very nice but quite pricey.
There is no breakfast offered, we received a coupon for nearby Tantalo to go for breakfast.
I wish that I could give Las Clementinas a 4.5 star rating - that's what it really deserves.
This hotel is positively adorable, in a great location, and has very friendly staff. The coupons for free beer at the restaurant next door are a really nice gesture, too.
The reason it doesn't get five stars is because of the absolute ruckus that went on all night (literally - ALL NIGHT) when we stayed on a Friday night. It's great that the hotel provides ear plugs, but they are no match against the noise outside. Maybe it wouldn't have been as bad if we were in a room higher up (we were just one level up from the street), but it was brutal. Unfortunately, a truly terrible nights' sleep. If the hotel can put in thicker glass windows to help alleviate some of the noise, it will be perfect!
(I know Las Clementinas isn't responsible for the noise outside, but it sounds like it's a pretty commonplace issue so if they can invest in further soundproofing it will help tremendously).
The hotel is gorgeous and the accommodations are perfect in a beautiful neighborhood. The noise at night, however, was a true nightmare - do not let others’ understatement on this point reassure you. Screaming children and adults outside until almost midnight and then the music across the street was so loud all night long that it can be felt and sleep is impossible. Ear plugs are not sufficient. Until the hotel advertises that windows have been replaced with sound proofing, I could not recommend staying here on a weekend, unfortunately. A completely miserable, sleepless night. I’m sorry to leave this review, but anything less is not honest.
LOVED this place! Rooms were beautiful! The staff was knowledgeable and told us a ton of great spots to check out. We arrived to free drink tickets for their delicious beers, which were enjoyed on the rooftop looking over Panama City. The location is perfect for walking around. I highly recommend this hotel if you are staying in Panama City!