Some of the best luxury experiences to be had in Panama

Club Elsewhere Travel Magazine - Travel Guides and Stories - some of the best luxury experiences in Panama

Panama is an isthmus sitting beautifully between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea and it certainly isn’t short of experiences worthy of making you feel like a million bucks – especially if you’ve got a couple to spare. Panama is certainly a place your Pounds, Dollars and Euros go further; here’s how to spend (un)wisely.

Island escapes

Panama is blessed with over 1,500 miles of sandy shoreline and thus, is best enjoyed on the water. Panama Boat Charter will take you to a picturesque set of islands on a Contender 28S with plenty of opportunities to enjoy that Panamanian deep blue sea you heard so much about. There are Dolphin and Whale watching packages (from June to October), tours of the Bay of Panama, fishing and beach trips to the island of Taboga and further out to paradise in the Pearl archipelagos. Virtuoso Travel will similarly take you on an ultra-luxe tour of Panama City and the San Blas Islands, that dreamy archipelago of 365 pristine islands you might have heard (dreamt) about. This is one of the most delectable luxury experiences in Panama.

Club Elsewhere Travel Magazine - Travel Guides and Stories - some of the best luxury experiences in Panama - Panama Boat Charter

Photo credit: Panama Boat Charter

The Pearl Islands are one of Panama’s most glittery archipelagos and Contadora Island is their gem. It’s alleged that Spanish conquistadors escaped to Contadora to take stock of their inventory, granting the island its unique name (“Contadora” is Spanish for bookkeeper).

In the archipelago of Bocas del Toro, your best bet is over-the-water bungalow resort Azul Paradise. This eco-property is nestled on a private beach and is committed to improving the lives of the locals in the nearby Salt Creek village. The rooms are so ridiculous, you might never want to leave, which would be a crime given the gorgeous surroundings.

Club Elsewhere Travel Magazine - Luxury experiences in Panama - Azul Paradise

Club Elsewhere Travel Magazine - Azul Paradise Resort Bocas del Toro

Photo credit: Azul Paradise Resort

Flying high

Panama City is an urban wonderland filled with majestic, cloud-caressing skyscrapers. Get the view from the top with a private helicopter tour. Aero Albrook will ferry you ocean to ocean or take you through the Ancon Hill, the old town of Casco Viejo and the Panama Canal, the greatest feat of modern engineering.

Club Elsewhere Travel Magazine - Aero Albrook sky tours

Photo credit: Aero Albrook

Chic rooftop bars

Take to the skies while back on solid ground with a visit to one of Casco Viejo’s stylish rooftop bars. It’s impossible not to fall in love with the Casco’s charm, and it has a rooftop bar to suit every style and craving. At Casa Casco in Plaza Herrera, you’ll be asked if you prefer a sea view or city vista upon arrival, and what delicious options those are. Lazotea is sleek and offers dining and drinks overlooking the city and it’s even got a pool to boot. Salvaje’s tropical decor delights and Capital Bistro is another good one for drinks practically right one the water. When a view is this good, there’s no saying no.

Club Elsewhere Travel Magazine - Lazotea Rooftop Panama City

Photo credit: Lazotea Rooftop


Indulge in some retail therapy at Multiplaza mall’s Luxury Avenue which Dolce & Gabbana, Bally, Cartier, Chanel and Michael Kors call home – perfect if you’re staying at the Courtyard by Marriott Panama Multiplaza just opposite the mall.

Fine lodgings

The Bristol Hotel Panama City is part of The Leading Hotels of the World consortium, one of only two such hotels in Central America. No stranger to well-heeled guests hailing from all corners, its doors swung open way back in 1997. If available, ask for the Tower Executive Room on the 12th floor (it’s the best one) because who doesn’t want to watch TV from the comfort of your bathtub? One of the most noteworthy parts of the Bristol is the amazing spa, which sits on the 25th floor, the highest point of the Executive Tower. The Vichy shower rain massage is the movie star of their menu. A jet is applied to the body so a rain effect washes over you – literally – while the masseuse treats each area. The massage is carried out on a gel pad and soft, balloon-like pillows. 

The W Hotel is nothing to be scoffed at either. The outdoor pool is on the same floor as the bar and often plays host to pool parties and even rooftop yoga sessions. For Old World charm, make your way to the American Trade Hotel in Casco Viejo. This building was once Panama’s tallest skyscraper and it’s been restored to perfection by the Ace Hotel Group. Rooms are spacious and the location offers sumptuous views of Plaza Herrera and the Iglesia la Merced on either side. In the historic town of Portobello, take your itchy feet and retreat to El Otro Lado, a private retreat with a dreamy infinity pool overlooking the Caribbean sea and the lush surrounding jungle.

Club Elsewhere Travel Magazine - The W Hotel Panama Wet Bar

Photo credit: Marriott Hotels

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3 comments on “Some of the best luxury experiences to be had in Panama

  1. You’ve just re-inspired me to put Panama higher on my travel bucket list! Stunning photos (especially the first sunset one!) and incredible island experiences seem to be waiting for me! I’d love to also experience the helicopter tour – love seeing places from above!

  2. I have been wanting to visit Panama for a while. I love the fact my money goes further there. I think my family would love a helicopter tour and I will enjoy the shopping and dinning.

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