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
No entertainment! It’s pure silence at pool area. Lousy activities among the 3 offered during the day. Nothing but karaoke at nite and a staff member putting on YouTube videos on the big screen and til 1am and they call that DJ! If you’re looking for silent as a pin drop vacation this is for you!
The resort is falling apart! Most of the tile floor of pool is missing and you will hurt your toes/feet! Even saw a parent had to stop a baby from putting them in her mouth so watch your kids! The in Pool lounge
Chairs are filthy, restaurant chairs torn apart and seat stained. They lost electricity on and off the day. And I had no robes in my room so had to make sure they didn’t say I stole them just never got them!
Only 3 restaurants on resort (French, Italian and seafood) but all three are never open. You get 2 at a time plus the seaside grill by pool. No buffet offered at night. So no options to eat and you force to eat same items all week. During the day only breakfast and lunch are buffet and it’s rhe same items!!!! You are literally eating the same thing breakfast lunch and dinner! And room service is extra unless you have all inclusive (which I’m told I had) but room service sucks! You have to call front desk them they will have room service call you back. They never get the order right even when you order in Spanish! I got pancakes with no syrup! Cream but no coffee! Do your self a favor and eat outside the resort in city!
Staff was friendly but only 5% spoke English. So use google translate on their WiFi or learn before you get there! Only person that made this trip fun when I was miserable was Vivian from the Entertainment team. She tried to make it fun even though it was sooo boring and she made you laugh and would dance with you! Such a lovely person and worker!
It’s safe to go off resort alone! Use Uber! It’s so Americanized that it was like being in downtown Philly. Prices were great and they use American dollars! Their currency has same value as US dollars! We went to Tantalo hotel and bar. It’s has a resturant and rooftop bar it’s great! Go shopping at Av Amador just bring cash not card cuz it like flea market style. Just grab a Uber and go but take my advice and just do it at another resort! Avoid this one at all cost! The repeatative food, broken down resort and pool and no activities/shows etc was to much to overlook! Not worth it!
After reading reviews we were hesitant to book but did so anyway.
If you are expecting your typical party all inclusive this is not the place.
This resort is calm and peaceful and easy to get around - very helpful with a baby.
We truly got to relax and were glad music wasn't pounding all day but also happy there were opportunities for it such as the activities poolside. The ladies that work on the entertainment team are very friendly and so nice to talk to.
Yes, for many staff English isn't the best but they try to communicate and are learning. They usually find a way to get the message through.
Sooo many beautiful, great helpful people at this resort especially the waiters and waitresses.. Cindy, Valerio, Tania, and the unspoken cooks who cook all the greatest food. I really can't say enough about the staff.
Resort isn't new but the spaces are very clean and comfortable.
The bonus of it not being crazy busy is that you get the great services and issues are handled fast.
Beach wasn't the best but still so nice to pick up seashells and walk around and tan.
Driver Luis (organized through hotel) was absolutely a wonderful and knowledgeable kind man. We enjoying touring the city with him.
Resort also offers a free daily shuttle to go to the huge mall on rainy days.
Overall our family enjoyed, relaxed and had a lot of fun!
While the resort is nice it is not up to par as the Caribbean resorts. The staff was super nice except for a couple. They are understaffed which wasn't an issue until BP was on site. Then there was a wait to get into the buffet and two hours to get room service. The resort definitely needs some cosmetic fixes. The room needs weather stripping around the doors - we had to put napkins in the door gaps so the bugs wouldn't get in. Our AC was leaking water two nights in a row - they were very quick on fixing it! They have a batting cage with no machine and when asked for baseballs - they said no. No idea why.
The food was great and our room was cleaned on time.
The jungle hike was AMAZING! Alex led us on the tour and he was very knowledgeable.
Make sure you bring plenty of bug spray!! No reason to buy up to the preferred club - you don't get anything extra for your money.
We visited this resort Feb 2018
The resort was dated and understaffed
Staff that were there were pleasant but not outgoing or very helpful
Too much pollution from the canal to swim in the ocean
The grounds are well kept but there is a huge lack of things to do and most of the resort is closed by 9
The food was good and rooms were clean and it was close to panama city 20 mins
I would not recomend this resort
The resort was fantastic. All of the employees were friendly and helpful but one in particular stood out above the rest. Her name was Vivian and she was on the entertainment team. She taught water aerobics and many other outdoor activities. Her customer service skills were unmatched! It was a pleasure dealing with her.