Towering above the Pacific Ocean and facing the city’s growing skyline, the JW Marriott Panama City is one of the finest hotels in the Panamanian capital. Along Punta Pacifica, the views from this hotel, which is shaped like a sailboat’s sail, are excellent, especially if you enjoy one of the many pools on its terrace. Once the Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower, Marriott took it over to operate under its high-end JW Marriott banner. It attracts an international audience of leisure guests, “staycationers” and business travelers. Here are five important reasons to visit the JW Marriott Panama City.
From its position in the city’s financial district, the towering skyscrapers frame the beautiful ocean views. All of the rooms have furnished balconies from which to take in the scenery. This building is the tallest tower in all of Central America rising 70 floors above ground. This assures that almost every room has an excellent position to see the surrounding cityscape. The building is part hotel and part residential complex. Guests arrive to the main entrance lobby, but need to take an elevator to the main lobby several floors up. This is where reception is as well as a lively bar and lounge from which guests can work or relax while enjoying the view.
The elevated position of the sundeck and pools are great for taking in the view of the water while soaking up the sun. Palm trees sway by umbrellas that provide ample shade. Two infinity edge pools have sunken lounge chairs in the water or cushioned chairs facing the sea. A snack menu includes salads, burgers and tacos to enjoy while relaxing by the other two pools.
If you’re looking to relax, the hotel has a medical spa with health and wellness treatments plus a sizable fitness center with the latest equipment. There’s also a casino if you want to exercise your wallet instead of your muscles.
The hotel has plenty of dining options starting with the all-day restaurant, Masi. Here, guests can seat either indoors or on the al fresco terrace. The breakfast buffet includes a wide selection of tropical fruit, yogurt, sweet and savory dishes, and a Panamanian section with local dishes that change daily. For lunch and dinner, the menu spans a mix of international and regional cuisine, but the most popular is the long roster of ceviche dishes, including a vegetarian option.
Guests can also dine by the pool or enjoy light meals and drinks in the lobby lounge. The wine bar in the lobby has hundreds of labels on offer, and it gets busy once the sun sets with locals as well as guests (the property has substantial meeting space making this a big draw for conference and business groups).
Glass elevators run up the side of the building providing an entertaining experience as you climb the tallest skyscraper in the region. Accommodations here are exceptionally large and come with tiled floors and a white and beige color scheme. Several dozen suites add extra living space, larger bathrooms with soaking tubs and small dining tables.
The beds are exceptionally comfortable with thick duvets and pillows atop pillowtop Serta mattresses. On either side of the bed are power outlets and easy-access light switches, and an armchair with ottoman is smartly placed by the window. It was a lovely place to sit and work instead of the desk, especially as the region’s famous afternoon thunderstorms rolled in to the area during my visit.
Glass shower stalls in the bathrooms have excellent water pressure, and in many rooms, windows provide natural light and even more views. Aromatherapy Associates toiletries come in large pump bottles on the vanity.
The Marriott Bonvoy benefits
Joining Marriott Bonvoy is a no-brainer when staying at a Marriott family hotel. You can earn points for your stay or redeem them for a free night once you have enough. For Titanium members in the program, they are eligible for special perks like access to the executive lounge where a lovely breakfast spread and hot, light dinner is served daily. Throughout the day, they can help themselves to fruit, yogurt, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks on a complimentary basis. There is a charges for wine, beer and spirits later in the day. Titanium members also receive a welcome amenity, which they can select from a list, including bonus points, fruit and local beer.
All Marriott Bonvoy elite status members enjoy bonus points and extra recognition when staying here. These include room and suite upgrades, late checkout considerations and faster Wi-Fi speeds. The program is free to join, and JW Marriott Panama does an excellent job of making loyalty program members feel welcomed and appreciated.
Ramsey Qubein is a freelance travel journalist covering hotels, cruises, airlines, and loyalty programs from around the globe.