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“Overall decent vacation”

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Hotel Playa Blanca Beach Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Farallon
Reviewed 24 September 2017

First off, customer service was great. The moment we walked in the resort we were taken care of. Luis (Bellboy) welcomed us by taking our bags to our room and gave us a few nice tips for things to do in the area. Gabriel the manager was also very helpful and made sure we had everything we needed during our stay. We appreciate that.

We stayed in the Town Centre Suites, our room was very spacious and well set up. I loved the patio doors/balcony with a view overlooking the big pool. We had refreshments in the fridge, good coffee, and a well working A/C. This section of the hotel is definitely quieter than the rest of the resort. The only thing we have to mention, although the room was cleaned, maybe the walls could have been a bit cleaner, and the backsplash of the sink, but that's it.

For location, originally we had a trip booked to Punta Cana but because of Hurricane Irma our trip was cancelled and we had to choose a new destination quickly. So, our expectations for the beach was high, which made us disappointed when we saw the beaches in Panama. The water is very musky and sandy, and no one swam in there during the week. It looked abandoned.

Which brings us next, to the pools. Since the beaches were not ideal for swimming, the pools were over crowded with families and their children. Things were a bit slimy from children and sun screen, but we understand with the amount of families and kids it's probably a lot to keep up with maintenance. It seemed like this resort is the hot spot for locals to spend quality time with their kids, like you would at a theme park. We were the only two from our flight that stayed here, everyone else went to the Riu next door.

Another thing that was disappointing, the site we booked our trip advertises that Playa Blanca Beach Resort has the second largest pool in the Caribbean. We were excited once we saw this beautiful pool. However walking towards it, the security stopped us and told us it's for residents only. We confirmed this with the lady at the front desk, and she said the something. We were only able to eat at the restaurant and swim in a small section near it, which is also crowded with children and not as maintained as the rest of the pool. However, when we told this news to Gabriel, he offered to get us bracelets to access the residential area, which made us very happy, but it was already the end of our trip.

Food was great, they had a lot of options. Loved the buffet and Italian restaurant.

Entertainment was ok. Mainly for children, in Spanish. This resort is very family oriented. It's a great resort if you have children, but we don't, so there wasn't many options for us.
They have a casino, it's a small room with a couple slot machines, nothing more. The sports bar was the best thing there for adults, nothing too exciting but we enjoyed a few games of pool with some new friends from the area.

Panama City is two hours away, we took a local bus and stayed a night to explore. It was very nice to experience how the locals are, and practice our Spanish, we enjoyed that.
The Panama Canal is a big thing there, it's a must. Shopping was ok, nothing special.

Overall, if you are looking for a tropical relaxing vacation, with nice beaches and things to do/see, Panama is not the best option. But if you are looking to explore Panama or have something to do there, and have children, we recommend it.

Room Tip: Quietest area is in the Town Centre Suites
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  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Vannyrobert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CUSTOMERSERVICE P, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Hotel Playa Blanca Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 26 September 2017

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your stay at PLAYA BLANCA HOTEL & RESORT and for such a positive review. One of our main goals is to constantly improve our services. Your feedback is very constructive to detect our areas of opportunity and see where we are failing to meet the expectations of our customers.

In behalf of all the persons who make up the team, we would like you to know that we are truly grateful for your appreciation towards the service provided, which made you feel as relaxed and comfortable as if you were home.

We are sure that Luis Jiménez and Gabriel Castillo will be pleased to know that you mentioned the outstanding service they provided to you during your stay, it is thanks to reviews like yours that encourage us to keep working hard in order to be better every day.

We all hope to welcome you back in a very near future and create many more memorable experiences.

Best regards,
Customer Service

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Reviewed 17 September 2017

My husband and I stayed at the Playa Blanca the week of September 8th. The resort itself is very nice, the food is amazing, the staff are top notch. My husband and I planned on doing some diving while there but found out that there is really only one site and it is about 40 feet deep during high tide. The water is very murky and full of sand etc...so really nothing to dive there.
Some of our observations traveling as a couple without children. The pools were wonderful however the water in them is questionable and we were sure to never put our heads under water. This could be in part due to the number of guests at the hotel during our stay and the amount of sunscreen being applied. Also the washrooms are not conveniently located, however they are building a new washroom as we speak which should help out quite a bit.
Our stay was pleasant but we do wish that there had been at least one area in the resort where children were not allowed. That is our fault for going to a family resort so I cannot negatively comment on this one. We love children, ours are older now, but my concern is the heavy drinking that occurs at the pool bar with children in their floaties observing the sometimes loud and drunken behaviour of adults on vacation. I do not feel that this is behaviour children should be exposed to and it would be nice to see that area free of children. There is a wonderful children's pool where there was lots of activity and laughter and children being children, and enjoying themselves with other children as it should be. There really is no area free of children which most resorts do offer so I was a little disappointed in this respect.
The pool entertainment and sports crew kept everyone content, and as involved as they wanted to be. They love their jobs and it shows!
The lifeguards are kept busy by watching children that parents loose track of. We witnessed a near drowning while there. The lifeguard, Jonell Duncan, jumped in to pull a child to safety after a child who could not swim was left unattended by his parents. I was across the pool and attempting to get there as no one else seemed to notice the distressed child, but before I could get there Jonell had jumped in and pulled the sputtering child out of the pool. After a few seconds the parent noticed Jonell pulling their child out of the pool and came over chuckling, like it was funny. I do not think the parent realized what Jonell did for them or their child, it was a close call and could have ended tragically if not for the attentive lifeguard in a very busy pool. My commendations go to Jonell, thank you young man you are a big asset to Playa Blanca!
While at the hotel we booked an excursion through Sunwing to Penonome, a place we had visiting and enjoyed 14 years ago. Our guide was Omar who is informative, helpful and accommodating. We enjoying our morning with Omar very much and would highly recommend this tour. It is a small town where a lot of the locals live and shop. The town is charming, the locals are so friendly and the deals in the stores are amazing. No big shopping centre just an opportunity to see how the locals live and take in some of the flavour of Panama.
My Husband and I booked a couples massage at the resort, it was well worth every cent and was a break away from the noise and hustle of the resort. Thank you Tara, I was very relaxed for that hour❤️
Our favourite escape on the resort became the sports bar. Donny, Carlos, Eduardo and Hector made our visit special. They are always happy to see their guests and treat everyone like someone special. This is by far the best bar and the best bartenders. If you head over there you will feel like an old friend very quickly. Thank you guys for being awesome!
Over all our stay was very good and the hotel is quick to accommodate any need you have. I seemed to have an allergy to their pillows, sneezing as soon as I laid my head down LOL. We went to the front desk and they were not sure they had any other pillows but they would check. By that evening I had a new pillow and that was the end of my sneezing. Housekeeping was great, not a single complaint or concern. Our room was always cleaned and well cared for.
The food is amazing! We especially liked the Thai restaurant and ate there 3 times during our stay. The Italian restaurant was also very good, we ate there twice. Overall, the restaurants, the servers, the hosts all provide an exceptional experience for their guests and I would highly recommend this resort for anyone who enjoys their food, even the pickiest of eaters would be fine at this resort.
Over all, for families I think this resort is an exceptional deal. For couples wanting a bit of a quieter vacation, not so much, but maybe someday the resort will set aside an adult only space and then it would be somewhere we would return to. We do not have a single complaint, only a concern about the young ones in the swim up pool bar and a lack of an adult only area. I stress that this is our personal thing, and should not deter anyone from going to this resort.

Room Tip: We stayed in room 4011 away from the noise and music. Great room with a side view of the ocean.
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  • Stayed: September 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank Deborah T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CUSTOMERSERVICE P, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Hotel Playa Blanca Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 19 September 2017

Dear Mrs. Deborah,

First we would like to thank you for choosing Playa Blanca Beach Resort holiday is a pleasure to know that their expectations were met.

We appreciate you took the time to share your experience, and your comments help us to improve therefore thank hard on behalf of all the staff at Playa Blanca Beach Resort.

Therefore we will be more than happy to welcome you again.

Best regards,
Customer Service

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2017

Playa Blanca was a wonderful experience. Very relaxing and accommodating. The food was excellent too. Various cuisines and motifs made each meal a delight. There was no shortage of food either. There was always something somewhere and it was included in the price. The wet bar at one of the pools was quite a social gathering place for friends and family or just ordinary people with a desire to interact with other cultures. Beer, cocktails, soda; all included. The professionalism of the staff was refreshing and welcoming. The entertainment was quite a treat also. I spoke with Jehinner Solis Ruiz, the choreographer of the performances, about what a pleasure it was to watch the performances and witness the passion of each performer as they enterained the crowd. Many performances with various themes. There were shows for the kids, and they were highly interactive. Just after there were shows for the adults as well. Also interactive and all family oriented. The performers were all staff members who you could meet and engage with throughout their day as they also had other duties including handing out towels, hosting game activities, cleaning the pools, and even instructing water aerobics. It was just plain all around fun. For the money you just can't beat the experience. Now I'm not trying to compare Playa Blanca with any other resort. My point is that this is a great family vacation resort. If I had to say anything negative it would have to be that the sand on the beach there is so hot to walk on that I "highly" recommend some form of foot ware. And if you don't have something to sit on (they have plenty), bring a blanket. Highly recommend this resort! D.R. Masterson

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank iamdonmasterson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CUSTOMERSERVICE P, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Hotel Playa Blanca Beach Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 2 September 2017

Dear Mr DR Mastersion

thank you for choosing us as hosts for your luxury vacation, fills us with pride to know that our staff and facilities met at fit your expectations, we let you know everyone of animation is congratulated by the hard work, once more thank you for choosing us and hope to see again.

Greetings cordial,
Service customer

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Reviewed 23 August 2017 via mobile

Playa Blanca has managed to pass a fast one on many people. I being one of them .

They had put an offer on “Oferta Simple” in Panama claiming various things, in which were NOT true.

This was the offer “Valid for consecutive nights. Check in: 3pm. Check out: 12pm (the room key must be returned) Late check out: 3pm (access to the facilities without the use of a room). Includes breakfast, lunch (day of departure), dinner, snacks and drinks. The room type is a Deluxe room and has a king size bed or two double beds. OPTION 1: It is valid from Sunday to Thursday and includes gourmet experience + bottle of champagne and late check-out until 3pm. The reservation at the restaurant with menu à la carte is subject to availability.. Taxes included. Tips not included. Reservation required. The hotel will make every effort to find spaces for the use of all vouchers at the dates convenient to the customer. Free WiFi.”

So Let me start off by their claim that the hotel will make an effort to find space, that is not true. When I spoke to Clarissa, and requested for Sunday she said she couldn’t help me, I then asked her, if it frees up can you call me ?  She said it wouldn’t free up.  The voucher aslo says “Gourmet Experience” when I asked Clarissa what gourmet experience was she said it was their restaurants had gone a new change and that they all have “ new “ menus . I proceeded to ask her how to pick our restaurant and she told me,  when I check in, I will be capable of having the choice ( the menus are NOT available online). Although we did have a reservation, we had to wait in line, in the sun for a total of about 10 -15 minutes, no one was offered water, yet the workers managed to see us all sweating, waiting for our turn. As it appears to be my turn, I give my reservation number and she proceeds to give me my keys, I ask her about the restaurant and she says that the Italian is booked. My husband and I were both confused and I proceeded to ask what happened to the choices we get? She had told me that I have to come in the morning to chose, so Clarissa took my choices away and chose for us. We go to our room, and the room was still wet, from just being cleaned. We decided to upgrade ( do so, as it costs only 25 per day , well worth it because the bed is comfier on the other side, and you get access to the big pool) . As the day went on, we checked in at Towncenter, which was a lot better. Please be reminded that I paid 164$ for a deluxe room, a “gourmet experience” and a bottle of champagne. When checking on the website the deluxe room is $138.00 . The town center is $158.00.  So instead of my husband and I arguing with the ladies, as they mentioned they couldn’t change the reservations because they were “bien lleno” meaning very full, we proceeded to accept, although Italian was not our choice. We get to our reservation , and we receive a normal menu, we are seating in the restaurant with one other couple, pretty full right? We did not like our food, the only good part was the garlic bread they had. The plates were dirty and all their utensils. had to be wiped down before being capable of using. The pasta sauce in which was used for the gnocci in which we ordered was from a can, or at least tasted like it. The Tiramisu tasted as if it was just defrosted, it tasted like water . The pizza was not that bad , but considering that we get sick easily with the cheese we couldn’t even enjoy it. We proceeded to leave and try and look at the other “full restaurants. All the restaurants were barley full, the one place we wanted to go to, the sushi , we sat down, and were told that we do not have a reservation and cannot go. She explained to us that the chefs prepare the food in  the morning based  on the reservations, but that is not possible because you do not know how many “rolls” a person will order, nor what roll, so I found that quite amusing as an excuse, especially figuring we did not get to pick our own “ Gourmet Experience” thanks to Clarissa.  Another tip, if you do decide to venture out here, bring mosquito repellent as it is horrible walking around( even during the day ) , we went to go play tennis and the whole tennis field was infested with mosquitos due to the bushes surrounding it. When we entered the town center new room we got, the walls in the bathroom were still wet, although considering how humid it is, it is understandable. However, for any American Football lovers, there is no channel for that available in the bedroom, however, in the Sportsbar channel 48 does have it. They have few channels and those channels are mainly in Spanish. My overall experience, I shouldn’t have bought something for Playa blanca that claimed the value was $328 as it was just a method for selling. For that price, I would have gone to the Decameron, I do not think I will be back here, although the bartender on the Towncenter side is very friendly and makes great drinks , it is just not worth the hassle again, especially since I paid for a “Gourmet Experience” and did not receive it, and none of the restaurants were full either, so it just proves they do not seem to care about the customers. I would suggest looking at Decameron, their prices are quite similar and the Decameron is better service.The people here at playa blanca barley speak English, when trying to be served, so be warned for those who do not speak Spanish. Also I am sure the manager or “guest experience manager Nayeni Lopez “ Will say the same generic message about how they are going to help improve playa blanca and that they do hope to see us again, but that will not happen, even on the bad comments, they reply the same generic message, this just goes to show, these people do NOT care about their customers. PLEASE BE WARNED, LOOK AT THE CUSTOMER SERIVCE, OR MANAGER COMMENTS TO THE PEOPLE, THEY DO NOT TAKE THE TIME TO READ. “ Thank you for choosing Playa Blanca Beach & Resort for taking the time to share your recent stay with us. We kindly appreciate you are taking your valuable time to share with us your experience. We will be looking forward to welcoming you back to our hotel, it will be amazing to host you! Or “we like to tell you we take very seriously all the views that we receive from our customers. Know that we have reported their suggestions to relevant departments to make them people who make appropriate assessments and then changes, if needed. GUYS THIS SHOWS, THESE GENERIC MESSAGES SHOW THAT THE MANAGERS DO NOT CARE, LOOK HOW MANY PREVIOUS BAD COMMENTS HAVE BEEN POSTED. AVOID AT ALL COSTS. THE PHOTOS SHOW EMPTY RESTAURANTS AND DIRTY PLATES

Stayed: August 2017, travelled as a couple
4  Thank Cynthia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2017

ACCOMMODATION: We stayed at very nice and spacious room near the beach. It was clean and well equipped. Very nice was view of sunrise
BEACH AND POOL: Beach was ok and almost all the time only several people there. You can go for a nice long walks along the beach to discover the village, local bar & restaurant or busy beach of Royal Decameron hotel. There is also good offer of water sports. Main swimming pool is good if you like bar in the pool and loud music. Second pool is more quiet and suitable for children. It is worthy to go to the large salty pool close to the residential part, even it is paid extra. It is very nice pool and there is also good a la carte restaurant, bar and water sports, so you can enjoy all day there.
FOOD: Food in the main restaurant was tasty, there was every day variety of quality meals. We did not try a la carte restuarant on the beach, but it seemed also good.
ENTERTAINMENT: Bars offer good strong coctails and you can enjoy interesting programme every evening in amphitheatre. Then you can go to dance in the rhythm of modern Latino music in the beach bar every night.
We had a great holiday and surely will choose this hotel again when going back to Panama.

  • Stayed: February 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank Pavlína S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Playa Blanca Beach Resort

Address: 115 Km Via Interamericana, Farallon, Rio Hato 8437, Panama
Phone Number:
Region: Panama > Cocle Province > Rio Hato > Farallon
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Farallon
Price Range: €114 - €214 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Playa Blanca Beach Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 219
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Playa Blanca Hotel Farallon
Playa Blanca Hotel And Resort
Hotel Playa Blanca Panama
Playa Blanca Resort Panama
Playa Blanca Panama City
Blanca Panama Playa
Hotel Playa Blanca Beach Resort Panama/Farallon

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