For those that have done the Panama trip before, perhaps years ago, remember going to places such as Veneto or staying at the Hard Rock hotel, but these are things of the past. The Veneto shut down about 1-2 years ago now due to lack of paying taxes and the government repossessed the building and boarded it up. Now, it looks more like a haunted hotel. The scene in Panama is constantly changing and in fact, this author has received emails to specifically remove Hard Rock from our Top 5 Most Bachelor Friendly Hotels list and I agree. They don’t belong there anymore.
The vibe has changed dramatically at the Hard Rock and really doesn’t even pull that many guests for the sheer size of it. You decide to book there and you’ll be one of the few even staying there. To break down, guys have told me their biggest issue with this hotel really boils down to their unwavering guest policy. So you when you’re out and about on the town and perhaps you meet a lovely lady and it’s clicking. The clicking turns to flirting turns to – “let’s go back to my place” and you’re staying at the Hard Rock. No big deal right? Well if you don’t mind paying from $150 to walk that guest through the front door to your room then no it isn’t a big deal. For many, that’s a dealbreaker. Especially if you’re more of a philanderer then that charge will be multiplied.
It’s not all bad there. The breakfast buffet is pretty awesome, but if you’re coming to Panama with a vampire schedule itinerary I’m sure you won’t be taking too much advantage of this anyways.
POOL PARTY SCENE
Moving on – the pool party scene has become next to nothing since few guests aren’t really staying here or at least for the party vibe that it initially stoked and marketed. The big organized pool parties are happening at the W hotel and Sortis. Read more on the pool party scene in Panama here, written by our staffer here in the Highlife offices.
WHAT ABOUT THE CLUB SCENE
Ok, well what about the club scene at the Hard Rock? Bling on the 13th floor has been stepping it up and hosting some renowned DJs and events for those late hour parties starting at 1am going til 6am unless there is a bar fight in which they’ll shut the whole place down the minute a bottle is thrown. This is not an exaggeration – last weekend was a big “luxury” party that got shut down around 5am once a few rum bottles started flying overhead.
So at this point, I’ve probably convinced you out of staying at the Hard Rock for your groups’ bachelor/ guys trip to Panama. You’re thinking – give me an alternative solution then – OK I will. If you’re wanting the downtown high rise hotel experience because you thought about the apartment option, but realized that most of the time the cleanliness factor just doesn’t compare to a high-end hotel, then I’d say your best options are the Sortis (Marriott Signature Hotel), Hilton on Avenida Balboa, Waldorf Astoria, or the W. That last article on the top 5 bachelor friendly hotels still holds pretty true and Sortis still reigns king for the anything goes vibe.
If you’re stuck on the idea of a house or villa then look no further than the neighborhood of Casco Viejo. If you want nightlife and action then don’t stay outside the city center – just don’t. You’re only here for so many days so don’t waste your time trying to sort through those logistics if you’re staying outside the city. There are tons of small apt options in Casco, but few large accommodations so you will probably need to team up to coordinate the best way to make this work for larger groups. Skeptical of talking to the Highlife guys – fine, but honestly why waste time when this is what we do and know everyone in this industry. We spend our days scouring the streets for deals and the best of the best. We’ll help find you the best spot for your group.
Want to talk to me personally about the spot for the group or about a new deal for that week then feel free to reach out direct: Greg@highlifepanama.com
Good luck planning your Panama trip!