The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort Panama, Autograph Collection
What We Love
- Heaven for golfers, with the Jack Nicklaus-designed Buenaventura Golf Club
- The hydrotherapy center of the Corotu Spa and the gracious staff
- Choice of five restaurants, from local Panamanian fare to sushi
- 24/7 Room service
What To Know
- Somewhat isolated location around 80 minutes west of Panama City
- Restaurants are pricey for the region
- It’s a five-minute walk to the well-manicured beach
- Free WiFi
- Golf Course
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
A beach, spa and golfing playground for grown ups, this sprawling coastal resort was formerly known as the Bristol Buenaventura and joined the JW Marriott family in 2012. The open-air reception area echoes its beachy, undeveloped setting, done up with warm hardwood floors, Spanish colonial elements, tropical fresh flowers and original artworks. The focal point of the high-ceilinged lobby is an exquisite sculpture by Cuban artist Manuel Carbonell.
Bed and Bath
All 109 guestrooms have private balconies and a mix of rich, dark woods, light furnishings and bright white bedding. All bathrooms have standalone showers and separate tubs, and the natural tiles and stone floors lend an earthy look. If you want to stay connected, all the mod cons are present, from 42-inch flat-screen TVs, coffee machines and newspapers delivered daily. Villas are two-floor homes for up to eight guests and come with a private pool.
An eclectic mix of restaurants dots the sprawling grounds, from poolside lunch bites at El Faro to steak galore at Prime 19, within the Buenaventura Golf Club clubhouse. Signature restaurant Tamarindo serves traditional Panamanian fare using ingredients from nearby organic farms and local fishermen, while recently opened Tai Kai offers fresh sushi and well-crafted cocktails under the stars. Steps from the beach, the El Faro Club House has a choice of three pools, each with a sprawl of white loungers and private cabanas, plus multiple swim-up bars. For a different sort of pampering, head to the five-room Corotú Spa and try one of the polishing facials of body scrubs. Just remember to save time for the resort’s main event: the par-72 Jack Nicklaus–designed golf course, which traces the curves of the coastline and has spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.
In the Area
Just west of the nearest town, San Carlos, Playa Rio Mar is one of Panama’s best surf beaches, and it attracts a mix of weekenders from Panama City and local surfers. Ask the concierge about group or private morning surf lessons. Alternatively, stay on dry land and explore the charming highland town of El Valle de Anton, which lies in the caldera of an active volcano. Go hiking or horseback riding in the cloud forest, walk to the El Chorro Macho waterfall or simply wander the town’s plazas and markets. Back in the capital, make a stop at the brand new Frank Gehry–designed BioMuseo, at the mouth of the Panama Canal, then head to the charming, and rapidly changing, Casco Viejo for brunch at sceney Las Clementinas, a walk along the sea wall to Plaza Francia and a dance at the salsa club Habana Panama.
How to Get There
It is a very quiet place sorrounded by incredible vegetation and few steps from the Pacific Ocean
People very friendly and helpful.
Spanish atmosphere The restaurant by the beach excellent. The view from the rooms incredible.
Mainly for families with kids.
Very convenient if you are in Panama. It is only 1 1/2 hs
We had a little scape there... We wanted to go there for a while... It didn't disappoint at all! We loved the rooms, the view. The pools were amazing... Literally you can have a pool per couple/family... The staff take your drinks there.. And they were amazing. The restaurant were great too, I strongly recommend to have seafood.
I would love to stay longer it was really amazing... We'll be back soon for sure!
Ps: the only bad thing was that the football desk wasn't in a good condition so we couldn't play in there.
Simply terreible room was smelled extremely humid and could see mold in certain areas of cieling. Even after making a complaint not one person apologised or attempted to acknowledge the complaint.
Still after 2 weeks of our stay we are waiting for several overcharges to be rectified. While Staff at the restaurant, bar and pool were lovely the Management has not a clue on how to treat or aknowledge their guest after a bad experience.... very unfortunate scouting for possible winter event I will not be choosing this location due to lack of interest of rectifying thier mishandling of charges and Management not acknowledging the room conditions... Panama in general has an issue with hospitality and service due to lack of interest in taking care of their guests... i just hope they treat their staff better... How the Marriott can even brand this hotel as an autograph collection is questionable.
We loved our stay at this hotel, the property is well maintained, the staff is friendly and helpful, the food is delicious. It was a great vacation start. We went after to Pedasi which was also great.
We had to change a dive trip at the last minute and decided to visit Panama & be beach bums for a week. After Delta burned us for $1000 to change 2 tickets to Panama, we were hoping the resort was worth it and they did not disappoint.
The good - Beautiful grounds, several pools including an adult only pool (but you can still hear the kiddos 20 feet away, no biggie), 2 swim up pool bars, several restaurants on site, very friendly staff... The hotel is maybe 300 yards to the ocean so there is no "ocean front view". You don't need it - the grounds are beautiful with tropical flowers lining the walkways all the way to the ocean. Our room was spacious, we were missing an ottoman that some people would complain about, but we survived the week without an ottoman. Our room attendant was FABULOUS, Desiree, you're the best. Everything was just-so including special attention to organizing our messy bathroom :) THANK YOU Desiree!!! We were here in mid May and because it's the rainy season, we paid a very affordable rate. It did in fact rain a good bit, but most mornings were beautiful and by the time late afternoon rolled around with the rain, we were ready to get out of the sun anyway. We did not run in to a single employee that didn't make us feel welcome. This place will be on our list for return visits :)
The bad - Just a few of the staff members did not speak English well. The only reason I'm putting this in the 'bad' comments is because I don't think it's fair to give an unfavorable rating because another country doesn't speak English. Be forewarned, you might not understand everything that's said! However, all of the staff are happy to help you learn Spanish :):):)
The ugly - none. Great place and will probably visit again.