Some travelers are beach people, wanting the sand-and-water experience under palm trees. Others are city travelers, preferring the excitement and diversity of entertainment that a metropolitan vacation offers.
Westin Playa Bonita in Panama City is one place where you can have both – in style. The gorgeous property is just at the outskirts of the city, across the bridge from Panama City’s lively downtown and the Panama Canal. On this peaceful stretch of Pacific Ocean beach, with its golden sand and blue waters, the Westin Playa Bonita has all the makings of a hidden-away tropical resort; yet is only minutes away from the sightseeing, restaurants and nightlife that thriving Panama City has to offer.
Guest Rooms The rooms have an elegant, understated modern décor, with fantastic bathrooms and views that either look over the Pacific Ocean or the tropical rainforest that surrounds Playa Bonita. The beds are seriously comfortable; in fact Westin has trademarked it as its Heavenly Bed, and that it is. All rooms feature a 40-inch LCD television, iPod docking station, refreshment center, separate shower and deep soaking tub, wood Panamanian furnishings and some have private patios. The 18th floor is home to the Westin Executive Club Rooms, all with stunning views from private balconies and access to the Executive Club Lounge, serving food and drinks throughout the day. Suites are also available, from the Revival and Renewal Suites meant for a relaxing stay to the Presidential Suites of 1,600 square feet, with ample living space, kitchen and dining table for six.
Onsite Facilities This is the kind of place where you can do as much or as little as you like. Four beachfront pools provide an escape overlooking the ocean, with several bars and the ability to have snack foods and light meals served. Take a stroll along the beach, or participate in some of the fun daily activities ranging from salsa lessons to beach volleyball and kayaking. There is also a fully equipped fitness center onsite. If you really want to experience total relaxation, check yourself into the Sensory Spa by Clarins, which specializes in holistic remedies and hydrothermal healing with their many choices in body and facial treatments.
When it comes to dining and nighttime fun, there are plenty of choices here. Depending on the level of package you have booked, three large dining rooms serve sumptuous buffet meals three times a day. These are not your typical buffets; on my stay we were highly impressed by the quality and diversity of the food offered. There are also several other restaurants onsite. The chic Soléo offers Mediterranean tapas by day and cocktails and karaoke by night, while Asiana is a sophisticated dining experience specializing in sushi, curries and other Asian dishes. Finally, Tierra Y Fuego is an upscale steakhouse with a Latin flair. For after-dinner drinking or dancing, the Oasis Bar & Lounge has a great vibe, personable bartenders and live music most nights.
Neighborhood/Nearby Attractions All the sites and attractions of Panama City are a short drive away, five to 25 minutes. Check out the history of Casco Viejos, the old town that is both falling apart and up-and-coming at the same time, and the newest hot spot for the hip and creative. Don’t miss the nearby seafood market, a taste of local culture and where you can get some amazing, fresh ceviche for three to four dollars. Of course, the Panama Canal is a huge draw. Take a tour of the canal and its lakes and byways; or visit the famous Miraflores Locks for a birds-eye view of ships passing through the locks.
Highlights Location – on the beach yet minutes from the exciting, lively city and the Panama Canal. Food – an excellent variety of all sorts of food using fresh ingredients and chefs who are serious about what they are putting out. Atmosphere – this can be a fun party place, with good times by the pool and evenings listing to live music while sipping delectable cocktail creations; or you can simply relax by the beachside pools or in the spa. Staff – the people who work here are generally a friendly and helpful bunch, who will make you feel at home.
Good to Know If you’re traveling as a family, you’ve come to the right place. The Westin Kids Club for children 4-12 offers supervised activities, completely free of charge. Attentive staff will lead the kids in crafts, music, playground and beach activities and much more. Weddings and events are big here. With 20 multi-purpose event spaces that compromise 65,000 total square feet, and a professional events team, having the perfect wedding, renewal ceremony, party or corporate event is a breeze. The Westin Playa Bonita is pet-friendly; they’ll even provide your four-legged friend with its own Heavenly Bed!
Los Altos de Eros means the height of love – and that’s just what this place is. Every detail is thoughtfully planned and executed, from the rooms to the exquisite spa and delightful meals - and most especially, the amazing staff.
Los Altos de Eros is a small boutique hotel set on 27 acres high amongst the mountains of northwestern Costa Rica. The secluded romantic retreat is far removed from anything to spoil the perfection of the place or experience, yet only a 20 minute drive outside the popular town of Tamarindo. In many ways, Costa Rica is the way life should be. With numerous eco climates, many active volcanoes, and pristine beaches, the country offers a diverse and storied culture that can be enjoyed by all.
Upon arriving, the entry lobby and common area living/dining rooms feel more as if you’ve just stepped into someone’s luxurious private home. The staff is warm and welcoming, and lead you to one of four poolside rooms, a detached suite with private terrace, or the upstairs Eros Suite. Each room is beautifully decorated with signs of Eros all about, from sculptures to other art forms. Each room is meant for romance, from the large two-person tubs to private terraces. It’s no surprise that this is a very popular place for honeymoons and small weddings.
The on-site spa was rated 8th best spa in the world! The building is just below the property and is open air, constructed solely of teak with bamboo ceilings. Views from the 5 private treatment rooms feature mountains, jungle and the Pacific Ocean. Very Balinese in nature, this is the place to relax even more, should you need to. Treatments from massages and body scrubs to facials and soaking tubs soothe away any stress easily, and the therapists are excellent and gentle.
The meals are a big draw here; Chef Andrea delights in creating fresh, local and very inventive dishes, and guests can also take her very popular cooking classes during their stay. She meets with each guest to discuss their likes, dislikes, preferences and any food allergies. Los Altos de Eros only serves organic fruits and vegetables, free-range chicken, and grass-fed tenderloin. The seafood is brought directly from the dock packed in shaved ice.
Other onsite activities include yoga with certified instructor Nicole Loria; hiking around the area; swimming or lounging at the gorgeous infinity pool; or going into Tamarindo for shopping, restaurants or the local beaches. Los Altos de Eros can also arrange a number of eco, adventure and culture tours in the area.
I love that the property offers a Top 10 list of reasons to stay, which include "We are hurricane proof and we don't have drug wars." Other listed reasons, all of which I completely agree with, include the romance, many awards the 5-star hotel has won, the cuisine and spa, amazing staff, involvement in the community and Coco the dog.
2 Poolside room with one Queen bed $450/night plus taxes
2 Poolside room with King bed and private terrace $550/night plus taxes
Detached king room with a cover private terrace $595/night plus taxes
The Eros Suite, our best accommodation $695/night plus taxes.
Rates include the following complimentary services:
Transportation from and to Liberia airport
Breakfast and lunch daily
Dinner on Saturdays
Complimentary beverages (smoothies, beer, wine, coffee, tea, soft drink) are available all day.
This property receives high ratings and is very popular, so booking well in advance is advised. And they have a heck of a guarantee policy: If in the first 24 hours of your stay you don't think Los Altos has over-delivered on what you expected, they will happily refund your room charge and help you find another location at which to stay.
Contact Details: Phone: (506) 8850-4222
This luxurious hideaway is without a doubt one of the finest properties in the cosmopolitan Malaysian city of Kuala Lumpur. Consisting of just 21 rooms, most surrounding the stunning lagoon pool, it is the epitome of boutique and cossets a peaceful home from home feel without compromising on life’s little luxuries.