InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort & Spa
What We Love
- The 10,000-square-foot spa has Turkish steam rooms and meditation rooms
- The private beach is secluded and tranquil
- There are three restaurants and several bars, including a swim-up pool bar
What To Know
- Located near the mouth of the canal about 20 minutes from downtown Panama City
- Dogs are allowed, but there’s a cleaning fee ($200) and adaily fee ($16.50)
- The resort is very family-friendly, with dedicated kids play areas
- WiFi costs extra
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Radiating out in a V shape through lush jungle facing a perfect Pacific Ocean vista, this family-friendly getaway close to downtown Panama City offers a kick-off-your-shoes escape with all the amenities you need to take things down a notch. The 303 guestrooms have a modern aesthetic, with flat-screen TVs, black four-poster beds, beige walls, rattan sofas and private furnished balconies. If you’re looking to be pampered, book a treatment at the luxurious spa, which offers everything from facials using Clarins products to seaweed wraps — there are also hammam-style steam rooms and alfresco beachside massages available. Go for a dip in the lagoon-style infinity pool, and paddle up to the bar for a frothy cocktail before heading to the thatch-roofed Pelican Grill for light lunch options. And for dinner, the open-air Lighthouse restaurant offers a more fine-dining experience, offering Panamanian flavors that rival the view of the palm tree–fringed beach below.
In the Area
It may feel like a remote haven, but the resort is only a 20-minute drive from downtown Panama City, so you would be remiss to leave without seeing the country’s greatest claim to fame, its majestic and well-trafficked canal, where you can watch vessels pass through the Miraflores Locks. For a taste of Panama’s history, pay a visit to Casco Viejo, a 16th-century district of the city containing many gorgeous Spanish and French colonial buildings. Refuel at Casa Sucre Coffeehouse, which in an 1873 colonial home; you can get your caffeine fix and try a Panamanian breakfast of chicken tamales wrapped in banana leaves. Before heading back, stock up on artisan-made gold jewelry at Reprosa, a two-story boutique helping to revive ancient indigenous methods.
How to Get There
LOVED this Resort! Husband and I spent 4 wonderful days at this fantastic resort which is in the rainforest! We would definitely return! From the moment we arrived we were warmly greeted by Oscar, who brought us to a special check-in for 'Preferred Club'. We were again warmly greeted by the 'Preferred Club' Staff member who totally explained all the dining options, that everything was included, our itinerary, our excursions, confirmed our transportation to and from all our excursions. Explained that there were special areas for 'Preferred Club' members, both in dining, pool area, and bars. Then, Oscar escorted us to our beautiful room on the 4th floor with a gorgeous view. Oscar showed us everything about the room, which was very large. King bed, sitting area, kitchen and dining area large bathroom (all amenities+ refreshed everyday) with shower and jaccuzzi and 2 furnished balconies with breathtaking views! Greeted with champagne, fresh fruit and snacks. Full mini bar restocked everyday with lots of sodas, bottled water, beer, alcohol, in room coffee. The grounds of this Resort are gorgeous, very well kept, with lots of tropical birds, iguanas, pelicans, frigate birds. We found plenty delicious food and drinks available whenever we wanted. The pictures of this Resort are spot on. We found it even more beautiful than the pics. The top stand out at this Resort were the Staff members. From Oscar greeting us and making us feel at home, to every Staff member you meet. The Staff is superb in their efforts to provide whatever you need with a wonderful smile. We found the entire Staff whether it be at the restaurants, bars, lobby, room attendants, gardeners, to be very welcoming, friendly and helpful with beautiful smiles! We had NO issues with mosquitos at all and they usually bite me up. Not an issue at all! Yes, this Resort is 45 minutes from the airport, however if you want peace, quiet, to be in the rainforest AND be in a gorgeous hotel with excellent service and amenities, then this is the place! Highly recommend the excursion to Panama Canal (breakfast and lunch served) and excursion to see the wild monkeys/indigenous people. Booked through the Resort since you are picked up in the Lobby of the Resort and very well organized! Checkout was a breeze. We had a fabulous time and we did not want to leave. We would highly recommend this gorgeous Resort with its lovely Staff! We will definitely return! Fantastic time!
The hotel is a 3 star hotel. The property is pretty decent but needs a lot of upgrading. Has only 3 restaurants to dine in for the evening. Out of which one is for adults only. So if you have kids like we did you are stuck to 2 places. One being seafood the other Italian. At lunch only one place is open which is a buffet. The quality of food is below average. Besides the buffet does not open till about 1 or so. No food service by the pool at all. So if you are hungry you are out of luck. No ice cream at any restaurants which is strange considering it is a family resort.
The staff was very friendly. Jose one of the staff person was extremely helpful and friendly. Would not go back there again though.
Recently spent five days here with two other family members.
Is in a beautiful setting but the physical plant was a bit dated and worn (very clean and staff working on things all the time).
Food was okay but not great. Very much the same day to day in the buffets. The two on-site a la carte restaurants we visited were very good (Portofino and Bordeaux) but with limited menus. Service in these venues was excellent while in the buffets the service at times was a bit slow. In-room dining really was sub-par. Bar service was slow at times (despite not a lot of patrons present) and choices were limited.
The tours/excursions through the on-site vendor (Panamazing) were great. Tour guides were extremely knowledgable, upbeat and did a great job.