American Trade Hotel
What We Love
- The hotel is from the crack team behind Ace Hotels
- The coffee beans at craft roaster Café Unido are from Panama farms
- Danilo's Jazz Club is a new hub for the city's nightlife crowd
- The Panamanian-American fusion menu by chef Clara Icaza at the Dining Room
What To Know
- Free WiFi
- The hotel is ideally located in the historic neighborhood of Casco Viejo
- Pets are allowed, although there are restrictions
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Leave it to the brilliant minds behind Seattle’s Ace Hotel empire to capture the relaxed, artsy-cool spirit of Panama City. A joint undertaking between Atelier Ace, Panama City–based Conservatorio, and Commune Design, this four-story hotel is set in the historic neighborhood of Casco Viejo and housed in a 1917 neoclassical landmark building. (The name is a reference to its origin as a department store called the American Trade Developing Company.) Expect the kind of pared-back urban cool we’ve come to expect from this designer gang, along with Latin American colonial touches like hand-painted tiles, potted palms and ceiling fans. Naturally, you’ll also find such Ace essentials as Third Wave coffee and a lobby that doubles as a neighborhood lounge. Hit the louche jazz club, named for Panamanian pianist Danilo Perez, and snack on dishes that range from Latin-inflected (plantain empanadas, pulled pork with avocado, escabeche) to U.S.-inspired classics like hamburgers and po’boys at Clara Icaza’s Dining Room; Icaza is considered one of Latin America’s best chefs.
In the Area
Hike to the summit of Cerro Ancon, a 654-foot hill overlooking Panama City. The trek is worth it for the breathtaking views. Once you’re back down, hit the Miraflores Visitor Center, a top spot to witness the fascinating workings of the Panama Canal, before joining a walking tour of Casco Viejo with Urban Adventures, which employs local guides. Afterward, recaffeinate at the charming Café de Asis, which is housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century building, before having a sorbet or ice cream at cult ice-creamery Gran Clement, also located in the old quarter.
How to Get There
This is not an easy hotel to review. It’s a century old building built for another purpose, and the room design is awkward as a result. Some of the room furnishings are modern, but most are not. We had a large corner room with plenty of open space but a shortage of usable space, such as drawers / closet / desk. Not many outlets, so it was a good thing I brought extra long charging cables.
The bathroom had two options; a hand held shower or a ceiling mounted rain shower head. The rain shower had only cold water, so we used the hand held, which had occasional hot water. Water flows from the shower to the floor by faulty design, so extra towels were always needed just to mop up the water.
Staffing was very good. Folks, especially the front desk, were always helpful and cheerful, and gave us quite good commendations for dinner. The location is excellent, the area is walkable and there are many dining options within walking distance,
People who prefer quaint and charming will probably enjoy their stay here, while folks (like me) who value function over form may want to look elsewhere.
A beautiful design hotel in the heart of the historic Casco Viejo, no detail was overlooked in this property’s construction. The rooms are comfortable, most have balconies with a table and chairs, excellent air conditioning and good service. One day it was very rainy and I stayed at the property the entire day and it was bliss! My only complaints were that the floors in my room were dirty and never cleaned beyond a quick sweep, in this climate they should be mopped daily. My coffee machine and the water in my room was also never replenished, I had to call twice to housekeeping to have both done. Lastly a small detail but there were only 3 hangers in my closet in check in, it took the maid two trips to bring me enough for my clothes, a hotel like this should have enough hangers in each room. Despite this, the food and restaurant service was great and when I return to Panamá this is the hotel I will stay at!
My family of 5, myself, my husband and my three children-8,8,&11-just spent 3 nights at this beautiful, luxury boutique hotel . We stayed in room 405 , which is a two room suite with amazing views of the Plaza below and the entrance to the Canal! I also loved the shower with its dual rain shower heads and a view of the Bridge of the Americas. Although a boutique hotel, the > 700 sq ft suite was spacious enough to accommodate a King size bed and 3 fold out beds for the kids.It is located in Casco Viejo ( UNESCO Heritage site) district , which is a magical old town, and it is walking distance to great shopping, restaurants and historical buildings. Although the Plaza below can be charmingly busy,with the windows shut, we all enjoyed a quiet night’s sleep.The bells ,from the nearby church ,were not at all disturbing from our side of the building.The service at this hotel is definitely 5 star! We arrived on a red-eye flight from Los Angeles early in the morning . Check in was not until the afternoon, but they graciously gave us a downstairs room at no cost so we could shower, freshen up and nap until our room was ready! We had an amazing stay at this welcoming beautiful, boutique hotel !